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

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We now drove toward Europa Point to see the light house and Catalan Bay. 

These were some sites on the way. 

 

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The area over here was magnificent!

 

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Back at the Rock of Gibraltar.  It always had cloud cover.  In the forefront is a beautiful mosque.

 

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We continued on our 360 degree tour of the Rock. 

 

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This concluded our tour and Christian gave us the option of returning to the ship or being dropped off in Grand Casemates Square.  We chose the Square and bid him and everyone else farewell. 

 

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We walked the busy streets for awhile and then taking Christians suggestion we had fish and chips at Roy's Fish and Chips.

This is part of United Kingdom after all, and one must have fish and chips!

 

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If you eat here be careful to stand in a line.  There is no discernible line, but you better stand in it, or risk getting scolded as I did when we started to sit at an empty table.  Aside from that, which gave us a chuckle, the food was plentiful and delicious!  

 

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We had a lovely stroll back to the ship after this hearty lunch, taking time to sit on benches and people watch.  We loved visiting Gibraltar and felt like we had really seen SO much! 

 

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My notes say that there is free wifi in the port terminal, and I sat there for quite some time while my husband returned to the ship again to practice his napping skills.  We spent some time in the Sky lounge playing trivia and hit the start of the Elite Lounge time.  We were thrilled to see another plane come in and we had a great view of the entire runway.

 

We had a lovely dinner enjoying our drink package wine and caught the end of the 7:00 show which featured Reitta Ann Austin singing.  She was very  good!  We finished the night watching an officers versus passengers game and off to bed.  The end to another fantastic day! 

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Good morning from Barcelona.

First of all I apologize because my English is very bad, I read and write here with the help of my friend, a Google translator.

Rowse, I'm following your story with great interest, I love how you explain your trip.

Thank you!!!!!
Edu.

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11 hours ago, edunava said:

Good morning from Barcelona.

First of all I apologize because my English is very bad, I read and write here with the help of my friend, a Google translator.

Rowse, I'm following your story with great interest, I love how you explain your trip.

Thank you!!!!!
Edu.

Edu, Thank you for writing to me so I know you are there.  We loved our visit to Barcelona which I will write about soon! 

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Our next port of call was Malaga, Spain, on October 5th.  Our plan today was to do a self guided walking tour.  We were still in the dark when we looked out the window and saw we were in port next to a Costa ship.

 

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As we got ready to exit the ship the sun was coming up.  We were in for another beautiful weather day!  There were plenty of taxi's waiting, but we chose to walk in to port today.   We passed through their massive port terminal! 

 

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Along this walkway we found a city run tourist information booth or I thought it was,  but in the end I think it was just a travel agent.  Still, 1 Euro for a map was a good price. 

 

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A little farther in, we found this great map that we took a picture of.  That probably would have been

better than the map we bought. 

 

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This is an excellent review.  Thank you, I was just in Malaga - wonderful city.

Edited by floridaag

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2 minutes ago, floridaag said:

This is an excellent review.  Thank you, I was just in Malaga - wonderful city.

Greetings!  Glad you are reading along!  Malaga was amazing! 

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It wasn't long before we found the beautiful Cathedral of Malaga. 

 

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And behind us was a beautiful little square.

 

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We were so amazed that the streets look this way!  We walked around the church and found our way in.  Just takes our breath away! 

 

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Not sure if you can tell by the picture but this door was massive!

 

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After exiting there was another chapel off to the side. 

 

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We continued our walk and here are some pictures of the beautiful grounds of the Cathedral. 

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We then wandered and happened upon the Roman Theater and Alcazaba.   After this trip, I would definitely give us a "failed" on map reading.  Luckily we found things anyway.

 

This theater is from the 1st Century AD!  We are just in awe that we are standing in this place where people stood over 2000 years ago.

 

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Behind this sits the Alcazaba Fortress Palace which was done in the year 1057 to 1063.  We saw examples of Roman, Arab, and Renaissance architecture.  Loved this place!

 

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Loved the different plant life we saw. 

 

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A view over toward the Cathedral. 

 

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Alacazaba Fortress Palace continued... 

 

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There are some artifacts in one of the rooms. 

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A well of some kind was here. 

 

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A look down to the street we would need to take to head up to the Gibralfaro Castle.  Of course there is a bus #35 which goes to the top as well, but we thought we would walk it. 

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We walked a LONG, steep,  hot walk up to Gibralfaro Castle and in hindsight, it may have been better to catch that bus #35 up and walked down. 

 

This is a sample of the walkway.

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We had a nice view into the harbor.

 

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There was a bull fighting ring that looked like it was closed for maintenance so we did not go over to that

area.

 

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Once up to the top we were able to skip the line as we had bought our tickets on a combo deal at Alcazaba.  You buy them out of this crazy machine with the aid of a very exasperated attendant.  He thought everyone should realize you put your money in before you pick your ticket to buy.  No, that is not the way we do it in the US we usually pick our ticket then pay when the balance due comes up.   Seemed an odd way to handle these ticket purchases to us. 

 

There was a little museum at the Castle. 

 

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This was a really fascinating model of the areas we had seen. 

 

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Outside of the museum we walked the walkway on the Castle walls

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This was the magnificent view on the back side.

 

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After enjoying the Castle it was time to head back down that pathway that we had come up.  We eventually cut down a different way to hit a beautiful garden area. 

Coming down we saw a couple policemen on horseback checking on things.

 

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Down on ground level again.

 

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We were exhausted at this point so we headed back toward the ship.  Did this walk get even longer??

We did have this beautiful view of the beach. 

 

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Once back on ship, we had some lunch, and both had a nap.  The heat and way over 20,000 steps just did

me in. 

Later we went to dinner at about 6:00 and were lucky to score a window seat again.  There was a film crew

in a section near us and some of our wait staff was in whatever they were filming.  I am guessing some kind

of commercial for Celebrity Cruises?

I apologize for not having a lot of food porn, but here is a couple photos from tonight.

 

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We watched a passengers versus crew on "are you smarter than an officer".  

Snapped a couple pictures as we went by.  The Reflection is such a beautiful ship!

 

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Cafe Bacio

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We very much enjoyed the band! 

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Then off to see the main show of a hypnotist named Chris Cross.

It was extra fun for us as several of the people we had toured in Gibraltar with were part of the show.  Way to go Hap!!!

 

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With all the ports back to back, it was hard to stay up past 11.  Off to bed with another amazing day under our belt. 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, ROWSE said:

Edu, Thank you for writing to me so I know you are there.  We loved our visit to Barcelona which I will write about soon! 

 

👍

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October 6th brought us to the port of Cartagena, Spain, and our plan was another self guided walking tour.  This time we had

Tom's Port Guide to follow, and this was a great help. 

 

We were sailing into the port as we stepped out on our balcony.

 

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We had our breakfast in the Elite lounge, and I was really learning to love the cappacino's! 

Soon we were off and running. 

 

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It was so great to have the ship right in the heart of everything!

 

We started at the Theater museum.  This is a building of their Parliament. 

 

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Right across from it is the very unassuming little entrance to this massive Theater Museum.

The opening time was 10:00 and it was only 9:30 but I saw someone walk in the door and

being the curious person I am, I went over to check it out.

 

They were very welcoming and stated that since the cruise ship was in port they were open.

Jackpot!!!  No one else stopped to inquire, so my husband and I had a good half hour all to

ourselves in a MAJOR tourist attraction. 

 

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We enjoyed the museum and video presentation and then walked out into the main attraction.

This Roman Theater dates from 5 to 1 BC. That is Before Christ!!!!!! AMAZING!!!

 

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If money is an issue there are viewing areas of this theater from the outside.  We saw people from our Gibraltar tour that could not find the entrance and they were getting a pretty good view of the theater from where they stood.  We, however, loved being inside. 

 

 

 

 

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Cartagena Roman Theater continued...

 

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We are starting to see the first people coming in.

 

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Time to go and we walked these tiny little streets amazed at the beauty of their architecture. 

 

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Coming from pavement world, it is so interesting to us how all the streets are tiled. 

 

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This ceiling was in a small church I happened into.

 

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Our next part of the multi ticket we purchased at the museum was the Forum.  The entrance is quite odd not looking like anything at all important and it was!!

 

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We enjoyed looking at all the beautiful buildings as we walked. 

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There was a mention in Tom's Port guide of a museum that we passed called Costa Fortuna.  This was a tiny museum, and I will admit that I really had to use the bathroom so the 5 E total entrance fee to do so, seemed like a bargain.  It was small and unassuming but they little guy has to have a place too. 

 

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The following was a picture inside to imagine what the street must have looked like outside this building.

 

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There were some interesting points to it all.

 

Then it was a bit of a struggle to find our way to the Castle Conception elevator lift that was part of our ticket.

After a couple wrong turns we got on the right road.  The Lift was impressive.

 

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It was quite a wait but soon we were up there.  I went out on the finger section.

 

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We could see part of an old bull fighting ring. 

 

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We were now at Castle Conception and used the last of our multi site ticket.  What a bargain at 12 Euro each.

So it had included the Roman Theater Museum, The Forum, and Castle Conception with Lift.

 

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I loved that our ship was just at the edge of all this!

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New theater built right next to ancient which is in the far right area of the picture.

 

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The views were far reaching way up here!

 

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After walking down and back to pretty much where we began we were hungry and strolled

on in to a restaurant.  This was pure Spanish speaking so I pulled out my cheat sheet of Spanish and

with the help of hand gestures and the gal that owned the place helping, I ordered Vegetarian.

 

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Somehow my husband accidentally ordered two potato dishes and I got grilled veggies, YUM!!! 

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This was all very reasonable and I highly recommend this establishment! 

 

 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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Time was ticking so we knew the harbor boat tour left on the hour and it was close to it so we ran

over to the Tour Boat area and just made it on.  You can buy just the harbor tour or for a little bit more

a guided tour of Fort Christmas is included.  We felt we were cutting it to short on time to get back to the

ship so we did not do the fort.  Looked like no one had added that as we did not even stop.

 

At the harbor there was a Volkswagen antique show.  It was gone when we got back or that would have

been very fun to really have a good look through.

 

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Then it was out into the harbor we went.  Amazed at this sail boat...

 

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A view back to the dock.

 

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There are forts built in to the area on all sides.  I would say this port was well fortified from attack!

 

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I really wish we would have had time for the Fort tour,  but the harbor was fun to see on its own.

 

We headed back to the ship and took one last photo showing the Spanish flag flying.

 

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Once onboard we sat out on the Promenade deck to watch people coming back on.  This odd picture is of our

cruise director, Rich.  He did a fantastic job all cruise long and would often times be greeting us as we left to explore ports and this time he was there to greet those returning.

 

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We went back to the room to change for dinner and found this amazing invite...

 

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We have cruised quite often and on many cruise lines (of course Celebrity is our favorite),

and we have never been invited to something like this.  Thank you Anshika, and I know I spelled

your name wrong earlier.  We have no idea why were were chosen.  I will write about the actual

event tomorrow.

 

Off to dinner and this is an example of our extra vegetarian menu that we were given each night.

 

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My husband had fish tonight, though.

 

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Next up was a fun game outside Celebrity Central called Majority Rules.  This one had a twist.

If you ran your answer up last, the assistant cruise director, Nacho, made you do a stunt which was

singing, dancing, etc.  I ended up last and did my rendition of Somewhere over the Rainbow.  EEK!!!

I am somewhere behind the pillar. 

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The show tonight was one of the production shows called Broken Strings.  The young people are

so talented, but to us, all the songs sounded the same.  The other production shows were much better.

 

Exhausted, we called it a night.

 

 

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On 10/25/2018 at 7:11 AM, hcat said:

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

We were on a similar cruise on Reflection last year, and I am really enjoying your review. The spaghetti with pistachios you had at your niece’s sounds delicious, too!

Edited by MacThespian
Mistyped

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18 hours ago, MacThespian said:

We were on a similar cruise on Reflection last year, and I am really enjoying your review. The spaghetti with pistachios you had at your niece’s sounds delicious, too!

Thank you for writing!  We absolutely loved this cruise and yes, that spaghetti was incredible! 

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We awoke today, October 7,  pulling into Ibiza, Spain. 

 

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D'Alt Castle on the hill.

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I was up early as I was a little nervous for our excursion today.  We chose to do a ship's tour today and one of the reasons was that it was a Sunday, and I had read many things were closed on Sunday's.  We did Ibiza Coastline and Scenic Bike Tour.  I knew it would be 11 miles long, and I knew we had done more miles than that this summer to be ready for it, it was the idea that people might be way faster than me and I would slow people down.  That proved not to be the problem today. 

 

We were to meet for our tour at Celebrity Central and that went off perfectly.  They seemed to be very organized.  We were walked out to meet our tour.

 

The following is my what I wrote later on the Spain port of call board when I got home as I had asked before we had left if anyone would recommend this tour and I got no answer:

I would never recommend this tour unless you enjoy no interaction with tour guides as they mainly spoke French, minimal English, and did not explain anything we saw in Ibiza.  

We were given bikes and helmets but no safety check to see if you knew how the gears worked or brakes so you must be an avid biker or with someone that is.  

The bikes were excellent, however, they had the racer bike seats, so someone on the tour likened it to sitting on a pole for 3 hours.  Most women and some men were miserable from the seats alone.  Hard to enjoy anything when I was in such pain.

It was a ride through walking areas and busy streets and some very heavy mountain biking terrain as well.  This would have been fine accept for the bottom pain most of us were in.

We did stop at a bar and I assumed the guides always stopped here and I asked where is the bathroom which was met with "I don't know."   WHAT????  Okay, I found it myself. 

 

On the return back there were three falls, two from running into poles blocking walking areas from motor vehicles, and one from someone running into the back of someone else when they stopped to check on the person hitting the poles.  There was not a lot of concern on the guides parts.  

We were so glad to get back to the ship.  If ever in Ibiza again I would certainly do something other than this tour.

 

I did not complain to Celebrity as it is what it is.  Just wanted to let people who might wonder as I did what this tour was like.

This tour could be improved with normal bike seats, and guides who actually gave you a tour.

 

Now to return to pictures of our tour.  Aside from the issues I wrote above and not really knowing what we were seeing, we saw some pretty scenery. 

 

Getting ready and we met right at the ship's parking lot and returned her as well. 

 

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We rode in to town and immediately up the hill toward D'Alt Castle.  There were a couple large hills to get up there, but I made it!

 

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At the first stop.

 

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We went a little farther up.

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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We headed back down from D'Alt Castle.  This would have been really fun to explore more.

 

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Our guide is in the yellow and his main words to any of us was "Let's go!" 

 

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We rode on some very busy streets at times and dirt roads.

 

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In the picture above we were at the far end of town and there was a castle pillar type structure out there and I have no

idea where we were or what we saw, but the view was pretty.

 

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We retraced our route and this time stopped at a bar and I did find the bathroom.  A few people had a drink.

I also took a picture of the offending seat!

 

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Several of us women wanted to mutiny at that point and take a taxi back, but we managed to get back on and get back to the ship.  We stopped one more brief time in a square with a statue. 

 

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Once back at the ship all 16 of our tour headed back on.  If anyone should happen to read this, did you report this tour being far from what the description detailed?

 

We went to lunch in the buffet and during lunch I realized something hard I felt in my mouth was a huge chunk of my back bottom molar.  OH NO!!!!  It didn't hurt but was very sharp and my tongue found it's way there often.  The next day in port I acquired that orthodontic GUM stuff and that saved me and let my tongue heal for the rest of the trip.

 

I did have travel insurance, and it covered dental.  Now this is where I learned a lot about that coverage.  I thought to myself that I would need to have some kind of record that I did this on the ship.  UGH!  After a big run around, neither the guest services nor medial were going to write anything up for me.  I could do a full medical exam, and then they would charge me for that and write something then.  Well, no, that is not something I wanted to do.  Once back in Rome I was able to get a hold of insurance to report it.  I thought then I could get it fixed when I got home and they would cover it.  NO!!  That is not how it works.  They

find someone in the country you are in to fix it.  In the end, since it was not painful, I didn't want to interrupt our vacation,  and I knew it would need a crown which takes more than a quick visit, I decided to just wait till I got home and not use insurance. 

 

If I had been in pain of any kind it would have been something I would have had to do.  It was a good lesson on how all of this actually works and I must say, Travel Guard was really great to work with but those are the rules.

 

That evening it was our exciting dinner with the Chief Engineer.  Neither one of us took pictures as that seemed rude to whip a camera out during this kind of dinner party.  I will do my best to paint the picture.

 

We met the Captain's Circle hostess, Anshika Boodhun, at 7:15 in Cellar Masters and soon everyone joined us.  There was Jackie and John from England,  Manos and Nikos from Texas/Greece, Dan and Derrick from Switzerland, us, and officer Sarah who was the manager of all heads of onboard departments, and Cheif Engineer Konstantinos Pechlivanidis.   We had a wonderful champagne toast and the major talking commenced.  Everyone hit it off perfectly and it was the beginning of almost three wonderful hours of learning about our different countries and of course plenty of cruise talk.  Konsta and Sara were wonderful hosts! 

 

The ship's photographers took a picture before we proceeded into the Tuscan Grill.  This is a picture of our picture.

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I took a picture the next day of the table we had eaten at.

 

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We ordered off the menu and food and wine flowed freely.  It was just an amazing time, one we will

never forget.  At the dessert course Konsta and Sarah excused themselves having other commitments.

We were presented with our photos and the ladies received a lovely red rose.  Three hours have never

gone by so quickly. 

 

We were shocked to see the time of 10:30 when we all bid farewell.  It had been a long day so we called it a

night.

 

 

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