Cabin review: H414006 Courtyard Villa with Balcony
A3 2 bedroom family villa with courtyard access. very good size room and closets. The second bedroom is great, but is small for 3 people. I think even 3 kids would be tight. The second bathroom is small, with a shower, toilet and sink, but probably similar to a bathroom in a small cabin. Great room that is very comfortable. You won't want to leave.
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Port and Shore Excursions
Back to Barcelona. We spent one night pre-cruise and one night post-cruise in Barcelona. The first night was right on Las Ramblas and it was an experience. Having been warned, we were diligent with personal belongings and had the security packs to prevent pick pocketing. The hotel was clean and large, but sparse by American standards. The beds were awful and fortunately we were jet lagged that we didn't care. We rode the HOHO bus throughout the City and really enjoyed the architecture. Post cruise we stayed in the Diagnol area and it was certainly quieter than Las Ramblas. We went to a Flamenco dinner show our last night in Barcelona and it was memorable. We intended to visit Parc Guell and La Sagrada Familia on our visit after disembarking, but we were just too tired from the cruise. We checked in to the hotel and slept until afternoon. So, we ended up back in Las Ramblas, doing some shopping and sitting at a cafe, drinking Sangria and people watching until the show started. We can't wait to return to Barcelona and are thrilled that we had the opportunity to spend a little time in that truly beautiful city.
We connected with CC members on the roll call board and had a group of 9 for our privately booked tour with DriverinRome. I cannot say enough good things about DriverinRome. They were friendly, informative and professional. We went to Pisa and we climbed to the top of the leaning tower. What a great experience. In Florence, we went in the Academia, which we highly recommend. We went to several places throughout the City and had time to shop in the stores and the leather market. We used our last few hours to drive through the Tuscan countryside and visited a 500 year old winery and olive oil farm. It was fantastic. We could never have done all this without our DriverinRome guide, Daniel. By sharing the tours with others, we paid 1/3 of what the cruise ship wanted for an excursion and we were not herded like cattle. We had a very private and nice tour with a guide that was knowledgeable and interesting. It was a hectic day, but unforgettable and we saw and did more than we ever could have on our own.
This is a beautiful port, but really not much to see beyond the castle and the casino. We walked on our own then returned to the ship for an afternoon shore excursion. This was our only ship excursion and not worth it. It made me happy that I booked private tours on other ports. They put us on a city bus without enough seats and although we gave up or seats, several older people who should not have been standing, had to stand. The roads are steep and we were afraid some people would fall. The guide was dismissive to complaints about the bus seating. We did have some ice cream and eclairs outside the casino and it was very expensive. I've never had a $20 ice cream sundae and am ok if I never have another. A beautiful and clean port, but save your money and energy for the other ports.
Naples itself was kind of dirty and depressing. But, again we shared a private tour with DriverinRome with fellow CC passengers. We had 11 in our group and we went to Pompeii and then toured the beautiful Amalfi coast. We ate lunch in a restaurant recommended by our guide and it overlooked the ocean. It was a family run restaurant and the food, wine and limoncello were great. We couldn't have found such a reasonably priced place with such great food. Again, our guide made this tour very special. We were treated like family and I would not hesitate to tour with these folks again. Their English was impeccable and their knowledge of the city and the culture was impressive.
This s a quaint city, but there is not a lot to do. We got a taxi and did a little shopping. If you are into pearls, find a shop that is an authorized Majorca pearl dealer. I have these pearls but was able to add pearl pieces and buy pearl gifts at a substantially less price than what I paid in the States. Other than that, we enjoyed the nice, quiet port after the hectic Italian ports, and were back on the ship for a Cagney's lunch and sunning on the private deck.
What can I say? It's Rome and it was another great experience. In this port we booked a private tour with RomeinLimo. They were very good as well, but if we return, we will book with DriverinRome. It is impossible to see all that we saw without a guide. We didn't stand in line, not for the Vatican, the Colosseum or anywhere. Our guide was helpful and on their recommendation, we purchased tickets in advance on line. I highly recommend connecting on your roll call board and sharing a private tour with other passengers on your sailing.