Sunday, June 10, 2007

Day 6 – May 31, 2007 – Civictavecchia, Italy (Rome)

Day Six was a long day. Wake up call at 5:45 am and at Parrot Cay for breakfast by 6:45 am. We have come to the realization that for the sake of time Parrot Cay is the best for breakfast when you have an early shore excursion.

We did the “Jumping Back into Eternal Rome” shore excursion. Meeting time was 7:45 am. We boarded the bus to take us to the train to Rome for a tour of the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Navona Square, the Trevi Fountain and the Vatican.

The train was the “Roma Express” a private train that was very comfortable. The train takes you to St. Peter's Station where we board a motor coach. The coach ride took us through Rome for a one-hour tour through its historic streets. Our first stop was at the Roman Colosseum. We were able to avoid the long line of people waiting to purchase tickets because our tour either purchased them before or that is how it works. We received a 60-minute guided tour outside and in. The tour guide did a very good job but her English was not the best so we struggled a bit with translation. It was still good. This is one thing I wanted to see during the visit and I was not disappointed. Like all things in Rome you could have spent more time at this stop. We then took the bus to the Via del Traforo tunnel, and a walking tour of the Trevi Fountain. This area was very crowded with tourists. You could barley move in the streets. The Trevi Fountain is a sculpture of Neptune and the Tritons. You are supposed to toss a coin into the fountain, because legend has it that when you do, you are guaranteed a return visit to Rome.

We then walked along the Via del Corso, once used by the Romans for chariot racing, and make your way to the "Temple of the Gods", the 2nd-century Pantheon. Considered one of the most important buildings in the world, the Pantheon is an exquisite example of ancient Roman architecture, and is home to the tomb of the Renaissance painter, Raphael. We had lunch at a hotel near the Vatican at “The Dome – Hotel Michelangelo”. The lunch was good and the setting was very nice. It was enjoyable.

After lunch we walked to the Vatican. This was about a 10 minute walk. We stood in line in St. Peter's Square for about 45 minutes to enter St. Peter's Basilica. Once inside, you are in awe at the spectacular architecture and art in this massive structure. We spent about 45 minutes in the Basilica. After that we had about 10 minutes to shop and then boarded the bus to take us to the nearby St. Peter's Station when we took the Roma Express train back to the ship. In all the trip covered many things and was loaded with information that was difficult to retain but it gave you a good task for Rome.

Dinner was at Animator’s Palate, and it was the first time I had two entrees on the trip which I though was good that it lasted that long. I had the Chef’s Recommendation that was a sea food wrapped in a shell. Our server, Emmanuel, stated that one of his guests in the early seating did not care for the dish. So I ordered the rib eye as a backup. Carol got the Beef Tenderloin. I found the Chef’s Recommendation was very good and the rib eye not to be what I am use to having.

Day 5 – May 30, 2007 – Olbia, Sardinia (Italy)

Today we arrived into the port of Olbia around our normal 7:00 am. The skies were clear but the winds were still strong. We decided not to schedule any shore excursion in Olbia. I had originally booked the “Train to Gallura” but canceled the reservation a few weeks before we left. With noting planed, we did not need a wakeup call.

The people of Olbia were so thrilled that Disney used their port to stop at that they brought a band, dancers in their custom dress and had setup a tent with local foods and wines. This was staged on our side of the ship so we could observe the activities out our veranda. They played our USA national anthem for the second song, I assume the first was their national anthem; it was a warm gesture that received much applause from the people watching from the verandas and the upper deck. They had people at the gangways welcoming the people getting off the ship. Although I had intended to get off the ship and go down and sample the foods and wine I never made it. Many of the people who were on the excursions stopped to sample the foods and wines.

This was a pool day for us. With two days in a row of excursions and Rome coming tomorrow we thought we would relax at the pool. There were more people that I expected that did the same. We had a nice weather day but felt I missed something by not visiting Sardinia.

The show this night was The Art of the Story. This is newest show that premiered on the 14 day Atlantic crossing. The theme is the story of the Disney classics where a section of the film is shown and then the stage turns to the stage production of the act in the film. It is somewhat like Dreams but the story is setup by film instead of Peter Pan and Wendy.

Dinner was in Lumiere’s and the dinner menu was French. This one of the new menus developed for the cruise it was introduced on the 14 day Cruise. I had the escargot for the appetizer and sea bass for the main entrĂ©e which was very good. We purchased a 7 day wine package, they only offer an 11 day but if you ask they will give you a 7 day package. This way you get an unknown discount on each bottle by committing to 7 bottles during the trip. Tomorrow Rome!