Monday, 9 July 2012

Adventure of the Seas, Day 2-3-4

Day 2.
We had our early breakfast in the room - or in the balcony to be precise. Though the room service breakfast was terrible – the feeling of having tea in a balcony overlooking the ocean was priceless. 

We then went to the kids club to drop Rania off. As predicted, it was not easy for Rania and for us too. We left her in the club for about an hour and used the time to explore the ship and dipped our bums in the adults Jacuzzi. It was nothing special -except for the magnificent view – all one could see from the Jacuzzi was the bluish ocean. Wonderful!
The cruise had a lot of activities, all printed out in the ‘Cruise Compass” which acted more like the ship’s daily newspaper with all the activities and important info listed. I went to a seminar called “3 minutes make over”, which turned out was about the use of bronzer. We had our lunch in one of the ‘specialty restaurant’ – one must pay extra to eat there. The food was a so-so, it was not something worthier to pay extra for the restaurant compared to the free meals we got from the normal restaurants.
Around 1 PM the ship arrived in Valencia, Spain and around 2 PM we departed the ship to explore the city with tour booked from the cruise. Tours were not included in the cruise fare and one must book additionally. The extra trips can be booked online prior to cruising (like in our case), or during the cruise at the booking desk. The tour booking desk on the ship had a loooooong queue and we were so relieved that we had everything planned beforehand!
We took the tour called Panoramic Valencia. The tour went to some historic and interesting points of the city. Unfortunately, our guide seemed to be an unenthusiastic fellow, as the way he gave the information was not attention-grabbing, plus it was a Sunday and almost everything was closed, except for some small stores. I might say that this tour was not really interesting, as we should have taken the beach tour or the museum tour. That would have been more interesting.One interesting point in the tour was the City of Science and Arts. Now, that's what I called interesting museums! Rania called them as "houses of Dora.." I wonder who told her that.

We had dinner at the Windjammer just to try something new and finished the day by watching a performance – a tribute to the Bee Gees. The show was above our expectation as we danced and sang, standing up altogether! The performers were almost as good as the original Beeges and they were funny as well.
There was a 70’s disco party after that but we were too tired to attend as it was at 11.30 PM.

Day 3
Had I told that we had a TV in our room? Some were live-feed channels from around the globe and some were in-house channels. One interesting channel was the in-house channel 27 where the cruise’s officers –mainly the cruise director and the entertainment manager discussed about the activities listed in the cruise compass. Sometimes they also played out recording of the show’s activities the night before; hence, I could saw the 70’s party from last night that I missed out.
It was sea day, meaning that no docking out that day. We dropped Rania off again at the kids club with less hassle. I went to “beginner’s Italian class” with a very funny Cultural Director, a French guy called Jerome. After eating, we went off to the ice skating ring to watch a show. It was one hell of a skating cum acrobatic show, especially knowing that the ship’s movement had somehow an effect on skating. The ice skating casts ranged from Baltic to West Europeans but mainly were British and Americans skaters.  Finished with that, we went to the mini golf. Rania had her first mini golf super mini play – it was only for one hole, ha ha ha.

The dinner was ‘formal night’ meaning that we were expected to dress in formal attire – gowns for ladies and black ties for men. Rania wore her pink ball ‘princess’ gown and everyone was just mesmerized by her charms! The food was superb, though we still hadn’t talked to our German friends on the table, hi hi.
By 8.30 PM the diner was done and we went to one of the disco for a Family Disco time for an hour. It was so funny seeing all these little kids and their Moms and Dads with formal attires, dancing to tunes! By 9.30 PM the event finished and we went off to our room.

Day 4.
We arrived in Rome, the eternal City!
We had another ‘breakfast in room’ but this time, no time to en joy the breakfast in balcony. We woke up around 7ish while the tour meet up started at 7.30ish. So we rushed with our breakfast and rushed again to our meeting point. By 7.45, we were already at the bus and men, it was full! As Rania is a toddler and did not have to pay a fare, she did not have any designated seat for her – meaning she would have to sit on my lap on the 1.5 hours drive to Rome! Luckily, another bus was only half full and we were given the choice to change bus. We took the chance and Princess Rania was happy again with her own seat. The drive was 1.5 hours and we passed the breathtaking scenery of Rome countryside, marvellous. 
The Fountain!

We arrived around 10 AM in Rome. The tour that we took was called “Imperial Rome” – it is the second most expensive Rome tour packet of the cruise, with 10 hours of tour and journey, and meals included. The most expensive tour only focussed on the trip to Vatican with a lunch. The cheap Family tour only consisted of a trip downtown with ice cream and a 3 hours free-time. No superhuman could walk around roaming Rome in 3 hours; hence, we decided to book this Imperial Rome tour.
Nice design!
All the tours from the Cruise stated the pace of the tours and the intended recipients: panoramic / slow tour for grannies, medium walking tour, or even long-walking tour, and this tour was considered as a long-walking tour –intended for adults in a good shape. We first drove by the city at a glimpse and stopped at Fontana di Trevi for 15 minutes of Photos and bathroom breaks. From there, we drove to Fatherland Altar and the Forums. We walked all the way to Roman Forum and the Colloseum. The tour guide was a very informative and knowledgeable lady called Rumina with very good level of English, but she was quite a walker! We had to catch a breath to follow her and the temperature that reached almost 39 degrees did not make it easier. Though this was my second time to Rome, this tour had opened my eyes as I saw things and learned history that I did not learn on my first trip. Like Colloseum was called a Colloseum as there used to be a statue of a Colossus (a giant human) at the side of the structure or the fact that there was an underground city underneath Rome, remained to be unburied! 

The girl who did not complain :))
At around 1 PM we went to a small restaurant for our lunch as part of the tour. I was a bit dismayed as we were told that it was a 4 star restaurant, but the restaurant looked dull plus, we were not given a menu as the food was the same for everyone, even Rania, no choice. Luckily the meal, which was tomato pasta with veal and soft cake, was uh-maze-ing! We were also given a free flow of wine and champagne. We sat next to some Americans whom all complimented Rania as she was the only toddler in the group, but she was as strong as the adults, no whining no complaining, nothing! Good girl Rania!
Can you believe that it used to be the Vatican 'Hill'?

At around 2 PM we went off again to the last part of the trip, St Peter’s basilica. The queue for the was overwhelming because there were two queues, first, the queues for physical security check – as Vatican is a different country from Italy ;) Second, a queue for attire check – no short shorts and shoulder must be covered. Again, our guide gave some insights of the church. By 4.45 we were done and had 20 minutes of free time, which I used to look for a book and to search for gelato flavour which was named ‘smurf’ – it was blue in colour! I got the book but could not find the gelato.
Smurf Ice Cream!!

By 5 PM we went back to the bus and by 6.30 PM we arrived at the port. After spending the whole day at 39 degrees, having a breeze inside the ship felt nice! We were too tired to have our dinner at the main dining room hence we went to Wind Jammer. By 9 pm we snoozed out already. 

PS: all photos from our camera, except for the smurf ice cream, the photo belongs to

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