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

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Naples continued....

We reached the top of Mt. Faito and of course there are no views as we are in the clouds.  There is a cute little restaurant up here.  In Italy, but they have some Mexican Food!!!

 

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We see there are trails all over up here from this map.

 

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Just to walk a little we take one...

 

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I just love this picture of my hubby in the clouds!

 

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We decide to head back down and use our train ticket before the 180 minutes is done.  The tickets are good for that long on the the trains.

Coming back down...

 

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Once we hit the bottom we head for the train and have to run but we make it on the next one that just pulled in.

We are headed for Sorrento now!

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Great review so far.  Loving your pictures.  It seems like you have the perfect arrangement with your friends...enjoying time together AND time apart.  We like to socialize but also like to do our own thing.  We are on a nearly identical itinerary next September.  Between your review, and what I'm anticipating is another great review from @singinalot, I will have a lot of planning research done!

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8 minutes ago, bobmacliberty said:

Great review so far.  Loving your pictures.  It seems like you have the perfect arrangement with your friends...enjoying time together AND time apart.  We like to socialize but also like to do our own thing.  We are on a nearly identical itinerary next September.  Between your review, and what I'm anticipating is another great review from @singinalot, I will have a lot of planning research done!

Thank you so much!  We have cruised with a couple set of friends multiple times, and that has always been how we do it.  Sometimes we do excursions together, but more than not, we do our own things and then have a sharing time at dinner.  Works fantastic for all of us!   I am excited for you for next September, I wish we could do it again!  I am excited to see singinalot's review too! 

Edited by ROWSE

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Naples continued...

The Cable Car ride was 16 Euro each round trip and it looked like you could also drive up and there seemed to be a trail going all the way down that we could see as we descended.  That would be a hard walk up but maybe down would work.

Earlier when we got on at Porta Nolana station there was no one on the train.  The train pulled just a short distance to the main station and everybody and their dog got on, but still no one had to stand....BUT now getting on the train was joining in with the other sardines!  It was about 11:00 I would guess.  We could hardly move!

So glad to get to Sorrento in a few stops.  We wandered, and map reading proved to be a problem again, but somehow we found a lovely piazza area and looking down we realized that is exactly where we wanted to be to go down to sea level to catch the ferry later back to Naples!  SCORE!!

We were ready for lunch!!  Neither my hubby or I snapped a picture of the name of the restaurant, but it was the best pizza I have ever eaten.

We were seated and had some wine and little snacks they gave us to tide us over till our pizza arrived.

 

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our view...

 

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I went to the bathroom and it was farther inside...

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Our pizza had arrived...

 

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A lady next to us was nice enough to take our picture...  Cheers!!

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Naples/Sorrento continued...

After this magnificent lunch break it was time to head down to the sea.  Amazing this was right beside us.

 

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Down I go...

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Very narrow!  It was a two way street!

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Can you imagine having a house on the edge of this?

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Buses came this way too!

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This was a really cool experience!

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Naples/Sorrento continued...

Once down at the water's edge, and after buying our 2:00 Ferry ticket's which were 13 Euro each, we were able to enjoy the beauty of this rugged coastline!

 

 

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There happen to be a gelato shop calling our name over here!

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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Naples/Sorrento continued..

After our yummy treat of gelato, we started to head over to where the Ferry was to pick us up. 

 

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The Ferry pulls in and there is so many people getting off, it takes a long time. 

 

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We are on and going back to Naples we have an almost empty ride.

 

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Some of our views of Mt. Vesuvius on the way back.  Storms still ruining the view!

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We are back to Naples after about a 40 minute ride.

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The ferry dock is a walk from our port area, but we learned that this is where the ship's shuttle

was dropping people off and we jumped on that bus.  We had to wait a long time, but eventually

we were on our way back to the ship. 

Once back on and after a rest got ready for our last Happy Hour in the Diamond Lounge.

Those shrimp on my husband's plate were fantastic! 

 

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We joined our friends for our last dinner onboard and heard about their amazing day in Naples.  They explored

all over and put many miles on their feet today!

Another Indian meal for me tonight!

 

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After dinner our friends were calling it a night and we knew we would not see them tomorrow as they had an early shuttle with Cruise Critic people to the airport.  We had hugs all around and bid them safe travels.

We went to the show tonight and it was fantastic.  A couple doing strength acrobatics, dance, and a great light presentation.  I wish I wrote down the name of it, but I did not. 

Then it was off to bed.  We were doing a walk off tomorrow so did not put out our luggage.  I love doing this!  We had one more day in Italy before our flight the next day.  Stay tuned to see our last adventures! 

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That's where we tendered in 2010 when we were anchored in Sorrento.  Such a pretty port area and so picturesque.  Looks like you had more weather than we did in Capri where it cleared up as we arrived about 10:15ish.  You're lucky you weren't on that ferry ride there.  It was a barf-boat!  I have never ever seen so many seasick people in my life. 

The guy behind us, the lady next to me (throwing up ON me) - EVERY row of 4 people had between 1-4 people tossing their cookies on that 50 min. ferry ride.  The barf bags were handed out like candy.  It was definitely something I will never forget.  People warned us it could be rough but I thought, "Rough?  How rough could it possibly be?  We've been on 48 cruises and numerous small boats in rough water."  Wow is all I can say!  I'm glad we got to see Capri, but I think you definitely had a less harrowing trip! 
Fantastic shots and a great review, Kitty!  Thanks for sharing.

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6 minutes ago, DrivesLikeMario said:

That's where we tendered in 2010 when we were anchored in Sorrento.  Such a pretty port area and so picturesque.  Looks like you had more weather than we did in Capri where it cleared up as we arrived about 10:15ish.  You're lucky you weren't on that ferry ride there.  It was a barf-boat!  I have never ever seen so many seasick people in my life. 

The guy behind us, the lady next to me (throwing up ON me) - EVERY row of 4 people had between 1-4 people tossing their cookies on that 50 min. ferry ride.  The barf bags were handed out like candy.  It was definitely something I will never forget.  People warned us it could be rough but I thought, "Rough?  How rough could it possibly be?  We've been on 48 cruises and numerous small boats in rough water."  Wow is all I can say!  I'm glad we got to see Capri, but I think you definitely had a less harrowing trip! 
Fantastic shots and a great review, Kitty!  Thanks for sharing.

OH NO!!!  That must have been awful!  We have pretty stable guts, but if that many were sick maybe we would have been too!  So gross you were barfed on!  Our ride was very stable and a fellow cruise critic member that we rode with told me they came on the ferry earlier and her hubby almost tossed his cookies too, so very glad we did the train first!  They thought our ride back was great compared to their earlier one. 

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September 24, Civitavecchia, Cerveteri, FCO Airport, Italy

 

We had one last breakfast in the Diamond Lounge and we had a car rental at Hertz for 8:30 so we planned accordingly

on when to walk off the ship. 

We experienced this massive AIDA ship sail right beside us.

 

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Checking out that long drop down window...

 

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It was really nice to just walk our luggage off and not have to go search for it. 

In the blink of an eye we were off the ship and getting on the shuttle bus that takes you over to Largo Della Pace.  There were a big line of travel groups just wanting to sell you tours and transfers, but we paid the 2 Euro each to go to the train station where Hertz Rental car is located.  On the shuttle bus from the ship they store your luggage under the bus, but on the bus to the train station it is big and you have your luggage with you. 

Hertz was absolutely wonderful and we had our car, and they were fine with us leaving it where it was while we explored Civitavecchia.  We were here last year and loved it, so we wanted to do a little walk around again.

 

Our car...

 

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The waterfront of Civitavecchia...

 

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September 24 continued...

After enjoying the waterfront and my hubby an espresso, we went back to the car.  I was so proud of my hubby

for tackling driving in Italy.  Granted, we were not in big cities; but still, going to a manual transmission, which neither of us

have driven in years, was a feat all its own.  He did excellent.

We both turned our phones on for the day so we could use our GPS. 

Our first stop was the Necropolis of the Banditaccia in Cerveteri. 

This is a little excerpt from Google: 

Just outside the modern city of Cerveteri in Rome Province, the sprawling 1000 acre complex began. 3000 years ago when Etruscan society was beginning to flourish, the simplest tombs were just small pits and holes, where ashes of the dead were kept. From there, the city expanded, requiring more architecture and even a bit of city planning.

Soon, they moved to build burial mounds scattered around the site, diversifying the landscape and creating an expansive city beneath the mountains in the background. The mounds neatly tied nature to man, as they were often carved out of living rock or built out of earth.

 

We found the cemetery (Necropolis) without any trouble.  It was a beautiful area. 

 

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We paid 6 Euro each and there was a combo ticket to their archeological museum in town, but we did not have sufficient

time to do both. 

We explored the massive burial grounds.

 

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I believe it was that the women had the rock pillows!

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There were massive amounts of these little lizards.  Sometimes the walls of the mounds moved with them.

 

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We could only imagine what was yet to be found out here!  AMAZING!!! 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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September 24 continued...

Our next adventure was to check out Cerveteri itself.

We found where the museum area and enjoyed exploring around it. 

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This is the museum behind my husband.

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We really loved it here, so calm and quiet after some of the masses of people we had been in a day or two prior.

 

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September 24, continued...

Then it was time for the main reason that we came to Cerveteri in the first place!  Our niece, on my hubby's

side, lives here with her beautiful family.

They live a distance out of town and were just blessed with an addition of a baby boy while we were on the cruise. 

Last year on our Western Mediterranean cruise we visited them before we went on the cruise and they picked us up at the airport and took us to Civitavecchia.

There was no way we would have allowed that this year when they had a brand new baby, and the great part of this was we were able to explore some more sites before visiting them.

Another fun thing was that my husband's sister, the new grandma, was visiting and we got to see her as well.

 

The baby was beautiful and it was fun to see their 2 year old little one as well!  What a beautiful family!!! 

It was fun to hold a newborn baby as our youngest grand baby is already over 2. 

Our niece is not a fan of putting the kids faces on social media, however, so I will just show the amazing meal she had for us.

 

Risotto and not pictures was an orange slice and fennel salad

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Bruschetta

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and a peach ice cream home made as well!  YUM!!! 

 

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I  will add one photo of us saying goodby to our niece after we are sure we exhausted the new mom and dad!  It was such a joy to be able to see her clear across the world! 

 

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Edited by ROWSE

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September 24, continued...

 

Our GPS worked wonderfully.  We did hit heavy traffic once we were near the Rome airport.  We found our Airbnb

and checked in.  It was one of the best ones we have stayed at.  Sparkling clean and even a breakfast, which I thought we would miss as they started at 7a.m. and I wanted to be out of there by 7.  They moved it to 6:45 for us!  NICE!!

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We knew that it was really really tricky to take the rental car back to the airport so we went on a practice run.  It all went fine, and though complicated, we thought we had it down, BUT.... more on that later...

 

It was just so much traffic we decided to go back and just eat at a place walk able from our airbnb. 

 

We walked to this place...

 

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They were not really opened yet but when we inquired when, they had us come in even though I think it was earlier than they open.  They were very much Italian speaking and I pulled out my cheat sheet and tried to get Google Translate to work, but

it was being stubborn.

After much hand gestures and laughing all around, we ended up with a bottle of white wine, spaghetti with clams and mushroom pizza.  Everything was wonderful and it was a great friendly place to be! 

Our surroundings...

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Our food arrived...

 

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Our wine...

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Just a fantastic last night of vacation!!!! 

 

Edited by ROWSE

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September 25, home we go...


We had a lovely night sleep and hot showers to start the day.  My hubby packed the car up before breakfast and it was a beautiful morning.

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A look at the outside of the Airbnb....

 

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Breakfast area...

 

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After thanking our breakfast host, we head out to the airport.  As I wrote before, we practiced getting to the Hertz rental car drop off last night and all went well.  Today, not so much!  One little wrong turn and we had to go miles down the road to get a turn around!  My stress level went off the charts! 

Eventually we made it back with plenty of time to spare as Hertz was great, KLM was great, security too! 

Lucky I had insisted on a lot of squeak time!  Our flight was at 10:20. 

 

Hubby is all comfy waiting.

 

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As we bid farewell to this amazing trip, as tradition, we take a picture of our boo boo lips!

 

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Thank you to any and all still reading along.  I hope you found some useful information in my ramblings!

Next up for us will be a Princess Cruise Lines British Isles cruise on the Regal in May 2020!  Stay tuned in late May or early June for my review!

Blessings to all future cruisers, may you have smooth seas ahead!!!!  

Edited by ROWSE

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Thanks so much for a wonderful report!!!! Loved reading along as I experienced it in person!!! will be looking forward to your British Isles report.

 

Thanks again!

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16 minutes ago, singinalot said:

Thanks so much for a wonderful report!!!! Loved reading along as I experienced it in person!!! will be looking forward to your British Isles report.

 

Thanks again!

So glad you were here!  Come back when you start your review and give us a link will you?  I am excited to see what you did! 

 

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You will LOVE the British Isles!  I've done it twice (once in May) and it's my favorite out of all our cruises.  Make sure you do as many private tours as possible as that really makes ALL the difference!  Enjoy and maybe we'll meet up again sometime.

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14 minutes ago, DrivesLikeMario said:

You will LOVE the British Isles!  I've done it twice (once in May) and it's my favorite out of all our cruises.  Make sure you do as many private tours as possible as that really makes ALL the difference!  Enjoy and maybe we'll meet up again sometime.

That is great to hear!  Your favorite!  Wow that says a lot!  We are excited, and I have a few private tours booked already and now the review is done, I will focus more on it!  We also hope to meet the two of you again someday! 

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5 minutes ago, ROWSE said:

That is great to hear!  Your favorite!  Wow that says a lot!  We are excited, and I have a few private tours booked already and now the review is done, I will focus more on it!  We also hope to meet the two of you again someday! 

 

Superb review Rowse. Thank you! 😊

Re your UK trip, if you have a little time and wish some return "review entertainment", may I offer you this?

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2560648-brilliance-british-isles-june-19-july-22018-review-wlots-of-photos/

 

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3 minutes ago, Hoopster95 said:

 

Superb review Rowse. Thank you! 😊

Re your UK trip, if you have a little time and wish some return "review entertainment", may I offer you this?

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2560648-brilliance-british-isles-june-19-july-22018-review-wlots-of-photos/

 

Thank you for your link Hoopster95!  Reviews are where I get the greatest information!  I will definitely be reading it! 

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Thank you for the great review and sharing your experiences!  We are on a similar itinerary in June and still deciding what to do in a few ports.  Love seeing all the different things people do.  Also looking forward to singinalot's review!

 

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Loved your review. Laughed that I don’t have to make any notes for our trip, just send my friends to your journal. Glad your family visit worked out. Happy cruising and hopefully our paths will cross. R&M

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