Navigator of the Seas - TA April 10 -25, 2010

April 9Th - 25Th, 2010
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Navigator of the Seas
Transatlantic Cruise
April 10 - 24, 2010
(Miami, FL; Tenerife Canary Island, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche (Nice), France; Livorna (Florence/Pisa), France; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy)
After a long flight, it was on to the Marriott Hotel in Miami, Florida. ($55 per night on Priceline and taxi was $25 from airport to hotel) We were starving, tired and just wanted to get in our room and order from delivery. That ended up being a big mistake since it took well over an hour for our calzones via Fast Pizza and ended up making me sick. Never again. But the room was fabulous and from the below photos (that night and the next morning) the view was spectacular.

After a very good night sleep, taxi ride, we were on the ship. Easy boarding process and since we already knew the ship - we just got settled into our cabin - Promenade Overview. From this cabin we could watch all activities happening on the Promenade Deck. Below you can see photos from our cabin (I always make it our home) and photos from our cabin window. From the sail away parade, to the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's party. We loved it.

Crossing the Atlantic we enjoyed many things including old friends (above Marc and Deborah, who also did this TA cruise with us last year) to new friends (below photos include the cocktail party we went to in our new friends suite). Even a photo of the Captains table during dinner one night and a photo of Bob and I having a milk shake at Johnny Rockets on board. (small fee)

We also are very active with the cruise critic group. You meet so many great people who have tons of cruises under their belt and can offer so much knowledge for around the world. Below are the many photos from the group that include: Sail away party, Meet & Mingle Party, Pink Luncheon, first Tea party at Sea and Mini Golf tournament. There were many more activities that we didn't participate in but others did. Makes the 6 or 7 days at sea while crossing so much more fun.

Finally our first day on land. Yes, the first port of call was Tenerife Canary Island, Spain. We had been here before (see April 2009 in archive) so this trip, we chose to rent a car and visit the tourist summer area. (a free shuttle can take you to the front of the port from the ship) We loved the island and felt a land trip would be a nice change versus a cruise some day. (we rented a car from National Car Rental but after spending a long time asking where it was - we found out that it is called Cicar there - hmmmmmmmm Cost $65 for the day manual/no a/c) In the tourist area you will also find the Monkey Zoo. You are able to feed these monkeys by hand (well most of them lol). Entry fee was 10 Euros per adult and 2 Euros if you want food to feed them. We also drove into the Americanos area where many time sharing units are. Easy port to drive in.

After two more days at sea - it was on to Barcelona Spain. Again, we have visited Barcelona on other trips (archive - May 2009, Nov 2008) so we decided to use the Internet here on the Las Ramblas. Shocking, the ship didn't have free shuttles which we had never seen. So it cost $5 each way rather you are dropped off in town or come back from town. We walked and it took 45 minutes. Below are photos from Las Ramblas and the Internet shop we used. (2.50 euros per 47 minutes or 5 euros for 1 hr 59 minutes) We also had Gelato (Italian ice cream) which we love. On Las Ramblas, you will always see the individuals dressed up all ways trying to make a buck.

Our ship sitting at the dock in Barcelona.
Next, on to Villefranche, France. We have also been here before (Dec 2006 archive) and it is sooooo beautiful. Love this place. You do have to tender in from the ship though. The port is gorgeous and while Bob used the internet and got caught up at work, I walked up to the Citidel to walk around it. I also visited one of the churches and walked the many alleys/walkways around the city. They have a small train that does a tour of the area but I didn't do it. We had booked an afternoon tour that would take us into Nice and up to an Medevel City called St. Paul De Vance.

Finally onto the tour. As we drove out of Villefranche - the first thing to see is the monument built for Princess Grace. She was killed in a tragic accident and if you visit Monaco (while we did last time here - Nov 2006 archives) you will find her grave in the church there. But this trip - off to Nice first. Driving around Nice we saw the hotels, famous beaches, unique library (wish I had a photo of it - awesome), marina, and even a Russian church that is fought over in regards to who is its true owner. If you have been to Russia it will bring back memories to you of their famous churches there.

Next, up to the medeval village of St. Paul De Vance. This village is the site were many artists bring their work to display. The unique walkways made of cobblestones can be tricky but also beautiful. A famous artist, Mark Charcall, was buried at its local cemetery. In the below photos, you will not only see that cemetery, you will also see many pieces of art now on display along with a couple of our favorite places to grab food. Crepes and Gelato ice cream. Good thing we do not live in France. lol

This famous restaurant is always filled with many artists but during the Cannes Festival - you better have made a reservation at least one year in advance. The celebrities also flock to this restaurant for its great food.
As beautiful as France was, next it was time to hit highlights in Italy. This day would be very long since we would see Florence and Pisa in the same day. A strike caused many people to have to book a tour with the ship to be sure they got to see these stops. ($99 per person) So on the bus and off we went.
Our first stop would be in Pisa. As we approached the town, I took this first shot from far away on the bus. I could see what is called the Field of Miracles from afar and it looked awesome. Of course, the rain didn't make our visit great but we had to just go with it. Also in the below photos you will see the buildings that make up the Field of Miracles. Those are the Cathedral, Cemetery Bldg, The Baptistry , and of course the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

I know many people always wonder about a shopping area. But on the road across from the Field of Miracles you will find many stands selling souvenirs and further down the road places to eat. Also, as we walked back to the bus parking area, we also found more temporary souvenirs stands that you can get a last minute item. (along with a McDonalds that Bob hit up for coffee)

As I did enroute to Pisa, I got a great shot from afar of the Florence's Cathedral/Bell Tower/Baptistry, all made of marble. Florence is a huge city and during our walks (we were on our own) well, finding everything without getting lost wasn't an option. We decided which were the most important things to see for us and went for those - not getting to them all. But in the below photos you will see the Bell Tower, the Baptistry and its famous golden doors, the Cathedral and a shot of the ceiling inside it, the famous David statue replica by Micheanglo at the Orario Museum in Palazza Vecchio (the real one we didn't get to see this trip), the Ponte Vecchio Bridge which crosses the river and has stores and restaurants lining it, and a couple of other churches. (The Church of Santa Croce & the Church of Santa Spirito) We also walked the Florence version of Hollywood's Rodeo Drive, saw the market, and many other museums. Again we had a rainy day which slowed us down. Hopefully if we ever make it again - we will have sunshine and more time. ;)

Another thing I was able to enjoy on this cruise was a fellow cruiser and cruise critic member that gave Digital Photography lectures. She was very good even though I didn't get to make them all. Some due to them being packed with people and no room for more people. The below photo I took on the cruise after she gave a lecture on reflections. Love this photo.
Our dinners were filled with laughs, stories and alot of eating. We give alot of credit to our great tablemates - Walt and Nancy from Kentucky. Being a Kentucky girl myself, we had some great stories to share. They truly made our dining experience great. Thanks Walt and Nancy.
Once in Civitecchia (port for Rome), Italy - we decided to not stay in Rome since we have been there and spent time there. (archives from Nov 2009, Nov 2008, Dec 2006) So we rented a car from Hertz at the port (very easy walk from the ship) and we drove to a town close to the Airport in Rome. The name of the Hotel was La Conchiglia and I have to say - it wasn't one we loved. The town of Fregene was a summer tourist town but since it wasn't summer - well, didn't make for a great stay. Room (below) was just ok. From the outside the hotel looked like a dump and the worse thing, the local teenagers hung out right outside the hotel and kept us up until around 3 a.m. the next morning. It included breakfast and we found it on Priceline but never again. I will say, we had dinner at the local Pizzaria that was very good and cheap.
As we leave you all - I share a couple of other photos from the cruise. I named them Ships Passing In The Night and Sailing Off Into The Sunset. Both these photos were taken during the cruise which is just a small glimpse of some of the beautiful sunsets that we saw.

Again, remember that if there is a photo that is small that you would like to see, just click on it and it will become big. But, don't forget to click your back arrow to go back. If you close it, you will be closing the entire blog. Thanks again for joining us for this journey.

1 comment:

  1. Debe/Bob: Loved all these guys are just was a pleasure seeing you again on this cruise...all the best to you, may you always find happiness and love.
    Marc and Deborah


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