Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Naples, Sorrento, Pompeii and The Amalfi Coast

We awoke while  cruising into a beautiful sunrise over Mt. Vesuvius. 
We have another tour planned with Rome in Limo. Today we visit Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast and Pompeii - all of these places are Unesco World Heritage Sites.
 We begin meeting Enrico from Rome In Limo. He was amusing because he was difficult to understand due to dental issues and a thick Italian accent. It made him even more charming. Tour shares are a great option with Rome in Limo. You can save a lot of money while meeting people who have similar interests as you. 
We began in the industrial port town of Naples. Enrico's home town.
 He told us he went to school with the Captain who wrecked the Costa Concordia, Capt. Schettino, Here the girls are in Sorrento with Enrico our driver. (Jim is trying to get in the photo....)
We fell in love with the town of Sorrento. 

Lemons everywhere and the whole town smelled fresh and lemony.
It was near Labor Day for the country of Italy and this is usually marked by street closures and protests. The road to Amalfi Coast was shut down by an unannounced bus driver strike. Everyone who booked through the cruiseline had to return to the ship and get their money refunded. Because we were small and flexible we diverted to an olive oil making site.

Once we heard how they made olive oil and bought souvenirs Enrico got word from other Rome In limo drivers that the road was open. We would get to see Amalfi coast after all. 

Not sure I will ever book a cruise ship excursion again. Too big of a thing to miss. I feel bad for those that missed it.

After we had lunch overlooking the coast, and our friend Jodi had "her moment at Amalfi", we headed to Pompeii.
We arranged for a tour guide at Pompeii. Her name was Leena. I strongly recommend getting a guide when you can. Pompeii was a gorgeous port town prior to the eruption. She pointed out how the bodies were preserved and showed most of them with their hands near their faces.

 These are paintings where you would just point to how you wanted to have sex in the brothels. No language barriers apparently

 See how their hands cover their faces?

 This shows the groove the carts made in the road.

 They had a carved penis that pointed sailors to the brothels.(Below)
 Government building

Stone bed in the brothel- ouch

 Mt. Vesuvius behind Pompeii

 You could easily spend a day here. So much we didn't get to see.

After Pompeii we headed back to the ship. We have dinner plans at the Lawn Grill.
Lawn Grill you grill your own food (or they do it) We grilled the pizzas and let them grill the entree.

Tomorrow Malta at 2pm.

Boarding the ship- Silhouette in Port Civitevecchia, Italy

We traveled with Rome in Limo again from our hotel to Port Civitevecchia. About a 90 minute ride with our friends we had met on Cruise Critic. Great way to meet people and save money. Bill and Marilynn were from Nova Scotia and Susan and Michael from Alberta.

 The port was your typical port. Lots of containers around. It was a beautiful sunny day. The boarding process was quick and we were served champagne or a mimosa as we boarded. Susan suggested we lunch at Bistro on 5 to avoid the crowds at the buffet. It was a great suggestion. When we finished our rooms were ready. 

We dropped off our things and explored the ship.

Our muster was in the theater. It made for a nice muster but I’m not sure I’d want to be there in a real emergency. Celebrity has most of their musters indoors.
After muster we headed aft to the Cruise critic Meet and mingle (that our group arranged) Unfortunately Celebrity also scheduled their M&M during sailaway (Really?) So we had to go indoors and missed the fun of the sail-away. We also had to hurry off to dinner so we really didn’t get to meet or mingle.
At dinner we met a nice family, The Reynolds and soon to be family-Jay, whose son was supposed to be in the anesthesia seminar with Jim but had to cancel at the last minute.
After dinner we walked around and ended up at the Molecular bar. Drinks were a bit pricey ($13) but very unique.

Then we went to bed- tomorrow we visit Naples.