RHK's heading to Europe

Old Apr 16th, 2013, 04:22 AM
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Bob- tear yourself away from those endless buffets and give us you trip report aboard so far!
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 05:16 AM
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Isn't internet on ships insanely expensive?
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 06:47 AM
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Yes but Bob has a way of getting it for free or next to nothing.I'm sure by now he is dining at the captain's table complaining about something.
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 11:18 AM
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Bob, nothing really happening in the Boston area this past week, Hope you are enjoying your cruise...
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Old Apr 21st, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Where is Bob? Surely he isn't on the black pearl and the "boat" he is on has wifi????
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Old Apr 24th, 2013, 10:29 PM
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Okay B&K, time to report in soon! Looking forward to hearing about the cruise. Wish Mr Lcuy wassn't so prone to seasickness. I'd love to do a transatlantic (or transpacific) cruise!
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Old Apr 25th, 2013, 06:41 AM
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This is by far the "quietest" B and K have ever been on any of their countless threads on any forum. Them skimpy buffets can certainly take up a lot of time on board.
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Old Apr 25th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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He hasn't found a way to dodge the 50¢ a minute charge for internet.
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Old Apr 25th, 2013, 01:32 PM
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Bob: Are you swimming all the way?
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Old Apr 25th, 2013, 02:08 PM
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Guys, the cruise is 15 nights - arriving in Italy April 29. I am sure that the high cost or lack of internet is the reason there have been no updates. Or maybe their ship has sunk...
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Old Apr 25th, 2013, 08:50 PM
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And when they disembark, they'll learn of the horrors that struck their home town. So sad.
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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Most cruises provide daily news, but in some ways it would have been nice to only have to experience this as "history".
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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 12:42 PM
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Bob is taking a spelling class, he'll be back soon.

B&K, sounds like a fantastic trip! A belated "Bon Voyage"!
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Old Apr 26th, 2013, 03:24 PM
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<i>Bob is taking a spelling class, he'll be back soon.</i>

Assuming he gets a passing grade!
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 05:21 AM
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we arrived in rome this AM and i will post a short update on our simply fabulous crossing---perfect weather until the last day which was only ok..

at my sister's in Umbria and enjoying the churping of birds and very green grasses and crops and wonderful flowers... iris are out and fading fast, lilacs are gone already.. more later..

wonderful pasta w/sausage for lunch today..
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Sunday May 14

we had a leisurely early AM, eating some terrible pastry from Panera's--we love their stuff at home, but in FLA it's not so great.
we packed up and checked out of the hyatt and drove just over the bridge to the entrance to Port Everglades and proceeded to Pier 25 where the Silhouette was docked.

we unloaded our bags to the stevedors and left the port to return our car to Sixt just a few miles away on rte 1. the car was about $55. for the 2 days. Sixt has a free van with transportation back to the ships. they drop you right at the door to the check-in area.

we had opted for conceirge class on the ship so this allows for very speedy check-in in a special line--5-7 minutes required. we bypassed the photographer's area and headed right aboard. only a few of the food venues are open on this arrival day so we headed to bistro on 5, a small soup and crepe restaurant on deck 5 ($5. each surcharge). we had a leisurely lunch and by about 1:15 staterooms on our deck (10) were ready.
1231 is our stateroom number. it is located just on the forward side of the forward exterior outcrop on the Port side. I chose this so that we would have a clear view forward---the balcony is also slightly bigger because of the exterior bump.

Our stewards were around to give assistance as needed. both men are from Costa Rica and are very pleasant with big smiles and a welcoming disposition. at first the stateroom at 194 sq feet seemed small, but now we have come to like it. our only regret is that the sofa is nearer to the door than to the balcony which makes it a bit dark.

we settled in and K unpacked our things... i enjoyed the balcony and then arranged my things.

Castoff was about 5PM which we missed as it happened during the mandatory life boat drill (our station is in the dining room and the shades had been lowered).

K drank some wine in our room and we relaxed with some hors d'oeuvres (delivered nightly about 5ish). we have choosen the late dinner seating (8:30) so each night we attend the "show" at 7. we have yet to be disappointed with any show---this is being written on may 24.

We enjoy celebrity's food... it is not fabulous, but it is quite good. there is always plenty to choose from on the menu... we rarely eat in the "cafeteria". a standard meal is 4 courses, but you can mix and match as you wish from the menu.
wine is very popular on this cruise and by the glass it is $6-15. bottles are popular too and your sommlier (sp) will hold them from meal to meal. we have again been told by others that Celebrity's food is amongst the best on the sea.

on our first night we were assigned to table 205 which we did not like and it was only a table for 2. we asked to be reassigned to the center of the dining room at a shared table and we were given table 245---BINGO. our waiters are 2 young guys from goa, india and we just love them. our table seats 6 and we share with a newly married columbian/puerto rican couple from orlando (mid 40's), he works for oracle, she works on mutual funds; and a mid-70's ? couple from NY/FLA (he a psychologist, she a retired
professor of social work and a nurse. we laugh and laugh... i am the token conservative.


skip to may 24

our ports have included: coco cay (tiny beach island)--we stayed aboard ---- san juan, K walked into old town, went to CVS and a couple of shops, non-plused ---- st marteen, K walked to end of the pier and paid $6 for 1/2 an hour of internet ---- from there we headed east, but not before we waited perhaps 15-20 minutes for a missing couple who finally showed up.... after sailing east for 1 hour the captain announced we were returning to port for a medical emergency--- a couple got off but did not seem to be in trouble although the woman got into the back of the waiting ambulance after thanking a ship's officer. btw, there are 2 doctors aboard and 13 nurses.


back headed east... we have had fabulous weather... warm in florida and the ports, tons of sunshine, a couple of quick showers, and relatively smooth seas.

WE ARE ENJOYING OURSELVES IMMENSELY.

tomorrow we spend the day in Maderia, Portugal. I have rented a car for the day and we have asked the newly weds to join us. it should be fun and i expect i will find some internet. ship's internet is available, but over-priced, imo.

after tomorrow we will have 3 full days at sea, followed by an early AM arrival just north of Rome.


The entertainment on the ship has been fantastic. there is an 8 piece orchestra who are quite good and thus far we have had a magician, a couple of comediens, a comedien vocalist, a violinist, a fabulous pianist, some dirty comediens late at night, quartets a cappella, singing groups, a classical guitarist and others i have forgotten about. there is a mini casino which as of today has paid out about $1,000,000..... there are "fine" art auctions daily, game shows, dancing lessons, many bars (often with music), lectures on wide ranging subjects, shopping, a booze shop, and many more.


the age group seems to be from about age 2 to people in their 90's. the bulk of the folks seem to be 50-70's.


fyi: the cost is about $125 per person per day plus $12 each per days for mandatory tips for rooms at our level which is very reasonable it seems to me... you can of course spend lots more by enjoying speciality restaurants ($5-35 each), drinks, drinks and more drinks, gambling, shopping, spa, BUT none of this is essential.

BTW, I have yet to even see one interior cabin on this ship, but there are a few i understand. both of our table mates booked interior rooms but were upgraded upon arrival...


May 25...

we arrive at Funchal, Maderia, Portugal about 7AM.... the view from our stateroom and balcony is one of downtown Funchal and the dramatic hills around the city. We meet up with sandy and joe at the gangway about 9AM. we take a taxi to budget rent a car about 5 miles away---uphill-- 10E. They have no record of my reservation and are sold out--its an island holiday... i persist in my not so gentle way... finally she finds my res but claims it was for 2012, made on may 21, 2012, and today is april 25, 2013, so....???

She says that if we can return the car by 3:30 she can help us.. perfect... we choose a small SUV, wagon type ford. 54E for the day. she suggests a route for us to drive ending up back near Funchal, high up, at a speciality restaurant... O Lagar Churrascaria (huge sign on top of restaurant--free parking; Estr joao goncalves zarco, 478; camara de lobos...
They specialize in meats grilled in a hot wood oven, presented on huge steel skewers which are suspended from the center of your table from a cross pole... The 4 of us sharred 2 beef and one chicken plus a large fresh french fries and small fried cubes of polenta, plus a green salad... all excellent except the polenta. we enjoyed fresh water and 2 bottles of our favorite casel vinho verde--light white wine with some bubbles. 94.5 E+.

We drove back to budget with the help of our GPS and arrived at 2:45. They drove us to the gangway. a fantastic day.


Following this we had 3 at sea days which followed a bit of the sea routine: breakfast on our balcony; K's 8 laps on deck; some AM activity of some sort; lunch in one of the many venues; frequently a 2PM live show; hang out/read in the library, almost outside our door or on our balcony; evening show at 7; dinner at 8:30, and on some days a 10:30 show. BTW, the shows were all excellent: comedians, musicians, comedy/song combo, pianists, stage ensemble song and dance, 8 piece orchestra...


Last night was the last of the 3 formal nights-PIA... it was "lobster" night-- froozen rock lobster tails; i had beef wellington instead---perfect. our waiter, silva, brought us some extra lobster and i tried 1/2 tail--ok...


Sunday April 28

Last full day of the cruise. At 2 there was a crew and guest entertainment show. it was fun and concluded with many of the staff entering the theatre to loud applause and taking a bow on stage followed by some words from the very humorous Greek Captain. Tonight we plan to attend the 7PM musical show as usual, followed by our last dinner with our new friends. Btw, kay and rudi hosted us the night before last in their room for cocktails and goodies and last night K & I did the same on our balcony. We have a loose plan that the 6 of us may repeat this cruise next spring.

Tomorrow we dock in Civitavecchia, north of Rome about 5AM. We plan to disembark about 8:30, UGH, and will be met by Bob's limo service, for the 1 hour drive to FCO airport (125E for a private car---ship charges 89E per person for a shared van) where we expect to pick up our leased Peugeot Partner Tepee diesel. Car source: Auto France; Rutherford, NJ 800-572-9655. All inclusive sans gas: $1700 for 23 days including a $285 delivery charge to Rome-- free in France. Italy requires full insurance coverage so this all inclusive proves out to be reasonable in the long run for
an Italy rental, plus you get a brand new car... Leases are from 17 (21) to 175 days for non-EU residents. we have done this before and it is fabulous---no worry at all---dings, scrapes, total--no problem.

From FCO we head to my sister's house near Todi in Umbria for a few days... more from there.
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 09:50 AM
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Just found this. Good fun and very informative!
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 10:34 AM
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Welcome back to Fodor's, Bob & Karen!
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 12:47 PM
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Thanks for the updates! Looking forward to more.
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Old Apr 29th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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The sommelier was Spanish?
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