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Cruise Days 5 & 6 - Naples & a Sea Day

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Day 64 Thursday 18 November - “Cruise Day 5 – Naples”

Naples is the port city overshadowed by Mt Vesuvius and a thick blanket of overcast when we arrived. We packed for showers and as this is a specific passenger wharf we were able to walk off. We were met by a scrum of taxi drivers all offering fantastic deals to visit Pompeii. We said no to all of them but one guy was very persistent. His line was quite good and he had a quirky sense of humour. The deal was struck and we set off.
There a
re road rules but we're not convinced that anyone follows them. The taxi nudged out of the parking lot and squeezed through some impossible spaces and before long we'd left the port area and were headed for Pompeii. Along the way David pointed out the many points of interest and occasionally watched the road and the other traffic. It is a wonder any of them survive but there were no bumps or scrapes that we were aware of.

At Pompeii, David warns us about the size of the site and to ensure we exit through the same gate. He suggested we spend two hours and he would wait for us. Guide book in one hand, map in the other we strolled though the remains of this 5,000 year-old city. It is both extensive and magnificent in terms of how beautify it was built and how well it was preserved under the 4 meters of volcanic debris that covered it.

At the appointed time we were back at the gate and David was there to greet us. We headed back to Naples where he drove us to the Cathedral of St Gennaro, quite the most impressive church we'd seen so far. Free entry and photography permitted except during services. We spent a long time admiring the many paintings, sculptures and other decorations.

Back in the taxi, David takes us through some incredibly narrow alleys in the old quarter. Quite similar to what we'd seen in Barcelona but with the added thrill of motor-scooters squeezing past us or on occasions coming towards us on what was a one-way lane. Back in the chaos of the main street we make our way back in the direction of the Port, David pointing out the University which looks like part of the general street-scape but is claimed to have a perimeter of over 5 Km.

David drops us at the Opera House and we explore the immediate area, walk into the Gallery, a 16th century version of a shopping mall with marble floor, vaulted glass cover ceiling and line with very upmarket shops and restaurants.

The area near the port entrance is a construction mess. David had explained that they were digging to expand the Metro and are constantly finding archaeologically significant remnants of the Greek and Roman periods. He says the authorities use this as an excuse for the extremely slow progress.

Back out onto the street we make our way past the Palace and the Fort and back to the ship. We dined in the Grand Pacific again and attended the Show. Tonight “Bambolea” - a Gypsy Kings Tribute. Three very talented acoustic guitarists and a male vocalist. Sadly only one of the numbers was familiar to us.

The departure of the ship was to have been at 7 PM, it has been delayed by some form of Italian Bureaucracy and we are now due to sail at about midnight.

Day 65 Friday 19 November - “Cruise Day 6 – At Sea”

We left Naples well after midnight and the skipper has pushed the speed up to 20 knots to ensure the schedule is maintained. It is sometimes difficult to find things to do during 'sea days', but we've been quite busy since breakfast. Firstly we checked with the service desk on what the process would be on changing cabins and cruise numbers on Sunday. Couldn't be easier, we pack our stuff and report to the service desk, they organise to move our gear to the new cabin and provide us with a new card – we don't have to leave the ship
Next we had morning coffee with the Gary K Glading (the Cruise Director,) he's a very interesting person as well. Then we watched a demonstration of Sushi making, the chef is Filipino but he was trained in Japan. He made exquisite Sushi and made it look so very easy. The right tools, the correct ingredients and lots of practice.

After lunch there's the Latitude Member's reception with the Cruise Consultant and we were introduced to all the senior staff on board. This was followed by a sales pitch for future cruises, all very tempting with two brand new ships on order for delivery in 2012 and 2013.

To round off the afternoon we listened to Gary's talk entitled Stars, Staterooms & Stowaways. It also happens to be the title of a book he's written. His talk was very entertaining and covers a career from classical singer/pianist to singer, song writer and producer of shows for the Lido in Paris. He moved his talent to cruise shows and became the corporate director for entertainment for Celebrity Cruises, quit when the fun went out of the job and set up a sanctuary for stray animals. He was recently enticed to return to the cruise industry.

We are on course for Palma de Mallorca where we're due to arrive at 6 AM. Will need to go to bed early tonight :-)

Posted by greynomadm 07:38 Archived in Italy

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This has got to be the best blog entry yet. Your tour of terror through Naples with David the Demon sounds awesome. We simply can't wait to see the photos from this trip.

Love N and the gang

by DrTard

I loved reading this blog as well. I loved Naples especially the Islands and the narrow streets. We walked or caught the local buses. Nice that the sun is back on the horizon.
Love Maria.

by mbessems

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