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Old 07-09-2014, 05:16 PM   #31
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: West burbs of Chicago
Posts: 435

Originally Posted by Stinkerbell1973 View Post
WOW, your pictures are AMAZING.

We had a private tour in Rome, which was unbelievable, and we did the Amalfi Coast/Pompeii tour in Naples. Absolutely fantastic tours all the way!

Really enjoying reliving this incredible trip through your TR. Thanks!
Amalfi Coast/Pompeii is coming up after my next installment-Rome!

Thank you everyone again for the kind words and glad everyone is enjoying the pictures as much as I enjoy taking and posting.

7 day Eastern, Feb. 2003
7 Day Eastern, Feb. 2004
7 Day Mediterranean, June 2014
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:21 PM   #32
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Your pictures are gorgeous! We are sailing on the Magic in the Med on 7/26. All the info is so helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write this report.

My husband loves that beer mug too!

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Old 07-17-2014, 05:53 AM   #33
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Thanks for the details and lovely pics, looks amazing , we are sailing on 23 August on the Magic for 7 nights, is there a forum for these dates , if so can u direct me I've searched all over this site , hoping to join the FE with my fellow cruisers. Thank u so much in advance xx
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:29 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by madam butterfly ahoy View Post
Thanks for the details and lovely pics, looks amazing , we are sailing on 23 August on the Magic for 7 nights, is there a forum for these dates , if so can u direct me I've searched all over this site , hoping to join the FE with my fellow cruisers. Thank u so much in advance xx
Have a look here. I don't know if there is a FE group, but if you have a read through the thread it may be of help
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Old 07-20-2014, 04:56 PM   #35
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I sure am looking forward to the next installment!

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Old 07-20-2014, 10:01 PM   #36
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Day 5 - Civitavecchia, Italy

Sorry for the delay, life has been busy. I am splitting Rome up into to posts so here is Rome with the next post being the Vatican City. Buckle up, here we go!

Today was another early morning wakeup, breakfast and meet up in the Walt Disney Theatre to catch our excursion to Rome. For today we chose the Best of Rome once again thru DCL.

After a short wait in the theatre we were off to our bus. After meeting our guide we boarded the bus and were on our way. During our drive we were informed we would pick up our walking guide, Enyo, at the train station. He would then narrate the rest of the day for us.

Like yesterday, we stopped at the Italian version of a truck stop for a break to stretch our legs and hit the restroom. All total the drive from the port to Rome was about an hour and a half. The drive was not very spectacular but then again, we may have napped through most of it.

After picking up Enyo at the train station it was off to the Colosseum. One of the first things Enyo told us was that he would find as much shade as possible today because it would be another hot day. Are you seeing a pattern here? Good thing we had our water packed!

Once we neared where we would park we drove alongside Palatine Hill, center most of the 7 Roman Hills and also one of the most ancient parts of the city. Our guides pointed out Circus Maximus, the Roman chariot racing stadium that could seat 150,000 people, and the ruins of one of the Roman aqueducts as we neared our parking area.

Site of Circus Maximus

Once we parked along the street and exited we were almost directly across the street from the arched entrance to Palatine Hill. We then had a short 5 minute walk to the Arch of Constantine and the exterior of the Colosseum. Unfortunately the Arch was half covered with scaffolding, but when you realize it was built in 315 AD you realize it might require some maintenance.

Arch of Constantine

While Enyo talked to us about the Colosseum, our other guide, who we’ll call Jane because for the life of us we can’t remember her name even though she was great, went to buy our tickets to enter. Unfortunately it was a very busy day and despite Jane’s and Enyo’s best efforts, we had to wait about 30-45 minutes to enter the Colosseum. There was a huge crowd there and at times was a struggle to keep up with Enyo and his red ribbon on his stick.

Our guide Enyo(in sunglasses holding the flag) and the crowds at the entrance

During the wait, Enyo explained that all the entrances were numbered but one and they figured this unmarked entrance was for the Roman leaders. He pointed out other interesting facts and it made the wait go by pretty fast.

One of the numbered entrances

There were even a few guys dressed up as Roman soldiers you could have your picture taken with although we were warned to negotiate a price before taking a picture.

One word of warning for those going to Rome, be prepared for crowds and be patient. As you can see already, we had to wait and deal with crowds at every stop. Other tourist groups will push you and cut you off but all we did was look up and realize where we were. It was well worth all these hassles to see and experience everything we did in Rome.

Once we entered the Colosseum we were taken to the Emporer’s entrance and got our first view of the interior. WOW! It was so cool to finally be inside something you’ve seen hundreds of times in books and magazines and studied about in school. Enyo was full of great information. After snapping some pictures we were taken upstairs to the top level so we could really see the details down below. It was explained that all the rooms you see were actually under the main floor where the battles took place. These rooms held anything from animals to gladiators as they waited their turn for battle.

From upstairs we then traveled back downstairs to the opposite side that we came in from. This had a great little area you could walk up close to the lower level.

After some more pictures and standing in the shade (yep, it was getting hot!) we headed for the exit. We made the short trek back to the bus and the comfort of air conditioning.

Our next stop was going to be the famous Trevi Fountain. I forgot to mention that during our first day at sea we received a letter in our stateroom informing us that there was maintenance being done on the fountain and possible things going on at St. Peter’s Basilica so we may not be able to see either of them. While we were concerned with what this meant we were just taking it in stride.

On our drive we went past so many ruins you could hurt your neck constantly looking at all the sites on either side of the bus. We even saw a little tiny gas station right in the middle of a city block with the pump out along the street. We were also informed on our ride that we would be dropped off near the fountain and would be picked up at the hotel where we were scheduled to have lunch. We could leave any items on the bus and they would be safe with the driver.

We were dropped off several blocks from the fountain and continued on foot. Once we arrived at the fountain we saw that it was surrounded by a 6’ tall fence which fortunately you could see through and had no water in it. I was able to get a couple of good pictures with no one in them though and it was beautiful but we were disappointed that the water was turned off only a week before we were there.

Trevi Fountain

After throwing our coins into the fountain we made our way on a 10 minute walk to the Hotel Bernini Bristol where we were having lunch. On the way we passed a Antica Farmacia Pesci beside the fountain. This Farmacia says it was founded in 1552!

Once we arrived at the hotel we were taken upstairs to a private dining room. There was another Disney tour eating there as well but the dining room was very nice. On the table waiting for us were several bottles of wine and bottles of water. We were then served nice lunch of pasta and chicken and a custard/tiramisu type dessert. The food was good and it felt good to sit down in the air conditioning.

After lunch everybody made a last stop to the restrooms, which were very nice, and we went downstairs to catch the bus. It was arranged for the bus to do a quick stop in front of the hotel, which was nice. We boarded the bus and were making our way to Vatican City, which is where I will pick up the story in the next post.

7 day Eastern, Feb. 2003
7 Day Eastern, Feb. 2004
7 Day Mediterranean, June 2014

Last edited by woody64; 07-20-2014 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 07-20-2014, 10:32 PM   #37
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: West burbs of Chicago
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Quick Note

For those doing the excursion we went on I have one quick update. I looked up the Hotel Bernini Bristol to make sure I had the right information and found out it has a fantastic view from the rooftop restaurant. If I had known this I would have tried to go up there during lunch for a couple of quick pictures.

7 day Eastern, Feb. 2003
7 Day Eastern, Feb. 2004
7 Day Mediterranean, June 2014
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Old 10-08-2014, 01:56 PM   #38
Earning My Ears
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Originally Posted by woody64 View Post
Because I've enjoyed and learned from other trip reports I thought I would do one of my own in the hopes it would help someone else.

This cruise was the Magic sailing the Mediterranean from Barcelona on June 7th, 2014. The cast is me, DW, DS(19) and DS(15) from the western burbs of Chicago. All excursions were purchased thru DCL and we can't say enough about the guides, bus drivers and everything about these excursions. We went thru the ship so we would not have to worry about making it back to the ship in time.

We had late dinner seating and I will have very few pictures of dinner and zero pictures of what we ate except on one excursion.

Photography is a hobby of mine and I did take a lot of pictures and will include some in this report. The edits of these pictures are rough so please suffer through them, including some quick HDR shots.

Enough disclaimers, on with the show.

We are from Western Suburbs as well (Oak Park) and I am trying to plan this trip for next August 2015. You have an amazing trip report, so if you are open to it and when you have time I would love to pick your brain about it. We are a family of 3 - DH, and DD (4) who are DCL vets but not to Europe. All your info about getting to and from and timing etc...would be super appreciated! Thanks.
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