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ROWSE

Long Review of Reflection October 1-12, 2018 Western Mediterranean Cruise

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Hello to all my fellow cruise addicts!  The following review will be long and full of pictures, the kind I love to read when I am waiting for what seems like forever to get on my next cruise! 

 

My husband and I are in our late 50's, Elite Status on Celebrity, and LOVE cruising especially to warm places when we hit those cold January months in Spokane, Washington.  Seattle is on the other side of the state and they don't have the cold and snow that we get.  I have to admit though, when describing where we were from while in Europe I often times said Seattle, for who on earth knows where Spokane is. 

 

As I stated, our cruise experiences usually hit somewhere warm when home is cold , but since we are not getting any younger, we thought it time to try something new.  I realized visiting Europe would require a person to be in pretty good physical shape, and who knows what more years ahead could bring so it was time to open a new cruise area to our usual Caribbean adventures.   

 

I booked this cruise over a year out, and truthfully I was researching and planning almost every day up until sailing.  I had a huge learning curve never having set foot on European soil before.  I know in most couples there is the planner and the other spouse is the easy going, pack my underwear, get on the plane, person.  My husband is the later, and truth is I wouldn't want it any other way.  I love the planning almost as much as the adventure itself, so his interference would not be welcome.  He has never objected to any plan, hair brained as it may be, and he is a wonderful cheer leader when things go South, so we make it all work swimmingly.

 

This cruise we were very blessed with the fact that one of our nieces married a beautiful Italian young man and now lives with their sweet baby and his family in Cerveteri, Italy.   This town is between the Rome airport and Civitavecchia, where we were to board the Reflection on our 11 day Western Mediterranean adventure. 

 

She graciously offered to pick us up at the airport, take us back for a tour of their home, feed us (always welcome) and take us to our airbnb in Civitavecchia later that afternoon.  Wow, who could ask for more!!!

 

Now to start getting to the meat of the story...  BUT there will be little to no meat as we are mainly Vegan

eaters only having a bit of fish on cruises.  Trying to remain Vegan especially in Italy was a little bit of a challenge, but we did the best we could. 

 

If you are still here after that long beginning, then here we go...  We booked through Celebrity Choice Air and got a phenomenal deal for $600 each round trip flying Delta from Spokane to Minneapolis to Detroit then Rome.  Returning would go from Rome to Amsterdam to Seattle then Spokane.   We left at 7:00 a.m. and reached Rome at 9:15 a.m.  Flights were perfect, our luggage, which did arrive with us was NOT so perfect, but hey who wants to stop and complain.


Here we are bright eyed and ready to go...

IMG_4943.thumb.jpg.7406bf1d7edb9dfcbf6120c40f471546.jpg

 

  A perfect name for a store...

 

 

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Yes I will have a LITTLE wine...OMG!!!

 

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We arrive and wait excitedly for our niece and her hubby to retrieve us. 

 

IMG_1192.thumb.jpg.ecbd197d9b764ce430d86613c37e4b36.jpg

 

 

 

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Rowse, so glad to see you doing another photo review!

Pulling up a chair for a nice long photo-heavy read....

Norris

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It had been years since we have flown Delta, and I am pleased to report that we especially enjoyed the movies that we were able to pass all those hours watching.  We were in economy of course, and it is a bit cozy, but we made it work. 

 

At the Rome airport we passed through passport check, this was electronic, then saw an agent for a passport stamp.  We retrieved our beat up luggage and passed through a wall of people holding signs that were picking up others, and out to the area in my earlier picture.  I was able to use the airport wifi and facebook messenger to let them know we had arrived. 

 

Our niece and her husband picked us up shortly after and off we went to their lovely home.  Italians drive FAST!!!   They live in a beautiful upstairs area over his parents home.  They have a general store on their property and massive acres of olive groves.  The extended family live in homes all around.  It is amazingly beautiful and peaceful here.  Still, they kept gates locked and guard dogs, as my niece stated there were marauders. 

 

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Lime trees flourish off their deck.

 

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Their store...

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Solar energy in use!

IMG_1212.thumb.jpg.7bbe4b0eea92fad3866121a45c26b043.jpg

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Bimmer09 said:

Rowse, so glad to see you doing another photo review!

Pulling up a chair for a nice long photo-heavy read....

Norris

Yeah!!!  Glad to know you are joining me Norris!!!  I always look forward to your

wonderful reviews!  As always, my pictures pale to your beautiful photography. 

Hope you have a cruise in your near future! 

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When I stated earlier that they said they would feed us, we had no idea it would be a banquet that left us in a glorious food and drink stupor for hours.  There was so many courses and with each there was wonderful wine and liquors served as well.  I have never had anything as delicious as the home made pistachio topped spaghetti that my niece's mother-in-law made for us.  Her father in law started us off with this beautiful bruschetta.

 

IMG_1216.thumb.jpg.3e42038826191fe4d08c9703048188b3.jpg

 

This was our table out on their front patio area. 

 

IMG_5009.thumb.jpg.77d02a2452b33ea9d4c5513a7b312ecb.jpg

 

We were able to look out on this beautiful view.

 

IMG_5010.thumb.jpg.cd337efb8bc67d57d139d162ee63f72e.jpg

 

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I wish I had more pictures of more of the food, but we were too busy consuming.  We did get one of the wonderful chocolate sweet potato pie our niece made special for us.

 

IMG_5011.thumb.jpg.3114623d0d0fa1049acd449e609830fb.jpg

 

Our meal lasted over two hours.  We do not know if this is the normal family meals served in Italy, but we were left in awe over their hospitality and warmth that encompassed us on our visit.  I especially loved, what I call the double kiss, hugs!  We were treated to those coming and going.

We can never even begin to show our appreciation of how we were treated and love the fact that our beautiful niece has found such a wonderful family.   

 

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, ROWSE said:

Yeah!!!  Glad to know you are joining me Norris!!!  I always look forward to your

wonderful reviews!  As always, my pictures pale to your beautiful photography. 

Hope you have a cruise in your near future! 


Thanks for the compliments ROWSE and I have two cruises booked as of now.

Both bucket list calibre-first is in 82 days and my first sailing with Azamara to Cuba for 9 days on Azamara Journey, aft balcony cabin. Lots of great private (and Azamara) excursions lined up with Cuban guides in 3 Cuban cities. Review will start January 25th

when I get home and have petted the cat.
 

After that we wait 7 months before joining my favorite ship Celebrity Silhouette September the 1st from Southampton to the Norwegian Fjords for 7 days.

Both of those will be super-photo/video heavy (as always) and I am armed to the teeth

with cameras (6) and lenses (4) some of them new to my reviews. Can't wait, but I have to.

 

My last cruise was in January this year (see signature) and I am so looking forward to Azamara, even though the ship is smaller than I usually sail.

 

The Azamara review will appear on the Celebrity board.

Cheers!

Norris

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9 hours ago, ROWSE said:

When I stated earlier that they said they would feed us, we had no idea it would be a banquet that left us in a glorious food and drink stupor for hours.  There was so many courses and with each there was wonderful wine and liquors served as well.  I have never had anything as delicious as the home made pistachio topped spaghetti that my niece's mother-in-law made for us.  Her father in law started us off with this beautiful bruschetta.

 

IMG_1216.thumb.jpg.3e42038826191fe4d08c9703048188b3.jpg

 

This was our table out on their front patio area. 

 

IMG_5009.thumb.jpg.77d02a2452b33ea9d4c5513a7b312ecb.jpg

 

We were able to look out on this beautiful view.

 

IMG_5010.thumb.jpg.cd337efb8bc67d57d139d162ee63f72e.jpg

 

IMG_5008.thumb.jpg.36ef502bebb840d8e91819e00dce17b7.jpg

 

I wish I had more pictures of more of the food, but we were too busy consuming.  We did get one of the wonderful chocolate sweet potato pie our niece made special for us.

 

IMG_5011.thumb.jpg.3114623d0d0fa1049acd449e609830fb.jpg

 

Our meal lasted over two hours.  We do not know if this is the normal family meals served in Italy, but we were left in awe over their hospitality and warmth that encompassed us on our visit.  I especially loved, what I call the double kiss, hugs!  We were treated to those coming and going.

We can never even begin to show our appreciation of how we were treated and love the fact that our beautiful niece has found such a wonderful family.   

 

 

 

 

Sounds like a great vacation for you and wonderful review for us.  Beautiful place where your niece lives!

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I too am the planner of the family and love it!  Looking forward to your review and great photos!

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Rowse...I've been off the boards for a long time so this is first review of yours I've seen.   Glad you had a wonderful cruise and can't wait for the updates.

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15 hours ago, riclop said:

Thanks for the review.

Thank you for taking the time to read along!

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14 hours ago, Bimmer09 said:


Thanks for the compliments ROWSE and I have two cruises booked as of now.

Both bucket list calibre-first is in 82 days and my first sailing with Azamara to Cuba for 9 days on Azamara Journey, aft balcony cabin. Lots of great private (and Azamara) excursions lined up with Cuban guides in 3 Cuban cities. Review will start January 25th

when I get home and have petted the cat.
 

After that we wait 7 months before joining my favorite ship Celebrity Silhouette September the 1st from Southampton to the Norwegian Fjords for 7 days.

Both of those will be super-photo/video heavy (as always) and I am armed to the teeth

with cameras (6) and lenses (4) some of them new to my reviews. Can't wait, but I have to.

 

My last cruise was in January this year (see signature) and I am so looking forward to Azamara, even though the ship is smaller than I usually sail.

 

The Azamara review will appear on the Celebrity board.

Cheers!

Norris

I loved your review in January and am very excited to see what Azamara will be like.  Your cruise in September sounds wonderful! 

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9 hours ago, rachiem said:

We were on the same cruise. One of our best holidays and our first with Celebrity!

:classic_smile:

It was just fantastic!  Feel free to chime in with your experiences as well! 

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6 hours ago, hcat said:

Sounds like a great vacation for you and wonderful review for us.  Beautiful place where your niece lives!

Thank you for reading along!  They live in paradise!

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6 hours ago, jimbri said:

I too am the planner of the family and love it!  Looking forward to your review and great photos!

Thank you for joining in! 

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1 hour ago, signman said:

Rowse...I've been off the boards for a long time so this is first review of yours I've seen.   Glad you had a wonderful cruise and can't wait for the updates.

I'm so glad you found this one!  Reviews are a way to relive it all! 

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1 hour ago, singinalot said:

following along!

Thank you for letting me know! 

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Looking forward to this review. We have sailed the Med lots of times but are booked on the Reflection for spring 2020, sailing the ABC islands. 

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After saying our goodbyes to my nieces extended family, they drove us to Civitavecchia and helped us find our airbnb.  It was in the Piazza Fratti which was very close to the water promenade and Fort Michelangelo.  We strickly used airbnb's while in Italy.  This one and then one near Termini Station in Rome at the end of our cruise for four days.  We loved them both and it saves a great deal of money when one is on a budget.  We always love saving money!  

 

We were very glad to have our nephews help with the locks on the door.  I am not sure how to describe the difference than what we normally have here in the US, but it has to be turned a few times and a few ways to get it to unlock.  It took my husband several attempts each time, but luckily we did get in.  I could blame it on the odd locks, but I am sure it is more operator error. 

 

IMG_1231.thumb.jpg.cb441dbc3abb5eaa366dfcda7a4047bb.jpg

 

This was our view out our window which we could open for wonderful fresh air.  IMG_1233.thumb.jpg.d213ff8ab22300c22417720e615aafac.jpgIMG_1232.thumb.jpg.7870764f9eb4203dcb1e715272f0e3bc.jpg

 

I love the way that there is restaurant after restaurant jutting out into the roads and piazza's!  It just makes it feel so welcoming!

 

IMG_1234.thumb.jpg.f2f43fb089fbe524b063e3f75b232168.jpg

 

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Before exhaustion overcame us, we had been awake way over 24 hours with only little cat naps on the plane, we walked around a bit hoping to go inside Fort Michelangelo.  I researched and it was to be open on Sunday during 4 to 7 p.m. and we were well within the hours, but alas no, it was not open.  We were able to walk around it, however.  My niece told me website hours on Italian sites can be ify at best. 

 

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It was Sunday, and all the families and kids were out and about just enjoying being together.  It was such a beautiful sunny day to introduce us to this beautiful area!   Another thing we noticed in Italy was little water fountains at random places and we filled up our water bottle often.  Bathrooms??  Now that is a different story.  I have come to believe Europeans, never have to go! 

 

IMG_1224.thumb.jpg.ec5dd98f860ad5746811ce2e84f308aa.jpg

 

After bidding them farewell, we headed back to the soft bed of our airbnb, and I think we made it to 8p.m. before we could not keep our eyes open any longer.  We were still so full from our massive lunch that we did not have dinner that night.  We agreed there could not have been a more perfect day! 

Edited by ROWSE

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26 minutes ago, bluwes said:

Looking forward to this review. We have sailed the Med lots of times but are booked on the Reflection for spring 2020, sailing the ABC islands. 

Thank you for reading along!  You will love the Reflection!  It is a beautiful ship and the crew were amazing!  I love the ABC islands, you are sure to have a fantastic time.

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Looking forward to your review!!  We did the Med about 5 years ago.  Loved it.  We will be sailing on the Reflection June 26th for a 12 night Baltic cruise.  Thanks for posting.

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We stayed at this B&B in May for our cruise as well.  The host is lovely and we had a great evening pre-cruise.

 

Janine 

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We slept well, but I was up at 4a.m.  My husband was able to doze a little longer.  All in all we did very well as days went by to get on the proper time zone. 

Our airbnb included an Italian breakfast around the corner at one of the cafe's.  Actually we had a choice between a few places.  One was just behind our building and the picture in the prior post of the white tented one was where we chose.  It was called La Caffeteria.  Chocolate croissant?  Yes please!

 

IMG_5028.thumb.jpg.244ccdd82b6f35c7d7fd972ca0f9e58f.jpg

 

I enjoyed tea today, but later really enjoyed the cappuccino's.  My husband had an espresso with his croissant.  After living in the world of Star Bucks, and the giant coffees they sell, this little thing seemed silly to me!  He enjoyed them nonetheless. 

 

IMG_1239.thumb.jpg.119d6ce7369cd58da22052b7e4385aa0.jpg

 

After our delicious breakfast, we explored more of Civitavecchia! 

Our airnb building is the pink to my right.

 

IMG_5016.thumb.jpg.a27fe99c78e7ed6cc0ae7bfb7cb16c76.jpg

 

The intricate designed on the architecture is amazing! 

 

IMG_5018.thumb.jpg.95b52adeb36cff5a18d5fcc2a0de0f84.jpg

 

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Just a few boats in the harbor!

 

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Fishermen were rolling their giant nets. 

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After a lovely morning we headed back to the airbnb.  I had researched how to walk down to Largo della Pace, which is the area they have you get on a shuttle bus to take you to the ship.  We walked through the gate by Michelangelo and walked along some sidewalks by the water front, having to go on the street sometimes, and having the cobblestone walk areas take quite a lot of effort when pulling our luggage over them, was not my favorite part of the day.  Luckily one other couple were ahead of us doing the same thing as once you turned a corner at the end of the walkway you had to double back quite a long space to actually get to the buses.  The signage was quite confusing!  Hindsight, possibly walking an upper road and not taking the sea front may be a better choice.  

 

The bus was there when we arrived and filled quickly.  It was a short drive, a short check in, and just like that we were walking toward the gangway and onto the ship. 

IMG_E5019.jpg

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