Nov 21, 2011

Meditteranean cruise - Liberty of the Seas RCCL

My husband & I have been on quite a few cruises but this the 1st one for my girls (ages 7 & 9).  They gave it two thumbs up.  Some favorite things on the ship - rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, broadway shows, swimming/water park, dream works parade and the self serve ice cream machine.  I'm not a big fan of cruise ship food but this was the best to date :)  Our 1st stop was Provence, France - we decided to take a tour to Cassis, an ancient fishing port.  The harbor was pretty & the shops quaint.  We stopped & had a croissant at an outside cafe - super yummy!  We walked down to the beach - it was rocky but beautiful. As we sat there a 3 men rose out of the sea, dressed in full wet suits, spear guns in hand, fish & a giant squid hanging from their belts.  They came out of the water & walked down to the fish market to drop off the days catch - very James Bond, very cool!  The 2nd stop was Ville Franche a very small medieval village - with quaint colorful buildings & a picturesque marina. From there we took a 20 minute train ride to Monte Carlo.  I loved Monte Carlo - everything is carved in the side of the mountain.  We got to see some of the Grand Prix course. The cars outside the casino, the yachts in the marina - everything said money, lots & lots of money.  Our 3rd stop was Livorno - basically a pit, so we only drove thru on our way to Pisa.  The Tower of Pisa is in the middle of no where but definitely worth the drive.  Then we continued on to Florence - we saw lots of statues (a naked David, Perseus holding Medusa's severed head). A few cathedrals, the doors of paradise, The Baptistery of John the Baptist, from the 11th century.  We ate lunch by the Ponte Veccio (1345 bridge). If you like red wine - I recommend you try Brunello, it was exquisite (and I don't even like red wine).  Our 4th stop was Rome, our agenda was the Coliseum, the Vatican & St Peter's Basilica. The Pope was in town & giving a blessing in the square so what should of been a 1 hour trip into town took 3. We did get to see everything but it was so crowded you couldn't walk, you had to shuffle.  Our 5th stop was Naples - we were supposed to take a boat tour to Capri, Sorrento & Pompeii but due weather they cancelled it.  We decided to spend a relaxing day on the boat. Our final stop was Barcelona, we walked up & down the streets - we found catherdrals, fun parks, buildings by Gaudi & great street performers.  It as the perfect ending to a great trip. 

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