Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Cruise - day 11 Naples and 12 home.....

Day 11 Naples, Italy. We hadn't booked an excursion so a lovely lazy start, late breakfast then left the ship for a walk around. Hard to believe it was eight years ago since we were last here as we did recognise lots of places and thankfully it smelt so much better than last time as then they were suffering from rubbish collection strikes!

Lots of the crew were lined up on the queyside singing and dancing as a welcome back.

And so the time has come to start packing!!! Dinner was in the Blue Lagoon watching over the balcony the people in the Atrium bar and listening to the piano player. Then the final show which was showing off some of the unseen talent of crew members ending with the most hilarious Fountains, seven crew dressed in bed sheets as Roman togas and posing as various fountains while spitting water at each other, it was brilliant!

Day 12 and back in Rome. Just time to have a luxury breakfast in the Grand Pacific then off with our cases and into our waiting transfer car to the airport and home!

The Cruise - day 10 Sicily.....

Day 10 Palermo, Sicily. Our excursion was a good ride round lots of interesting buildings although some streets and junctions are not really wide enough for coaches (bit scary). The Oratoria, we visited two, were beautiful and very ornate and we also went down into the catacombs and that was interesting in a morbid way being introduced to so many dead bodies wonderfully preserved but hung on wires.....who's looking at who eh? We had a little free time but as it's Easter Monday most things are shut (I'm doing really badly on the souvenir buying).

Dinner was in the Grand Pacific again and by sheer coincidence we shared with the same German lady as the night before and a man from Bavaria also joined us, bbq ribs on the menu and they were yummy.

It was the most amazing show called Elements which was a lot of dance representing water, earth, wind and fire of course. There was magic and acrobatics and trapeze and other aerial stuff going on all around us. The finale included the ships singers and then representation of each area of crew and officers came onto the stage singing and dancing including the "washy washy happy happy" guys. Great fun, I can't stop smiling.

The Cruise - day 9 Sardinia.....

Day 9 (it's now the 20th in case you'd lost track) and we are in Cagliari, Sardinia. Our excursion wasn't till 9:45am so not rushed but the coach load of people were still quite sedate. We had a drive around the old town and then up into the hills to a winery and there we learned how it's made before having a good wine tasting with pecorino cheese, salami and carte de musica (a bread as fine as paper that snaps when you break it). As you can image the coach was quite rowdy coming back lol.

Dinner tonight was in the Grand Pacific and we shared a table with a German woman travelling alone. She was our age and said she grew up with all British and American music and really knew it all. We also had a long conversation about cruising and the good and bad of each company and the difference on their ships. Hubby and I left her to finish her dessert so we could get to the show, what can I say, it was flamenco and apart from lots of costume changes all the dances were the same!

The Cruise - day 8 at sea.....

Day 8 and all at sea, so to speak. A very late lazy start, had breakfast and sat around, watched a chef sculpt ice, sat around some more, listened to the bands, enjoyed some bbq lunch and sat drinking tea and watching the can doing so little be so exhausting?

Hubby declined the sexy men's legs competition.

This afternoon the children's club took to the stage and put on a circus show which was good fun especially as they seem to be all under about 10 years old and some looked under five!

It was dress-up night on board so we did.

The show was amazing, Cirque de Soleil style acrobatic husband and wife Roberto and Dorota. We followed that with the chocolate buffet, so many yummy chocolate goodies to eat and brilliant sculptures in chocolate or ice.

Then onto the night-out party but actually we didn't stay much longer than Hubby's one beer and a quick dance.

The Cruise - day 7 Mallorca.....

Day 7 and we are in Mallorca. Straight after breakfast when we got on the excursion bus at 8:30am I sent a happy birthday text to O (sad I'm missing his 5th). Thankfully today's tour was a gentle one as we were both still tired. We saw lots of Palma and then Valldemossa, very pretty. Of course as today is Easter Good Friday lots of the shops and things were closed!

Back on board we sat out on the sunloungers for a while this afternoon but it's really windy, so just had to go for tea and cake, too much food too available at all times! This evening was the White Hot Party and we had packed white clothes specially, so off we went and were very relieved to find the bar packed with lots of others in white! Full on disco with smoke and sprayed snow and we were up and dancing as much as my little legs would let me.

The Cruise - day 6 Valencia.....

Day 6 and we are in Valencia. Early start again for the excursion which was a lot of walking but at a good pace and a guide good enough for Hubby to tip :o)

Did have an internet problem today....the internet on board is very expensive so we haven't bothered but yesterday I decided to pay £2 for 25mg for the day on my pay-as-you-go phone mainly as I needed to check my balance and I stayed on for about half an hour with no big downloads or posting pictures so not sure how much I used, then I tried to log on again in the evening but it wouldn't let me so I turned off data roaming and unticked the connection. Today I got a text from Vodafone saying "I see you are now using our internet so we have taken £5 and given you another 25mg! I don't want to switch it on and argue with them online at my expense so I guess I'll have to sort it out when I get home....I'm very cross though!

Soooo back to happier memories, dinner was in the Grand Pacific and then onto the song and dance show (can you see a real pattern here?).

Our cabin steward makes fun characters when he comes in to turn down the bed at night, so these are a few of the friends that greeted us at the end of the day.

The Cruise - day 5 Barcelona.....

Day 5 and we are in Barcelona. We hadn't booked an excursion here so a leisurely start and left the ship late morning and had a long walk around trying to remember where we had been last time (about nine years ago).

There were a lot of people in Barcelona!

Back on board about 4ish and had to have a snack (too much food too readily available). For dinner we returned to the Alizera restaurant, the waiter laughed when I said I couldn't decide between two of the main courses and brought me both!!! We stopped for Hubby to have a beer in front of the football on screen, then moved onto the Atrium for the jazz band concert

and finally watched the daft Mr & Mrs game show which was very funny.

The Cruise - day 4 Toulon.....

Day 4,  We are now in Toulon, France. Excursion not till this afternoon so a lovely long lie in and finally went looking for food about 10:30am. The tour didn't go quite a smoothly as the others because this one was dependent on us all wearing radio receivers for the guide to talk and walk so it took a while to kit us all out and then replace the ones that weren't working plus half way round the guide's batteries ran low and she had to swap them with one of the receivers! But apart from that it was a good walk lol.

We dined in the Grand Pacific and shared a table with a lovely couple from Canada. This is their fourth cruise with NCL this time doing two back-to-back so 21 nights!

Hubby had a beer while we watched the take off of The Weakest Link game show (some very funny passengers that are eager for their 15mins of fame) then down to the professional show of Mowtown music, very good. No cameras allowed in the theatre which is a shame.

The Cruise - day 3 Monaco.....

Day 3, Monday 14th which is our friend's wedding anniversary and the reason we all booked the cruise! Did get a text from them saying thanks for the card and gift because of course I unpacked and posted the things I'd already packed to bring  :o(

So today was Monaco with an 8:15am start. We had to get ashore via the tender as the port is very small and already quite full. Then a bus with a guide into Monte Carlo and to hear stories of how expensive everything is, then into Monaco old town to see the changing of the guard and actually Prince Albert drove right past us with a wave :o)  

We were back on board just after 1pm so a leisurely afternoon. Dinner was in the Grand Pacific restaurant and as we had to wait for a table we were given a pager and voucher for a glass of bubbly each, in fact we only waited about 10 mins so just enough time to collect our bubbly and get information about the excursions in Palma on Friday. After dinner we bought 2 postcards of the ship and what a palava of writing out the invoice of converting the dollar price to euro then adding tax and then the same palava when we had written them and wanted stamps to post hahaha a very expensive way to send a postcard to the grandchildren! Off to the bar for beer and watch a silly but fun live game show of Family Fortunes then to the show (becoming our regular end of the day) this was Shout, a full 60s 70s song and dance by 7 girls who all had great voices. Then to bed about midnight.