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Trip Report Carnival Vista, Cruisers Log.. Star Date 24.05.2016 AD

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An early morning walk around the "Ancient City Of Athens" and it's a 15 Euro cab ride from the Adam's Hotel to Piraeus where we are anxious to board the Vista.

At 13:00 hours there is a long line standing in the hot afternoon sun just outside of a huge white tent where our embarkation process will officially begin.

Fortunately, for us as frequent Carnival cruisers with "Priority Boarding", the process is quick and painless. In actuality this turns out to be one of the fastest boarding we have ever had.

At 13:35 hours after a quick passport scan by the Greek Police we stand within inches of our ship. The Carnival Vista is beckoning us for "10 Days Of Exploration and FUN" as she is getting ready for just her third sailing.

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    We did not actually. We got a cab and went around with the highlight being Pompei.

    We had a funny "lost in translation" with him too. I wanted him to take us to a local place for lunch and I was picturing some nice secluded place with a café on the sidewalk and it umbrella over it. Instead he took us to a truck stop along the highway. ��.

    In any case this driver was very funny and I still remember him and we really enjoyed our time with him. ��.

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 24.05.29.2016 A.D

    13:45Hrs As we make our way to our cabin we realize the Vista is a lot longer than it looks from the outside sleeping in the harbor.

    Our 2nd floor balcony room has a nice layout with a couch, empty mini-fridge and USB sockets. The balcony is nice for two with a fair amount of privacy to enjoy it. While one of us thinks this lower balcony maybe good for spotting "wildlife", I think our odds of doing so are better on the Lido Deck.

    However, after a few glasses of Vino who knows it is possible I might spot a few mermaids. Speaking of adult beverages we were told by passengers from Vista's second sailing that there were no problems bringing local purchases back on board at their ports of call. If our supply runs out we'll be inclined to investigate this matter further.

    14:02Hrs Following up on two cruise traditions we head to the "Lido Deck" before they run out of food but do so by taking the the stairs. Brief moments of pain going from 2-10 before we hopefully get some culinary pleasures.

    So far the Vista seems basically laid out like the Breeze but with a few improvements and added decor. The art work (3D) at the base of the stairs is pretty cool along with the atrium center pieces.

    On the "Lido Deck" Market Place seems a bit more bright, lively and spacious. There are two unique additions to the buffet area. A dishwasher style hand sanitizer and a P.Y.O.B machine where with your "Sign And Sail" card you get a cool Bud-Light for $3.95. Pour right or you will end up with a big foamy head with no free "do overs".

    The Market Place food is similar to all the other Carnival ships and to my disappointment "Tandoor" which is one of my favorites on the other ships has been replaced. Now on the outside area near the aft pool is a "pay" seafood type restaurant.

    A crowd favorite the 24Hr Pizzeria is still on rear port side and at times you still have to wait for a slice of pie.

    14:21Hrs We decide purchasing "Wi-Fi" access for the entire cruise for $90 is a great social and business decision (although we tell no one.. because we are officially on vacation).

    14:46Hrs A walk around upper deck of the Vista gives stunning views of the busy port of Pireaus and of Athens. The "Sports Area" is nice with a wide jogging track and a new addition of an aerial "Sky Ride" which I think will be popular, so get there early when it opens.

    Above the pool area is a giant outdoor screen which we are sure to enjoy for "Movie Nights".

    15:03Hrs I am leading by one stroke until what I consider a "defective chute" on the 9th hole causes me an extra shot and the first round of our traditional "Miniature Golf Cruise Ship Open" ends in a tie.

    I insist that the designer of this course and the 9th hole needs to be shot!

    15:18Hrs We escape to "Serenity" which is much improved from other Carnival ships. We find shelter from the afternoon Greecian sun in a private cabana until I am woken up by a series of horn blasts and a loud PA announcement. The mandatory safety drill is about to begin.

    17:20Hrs It's two steps to the right then two steps to the left and a premature "Sail Away" party is underway about an hour and a half before the Vista officially sails away at 19:00Hrs.

    For us this is always "Fun" and for several cruises now we have been fond of the first Cruise Director of the Vista.. "Hi, Matt".

    19:16Hrs A mandatory trip to "Cloud 9" and it is time to get ahead of the expected huge calorie intake for the next 10 days. The gym area is nice with lots of equipment and options to help you manage your "Cruise Diet". Be wary of the "Spa Seminars" which while informative can end up with a few charges on your "Sign and Sail" account.

    21:30Hrs A very funny "Welcome Aboard Show" hosted by "Hi, Matt" and this is where I learn I would not make a very good Tarzan or probably "Jane" for that matter too. My feeble attempt at being the man of the jungle receives a rebuke from Matt but does get a few chuckles from the audience.

    23:05Hrs The "Lime Light Lounge" becomes full except for 4 seats in the front row. However, as Orlando (another Carnival favorite for us) reminds the audience.. "In Jamaica when the front row is empty, the second row becomes the front"...

    We have been warned and the laughter begins at "The Punchliner Comedy Club" rumored to be soon no longer presented by George Lopez.

    23:59Hrs We get an urgent call from "El Capitano" to which we make a "Rapid Response". As the Vista sails smoothly across the Aegean Sea towards our first port of call Kusadasi, Turkey, "El Capitano" wants to make sure we go to sleep.. "With"a" nice"a'' slice"a" pie".

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    JW.. Thanks, we will probably adventure out on the train to Pompei then back to walk around the city.

    Did Ephesus today... Wow.. Thanks for the encouragement for us to do so and to visit "The Terrace Houses". Very cool stuff :)

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    It sounds like a great start and that you are definitely in the mood for a great time.

    I am surprised to hear that you can bring on booze after embarkation. Usually its verboten. I wonder if it will pan out that way.

    Next time just take a Mulligan on the 9th. :D.

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 25.05.29.2016 A.D

    05:30Hrs An unplanned warm light starts to filter into our cabin as the day begins on the Aegean Sea. These are the times I miss having an inside cabin. Now we must remember to close our balcony curtains unless we want what could be a "Rude Awakening".

    06:15Hrs Day 2 of our "Cruise Diet" is underway. On Deck 12 it is nice to see a few others maybe on the same plan.

    08:30Hrs It's breakfast in the Lido Market Place. The French Toast is nice along with a slice of "vegetarian" ham. Surprisingly the mixed fruit salad is also decent as most of the fruits in the mix are actually ripe and flavorful.

    09:14Hrs The Vista is 14 minutes behind when the all clear is made for us to disembark at our first port of call. We have a 09:30 tour scheduled with "Ephesus Shuttle" but we are not too concerned as we are sure they are aware that the ship is running late.

    09:35Hrs We are surprised how quickly the gangway area has cleared and we end up walking off without any delay. A new process with hand card scanners seems to be pretty effective in easing the process.

    The port in Kusadasi is an easy one to navigate and in about 10 minutes time we have meet up with our tour guide for Ephesus.

    Although we were expecting to be with a group we end up on a private tour for only US$45 per person. Our tour will include Ephesus, The Terrace Houses and a brief stop at Artemus Temple. Just to go to Ephesus is US$70 per person if arranged through Carnival or you can take a taxi from outside the cruise terminal for about 60 Euro round trip.

    I highly recommend visiting Ephesus however you might choose to do so.

    14:05Hrs We are back at the port after an amazing tour of Ephesus. Famished we sort of make a "rookie" mistake of eating at one of the restaurants near the cruise terminal. Although the food was decent we are convinced we could have gotten a better bang for our euros had we walked a few blocks away from the "touristy area".

    Walking around Kusadasi was nice except for the almost constant hustling from street vendors hawking "Genuine Fake Watches" along with fake colognes and perfumes.

    18:00Hrs The Vista sets sail for our next port of call Rhodes, Greece. This gives us the chance to chill and watch a beautiful sunset from our balcony.

    With a steady wind whipping, the night air takes on an unexpected chill.

    After a huge and pricey lunch dinner is a light one. Although Vista offers many dining options with more of them being in "Pay Restaurants" our favorite dining spot has always been the Lido Market Place. Tonight, it is one of my favorite dishes from there an artichoke salad that has a kick to it that reminds me of a spicy ceviche, delicious.

    22:30Hrs We add $11 to our "Sign and Sail" and minutes later we have water sprayed in our faces and bugs crawling around our feet. I have never felt so stabbed in the back, literally.

    If this is way Carnival continues to threat its guests I will be back again and again although next time I promise not to scream like an 8 year old school girl. Don't miss Carnival 3D Thrill IMAX.

    22:50Hrs Havana is calling and we answer at the bar then the dance floor. Although the Latin sounds have for the most part retired for the night the crowd and energy on Deck 5 has not. A DJ has the crowd "Wobbling" and "Jumping Around" until it is time to shut the place down.

    Oh, What A Day... Oh, What A Night!

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    Yes Ephesus is a great site to see. Glad you enjoyed it. I actually took a pic of that sign "Genuine Fake Watches" though I don't know if it was the only one. Reminds me of bb shoes I saw in India with both Nike and Adidas logos. :D.

    Sorry I did not follow what you meant by the water in your faces and bugs on your feet comment??

    Sounds like as usual you are having a wonderful time.

    Cheers, Larry. :).

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    "minutes later we have water sprayed in our faces and bugs crawling around our feet"

    Part of Vista's "Thrill Theater".. a multi-dimensional (3/4D) experience with moving seats and cool effects. It offers different shows but the one we saw was "Thrillogy"... Dare To Be Scared!

    Frankenstein... Panic House And ... Friday The 13th..

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 26.05.29.2016 A.D

    With no big plans for Rhodes other than to walk into the “Old Town” area we are not in a hurry to disembark the Vista when it arrives at 08:00Hrs.

    08:30Hrs From Deck 12 we enjoy views of Rhodes Harbor as we continue our “Cruise” ritual to burn off a few calories.

    10:00Hrs We are off the Vista as easy as 1-2-3 and begin our walk into the “Old Town”. However, just outside the port we get a sign, actually a few of them, that suggest our plan for the day was about to change. On both sides of the streets in front of us are “Rent A Car” signs. Having just passed a “Taxi Ad Stand” advertising 60 Euros for a tour around the island and a trip to Lindos, 30 Euros per day for a car does not seem like a bad deal.

    10:26Hrs In less than 20 minutes we are on the road to Lindos thanks to the friendly folks at Port Travel “Rent A Car” where you can also get a nice local map and free Wi-Fi.

    Although we use “Maps.Me” and “Here” apps for offline GPS navigation getting to Lindos which is about 26 miles away is easy. Along the way to Lindos there are many shops, restaurants and beaches should you decide to take a detour. We find a Super Market where for about 8 euros we get a few snacks, two bottles of water, a beer and two souvenir magnets.

    For us, we often enjoy the flexibilty and freedom a rental car gives us and this time it is no exception. Several others probably feel the same way because there are a lot rental cars on the road to Lindos. How do we know this? Most if not all of the rentals cars here have some form of the companies logo somewhere on the car.

    11:32Hrs Somewhere just outside of Lindos we stop at a view point for a scenic look of Lindos with its white houses below us and the hill top Acropolis in the distance above us. The sky is clear and blue which helps to make the scenery look spectacular.

    About a mile from here we are overlooking St Paul's Bay before descending from the highway for a close up look and some better photo opportunities.

    With our time limited we decide not to stay too long and opt to go “off the beaten path” to make our way back to Rhodes by 16:00Hrs in order to meet our back on board time of 16:30Hrs.

    12:21Hrs We make a sharp climbing U-turn and we are on our way to Lardos then Laerma. Views of rich blue waters and coastal communities soon change to mountainous terrain with rolling hills, winding roads and a lush green landscape. Soon I am wishing my Kawasaki Voyager was readily accessible.

    12:42Hrs We spot our first real wildlife of the cruise, well sort of. Along the side of the road a kid is eating with his mother .... “maa, maa”. Somewhat startled by us, eight legs soon disappear behind a clump of bush.

    13:10Hrs A quick map check and we are on the way to Apollona. Now I am really missing my bike as this portion of our drive reminds me of “The Tail Of The Dragon” in North Carolina. Great scenery while driving rolling curves in a manual 5 speed car and maneuvering hairpin turns makes this a lot of fun. In the distance we spot a huge lake with occasionally olive tress filling the gap between us and it.

    At one point we leave the paved highway and follow a dirt path for a short distance. We come to a stop at a small as in miniature bright white and blue church at the end of an olive field. What a cool discovery in the peacefulness of the countryside.

    14:02Hrs After more fun driving we take a short break at a roadside “Farmers Stand”. Here we sample local olive oil, nuts and sesame candies. Although the gentleman minding the store spoke some English I am not sure what I bought but it was delicious. A “Cheetos” type I think peanut snack although my fingers were not left bright orange.

    14:48Hrs We arrive at Epta Piges (Seven Spring). Feeling tight on time we decide to limit our time here to no more than 20 minutes and set of in search of a waterfall that is located near here. After 15 minutes we abort the mission but get the chance to talk with a few local school kids having fun in a “Tunnel Stream”.

    One interesting thing here is “The House Of Python” which one of us is chicken to visit. While I am not fond of snakes seeing a 15 foot long one asleep behind a protective glass is not to scary. Apparently, yesterday this one had a whole chicken to eat and will probably not eat for another 15 days. Pick the right time to visit and you can play with it... No thanks!

    15:43Hrs Around the world it is interesting how much people pay for gasoline. Here we fork over 1.6 Euro per liter to refill our rental car. If my 3rd grade math is correct that's over US$5 per gallon. Wow!

    16:06Hrs We are back at Port Travel “Rent A Car”. Our return process is just as easy as when we picked up the car. I would definitely recommend this business except they do not have a bathroom available and after two bottles of water... I really have to .... Again.

    16:20Hrs It is a quick silent walk back to the Vista and as my luck would have it is a long line to get back on board.

    16:45Hrs I survived the journey and its a trip to the Lido Deli for a better “snacking” option at this time of the day. Although it is usually not our preference to eat in the formal dining room tonight is our first night for the Vista experience.

    17:00Hrs We get our share of laughs from a guy walking around with a bottle of “Windex”. With a big towel we try to ward of a cold wind blowing across the Vista as we watch “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” on the big screen.

    19:16Hrs Its time for “Your Time Dining” (A new Carnival Feature where you get a ticket at Guest Services for the time you want to dine) in the Horizon Restaurant.

    As expected, it seemed to us that the dining room staff although pleasant were still trying to figure out their new work environment. We sat for about 10-15 minutes before someone came to take our order and the food delivery was slow. We ordered the “Beef and Barley Soup” and salads for starters along with the “Chicken Breast” and “Grilled Salmon” for our main course.

    The soup was salty. The chicken was dry and the vegetables that were served with it seemed like they came out of a can. On the other hand the salmon was perfect so was the “Fresh Tropical Fruit” and the “Chocolate Melting Cake” for dessert.

    The table had a nice setup minus a table cloth and it took us over an hour and a half to have our meal. I guess for most others this might be normal but it is just not our style.

    21:35Hrs Our late timing for dinner has us running late for the 9:30pm show “Viva Variety” in the “Liquid Lounge”. A packed room has us sitting at bar but this turns out to be an advantage. When the performer asks for audience volunteers I have easy access to the stage and get to participate with two others in a one man comedy juggling show.

    23:15Hrs It is another trip to the Lido Deck but this time it is not for food but for some late night dance moves under the Mediterranean star filled skies.

    23:55Hrs We are in the “Piano Bar” hosted by “Ben” one of the best and most energetic “Piano Man” we have seen in a long time. Ben shares words of wisdom that get more “R-Rated” as the night goes on so this is for sure a mature adult venue.

    For us, the “Piano Bar” turns out to be a lot of “FUN”. With a “Day At Sea” tomorrow plus gaining an hour of ship time, we have no problem “shutting this place down”.

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    I feel like this review has me there with you. Sadly Im not. :(.

    Actually with the current exchange rate if my math is correct ( 1 USD =1.11 Euros so 1.6 E = 1.78 USD) then its about $6.67 USD per gallon. But you're right. Its over $5.00. :D.

    Again you sure know how to have fun.

    BTW in 2011 when we were in Israel gas was around $10.00 per gal!

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 27.05.29.2016 A.D

    10:47Hrs I am up but in a bit of a panic. There is a basketball tournament in less than 15 minutes at 11:00Hrs and I have not done my “Cruise Diet” routine for the day. We have come to the conclusion that if we do not get our gym time in during the early morning then as the Italians would say.. “you can forget about it..”

    With the Carnival App on our phones we usually have our ship activities planned out the day before. Our “Sea Day” is suppose to be a busy one.. Basketball at 11:00.. Hairy Chest at 12:30 ... Lunch... Spa Seminar at 15:00 ... Volleyball at 16:00... OMG I don't think I am going to have time to get my hair done!

    Leaving the cabin I decide I will just play basketball until I pass a “Ship Clock” then I realize I forgot to change my phone to the new ship time... I feel like Homer Simpson.. D'oh!

    11:26Hrs (The Real 11:26Hrs).. I am feeling like Dennis Rodman without the dress in a competitive game of half court 4 on 4 basketball. With my inside game gone, although I probably never had one, I am thinking I need to be more like Steph so I put one up from “Downtown”... Big Mistake! The ball barely leaves my hand when it goes flying backwards in the air.. thanks to a 6-4, 23 year old Russian who later tells me with a smile.. he plays college basketball.

    I tell you the kids today (especially the tall ones) have no respect for their elders!

    12:30Hrs Although not as out going as the “Caribbean Ones”, the Vista Hairy Chest Competition is still entertaining. There are some really hairy men from Israel and India who can strut their stuff and woo the ladies....

    With a winner crowned it is time for some line dancing on the Lido Deck. However, despite the Cruise Director's best effort the participation effort is dismal.

    Most people are comfortable lounging on chairs soaking up some sun but then we get an unexpected surprise. Matt announces that he just received a call from the bridge that a whale has been spotted on the port (left) side of the ship.. Most of the Lido deck is up so fast that the Vista begins to tilt left.... Of course there is no whale but it does get a few more people on the dance floor.

    Nice one, Matt.

    13:33Hrs I am always amazed by the artistic mind because it is one thing I seem to lack so for me watching the ice craving demonstration is always impressive. This is even more so when “Ice, Ice Baby.. Vanilla Ice” is playing in the background.

    More time on the Lido Deck then lunch thanks to the “Blue Iguana” and before you know it I am back up on Deck 12.

    16:12Hrs And I am a “Wild Shark” because I am on a volleyball team with Denise a fun and energetic Carnival team member. If you need a smile or a laugh find Denise and you will be sure to get one. Unfortunately, we get eliminated in the first round of the tournament.

    Apparently no one is intimidated by smiling wild sharks.

    We do return in a post tournament game as the “Pelicans” and take no prisoners. We win by a score of 151-93.

    17:21Hrs As I am cleaning up for dinner I keep wondering what it would be like to be a “VIP”. Rumors have been floating on the Vista that there is going to be a “Who's who.. Hollywood Red Carpet Event” this evening with some big names involved. 19 of Hollywood's biggest stars are expected to be there.

    18:04Hrs The announcement is made as we are enjoying another “Marketplace Meal”. The stars are meeting at the “Red Carpet” in less than 10 minutes. Wanting to get a glimpse of the “Studio VIPs” I abandon my meal and head down to the Liquid Lounge. I am blinded by camera flashes then take a seat in the second row as it is still at least 30 minutes before show time.

    Soon enough the house lights go down and a production show involving 70-80's disco music begins. It is a great show until a spotlight is shined on me and I am approached by a law enforcement officer which I did not know they had on the Vista.. I was stunned until he told me.. “We want you.. we want you as a new recruit..”

    Just like that (kind of) I had officially became a “Studio VIP”... and the “Y” of the Village People.. Y.M.C.A

    21:45Hrs My “Studio VIP” status is again in the limelight this time in the “Limelight Lounge” when the comedian opens his act with about 5 minutes of material about my “Y” performance on stage... He thought I looked very happy on stage but used a three letter word to describe my happiness.

    If his demonstrations of my moves are correct I might have to work on being a little less happy.. although we both agreed there is nothing wrong with being happy.

    23:13Hrs We pay another visit to the “Piano Bar” for a great time with Ben and I make two new discoveries. First, a great beer from NY.. Coney Island 1608 Amber Ale.

    Second, Hank Williams Jr did not live out the songs he wrote to get divorced.... It's to get ..... D'oh!

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    I can imagine you with the spot light on you:), you are having just too much fun. I stopped any type of sports in my early thirties:):):). Have a drink and keep having fun, have a little for me, because I am not cruising this year, but I do have a couple of trips planned before the end of the year.

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    Glad to hear about the vino and also surprised too.

    Someday I hope we get the chance to push that envelope together. It would be fun. Once the poster Sassafras, me and the late and great Dogster were on the Constellation together and she did manage to limp back into port somehow. :).

    You certainly have plenty of energy to do all that stuff in one day!

    As for that bb game I know what you mean. We had a lot of driveway games, really a lot and having played vs. a bunch of 18-19 yr. olds who remembered what I did to them when they were 15-16, well let's say you can't hurt my ego anymore. I became immune. :D.

    Keep it coming!

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    tch912,

    Every now and then I think I should stop playing street basketball with the "youngings" who call me "paps" but once in a while I manage an "old school" move or sink one from "downtown" and think ... "Oh yeah"

    To mix it up, I had a "Red Beer" (Russian) in Sorrento today.. So, "Here's looking at you, kid".. :)

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 28.05.29.2016 A.D

    08:02Hrs Our “Cruise Diet” is really hitting it's stride and we are happy about it.

    Since we are told the average cruiser can easily gain 6lbs on a 7 day cruise and we are normally “above average”.. (I think on the amount of cruising). In doing the math I figure we could easily gain 30lbs a year which in 10 years would have me weighing close to 500lbs. That being the case, we decide on this cruise we really need to stick with our exercise program.

    Furthermore, Lugi.. we a plan a to sample a lot a of a “mamma” cooking a on a this a itinerary a..

    10:34Hrs With no “Magnificent Malta” plans we have another easy disembarkation from the Vista. This is a nice port with easy access to the “Old City” which is on the agenda for today. However, just outside the port terminal a 10 Euro deal gets our attention.

    Several “Hop-On Hop Off” buses are available for this price. The one we chose has three routes that allow you to see the highlights of Malta. We decide on the “Yellow” route to “Midina”. On the way to our pick up point we do some souvenir shopping. The first shop on left hand side has the best deals, 1 Euro magnets, 3 Euro hats and 5-8 Euro T-Shirts. For 5 Euros we are happy with 2 magnets and a hat. We wait on the return for some more shopping and find better deals along the Valletta Waterfront again on the left side as you enter the hallway to get back on the ship.

    11:13Hrs There is a line up to get on the “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus as all routes depart from this point. A nice thing is the employees are efficient enough to change the available bus to match the demand for a particular route. This happens for us so we get called out of line and are soon on our way to Midina.

    We have found that the “Hop-On Hop-Off” buses have always been a nice experienced especially when you are compressed for time. Although you can take a local bus to Midina for a few euros cheaper we think this one is a steal at 10 Euro. Along the way to Midina we learn about the history of Malta and a few highlights we pass along the way.

    12:01Hrs We arrive in Midina and after having listened to the audio on the bus I have a new mission besides just sightseeing. Midina is a beautiful fortified medieval town with cool quaint walking streets. The highlight here is visiting the cathedral although there is an admission charge. However, if you are a “smiling pleasant pligrim” who just want to snap a few pictures go to the exit area in front and you might get “blessed” like we did.

    12:31Hrs My new mission target is in sight but as I get even closer to it I face a terrible dilemmia. Should I attempt to conquer one or all of the delicious cakes at Fontanella Tea Garden. Thinking of being 500lbs we decide to split the “Traditional Ftira” (A Tuna Salad With Oil Olive On a Ciabatta.. Say No More) with two “lovely cups of tea” and a OMG delicious “Apple Cake”. All for under 13 Euros!

    Although this place can be busy and maybe considered a “tourist trap” we found the food, the city views, the atmosphere, the service including free Wi-Fi and the prices to be well worth it.

    A nice lunch and we decide our plans to ride the “Blue” route back which takes about 2.5-3Hrs is just not going to work. A walk around the city and another scientific sampling of gelato now seems more appropriate.

    15:22Hrs We are back in Valletta and exit the “Hop-On Hop-Off” bus at Stop-19 one stop before where we got on the bus. This gives us an opportunity to explore Valletta and it's local cold adult beverages before walking down some steep streets back to the port for some last minute shopping.

    16:26Hrs 4 minutes shy of our “ Back On Board Time” we are scanned on the Vista.

    17:00Hrs From our “Cove Balcony” we watch the Vista sail away as our evening plans are already on a tight schedule. In less than 15 minutes we have a “Studio VIP” after-party and I don't have anything to wear!

    17:30Hrs Exactly I walk into “88 Piano Bar” (fashionably late) behind my $1 pair of “Terminator” sunglasses wearing my $4.99 Brazilian T-Shirt, $8.99 Navy Blue 6 Pocket Shorts and $12.99 Guess Sandals (From Ross. I am shocked that no one notices me. Inside I am not feeling like Sally Fields....

    With his being only Vista's third sailing they are still in the process of figuring it all out but the “Studio VIP” party is a nice touch. In all there were 38 of us who participated in two shows in the Liquid Lounge and this party is the entertainment staff way recognizing our "immense talents" and saying “Thank You” to us and one guest.

    We get the chance to meet the performers and learned a lot about their dedication and how the process all works while sipping fine “imported” champagne. We take a few group photos which I think will make a nice Vista souvenir.

    19:01Hrs Unfortunately I have to call my agent and cancel my karoake performance for this evening due to unplanned scheduling conflicts which involve taking a nap..

    21:03Hrs With two new comedians on board we are back on the “Punchliner” circuit.

    Who knew the an Englishman and a Scotsman could be so funny especially when have 4 audience members perform “Camelot” gangsta style.

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    JW,

    Today in Napoli... No X-Ray scan but this time we just brought water on. 0.50 Euro in grocery store.. 3 Euro at Pompei.. $3.75 on Vista.

    Do the math.. How would you like to go with me in the water selling business.. "Coconut Water", "Shrimp Water"..

    We could split the profits right down the middle and do a lot more cruising :)

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    Well maybe but " stupid is as stupid does." :D.

    Let's talk it over with a martini first. :).

    A lot of cruise wt. or at least some of it is H2O from the Na+ in the food and also for some it's booze. Actually 1 lb. of body mass wt. equates to 3500 calories and except for fat booze has the most calories per gram wt. On top of that booze calories burn first instead of fat stores.

    TR is wonderful and thanks for taking the time to do this.

    I don't remember the HOHO on Malta so that's a cool option.

    Well it's 0830 here. Time to see the other retirees at the gym.

    Cheers, Larry. :).

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    DBMT, thanks for the beer:). I enjoyed the hop on and off bus in Rome. You canceled the karaoke:(? The nap would have to wait:). At my age, naps are becoming a girl's best friend:), so I know what you mean.

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 29.05.29.2016 A.D

    02:06Hrs Some thing goes bump in the night and although I am not a light sleep it wakes me up. On previous nights we had heard scraping sounds around the same time each night but were not to bothered by it. We passed it off as “things working themselves out on a new ship”.

    However, tonight I am sure it is more than that and place a call to “Guest Services” and I am told someone will come by the room to investigate. I am not to fond of the idea of someone coming in our room at 02:00Hrs but we need to get to sleep for an early get up and go in Messina.

    In a few minutes after I call the noise stops and I feel like an “idiot” for making the call. Moments later someone from “Guest Services” stops by and the nightly mystery noises have been solved. It turns out that our “Cove Balcony” is right below one of the dining areas and the nightly cleanings is what has been causing the problem.

    However, the real problem is a bad design combined with poor floor/ceiling sound proofing insulation. Normally this would not be an issue for us but with all of the early wake ups it is annoying.

    08:13Hrs From our balcony we believe we are steering at a solution for today's “what to do problem”. Not realizing until too late that Messina closes shop on Sunday's our plans to visit Taormina and Mt Etna on our own is in jeopardy. There are no rental cars available and the bus and train schedules just do not work on a Sunday when you have a limited amount of time. Of course we could have booked a “Vista Excursion” but it is really not our style. We prefer to go out on our own which requires us to be flexible and to have a sense of adventure for which we are often rewarded.

    10;18Hrs We are at the exit area of the port and blend in with other cruisers also trying to figure out how to get to Taormina. As luck would have it we run into a family of three from another cruise ship and mesh our travel plans together. For 50 Euros per person we are taking a taxi that will allow us to stay in Taormina for 2-3Hrs with about a 45 minute travel time each way.

    Along the way we share travel and cruise stories with our new travel companions while comparing notes about different cruise lines. They were cruising on Celebrity with their 12 year old son who told us there was only one other 12 year old on their ship. A funny but sad story he told us was that he was scolded by some ladies while he was having what he thought was fun in the pool. He was told “water is not to play with”... I guess the water in Celebrity pools is only for swimming!

    11:05Hrs We are dropped off outside of Taormina and told we would be picked up at 14:00Hrs.

    One of the top highlights often mentioned to visit here is the “Greek Theater”. Take my word for it save your 10 Euros. The theaters in Ephesus and/or Pompei are much better and are included in the price of your tour. Fortunately, so far this is the only attraction where we felt ripped off. Otherwise, Taormina was a nice visit with great scenery, great strudels and cannolis from Roberto along with a multitude of gelato shops everywhere.

    14:54Hrs Back in Messina we still have about an hour and a half before we have to be back on the Vista. We decide to walk around Messina but first chat with a “Blue” hair lady named Ellen who gives a pamphlet and some “food for thought” for our next port of call, Napoli.

    Although like in Malta “Hop-On Hop-Off” buses are available for 10 Euros we skip that option this time and head over to the Messina Cathedral. A 4 Euro entrance fee and I begin making "one small step for man".. (me) with 200 or so more to go to reach the observation platform of the clock town. The views of Messina from here is worth the climb which turns out to be an easy one with some cool exhibits along the way. However, I heard the most impressive time to be here is when the clock strikes high noon.

    A light lunch in town along with a 0.50 Euro espreso and we consider our “food for thought”. With free “Wi-Fi” available we go online...

    At www.cantbemissedtours.com and book for $80 per person a tour of Sorrento, the Amafi Coast and Pompei. We do have to pay a separate 13 Euro entrance fee for Pompei. I believe that a similar tour through Carnival is over $200 per person.

    18:09Hrs The Vista sets sail for Naopli which we are now really looking forward to.

    19:30Hrs Its “Show Time” in the Liquid Lounge and since our “Studio VIP” party it is a show we have been excited about seeing. “Flick” does not dissappoint and I think like us most of the audience is left in awe. It is definitely one of the better cruise ship shows we have seen in a long time.

    Interestingly, the Liquid Lounge is a multi-purpose room and the stage props are now mostly high tech audio visual back drops that are bright and colorful.

    21:06Hrs I make my nightly "Fruit Run". Having found favor with the "Fruit Girls" I know my selection of grapes or fruit of day will be waiting for me. What a treat for a late night snack or early morning breakfast.

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    Im with you on the martini. BTW a Belvedere martini on the Oasis was almost $25.00 by the time you add the grat. For one.

    If you are paying more for that balcony then they should have had the sense to sound proof it better as its one deck from a noisy area. We try to get a cabin with passenger decks below and above us for quiet reasons.

    Too bad for that 12 yr.old. I don't know what happened but for a kid H2O is to play with just like it was for that lady who scolded him when she was 12.

    I am glad to made the best of that situation touring on a day when things are closed or shut down early and how cool it is to book your Napoli tour like you did.

    Keep it coming dude!!

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    tch912,

    It looks like I might have missed my chance to be a "Karaoke Super Star"... It is already our last day/night of cruising and I have not taken advantage (or may have been secretly denied) the opportunity to sing.

    Apparently, my karaoke talents are well known around the Carnival fleet. I am almost sure that with so many Non-English speaking passengers on board the Captain wants to make sure that my singing is not taken as an "abandon ship" distress signal :(

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 30.05.29.2016 A.D

    In some ways the early morning ports of calls on this itinerary is “ruining” our cruise nightlife. With an earlier to bed than usual routine, I have just not had the chance to show off my latest dance moves like I would like to except for being the “Y” in Y.M.C.A. However, thanks to running into a “Blue” hair lady yesterday we did not mind retiring early last night as we are excited about our outing today.

    08:10Hrs As we leave the Vista I almost want to kiss the ground of the place that has brought me so many “stringy and doughy” pleasures..(offers that I just could not refuse).

    I am excited to be in the birthplace of my favorite cheese, mozzarella and an old friend of mine named Al.

    The Napoli Port Terminal turns out to be a large one but as promised there are a few gentlemen outside holding up “CBM” signs. Others have gathered around them and we join them to check in for our trip. We are all given little “Blue” stickers and I think this is the first time I have ever had one on a cruise. I feel so special.

    08:30Hrs We are promptly rounded up and make a group walk about 5-10 minutes away to the tour bus staging area. Interestingly, in this area you can purchase roundtrip bus tickets to Pompei if you want to venture out on your own.

    Some logistics figured out and there are about three buses with CBM clients. I know many have some doubts about using non cruise ship companies for fear of something going wrong like a late return to the ship. Over the years of using such companies we have never had a problem. In this case the worst we figure could happen is we meet up with the Vista in her next port of call, all ninety or so of us.

    08:42Hrs we are on the rode to Sorrento with our tour guide Agosto who speaks about seven languages and our bus driver, Lugi.. Yes, I know could this be true. Feeling the same way I ask if Lugi is a good a boy... Agosto assures me that he is but warns me that if I pulla his leg, Lugi gonna slappa me in da face.

    With that I know we are in good hands. On the road to Sorrento we get some history of the area along with our tour plans for the day.

    Did you know that there is no such thing in Italy as a “Roma” tomato or that mozzarella could literally mean “softie” or that Al Capone was from outside of Naples? I don't know if Agosto is pulling our legs but if he is I am a gonna give an Italian kick or a slappa in da face.

    Our drive to Sorrento is filled with awesome scenery and a few “OMG” photo opportunities. Although there are morning clouds still clinging to mountainous terrain the area along the coast is mostly clear and definitely beautiful.

    10:08Hrs We arrive in Sorrento a stunning town that has an almost unbelievable violent crime history. We are told the last murder committed here was in the 1920's.

    After a brief craftsman demo (with little or no sales pressure) at a local store we are given about two and a half hours to roam around the city. We walk less crowded streets here than in Taormina and really enjoy all the free lemon product samplings given with little or no sales pitch.

    10:43Hrs At a small grocery/deli shop run by an Ukrainian we make our adult beverage selections an “International One” as we choose a Russian beer along with an Italian one. All in all five different nations are represented at this event.

    Soon we make our way down narrow streets lined with high walls to areas along the hillside cliffs which gives us gorgeous views of the coast line below and glimpses of Capri in the distance. We are already wishing we had more than two and a half hours to spend here.

    11:31Hrs Our lunch while delicious for less than 20 Euros is disappointing in two small areas.

    First, I was expecting more than 8 grilled sardines for 8 Euros. Second, we never did get our free Limoncello as advertised on the flyer that partly lured us in. Maybe, the word had been spread that we had already received our fair share of free samplings in Sorrento.

    In any event more scientific helpings of rich, smooth and creamy gelato more than compensate for our minor lunch disappointments. Again convincing me that a lot of the world's problems can be solved by ice cream.

    12:36Hrs We are back on our respective buses for a drive down the Amalfi Coast. There are many more “OMG” photo opportunities. We stop just above Positano for breathtaking views of the area. The scenery seems almost unreal. Somebody, pinch me.

    Although much seems to be made about driving the Amalfi Coast independently, I think much of the fear concerns are overrated.

    Sure there are risk involved but safety in most situations depends on how well you manage the risk. Next time we will definitely do some driving in the area by ourselves.

    13:12Hrs Our next stop Pompei is about 45 minutes away. Along the way we pay 13 Euros each for our admission into Pompei and are told we will be escorted around the grounds by an archeologist.

    On the outside of Pompei there is definitely some “tourist” price gouging going on. We pay 3 Euros for water that sells in supermarkets for 0.5 Euro. Bring your own. In the area near the bus parking you can find more reasonable options like a pizza and a Coke for 6 Euros.

    To say that seeing Pompei is amazing is an understatement. With a little less crowds it would have been a totally over the top experience.

    We have about a two and a half hour walking tour and manage to hit only some of the highlights in a very small portion of the city.

    Our guide definitely seemed knowledge about the history of Pompei which was fascinating. Knowing that they had “Fast Food Joints”.. aka McDonalds back then was pretty cool to discover. I'll have.. One McBoar with a large order of pottage and a diet Coke, please.

    17:03Hrs We are at the port about an hour and a half before our back on board time. Across from the terminal we browse some shops and come across a nice supermarket. Here we do some shopping like a local and load up on bottles of water and some Italian goodies.

    Back at the port terminal there is some chaos to get on the ship as a long line snakes around inside the building to pass through an airport type security to have our identification checked. However, there is no x-ray scanning of the items we are bringing back on board. I am glad because I would hate to have my thick focaccia bread topped with potatoes and sprinkled with spices confiscated.

    19:18Hrs The phone rings and I answer an unexpected call from “Guest Services”. It is a supervisor type who has been made aware of our cabin noise issue from the previous nights. She offers a sincere apology and then tells me Carnival is removing our cabin service charges as a compensation for our inconvenience. While I think this is totally unnecessary I accept and this gives us another reason why we will be sailing on Carnival... again and again.

    19:37Hrs It has been a long day touring and as the Vista sails away from Napoli it is time for a “Power Nap”.

    10:38Hrs My “Power Nap” has turned into a “Deep Sleep” so I get up with a sense of urgency. Yo, world I hope you are ready me and my moves.. I am headed for the disco in the Liquid Lounge.

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    JW,

    It's 10.50 plus tips for a "shaken not stirred one" on the Vista. However, I will put in a requisition with "M" to have the "Home Office" pick up our tab.

    Afterall, we can consider our cruising and outing a service to country and just a part of being on "Her Majesty's Secret Service".

    JB.. :)

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    DMB: Well it's worth a try :D. Also what a huge difference in price! About the only time I have one is when we are on a cruise as a toast to the late Fodorite the dogster who we met at the martini bar on the Constellation. These days I'm a red wine guy.

    Very nice of CCL to lop off the cabin fees. Things like that bring a person back which is of course dollar wise in the long run. Alas IME many in CS don't get that.

    I am loving your TR man. You inspire good times. :D. Keep it coming !

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    DMBT, You CAN sing, I saw your videos:). I didn't get to spend much time in Pompeii, more of a drive by. My cousin got turned around, we were supposed to be going to Sorento, but we ended up in the little town of Amalfi, which was very beautiful.

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 31.05.29.2016 A.D

    “Rome was not built in a day” … and for us neither will it be seen in a day.

    Having been to Rome before on several occasions our plan for day involves exploring a part of Italy that we have never seen before. Furthermore, from Civitavecchia it is a long way into Rome although it can be done for as little as 12 Euros round trip if you are not afraid of a little walking and adventure.

    Once you get dropped off or take the long walk out to the exit of the port bypass the “Visitor Center” area and look to your right. Across the street you will see a red and white “BAR” sign, go inside the shop below it and you can purchase an all day public transportation pass for 12 Euros. This will allow you to ride the train round trip to Rome and all the public buses while you are there. The same pass will cost you 15 Euros at the Visitor Center. The train station is a 10 minute walk from here or you can take a shuttle bus for 2 Euros each way.

    11:37Hrs Our plans for the day begins a few feet down from the “BAR” sign at the Avis/Budget car rental counter. Interestingly, we are told we are the third set of customers from our hometown outside of Ft Lauderdale, Florida who have rented cars from this office today. For sure these are people who I do not know but have probably ran into them at Publix.

    11:53Hrs Following a recommendation from the Avis/Budget employee, we are on our way to Bracciano and start out following the coastline to get there. Although it is really not swimming weather for us we stop at Bumba Beach to take in the scenery.

    From the looks of things here I don't think the beach season has started yet.

    Sticking to the coastal route for as long as we can we pass through some small communities where the streets are lined with shops and restaurants. Soon we make a necessary left turn then cross over A-12 headed towards a mountainous countryside. As we cruise along taking in fresh clean air at 50 km/h the landscape under blue skies is covered with all shades of green. We are enjoying this and certainly have no regrets about avoiding the crowds in Rome.

    13:11Hrs We arrive in Bracciano as the whole town seems to be going to sleep. Shops are closing and the streets are becoming bare of pedestrians. This is nice for us as street parking is now free until 15:00. It's a "Siesta" time.

    Finding the “Tourist Information Booth” which is also closed, we discover that there is a lot to see and do in this area. Our first sightseeing is taking in from a distance Odescalchi Castle a fortress that dates back to 1470.

    We continue our walk around town while taking peeks at the menus of quaint but closed restaurants. Up a cobblestone street we find an area for a beautiful view of Lago di Bracciano.

    Feeling hunger pains we stop at grocery store which seems the most reasonable option at this point for a lunch meal. With provisions including fresh bread, cheese, sandwich meats and sun dried tomatoes we have enough food until we get back to the Lido Marketplace.

    15:01Hrs Continuing our little Italian road trip we drive around Lago di Bracciano towards Trevignano Romano. At a lakeside pull out we stop for lunch and I take the opportunity to waddle in clear but cool lake waters. This outing is definitely a worthwhile one away from the crowds and typical sightseeing.

    15:39Hrs It is time for another scientific gelato sampling but on this occasion we have a legitimate reason to do so. We need to pay for parking in Trevignano Romano but have no Euro coins. For sure we could have used our credit card to do so but why when we can have another excuse to have more of the rich smooth creamy stuff.

    From the lake shore we watch as a family of geese probably from Canada gracefully swim along the edge of the lake. In the distance windsurfers taking advantage of brisk winds are moving across Lago di Bracciano at about 3496 times the speed of these geese but IMO are doing so just as gracefully.

    As we walk along the lake shore, Trevignano Romano easily becomes a town I could see us coming to again and never leaving. A board with real estate offerings shows apartment/condo prices here can be reasonable. At a lakefront cafe with a slice of apricot pie and two glasses of cold brew we contemplate all the possibilities.

    16:27Hrs Unfortunately we cannot stop time and must get back to reality. Our next mission is to find Caldara. We load it up on “Maps.me” and retrace our steps back towards Bracciano. A National Monument since 1988, Caldara is volcanic hot springs so when the GPS shows it to be in a mountainous area we think we are on the correct path. Things seem to be moving in the right direction until we are out in the country going down a one lane road. We eventually give up and turn around then one of my fears but something I was in an odd way looking forward to happens.

    Taking a blind corner a car is coming the other way. Some quick maneuvering and courteous road manners by both drivers and we make what seems to be impossible happen. We are now for certain that we could have maneuvered the streets of Naples and the Amalfi Coast.

    18:07Hrs We are back at the Budget Car Rental although we were planning to be back before the office officially closed at 18:00Hrs. However, this is no problem as we leave the car in a designated parking lot a block away from the office. As usual in this car we take pictures all around the car and will watch the our credit car bill for any charges beyond what is expected.

    Nearby the Budget Car Rental office we stop in a convenience store and spend a few minutes chatting with the clerk. We get all the information we need to visit Rome like a local should we choose to do so the next time we are in the area. However, I think it is more likely we would do more (Budget) exploring of the Italian countryside unless of course we get an official “Papal Invitation”.

    19:11Hrs Two new comedians have joined the Vista in Rome and we are looking forward to seeing the new acts.

    If laughter is the best medicine then we are going to be leaving the Vista pretty healthy as so far we have being getting good doses of it in the “Punchliner”.

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    tch912,

    I like when you "get lost" and end with a beautiful discovery or experience.

    I guess with enough liquid courage I can "sing" and the more the audience drinks the better I sound. However, on this cruise I feared deep down inside I might have to do an Italian Opera set because of the clients I was expecting to be on board ... :(

    Surprisingly, we actually met a lot Americans and Floridians on board. I guess a lot of us wanted to be "the first" before Vista makes Miami its home port in November 2016.

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 01.06.2016 A.D

    We have another early morning port arrival and a busy day plan. Although we could do a tour of Pisa and Florence for 99 Euros per person we again opt for a rental car.

    08:23Hrs We are at the Eurocar Rental counter located right at the port. When I originally booked this location was not shown and so a few days before we arrived I received an interesting email. I could take a taxi to Stazione Marittima for 5 Euros per person or choose their delivery service for 20 Euros plus VAT. I smell a rat.

    These type of situations are disappointing because it seems like a switch and bait scheme. If not why was I not told this upfront when I booked the car? To our surprise there were tons of Eurocars at the port. If they got an extra 20 Euros per vehicle I would say they did pretty well that day. Avis and Hertz are also at the port and while the overall price may have been the same I would rather just pay the "real price" upfront than to feel like I am being "nickled and dimed".

    Somewhat to Eurocar's credit they did provide us a “Free GPS” with all the popular sights already stored. The GPS also came with a “Traffic/Speed Camera” feature that was nice.

    08:55Hrs The port here is so huge that it takes us about 10 minutes of driving before we reach the exit gate and are on our way to Florence.

    The drive to Florence is an easy hour and a half one on a two lane highway with the GPS occasionally warning us of “Speed Cameras” ahead. The traffic density picks up as we approach the city but with the GPS and “P” signs posted along the way we have no problem navigating to a parking garage. You can park on the streets but it is a little bit more challenging with limited space and parking meters. The less than 4 Euro per hour rate at “Garage Nazionale” seems reasonable in this situation.

    From here we are about a 10 minute walk to the “Duomo” and even closer to the “Central Market” which can be just down right sinful to visit.

    Florence is also known for it's leather products and there is no shortage of stalls selling belts, jackets and handbags. My “ladies handbag expert” tells me the prices are good and so is the quality.

    11:08Hrs If you are not impressed by seeing the “Duomo” then you are one tough cookie. It is almost beyond words to explain it's stature and magnificence.

    We are in awe at it's detailed exterior beauty. Inside the works of arts are just as amazing. Admission to the Duomo is free although you can pay to climb 400 plus stairs to the dome or visit a museum inside.

    We spend a few hours walking around the city including visiting the “Old Bridge” and seeing a replica statue of David.

    Since our plans include visiting Pisa we return to “Garage Nazionale” around 14:00Hrs and we are surprised by what the garage has become... Full from the entrance ramp down to the single floor parking area.

    It soon becomes apparent that this is a normal occurrence as workers move with skill and precision to reposition and return cars to waiting customers. After about 20 minutes our car has been plucked from somewhere in the pile and delivered to us without a scratch. I am impressed.

    14:32Hrs We are on the way to Pisa basically along the same route we used to visit Florence. Taking an exit we are looking forward to maybe setting a thing or two straight in Italy.

    One of the advantages we are told of visiting Pisa in the afternoon is the fact that most of the tour buses are gone by then. When we arrive it is still a little bit busy but not overwhelming. At 1.5 Euro per hour the parking here is a little bit more reasonable than in Florence.

    If you park on some of the streets nearby you might find it annoying that some of the local bystanders offer unsolicited help which may come in exchange for you checking out their merchandise of “Genuine Fake Goods”. City lots are readily available if you do not want to be bothered.

    Unable to straighten things out at Pisa we just decide to enjoy the view as others try to prop things up with strange hand gestures and poses. In a previous life I did lift the Taj Mahal up with just my two fingers so I do understand the leanings here.

    16:33Hrs Our return to the Vista from Pisa is a nice drive along a “country road” thanks to the help of Eurocar pre-planned GPS route. This was definitely a worthwhile outing and easy to do if you decide to do it on your own.

    19:20Hrs Hands are clapping and most of the crowd is on it's feet as we try to keep in rhythm with the lead guitar... “I wanna rock and roll all night.. and party everyday” is one of the opening songs for the cool and exciting “America Rocks” production show for the night.

    One the things that I like on the Vista is that the production shows are more intimate with the audience. The set up of the main theater, “Liquid Lounge” allows for this as the floor seating is not fixed and can be easily changed. This is the second show we have seen where part of the show and set is mixed in the audience area.

    20:36Hrs We are not much of “Cruise Ship Casino” fans but tonight we decide to see if Lady Luck would amuse us. She's not so kind at the "Craps Table".

    However, LL does let me hold onto my money a little longer before sharing it with Carnival and my new friends at Texas Hold'em. Fortunately, I think we will still be able to pay the rent on our double wide when we get back home.

    Hard to believe we have just one more port of call left, Marseilles. The FUN is slowly coming to an end and with that in mind we are back for some laughs in the “Punchliner” comedy club with a few other couples who we have met over the last nine days.

    As of June 1st the “Punchliner” is no longer sponsored by George Lopez. However, tonight we notice no difference and I hope Carnival will continue to make this venue a part of the FUN ships.

    Adios, George. Thanks for all the laughs over our last 17 cruises.

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    JW,

    Back from "Dreamland" and 24hrs of daylight!

    Hiking at 1am and having the sun still up.. pretty cool. Too bad not easy to share pictures here.

    Visiting Greenland was like a dream :)

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    It certainly is like a dream. :D.

    We more or less did what you did though we did ours from a cab. We went to Florence first. I kept wondering when we would get there but did not realize signs for "Firenze" were Florence in Italian. :D. We did see the Duomo and yes its amazing. Afterwards we were driven to Pisa and then back to the ship. We finished well ahead of the busloads and were very pleased. The cab was more than doing it yourself but also was less than what the ship offered. This was our second stop and our second driver from what I call the "O" boys. We had Roberto for Rome, Giorgio for Florence and Ernesto in Naples. All were quite nice and fun.

    Ernesto told us a funny story about his. wife. She told him to go "getta da cheese" for the food. So I gotta da cheese and she said where you getta do cheese. I say "Tonys" and she said no! Itsa not so good. Next time to go Romanos. Ok So next time she say getta da cheese but go to Romanos. I go to Tonys and don't tell her. Then she make a da food. So after we eat I say whats the difference. She said "Ah da taste, da taste!" The Ernesto said still I donna believe. :D.

    I'd say have fun but you seem to have that down pat. :D.

    Larry. :).

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    Cruisers Log, Star Date 02.06.2016 A.D

    Our last port of call comes with a warning the night before in the form of a “Captain's Letter”. With all of the terrorism activity in France there are increased security concerns in Marseilles, France's second largest city. Furthermore, upon our arrival we are told there is a bus strike going on.

    These two concerns have us debating our plans for Marseilles.

    10:02Hrs We continue our routine to Deck 12 then decide to have lunch on board. It is such a nice day that in spite of the concerns about Marseilles we are going to check out the city.

    Since local transportation is limited Carnival is offering it's own bus service to the city center for $15 per person round trip which seems like a good deal to us.

    13:30Hrs We disembark the Vista and shortly we are on a bus with only three other passengers headed to the city.

    14:05Hrs It is “Wow” as we breath in fresh air and take in the views of this beautiful seaside city. Masts from what seems like hundreds of sailboats gently go up and down in rhythm with the small waves in the harbor as a brisk wind blows across our faces. The scenery alone makes the journey here worthwhile.

    We simply walk along the waterfront taking it all in and then we are given a gentle reminder of the “Captain's Letter”. Approaching us from the distance is the wailing of sirens produced by the police or security forces on motorcycles followed by a caravan. In a moment it all passes us and we continue to enjoy what is in front of us.

    On one side of the street there is a multitude of restaurants while on the other side there are vendors setting up for a day market of sorts. I am drawn to one of them like a moth to a light bulb. Who can resist “Pistachio Biscuits” by “Bisuiterie Artisanale Navarro”? Not, I.

    More time strolling around the city window shopping culinary delights and before we know it is time to head back to the Vista.

    17:00Hrs We are once again getting the “VIP” treatment on the Vista. This time it is at the Diamond and Platinum Party where we and others get to be recognized by Carnival for our loyalty. Free drinks, hors d’oeuvres and about 45 minutes of entertainment does make us feel appreciated.

    It is hard to believe we are on the last night of our “10 Day Cruise” and surprisingly we did not get to do all the things we wanted to do on the Vista.

    For us, fortunately later this year the Vista will be making Miami it's home port. I suspect we will be on this “FUN” ship again and hopefully soon.

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    I suppose a quiet last day is a good way to wind down what has been a great vacation.

    It's nice that this ship will be so close by for future embarkations.

    Glad you had such a great time and wish for more for you!

    Larry. :).

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    As usual you gave such an excellent trip report and I could visualize the entire trip, thank you for my cruise this year:). I look forward to Vista coming to Miami. Maybe within the next few years I will get to cruise Vista. You always enjoy your vacations, just as we all should, never allowing anything to stop you, I love it. Once again thank you.

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    tch912,

    Thanks as always for your kind words :)

    Just for you: https://youtu.be/wiG_DJs79NU

    BTW: I think sailing the Caribbean is much more "FUN" and entertaining. The Mediterranean is more about sightseeing and the ports are more of a challenge to leave and explore on your own.

    See you on the Vista sailing from Miami :)

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