Royal Caribbean Mediterranean and Venice Cruise Italy

3rd - 16th June 2014

Itinerary: Barcelona - Villefranche - La Spezia - Civitavecchia - Naples - Venice - Ravenna - Kotor - Barcelona

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4 June. Barcelona, Spain. Arrived on board about 11am after an easy check in. My studio cabin was larger than expected, but no table. I explored the ship.

5 June. Villefranche, France. . We caught the first tender into Villefranche, and, as the ship had arrived half an hour early the tour bus wasn't there. After it arrived we drove through Villefranche to Nice. Saw the flower market and cathedral then drove to Eze. This is high on a hill and has lots of narrow winding, hilly streets. Wandered around for a bit, then we drove to Monaco. We saw the cathedral and royal palace. After that Jim, Barb and I had lunch at a crÍperie and as we were returning to the pick up point, opposite the high school, lots of the older kids were throwing eggs and flour at each other. A policeman was watching, and he wasn't happy. We have no idea what it was about, but the kids had trays of eggs with them, so it had obviously been planned. Last day of school for the older pupils, maybe? Then we went to Monte Carlo and saw the casino. I went in but as it was €10 to enter the actual gaming rooms, I didn't bother going much further. Had a quick look at the gardens and drove back along the lower Corniche to Villefranche

6 June. La Spezia, Italy. A trip to Cinque Terre today. We actually visited three of the towns, but we did see all five. On the way to Manarola, we saw Riomaggiore. All around the the towns are terraced vineyards and olive groves. They make olive oil and a light white wine. We had some time to roam around Manarola and I took a short stroll along the path to the third town Corniglia, which is perched on a hill, the only one not actually on the sea. Then it was a boat ride to Vernazza. This, like the other town is full of narrow winding streets, which apparently is a defensive device from centuries ago. Then it was another short boat ride to the final and largest town Monterosso. There we tried the wine made in the region and I had a seafood gnocchi for lunch. After that we took a train to the next town, which isn't one of the Cinque Terre towns for the bus back to the ship. A nice trip and well worth taking.

6 June. Civitavecchia, Italy. Another early start. This time we went to Rome. First stop was the Catacombs of San Callisto. These are a standard 15 degrees year round and had over 500,000 people buried in them. They are on four levels that drop down over 40 metres. They're full of long narrow corridors with floor to ceiling tombs. No photos were allowed in there. After that we continued into Rome. There we strolled by the Coliseum and the Forum. Some of our party went into the Coliseum and the rest of us went past the Forum to a small church and then we all went to the Vatican. It was really warm by now and there's very little cooling inside. Once inside we went along the various corridors to the Sistine Chapel. It was crowded in there, but not as bad as it was on my last visit. Another long but enjoyable day.

8 June. Salerno, Italy. Another long and hot day, with another early start. We drove along the the Amalfi coastal road to Positano. We had a stroll around Positano and then drove on to Amalfi. Both are pretty little towns. Then we went through Sorrento to have lunch in a nice restaurant with a great view. Our last stop was Herculaneum, which is smaller than Pompeii. This is quite a compact site, with a lot fairly well restored buildings and some interesting murals. Much of the site is buried under the modern town.

10 June. Venice, Italy. We arrived at 14:00 on a gloriously warm and sunny day. The sail in is spectacular, as Venice is laid out in all it's glory, the starboard side boasting the best views. We sailed past St. Marks Square and 10 minutes later were manoeuvring into our berth. I took a vaporetto to St. Marks Square and walked to the Accedemia where I joined a walking tour of 'Secret Venice'. This took us through the back streets and alleys and our guide explained all about the various squares and the wells found in each. We passed a gondola builder and repair shop. After this I had a gondola ride for about an hour, which was fun and then back to the ship.

11 June. Venice, Italy. Yet another walking tour today. It was very hot and we started in the Royal Gardens, then we walked to St. Marks Square and on into St. Marks Basilica. Everything in there was actually mosaic from the ceiling right down to floor level. Then we walked to the Rialto Bridge, passing various squares, crossing many bridges over small canals, and seeing the local hospital. After lunch in a quiet square I went back to St. Marks Square and discovered that there was a Hard Rock nearby. So I had a drink there (making it number 31 on my list), I saw the Bridge of Sighs and then returned to the ship. I was on board by 16:20, but at 16:30, I actually supposed to be on a canal trip, but I just wanted to rest and as I'd been on a gondola the day before, I wasn't particularly concerned about missing out. Spookily, every time I got into a lift on the ship or a vaopretto, Jim and Barb were there, so we travelled together.

12 June. Ravenna, Italy. Today the temperatures hit the low 30's. I took yet another walking tour. This time to see the mosaics for which Ravenna is famous. We started off by visiting the Placidia Galla mausoleum, where we were only allowed to stay for about 5 minutes because of the fragility of the mosaics, Placidia Galla, however is buried in Rome! Then we went to the Basilica Di San Vitale, which is octagonal and built in the Byzantine style. After that, we saw the tomb of Dante and finally ended up at the St. Apolinaire Basilica for a final set of mosaics. When the tour was over, I strolled back into Ravenna for lunch, where I met a whole bunch of folks from the ship, so I ate with them.

13 June. Kotor, Montenegro. Sail in was pretty, with Croatia on the port side and Montenegro on the starboard. Arrived after lunch and managed to get on the second tender. I explored with Jim, Barb, Gwen and Kennedy. We just strolled around the narrow, winding streets, taking in the atmosphere. The town has old, medieval walls and it snuggles up against the mountain. It's a really quaint place. It also has a fort high above the town, that is 1,800 steps up (and another 1,800 down!!). I didn't bother!

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Penguins Centrum Ship Cathedral Villefranche Cap Ferrat


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Eze Eze Eze Eze Cathedral Palace


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School kids Aston Martin Riomaggiore Boat Manarola Vernazza


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Vernazza Forum Forum Forum Forum St. Peter's


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Mosaic Mosaic Ceiling Church Church Positano


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Positano Positano Lunch Vesuvious Bones Shoreline


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Fresco Mosaic Tugboat Sail in Sail in St. Mark's Square


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St. Mark's Sail in Statue Campanile Grand Canal Canal


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Canal Boatyard Gondolas Me Church Decoration


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Doge's Palace Winged Lion St. Mark's St. Mark's Hospital Rialto Bridge


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Bridge of Sighs Mosaic Mosaic Ceiling Dante's Tomb Cloisters


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Ceiling Church Kotor walls Kotor Kotor Water pump


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Kotor Harbour Towel animal Bat Flag Barb Megan & Tony


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Venice sail in
7 mins 13 secs


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