Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
KansCocoa

Middle Aged Drama Queen's Eastern Med Review: Serenade, Pics, Surprises & Fun!

Recommended Posts

Hello, everyone!

 

No, I'm not back yet. Not officially, anyway...still on the Fabulous Freedom of the Seas for just one more evening...disembarking tomorrow....

 

I can't wait to get back and read everyone's comments; I will try to respond! In the meantime, note that this "almost B2B" - on two different ships - with different itineraries - has given me a wealth of information and notes of comparison....

 

It's been extremely interesting to note the differences between the Serenade and the Freedom - with regards to food, activities and entertainment. And yes, I will definitely do a separate Freedom review, once I finish the Serenade review...which at the rate it's going, will be by Christmas. ;)

 

The good news is - I left the Panic Button at home, so no false alarms! And...I managed to get a photo of a rare St. Thomas pigeon (said with snark) for my son, Brad, who seems to be obsessed with all-things-pigeon. (And the Venice pigeon posted earlier cracked me up!)

 

See you all on Monday - I will be back to posting! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sherri,

I am loving your blog. Can't wait for your next post, you write very well and it's so amusing.

Hope you've had a great cruise but please finish this one before you do the next review!

We are doing the same itinery on the Serenade next June.

Already been looking up the Tapas night in Barcelona.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must be missing out on the pigeon photos while I travel...they seem to be quite popular :D

 

Hope you and your daughter had a great time and looking forward to reading your continued review of your med cruise and then your mother/daughter cruise. I've had nothing to read during my lunch breaks at work...LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello, everyone!

 

No, I'm not back yet. Not officially, anyway...still on the Fabulous Freedom of the Seas for just one more evening...disembarking tomorrow....

 

I can't wait to get back and read everyone's comments; I will try to respond! In the meantime, note that this "almost B2B" - on two different ships - with different itineraries - has given me a wealth of information and notes of comparison....

 

It's been extremely interesting to note the differences between the Serenade and the Freedom - with regards to food, activities and entertainment. And yes, I will definitely do a separate Freedom review, once I finish the Serenade review...which at the rate it's going, will be by Christmas. ;)

 

The good news is - I left the Panic Button at home, so no false alarms! And...I managed to get a photo of a rare St. Thomas pigeon (said with snark) for my son, Brad, who seems to be obsessed with all-things-pigeon. (And the Venice pigeon posted earlier cracked me up!)

 

See you all on Monday - I will be back to posting! :)

 

Hi Sherri,

 

Looking forward to the rest of the Serenade review. I am also going to email you with some questions about the Freedom. We are getting ready to book our next cruise. I want to take Ally on the Freedom. Ken is pushing for another adult vacation to the Baltics either on the AOS or the BOS. I am not sure if I am up to planning another 12 night cruise right now. The caribbean is so much easier to plan for. No big binders!!:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Sherri, what a great job you've done!!! It's the BEST review I've ever seen, very detailed and I'm hooked with it, I just found it today, so luckily I only have one day to wait for you to come back. Really can't wait to see the remaining. I will be on the same iternary as yours in September, so your review will be a very valuable information to us! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Sherri,

 

Looking forward to the rest of the Serenade review. I am also going to email you with some questions about the Freedom. We are getting ready to book our next cruise. I want to take Ally on the Freedom. Ken is pushing for another adult vacation to the Baltics either on the AOS or the BOS. I am not sure if I am up to planning another 12 night cruise right now. The caribbean is so much easier to plan for. No big binders!!:)

 

Cathy, if you guys do the Baltics you can adopt Binder. ;)

 

Let us know what you decide, Steve and I have a Baltic cruise on our wish list for the distant future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for coming back to my most-epic novel of our recent adventures on the Serenade of the Seas! I spent the last week on the AH-MAZING Freedom of the Seas, which will be reviewed shortly – after this current “little” adventure is completed.

 

So we left our somewhat sleepy travelers returning to the beautiful Serenade of the Seas after their many adventures in Florence…

 

Our evenings would pretty much follow the same routine…after showering and removing the sweat and dust and grime that we picked up in port (you’re welcome), we’d head to the Concierge Club for some nibbles…(because, as you all know, there’s something about the grueling task of cruising that makes us all ravenously hungry.) Ratu, the personable & friendly bartender, would fix me up with a tall, refreshing, delicious….diet coke. Yeah. A diet coke. Sigh. This is one of those, “It sucks to be me” moments – because – true confession – I’m allergic to wine. Sad…but true. It really did bite that I couldn’t sample some fine Italian wine while traveling, but twas’ not to be.

 

Anyway, after nibbling and sipping, Hubby Mike and I would track down the Klingons, give them the sniff test to insure that THEY had cleaned up, as well, and head to the dining room, where we’d then stuff ourselves even more silly.

 

On this night, however, there were a few blips in our nice, calm routine. The first blip began before dinner, when I was reviewing the notes for our next day’s plans…which was for Rome. I had pre-purchased our tickets for not only the Colosseum, but the Vatican, as well. Because I'm all organized like that. And that’s when it hit me – I had FORGOTTEN to print the Vatican tickets!!!! Because I'm all ditzy like that. Sigh.

 

So…here’s a tip for fellow travelers: save EVERY single e-mail that comes your way, whether it be from tour companies, attraction sights, etc. Set up a mail folder in your inbox – I had mine sorted by day/port – and electronically file EVERY single email. It didn’t take too long to sign onto the (very expensive, mind you - use your C&A coupon) ship’s internet service and pull up the email I had received from the Vatican, that had our ticket vouchers attached. The Business Services area onboard (Deck 6) has a nice printer where you can print documents – for free! Whew. Crisis averted.

 

The second blip occurred shortly after the Vatican ticket snafu…when I noticed our message light blinking on the stateroom phone. Uh oh. Messages received on the ship are usually never good – it’s not like your family’s going to call from the United States, paying $7.95 per minute, to say, “Hey – I’m bored. Call me.” Or, it’s not like Guest Services is calling to say, “Hey - we’re bored. Would love to chat with you just to shoot the breeze. Call us.” Nope. Usually there’s a reason for a call – and it’s usually not good. With dread and trepidation, I picked up the message…and my fears were well-grounded. It was a message from my dad, calling to let me know that my most-favorite-uncle was in the hospital back in Philadelphia, and things weren’t looking good. Dad said that he & Mom were on the road, driving from KC to Philly, and to call them later that night.

 

After dinner, we all headed to the Tropical Theater, to watch Alan Chamo, advertised as “Mind Blowing Mental Magic.” Hmmm…a mentalist. This should be interesting. One of the first tricks that he did was to pull a young woman, Sarah from Michigan, from the audience, to assist him…she proceeded to blindfold him, and he would identify objects that the audience held up. While blindfolded, Mr. Chamo related a story of where he once correctly identified a prosthetic leg, which he said was pretty strange, as you don’t often see a prosthetic limb in the audience.

 

Well…the next thing we see…a woman in the 3rd row of the theater is holding up …wait for it…a prosthetic arm. Which Mr. Chamo quickly identifies. Really? Now, wasn’t that timely…? About that time, I decided that it was ALL fake – not just the arm, but Sarah and Mr. Chamo. I whispered to Hubby Mike that I was heading back to the room to call my folks.

 

(However…let me say…a few days later, I met Sarah…she was part of a Cruise Critic group here…and she was TOTALLY not a fake. And the woman with the prosthetic arm? Also part of a Cruise Critic group…NOT part of the show. She really did have a prosthetic arm - and couldn't believe that Mr. Chamo had just related a story about a prosthetic leg. Pure coincidence. Sarah admitted that she was just as blown away by the rest of us on how this guy did it – she had no idea how he could “see” through the blindfold. So – I have to give Mr. Chamo chops here…he really DID do some mind blowing mental magic that night!)

 

After slipping out of the theater (Tip: If you think you may want to slip out early – sit up on the balcony area on Deck 6…it was easy to sneak out and not disturb anyone), I headed to the elevators to go back to the room. While waiting for the magic elevator, I hear a woman ask, “Hey….are you Sherri? From CruiseCritic? I think I recognize you from your picture.”

 

“Why, yes…yes, I am!” I replied. (At this point, I was wishing that the boys had been there to see this, since they were constantly dumbfounded by my “fame” onboard. As a mom, I’ll pretty much do anything to impress my kids.)

 

Turned out to be Lydia (AnguillaFan) and her husband, Bruce, and we spent the next 45 minutes chatting and getting to know each other. Soon, we were joined by Amy (Steppy08) and her husband, Steve (Sstepson)…and then by Renee (Kinder102). So, the six of us were having a fantastic time…in the elevator banks. Yes. ELEVATOR PARTY!!!! We were THOSE people…the people that I sometimes cuss and call bad names because they stop and decide to congregate in front of the elevators and then block the elevator doors for the REST of us. GRRRRR! If you were on our sailing, and if you had to dodge us that night…I apologize sincerely. (holding head in shame) The only thing that could have made it worse (or better, depending on your point of view) was if a Roving Bartender would have brought us some drinks with umbrellas. They missed a GREAT opportunity.

 

Eventually, all good things must come to an end…even spontaneous Elevator Parties…and so we all went our separate ways to get ready for our next day’s adventure – Rome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
did you notice the real bird on the tree stump that is part of the statue of the outside David? Taking pictures of birds is a family thing..see?

That David really gets around... I saw him in Vegas!

Really enjoying your review.

 

I missed that...had to go back and see! How funny...and yet...how sad. ;)

 

I once saw David in Vegas...but it was David Copperfield. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sherri,

You put my story telling skills to shame. I will just have to over compensate with lots of pictures. :o

 

Bill

 

 

Bill - I have enjoyed your reviews - so keep up the good work! Your recent review was VERY helpful to me in my own planning - and yes, I love the pictures. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And thanks to all of the comments & posts in the last week - I appreciate them all!

 

I hope - between the humor & snark - that you find some tips to help you, if you're doing the same (or similar) itinerary in the future....or, I just hope you enjoy a "virtual" trip to Europe, if you're not planning on going anytime! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rome…also known as “The Eternal City”…or, as I refer to it, “The Eternally Crowded City”…this is the port that I was probably least looking forward to, as I remember it being hot, crowded, and congested. And did I mention hot? However…this was the port that Brainy Brad was MOST looking forward to – probably because of his love of history. And the fact that he speaks Latin. (I speak pig-Latin, but he assures me it’s not the same.)

 

Our plan today is to utilize the tour services of RomeInLimo, once again, who always deliver a quality experience. After arriving in the port of Civitavecchia at 7:00 am, we are to be picked up by our guide at 8:00 a.m.

 

We are off the ship promptly at 7:55 am, and there in the parking lot is the Blessed Sign With My Name On It, behind which is Alberto, our tour guide/driver for the day.

 

1Rome.jpg

With Alberto...and notice how the tour guides ALWAYS manage to snag onto a woman in photos?!

 

 

As we walk the short distance to the minivan, Alberto introduces himself, and asks, “You have all the tickets, yes? The tickets for the Colosseum? And the Vatican?” Well…ha ha…if you remember, I almost DIDN’T have the Vatican tickets, so I laugh and reassure Alberto that oh yes, I most definitely have the tickets…here in my binder----WAIT!

 

“WHERE’S MY BINDER???!!!!” I look frantically around in my empty hands – and see that everyone else’s hands in my family are also…empty. No Binder.

 

“You must have left it in the room,” Hubby Mike offers up.

 

Well. THAT’S not going to do us any good…so as I smile sheepishly at Alberto, apologizing for my forgetfulness, Hubby Mike sprints off back to the ship, to rescue and retrieve the poor, forgotten binder.

 

“No worries,” Alberto reassures me. “That’s why I always ask BEFORE we drive to Rome. You’re not the first.”

 

Well…still. Grrrrr. My OCD-Self is beating my head against the wall about this time. I blame it on my totally terrifying experience at The Accademia the day before...it obviously still has me shaken. Right?

 

Anyway, a mere 10 minutes later (that seemed like 10 hours), Hubby Mike comes huffing and puffing, holding the Blessed Binder that has all the tickets for the day. Whew.

 

 

Alberto begins the approximately 90-minute drive from Civitavecchia (as hard as that is for me to spell, it was even harder for me to pronounce. At one point, Alberto had us all saying it, over and over again, in the minivan…probably for his own amusement.) Our tickets for the Vatican are scheduled for 9:30 am, and if traffic’s not too bad, we should just make it – considering we got a bit of a late start.

 

Along the way, we chit-chat with Alberto, who is very proud that he is not just Italian, but he is “100% Roman.” And I mean VERY proud of that…he boasts that not too many people can say that. He’s less boastful that he still lives with his Mama, but hey…no one’s perfect. At some point, Alberto’s cell phone rings, and he excuses himself to answer it…and THIS is why I love RomeInLimo. Because – who is on the other line? None other than another RomeInLimo driver – who warns Alberto that there is some road construction further up the road, and it’s causing some major traffic delays. I LOVE the fact that the drivers all communicate with each other, to help each other out, to insure that the passengers are given top-notch service.

 

Unfortunately, the warning came about a minute too late…because we had JUST passed the last exit before we were due to hit the backed-up traffic. And hit it we did. The car slowed down to a crawl, and we inched forward…frustratingly slow when we’re on a limited time schedule. Alberto calls another driver, who assures him that once past the construction, it would be smooth-sailing; sure enough, after a 20-minute slowdown, we were once again on our way.

 

Alberto was not shy about pushing the speedometer of the van, and although we were moving pretty fast, I never felt unsafe. He more than made up for lost time, and we were soon dropped off in front of the Vatican at exactly 9:30 am – right on time. After introducing us to Aurora, a beautiful Sardinian who was our personal guide for the Vatican, Alberto told us he’d be back to pick us up at 11:40 a.m.

 

 

Now…for anyone who’s not been to the Vatican before…let me just say a few things. The Vatican is HUGE. The Vatican is CROWDED. And the Vatican can get very HOT, as most of it is not air-conditioned. Therefore, a few tips:

 

1. Be patient. You will NOT see it in two days…let alone two hours…so have a plan of what is most important for you to see. For us, it was important that the Klingons see the Sistine Chapel, as well as Saint Peter’s Basilica.

2. Take bottled water. It’s allowed. And better yet – schedule your visit in the morning, to avoid the afternoon heat.

3. Have a guide. If you try to maneuver your way through the myriad of museums and barbarians, you will be overwhelmed, lost and frustrated.

4. Yes, knees & shoulders must be covered. You may get into the Vatican museums uncovered, but you’ll be denied entry to the Basilica.

5. The museums are extremely crowded. Dress your family in colors that you can find easily – as it is very easy to lose your family and/or friends in the wall of barbarians that are everywhere.

 

 

Aurora was a godsend, in helping us exchange our vouchers for tickets; getting us headsets so that we could hear her better over the din of the barbarians; and directing us through the security/metal detectors that are set up. Before we knew it, we were in the museum, and ready to begin our tour. Because talking is discouraged in the Sistine Chapel, the museum has several “panels” of reproductions of the famous Sistine Chapel ceiling near the museum entrance; guides can then point things out on the panels before ever entering the Chapel itself, which would come towards the end of the tour. Aurora was good; I’ll give her that. She knew her stuff, and she knew every little detail about the famous ceiling and Michelangelo’s vision…unfortunately, she wanted to share every single detail that she knew. And before we knew it, we had spent 40 minutes in front of the panels.

 

FORTY MINUTES!!!!

 

We only had two hours to begin with, and we had yet to actually enter any museums. We were still at the panels, located right after the entrance. I could see the younger Klingons getting very antsy, and zoning out….it was time to get this show on the road, or we were going to miss seeing the actual ceiling itself. And Brainy Brad would throw me to the lions at the Colosseum if that happened.

 

“Um,” I began, a bit hesitantly….”What time did Alberto say he’s picking us up?”

 

Aurora answered, “11:40” and peeked at her watch…and blanched.

 

“OMG!!!!” She said. “I’m SO sorry! We have to run!”

 

 

And run we did. Imagine trying to see the Louvre in less than two hours. That’s what it was like for us…we were running – as much as one can run through thousands of barbarians – through the Vatican Museums, trying to get to “the end”, where the Sistine Chapel is. All the while, Aurora’s doing her best to give us the low-down of what we’re seeing; it reminded me of something you’d see in “European Vacation” where Chevy Chase would say, “Look, kids – there’s a statue. Look, kids – there’s a tapestry” – as we ran by.

 

 

Rome19.jpg

A typical crowd....

 

 

 

The maps…the ceramics…the mosaics…it was a blur of color, motion, and sound as we rushed through. We were walking briskly through the tapestry room, and I quickly snapped a picture…and then got chastised by an unseen guard.

 

“NO FLASH!!!!!”

 

Oops. My bad. I never saw the “No Flash” signs, since we were running.

 

Rome20.jpg

But I got a great photo....

 

 

“Sorry!” I breathlessly threw over my shoulder as we ran to the next room.

 

 

 

It was almost laughable, if it hadn’t been so tragic, in a way. The museums are pretty awesome and really deserve some time to take them all in – so, here’s a tip:

 

BE BETTER TIME STEWARDS THAN WHAT WE WERE!!!!!!

 

 

I do have to share something here…most of the personal tour guides carry a “flag” of some sort…an umbrella, a pole with a kerchief attached – SOMETHING to wave up high so that their particular group of barbarians can find them in the Vatican crowds. Aurora was upset that she had forgotten her Barbarian Flag (as I call them); she was somewhat mollified when I told her we had our very own Barbarian Flag, and that was Too-Tall Taylor. He was given explicit instructions to never take his eyes of Aurora, and to follow her; we’d all follow him, as he was easily seen in the crowds. We’d finally discovered what he was good for.

 

Taylor had an easy time following Aurora; as we all said later, her beautiful, thick, flaming red hair was her own Barbarian Flag. She always stood out in a crowd.

 

Rome26.jpg

Altho this isn't exactly a crowd...a rare uncrowded moment, actually...but you can easily spot Aurora and her hair....

 

 

 

 

Rome22.jpg

"Hey, look kids! A statue!"

 

 

The Vatican Powers-That-Be are smart (go figure…it’s the Vatican we’re talking about). They realize that 90% (I’m just throwing the figure out there) of the people who visit the Vatican Museums are really only there to see one thing, and one thing only – the Sistine Chapel. Do they have it set up so that you can pay your admission and walk directly to the Chapel?

 

Nope. That would be too easy. You must go through the travertine maze of the museums, eventually working your way to the Chapel. Aurora, bless her heart, approached a security guard at one point, and did her best to charm and cajole him into letting us “shortcut” back to the Chapel. Needless to say, as pretty as Aurora was, her charms were lost on this guy. No way, no how, was he letting us skip the experience of fighting hordes of barbarians to get to the Chapel. Sigh.

 

But…eventually…we were there.

 

And after my little adventure at The Accademia, I was on my BEST BEHAVIOR this day (panic alarm button left on the ship, in case you’re wondering)…I wasn’t about to take a clandestine, illicit photo of the Sistine Chapel.

 

 

But that didn’t stop Too-Tall Taylor from snapping one. Ack. Kids.

 

Edited by KansCocoa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Sherri!

I didn't know you had a Blessed Binder. Now our Binder is jealous. ;)

 

Incidentally, we showed Steve's mom our cruise pics. After 300-some pictures she kept harping on the fact that he took not one, but THREE illegal pics of the Sistene Chapel.

 

"Steven, why would you do that if it's illegal?!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Sherri!

 

We must be related. I too had a binder for our trip with dividers by port. I printed my Vatican tickets and promptly forgot them in our room. I had to do the walk (or rather the run) of shame back to the room to get them. It was especially embarassing because I was the one who booked all the tours (we used Rome in Limo in Pisa/Florence and Rome as well). I got people to join us on the tours from here on CC and I was the only one to forget my tickets.:eek:. I am loving your report!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Welcome back Sherri!

I didn't know you had a Blessed Binder. Now our Binder is jealous. ;)

 

Incidentally, we showed Steve's mom our cruise pics. After 300-some pictures she kept harping on the fact that he took not one, but THREE illegal pics of the Sistene Chapel.

 

"Steven, why would you do that if it's illegal?!"

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1343044845.113653.jpg.4079fdb3fcaefbe88007fb977deebb29.jpg

 

Yeah...this one got me in hot water with my very old-fashioned mother!(Bless her heart...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[ATTACH]240399[/ATTACH]

 

Yeah...this one got me in hot water with my very old-fashioned mother!(Bless her heart...)

 

It must be a mom-thing, to worry about our kids. Go figure! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Sherri!

 

We must be related. I too had a binder for our trip with dividers by port. I printed my Vatican tickets and promptly forgot them in our room. I had to do the walk (or rather the run) of shame back to the room to get them. It was especially embarassing because I was the one who booked all the tours (we used Rome in Limo in Pisa/Florence and Rome as well). I got people to join us on the tours from here on CC and I was the only one to forget my tickets.:eek:. I am loving your report!!!!

 

 

I love the "run of shame" - that fits perfectly! Alberto says it happens so much, that's why he now asks before we load up the van and take off!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay...here's Taylor's photo of the ceiling:

 

 

Sistine.jpg

 

 

Of course, I wouldn't have had to tell you which kid it was...you could probably figure it out all by yourself.

 

These new smart phones that take photos "sneakily" are going to give the guards at the Sistine Chapel some fits, I can tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your daughter is always so pretty in her dresses . . . I am thinking of my two girls at her age . . . I don't think they had a dress in their closet they would have been caught dead in!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Sherri!

 

We must be related. I too had a binder for our trip with dividers by port. I printed my Vatican tickets and promptly forgot them in our room. I had to do the walk (or rather the run) of shame back to the room to get them. It was especially embarassing because I was the one who booked all the tours (we used Rome in Limo in Pisa/Florence and Rome as well). I got people to join us on the tours from here on CC and I was the only one to forget my tickets.:eek:. I am loving your report!!!!

 

 

Great review, loving the pics.

 

We to have the "Cruise Binder" with all our documents, tickets, and anything I can think to put in there. If I find a helpful review, guess what, into the binder it goes so I do not miss a tip. Even worse, and somewhat ashamed to admit, I normally do a backup binder. One in the carryon and one in the checked bags. :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your daughter is always so pretty in her dresses . . . I am thinking of my two girls at her age . . . I don't think they had a dress in their closet they would have been caught dead in!!

 

Thank you! Actually, my daughter is the same way...it was the threat of death and/or severe punishment that forced her into the dresses. If she would wear dresses during port days for our tours, then I gave her free reign to wear her usual shorts/t-shirts when not in port. She grumbled, moaned and pitched a fit, but because I HAVE THE POWER (since I pay the cell phone bill that she owns), she capitulated. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great review, loving the pics.

 

We to have the "Cruise Binder" with all our documents, tickets, and anything I can think to put in there. If I find a helpful review, guess what, into the binder it goes so I do not miss a tip. Even worse, and somewhat ashamed to admit, I normally do a backup binder. One in the carryon and one in the checked bags. :rolleyes:

 

A backup binder??!! I love it! Hubby Mike would be saying, "Don't give Sherri any ideas!!!" :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We last left our breathless & winded travelers concluding their whirlwind tour of the Vatican museums - did you know that the art collection stretches over 9 MILES??!! And I think I ran every one of those miles!!!!

 

 

After shuffling through the Sistine Chapel, we exit and make our way over to St. Peter’s Basilica, which has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. We slowly make our way up the stairs, through the front doors, and are swept away by the beauty and grandeur that are inside.

 

I SO wish I had a super-duper camera that took super-duper photos…but I don’t. Alas, our little point-and-shoot camera cannot do the Basilica justice. It’s dark inside, and so any pictures we took (and photos are definitely allowed) just didn’t turn out very well.

 

If the self-appointed photo police here promise not to critique me on the quality of the photos, hee hee, I’ll post a few that we took:

 

1H.jpg

The largest dome in the world…you can purchase tickets (6E) to climb the 320 steps to the top….or you can purchase a more expensive ticket (7E) to ride the elevator to the top.

 

 

1G.jpg

Michelangelo’s Pieta (1498-1499)…the only piece that Michelangelo ever signed. It’s behind glass now, after being damaged back in 1972….

 

 

1F.jpg

You can see the Papal Altar in this photo, where only the Pope celebrates Mass. The ancient tomb of St. Peter lies directly below the altar.

 

 

If I can give any tip here, it’s to make sure you see this beautiful structure on the inside – words can’t describe it. Don’t miss it – no matter your faith or beliefs.

 

 

After leaving the Basilica, we came out on the steps that overlook St. Peter’s Square, which was designed so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing…

 

1J.jpg

A panoramic is about the best/only way to capture the size of the Square….

 

 

1K.jpg

A view of the Basilica from St. Peter's Square...

 

 

1L.jpg

The Pope himself lives in these apartments, overlooking the Square…

 

We have about 5 minutes to enjoy the Square, before our meeting time with Alberto. Were we rushed? Yes. Did we miss a lot? Most definitely. However, Brainy Brad considered the visit a true highlight; he said later that he LOVED spending 40 minutes at the Sistine Chapel panels, because he learned a lot from Aurora that gave him new insight to Michelangelo's masterpiece. Huh. So, don't always assume that you're "wasting time" - because your family may have a different viewpoint.

 

One other tip: If you have kids, and are planning on taking them to the Vatican museums - perhaps specifically to the Sistine Chapel - I highly recommend an old movie, "The Agony and the Ecstasy" - a 1965 movie starring Rex Harrison and Charlton Heston, which does a great job in recreating the story behind the ceiling. My kids loved this movie; they insisted on watching it several times before we left on our trip.

 

Promptly at 11:40, Aurora hands us back over to Alberto, and we are on our way…next stop will be the Pantheon…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...