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Jewel of the Seas Review (LONG) September 15-24, 2019, with travel pre/post cruise

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After giving us a tour of the church, this was where Ishmael bid us all farewell.  He said we could stay as long as we like AND since the Crypt of the Santa Reparata part of our ticket started inside the Cathedral, we were able to use it after all!!!  Tours of Italy is absolutely a class act!  Loved everything about our time with Ishmael!

 

We found the stairs and used our multi ticket for the last time. 

Some of the sites under the floor of the Cathedral.

 

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We finished off with the sites at the Cathedral about 12:40 and we were starving.  We knew we wanted to head toward the river and try to see the Bobli Gardens that we did not have time for on day one so we headed in that direction.  We love to just find an out of the way little spot for meals, so we popped in one that looked good.

 

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The portrait behind my husband on the wall is the owner. 

 

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I had Bruschetta and my husband had a risotto dish.  Everything was delicious.   IMG_4734.thumb.jpg.7315d6b87a3b1acd7c0edc93a46f9011.jpg

 

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They brought us Limoncello after lunch!  It was amazing!  Aren't these the cutest glasses! 

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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21 minutes ago, ROWSE said:

Aren't these the cutest glasses! 

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I love how you are loving your trip.  We also loved everything about Florence when we were there 3 years ago - also on a pre-cruise trip before we boarded the Connie.  Keep your smiling going...

Edited by tcmagnum

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We left and found ourselves a bit lost.  We have flunked map reading obviously, and we did not

have our phones to guide us.  We only turned them on two times the whole trip for cellular roaming, and we

did not feel this merited enough of a problem to have to resort to that.

Eventually we found the name of a street on the map and we found our way to the river.  Once at

the river you can easily navigate!

 

The Boboli Gardens ticket line is one and the same as the Pitti Palace, and we seemed to have a shorter line

today and soon we found ourselves inside.  It is a lovely garden.  Maybe it was time of year, but the plants and water features seemed to be quite neglected.  Some things listed on the map were blocked off but still, we had a wonderful time.  Well worth the 10 Euro each.  Some of our sites as we walk.

 

 

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There was a very nice napping area, or so my hubby demonstrates! 

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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The Boboli Gardens Continued.....

After a short nap time for hubby, we continued up the hill.

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At the very top there is a lookout to the other side!  Wow was that beautiful back there!

 

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The building at the top has some of the dishware that was used in the Pitti Palace.   Then we started the walk back down.

 

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We ended up at a different exit than the entrance we came in and this lovely statue was there.

 

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After exiting we had a lovely walk through some of the streets we had not been on at all yet and back to cross the river and to the airbnb. 

 

 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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After a little rest back at our airbnb we ventured out to find a place for our last dinner in Florence.

We walked all over and then realized we really really liked the place right by our airbnb and went back to it.

This is a picture of it from our room's window.

 

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They were packed, but they managed to fit us in.

 

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We had asparagus appetizer and my husband a pizza, and I had Linguine Vongole.  It was all

fantastic!

 

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We walked to a little place down the way for our last gelato in Florence!

 

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The next day would be our train ride to Roma Termini, meeting up with our friends, shuttle to Civitavecchia, and getting on the Jewel of the Seas! 

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Looking forward to more, Kitty!  We so enjoyed meeting you two and had such a great time at the M&M (what a great party RCI threw for us!) and sharing the transfer and tour with you all. 

Fantastic review and I totally agree you about the ship!  It was really a terrific ship (our favorite class) and the crew were truly outstanding!  From Val, the maître d' in the buffet, to our cabin stewardess, Tatiane, to our concierge, Annis, and our bar waiter there, Helmi, and everywhere else we went on a regular basis, the crew had such a positive attitude and were so anxious to help. They really made us feel special and we were so shocked after our last experience on the HOTS.  What a total 180-degree wonderful experience! 

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15 hours ago, Ozarkmills said:

Well done! Truly enjoying you review.

 

I am so happy you are enjoying! Thank your for taking time to read along!

 

14 hours ago, DrivesLikeMario said:

Looking forward to more, Kitty!  We so enjoyed meeting you two and had such a great time at the M&M (what a great party RCI threw for us!) and sharing the transfer and tour with you all. 

Fantastic review and I totally agree you about the ship!  It was really a terrific ship (our favorite class) and the crew were truly outstanding!  From Val, the maître d' in the buffet, to our cabin stewardess, Tatiane, to our concierge, Annis, and our bar waiter there, Helmi, and everywhere else we went on a regular basis, the crew had such a positive attitude and were so anxious to help. They really made us feel special and we were so shocked after our last experience on the HOTS.  What a total 180-degree wonderful experience! 

 

Bobbie:  So glad to know you are reading along!   RCI did indeed throw us a great party!  So fun to meet everyone and it was so nice of them to have prizes as well!  We did help enjoy the champagne our friends won. 

I am so glad to read this ship was a wonderful experience for you both as well! 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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We were on Jewel of the seas this last july for the western mediterranean cruise and enjoyed it very much. We also did a day trip to Florence before the cruise. The pizza and gelato pictures are very tempting. Glad you enjoyed your visit and I hope to read the rest very soon ! 

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40 minutes ago, mhafod said:

We were on Jewel of the seas this last july for the western mediterranean cruise and enjoyed it very much. We also did a day trip to Florence before the cruise. The pizza and gelato pictures are very tempting. Glad you enjoyed your visit and I hope to read the rest very soon ! 

We did the Western Mediterranean last year on the Celebrity Reflection and it was fantastic, I bet you loved it!

Florence was a great experience!  Thank you for reading along!

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Saab4444 said:

Nice pictures but please call it Uffizi not Uffuzi.

Well shoot, I didn't even realize I was spelling it wrong.  I probably won't be writing about it anymore, and wish I could go back and correct.  If I write the name again I will have the correct spelling of Uffizi.  I cannot say a misspelling or two of the sites or other typos will not come in to play, however.  Giving it my best shot with this jet lagged brain I am experiencing! 

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Sunday, September 15, was upon us and we set a few alarms in our room as we did not want to risk missing

the train from Florence to Rome Termini Station. 

We gobbled down some left over pizza from the day before.  That can still be as good a breakfast as it was in our teenage years! 

 

Our airbnb was walk able to the Santa Maria Novella Station, and we found ourselves facing a reader board

with train destinations and times but not a platform number assigned yet.  Our train destination was Sorrento even though our destination was Rome Termini.  The platform number appeared about 10 minutes before boarding and lucky us it was number 12 which is where we were standing. 

 

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We walked down to the number carriage which is displayed on the columns next to the places on the platform you wait.  So, after I booked our ticket with Italiarail, the time changed a few minutes on our train.  I wrote asking if I needed new tickets and they assured me as long as the number of the train was the same, which was # 9505 Frecciarossa then I did not need them reissued.

 

Well, we got on the train.  I had booked Premium Super Economy.  Our seats were 6 & 7 D in Carriage 4.  We get on carriage 4 and the seats did not LOOK like any kind of Economy seats I have ever seen, and our 6 & 7 D were back to back and our seats had been face to face at a table.  We realize this is business (first class to us).  We look around trying to figure out if there is an economy carriage 4, but there is not.  There is no one else in our car whatsoever so we felt like it was fine to sit face to face.

 

It was leather seats and tons of luggage space.

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See that arch under the separation of seats, it is for luggage. 

 

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The train leaves the station and we are sure we are going to get kicked out any second, but a conductor comes through, checks our tickets, and no problem!!!!  YEAH!!!  Luxury all the way!  We think possibly on the time change they changed trains and Carriage 4 became Business class.  Well lucky us!!!

 

We were given a small snack and drink and WiFi was suppose to be included even with our Premium tickets but the WiFi would never connect properly.  

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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We arrive on time to Termini and after getting off, we have a brief moment we started to go out to the wrong street but righted ourselves and head off to the airbnb of our friends from where we would meet our shuttle to the ship.  On Google street view I walked it a couple times and my husband is trying to figure out how on earth I know just where to go.  We had stayed in this area last year, and I was pleased Google street view had been right on the mark!

 

This was about 10:10 and our shuttle was to come at 10:30 we are confident we can get to their airbnb and go to the bathroom before heading out in the shuttle.  We turn the corner and our dear friends are there with the driver, who came early!  I still ran up to their airbnb and used the facilities, and you never know how long you will be stuck in traffic in Rome!!!  We picked up a family of four from Australia, who we had chatted with on CruiseCritic, and we were off.

 

Or I should say we were immersed in car to car, cut through crazy streets over and over, till we finally got out of Rome!

Wow!  Guess he knew the short cuts!  After we were out of Rome the driving was wonderful!

 

Chatting with our new Australia friends was great fun, and before we knew it, the Jewel of the Seas came in to sight.

This trip for the four of us was 95Euro.  He did not speak English, but delivered us all safe and sound so I would use them again in a heart beat.

 

We were out at the new Terminal and on the ship in the blink of an eye.

We hit the buffet with our friends and they decide they are going to walk in to town to find a couple more bottles of wine as it is now time to go drop off the carry on luggage in our rooms.  Good bye till we meet at dinner. 

 

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Looking back at Civitavecchia.  We spent time here last year and will again after the cruise, but we love this little port!

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I am pretty sure I jumped up and down after this picture.  "WE ARE ON A CRUISE!!!" 

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Lovely covered pool area

 

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Along the way I will slip in some of the very few pictures I took of the ship.  Guess we were too busy experiencing it to take photos.  This was a center floor area in the Loyalty lounge and you could see all the way to the 4th flour I believe.

Made me a little dizzy looking down it.

 

 

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We head to the emergency muster drill, which happens up on the lifeboat deck and they check you off a paper list.

No one need bring their life jacket to this.  It was quite a hot day for standing on the deck! 

 

We headed to our room, which was an inside on deck 9.  Loved the darkness and the fantastic sleeps we experienced. 

This had to be the calmest cruise, water wise, that we have ever been on.  We hardly felt any movement at all the whole 9 days. 

 

After getting out of our travel wear into something a little less casual, we had our first experience of the Diamond Lounge!  WOW WOW WOW!  The hostess in the lounge, Christina, who was a delight and we loved seeing and talking to her every day, told us some lounges on other ships do not have quite the view we had in this one! 

 

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The rules work that the happy hour in the lounge was 5:00 to 8:30 and you were allowed any drink using the menu which I will attach.  My first drink was a Cosmo and hubby had a beer.

 

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The second round was a mimosa for me and Hubby's was a Gin martini!

 

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Then, you still have three drink coupons loaded on your card to use at any other bar on the ship including the dining room between the above mentioned hours.  Most of the time we had had enough from the lounge.  We so appreciated this HUGE perk and think it is probably one of the best on all of the cruise lines we have perks like this on. 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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We realize it is time to meet our friends for dinner and we were to meet at their room.  They had an ocean view on deck 4 and we wanted to see it.   The bed had been put as a king in front of their large port hole window so they asked the steward to separate it so they could have easier viewing access.   

They were showing us they were still friends even though the beds were apart:classic_biggrin:

 

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We headed up a floor to dinner, and we had My Time Dining with never once a wait.

My hubby and I felt this ship had ample hallways!

 

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We all check out the menu

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Another really nice feature, especially for us, as we are plant based eaters with only a bit of fish on cruises, was that there was always an Indian small menu on the table.

My friend shows night one of the Indian menu.

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I had mushroom soup tonight and Caesar salad which is not pictured.  Caesar Salad was on the menu every night and usually the only salad with possibly two other nights there was one other.  This was my one and only complaint about the dining room food.  Plant based eaters would really love more diverse salads!!!  

 

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My hubby had some escargot

 

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I chose the Mater & Mushroom off the Indian Menu.  This was amazing!

 

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My notes say we had chocolate hazelnut cake for dessert, sorry no picture. 

 

We did not hit the show tonight and headed for our room.  Love how they make it all so inviting!!

 

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I use the bathroom briefly and come out to a "lights out" hubby.  He has even been known to fall

asleep standing up, so I am never surprised to see what position he is in when this occurs. 

 

 

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We have a sea day tomorrow to get more acquainted with the ship.

 

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September 16, Sea Day

The Diamond Lounge hostess, Christina, also told us the Diamond lounge is open 24 hours a day and always has the coffee machine going and usually some food.  We went to discover what breakfast time would hold.

These were our views

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The spread that met us was perfect for us!

 

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I especially loved this little baby.  By the end of the cruise, I had discovered that my favorite was the Latte Macchiato

with some more milk foam and then add a bit of a hot chocolate pack all in a "to go" cup. 

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Having my coffee in a real cup this morning.

 

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We watch as we think a pilot boat pulls up to us.  Our ship is just starting to go through the The Strait of Messina which is a narrow strait between the eastern tip of Sicily and the western tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north with the Ionian Sea to the south, within the central Mediterranean.

 

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We finish up breakfast and really want to get outside to watch us pass through the Strait. 

 

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Sicily is on the right

 

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Stromboli on the left

 

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We are on the very point of the front of the ship so one just HAS to do the pose from the movie Titanic!

 

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We are at the toe of the boot that is the shape of Italy

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A look back at the ship from where we stand

 

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A view from the elevator that faces out onto the ocean

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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I came to this board to look for singinalot's review & it brought up this one. I'm really enjoying your trip so far. A trip like this isn't possible for me, but I love reading & seeing pictures about it.  Thanks!

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56 minutes ago, MzShae said:

I came to this board to look for singinalot's review & it brought up this one. I'm really enjoying your trip so far. A trip like this isn't possible for me, but I love reading & seeing pictures about it.  Thanks!

I am honored you are here, and I hope to give you some adventures through the writing!  Thank you for reading along!

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Our Meet and Mingle was at 11:00 in the Viking Crown Lounge.  I was excited to put faces to names from our Roll Call, which was very active and a lot of fun!

One of the Cruise directors, Loanna, (she said it was like the Disney Movie Moana but with an "L") and another staff personnel hosted all of us.  They made it fun with introductions and then prizes.  There were a lot of prizes and I very much appreciate the RCCL does these events!

 

After a fun visit we went to lunch in the buffet with our friends.  We wandered the ship a big more.  The wake of the ship is so beautiful.

 

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We found a section talking about the creation of the Jewel of the Seas

 

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The next few hours were filled with two trivia events and a Salsa Dancing Class.  It was all great fun.  Of course my husband stuck a nap in there also. 

That night it was a "dress your best" night so we did and headed up for drinks in the Diamond Lounge.

Tonight I enjoyed a couple Margaritas. 

 

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The Atrium looks so pretty all lit up.

 

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We met our friends for dinner and they brought the champagne they had won at the Meet and Mingle.  "It's all who you know"  :classic_biggrin:

 

 

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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This is great...you're keeping me on my toes.  We leave for this same cruise in EIGHT days!  

 

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8 minutes ago, laceyc said:

This is great...you're keeping me on my toes.  We leave for this same cruise in EIGHT days!  

 

How wonderful!  I wish I could do it all again.  Hopefully I will whet your appetite a bit more before you leave! 

Thank you for joining me!

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It seems we did not take a lot of food pictures tonight but here was a delicious appetizer.

 

IMG_4825.thumb.jpeg.8618ce370d8446f678fe1bb3fde591c2.jpeg

 

and a couple desserts

 

IMG_4833.thumb.jpeg.4c908e354b5bcf7095edc7de9ca94117.jpeg

 

IMG_4834.thumb.jpeg.36139932b592d10b39a8a0659b0cb66e.jpeg

 

Everything was delicious!

 

The show tonight was called the Barricade Boys.  These young men were fantastic.  They all appeared

at one time or another in the musical Les Miserables and treated us to a few tunes from the musical plus

many other wonderful songs.  They were incredible!

 

We were all excited for our first port of call the next day of Chania (Souda), Crete, Greece.  We were instructed

to turn our clocks back one hour when we went to bed.  Port time tomorrow was scheduled to be 11:00 to 8:00pm. with an on board of 7:30p.m.  

 

Back at the room we were greeted by this sweet boy.

 

IMG_4838.thumb.jpeg.61927db196084b322ddf58ddbe57879a.jpeg

 

IMG_4839.thumb.jpeg.3e4d088f72ebe65fb8add136bc0153da.jpeg

 

and this bling

 

IMG_4837.thumb.jpeg.6a9b94493727d2c64bd135e80a43a9f4.jpeg 

 

Off to bed with visions of sugary desserts in our heads!!! 

 

 

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