Alli's Place

Where Alli shares her thoughts and feelings…

Weekly Witterings #5

1. The night before we sailed into Venice we went through a storm. 50+ mph winds and 70+ mph gusts hitting the side of the ship along with thunder and lightning. I woke up to the captain making an announcement which basically told everyone not to panics the ship isn’t sinking. I had slipped down the bed quite a bit due to the ship healing over in the wind.

2. Sailing into Venice was amazing. So glad to do it again before they stop the big ships sailing up past St Mark’s Square and the entrance to the Grand Canal.

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3. Great trip down to Portsmouth. Lisa bought the first wedding dress she tried on (we made her try other on too) and we found a bridesmaid dress for Julie and me.

4. Portsmouth feels strangely familiar but not. I has been about two years since my last trip down.

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Cruise 2014 – Ventura, Genoa to Venice

Day 1 – Genoa
Flying into Genoa you get a lovely view of the Costa Concordia where it is being dismantled. Not really what you want to see as you are off to board a cruise ship! As we had been up since about 3am and the area near the ship didn’t look very exciting we decided not to go and explore Genoa. Instead we unpacked and enjoyed some afternoon tea and explored Ventura as it was our first time aboard.

Day 2 – Livorno
We had booked a tour to Florence from Livono as there isn’t much to do there and the options are mainly Florence or Pisa and we have been to Pisa before. It was quite a way, about 1 ½ hours on the coach but the tour guide was very good at pointing out things of interest on the way (fields of sunflowers grown for oil) and telling us about Florence so the time went quite quickly. Once we arrived in Florence the guide walked us to Piazza Santa Croce and showed us where to meet and where we could use our refreshments voucher.
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We looked at the queue for refreshments and decided to go and explore first. We headed for Palazza della Signoria which is where there are lots of statues, the guide described it as an open air museum. From there we headed to the Ponte Vecchio where we did some window shopping in the gold shops, took in the views and observed the corridor.
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After a quick time check we decided to head for the Duomo, cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore.
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We were very glad we made the effort as it is probably one of the most impressive buildings I have seen. We took lots of photos around here and vowed that we need to come back with enough time to go inside. Then we headed back to get refreshments stopping off at the Palazza della Signoria again to take more photos. Once back at the coach we were taken up to the view point at Piazzale Michelangelo, it was a lovely clear day and the views were stunning. We also saw the replica of Michelongelo’s David statue here.
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The coach ride back to the ship was rather quiet, I think most people had fallen asleep!

Day 3 – at sea
A chance to rest after Florence. Not such great weather but still warm enough to enjoy a few hours reading on a sun lounger by the pool. Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy is the current book. It was the first of the two formal nights tonight. I like seeing everyone all dressed up, for me it is part of the enjoyment of the cruise.

Day 4 – Naples
Lovely seeing the sun come up with a view of Vesuvius.

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Trip to Sorento today.
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Bit of a distance on the coach again but worth it. Enjoyed wandering round and glad we bought a book as it meant we saw the Old Walls
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and the Valley of the Mills.
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We also enjoyed ice cream refreshments which given it was quite warm were very welcome.

Day 5 – at sea
Another sea day well placed to relax after our Sorento trip. Today was much warmer and sunny so more reading by the pool. Dad went to the ice carving demonstration a dolphin.

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Mum enjoyed the chocolate fountain

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And we all enjoyed the adult only pool and the endless pool jets. Tonight was the second formal night, black and white night,

Day 6 – Dubrovnik
I love Dubrovnik. The old city is beautiful and interesting. We just enjoyed wandering around on our own.

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Then we found a bar and had coffee in the sunshine.
I also found the shop I bought towels in last time and bought some more, I know how sad that sounds but I really like them.

Day 7 – Venice
The sail into Venice was the highlight for me.

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Having been before and sailed in before it was good to be able to spot the main places as we went in. I am so glad I have done the sail in before they stop the big ships going right up past St Mark’s Square and the entrance to the Grand Canal.
There were four ships in and getting to St Mark’s Square was chaotic. After over an hour queuing and nearly as long in the boat waiting for a spot to more up to let us off we didn’t have much energy or desire to wander far. Mum and I just had a nose around St Mark’s Square and headed back.

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Thankfully we have been before so hadn’t planned to do much but we would have liked to have wandered to the Rialto Bridge but my back had had enough so we didn’t. This is a photo of the entrance to the Grand Canal which I took on the way back to the ship, I think it is one of my favourites.

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Day 8 – Time to go home
We were up early to go home but that did mean we saw the sunrise over Venice before heading to the airport.

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Around the ship
Here she is

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Weekly Witterings #4

1. Guide camp went well. No rain all weekend and lots of happy Guides.

2. Cruises are great. Currently cruising around Italy on P&O’s Ventura, today we are in Naples and we (Mum, Dad and me) have been to Sorento. I love waking up in different places and generally feeling somewhat spoilt by lovely food etc.

3. This was the view from Mum and Dad’s balcony this morning just before we headed off for breakfast. It is Vesuvius and the

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4. Poor little Lenny (my nephew puppy) has had the snip. He looks very sorry for himself in his cone of shame.

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5. Still a few days left of my holiday. Looking forward to cruising into Venice.

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Where I am going on my next cruise

As my latest cruise is rapidly approaching I thought it was time that I published my itinerary for it!
 
 Day                  Location
———————————————————————
Day 1                Southampton
Day 2                At Sea
Day 3                At Sea
Day 4                Gibraltar
Day 5                At Sea
Day6                 Messina – Sicily
Day 7                Cephalonia – Greece
Day 8                Korcula – Dalamatia
Day 8                Venice – Italy
Day 10              Dubrovnik – Dalamatia
Day 11              Corfu – Greece
Day 12              At Sea
Day 13              Palma – Majorca
Day 14              At Sea
Day 15              At Sea
Day 16              At Sea
Day 17              Southampton

 

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30/4/05 Day 17 – Southampton – UK

Home again, how depressing :o(

It was chaotic getting off and the system was running about 1 hour late but I am home now and just have unpacking to do.  Mum and Dad have left to drive back up to Rugby and I am left sitting looking at my suitcase wishing I was back off on another cruise again.  Oh well will have to get saving for the next one!

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29/4/05 Day 16 – At Sea

It has been rather foggy today.  The ships whistle has been going all day realty and occasionally we have heard other ships whistles replying in the distance.  When you looked out of the window at dinner you couldn’t see the sea at all – just fog.  It has been pretty calm seas though which has pleased Mum.  Been packing and buying last few bits and bob from the shop – like a bag as I couldn’t fit everything back in my suitcase!

It was sad saying goodbye to our waiters, taking their photos and handing out the tips.  Maybe we will meet again on another cruise.

The last show was on tonight – Bollywood Dreams which was pretty good.  They had some of the crew in it which was fun and I think we all enjoyed it.

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28/4/05 Day 15 – At Sea

The weather is still good so I have made the most of it as it will probably not be too great tomorrow.  I quite like days at sea as it is nice and relaxing

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27/4/05 Day 14 – Gibraltar – Gibraltar

We only had half a day in Gibraltar and we were also in there is Aurora so there were lots of people around.  We got off early and went straight towards the cable car and Dad and Eric wanted to go up to the top of the rock and see the apes.  Pauline, Mum and I didn’t bother as we have done it before; we went for a quick look around the gardens and then headed off to the shops.  Got some bits and bobs in the shops including a little monkey who although a rather sad tourist thing I just couldn’t resist!

When we got back we went for a look around Aurora, the process was a bit chaotic as the people on Aurora were queuing to go on Arcadia and we were queuing to go on Aurora so loads of people were milling around in the terminal and the noise was incredible.  Aurora has a very different style of interior and is much more traditional with more English style carpets and wood panels all over the place.  The pools didn’t look too amazing and the buffet food area is a bit hideously brightly coloured but over all it is a very nice ship and I would certainly be happy to go on a cruise on it. 

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26/4/05 Day 13 – Cartagena (Spain) – Spain

Cartagena was a nice surprise as we didn’t think it was going to be very good from the blurb we had read, but we found lots of places to look at and wander around and it seems that they are trying to make the place a bit more of a tourist Port.  The ship was berthed just outside the mariner and it was a really short walk to the front which is a nice fresh and new-ish looking area lined with palm trees.  From there we walked past the town hall (which is probably better when it isn’t covered in scaffolding where they are sprucing it up) and around to the Roman Theatre and the old Cathedral entrance.  They are still working on excavating this but you can still have a bit of a look.  Next we headed off to a lift up to the castle, this was not good for Mum as it is a glass lift which is basically in a scaffolding tower which stands separately by the side of the hill and there is a walkway at the top with glass sides.  When we got to the top of the lift there were some gardens to walk though and then you came to the castle which is open to wander around and had a couple of bit and bob to look at.  The best bit was the view over the whole area.  After that we headed off towards a place where you can see some ancient walls and a crypt which are bout 2000 + years old.  We stopped for ice cream on the way and had fun trying to explain what we wanted to the nice friendly ice cream man who didn’t speak English.  We made it to the place with the walls just in time to have a look round before it closed up for the siesta.  After that we just headed back to the ship and as we had missed lunch just had some afternoon tea before going to get ready for dinner.

Our waiter Anthony returned tonight with his poor finger all wrapped up.  He looked like he had had plenty of sleep and a good rest and seems rather pleased that we had been asking after him.  Normal dinner service was resumed which was good, although Trevor had got it sussed last night!

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25/4/05 Day 12 – Palma – Majorca

This morning we got off and had a look around Palma, we started off by going to the cathedral and the attached museum (although I am not sure how they can call a couple of really small rooms a museum) which was quite impressive, beautiful stained glass windows.  Then we wandered up to a square where there were a couple of human statues, one dressed all in green (who was about to pack up) and one dressed as Zorro.  After that we walked up a street and looked at a few shops. On the way back through the square Pauline had her photo taken with the Zorro one pretending to have a duel. Then we walked back towards the ship looking in some other shops on the way and I bought a bracelet.  Near the sea front we stopped and each had an ice cream and then we headed back to the ship. 

Today is Pauline’s birthday, so at dinner we had cake with our coffee and the waiters gathered to sing happy birthday.

Anthony is still not back, so his finger must be quite bad.  Trevor was there again and he seems to have got a better idea of what he is doing tonight which is good.  Bruno anticipated that he would forget to not put chocolate on my cappuccino and when he noticed I had it he whisked it away and produced one that he had got for me specially – now that is service!!!

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