We got to Rome after a long night on a cramped plane. Hurricane Sandy did us no favors as we had to spend a day at JFK just wandering around, but we weren't complaining as the folks in the NYC area were digging out and doing the best they could. The Celebrity folks were at the airport, took care of the luggage and promptly whisked us to the ship.
She is a beauty. We stepped on-board with no wait on the pier at all and the crew looked genuinely pleased to see us and offered wine as we boarded. We went up to 14 to eat and relax and they called that the cabins were open at 1PM. We went down and met the cabin steward who was at great pains to help us in any way he could. We heard from our friends who were meeting us on the ship and so we were off.
The first 2 days were sailing and that was a blessing as we were whipped by the travel from home to Rome.
We got to Alexandria the 3rd day and were on our tour to Cairo and the pyramids by 730am. The pyramids were amazing as was the little Nile boat tour with lunch. The Sphinx was smaller than we had thought, but except for someone tying to sell us something every 2 feet(look away and ignore, Miriam) the overall tour was very nice and well worth the time and money. The tour of Alexandria that we took the second day was nice, but lacked the impact of the Pyramids.
The following day we were in Ashdod and then to Jerusalem. To see the city is amazing and the Western Wall was the high-lite of the cruise. If you can, on the men's side, try to visit the covered area where they have dug down to the base of the wall. It is covered with Plexiglas, but gives a real idea of how old everything is. The guide(Amir) who we nicknamed "Yanni" because of his hair, which was very long and gave us a very nice tour which was chock full of information, we thought he was tied for best guide on the cruise .
The next day we went to Masada and the Dead Sea. This was an excellent tour and it is well worth the time involved. Masada is spectacular in it's own right and should be visited for the story it tells and the incredible vistas.
The Dead Sea is neat and we had fun trying to swim, but it is a once seen, don't need to do it again.
Galilee the following day was just as interesting as we were able to see the
areas that Christ and the prophets were out and about in and the spot on the river Jordan where they believe he was baptised.
We went to Ephesus and it was very interesting and the Turkish people were very friendly and nice.
Athens was very interesting and the Acropolis was just amazing in its own right.
Catania and Naples were nice and Pompeii was a very interesting stop.
We left the ship at about 93am and Celebrities transport was once again very efficient.
It was a great cruise and overall was just wonderful.