Posts Tagged ‘Cruise’

Nobody Expects the Spanish… Tour Bus?

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Ship was docked in Malaga, Spain today. I didn’t go on any excursions this port however since the one that I wanted to do was sold out. That one was a tour of some castles and then a stop at a Picasso museum. Although someone who did go said that the Picasso museum, which is the main thing that caught my attention for that tour, wasn’t that impressive.

Instead I went with a couple of people form the group I was with and we took a shuttle into town and then rode an open air tour bus and just took a ride around the city. I got a couple decent photos, although it was hard to keep the safety rail out of the shots, and a slow shutter lag isn’t the best for shooting from a moving vehicle.

The show this evening was awesome, It was a tribute to Bobby Darin & The Rat Pack with Vocalist Jamie Frasier. While he didn’t sing any of the songs I really knew I still found it more enjoyable than the show last night. That one was a Broadway type show called “The Big Easy”. That one was a tribute to New Orleans, and while there were a few songs I knew, wasn’t that interesting to me.

After the show I went up to the panorama deck and watched for a few minutes as the ship passed through the Strait of Gibraltar. Unfortunately we’re passing through at night so didn’t see too much, but at least there were lots of lights so I could tell where shore was.

Juggling Hi-Jiinks

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Just got back from watching tonight’s show on board the ship, a juggler/comedian by the name of Goronwy Thom. Was very funny, and have to give props to someone who not only juggles on a moving ship, but does it while riding a unicycle that’s at least 6 feet tall. Although not as many props as the sword swallower from the last cruise.

A Pisa the Action

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Went on the Pisa by Trolley excursion today. Wasn’t bad, although the trolley was kind of cramped. The tour guide said he’s gotten 56 people in there before, but we had trouble with just 46, so I’m wondering if those 56 people were grade schoolers.

Other than that it was a good tour, the trolley drove us around the city of Pisa and the guide pointed out various buildings to us before we stopped and were allowed to wander around where the Leaning Tower is, along with a couple other historical buildings.

I have a few good pictures, although not as many as I’d hoped for. Since it was raining I had my camera in a waterproof case, and unfortunately later on the lens got foggy so some of the pictures turned out looking rather dreary. Although, the effect is kind of neat, so I may post a few anyways, I’ll have to think about it.

When in Rome…

Monday, October 29th, 2007

Well, today was a lot better than yesterday. We did the Rome on Your Own excursion, which was great since we didn’t get herded like cattle. Granted we got a bit bewildered as to where we were and how to get where we wanted but we managed.

First thing we saw was the Spanish Steps, which honestly I’m not sure why they’re so special, but they were nice looking I guess, for steps.

Next thing we saw was the Trevi Fountain, which was pretty nice, at least it looked more extravagant than other fountains I’ve seen, unlike the Spanish Steps. While there we also had some gelato, which was very good.

After that we made our way to the Colosseum. We did take a guided tour there, but that one wasn’t as bad as the Vatican City tour. The guide waited for people and she spoke more clearly. Also, getting the tour we were able to bypass the line to get in, so if we hadn’t have done the tour we wouldn’t have had time to go into the Colosseum. Although, like the Sistine Chapel yesterday I actually thought the Colosseum would have been bigger.

After that we decided to get a taxi back to where we needed to meet the bus instead of walking since it was mostly uphill from where we were. And actually it wasn’t that bad, only about 5 euros. Now I’m not sure how far it actually was, but it was worth it not to have to walk back.

After we got back to the ship we had the lifeboat drill, and then dinner. Fortunately, tomorrow the excursion I’m on doesn’t start until later in the morning so I’ll get to sleep in.

Holy Rome, Batman!

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

Oy! After about 10 hours in airplanes we made it safely to Italy. Although I was envious of the people in business class, since their seats laid almost all the way back. But I did manage to sleep for most of flight so that helped.

After landing we got our luggage and got it headed to the cruise ship, and then the real “adventure” started. Since we couldn’t get on board the ship for a few hours we decided to do a tour so we wouldn’t be wasting the time. We decided on the Holy Rome excursion, which is a tour of the Vatican.

Unfortunately, today the Vatican was even more busy than normal as apparently 300 Spanish were being blessed by the Pope today. I’ve also decided I don’t like guided tours. Our guide kept telling us we had to hurry and didn’t have time to stop and look at other stuff because we had to get to the Sistine Chapel before our time was up, but in the very next sentence she’d tell us to notice the beautiful art work before again telling us not to stop. I also got left behind before this a couple times as I was taking pictures. Don’t get me wrong, the Sistine Chapel was nice, but honestly I was more interested in a lot of the sculpture and architecture in the museum. Not to mention I like going at my own pace and looking at what interests me, not being herded like cattle. Regardless of all that tho, I did manage to take quite a few pictures, a couple of which are very nice if I do say so myself. But, I’m not even going to try and guess as to when I’ll have them posted since I still have pictures from previous vacations waiting to go up.

Fortunately, the excursion we’re doing tomorrow is “Rome on your own” so we’ll be given a map and be able to see what we want and take our time, as long as we’re back on the ship in time. Frankly, I don’t want any of my pictures to be of our ship leaving without us.

Mediterranean Meandering

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

Yay! The day is here. I’ll be leaving for the airport in a couple hours and then after a layover in Chicago we’ll be on my way to Italy. We’re leaving Saturday afternoon but won’t arrive until Sunday morning. We’ll also be arriving before we can board the cruise ship so we’ll be doing some sightseeing when we get there to kill some time. I plan on checking in while on vacation as well, assuming this ship is like the last one and has internet access. I hope so, because not checking my mail for two weeks would mean needing another vacation when I got back to go through and delete spam, both in my inbox and from the comments. Thank goodness for comment moderation ;)

Extra Day at Sea

Friday, November 3rd, 2006

Well, we arrived at Costa Maya this morning but were unable to dock. The weather was so bad there they actually closed the pier. So all the shore excursions there were cancelled and will be refunded. I was a little bummed since I would have liked to go diving again, but at least I got to go in Cozumel. The other people in our group were more bummed since this was the port they were going to swim with the dolphins. I’m making the most of it tho, got a small nap earlier so I’m feeling refreshed, tho the sunburn I got earlier in the week still stings.

Flipper!

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Went on a ‘Dolphin Encounter” today in Belize. Learned a lot about dolphins and the area around Belize.

Afterwards we got into the water with a couple of the facilities dolphins and interacted with them. The two we saw were Bill and Ronnie (the girls were in another area) and we got to pet them, and see a few tricks and even got a kiss. Lots of fun.

No Flaming Chainsaws, But Still Fun

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Saw a cool show last night on the ship. The first act was a juggler from Mexico, who was very entertaining.

The second act was Dai Andrews, one of less than 50 professional sword swallowers, as well an escape artist. I have to give him props for not only actually doing sword swallowing, but doing it on board a cruise ship, especially since last night the boat was really rocking.

Also, both were funnier in my opinion than the comedian the other night.

Come on in, the Water’s Fine

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Went on the first dive of the trip today. It was a two tank dive in Cozumel, Mexico. The water was nice and clear and very warm. It did rain but not until after the second dive. I did have a bit of trouble on the first dive since I didn’t have enough weight I had to work to stay down and ran low on air before the dive was over and had to go up early.

The second dive went a lot better, I added some more weight and didn’t have any trouble and was able to stay down the entire time.

We also met a nice couple from our cruise ship who just got certified on labor Day and are going diving at every port, so a good chance we’ll see them in Costa Maya.

Balancing Act

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

Went to another show on the ship last night. The first part of the show was a performer who balanced all sorts of things, including a bicycle (the back wheel was on his forehead and the front wheel was turned and in the air spinning), a giant metal pyramid frame on his forehead, a golf club balanced on a golf club which was balanced on another club and then the top club was spun, and a dagger and sword balanced end to end.

After him a comedian came out named Michael Macy. He was pretty funny but I think between the two acts I prefer the balancer.

Lots of Rays, But No Stinging

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Went to a show on the ship last night, it was a Broadway style musical called “Generations.” It was pretty good, it was a montage of old rock & roll songs as well as dancing.

Arrived in Grand Cayman today and went on the first shore excursion of the trip. We went swimming with the stingrays in “Stingray City” and were able to pet and feed them. Surprisingly they’re really soft. We then went snorkeling at a small coral reef for a bit before heading back.

Food Prep, and Lot’s of It

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Took a tour of the ship’s galley this morning. Was interesting, they had a list of how much food is used on the ship, which is a lot! The one I remember is 5000 pounds of ice cream. They also had someone carving an ice sculpture, another was carving jack’o'lantern, another was carving flowers out of vegetables and one more was making flowers out frosting.

Shipboard Exploration

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Just did some exploring around the ship. Walked around one of the top decks. Also found the shops and the library, which also has the internet cafe in it.

Of Buffets and Life Boats, Of Bon Voyages and Dolphins

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Found our rooms without too much trouble. We then had lunch, which was a buffet with all sort of things. After that we had a lifeboat drill (which we hopefully won’t need).

We’re leaving port now and I’ve finished calling people to say goodbye.

And the first “cool” note of the trip: I saw a dolphin in the water while leaving port.

Here We Gooo… Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Got to airport & had a loooong check in line. Took a while but we got through without any hassles, we’re now just waiting for our flight.

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