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Old 06-12-2013, 06:01 PM   #46
kikids
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Naples (Napoli)

The plan: Figuring we'd be exhausted after 3 days of port stops, we decided go in with another family and hire a driver for the day who would take us to Positano, Sorrento and Pompeii.

The outcome: Fantastic! If you like to take photos you can not miss Positano. I have included some photos but I took many more.

Our 4th day in a row of getting up at 630 am! We headed to Topsiders to have breakfast with our friends and were walking off the ship, meeting our driver by 8. Tracer00 did a tripadvisor review of Naples Service Naples, which you should read if you are considering a private service. The Naples port is very industrial so not much to look at, but you can see Mt Vesuvius in the background, starboard side.

We began with a long winding journey to Positano. Our driver spoke limited English but he was such a happy, sweet guy, you had to like him. The kids in the back of the van did complain a little about feeling car sick but we made a few stops for photos and one roadside market, which helped. If you stop at the market just outside Positano, they sell large packets of italian grown pasta seasoning (dried basil, garlic and tomatos) for 2 euros with cute Positano labeling; they make great, light weight, non breakable take home gifts! Wish I'd bought more!

Positano is indescribable. So pretty, so charming. Our driver said the main hotel there costs something like 600 euros per night. We walked down the tourist street past the shops selling beautiful linen dresses for 130 euros, ceramics, and Italian leather shoes. As I mentioned the shops were quite nice. You could easily spend a few hours just shopping. But we went a little more quickly to the beach. The girls regret not bringing their bathing suits. There were some for sale near the beach for 20 euros but I didn't see that until we left. I wouldn't have wanted them to go too far out, but it would have been nice to go in waist high. Although my DD reported that she heard there were jellyfish out there so maybe it's best they only went in to shorts level. While the girls hunted for sea glass and ate gelato on the beach, I took pictures and shopped a little more. There was a nearby private section of beach where you could rent chairs and umbrellas - next time!

Then we headed to Sorrento for lunch. Our driver dropped us at the main cross street and pointed to a strip restaurants, they seemed to be connected yet all 3 had employees out front telling passerby's how great their food was and how they should come in. All 3 had menus posted out front so we made an educated choice with Pizzeria Aurora. They have a super long menu with dozens of individual pizza options written in English. They have many homemade pastas on the menu, which I recommend.

Afterwards we walked the main street of Sorrento (see pics) and had several Lemoncello samples! Also bought some bottles to take home (or drink in our cabin). Again, wish we'd had more time as the side streets looked charming but we ran out of time.

Back in the minivan we headed to Pompeii, watching Mt Vesuvius become closer and closer. We arrived there shortly before 3:00 and it was full sun hot and the ticket office had run out of maps!!! What?!? We had nothing with us in terms of maps or written info so we didn't know where to find anything. It was frustrating (and hot!) having to ask people with maps if we could see theirs to get an idea where we were. I strongly recommend bringing a back up guidebook or something.

My older DD enjoyed hunting for the body casts but my 11 yr old found the entire place too morbid, as I knew she would (she's got a sensitive soul), so she and I hung out in the very nice cafe located on the Pompeii grounds for an hour and then sat in the shade watching some art students sketch the ruins. My DH and older DD enjoyed themselves though but I will tell you were all surprised at just how massive the city is/was. You could never walk it all in an couple hours.

We hopped back into the van after about 2 hours and enjoyed one last drive along the coast, back to the ship. All aboard was 530.

If I could change anything: Choosing this driver and then exploring on our own was absolutely perfect. We were able to see all the sites we wanted to see and were very comfortable in the process.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:12 PM   #47
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Picture Time!

Okay, it's time to reveal my favorite photos from all the port stops and, in the end, I'll put in some pics from our time on the ship.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:16 PM   #48
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More Barcelona


Boqueria on La Rambla


Parc Guell - this photo is just funny b/c it's usually my younger DD dancing around and my older one checking her phone. I call this the backwards photo.


View of the city from the HOHO bus ride.


People actually feed the pigeons by hand at Placa Catalunya
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:23 PM   #49
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Villefranche


Our rainy table in Nice looking out at the sea.


The place we ate along cours saleya in Nice.


Can you spot the puppy? It was under a nearby table as we had our crepes.


Oceanagraphic Aquarium seahorse, monaco


Looking at the fishes at the aquarium, monaco


Same aquarium, not sure what this large beast is.


Random photo I snapped in Monaco. It is now my favorite photo of the whole trip.


Sunset leaving Villefranche.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:32 PM   #50
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La Spezia


The Magic awaits us, docked at La Spezia.


Yeah, it's cheesy.


Here my brave 11 yr old chastises a random dog roaming around Pisa for walking into traffic. He obidiently returned.


My DH, the creative photographer took this of us as we entered Lucca.


Here my 13 yr old jumps two sections of rampart walls in Lucca.


A lady in Lucca was putting her washed linens out to dry. I just loved the colors in this photo.


Prosciutto Pizza. Simply the best. This eaten at the Piazza in Lucca. Notice the lemoncello in the background!


People of Lucca have a sense of humor. A nearby sign in front of a wine shop said "Because no good story started with a salad." Love it.
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Old 06-12-2013, 07:45 PM   #51
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Ok, here it is! Pictures from the Magic!

First, 3 for the foodies in all of us:







Another of my favorites - frolicking in the splash zone.


Favorite towel "animal", an angel on Rome day.


Seriously considering ordering multiple entrees?


Just because there is no character breakfast, doesn't mean there aren't napkin hats! Our awesome servers Halash and Marcus setting me up as the Statue of Liberty.


Our servers did magic tricks or puzzles with us every night! Here Halash shows off his fork balancing on a toothpick.


Pirate night deck party!


Our drawer full of FE goodies! There were all wonderful!


And finally, a story: The Edge kids were told by a counselor that once a kid ordered 30 cookies from room service. Not to be outdone, these crazy Edge kids ordered 31 cookies from OUR stateroom. I was sure I'd get a call from management asking me to reign in my obnoxious kids but instead, they not only delivered the cookies with a platter and a smile, they also delivered enough milk for 31 kids too. We took it all down to the Edge for a surprise.
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Old 06-12-2013, 08:19 PM   #52
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Awesome update!!! Loved all the pictures. I can't wait to check out all the lovely places of Italy! Thanks for the update.
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Old 06-12-2013, 09:17 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cforsythe View Post
Awesome update!!! Loved all the pictures. I can't wait to check out all the lovely places of Italy! Thanks for the update.
Thank you so much. Have a Magical time in August!
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:55 AM   #54
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Loved the pictures! I am chanting in my head the song from Grease: 'Tell me more, tell me more...l'
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #55
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LOVED your Lucca pics. We really really wanted to visit Lucca on our trip, but we did an alternate excursion instead. Can't wait for your Positano pics!

ETA: By the way, which company did you find your driver through? We didn't like our driver at all, and I had emailed so many companies ahead of time to find one. Curious to know how you find your guy. We would have liked to have done our day the way you did yours, Positano, Sorrento then Pompeii. We did it in the reverse order and had to miss out on Sorrento.

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Old 06-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #56
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Thanks for posting. You have given me lots to think about for our Med cruise at the end of August.
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Old 08-19-2013, 07:26 PM   #57
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Hi there!

I added your TR to the Med Planning thread. I'm sorry I didn't do so earlier. For some reason, I only see 2 pages of threads on the Trip Report forum and when they "fall off" the page (going past 3 pages of threads), I can't seem to find the older ones.

Thanks!
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:34 PM   #58
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Just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your TR. I read it before we did our trip this summer, but now in hindsight I actually find it even more valuable. We did all Disney excursions on our trip, and we really enjoyed them, but since I would like to do another Med cruise in the future someday, your posts about how you did this on your own vice Disney excursions will be fodder for discussion with my DH . Again, many thanks.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:01 AM   #59
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Video Link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNx1gp5Ar1k

Hi All. It took 4 months but my DH finished our 5 min video set to a super cool song. So if you want a little Disney fun with Mediterranean flair, check it out. For those who have cruised, it will bring back fond memories, for those scheduled for the Med, this is the awesomeness you have to look forward to!!!

Enjoy!

And thanks for the many nice comments on the trip report, everyone.
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Old 10-04-2013, 05:01 PM   #60
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Thanks for your trip report, its helping me so much for my trip next year.
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