Europe 2016 : Aboard the Royal Princess + Naples and Pompeii

This is a almost a year overdue, but I’ve finally started editing the vlogs and photos from our Mediterranean cruise last July. I don’t know how many vlogs/blog entries I’m going to end up with, but our trip lasted 15 days. So far I’ve been able to finish 6 vlogs (haven’t uploaded some of them yet) from our first 6 days there, but I’m hoping I can fit several days worth of footage into one vlog towards the later part of our trip. This entry contains vlogs #1 and #2 (at the very end) and some photos taken from those days.

Our journey began with a 2-hr flight to Hong Kong, a 9-hr layover, a 13-hr flight to Rome and a 1-hr bus ride to the port of Civitavecchia, where we boarded the Royal Princess cruise ship.

20160722_145232 (2)

Here’s my dad and me at NAIA, waiting for our flight

20160722_145233

Hello Hong Kong!

20160722_145809

Once we landed, we had 9 hours to kill before our connecting flight to Rome. We read online that there was an IMAX cinema in the airport so we figured we’d look for it and catch a movie to pass the time.

20160722_170216a

We spotted this cutie in our search for the theater

We eventually found it but the only thing showing was Star Trek and we weren’t huge fans so we decided to look around the entertainment center, which was located in the same place

20160722_193957

Finding Dory 2 was released a few weeks before our trip

20160722_194047

Suicide Squad hasn’t been released but they had a lot of promotional materials there

20160722_171142

Chibi Iron Man

(We looked at their aviation exhibit, which was pretty interesting, but I didn’t take photos. However, I did take a lot of short videos which I included in my vlog.)

We ended up just hanging out at the airport, making use of the free wifi until our flight to Rome. Finally, after 9 long hours it was time for us to board again.

20160722_224359

Our departure time was 40 minutes past midnight, and by the time we were at the gate I couldn’t wait to get on the plane so I could sleep. The flight was 13 hours long and I pretty much slept through the entire thing. My mom woke me up for dinner and again for breakfast, but aside from that I was out cold the whole time.

Finally, after more than 24 hours of travel, we made it to Rome 🙂

20160723_075809a

Yay!!! My first steps on European soil (err… pavement? … tiles?)

Once we made it through immigration and customs we looked for the Princess Cruises employees.

20160723_082530

We dropped off our bags with them and took a shuttle to the port of Civitavecchia where our ship would be waiting. Since it was still pretty early and check-in isn’t usually until around 11am, our guide took us on a panoramic bus tour of Rome. He didn’t let us get off the bus but he made sure to pass by some of the famous landmarks around the city

20160723_102227

Like the colosseum

I forgot the names of the other places he took us to, and I wasn’t able to get a picture of all of them, but I did enjoy the sights

20160723_102227a

20160723_104501

After this our bus made its way to the port, which was about 1 1/2 hours away.

20160723_104501a (1)

Once we got there, we checked in (which was a lot quicker than usual) and boarded our home for the next 14 days – the Royal Princess

20160723_104501a (2)

20160723_104501a (3)

Beautiful isn’t she?

We found our stateroom and dropped our things off before heading to the Horizon Court/Horizon Bistro for lunch.

20160723_104501a (4)

(No pictures from lunch because we were too hungry and demolished our food very quickly)

20160723_104501a (5)

As usual, we had to attend the safety drill that afternoon. Afterwards we locked ourselves in our room, freshened up and napped until dinner.

The following day we woke up early because we signed up for a tour around Naples. Our tickets told us to wait at the Concerto dining hall.

IMG_4484

IMG_4481

Eventually it was time for our group to go. We met up with our tour guide and she gave us these radios and some headphones so we could still hear her from far away. I’ve been on several group tours but this was a first for me. I think it’s quite clever – large tour groups often get separated and the people at the back usually end up not hearing what the guide has to say. My parents like them because they can go around and take photos around the area, and still hear what our guide is saying.

IMG_4484a

When my dad signed us up for a tour around Naples, he didn’t realize that he had chosen a walking tour. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but it was raining quite hard that day:

IMG_4484ab

IMG_4488

IMG_4514

IMG_4521

IMG_4543

IMG_4563

We passed by a lot of great locations, unfortunately we couldn’t stop to take photos because the rain made it difficult. I guess I should just be thankful that my mom thought to bring umbrellas for this trip. Some of the people in our group didn’t have any. Eventually they ended up buying some from street vendors who obviously jacked up their prices since they knew we were desperate.

IMG_4564

I was wearing canvas sneakers and they were soaked all the way through to my socks within minutes

IMG_4576

Piazza del plebiscito

IMG_4576a

The place was lovely so we snapped a quick photo despite the rain (we only had two umbrellas so my mom and I had to share one)

As we walked around our guide pointed out famous landmarks and told us interesting things about the locations. She showed us a underground subway system that was under construction. Apparently the city kept having to postpone building the subway because every time they dug, they uncovered old historical relics and they would have to either wait for archaeologists to finish studying them, or reroute their train. It sounds like a pain but it must be nice to live in a city with that much history.

Eventually our guide took us to Galleria Borbonica (The Bourbon Tunnel)

IMG_4612a

It was a series of underground tunnels that connected the royal palace to the military barracks. The tunnels and caves were manmade, which were pretty impressive since we were told they were 40m underground. Our guide also told us that these caves and tunnels were used as bomb shelters back during World War 2. (I don’t have photos from the caves/tunnels because it was too dark and the ones I took turned out blurry.)

After exploring the tunnels, we returned above ground and discovered that the rain stopped and the sun had decided to grace us with its presence. Hooray!

Our guide continued our walking tour around the city. We were able to take more photos this time, phew~

IMG_4649

IMG_4651

IMG_4651a (1)

IMG_4651a (1)a

IMG_4651a (2)

IMG_4651a (2)a

IMG_4651a (3)

IMG_4651a (4)

IMG_4663

IMG_4663a

IMG_4668

IMG_4684

IMG_4690

IMG_4705

IMG_4712

IMG_4714

IMG_4717

IMG_4732

Eventually our group was taken to a pizza restaurant where we had our lunch

IMG_4732a (1)

I guess its true that Europeans have wine as water because that was the only beverage they served during our meal. (Thankfully I brought my own water.)

After lunch our group got on a bus (finally) to head to the highlight of our tour – Pompeii

IMG_4732a (2)

On our way there our guide pointed out Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that erupted which led to the destruction of Pompeii

IMG_4760

She said it is still an active volcano, which makes it one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, mainly due to its proximity to highly populated cities. She said that the people in the area know the danger they are in but they choose to stay because the feel like the beauty of the place outweighs the danger,

Before we started our walking tour of Pompeii, our guide first took us to a cameo factory:

IMG_4764

There we saw the steps on how to make these beautiful carvings

IMG_4767

First you need a shell

IMG_4768

Which you will cut and polish

IMG_4769

IMG_4772

Then artists carve intricate images on them

IMG_4773

Finally it was time for us to explore

IMG_4784

IMG_4787

IMG_4805a

IMG_4808

IMG_4816

IMG_4880

IMG_4823

IMG_4823a

IMG_4823b

IMG_4843

Streets and houses of Pompeii

IMG_4845

It’s so easy to get lost in this place because all the streets looked the same to me

IMG_4859

IMG_4859a

Our guide took us to some of the old houses of what seemed to be wealthy families. There we saw artifacts like the remains of this table:

IMG_4869

She also took us to the Lunapare, one of the most famous brothels in Pompeii

IMG_4893

She told us that prostitutes used to wait inside the rooms for their customers. The gentlemen availing of their services usually wouldn’t see their faces, instead they would look at a painting above the doorway. The paintings depicted two people in sexual acts, and it usually showed a position (or maneuver) that the prostitute inside is known for. Once the customer finds one he liked, he would enter the “bedroom”. This is what the “bed” actually looked like:

IMG_4893a (1)

They were made out of stone!

IMG_4893a (2)

That doesn’t look comfortable at all…

I took pictures of the paintings above the doorways, but most of them were quite faded and hard to decipher:

IMG_4893a (3)

IMG_4895

IMG_4896

(I think I forgot to rotate this one… but it’s so faded I can’t be sure)

After this we walked around outside again:

IMG_4908

IMG_4908a (3)

IMG_4908a (4)

IMG_4919

IMG_4930

IMG_4934

IMG_4937

IMG_4908a (1)

That’s our guide (well, her back) speaking to the group. She asked one of us to hold her sign up for her because she needed both hands to speak. She justified it by saying “I’m Italian. I speak with my hands”, lol.

She showed us some of the preserved bodies too

IMG_4923

Although they aren’t really bodies. They’re sort of like statues, made from using the voids  in the volcanic ash (after the body has decayed) as a cast.

After this our guide gave us some free time to refresh ourselves before heading back to the bus. There were a lot of gift shops and snack stalls in the area, so we decided to get a slushie to cool down. It was extremely hot that afternoon and walking around Pompeii offered very little shade. We were pretty dehydrated by the end of the tour

IMG_4937a

IMG_4777

IMG_4774

Mmmm … gelato

IMG_4778

IMG_4779

We boarded our bus after this and our guide took us back to the port where we returned to our ship. My parents immediately went back to our room to nap (walking in the rain and extreme heat was quite tiring), but I didn’t want to waste my time sleeping so I decided to go the pool deck and relax there. There was a band playing and the atmosphere was pretty festive so I grabbed a lounge chair to enjoy the music and sea breeze. I snapped a few photos of the sun setting too.

IMG_4937aa (1)

IMG_4937aa (2)

IMG_4937aa (3)

Eventually the cruise staff started setting up for Movies Under the Stars. They put cushions and blankets on the lounge chairs and give out free popcorn for those who want to stay and watch a movie.

IMG_4937aa (4)

IMG_4937aa (5)

I stayed there for a while to watch Eddie the Eagle. Eventually it started to rain again so I took that as my cue to head back to our room. I got back just in time for dinner 🙂 We had a nice meal and we decided to catch the musical show at the Princess Theater afterwards before going to bed.

IMG_4937aa (6)

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been editing the footage I took from our trip. You can watch two of them below. The first one is us travelling from Manila and our first day on the ship, while the second one is from our tour around Naples and Pompeii:

 

**All my blog entries related to this trip can be found here : Europe 2016

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Europe 2016 : Aboard the Royal Princess + Naples and Pompeii

  1. Pingback: Europe 2016 : Champagne Waterfall, Kotor (Montenegro) and Corfu (Greece) | What I have shown you is reality ...

  2. Pingback: Europe 2016 : Crete, Mykonos and Athens | What I have shown you is reality ...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s