Travel Log – Cruise 2011

A rather belated post on this blog…………………………

This is a brief travel log of our recent cruise on the Princess Cruises Liner, “Ruby Princess“. It’s a daily log written at the time and is not intended as a detailed report on what we did but just as a reminder to help bring back personal memories of our journey:

Friday, 27th May

Arrived at my sister’s house at 11.30pm. My nephew, Stuart, and the rest of the party arrived at the same time as the Taxi at 1.45 am on Saturday morning.

Saturday, 28th May

Traveled to Manchester Airport via my oldest nephew’s house and we all checked in. An early breakfast at Frankie & Benny’s and a brief wait to board the flight to Venice. After a slight delay we were underway by 7.20am. A smooth flight of just under 2 hours, coach transfer, then checked onto the Ruby Princess. We settled into the stateroom and whilst waiting for our suitcases we sampled lunch in the all day buffet. Back to stateroom to unpack and get ready for our evening excursion. We have now been without sleep for 31 hours!!

Our party all met up at 6.30 pm for our trip to Venice and our gondola ride. We paired up with my sister, Jean, and nephew, Malcolm and found ourselves on the gondola with the singer and accordion player. We very much enjoyed the trip and had a laugh! Our brief visit was over and we caught the tender back to the ship where we had a very late dinner at 9.45 pm, followed by a JD & coke night cap. Back to the stateroom, now been awake for 38½ hours…. zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sailing tomorrow at 8.00 am

Sunday, 29th May – Day at sea

Up at 8.00 am after a solid nights sleep to watch the ship leaving Venice. This was followed by a buffet breakfast, very busy this morning after everyone had watched our leaving lovely Venice. We then chilled out and after our safety talk muster in the Princess Theatre, we carried on exploring the ship.

A beer in the piazza followed by a light lunch then an hour on the sunbeds. Chilled out before dressing for our evening meal in the Da Vinci Restaurant – wine; mushroom soup; pork; souffle with custard and an Irish Whiskey Coffee plus more wine!! The staggered to the theatre for the “Welcome” Show, which was surprisingly very good. This was followed by a beer in the Disco Bar!

Clocks & watches forward an hour……

Monday, 30th May – Day at sea

Breakfast at 8.30 am in the Da Vinci Restaurant and readied ourselves for another day at sea. We walked round the promenade deck 2½ times for a mile and the generally chilled out and did nothing… lunch in the Horizon Bar, more lounging, drinks in the Piazza Bar, more lounging and chill out time before our first formal evening.

Down to the Piazza for the “champagne fountain”, meet the Captain and photographs. We then ate in the Da Vinci Restaurant followed by a visit to the Club Fusion where Kerry partook of the karaoke managing to get through to the finals later in the week. Hurrah’s. Bernie and I then went to the Wheelhouse Bar for live jazz music and a couple of JD’s & coke!!

Tuesday, 31st May

Arrived at Piraeus (Athens) during our breakfast in the Da Vinci Restaurant. Soon after we disembarked for our tour of the Acropolis where we joined thousands of other tourists. Boy was it busy? A 30 minute wait to get in but well worth it in the end. We then moved on to the Plaka area for lunch and a wander round the shops. We arrived back aboard ship around 5.00 pm when we chilled out before what now has become our routine dinner in the Da Vinci Restaurant at 8.00 pm. This was followed again with a couple of drinks in the Wheelhouse Bar and of course a promenade on deck.

A slightly disappointing day with the crowds… but!

Wednesday, 1st June

Arrived at the port of Kusadasi, Turkey before breakfast. We decided on breakfast in the stateroom at 9.000 am and stayed on board. We walked round the promenade deck with my sister, Jean and nephew, Malcolm and then booked the afternoon in the “Sanctuary”, chilling out in the sun. The ship sailed at 1.00 pm while we sampled the jacuzzi. Lunch was served in the “Sanctuary” and we sun bathed until 4.00 pm.

Back to the stateroom to relax before our evening… Drinks in the Crooners Bar followed by an Italian meal in the Da Vinci Restaurant… mmm, nice. The usual nightcap in the Wheelhouse Bar followed by a stroll on deck.

Thursday, 2nd June

Docked at Istanbul, 7.00 am. We had breakfast in the stateroom at 7.30 am ready for our assembly in the theatre at 8.30 am for our excursion to Istanbul. We visited a carpet store!! Very expensive!! We then visited the Blue Mosque and St. Sophia Museum before returning to the ship for lunch at 2.00 pm. We decided to miss the bazaar because of the crowds. After lunch was pure chill out time…….

Cocktails in the Crooners Bar, dinner in Da Vinci’s and on to the theatre for a film “The Fighter”. A pleasant end to the day.

Friday, 3rd June

A lie in this morning and a buffet breakfast at 9.30 am. Back to the stateroom to prepare for the arrival at Mykonos and our beach afternoon. Later we joined the tender for going ashore to Mykonos. On the coach for the short trip to the beach where we stayed for 4 hours. Some of us had a dip in the sea, the brave as the sea was still cold! The coach took us back to town where we had the chance of a quick look round before catching the tender back to the Ruby Princess.

A quick bite to eat, a salad and back to the stateroom to chill out for the evening. We had our meal at Sabatini’s Restaurant for a change, slightly more upmarket (if that’s possible). After the meal we went to the theatre to see the show, Seonaid Aitken, a multi-instrumentalist, very good and we all enjoyed it, although we thought we were going to see an illusionist!!

Bernie and I then had a walk, twice round the promenade deck, before bed.

Saturday, 4th June – Day at sea

Had a late breakfast in the Horizon Restaurant then back to the stateroom to organize the laundry!! Once the washing was sorted we had a coffee and a cake then chilled out in our stateroom. At 3.00 pm we were wine tasting in the Da Vinci Restaurant followed by afternoon tea. First cup of tea in a week! Back to stateroom to chill out, watch TV and snooze before getting ready for our second formal evening.

Dinner in Da Vinci’s and afterwards went to the theatre for the show “Broadway Ball Room”. Once again a very pleasant evening. Put the clocks forward an hour ready for our early morning start tomorrow and we ordered breakfast from Room Service for 6.00 am.

Sunday, 5th June

Up at 5.30 am, breakfast at 6.10 am, all ready for our trip from Naples to Sorrento via Pompeii and onto Capri. A busy day ahead!

Pompeii first, it was very interesting despite being very crowded. Lunch in Sorrento followed by a little walk round the shops. Lunch was very good in the local restaurant chosen by Princess Cruises, top marks. We then caught the hydrofoil to Capri. Immediately on the funicular but it was very crowded with several cruise liners spilling out their tourists. A short trip round Capri before the hydrofoil trip back to Naples and the Ruby Princess. After the long tiring day, we decided to eat in the buffet and have an early night because of the early start again tomorrow.

Monday, 6th June

Arrived in Civitavecchia (Rome). Breakfast again in the stateroom and out for 7.40 am for the shuttle bus to catch the “Roma Express” train into Rome. We then had a free day in Rome. We started at the Vatican Museum where we had pre-booked for a 10.30 am entrance. This was a smart move as there was at least a 3 to 4 hour wait in the queues, in blazing sun! There was as expected huge crowds but we persevered and the highlight was a visit to the Sistine Chapel. We had a very nice lunch in the Museum Restaurant before leaving to catch a taxi to the Trevi Fountain. Here we did the tourist thing and threw coins in the fountain and had a lovely Italian ice-cream before walking to the Collesium. We hadn’t time for a proper visit to the Collesium so we decided on a beer instead in a bar opposite. We then took a taxi back to St. Peter’s Station where we took the “Roma Express” back to the port of Civitavecchia and the shuttle bus to the Ruby Princess.

Shower and change ready for our evening meal in the Da Vinci Restaurant. The Chef’s Menu!

Tuesday, 7th June

Arrived early morning in Livorno, Tuscany. Had a slight lie in! Breakfast in the Da Vinci Restaurant, then chilled out. The weather was not so good, overcast and raining. There was a crew emergency exercise so we went on top deck for a walk, followed by a sit down before we returned to our stateroom. We disembarked at 1.00 pm for our wine tasting visit to a Tuscany Vineyard. A tour of the farm by horse & carriage was followed by a light lunch and wine tasting We all rather enjoyed it…. Back to the ship for 5.00 pm and we all had a wine and either a tapas or sushi. We then retired to our stateroom in readiness for the evening. A drink in the Wheelhouse Bar which we took into the theatre where we watched the show, a magician/illusionist called David Cats from Italy and a comedian, Kevin Devane. This was followed by dinner in the Da Vinci. The tapas earlier took the edge of it a bit and we both felt rather full!! So, a walk round the promenade deck was called for before retiring to bed.

Wednesday, 8th June

Up early to watch our arrival in Monte Carlo. We all had breakfast together and after a delay we disembarked by tender to Monaco. A bus tour of the palace; cathedral; Casino and the shops also taking in the GP circuit. Coffee in a shopping mall before catching the tender at 1.15 pm back to the ship.

Bernie and I had lunch in the International Café, then back to stateroom for some packing. Meanwhile, the Ruby Princess sailed away from Monaco before 3.00 pm which was a little late.

We had our final dinner on board in the Da Vinci Restaurant and our last stroll on deck.

Thursday, 9th June

Docked at Barcelona around 5.30 am and we had an early breakfast in the Horizon Buffet and all met together to finally disembarkat 7.40 am. Straight onto the coach to transfer us to Barcelona Airport. Kerry and Stuart lost a suitcase but we all managed to catch the plane back to Manchester Airport and the taxi back to my sister Jean’s house and car back home.

A very enjoyable holiday. Plenty of chill out time as well as hard touring. Too little time at each place leaves a desire to travel back to visit more thoroughly at some time in the future. Ah well… maybe??

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