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I Said Yes! My Jewel of the Seas Greek Isles travel blog

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I have this 3 paragraph opener with all my pre-planning drafted on my work computer, but I felt like starting this now so I will post that at the end of the blog.

 

This will be a picture heavy report and include a lot of details.

 

I want to preface this by saying I don’t care if you reply and repost pictures...it doesn’t bother me. I’m just happy to see people reading along. I also want to say that this is my opinions and the Greek Isles seen through my eyes. Sorry if you don’t agree with something I say, just be kind about it

No hateful comments will be responded to.

 

This was my 6th cruise. I am 36 and bf 39. We are from Colorado and this trip was definitely bucket list for us.

 

Ok next post will start the report.

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Following.

We'll be on Jewel this Feb so we're looking forward to your commentary. on the ship, crew, and service. Hope your cruise was everything you thought it'd be!

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We booked this cruise last October and got an amazing deal way too good to pass up.

Balcony cabin at $1600 each with $225 total onboard credit for a 9 night cruise.

 

I was a bit worried about flight costs but I figured we could just make it happen somehow.

 

I ended up getting our tickets to Rome with my Delta Amex points! I used Royal’s Air2Sea program for our return on Lufthansa for $440 each! I couldn’t believe it. I was nervous to use the program but figured with that price it was worth a shot.

 

We flew out 9/16/18 from Denver to Detroit to FCO.

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We made a short video and posted it to Instagram letting our friends and family know that we were taking them along on our trip and we’d let them know where when we landed. Our layover in Detroit was the perfect amount of time: only 2 hours...long enough to grab a snack and find our gate which happened to be only 4 gates down from the one we had just gotten off.

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Our “snack” of a wrap, sandwich, protein bar and coke cost $25 from the plum market.

 

Once onboard the second flight we took a look at the menu

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Following.

We'll be on Jewel this Feb so we're looking forward to your commentary. on the ship, crew, and service. Hope your cruise was everything you thought it'd be!

 

 

 

Thank you! It absolutely was. We have nothing bad to say really...only a couple comments but those will come later.

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I was surprised that the meals provided on that second Delta flight were actually pretty good! Our flight attendant, Lori, had been in her job for 33 years and been all over the world!

 

At this point I’ll mention just a few of the reviews that I read over and over again in my prep for this cruise: huge thank you to Bimmer09 (Norris), hoopster95 (Claudio) and Nicole721 and many others.

 

There are several options for transport in Rome: cab, train, private transfer just to name a few. I considered the train at first and decided that after being on a plane for hours and traveling with 2 big suitcases, carryon and back pack the savings wasn’t worth the stress for me...so I got quotes from 4 transfer services. Rome in Limo, recommended by Norris, and Cabs 4 Rome, recommended by Claudio were my top 2. I ended up booking with Maurizio from Cabs 4 Rome. I requested 4 transfers: 1) FCO to hotel 2) hotel to Civi port 3) Civi port to hotel and 4) hotel to FCO. He quoted me 340 euro for all 4.

 

We arrived in Rome at 9am local time. Maurizio was waiting for us at the ground transport pick up area after we picked up our baggage and exited. During our drive to our hotel he told us in broken English that he had been a driver for 32 years!

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Some of the sites as we made the 30 minute drive:

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Maurizio said he might have an opportunity for us to ride share to the port and could he email us if we were interested? I said yes of course!

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Let’s just mention the roads and driving for a moment...in all of the Italy and Greece stops that we had...with the small streets everyone had small cars and were not afraid to “run people over”. I really am impressed we didn’t see a ton of cars with bangs and scrapes. It’s like a work of art to drive over there!

 

As Maurizio drove us to the hotel and we asked curious questions he told us how the quality of living there is very low. We didn’t really understand what he was meaning until later in the trip. More details to come.

 

Leading up to the cruise I did a ton of research on hotels. In the beginning I was trying to be budget conscious and booked us in not so grand hotels for pre and post cruise. As sail date got closer I decided to splurge as “when in Rome”...and I’m very glad I did. Hotels in Rome are expensive but I encourage you if you are going to consider the experience that you get along with it.

 

Maurizio dropped us off at the hotel I had booked for pre-cruise: Hotel ****onale. I prepaid online $221 (after finding promo codes and other discounts) which included wi-fi and breakfast.

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Our room was not ready so we dropped our bags and headed out to enjoy the day. Our plan was to stay up until night in order to adjust to the time difference. With all of our Excitement we did not sleep on the plane so we ended up being awake something like 36 hours when it was all said and done.

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Prior to the cruise I also downloaded the Rick Steves app and an app called Visit A City. Both worked out to be great! I downloaded the guides on RS app for the things we were interested in most of the ports...not for the audio guide but to be able to quickly refer to the text of it for info on what we were seeing. Visit a City allows you to map out your day to make it the most efficient and worked well for us too.

 

We left our bags at the front desk and with map in hand headed out to explore.f16b81b23fe45e17f51a497dc21b01ae.jpg

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It was SO HOT! I sweat my face off

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At this point we were both overheated and dehydrated so decided to make our way back towards the hotel.

We ended up stopping for lunch too

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Just around the corner from the hotel is this gelato shop. I had read that it was very good so made a mental note to stop there later 5853c73b068c6ff6ffd8159428fac103.jpg

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View from our room

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YAY!! Thanks for doing this review. We're planning on doing the same trip in 2 years. We chose this trip so we could spend more time in Rome :) (and my husband is obsessed with history and HAS TO go to Athens!)

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YAY!! Thanks for doing this review. We're planning on doing the same trip in 2 years. We chose this trip so we could spend more time in Rome :) (and my husband is obsessed with history and HAS TO go to Athens!)

 

 

 

Awesome! If you are history lovers like we are this trip will be beyond words for you. Let me know as we go along if you have any questions.

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After freshening up and changing into shorts we headed back out. No rest for the weary!1d1c09a9399578e9b4fd3b36f1219e0c.jpg

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There are literally ruins everywhere! I guess I didn’t realize or I was so excited about the main attractions, idk, but all you have to do is walk down the street and you’ll see the remains of some ancient civilization.

The forum of Trajan:

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I was trying to sneak a pic of us and Bf thought I was taking a selfie so he pulled his phone out to take one too

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I had purchased our Colosseum tickets online and I am SO glad I did...please take my advice and if you are not booking a tour and want to do it self guided: BUY ONLINE. This saved us a ton of time waiting in line.

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I got extra kudos from BF for that preplanning too so there’s that bonus! You can see behind us the line for those with no tickets

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I’d say our wait in the already purchased ticket line was only 10 minutes if that

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I had told Bf about the water fountains in Rome but he didn’t believe me that they were actually ok to drink until we were in the colosseum and he saw the line of people waiting to fill their water bottles.

I think the thirst set in and he decided it was worth the risk

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The history here is powerful. Especially when you look down at the grounds below and imagine the slaves and animals kept there. Such an incredibly sad practice.

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After walking around and just standing there taking it in we made our way through the exit towards the Arch of Constantine, built 315AD and is the last great imperial monument of Rome.

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We made our way up the cobbled hill towards the forum entrance and passed this beggar praying on the walk. I’m not sure if it’s because of her praying stance or just the sadness that oozed from her, but it was something that struck me.

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After the Forum we decided to wander the streets and make our way to Trevi Fountain

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I’d read multiple people say you can’t really get close to the fountain and they were right. It was so loud and so crowded but still so beautiful 4a823bbde7d318781b107776c49f249f.jpg3eca7d55105ce7c73052f0c8b96aed20.jpg

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I had also read a couple of reviews about the elevator to the top at Palazzo Venezia. We decided to head back that way since it was soon to be sunset and I wanted photos over the city.

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We were almost to the elevator and I thought the heat was effecting BF because he needed to sit down. After a while he got back up and we paid the 10euro each to take the elevator to the top. I had to close my eyes and hold my stomach.92bb75d7c67f959484670aace5a03544.jpg820a037ce51d6175395a66e2e21da375.jpg68e2ee73ea1a520ac758024e7098d7e2.jpg

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The views up here are WELL worth the elevator ride and cover charge. 360 degrees of beautiful.

 

Stay tuned for the next EPIC post

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