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

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Sherri, sooo glad you're back. You had me positively drooling with your recount of your pizza experience in Rome. "Il Pomodorino" will certainly get a few more barbarians after this review. I've been telling my co-workers about it (all Roman - or Rome based) who will certainly be checking this place out at the first opportunity - including myself!

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[quote=marci22;34642660

 

My kids did a version of the pigeon pics: they took pics of cats and dogs in Pompeii and Ephesus. There seemed to be a lot of of them lounging on the ruins.

 

 

Oh, yes...we have an entire photo album of European cats, as well, that the kids took; animals must seem to be a common theme with the kids!

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After reluctantly saying goodbye to The Most Perfect Pizza in Rome, we headed back with Alberto to the van, where our next stop was to be the famous Trevi Fountain.

 

As we loaded up, Alberto asks, “What is this research project you have? About gelato?”

 

I explain that since my previous visit to Italy in 2009, I was on a quest for the most delicious gelato in all of Europe. It had to be so perfect, that it ranked a “10” in my self-styled scoring system. To date, I had found some gelato shops that had come close – but hadn’t quite reached the Perfect 10. Sigh. So…research must continue. It was a rough job, but yadda yadda yadda….

 

Alberto says, “I take you to the best gelato shop in Rome, yes?”

 

Well. Who would say no? Seriously? “No, Alberto, you CANNOT take us to the best gelato shop in Rome. Why would you even suggest such a thing?!”

 

So…off we went…the Trevi Fountain could wait (it’s not like it’s going anywhere) while we searched out the best gelato in Rome.

 

After a relatively short drive, Alberto parks the van and directs us…he said, “Go that way” – as he points down a street…”Turn right at the first intersection – you will see San Crispino – which is the best gelato in Rome. Then – go back down the street for just a few minutes and there will be a surprise. I will wait for you here when you get back.”

 

Hmmmm….gelato…followed by a surprise?? This sounded intriguing.

 

Rome13.jpg

Seriously...lose yourselves in the back roads of Europe...they are a delight in themselves....

 

We made our way down the little narrow street, turned right at the first intersection, and saw the mecca of gelato – San Crispino. Named after a saint, the gelato is purportedly heavenly, and we ducked inside to be met with an impressive array of tins...but with the lids on. Oh. Well. As we can’t seem to see the pretty colors and choose based on that (Oh, come on - admit it. We aren't the ONLY family that chooses gelato based on the pretty colors!) – we were forced to read the little signs in front of each tin.

 

Luckily for us, I had a handy-dandy gelato cheat sheet in the All-Important Binder. (Of course I did.) It translated the Italian word to the flavor it corresponded to in English, so we wouldn’t have any nasty surprises…thinking we would be savoring some nice vanilla, for instance, but instead getting…licorice. Or something worse. Don't laugh. It happens. I chose a pretty caramel-colored gelato back in 2009, thinking it would be butterscotch. I love butterscotch. Turned out to be cinnamon. I HATE cinnamon. I wasn't going to make the same mistake again. Fool me once, shame on you...etc, etc.

 

 

The guy behind the counter seemed almost impatient with us – but it wasn’t like there was a line behind us at this time. We were the only customers in the store. We asked if we could have a taste, and he emphatically said, “NO.” No taste for you!!!! Instead of the Soup Mean Guy (from Jerry Seinfeld - and CC doesn't allow the "real" word there), he was the Gelato Mean Guy.

 

Uh, okay. We each chose a flavor, and as we walked out, THEN the place got busy.

 

Interesting, when I came home and read reviews on TripAdvisor about this place, I’m not the only one to notice the rudeness of the staff behind the counter. They need to lighten up a bit. It’s just gelato. It's not like we were asking for a free sample of jewelry. Geesh.

 

Anyway…back to the gelato. How was it? It was good…but not a 10. Sigh. Nope. I’d rate it in the high 8’s….low 9’s….but not a 10. Research must continue.

 

While eating our delicious & cool gelato, we ambled on down the street, looking for our surprise. At one point, we pass a little restaurant, and a suave, distinguished Italian man (think George Clooney – but Italian) is standing out front, trying to drum up business for the establishment. He sees me and says, “Hey, pretty lady – why don’t you come over and eat here?”

 

Laughing, I say, “You’re too late. We’ve already eaten lunch.” Not one to give up, he affects a pout and says, “And you didn’t come HERE? A beautiful lady like you?” And he puts his hand on his heart, indicating how heartbroken he was.

 

Awww. Gotta’ love the Italian charm. I’d heard about it – it’s legendary, of course – but had yet to experience it. At this point, I was seriously considering moving to Italy, just to have my ego stroked like this every time I walked down an Italian street.

 

However, I laughed some more – because obviously the guy had been out in the hot sun for too long and desperately needed some water - and we head on further down the street, in search of our surprise, leaving my Italian George Clooney boyfriend behind. Although having an Italian George Clooney boyfriend was certainly enough of a surprise for me...I knew the Klingons - and Hubby - would want something better.

 

We came to an intersection, turned right…and there it was...

 

10Rome.jpg

Ta da!!!! Our surprise!!!

The Trevi Fountain….one almost stumbles upon it, as tucked away and hidden like it is…a little hidden oasis in a city of concrete. The dancing and gushing water is refreshing, and just gazing upon it somehow refreshes your soul and spirit.

 

Being that it was a little hot that day, I wanted to go all La Dolce Vita (if you don't know what that means - sigh - it means you're young...google it) and plunge right in, but figuring that such an act would FOR SURE land me in Italian jail...I reluctantly resisted. But I wanted to.

 

 

Of course we all had to take our respective turns of tossing a Euro into the fountain, as it insures a return to Rome (worked for us – we threw our first coin in 2009, and here we are – back again!).

 

9Rome.jpg

 

 

Before we began our adventure, we had the kids watch the 1954 movie, “Three Coins in a Fountain” – so they would understand the significance of the tradition.

 

And in the interest of fairness...because, contrary to what my kids may think, I do NOT play favorites (and even if I did, I would never tell THEM who my favorite is!), I must post all three of the Klingons throwing their coins in. So they know that I'm playing fair, after all.

 

 

3a.jpg

"Uh, okay, Mom...not sure why I'm doing this, but I'll placate you..."

 

 

Of course, I also downloaded the Academy Award-winning song, “Three Coins in a Fountain,” sung by Dino himself – and played it on my iPhone as we took our turns tossing our coins. The Klingons thought that was rather cheesy, but I thought it was a nice touch, myself. <shrugging>

 

 

4D.jpg

 

 

Barbarians are in ample supply here – no matter what time of day you arrive. You just have to suck it up, Buttercup, and plunge in – figuratively, not literally – by finding a somewhat “empty” spot in front of the fountain to take your photo.

 

3D.jpg

 

 

An estimated 3,000 Euro are thrown into the fountain each day, which is used to help the city’s poor.

 

By the way…there is a small bit of scaffolding in front of the fountain at this time (you can just see it in my first photo – towards the left). Apparently, part of the fountain has been crumbling; some blame the damage on the freak snowfall that hit Rome this past winter…some say the Italian government has not been protecting their famous landmarks. Whatever the case, the fountain is large enough, that no matter the scaffolding, you should still be able to enjoy it.

 

I know we did.

 

After we head back to meet up with Alberto (and yes, in case you're wondering, I walked by my Italian George Clooney boyfriend one more time - on purpose - just to have him smile at me...because I'm easy like that) - it was time for further conquering of Rome. We still had much to see...and time was running out....

 

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So glad you are back Sherri - really missed you. Look forward to hear more :D

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It doesn't appear that you tossed the coins properly.

 

I believe you put the coin in the right hand and toss over the left shoulder, or is it the reverse. It was 2 years ago that we did it. I did it wrong the first time and had to do it again...:rolleyes::D

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It doesn't appear that you tossed the coins properly.

 

I believe you put the coin in the right hand and toss over the left shoulder, or is it the reverse. It was 2 years ago that we did it. I did it wrong the first time and had to do it again...:rolleyes::D

 

Uh oh. That just means I'll have to go back myself and do it again...to get it right....and perhaps I'll have more pizza and gelato while I'm there. For research purposes only, you understand. ;)

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After leaving the Trevi Fountain and my Italian George Clooney boyfriend behind, we whizzed through the streets of Rome, doing a lot of “drive-by” photo shootings…

 

The Spanish Steps, the Circus Maximus, various fountains and monuments, churches – it was a whirl of information and sights that we all tried to take in as best as possible…hard to do after happy tummies full of The World’s Best Pizza and The World’s Not-So-Best-But-Still-Delicious Gelato…because a siesta was sounding really good at this point, but no. No siesta for you! We have yet to conquer the Grand Daddy in Rome…the Colosseum.

 

Alberto parks the van a short distance away from the famed building, and escorts us up close, where he obligingly takes a family photo of us – as well as a few other random barbarians that photo-bombed us:

 

New14.jpg

 

Alberto walks us up to the Ticket Line, and says he will meet us back at the van in about an hour…and here, folks, is where it gets interesting.

 

Imagine the world’s hippest, most popular club…where there’s a waiting line outside to get in that snakes back a few hundred people or so, all waiting bored and impatiently in the hot sun, just hoping and praying that they get in the world’s hippest, most popular club…and YOU and your entourage get to walk right on PAST those poor souls waiting to get in, walking right in to the entrance with NO WAIT WHATSOVER….because you’re cool like that. While all those poor souls look at you with awe and wonder and yes – just a bit of jealousy – thinking, “Who ARE those VIP’s – and why do THEY get to just walk right in???!!!”

 

Because…that’s what it was like at the Colosseum. It was AWESOME! We felt like Paris Hilton and P.Diddy or Daddy or whatever his name is right now…strolling past hundreds of people, who’d been waiting forever in line, hoping to get into the Colosseum….and how did we manage this little feat of awesomeness?

 

Why, by doing nothing more than pre-purchasing our Colosseum admission tickets online. That’s it. Trust me. It will not only save you hours of waiting in line, but you’ll get that little thrill of strolling past everyone else who wasn’t as smart as you, while you get to look all smug and important. Hey. It’s the little things in life.

 

So, anyway – we stroll right in, and we now find ourselves in the famous Colosseum, one of the world’s greatest treasures.

 

New13.jpg

 

 

One of the movies that we watched in order to prepare the Klingons for what we’d be seeing was “Colosseum: A Gladiator’s Story” – a 50-minute BBC production that is extremely historically accurate and portrays the true story of Verus, a very famous gladiator immortalized in an epic poem. I know there are several gladiator-themed movies available, such as Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” – but I really recommend the BBC movie, which can be found on Amazon. The kids were engrossed - which is a good thing.

 

 

We walked the hallways and stairs of the Colosseum, imagining what great battles took place there…taking various photos along the way. At some point, I realized that I needed to use the…uh…facilities. Did I use the facilities at the nice restaurant? Nope. I decide I needed them when I’m at a Roman ruin that was built in 72 AD – not exactly a time when there was indoor plumbing. Being a bit worried, I began my own personal quest to locate the facilities – and thank heavens, I am pleased to report that there are indeed facilities at the Colosseum….not the best (they’re in portable trailers on the first floor) – but serviceable. And free.

 

 

After meeting back up with the rest of the family, we noticed that there were barbarians down on the wooden floor that covers half of the Colosseum floor…and well, we were jealous.

 

New12.jpg

See them? Barbarians on the floor???

 

We wanted to be on that wooden floor, as well – because that would be WAY COOL…not to mention, the barbarians who were on the floor were looking very smug…and all important. So…with as much earnestness that I had in my quest for the…uh…facilities, our family struck forth in a quest to find the access to the wooden floor.

 

We went this way…we went that way…and we were foiled, every time. Drat. We discovered later that only people who had paid extra for a private tour of the Colosseum could get access to the coveted wooden floor…so we put it down as something to do on our NEXT visit to Rome (after all, we’d thrown our coin in the Trevi – so it’s just a matter of time before we return).

 

The good news was that we pretty much saw everything there was to see in the Colosseum, in our quest to get onto the wooden floor. There pretty much wasn’t a stone unturned, or a hallway unexplored, or a step not taken.The bad news, was that we were incredibly hot and even more incredibly thirsty. As in parched. As in, soon-to-be-seeing-a-mirage off in the Colosseum desert- thirsty.

 

I kid you not, if a vendor had appeared at that moment, with cries of “Lemonade, Get your ice-cold lemonade” – I would have screamed in delight and paid a small fortune for an ice-cold, refreshing glass of lemonade. The Colosseum folks are missing out on a HUGE money-making opportunity…they could be hawking cotton candy, Cracker Jack, and lemonade with just a few strategically-located vendors in the stands....And we’d buy it. Seriously.

 

We exited the Colosseum to begin making our way back to Alberto, and off in the distance, there it was…small, at first…but getting larger as we approached…it was Paradise with a capital P – a little vendor cart out near the street, selling - I kid you not – lemonade. And guess what?

 

IT WAS THE PERFECT 10 OF LEMONADE!!!!!

Actually…I was so thirsty at this point, it could have been a 0.5 in lemonade, and I wouldn’t have cared. But, no. Really. It was soooo, sooo good. They didn’t have any cotton candy or Cracker Jack – but hey…no one’s perfect.

 

After indulging in our nice, cool, frosty cans of lemonade, we explored the area in front of the Colosseum further…

 

 

We found the Arch of Constantine, which was built back in 315 AD, and looking pretty darn good for being that old:

 

New16.jpg

 

 

 

We then found something you don’t see every day – possibly only in Italy…a Lamborghini police car:

 

 

New10.jpg

 

 

Besides being way cool and way fast (204 mph), it’d be a great chick magnet. Alberto later told us that the police force had three of these at one time…but one of them was wrecked back in 2008, and now they’re down to two. Gosh darn the luck.

 

 

 

And then I found something you REALLY don’t see every day…Too-Tall Taylor and Mickey, actually getting along for once:

 

New11.jpg

 

 

Perhaps it was the camaraderie of our Wooden Floor Quest that brought them together…or perhaps there was some magical substance in the lemonade…but life was very, very good at that point…Yes. We were living la dolce vita at that moment, and I was a very happy Mom.

 

 

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Having so much fun with this...way to go! Amazing trip, funny stories, and off course the pictures :p

Can't stop reading thank you!

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Having so much fun with this...way to go! Amazing trip, funny stories, and off course the pictures :p

Can't stop reading thank you!

 

I DID promise pics! Not necessarily GOOD pics, but pics, none the less!

 

Thanks for tagging along - glad you're enjoying it! More to come, of course... we're only Day #3 of 12 nights. Yikes!!! :eek:

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Welcome back. Please forgive my selfish thoughts of wanting your vacation to pass quickly so you would be back writing your review. Your pictures are wonderful.

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Great review! Glad to see your back at it. The nervous nelly in me must ask if you noticed that your credit card is clearly visible in a photo in post 315. If I were you I'd remove that photo asap.

 

Also, I love your great gelato search! Keep looking!

 

Cheers! :D

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HI all!

 

Just loving your report & pictures which are amazing! Nice to see a family getting along & having such a fun time . I have been on 5 Med cruises & thought I was finished but seeing some of the places you went & saw maybe another one will be in my future.;)

 

Really looking forward to seeing your review of Freedom of the Seas, one of my fav ships.

 

Carry on!

 

~ Jo ~ :)

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Great review! Glad to see your back at it. The nervous nelly in me must ask if you noticed that your credit card is clearly visible in a photo in post 315. If I were you I'd remove that photo asap.

 

Also, I love your great gelato search! Keep looking!

 

Cheers! :D

 

Good catch! And...that credit card is no longer valid. Strangely enough, shortly after our return to the States...not one, but TWO credit cards we used in Europe were compromised. With fraudulent charges. Coincidence? I think not...but I have no way of figuring out where it happened, or how it happened, as both credit cards remained in our possession...except when given to waiters, store clerks, etc. It may not have even happened in Europe, as I DID do some online purchases ahead of time.

 

The gelato search continues...but as I won't be going back to Europe for some time (have to save more $$$), I hope some of you continue the research project, and post your findings. If anyone ever finds the Perfect 10, let me know!!!

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We had begun our journey at the early time of 8:00 a.m….our Back Onboard time was 6:30 pm, as the ship was leaving Civa…Civitive…um, Rome at 7:00 pm. Allowing for a 90-minute drive back to the port, Alberto wanted us on the road no later than 4:00…which gave us about another hour at this point.

 

He took us first to the beautiful and inspiring Roman Forum, which is a HUGE conglomeration of ancient Roman ruins of, for the most part, government buildings. While you can certainly walk around within the Forum and explore, Alberto did one better…he took us to a secret high point in the city that overlooked the Forum, allowing us to get a (shaded) birds’-eye view of the ruins.

 

New5.jpg

 

 

BoysandI.jpg

 

 

After spending some time admiring the ruins below us, Alberto whisked us a short distance over to Capitoline Hill, one of the seven hills of Rome. There, we enjoyed the beautiful Piazza del Campidoglio, which was designed back in 1560 by Michelangelo himself.

 

One of the buildings on the Piazza is the beautiful building that is known as the Palazzo Senatorio, the seat of the city municipality:

 

palazzo1.jpg

 

 

While Brad was snapping his own photo of this building, a guard came running over, blowing his whistle, shouting something in Italian, and waving his hands. He was clearly upset about something. Both Brad and I thought that perhaps no photos were allowed (because, let's face it, it's not the FIRST time today that no photos are allowed), and now Brad was going to be in BIG trouble and perhaps go off to Italian jail (kidding). However, we soon realized that the guard wasn't yelling at Brad - but at some other unsuspecting barbarians, who had walked up that grand staircase, known as Michelangelo's Staircase (cuz he designed it), that's in front of the building, probably with the intent to just do some exploring. It wasn't roped off or blocked off - so why NOT go up the staircase? Anyway...here's a tip: DON'T WALK UP THE STAIRCASE. You'll not only get yelled and whistled at by an angry Italian guard, you'll also scare some poor, unsuspecting young college kid (as well as his mother) half-to-death who was only trying to take a photo.

 

 

We also enjoyed some of the famous statuary on the Piazza, including the famous statue of She-wolf with the twins, Romulus and Remus, the inspiration for Rome’s name:

 

Romulus1.jpg

 

And this really cool statue, known as the Tiber River God:

 

Statue-2.jpg

Look, kids - another statue!

 

We were on the back side of the infamous Victor Emmanuel Memorial, which is definitely prettier from the back:

 

New8.jpg

 

 

Wrapping up our tour, Alberto loaded us back in his van and began the 90-minute drive back to the port. What a day. We were overwhelmed, tired, and yet…energized from our brief foray into the great and grand city of Rome.

 

My evaluation of Alberto (and RomeInLimo): Once again, they delivered an A+ product. They were prompt, courteous, informative, and helpful. Although I purchased my Vatican & Colosseum tickets online, it was at RomeInLimo’s suggestion. They also set up Aurora, our private guide at the Vatican, which was extremely beneficial.

 

Too soon, Alberto was dropping us back at the ship, and it was time to begin our evening activities onboard the ship.

 

 

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Note to self: Hubby must get a job, so we can go on our Med cruise!! Now I'm researching cruises that begin or end in Rome since it appears that one day is just not enough!

 

Fabulous review, Sherri!

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The gelato search continues...but as I won't be going back to Europe for some time (have to save more $$$), I hope some of you continue the research project, and post your findings. If anyone ever finds the Perfect 10, let me know!!!

Actually, The perfect 10 was only about two blocks away from the Pantheon. The name escapes me but on a trip to Rome a few years ago, I was craving "Risi" (rice) gellato and was told that the BEST gelato in all of Roma was this place by the Pantheon. As you walk out the front, turn slightly right and follow the street before you about two blocks. The crowds will be your clue. ..And now I'm hungry! :D

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Actually, The perfect 10 was only about two blocks away from the Pantheon. The name escapes me but on a trip to Rome a few years ago, I was craving "Risi" (rice) gellato and was told that the BEST gelato in all of Roma was this place by the Pantheon. As you walk out the front, turn slightly right and follow the street before you about two blocks. The crowds will be your clue. ..And now I'm hungry! :D

 

It wasn't San Crispino, was it? Because that's very close to the Pantheon, as well...now you have me wondering...and hungry, as well! :)

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Good catch! And...that credit card is no longer valid. Strangely enough, shortly after our return to the States...not one, but TWO credit cards we used in Europe were compromised. With fraudulent charges. Coincidence? I think not...but I have no way of figuring out where it happened, or how it happened, as both credit cards remained in our possession...except when given to waiters, store clerks, etc. It may not have even happened in Europe, as I DID do some online purchases ahead of time!

 

Love your review, we are doing the same itininary in Sept. interestingly enough, immediately after we booked our pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel in Barcelona, our credit card was also compromised. The purchase made was in Euros, leading us to believe it was the result of the online booking.

 

Similarly, two of our fellow cruisers on our roll call, also had their credit cards compromised after securing excursions online with their credit card.

 

Seems to be a pattern here!

 

Keep up the great review! I am learning so much!

 

Wanda

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We had begun our journey at the early time of 8:00 a.m….our Back Onboard time was 6:30 pm, as the ship was leaving Civa…Civitive…um, Rome at 7:00 pm. Allowing for a 90-minute drive back to the port, Alberto wanted us on the road no later than 4:00…which gave us about another hour at this point.

 

He took us first to the beautiful and inspiring Roman Forum, which is a HUGE conglomeration of ancient Roman ruins of, for the most part, government buildings. While you can certainly walk around within the Forum and explore, Alberto did one better…he took us to a secret high point in the city that overlooked the Forum, allowing us to get a (shaded) birds’-eye view of the ruins.

 

 

 

BoysandI.jpg

 

 

 

OK, here is the stupidest question you'll probably be asked on this thread - I absolutely LOVE the dress you're wearing in Rome! Where did you find it? Would you consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery if I can find one and buy it? I promise not to wear it if our paths ever cross and you already have yours on - LOL!!

 

And thankyouverymuch - now I'm craving pizza and gelato!

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Love your review, we are doing the same itininary in Sept. interestingly enough, immediately after we booked our pre-cruise and post-cruise hotel in Barcelona, our credit card was also compromised. The purchase made was in Euros, leading us to believe it was the result of the online booking.

 

Similarly, two of our fellow cruisers on our roll call, also had their credit cards compromised after securing excursions online with their credit card.

 

Seems to be a pattern here!

 

Keep up the great review! I am learning so much!

 

Wanda

 

Wow! :eek: That is scary!!! It does make me wonder....

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OK, here is the stupidest question you'll probably be asked on this thread - I absolutely LOVE the dress you're wearing in Rome! Where did you find it? Would you consider imitation to be the sincerest form of flattery if I can find one and buy it? I promise not to wear it if our paths ever cross and you already have yours on - LOL!!

 

And thankyouverymuch - now I'm craving pizza and gelato!

 

Of course I'm flattered! It's not just Italian George Clooney Boyfriends that can stroke my ego - I'm easy like that. ;)

 

I bought it at Dress Barn...and it was amazingly comfortable, made out of knit. I could pack it with no wrinkles, and it was easy to wash in the sink and wear again on the cruise.

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We left our exhausted Roman conquerors as they were getting back on the ship, singing, “Arrivederci, Roma” (not quite as good as Perry Como, but we gave it our best try. And yes. I had it on my iPod just to play for that very reason. The Klingons thought it was cheesy, but I thought it was a nice touch. Sigh.)

 

 

Before I forget...Brad didn't let me down. Here's one of his photos from the City of Fountains, the Eternal City, the City of Ancient Times:

 

Rome24.jpg

Not just ANY pigeon...but a 100% Roman pigeon.

 

 

Our usual routine then commenced onboard…Hubby and I cleaned up, and headed to Concierge. The boys – who knows what they did each evening, as they were far, far from us, which was a blessing. Mickey usually ran off to what I “thought” was the Teen Club, but was actually the Arcade (figured out only when we saw our Seapass account at the end of the cruise. Holy smokes.)

 

This time, however, I had a pleasant surprise waiting for me in the Concierge Lounge. After asking for my usual diet coke, Daniel – the Concierge, piped up and said, “I know you’re allergic to wine…but I have a non-alcoholic wine. I ordered it just for you…do you want to try it?”

 

Well. Again. Who am I to say no? So, I tried it and it was wonderful. It was refreshing. It was basically….grape juice. But hey – at least I LOOKED like a grown-up, with a real wine glass and everything, sipping something that looked like wine, but without the alcohol. Woo hoo! Daniel was a gem, and saved that bottle just for me from then on out.

 

Dinner was spent at our usual table, with our usual waiters, Peter and Pascal, who once again, provided their usual excellent service. I can’t speak highly enough of these two, who went out of their way each evening to pamper us and serve us and stuff us. If we left the cruise hungry (we didn’t), it wouldn’t have been because of the efforts of these two. I just wish the food had been as good as the service, because actually, most of the meals were…average. Every now and then, there would be something exceptional. But for the most part – I felt the food lacking a bit. Perhaps because most of it appeared to be overcooked…the fish…the beef…even the rice. Overcooked. And therefore…dry.

 

 

Rice.jpg

I don't do a lot of food photos...but here's one.

 

 

During the cruise, Hubby and I speculated on whether the dismal food was fleetwide within RCI, or was it specific to the Serenade? (And to answer that question – as well as others that we had – I went on the Freedom of the Seas less than two weeks after this cruise…and I have answers to my questions…but you’ll have to read the Freedom review to find out what the answers are. How’s THAT for a teaser??!!)

 

 

Just an FYI…tonight was the first of two Mystery Dinner Theater shows onboard…but we didn’t attend this one…we attended one later in the cruise, which will be reviewed later.

 

 

After dinner, Hubby and I thought about attending the show in the Tropical Theater…it was featuring Sean O’Shea. Who is that, you wonder? Well…I have no idea. Because our Cruise Compass gave us NO hint whatsoever. Nope. Nada. All it said was, “Headliner Showtime starring Sean O’Shea.” What the heck??! I’m not an expert in advertising, but even I know that you should at least give a hint to your prospective customers of what you’re offering. Is this guy a singer? A magician? A mentalist? A comedian? TELL ME MORE.

 

 

Which leads me to another complaint on this cruise…and it’s a minor one, so don’t get all up in arms that I dare mention something negative about RCI and the ship. Trust me. I am an RCI cheerleader from day one – but…that doesn’t mean I have to love – or even like – every single thing that happens onboard. And my complaint was this…the entertainment….the Cruise Compasses…seemed…weak. There would be misspellings galore in the Cruise Compass, which is something you wouldn’t expect from a company such as RCI. There would be duplications, omissions, and other errors…one night, for instance, there was supposedly THREE different events ALL happening at the exact SAME time in the SAME venue. Something was amiss here. Either the times were wrong…or the venues were wrong…but it was just another example of some of the bizarre and unusual stuff we’d see in the Cruise Compass each day.

 

 

So…not knowing who the heck Sean O’Shea was…we didn’t go. We punted it. The next day was a sea day, and our fabulous Cabin Crawl would be happening…so I think we spent the evening having a wonderful, amazing time of …ahem…cleaning our cabin.

 

 

At 10:30 that night, the ship offered what every good ship offers after a day spent in Rome: a Venetian Masquerade Party.

 

I kid you not.

 

We didn’t go to that, either.

 

 

So…tomorrow. Sea Day. Our Meet ‘n Mingle. Our Cabin Crawl. I had organized the Cabin Crawl, and I was worried that no one would show up. Would I be proved right? Or wrong? What if no one showed up for the M&M?

 

What would our first Sea Day bring????

 

 

Edited by KansCocoa

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What a great review and so much fun to read! We were in the Mediterranean/Europe around the same time as your family (June 14 -July 7), just a different cruiseline. Being a complusive planner, like yourself, I spent 13 months (hundreds of hours) of intense planning and research. It certainly paid off...what a trip! Now I find myself in withdrawal with lots of free time on my hands in the evenings...what a delight tonight to come across your thread! I look forward to reading about your adventures and reliving each port.

BTW....Several days after our return, we also got the dreaded call from Bank Of America that our credit card had suspicious activity....sure enough 7 charges that were not ours. Hmmm.....I'm seeing a pattern here as well!

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