Thursday, May 28, 2009

5.28.09 Napoli

Melba is not feeling well at all – she was up for a good part of the night with a terrible cough. If there was a good place to get sick I think Napoli is it – there isn’t a whole lot that we want to see here. We slept in until about 9ish. We were woken up by emergency lighting and a broadcast by the ship captain that the engine powering the ship had failed so the ship had no power. I can’t remember the cause, but they started a different engine and restored power to the ship within about 15 minutes. We went to breakfast around 10 and thought that once Melba had something to eat she would feel better. Well, breakfast didn’t help much.

We came back to the room and Melba slept. I looked over the Lonely Planet guide and found some spots right next to where we were docked that I thought would be fun to go see. Melba slept until around 1 and I convinced her to get ready and go. We left the boat around 1:45 and saw the 4 sisters as we left. They told us about a train that would take us to the top of a nearby mountain where we would could see Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. The train was pretty close to the ship as well so we decided to go there instead of what I had initially planned (I wanted to see a cathedral, opera house and piazza).

Getting to the last train stop on the mountain was easy but I had to ask directions to get to the top of the mountain. There was an old castle there called St. Elmo’s Castle. We bought tickets to go inside and went up the elevator. Inside, we met a really nice Italian family from Napoli who are currently living in Germany, but have come back here for a vacation. I talked to the Dad for a while – he asked how I spoke Italian so well and when I said I was a missionary he immediately knew I was Mormon. They are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Funny how we were able to figure that out. He spoke English fairly well, albeit broken, and we talked for a little while longer – they headed back, but we stayed to look around some more.

The view from the castle was amazing. At least as good as the one from Tuscany. It was a bit foggy and rain clouds were coming in, but we could still see for miles. Mount Vesuvius is huge and in the distance we could barely see the Isle of Capri. We walked around the castle some more and then headed back. We ended up spending about 3 hours in Napoli and it was really nice. The Lonely planet guide said that crime was really high and to be very careful – but I only noticed friendly Italians. We didn’t have any problems.

I might be coming down with whatever Melba has. My throat is getting really sore. Melba seems to be getting worse. She was really light-headed walking back to the ship and has gone to bed. No dinner for her. We might order room service (it’s free on the ship) but I’m going to wait a little while longer to see if she feels well enough to go to the dining room.

Tonight we need to pack our bags and leave them outside our door for the crew to take. We will get on the bus tomorrow morning at 8:15am and it will take us to the airport. From there, we will get on the Marriott shuttle to the hotel. What we do tomorrow depends on how we feel. I think we’re going to try to do the rest of Vatican City that we didn’t get to our first day in Rome. We’ll see. We’re actually staying in Rome for the weekend to save money – plane tickets to Dulles any day on Fri-Sun were at least $1,000 per person compared to what it would cost to fly home on Monday. So it’s not like we’re spending a bunch of money to be in Rome and may not be able to do anything.

We just got back from dinner – we went to the cafeteria style dinner room as opposed to the main dining room. Same food, mostly, but a much more casual environment. They had lamb and it was delicious. I went back for seconds and thirds. We enjoyed eating dinner while cruising along the coast of Italy and seeing the small islands alongside the ship. Now we’re back in our room and ready to start packing. This will be the last post until we get back into Pennsylvania. I’ll post more pictures then – for now, I don’t have enough internet minutes left to upload them (it takes a long time).

It’s been a fantastic cruise – except for getting sick. I’m now as sick as Melba was two days ago and I hope I still get to enjoy Rome. Ciao-

From Melba: I’m feeling a lot better now after a good nap and dinner. At dinner, we were talking about our favorite ports of call and realized we loved all of them. Some highlights from each port: climbing to the top of the Duomo in Florence, then eating a bona fide Italian lunch; running off the train to see the leaning tower in Pisa, then making it back before the next train left in an hour; beautiful, scenic, affluent, snobby, my-yacht-is-bigger-than-your-yacht Monaco; Picasso, Gaudi and the Medieval fair in Barcelona; going to church, meeting Bill, and eating gelato in Palma de Mallorca; the mosaics, Roman baths, and the view in Tunisia; the mosaics in Cappella Palatina in Sicily; and the view from the top of the castle in Napoli. Around the boat, our favorites are the four sisters (Susan, Linda and identical twins Betty and Janet), Whinny and Gaston, other people we’ve met at dinner and around the ship, the towel creations every night, the shows – especially the magic/acrobatic show Mysteriaque, the food!, line dance classes, butter mints and popcorn after dinner every night, leaning over the railing on the promenade deck to look at the water. But MOST of all…I’ll never ever forget the belly flop contest!


Julie said...

Enjoy your weekend! Thanks for the travelogue -- it's been great.

Lauren said...

So THATS where you guys have been. Lucky dogs! Hope Melissa feels better soon.

Lauren said...

right. so I didn't actually have time to read the whole of this post the first time, but I hope Sammie feels better too. Didn't mean to be exclusionary in my well wishing.

Poop. said...

hi sammie,

this is renee...your old neighbor and technicolor buddy. i'm going to italy in december!!! so excited.... gonna go to florence and rome again (been there before)....! whoooo i wish i knew italien like you do though. still at the old apt bldg...crazyyyy still at disney. if you're on facebook...add me! i'm under renee riemke (the professional name). ciao!!!