25 Oct 15 - Rome

This morning we had an early buffet breakfast at the hotel, it had everything. . . eggs, bacon, cold cuts, cheeses, pastries, pancakes, cereals etc and three kinds of coffee...great way to start the day.

This was the last Sunday of the month so entry to the Sistine Chapel was free so we headed off early to get in line since there are always hundreds of people lined up an hour before opening time. We got there by 8:00am and we were behind about 800 people with the same idea. Once the doors opened at 9:00am the entry was fast and were were on our way into the Vatican Museums to see the Sistine Chapel. It was unbelievable how far away it was, it was at the end of all the other museums and there is no way of just getting to it without bypassing the miles of corridors and steps and winding alleys of the museum enroute to this crown jewel of the vatican.

After much walking through what seemed like an endless array of narrow passageways we finally arrived at the Sistine Chapel. We were so exhausted by the time we got there that it narrowed our appreciation of the marvel that was overhead. I opted to sit down on the benches along the wall. I looked down on my camera to see how much battery life I had left when a guide rushed over like a madman since he thought I was taking a picture which is not allowed. He was screaming at me in Italian and ushered me towards the exit. Though I tried to explain I was not taking pictures he would hear none of it and was just rude and obnoxious as he kept walking towards the door. I had to laugh at the irony of walking so long to see this room only to be kicked out for no reason....lol.....oh well, ciao Sistine!

We stopped at the Vatican before taking a taxi back to the hotel since we had a scheduled transfer from Rome to Civitavecchia to board our cruise ship.

We headed off around 1:00PM from the hotel to the cruise terminal which is about a 90 minute ride.

Finally I could see the Island Princess in the distance and was looking forward to finally unpacking.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had been upgraded to a suite! We had a large cabin with a long marble-topped desk, full sofa and armchair as well as a large bathroom with a bathtub. The cherry on the sundae was the large balcony  which wrapped around the edge of the ship which allowed us to see a side view and back view of the ocean as we sailed which was really terrific.  

I was happy to get the bags unpacked and walk around the ship to get acquainted. Although a large 92,000 ton ship this is one of the smaller ships in the Princess fleet. It was refurbished in May of 2015 so many of the public rooms were brand new. There are several bars with live bands for dancing which is nice. They also have a large outdoor cinema for "Movies Under the Stars" complete with padded loungers, cozy blankets and popcorn. Overall this is an attractive ship.

I had a very nice dinner and watched from my balcony as we sailed towards Livorno to visit Pisa and Florence. It was an early night to bed. 

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