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Azamara Quest - Mediterranean Cities, October 28-November 4 2021


Bimmer09
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FLYING TO EUROPE

 We want to get some sleep on the flight so we can arrive in Rome ready to rumble.

A hearty meal of beef and red wine will help....

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Red wine in a plastic cup-hmm?

We ate up the miles (and all the food)

I stretched out in the bed position and slept for a  couple of hours.

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Down below I see the port of Civitavecchia with a lot of ships in the harbor. Tomorrow the Quest will be one of them!

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Sunrise over Italy

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Four minutes!! Quattro minuti !!

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The flight attendant brought me the smelling salts as I had an attack of the vapors!

We are in Italy!!

 

LA VITA E BELLA!

 

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Glad to see you here and happy to see you are sailing the Quest from Lisbon to Miami!

She's in pretty good shape and ready to welcome you.

If you want a good table in Discoveries just tell the hostess that "Sir Norris sent you". She called me that from the get-go and it stuck, LOL. "Lady Carol" accompanied me for some delicious dinners.

 

Bon Voyage!

Norris

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2 minutes ago, QueenP said:

What a surprise to open CC this morning and see....wait this looks like...it couldn't be....it is! A new GSJ! Delighted!

Hi and thanks you for your enthusiasm!

Mine has been taxed with issues- first there was no link to load photos on CC. Had to erase CC Cookies which is a frequent happening. Then I put a link on the Princess board so that all my Princess readers could find this-but they transferred it to the Az board.

I am hoping for less issues here on in as I have so much to tell you and show you.

 

Norris

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OK, so we are now in Rome. 0800 and off to Immigration with our Covid vaccine proof (at great cost) and our up to date Passenger Locator Form so the Italian Government knows where we were sitting on the plane and where we are staying in Rome.

 

I  wait for the Immigration Officer to stop yawning and approach. Show passport.

" Would you like to see my PLF?"

No.

Do you need to see my Covid test result"

Don't worry about it....and he waved me through. Why did we bother? Carol had the same result.

 

On to baggage claim. There's Carol's! Load it up onto a trolley. Wait for mine. And wait. The carousel is soon luggage-free. Oh great! Thanks United!! Thanks a bunch!

 

There's a "Lost Luggage" desk belonging to Alitalia. We trudge over there and an Alitalia rep asks if we need help. Boy do we ever! Computers are checked. They found my luggage. In Newark (of course). She was super helpful and spoke great English.

Her name was Valentina and she cared to resolve our problem.

 

I have to fill out a form.

My address in Rome if it comes tomorrow but they don't deliver until the afternoon

My address on the ship in Civitavecchia in case they have to ship it there

My address in Livorno in case it doesn't arrive in Rome or Civittavecchia 

My address in Nice....do I need to go any further?

 

I asked them to let me know if it came on the next flight from Newark tomorrow morning and if it did I would come to the airport and get it on my way to the ship.

 

This would be my 3rd day wearing the same clothes.

 

Meantime with all this delay I had informed Rome in Limo what was happening. The driver was waiting for as long as needed. We were free in about an hour.

 

Norris, mentally exhausted at the time

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ROME IN LIMO

We have only ever used one company for tours or transfers in Rome and that's unlikely to ever change. Mercedes sedans (or vans if you are a group), careful drivers. Ours was Gharman who spoke very good English.

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Into Rome we went, along the autostrada in through the old walls, past the Pyramid, past the Circus Maximus and the Forum and into the very narrow streets near the Pantheon. The Mercedes had sensors that showed how much room was on either side of the car-maybe 2 inches each side in some streets. 60 E versus 48 for a  taxi the last time I checked. Wonderful car service and thanks to Jany on the front desk who is always quick to respond to emails and runs  a tight ship. All their drivers are vaccinated and wearing masks in the car. Soon we were where we longed to be....

 

Norris and Carol, itching for an espresso and knowing just where to get it!

 

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OUR HOME IN ROME

And it always will be. We had it booked for 2 days but lost the first day and stayed in the Marriott in Newark. Not the same, trust me.

 

"ho una stanza prenotate. Sono signori Adair" said I and was greeted by a warm Italian smile. A little Italian phrase or two helps break the ice. A bellman took our lunge up to our room which of course had been vacant the day before, awaiting the travelers who did not arrive.

 

I took my first photo of Piazza della Rotonda below...

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No buskers! No Roman Centurians in costume. Only one horse drawn carriage. Just a snaking line to enter the Pantheon. Limited number allowed in at one time. Quiet square which usually echoes to guitarists playing and singing Pink Floyd songs or violins, accordions. A hubbub affected by social distancing. 

 

I went down to the square for a cigarette and stopped at the Front Desk to ask this question..

 

Our room is a Penthouse suite- has there been some mistake?

"No signori, we have upgraded you at no extra charge"

 I think they took pity on us, having missed our first day there. A lovely gesture and much appreciated.

In 2014  we had stayed in the PH suite at top left. This one was the top right, again with an olive tree on the balcony.

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I'll show you more of the hotel soon

Norris

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24 minutes ago, helen haywood said:

I’m excited to finally hear your sailing journal!!  Always enjoyed your journals of previous cruises!  Roma!!  My favorite city…sigh…

Helen, thank you for joining us here and for your kind comments. 

We were cheated of a day in Rome but will of course go back as there is nowhere quite like it.

More photos of Rome coming soon!

Norris

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20 minutes ago, PurpleTraveller said:

Hi Norris, I am delighted to be reading another of your wonderful reviews! I was exhausted just reading about your journey to Rome! Now I am thrilled to sit back and enjoy your travels and fabulous photos. Allison 🚢

Hi Allison, I am very glad to be back writing on the boards, despite all the angst along the way. It's good to see you again! If CC helps me out I hope to draw a crowd here. More people need a taste of Az and some reminders of the beauty of Europe. I reminded CC that my reviews have totaled over a million reads which has to be good for advertising purposes.

 

I have taken photos that I felt very lucky to have had the opportunity to take. The camera was with me at all times.

 

Norris

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While I was in the square Carol was doing what she always does on a plane a ship or in a hotel-wiping down all surfaces with her Clorox wipes. Door handles, drawer, counter tops, phones etc. She then unpacks which wasn't a task I had to do.

 

We had to get out into the streets of course for there was our favorite coffee shop awaiting us.

Carol was sceptical, doubting that I could find it easily aster 6 years absence. As sure-footed as a donkey in Santorini I led us straight there.

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 This was brought to our table (cheaper to drink inside but we are on vacation and want to people-watch)

 

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Carol's macchiato and my Grand Caffe-a double espresso and bless my soul if I didn't have another! There's only one waiter-Mario, who serves outdoors but he is a whirlwind of energy and doesn't write anything down-even long family orders. We always left him a nice tip (10% is a big tip in Italy)

 

Suitably refreshed we decided to walk to Trastevere, an area Rick Steves and Stanley Tucci are very fond of. Carol had her laminated map. We hoped to have lunch there.

 

Andiamo!

Norris

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28 minutes ago, MWcruiser said:

I am following too!  Have enjoyed your previous reviews and excited to learn of your latest adventure.  Thanks for doing this!!  Can't wait for beautiful Europe pictures, as our first trip back isn't until June 2022.

 

Many thanks for following and for complimenting my many epic reviews.

Many of the photos really pleased me. It's hard to take a bad photo in Tuscany-as you'll find out.

Carol saw many of them in miniature through the camera screen but she hasn't seen the full size.

 

Speaking of which if anyone likes a particular photo just click in the photo and it will grow to full size (for better detail) close the X to go back to the CC post size

 

Norris

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9 minutes ago, dani negreanu said:

 

Taking notes -- hopefully (pre-cruise, Covid willing), we'll be in Rome in June. Staying in Largo di Argentina, not far from Sant'Eustachio 😁

 

 Dani, I know the area, especially the ruins with the stray cats that live there.

Norris

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Norris, I'm thrilled to see you back.  You are Irish aren't you, as am I.  I would love to meet you on a ship some time.

We have done the same thing as you....switched to Azamara but our first cruise, also on Quest is a while away.  July 25 Norway intensive which starts in Dublin, the city I lived in as a child.

I really look forward to your impressions of Quest.  We are also sailing on her on the Spice Route May 2023.  Two more booked, as well, on Journey.

What an absolutely horrible time you had getting to Rome and then finding your luggage didn't make it. I HATE cancellations and delays as they just become worse by the hour.

I bet when you stepped onto Quest, you gave a loud thank you or was it grazie?

Looking forward to the rest of your review.

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Norris

    I have jumped over here from the Princess boards to begin reading your travel journal. 

    The reporting of your initial steps into your vacation were riveting. Of course, I knew all the delays and cancellations would not deter you and Carol from finally getting to board the ship ,otherwise there would be no Gentleman’s Journal being posted here. Nonetheless, it was a bit concerning,learning about all the hurdles you and Carol faced. I do hope that you were able to relax on the ship and recharge your batteries.

     I am looking forward to reading more of your posts when they appear here.

     You may know this travel tip, but I will put my two cents in here....when my DH and I travel together by plane or ship,we cross pack. Our suitcases are a combination of his and my clothes. We also take a carryon with changes of clothes for both of us just in case some of our luggage doesn’t make it to our final destination. Just a thought for your next journey.

      Thank you for writing your Gentleman’s Journal..

MJ🙋🏻

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