Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
KansCocoa

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

Recommended Posts

While planning the day in Livorno, Jany & Duman from RomeInLimo had been extremely helpful...they had not only suggested pre-purchasing our Pisa tickets, which had saved us a lot of time, but had also suggested pre-booking our reservations to get into the famed Accademia.

 

The Accademia is an art gallery museum, that is famous because it houses The David...the famed sculpture by Michelangelo. Please note that The Accademia also has some other beautiful, outstanding pieces of art - but pretty much everyone goes there to see The David. If we'd had days in Florence - and not just hours - trust me; we'd spend a day or two at The Accademia, because that's what you really need in order to soak it all in.

 

Knowing we didn't have days - but only hours - we had to make do. I had pre-purchased our tickets online, and we had an entrance time of 12:00 pm. This meant we could enter at ANY time after 12:00 pm - but NOT beforehand. Elisabetta parked the van on a side street, and we walked a short distance around the block to the entrance of The Accademia, where we were greeted with what initially appeared to be...a mob scene. Yikes. My face must have given away some of my anxiety at this point, because Elisabetta was quick to reassure me.

 

"Oh, this is just the lines," Elisabetta said. "Don't worry."

 

The mob scene seemed to morph, eventually, into two lines...those WITH reservations - like us - and those WITHOUT reservations. And let me just say here - you do not EVER want to be in the line for those WITHOUT reservations...because THAT line seemed to snake on forever and ever, and it was hot, and they were in the sun, and they all looked...miserable.

 

Those of us WITH reservations had a line, as well...but our line seemed to move very quickly - and with just enough time for Elisabetta to tell us she'd meet us at the van whenever we were done - we were showing our tickets, and we were inside. And going through security - TIGHT security - as we walked through a metal detector before entering the actual museum.

 

And here...at the famed Accademia...is where I almost got arrested and landed in Italian jail.

 

 

We are on a limited time schedule, so we rush inside the museum and immediately turn left, knowing that's where The David is located, with the intention of then backtracking - if time permits - to see some of the other museum's treasures.

 

Because there are hordes of barbarians in here, I whisper to the Klingons that if we should get separated - and there's a good chance we will - that we will meet OVER THERE...and I point in the general direction of a corner in the room of the museum. Not sure if the kids understood what I had just said, I reiterated..."We will meet OVER THERE! Do you understand??!!"

 

After getting nods of heads, we all stepped closer into the room....

 

And there before us, is The David (and yes, capitalization is important here - because it is THAT awe-inspiring.) We soak it in, along with the hundreds of other barbarians...and the crowd is hushed, as if speaking alone could somehow diminish the beauty of what is in front of us. It will truly bring tears to your eyes, the first moment you see it.

 

 

333461_3929011336624_1798511759_o.jpg

Not my photo...and as much as they tell you to not take photos, security wasn't stopping anyone from doing so...just an FYI.

 

 

I was in awe. AWE. You almost get choked up, upon first seeing it, at how magnificent it is.

 

After a good 10 minutes of absorbing The David, I casually look down at my purse, slung over my shoulder, and that's when I see it: a rather curious-looking, innocuous-seeming, black thingy. A button, if you will:

 

alarm.jpg

A black button...on a black purse...it blended. Trust me.

 

 

Well. This is curious. I have no idea what that thing is. It appears to be a garage-door opener....? But why would I have a garage-door opener attached to my purse? And it's certainly not MY garage-door opener. So, if not mine, who's??? (These are the thoughts that are going through my head at this time. Scary, I know.)

 

Uh-oh. What if it's NOT a garage door opener? What if...gulp...a terrorist attached a curious-looking, innocuous-seeming black thingy to my purse, hoping I would push the button - and I inadvertently blow up The David??!!!!

 

(I told you my thoughts were scary. I've seen too many movies, apparently.)

 

I quickly find Mickey, and whisper to her, "What IS this thing?"

 

Now...human nature being what it is, people can't resist pushing a button when they see it. (And if you remember my post about our first day in the Royal Suite - our family tends to be prolific button pushers.) Mickey immediately starts reaching for The Button - as if to push it - and I recoil instantly, hissing, "DON'T push it!!! We don't know what it is - it could be dangerous!!!!!"

 

We puzzle over The Button, but not coming up with any definitive answers, decide to take it to the higher authority on all-things button-related: Hubby Mike.

 

We track down Hubby on the other side of The David, and show him The Button.

 

"What IS this?", both Mickey and I implore...desperately seeking answers at this time.

 

And before I can react, Hubby immediately reaches over and pushes The Button. Of course he does.

 

Immediately, a piercing 180-decible (okay, I exaggerate a bit on the decibles, but it SEEMED that loud at the time) alarm starts SHRIEKING in the hushed museum...and all heads swing towards me. And whatever the heck is making that God-awful sound.

 

And within a second, I realize what this thing is. It's a personal panic alarm - something I had bought years ago and had forgotten that I even owned (I travel sometimes in some scary places - it seemed a good idea at the time to have something...just in case. However...I realize the Accademia is not the case.)

 

What do I do at this time? I do what any smart-thinking, level-headed person would do.

 

I freak out.

 

Frantically, I'm pushing anything I can find on "The Button," desperately imploring my Hubby, "Make it STOP!!!!!" - in between cries of, "OH MY GAWD - WHY DID YOU PUSH IT?????!!!!!!!"

 

Hubby and I are both tugging my purse back and forth, each desperately trying to find the mechanism to make this thing shut up. And the darn thing WILL NOT STOP. Shriek, shriek, shriek...it goes on and on and on, like a bad nightmare that won't end.

 

By now, everyone within a mile of The David can hear this thing, and I am waiting for Accademia security to show up at any second, throw me to the floor, slap handcuffs on me, and whisk me off to Italian jail, where I will languish for months, if not years.

 

After what seemed like hours, but was more like a matter of seconds, I take my purse and I run. I'm not sure where I'm running to at this point, but I wanted to run far, far away...and so I run towards the exit of The Accademia. Meanwhile, every person in the museum is staring at me - some in curiosity...some in horror...some in confusion...and I can see the questions on their faces:

 

"Is she stealing something?"

 

"Did she get too close to The David and set off an alarm??"

 

"Is SHE a terrorist and is going to blow this place up???"

 

I rush through the museum and end up in the gift shop, where finally - miraculously - the panic alarm ceases panicking...although I certainly have not. My heart racing, my hands shaking, my palms sweating...I pace back and forth, near tears...waiting for security to follow me and begin the certain-interrogation that is to come, on what exactly just happened.

 

And guess what?

 

Security never came.

 

Nope. Not one official with the museum approached me. In fact, the only people who DID approach me was a Mother/Daughter who followed me out of the museum to the gift shop, walked over, and said, "What the heck WAS that??!!"

 

And as I related to them what had just happened, that was the first time I got to tell The David Story, as it has now been officially dubbed by my family and will live on in infamy.

 

I am thankful that no one was hurt. And that I didn't make CNN News that night. And that I'm not languishing in Italian jail.

 

Lessons learned:

 

Don't carry panic buttons into museums.

 

Don't push buttons that you don't know.

 

And panic alarms certainly work - because I certainly panicked.

 

However. I now have a problem. I am OUTSIDE the museum. While the rest of my family is INSIDE. We are separated. And I have NO WAY of getting back inside to go to "The Corner" where we were to all meet - in case this very thing happened.

 

Oops.

 

I pace. And I pace. Eventually, Hubby Mike and Mickey make their way out of the museum, with looks of, "Where have you BEEN??!!"

 

I ask if they've seen the boys, and they shake their heads. Nope - no boys. And the boys weren't in "The Corner".

 

Great.

 

We're going to be separated forever and my boys will be stuck in Florence with no visible means of support...all because I went tearing out of The Accademia due to a shrieking panic alarm.

 

After about another 15 minutes of pacing, this time with Hubby Mike and Mickey joining me - the boys eventually came out, looking none too happy about being abandoned at The Accademia.

 

The first thing they said to me was, " Where WERE you??!!"

 

And the second thing they said to me was, "Did you hear that alarm going off??!! That was FREAKY! I wonder what happened!!!"

 

Hanging my head in shame...I had to break the news to them that it was their own mother who had been the cause of the alarm....

 

Sigh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sherri!!!

 

You cant get on Freedom for the week and leave us hanging not knowing how you nearly ended up in jail??!

 

(Do have a great week though!)

 

Aoife.

 

Phew ok, we posted at the same time..... too funny!!!

Edited by SlimChance

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been glued to my couch all day reading this thread! I am going on the exact same cruise in October for my honeymoon! We are spending 3 nights in Barcelona first and I really want to do the tapas tour!

 

I saw your pictures of the port in Livorno, is there anything to do or see around there or do you need to go into Florence or Pisa?

 

I hate to think I have to wait until you are back from your cruise to hear about the rest of your trip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have been glued to my couch all day reading this thread! I am going on the exact same cruise in October for my honeymoon! We are spending 3 nights in Barcelona first and I really want to do the tapas tour!

 

I saw your pictures of the port in Livorno, is there anything to do or see around there or do you need to go into Florence or Pisa?

 

I hate to think I have to wait until you are back from your cruise to hear about the rest of your trip!

 

Oh, congratulations! I hope you have a fabulous time on your honeymoon! :)

 

Contact Jo asap so you can get in the tapas tour - it books up fast and early!

 

Livorno is an industrial port, so unfortunately, no, there's really nothing to do there...your best bet is to go to Pisa (which is only an hour or two needed to visit), Florence (an all-day visit), or any of the other surrounding little villages in the Tuscan countryside. You could do a wine-tasting tour in Sienna or Lucca, if Florence wasn't your cup of tea...or you could visit the beautiful Cinque Terre, which is what we did in 2009 - and we LOVED it. I would have gone back, if I didn't think it was necessary for my Klingons to experience Florence!

 

Good luck with your planning...and I promise to post more (maybe some tonight) but for sure when I get back from the Freedom. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a wonderful review :). It reminds me so much of the family vacations I went on as a kid. Especially the ever-important purchase of a particular souvenir.

Edited by rutgersgirl27

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is better than a Janet Evanovich novel. :p Really enjoying this thread. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure. And have fun on your new adventurous cruise.

 

Gwen :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is better than a Janet Evanovich novel. :p Really enjoying this thread. Thanks so much for sharing your adventure. And have fun on your new adventurous cruise.

 

Gwen :)

 

Wow - now that made me sit up and take notice! I would so be Stephanie Plum; I just gotta' figure out who would be Ranger....(can you tell I'm a Janet fan??!!)

 

Thanks! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re Cinque Terre: I checked with Romeinlimo for a Cinque Terre tour on our cruise coming up in September. They said it was not possible due to "damage" - What happened? - a storm, earthquake? - not sure - but definitely not recommended this year.

 

Here is what the e-mail said: Regarding cinque terre Unfortunately 2 of the towns are still under constructions, they were both severely damaged and there is no much of them left. As a company we have decide to wait until all the 5 towns are visible to people, otherwise visiting only 3 of them is not really something that for us makes sense, since they are 5 Terre and we don't want to disappoint our clients.

Edited by rascalious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my gosh! I laughed right out loud at your alarm story. I cannot believe that security did nothing. When we were there there were 2 guards right next to David and they would reprimand people for taking pictures.

We used Rome in Limo too for Florence and Rome. We also climbed Pisa - that was my dream since I was a child and it was worth it. Really enjoying your TR - hope you and your daughter have a fantastic cruise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great fun following you and your family. You should put this into a book.

Hope you and Mickey enjoy your cruise.

Louise in FLA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have a great time with Mickey! Keep her out of the arcades! If she spends time there on this trip she will be paying you back for the rest of her teen years.:eek:

 

Happy cruising:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the best review, you really should write a book. I cannot wait for the continuation of this one and one on the Freedom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Re Cinque Terre: I checked with Romeinlimo for a Cinque Terre tour on our cruise coming up in September. They said it was not possible due to "damage" - What happened? - a storm, earthquake? - not sure - but definitely not recommended this year.

 

Here is what the e-mail said: Regarding cinque terre Unfortunately 2 of the towns are still under constructions, they were both severely damaged and there is no much of them left. As a company we have decide to wait until all the 5 towns are visible to people, otherwise visiting only 3 of them is not really something that for us makes sense, since they are 5 Terre and we don't want to disappoint our clients.

 

About 8 months ago (or so), there were some violent rainstorms...causing some major mudslides to come crashing down the mountains and buried some of the village. Vernazza and Monterosso were both severely damaged. It's too bad they won't take tourists there, because that's what both of these villages need - are tourists - stimulate their economy, jobs, etc and help their villages rebuild.

 

You could do it on your own - with trains & ferry boats - but I would feel more comfortable doing it with a guide. Well...maybe the next time we visit Italy. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have a great time with Mickey! Keep her out of the arcades! If she spends time there on this trip she will be paying you back for the rest of her teen years.:eek:

 

Happy cruising:D

 

Thanks, Cathy! If she even steps FOOT into the arcade, she'll be swabbing decks! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever someone posts a very detailed review such as yours, I wait until the end to comment. However, I can no longer sit on my hands..this review is hands down the best review ever! I am riveted! I hope you and your daughter have a fabulous cruise tomorrow. I can't wait to read the remainder of this review and so hope you'll have an encore or should I call it a sequel with a Freedom review.

Thanks again,

Cat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Whenever someone posts a very detailed review such as yours, I wait until the end to comment. However, I can no longer sit on my hands..this review is hands down the best review ever! I am riveted! I hope you and your daughter have a fabulous cruise tomorrow. I can't wait to read the remainder of this review and so hope you'll have an encore or should I call it a sequel with a Freedom review.

Thanks again,

Cat

I, too, am pleased, but not surprised at all. Sherri has kept me captivated since her 2009 blog. For all the late-comers, sit back and enjoy - it will just get better! For any future Med. cruisers (as we are) pay close attention, as she will not steer you wrong!

Edited by rascalious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand how you almost got arrested if security, never mind the police, never came.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't understand how you almost got arrested if security, never mind the police, never came.

I can understand, having been there, too. It is the same thing in the Sisteen Chapel - Vatican Guards yelling - "NO PICTURES!!! - QUIET!!! Very intimidating - they take decorum VERY SERIOUSLY! However, the "barbarians" do what they please - go figure:confused:

 

PS: You do know David is a religious figure - right? And... historically these icons have been disfigured by random acts of violence.The very reason the "Pieta" in St. Peter's Basilica is now only viewed through bullet-proof glass.

 

From Wikipedia: In 1991, a deranged man attacked the statue [David] with a hammer he had concealed beneath his jacket,[12] in the process damaging the toes of the left foot before being restrained.

 

But, yes, Sherri is making a joke.

Edited by rascalious

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't understand how you almost got arrested if security, never mind the police, never came.

 

It's tongue-in-cheek...for the sake of humor.

 

It's like if I say "If my wife buys another piece of gioielli, I'll kill her..!"

 

It doesn't mean I'll actually kill her...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sherri, Can't tell you how much I have enjoyed your report. Waiting eagerly for more, but for now, enjoy your Freedom cruise. I finally found you on facebook and asked you to friend me. I fell in love with the little gray tabby! Thanks again! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just discovered you this morning, and have spent the day catching up on your posts here. I'm sorry that we will have to wait until after your next cruise to hear the rest of your adventures, but I feel confident that you and your daughter will bring back some new stories. And maybe a pigeon or two for the boys? ;)

 

Bon voyage!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone!

 

I think we're all packed and ready to go for our adventure tomorrow...

 

And yes...the Italian jail was tongue-in-cheek...I'm at the most famous statue in the world, and I not only set off an alarm, but I run out of the museum clutching a purse - with terror and guilt written all over my face.

 

I'm amazed that I was never questioned...or stopped...unbelievable! I felt FOR SURE that it was just a matter of time before I had to answer to the authorities on what just happened. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great review. Can your post a link to your blog, or is that against the rules? Have a fabulous trip on the Freedom. Can't wait to read the rest!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What a great review. Can your post a link to your blog, or is that against the rules? Have a fabulous trip on the Freedom. Can't wait to read the rest!

 

My blog is in the link below my signature...but I have to warn you...it's been rather neglected the last few weeks, what with the cruise and then this trip report. If you want to read of past adventures in some places such as Guatemala, Belize, Jamaica...or my Red Cross adventures across the country... then it would be great to visit! But...I haven't updated it very much since this European cruise...just a warning! :)

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
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • 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...