Leaving Barcelona at sunset, was beautiful, but we were ready to start our cruise. Our first sea day was fun, we got to sleep in and relax by the pool listening to the live band who were quite good. This was our first formal night and I must say that I was quite impressed to see that people really did get dressed formally for dinner. Mostly suits for the men, although we did see a lot of tuxes too. We were planning on having dinner at the Normandie restaurant on this cruise, but didn't end up doing that. The food and service in the MDR was just great so we just continued having dinner there. Our waiter Danny and our wine steward Kevin were great. Our room attendant Newton and his assistant were incredible. I don't know how they knew we were gone, but if we left,then came back in a few minutes, the room would be completely clean! Whenever they'd see us coming down the hall they'd open our door for us, and every time they'd have a warm smile and greeting for us!!
Next was Dubrovnik....this was quite a surprise for us,as we did not expect to see such a beautiful place. We had not heard about this port before, and thought that we may just skip it and relax on board. Boy are we glad we didn't... it really is a little jewel hidden away from the rest of the usual ports. It was a surprise port that we're still talking about!!
Onto Venice! This was our last port, so it was bittersweet when we arrived. It's truly a breathtaking entrance into the city, but knowing the cruise was over was a bit of a downer. We took the Vaporetto into St. Marks, then we went to try to find our hotel as we had booked an extra night's stay in Venice and we wanted to see how far the hotel would be from the vaporetto stop (as we would need to be lugging our suitcases ourselves) We were lucky that our hotel was close to St.Mark and it wouldn't be too far to carry them. Then we just settled in and enjoyed the city. It really is like no other city we know. Their buses are boats, their cars are boats, their taxis are boats....it's just incredible. We went to Murano and watched the mestre make a glass sculpture right in front of us! I loved Venice and it truly is one of the most romantic cities we have seen. At night we took a stroll along St. Marks square after dinner, and listened to the bands playing outside of their cafes, and watched one of the most incredilbe sunsets we have ever seen.
What a way to end the trip of a life time. For our very first cruise ever, this one will be hard to top!
On to Pisa! The drive along the Tuscan roads were incredible, sunflowers everywhere! At Pisa we all took the inevitable touristy shots (trust me you too will do it, you just can't help yourselves),did some more shopping, then back to the boat. It was really nice to have cool towels and cold drinks waiting for us at the pier. This was a nice touch and with the heat... completely welcomed!
We met up with another Cruise Critic couple and took a wild taxi ride along the coast. First stop was to Herculaneum. It was great timing on our part, as we were some of the very first people that morning, so it wasn't crowded and the heat wasn't stifling yet. We then drove along the incredible coast to Amalfi. This was truly breathtaking! The town is amazing, but it is overshadowed by the most beautiful coastline we have ever seen. Our taxi driver took us to a beautiful restaurant on the cliff overlooking the town. We had a great meal, followed by the mandatory shot of home made Limoncello, by the owners grandmother! Then we drove to Positano, and kept stopping along the coast for incredible pictures.
It's hard to say which of these ports were our favorites, but I must say that Amalfi is high on the list! Unforgettable!!
Onto the Trevi fountain, more gelato, threw some coins in the fountain, then the Spanish steps and onto the Forum & the Colosseum ....wow! Next stop was the Pantheon, but on the way we saw Circus Maximus and Piazza Venezia and a few more fountains and piazzas along the way. What can I say about Rome, but WOW!!