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Old 07-24-2011, 07:03 AM   #46
bonnielynn
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We used Romelimostours for both Rome and Naples. We were very happy with them!!

Interestingly, Lea told us that she just does "contract" tours for them. She is not normally one of their guides. I was right when I thought we had booked a driver/guide (one person). But she said that the company was so busy the day we were in town that they hired her, along with a separate driver. For the first 10 minutes I was disappointed as we had requested a specific driver and been told we would have him. However, we quickly realized that we got a WAY better set up with the driver and a guide. Lea got out with us at every stop and gave us personal tours everywhere. If we would have had the driver/guide that we actually booked he would have just dropped us off at places like the Colosseum, Forum, etc... In fact, in Naples, that is exactly the way it worked. It was still very nice but what we got with Lea with just over the top fabulous and so much more than we would have gotten with a driver who couldn't leave the vehicle!!!
Wow did you guys luck out to go to Rome during a very busy time then.. I do wonder if they have tours that would give you a driver/guide? I have to check that out.. sounds like it would be a much better way to go and worth the $$. To bad Lea doesn't do it for a living.. sounds like she made the day in Rome..

Since reading your trip my interest to go to Italy has grown! My husband thanks you.. I have truly enjoyed your trip so far.. thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:11 AM   #47
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Love your day in Rome, very nice pictures! It's my daily routine to read your report.......but I think you'll reconize this behaviour .
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Old 07-24-2011, 10:35 AM   #48
HermanTriplets+1
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What a great day in Rome!! You guys covered some serious ground! SO lucky you did it with the private tourguide, and then that extra that got you both the wonderful driver and the super guide! I loved all your pictures. We did one day in Rome a few years ago, but it was so different. We had 4 kids with us and we were after a night flight from NY and before a night flight to Israel! Let's just say... we saw a bit less than you . I'm thinking
this may need to be an "adult only" trip of the future. DCL 2014 anyone
THANKS! Which is our next port?
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:38 PM   #49
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Thanks everyone!! I'm glad you are enjoying the report....! I'm having a great time reliving the fun!!!

But I have to put a little delay on the rest of the postings. I am out of town for a few days with my parents and then I will be heading to WDW for 5 days. I should be able to get Naples and Pompeii up before I go. In fact, I will try to do that tomorrow. But then there may be a break before I can finish up!!! Sorry! Let's just look at it as an anticipation builder!


Coming back to edit this....SO SORRY I haven't had time to update! I have been so busy! But as soon as I am home from WDW I promise I will get the entire rest of the trip up! Thanks for all the kinds words! I love sharing this with you guys!!!

Last edited by lornak; 07-26-2011 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 07-25-2011, 11:33 PM   #50
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Hi Lorna
I'm usually a lurker, but I just had to come out of lurkdom to tell you how much I'm enjoying your trip report.

I'm going on a Med cruise in September and your report is giving me lots of insight and adding to my excitement. We've got a Rome tour booked with romeinlimo also.

Waiting patiently for the rest of your report. Have fun at Disneyworld!

Nora
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:51 AM   #51
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Loving your report! I'm very impressed with all your research and planning, and wow it sure paid off in Rome. What a fantastic day!
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Old 08-07-2011, 02:44 PM   #52
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June 23, 2001---Naples

I'm back! Sorry for the long delay! I promise to finish this up now!!

June 23, 2011 Sorrento and Positano
Oh my!! Who knew I was going to fall in love with the Italian Riviera!! But I did! We were off the ship around 8:30 AM and quickly found our driver. There was a long line of drivers right as we disembarked. He had a sign with our names on it and we walked right up to him. He spoke English (!) and his name was Salvatore (Sal). He was about 60 years old---small guy from Sorrento. He actually spent 30 years in NYC but then came back to Italy. We immediately left the port and started driving to Sorrento. We passed Mt. Vesuvius and Sal told us a little about the local surroundings.



Apparently Mt. Vesuvius is supposed to erupt again sometime in the next 10 years…but the people who live near by just don’t care! They won’t move and houses continue to sell in the area!! We soon started driving UP and the view was lovely. Sal pulled over a few times so we could get pictures.





We arrived in Sorrento around 10:30 AM. Finally---this is just what I had envisioned Italy to be! The town was adorable and everyone was very friendly. Sal said that is truly the way the town is. I was also surprised that everyone spoke English. Sal told us that kids in Sorrento now take English in school from the time they are 5 years old…. The shops were wonderful and we wandered the streets. We got Nutella gelato in honor of Sivert (delicious!) and also sampled some limoncello. Lemon is obviously the favored fruit of the area and it is represented in art, tile work, banners, cake, liquors and more. There were beautiful lemon treats all over the town and many of the stores offered samples.














We picked up a few gifts and then it was time to meet back up with Sal (we had a one hour stop). Becky and Brant were interested in the local inlaid wood products so we stopped at the “factory store” where they explained the process. Everything was just gorgeous but so pricey! They would have packed and shipped anything we wanted but it just wasn’t in the budget. We found a great Lazy Susan tray and that would have been $500 shipped!!

We got back in the van and started our drive of the Amalfi Coast---incredible. We were very high up with amazing views of the sea. As Positano came into view it was even more stunning. We made another road side stop for pictures. The homes and foliage we could see from here were just breathtaking. We sampled some more limoncello here and took pictures of a roadside produce stand with huge lemons!!








We continued to the entrance to Positano and Sal parked the van. He gave us an hour and 15 minutes to explore. We all wanted pizza (this area is credited with the invention of pizza!) so we went to a restaurant that Sal suggested. The waiter spoke English so we told him we were in a hurry! It was probably the fastest Italian lunch every (45 minutes) but it still took up most of our time. While we were waiting for the food to arrive Becky and I ran up to some of the local clothing shops. Each little shop is run by a local and features their own designs. The clothes are even made right there in Positano. Everything was adorable---I could have found many many things to buy!! But again, I just didn’t have the budget for E60 shirts, etc…





We shopped for about 15 minutes and returned to the restaurant just as our food arrived. We all ordered pizza—I had Margaherita—and it was excellent! Becky and I also had the local rose wine which we loved!! We asked the waiter about it and he said he could get us a bottle. When he returned with it we asked him how much and he just stuck it in Becky’s bag! We did end up “tipping” him 10E for it so our “free” bottle was probably the most expensive one we bought! Oh well, we loved it!! Our lunch bill was E63 (4 pizzas and 4 glasses of wine).




Afterwards we only had 20 minutes more to explore. We started walking into the main square and were immediately enchanted. All of us said it was the most beautiful place we had ever seen. We grabbed a quick gelato (I tried the local pistachio and it was fabulous!) and kept walking.



We looked down ONE street and it was absolutely gorgeous, inviting, clean and festive. It was lined with shops and had a beautiful floral canopy.














We literally had to drag ourselves away. Ugg. We wanted to stay!! But it was 1:45 and we were supposed to be in Pompeii by 2:30. In retrospect we would have done things a little differently---I would have skipped all but one of the roadside stops and skipped the wood factory. Both of them were fun and interesting but Positano was BETTER and I would have given up time at these places for more time in Positano. I also would have gotten some “to go” food in Positano rather then spending 45 minutes in the restaurant. It is a little hard to “regret” the restaurant stop as it was just delightful, but we ended up NOT seeing more of Positano than we saw!! We all decided it just means we have to come back!!!
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:03 PM   #53
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Naples, continued....

Back to the van we go and off on the CRAZY curvy roads of the Amalfi Coast. Stunning views if you are brave enough to look! We arrived in Pompeii just after 2:30 and met our tour guide, Teresa. She spoke wonderful English and took us immediately to get ticket (E11 each). She then took us on a 2 hour tour.



It wasn’t very crowded and Teresa said it had been PACKED in the morning. It was, however, very, very hot. We wished we would have had hats or something to cover our heads a little bit. Teresa knew of some shady spots and we hit all of those---but they are few and far between! We did forget about the heat most of the time as Pompeii and what we were learning from Teresa was so fascinating!! The site itself is much larger than I had imagined. It really is an entire town…


the entrance (original path and gate)



And the details they know about life here is really amazing. We saw homes, businesses, bakeries, restaurants, courtyards and brothels!












One of the more interesting locations was the laundry.



Teresa told us they used to use camel urine to wash the laundry (high amount of ammonia I guess!!!). The government caught on to how much this urine was worth so they started taxing it. The laundry shop could no longer afford the camel urine so they started using human urine. They would put jars outside of the shop to collect donations!!!! Crazy! We also saw what Teresa called the first “fast food restaurant”. The restaurant had an L shaped bar at the front. The bar held 7 or 8 large bowls. Each bowl was filled with food or beverages and people would come during the work day to get lunch “to go!”.



We saw the spa area---complete with lockers! I was fascinated by how much leisure time the people seemed to have!



We also learned all about the brothels which were actually illegal! Teresa showed us the rooms along with the “menu” of choices above each room. This was definitely the R rated part of the tour! But fascinating none the less!! We did see several of the bodies, along with a dog, that had been buried.





Teresa said that there really was no archeology prior to Pompeii. There were no procedures for uncovering a site like this prior to discovering Pompeii. So a lot of mistakes were made in unearthing the site. But it is still amazing to me to see what is there. Also amazing to think of the entire thing covered in ash!! It did make we want to see Herculaneum which was covered in actual lava and was three times as high as the ash in Pompeii!!! But that will have to be saved for another trip!





We also saw remnants of wall frescos and painting. The use of the color red was a sign of wealth. But Teresa said they made their red paint from mercury so ironically it was poisoning them!



We took lots of pictures and tried to soak it all in. Before we knew it the tour was over and Teresa was walking us back to our van.



We tipped her E10 and got back on the van with Sal. It was now 4:45 PM—we were back at the ship by 5:45 PM. We tipped Sal E45 and got onboard. We wanted to go to a 10:30 show tonight so Kerm and I decided to take a nap. We set the alarm for 7:00 PM and we both fell right to sleep!! After our nap we showered and dressed and then headed up to deck 10. Captain Marco had told Kermit that he would be sailing around the Bay of Naples and not to miss it. It was very windy on deck but so worth it! We had lovely views of the bay as well as of Capri! I couldn’t help pinching myself as it really is a dream vacation!





Dinner was in Lumieres. Before we headed down there we filled up our wine glasses with the rose we purchased at lunch. We had a good laugh wondering if Adrian was going to scold us for having too much in the glass! He didn’t! We were always a little worried about not ordering wine in the dining room—didn’t want to offend anyone! But even Adrian said he would never buy wine on the ship when it is so cheap and good on shore. We took that as our green light to keep bringing wine to dinner! The Rose was just as good as it was at lunch---should have gotten two bottles!!! Great menu tonight---I had a shrimp appetizer, tomato/mozzarella salad and steak. Had the trio for dessert. We had a funny Adrian moment tonight....we were looking out the window and he said "oh are you looking at the dolphins??" We were all excited and said "are there dolphins by the ship??" To which Adrian just answered "no". We weren't even sure what to say! But we got a good laugh out of it! It has now become a running joke...!!

Afterwards Kerm and I went to “Once Upon A Song”. They had a 10:30 show tonight for the late dinner guests. This was a nice touch as we would have missed it otherwise. The show is 5 of the main stage singers doing a cabaret type show of Disney music. The dialogue and blocking was really cheesy but the singing was good and I enjoyed the music! Plus, it is fun to see a new show!

We were done by 11:15 and we headed back to the stateroom. Even with our naps we are exhausted! It has been two long days in port! Two WONDERFUL and long days in port! We are very excited to sleep in tomorrow!!!!
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:35 PM   #54
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Fabulous pictures!
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Old 08-07-2011, 07:50 PM   #55
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Sorrento was fantastic. Love the Amalfi Coast!

Jill in CO
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:13 AM   #56
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Beautiful pictures!! You must still be "flying" from the trip!
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:31 PM   #57
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Monserrat

Thanks for great trip report! We're going on the Disney 7 day Med cruise in a couple of weeks. We'll be arriving in Barcelona on Thurs night and the cruise leaves Sat morning. And we'll also have a day in Barcelona after the cruise. I'd really like to see Monserrat but I've read that it isn't worth the trip if you only have a couple of days in Barcelona. What is your opinion?

Thanks!
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:09 PM   #58
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Thanks for great trip report! We're going on the Disney 7 day Med cruise in a couple of weeks. We'll be arriving in Barcelona on Thurs night and the cruise leaves Sat morning. And we'll also have a day in Barcelona after the cruise. I'd really like to see Monserrat but I've read that it isn't worth the trip if you only have a couple of days in Barcelona. What is your opinion?

Thanks!
Barcelona was really the big surprise of the trip for us! We just loved it! It is hard to say what would be worth it to you but for us we are very, very happy we made it to Montserrat. It does take up a good part of the day as the train is over an hour each way. But we were still able to enjoy Montserrat and then have several hours in the Bari Gotic/Las Ramblas as well as enjoying the Magic Fountains all in one day.

We did have one more day than you did before the cruise---on that day we saw the main sights of Barcelona via the bike tour. We aren't huge museum people so things like the Picasso museum were ok for us to miss. But my sister and her husband did that museum and just loved it! I think the entire Med cruise experience comes down to making choices!!! There are way too many wonderful things available to see them all. I guess the best advice I can give you is see the things YOU really want to see first. Then go back and see other sights if you have time. If you really want to see Montserrat then go for it! The sights were breathtaking, the cathedral stunning and the whole experience very lovely for us!!!

HAVE FUN!!!!
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Old 08-08-2011, 08:51 PM   #59
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I am loving your pictures!
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Old 08-08-2011, 09:33 PM   #60
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Just found your TR and I am loving every minute of it! You have such beautiful pictures that really make you feel the experience. I hope one day I can make that trip. Plus, I have to say how beautifully dressed you are in each picture!

Thanks so much for sharing and I can't wait to read more!
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