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HeinBloed Blog from REGAL PRINCESS March/April 2022 from Barcelona, Spain to Civitavecchia, Italy

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I'm on the train between London Waterloo and Portsmouth. It's already on the next ship: VALIANT LADY from Virgin Voyages.


That's why I still have to finish with the REGAL PRINCESS to concentrate on the next trip.

I really wanted to do something good for myself again: but it had to be Cunard, Holland America, or Princess for my birthday. But only Princess offered a voyage from a European port on my birthday.

So we are going to Barcelona the day before.


Here we meet Eva at the airport again, who always picks us up reliably. Only she has Saturday off, and many of her friends did not survive the Corona consequences economically or are in the same group that is not allowed to drive on certain days at weekends.


Enough points in the Marriott Bon Voy program let us stay at the W Barcelona this time. For my birthday, I treat myself to a room with a view of the cruise terminal.


Since I've been working for Yang Ming again, I have access to a network of colleagues in the ports around the world who can help me with good restaurants and other tips.


Here is how day 0 begins in the blog of REGAL PRINCESS in Barcelona.



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My colleague told me: there are sections in the port at the entrance of the cruise ships, and they are not blocked by a terminal but directly on the shore. However, in the port area: I look like a sailor from the Yang Ming Line who, drunk and unresponsive, has to be driven to the ship. I also carry my business card with the shipping company's logo.


So I got my first birthday present: the brightly illuminated REGAL PRINCESS.


My birthday already started with a lovely breakfast at W Barcelona, and Violeta served me a sweet little birthday cake.


It goes to the ship, and because the weather in Barcelona is so terrible, we just stay on board.

In the terminal, however, we experience the biggest check-in disaster we have ever experienced: Princess hasn't been there for two years, and the terminal is full of students who don't know their way around and don't know the rules that Princess uses on the subject of embarkation published under Covid-19.


We immediately feel very comfortable on board. We let Edmar and Eisen spoil us for lunch.


The biggest surprise awaits me in the evening: Franco, whom we know from the GRAND PRINCESS trip, welcomes us to the Sabatini's. Actually, nothing can go wrong anymore because he leads a great team again: So we experience a great evening with Karen and José Luis.


The first moderated Friends of Dorothy meeting was also very successful. We quickly get to know other friendly, like-minded people here. And as a friend of Dorothy from cruisebrothers.com, I appreciate her birthday greetings.



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Finally, sea day. Actually, on the way to Gibraltar, that becomes Valencia and then finally Malaga. We do not influence the weather.


I finally meet Dexter, who I know from a previous trip.


Finally, congee breakfast again. I let myself be pampered again every morning and cooked my favorite breakfast. Excellent service, Jan and Chris.


Finally, another nice meet & greet for the cruisecritic members: Thanks to Loyalty and Event Manager Patrizia, Business and Brand Director Claire, Entertainment Director Madi, Hotel General Manager Ralph and his deputy David, and Food and Beverage Director Steven.


Finally, a lovely gala evening with great food and excellent service: Thanks to Jason, Esmail, and Adrian.


Finally, an excellent production show to my liking.


A crew that makes you feel good all-round: Our Mr. Cellophane cabin steward Michael: you've hardly been outside and come back a short time later, and everything is ready. And Nemanja helps me to improve my yoga skills.



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Valencia instead of Gibraltar and Malaga instead of Valencia. I've never seen it in the form of plans being thrown around so quickly.


You can see the reason everywhere in the city: Strong winds drive the waves against the beach, which is still "harmless" , and before that, there was a sandstorm, and another one is expected.


We just walk around Malaga and have our coffee at Lepanto as long as it doesn't rain.


A surprise awaits me on board in the evening - our former cabin neighbor from the VEENDAM: David Copperfield (comedian from England).



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Another sea day follows. Many outside deck areas are closed all day.


Nevertheless, there is always something going on. Finally, tea time again.


Together with James, Bill, Roger, and Mark, we go to the gala dinner. Excellent that something like this still exists.


Guest artist Paul Baker's show brings me to London's West End. Terrific!



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Day 5 takes us to Marseille. No Chantal! She's about to jump herself, but it's raining cats and dogs anyway, so we're not out much to visit always.


Thanks to a tip from my colleague from Yang Ming Marseille, we went to Bistro Le 13 to have a really great meal. I came here because He suggested the restaurant for the bouillabaisse to me. But when I read Moules et Frites or tartar, my will is too weak: I ended up with the mussels and, as a compromise, the fish soup.


Today is the day of super service: morning service with four: Restaurant Manager Maurizio and his team Tanya, Gian Carlos, and Jay.


And in the evening, another great experience: Chef's Table! Unfortunately, there was no more cookbook and no part of the program in the galley. We experience a really great meal and, above all, a fantastic team around chef Federico Femiano and Director of Restaurant Operations Ignazio D'Agostino. The pastry chefs, briefly introduced to us personally, have come up with something special for dessert: it is dedicated to peace in Ukraine. A great team of waiters around restaurant manager Lazaro: Milosh, Raymond, and Albert serve us like we are on another planet.


Another excellent production show rounds off the overall great day: Sweet Soul Music.



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Exactly - home port of MSC. That's why we've been here several times. But being here often doesn't mean that we've experienced a lot.


It was a surprise: excellent weather, and we were allowed to disembark without a bubble, although there was still an official emergency in Italy.


So we had the opportunity to do a great Segway tour through Genoa with Mattia from La Bighe de Bigo. Who would have thought that the city has so much to offer? There are UNESCO World Heritage Sites here: you don't even have to make the long journey to Milan.


Have a quick bite at Eataly at lunchtime before heading to Matteo from Serre Sul Mare: the best green pesto from Pra is made here. It was color, scent, and aromatherapy. Without preservatives: how much we would have liked to take something home with us.


Onboard, the fun starts early in the morning: Jay Pee and Roy try to check if Bruno's egg is really hard-boiled without touching the egg with their fingers.


And in the evening we are at the Crown Grill: the perfect manager: Luciana from Brazil. Which country has more competence when it comes to steaks??? She could also run the café, but Sheryl makes sure we get the coffee the way we love it.


A remarkable encounter: MSC MUSICA in Genoa. My first cruise with my father took place on her.



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Day 7 should actually bring us to Livorno, but it turns out different and different than you think. The captain expects that the port of Civitavecchia will be closed for at least 24 hours from noon. What do we do with the guests who still have to get their plane? So we drive straight on to Civitavecchia to be there before noon and check out Giglio on the way - but from a safe distance. In Civitavecchia, I see that our containers are standing, and container handling has already been discontinued.


Initially, we would not have had time to eat with the Bussu family in their restaurant La Bomboniere, but this way, we can enjoy freshly grilled fish again. I'll take a nice steak, also grilled on an open fire.


We use the last evening to say goodbye to our friends: those we met on the trip and those we will miss sorely because they spoiled us. We spent the first evening on the GRAND PRINCESS at Sabatini's, so we want to use the opportunity to say goodbye to a good friend on the last evening. But we also get to know excellent new crew members like Bineed on the last evening.


At breakfast, we experience service like from another planet: Sreten and Armida.



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Take farewell. Say ciao again or, in this case, adeus to Jose, who took great care of us. Again with Ralph for his entire team. Today we caught another half from pastry service in the morning: William.


It's back to the Hilton at Fiumicino Airport.


In the afternoon, we visit the gardens of the Holy See's summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. I would have liked to have exchanged a few words with Benedikt, but he doesn't live here anymore.


At noon we are fattened: At Amici del Gusto in Castel Gandolfo.


A lovely end to a great trip.



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The return journey via Vienna forms the last chapter.


Here we meet fellow travelers from our CELEBRITY EQUINOX-Caribbean trip 2010 again. Again and again. It's a pleasure. We chat over a schnitzel at Figlmüller.


After that, it gets dramatic. As soon as I got home, I get tested positive for Covid-19. My isolation lasts 12 days until I'm negative again, but fortunately, only mild symptoms. I'm still tired.


It is well known that sea air helps! So here I am in Portsmouth, waiting for VALIANT LADY to embark.


The following Princess trip is deposited for. But it won't continue until 2024 at the earliest. Until then, we are fully booked.


Thank you for traveling with us.



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