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Day 1 in Rome – Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica
Day 2 in Rome – Colosseum, Central Rome walking tour
Day 1 of Celebrity Equinox Mediterranean cruise – embarking in Civitavecchia
Day 2 of Celeb Equinox Mediterranean cruise – Florence and Pisa
Day 3 of Celeb Equinox Mediterranean cruise – Good, Eze and Monte Carlo
Day 4 and 5 of Celeb Equinox Mediterranean cruise – Corsica and Sardinia
Day 6 and 7 of Movie star Equinox Mediterranean cruise – Day at Sea and Palma de Mallorca
Disembarkation in Barcelona, overnight keep, and returning dwelling “The Superb Race”-model! (with free double upgrade)

car cruise controlsSaturday morning, we met within the dining room for our final breakfast at Resort Raffaello. Kaleb and Frank went out to buy sim cards for their cell telephones, and a pair others took the Metro to the Vatican to retrieve the hotel umbrellas left at the cloakroom two days in the past during our tour.

Our Celebrity Equinox cruise was departing from the port of Civitavecchia. There were many alternative ways of reaching there, such as non-public switch, local rail, or fast prepare. I selected the quick practice (Frecciablanca) as we were close to Termini station (one other purpose why we stayed at a hotel within the vicinity), it went non-cease to Civitavecchia, plus seat reservations have been obtainable, nice for a big group of individuals touring collectively. However, these fast trains have few good departure instances for cruisers compared to native rail, so plan accordingly.

How I booked the prepare: there occurred to be a 2-for-1 promotion on Saturday prepare tickets…how convenient! What wasn’t helpful was that the sale fare would not show up in case you clicked on “Find finest worth” within the search box on Trenitalia’s website. Luckily I didn’t give up and assume that the tickets were all bought out as there have been current experiences on our cruise’s roll call on Cruise Critic that people have been buying the sale tickets. I ultimately tried leaving the box unchecked despite common sense to do so, then the discounted fares appeared. I also discovered the Seat sixty one prepare travel website helpful to know find out how to book tickets.

Since at the time, solely 6 of us had been occurring the trip, I booked 6 first class tickets and selected a 4-seat and 2-seat table (as the train was a 1-2 configuration). The factor with the 2-for-1 was you had to purchase them 2 at a time (cannot purchase 6 and get charged for 3), so I ran into some issue deciding on seats for the next pairs of tickets so that they have been near the unique pair. The default choice is one thing like “best obtainable” (which may not be where you need, ie. a special carriage), but you’ll be able to bypass this and choose the carriage and seats you need. I don’t remember exactly what I clicked on, but it’s doable, so keep at it in case you are in this situation.

Back to our recurrently scheduled programming: Our prepare was departing at 11:57am and it was getting down to the wire and yet our mates had not returned back from the Vatican! It was fairly nerve-racking but ultimately they came again within the nick of time, even though only 2 out of the three umbrellas had been situated. I think that was very successful on condition that most people most likely wouldn’t have gone again! Because it had been a number of days, unclaimed items were moved from the museum cloakroom right into a separate storeroom in the Vatican so our buddies bought to enter areas that guests hardly ever see.

the again of St. Peter’s courtesy of Kristi

wonderful to have found our resort’s umbrellas in that pile!

For the reason that uneven sidewalks from the lodge to Termini had been somewhat difficult to navigate with luggage (especially heavy luggage), along with a slight uphill slope, a couple of of the group hired a taxi to take them the short distance to the station. The remainder of us sweated and dragged our luggage. Ultimately all of us made it there, but we had an fascinating run-in…

This also happened to another one of the couples.

The expertise began when a plain-clothed lady (not wearing a uniform or identify tag) approached to “assist us” locate our practice platform. I noticed her standing round in the midst of the entrance area by herself and it appeared odd that a neighborhood can be hanging out to assist tourists get to where they’re going. It’s minutely possible that someone would need to do that, however it was hard to provide her the advantage of the doubt so I used to be on my guard. As we were rolling our baggage in direction of the platform, we have been intercepted by a couple of young men regularly asking if we wished help carrying our baggage. We advised them many occasions “no thank you” and stored strolling. Sadly, our train wasn’t there but, so we have been waiting on the platform while the young males hung around off to the side. As soon as the Frecciablanca arrived, we situated the carriages and when I was boarding and lifting my luggage onto the prepare, one of the younger males pushed by me up the steps and grabbed my bag. This also happened to another one of the couples. After we sat down in our assigned seats, the younger males positioned the baggage on the luggage rack above, then stored pestering us for suggestions and getting in our face. I informed them that I did not have any cash, and Kaleb simply gave him no matter coins he had in his pocket and turned them inside out to indicate that we did not have any extra. Our “helper” was annoyed however he got off the train. Our other associates stored telling the second younger man that they never requested for his help and refused to pay. In the end, I wasn’t positive if they gave him any cash or not, but eventually he bought off the practice as well. So beware on the practice station; I consider that the young lady was figuring out vacationers for her gang to prey upon them. Usually we’ve our eyes wide open to trickery and we aren’t afraid to inform insistent people “no thank you”, however I believed it was a intelligent transfer for the man to slip right in when I used to be in the course of lifting my luggage onto the prepare. If this ever occurs again, I cannot really feel dangerous giving a hard elbow poke within the gut and a very good kick to the rear.

the platform sign was damaged…was this our practice?

must…connect…

As Quinn and Tammy booked the cruise at the last minute, first class was sold out, so that they secured seat reservations in second class in several carriages. Second class was a bit crowded as a consequence of more seating within the carriage.

It was a pleasant 40-minute journey to Civitavecchia. There was free wi-fi on the prepare so everyone could be entertained by way of their electronic devices. Many of the riders had been cruisers so after we obtained off, we just adopted everyone out the practice station, crossing the road and walking in direction of the port.

approaching Civitavecchia

arriving on the train station

meeting up with everybody in entrance of the station

port entrance

Since this was a working port, we couldn’t simply stroll as much as our cruise ship berth. There was a bus stop just shortly after the port entrance where cruisers waited for shuttles to take them to their respective ship. We waited there for fairly some time as there weren’t sufficient buses to hold everyone. A number of folks disregarded the warnings of the port staff and began walking in direction of the cruise ships…not a good suggestion. It was a long distance and so scorching outdoors. I used to be glad I wore a hat!

ready at the shuttle stop

shuttle buses arriving (not all of them appeared like these)

Finally we made it on a shuttle bus and rode out to where Superstar Equinox was berthed.

check-in tent

we made it! (courtesy of Frank)

We checked in and got on board relatively quickly. Complimentary welcome glasses of champagne had been handed out. Our balcony cabin was very nice and for the price we paid, the lifeboat “obstruction” wasn’t unhealthy in any respect. We additionally obtained coupons…the free scoop of gelato was a good one!

so that you cannot see all the best way down, no drawback

our balcony cabin on Deck 6

bathroom

bar costs

despite the fact that we bought the drink bundle, it does not embrace mini-bar

Traditional member welcome letter

Choose member welcome letter

Basic member coupons

Select member coupons

restricted smoking areas

The last web page of Superstar Right now for Saturday, June 28:

We have been starving, so we went to the buffet for lunch. I really liked the format of the Oceanview Cafe where there have been multiple food stations scattered around (meats, salads, fruit, desserts, and so forth.) so folks might get no matter they wished without waiting in a single line like outdated-type buffet set-ups.

I myself did not eat much, haha

Then it was sailaway…time to take advantage of our beverage packages! The kind of package we bought was printed on the cruise card so servers knew what you can order.

tropical drinks at “Slush”

bye bye Civitavecchia!

We then went exploring round this stunning ship. There were so much of various themed bars. The Quasar night club was a bit small, but the Sky Statement Lounge made up for that. There was a dedicated comedy club stage. The top deck had a lawn with real grass. Adjacent to this was the “Sizzling Glass Show” by the Corning Museum of Glass, where you possibly can watch professional glass blowers creating masterpieces at sure occasions on the cruise. The world the place the specialty restaurants had been situated didn’t even feel like it was on a ship…very contemporary, almost Vegas-like.

seating at Quasar night time club

costa marina cruises

hanging seat at Quasar

public bathroom with pure gentle!

Lawn Membership with actual grass

Our dinner time was “traditional late dining”, set at 8:30pm each night time. The food was consistently wonderful. Service was normally good but it all the time appeared that our waiter was short-staffed, hardly seeing our assistant waiter much. We also found it cumbersome to order drinks with our beverage bundle; certain kinds wanted to be ordered through the sommelier and others via the assistant waiter and it might take a long time to obtain them. After a number of nights of this, some of us started bringing cocktails from the bars exterior into the dining room to enjoy till the dinner-time drink orders arrived.

“everyday” menu

tonight’s menu

Silhouette Dining Room

three kinds of dip for bread

I ordered escargot virtually each night

Thai beef spring roll

mushroom soup

roasted carrot cumin salad

seared salmon

homestyle pork chop

dessert menu

after-dinner drinks

banana-blueberry crepe

chocolate cherry trifle

Since we had an early begin the following day, no late-evening actions for us!

Our port-intensive seven night time cruise would keep us busy for the following few days. Subsequent stop…Florence and Pisa! Stay tuned…