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cl.klink

“Live” trip report with pics, Celebrity Constellation, Venice-Barcelona, 8/25-9/03

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Old city, Dubrovnik, view from the wall, two schools with sports courts

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Old city, Dubrovnik, view from the wall, one of a very few buildings with collapsed roof not rebuilt. I think this was a school?

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Old city, Dubrovnik, view from the wall, at the summit2891BF3D-7BE3-4D71-BD31-A8003DF78D08.thumb.jpeg.4a75c68922f197aa729aaffad2032a90.jpeg

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Old city Dubrovnik, the Stradun and St. Savior’s square, as seen from the wall. 

 

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Wider angle shot, looking down the length of the Stradun from atop the wall. To the left is St. Savior’s church. Next to it is the Franciscan monastery and museum with an attached rounded bell tower. All the way at the end of the Stradun is the bell tower with the clock, and that’s the end of the Stradun.  

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Looking down the length of the Stradun from atop the wall, and all the way at the end of the Stradun is the bell tower with the clock, and that’s the end of the Stradun. 

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Old city Dubrovnik, more sights from the wall

 

Looking south, toward the old port 

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Wall, wall, and wall

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On the other side of the city, on the wall, looking north to the Ft. of St. Lawrence (left)

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Facing the Adriatic, a sentry view port259AE011-86A4-4ECA-9573-EB39C36D2FA5.thumb.jpeg.1bef7641c9820514aa92c2d34d84dc57.jpeg 

 

a modern sentry ...

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While we sat at a cafe on the Stradun, a wedding part entered from near the bell tower at the south end of the Stradun, marched its length to the church of St. Savior. 

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The sound and sights of the parade ...

 

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Outside the old city, atop Mt. Srd, in Dubrovnik 

 

For reference, here I’ve outlined the old city in red. The cruise ship is docked just out of view to the right of this point of view. 

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During the 1991-92 siege, townspeople from below steeled up here by foot or donkey at night to supply the 25 who held this stronghold against the Yugoslavian army.

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My cousin took a picture of me taking a picture.  This is a meta-picture, therefore.  

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From Mt. Srd, looking east, the hills immediately in the foreground are already part of Bosnia

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... and these hills (beyond the green bluff) are in Montenegro5B7FDD6E-1B2D-434B-8F2C-3DA39ECE8A0E.thumb.jpeg.55941db9b2f195246703e16db414f180.jpeg

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Today is day #4 on the ship, first sea day. 

 

Slept in. 

 

Some reflections so far regarding the ship and ship operations.

 

I’ve been pleased. 

 

I’ve had nothing but smiling pleasant and mostly very competent service from staff. 

 

Though Connie is an older ship, it is nicely maintained and appears well run. 

 

Lots of food in the buffet where we’ve had our breakfasts. I do find that it feels a bit zoo-like, and some food is not very good, or otherwise worthy of a pass. But, there have been plenty of good options and it’s been a workable way for two couples to meet in AM and start the day. We eat at the outside aft area, al fresco, and enjoy that. 

 

We’ve eaten in MDR last two nights. We’ve not  been there for several years as we’d been eating in Blu for several cruises now.  For those that lament it’s not what it once was, I suppose that’s true, but not much else is either (me included).  The MDR has been fine,  most of it very good. Food has been interesting, and well prepared. Staff have been very welcoming and though we are doing select dining, the second night we came we were seated is in same area and wait staff remembered us (I really like that). I think Blu is a bit better, but this has been nice too. 

 

BTW, at all restaurants they’ve been very proactive in asking about any food allergies or limitations, and menus list several categories of options (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, low sugar). My cousin is gluten allergic, and staff have offered many additional good options and ways to accommodate. 

 

Our cabin attendant, Karl, has been smiling, prompt, responsive, and effective.  Our cabin is bright and functional and everything works. The climate control has been good, as we prefer it cooler. 

 

The evening shows have been ok to good. These are of less interest to me than to DW but they seem similar to other X ships. Good acrobatic feats of dancers, with songs that are peppy and well sung. A long standing pet peeve of mine is that the sound of the voices is so loud with the microphones, and with mikes covering their mouths, they might as well be lip syncing. I kind of think they are, in fact.  It’s one of the reasons I hate misamplified musical performances — if I can’t tell it’s real and live, if it sounds the same as a recording, then what’s the point of me or the performer being there live?  If it’s no different than a recording then it’s the same as one and counts the same. I want to hear the actual music / voices, and know it. But this is me, I’m in the minority, and the crowds seem to enjoy the shows. As does DW.  So, I’ve decided that I am enjoying it too.  Dear. 

 

We’ve had sunny weather without fail and very smooth waters since Venice (I can barely tell we’re on water unless I look outside). 

 

I am enjoying a beverage package but upgrading to the premium package after the already present perk of the classic is a bit of a gimmick. I still have to pay for anything over $15 for spirits, whereas that limit would have been $9 for the classic, and for $10/day more I’m not sure I needed that extra designation. Maybe. I don’t know. Some of the really fancy after dinner drinks or very high end spirits would be nice to try but it’d be extra either way. Much of what I find myself ordering would have been covered by the classic package. 

 

A few snafus have occurred, though they were handled. One day both of our seapass cards would not work to open our stateroom door. We went down to guest relations, where they said it must be the door, called the electrician, who met us in a few minutes at our door, and it has been fine since. One evening the cocktail person  took my seapass card, I did not get it back (but she said she gave it to me), so went to guest relations for a new card. They have me one in 30 seconds, asking only for my stateroom # and name (I guess my face was my  ID). Done. So, I’ve been pleased at how well they’ve handled things when help was needed. (BTW, sent in our pictures ahead of time online, none needed to be taken on check in at the cruise terminal, worked just fine, as did express pass on my phone app.)

 

- Joel

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15 hours ago, cl.klink said:

Today we had a late arrival in Dubrovnik and a very late scheduled departure. We again toured independently, armed with a Rick Steve’s Med Cruise book. We again docked a few miles from the city and again there were shuttle buses for $15 RT each. This time we just hired a cab for €15 total.

Regarding the taxi, did you discuss the price with the driver? Did you pay in cash and if so which currency? thanks

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21 minutes ago, StevenMar said:

Regarding the taxi, did you discuss the price with the driver? Did you pay in cash and if so which currency? thanks

For the taxi from port to old city, he named the price up front. He asked for Euros. For many things in Dubrovnik, if they wanted cash, they took Kuna, or nothing. Dollars not accepted anywhere we found. For the cab back, with a stop on Mt Sud, we negotiated and agreed on a price ahead of time, and again he asked for Euros. 

 

- Joel

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2 hours ago, DENIE said:

Loving your commentary and photos!

 

Thanks!

- Joel

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Catania, Sicily, Italy!

 

You can, perhaps, make out the outline of Mt. Aetna in the horizon

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We hired a wonderful Sicily native, Giuseppe, to drive his taxi, and guide us today. Half the cost of a Celebrity excursion, for a private guide, customized itinerary, air conditioned Mercedes sedan for 4. Set it up by email last night. Giuseppe picked us up as soon as ship docked and he drive us around for almost the entire time the ship was in port. Will leave a nice review on Trip Advisor. 

 

Catania is a working city where people live but not a lot we wanted to see as tourists. Giuseppe did show us the cathedral and associated plaza, though. 

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Posted (edited)

Mt. Etna is erupting today.  That’s apparently not that rare. I had no idea how active a volcano it still is. Giuseppe said lava can be seen from time to time (not today). At least three times since the 1980s active lava flows have threatened or destroyed roads, buildings, and homes. 

 

That’s gas and steam coming off the mountain, blowing off rightwards. 

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Edited by cl.klink

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Taormina. 

 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, cl.klink said:

 

Taormina. 

 

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Joel,

These are excellent pictures and this is an excellent review.  Enjoying it very much.  Thanks for doing this.  Getting us excited for our June 2020 Greek Islands cruise on the Constellation and brings back great memories of our Italy trip in 2015.  Thanks again.

Edited by MisterMet
grammar

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Thanks for the pictures of Taormina and Mt. Etna....will also be visiting these places in November!

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7 hours ago, MisterMet said:

Joel,

These are excellent pictures and this is an excellent review.  Enjoying it very much.  Thanks for doing this.  Getting us excited for our June 2020 Greek Islands cruise on the Constellation and brings back great memories of our Italy trip in 2015.  Thanks again.

 

Glad to hear, on both counts. 

 

- Joel

 

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