Thursday, June 11, 2015

Day Four - Citaveccia and the Emerald Princess

The top of the building is covered in solar cells
We are now onboard the Emerald Princess. Steven’s out exploring the ship and I have my feet up on the balcony while typing this. We currently overlook the dock and I can see the hills of Italy in the distance – behind the gas and oil tanks that fuel Italy. There is a large, two story warehouse beside the dock and the roof is covered entirely with solar cells. Much nicer to look at than the huge oil tanks.

I have to say, we handled the jet lag really, really well. All the advice I’d read said to stay up until a normal bedtime the first day and the lag wouldn’t be bad. Good advice. I didn’t turn out the light last night until 10:00 pm (Rome time) – which meant I’d been up for about 48 hours with only the cat naps on the plane for rest. Steven fell asleep a little earlier, but we both slept well and were up by 7:30 this morning feeling normal and adjusted. Yeah, yeah. There’s a first time for everything. Felt odd to look at my computer clock (which didn’t update) and see that it was only 3:00 in the morning at home and everyone there was still sound asleep.

Breakfast at the hotel was a little different. Pastries as one would expect, but also cheeses (I had provolone. This is, after all, Italy) and some sliced meats. I didn’t go for the salami but chose the one with white spots. Figured I was being adventurous. Try New Things. That’s my motto for this trip. To that end, I got the juice marked “Anana” instead of the safer orange juice. It was a banana/pinapple blend that was quite good. And the spotted meat? Bologna.

We then left to do a short walking tour since we had two hours before the shuttle came to pick us up. Went around the corner to the Trevi fountain only to discover they are doing renovations on it. No coins in the fountain for us. We do want to come back, however, and have already decided a week will be just enough to see the Vatican. We’ll need a second week to see Rome as we’d like.

Temple ruins - Rome
Since we had the time, we decided to walk to a spot where we could see the Coliseum. The map was our friend this time and we didn’t get lost, even though some of the streets were VERY narrow. Turns out the area from which we thought we could see it was the beginning of the Roman Forum ruins. We glimped the Coliseum in the distance, but a closer visit will have to wait for next time.

We headed back to the hotel, retracing our steps as we went. Good thing we did. Our driver, who wasn’t supposed to pick us up until 11:00, was there at ten. It was now quarter after and the hotel had us leaving at 10:30. So a time snafu, but all worked well (this time!). We’d packed up before we’d left on our walk so all we needed to do was double check the room and bring down the luggage.

Another couple was already on board; they’re from California and took three days in Rome to handle the jet lag. I felt like a pro taking no time at all. Two other stops gathered in a gentleman originally from Scotland who now lives in Australia and a young couple we didn’t get to talk to as the only seats left were at the front of the van with the driver. Who looked like George Clooney’s stand in, by the way. Not much of a personality, but boy, he looked good!

The breakwall between us and the Mediterranean Sea
The trip out to Citavecchia (the port city that supplies Rome) took a little over an hour once everyone was onboard. Check-in went smoothly, although so far my little red bag hasn’t made it to the room. All the other luggage is here. We’ll keep a good thought that it’s on its way.

The ship is MUCH larger than the Statendamm (our Holland America ship for our Alaska trip) but our room is smaller. About the size of our hotel room in Rome, with the addition of a balcony (that is also smaller than the one on the Statendamm). Still, here I sit, my feet up and looking out at the hills in the distance. Not one complaint from me!

We ate a buffet-lunch – all dinners are included but drinks are not. Not even soft drinks. Same as last time. That’s fine. I mostly drink water nowadays anyway.

Oh! Speaking of water…on our way to the Vatican yesterday, we passed a spigot/fountain right in the middle of a small plaza. Amy Plowe told us Rome’s water is safe to drink, so we filled up our empty water bottle and drank Rome water the rest of the night. So far, so good! J

I can’t post this from the ship. You’d think, with the amount of money we’re paying to BE on this ship that the wifi would be free and automatic. It ain’t and I ain’t paying. They need to get with the times! Will post when we land in Palermo tomorrow. I’m sure I can find wifi on land.

There is a big, digital outdoor screen on the Lido deck (our deck) and the show movies at night. Tonight was the Imitation Game – Steven has seen it, but I haven’t. We went to the 10:00 showing. Excellent film!

Tomorrow – Palermo, Sicily! 

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