Friday, July 12, 2013

Heading for the Eastern Mediterranean!

Sunday, June 9th
I woke up early, bright and early! I don’t know if it was still the effects of the time change, or if it was the anticipation of what the day will bring, but there’s really nothing like being awake to collect one’s thoughts and reflect on the past day while the rest of the family is still sleeping! Today we’d be going to Civitavecchia to board the Navigator of the Seas for our Eastern Mediterranean Cruise!

Once we were all dressed, we went to the breakfast area of the hotel to see what was offered. We’d heard to not expect much from included European breakfasts. Well this must be the exception! There was so much to choose from! I didn’t want to eat too much I had a goal for this vacation and it was to really try to not gain weight. Crazy right? I’m in Europe! And on two cruises! But I wanted to enjoy the great food and not over indulge in the adequate food. I was hoping that the abundance of walking we’d do would counteract the food. Here’s hoping! So, I had a bit of eggs, fruit and a tiny sliver of what seemed to be a little cake with Nutella, coconut and custard. What is all this pastry for breakfast? I also had the freshest orange juice and of course cappuccino! But there was also bacon, cheeses, meats, cereals and many, many cakes and pastries to choose from! 

We had about 45 minutes until our transfer to the port was scheduled to arrive so Keith and the kids and I went to a “deli” type place across the Piazza to get some wine to bring aboard the ship. RCL allows 2 bottles of wine in your carry on per stateroom. 

Then we made a quick stop back at the Pantheon for Mimi, Grandpop, Alex and DH since they didn’t get to see it yesterday. Of course they were impressed!
We checked out of our hotel and all felt that we couldn’t have chosen a better place to spend our first night. No it wasn’t inexpensive, but it was the location was perfect and the staff was wonderful. It was a terrific way to be introduced to Rome! We couldn’t wait to come back in a few weeks!

We decided to have a private driver take us to the port since we had six of us with luggage. My parents were not at all interested in the train once the found out they would have to walk from the train station to the port and then take a shuttle bus to the actual ship. So a driver it was! Our driver arrived right on time and we loaded up our luggage and away we went for this part of our adventure. 

The ride took about an hour and a half it seemed. It would drizzle off and on with occasional peaks of sunshine. The driver would share just enough history to make the ride interesting.

We got to the port and I think the Navigator was the only ship in port! I wasn’t expecting such a large ship. After all, in a week or so, we’d be sailing on the Epic – now that would be a large ship – but we were all pretty surprised at just how impressive the Navigator looked!

We had no wait at all to board. Paperwork was a breeze and we walked right on board. Got our Welcome Aboard pictures – silly as they may be.

 And just like that – we were cruising!

We did so much preparing for this cruise! Megan must have shown us every you tube video out there that had the Navigator in it! I’d felt like I had already been on board before even stepping foot on the ship! But even so, there really is nothing like that feeling when you do finally step on to the ship that first time! It’s impressive! The Navigator is a beautiful ship! I was immediately impressed.

Of course by now we were all hungry, so our first stop was the Windjammer. We were able to find a table for 6 amid the total chaos. I give huge praise for the staff there. Always a helpful crew member who would go out of their way to be sure we could find a table to sit together if we were all together. I will say though that in comparison to other cruises I’ve been on, the selection at the buffet seemed lacking to us. At least at this first glance. The food felt very average. Maybe bland. Not to say that we didn’t find anything to eat, but it was nothing to get excited about. 

It got to be about the time that our cabins would be ready, so we made our way to deck 8. We had three cabins all in a row. Smartest decision ever was to get connecting cabins with the kids and Keith and I. In the past we’d shared a cabin, so this would be our first two cabin cruise. My parents were in the one next to the kids. We decided to keep the door between the cabins locked, but open the balcony divider. This gave us a huge balcony and access to their room. We found the rooms to be pretty spacious. Definitely room for 2 people!

 Our cabin

The kid's cabin

Next up.....exploring the ship!

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