65th Birthday Celebration - Second Set of Photos
The Navigator of the Seas, Pisa and Lucca
On October 4th, we arrived in Civitivecchia, to board Royal Caribbean's 138,000 ton Navigator of the Seas. I had done a twelve day transatlantic crossing on her in April 2008 so I already had made some crew friends on board the ship and two long time friends, Edsel Toscano, casino
cashier supervisor, and Robert Wood, Restaurant Operations Manager, had recently joined the ship. I was very much looking forward to seeing them again. This was my 76th Royal Caribbean cruise in 14-1/2 years and as a "Diamond Plus" member, we had a special check in line and were soon ready to board. We had a phenomenal surprise awaiting us! Our balcony cabin had been upgraded to a Royal Family suite! It was a huge aft cabin with a living room, dining area, TWO bedrooms, TWO bathrooms, numberous drawers and closets and the most
wonderful cabin steward ever! Also, the balcony ran the entire length of the room and accommodated a table and chairs and three chaise lounges. Too bad the cruise was only going to last six days. I was ready to go around the world in this suite!
This is our suite living room - couch made into a sofa bed
One bathroom in our suite
We even had a tub in this bathroom!
Desk and bar area - we had enough glassware to host a big party!
Dining area with my roses from Crown and Anchor
Wonderful balcony for morning coffee or evening wine!
Side viewof our balcony
With my dear friend, Robert Wood, of England, Restaurant Operations Manager
One of my favorite spots on the ship was Vintages Wine Bar and the wonderful "wine tenders" who staff the place. One of the Royal Caribbean Food and Beverage Managers, Chris Nothdurft, knowing my love of wine, had recommended Vintages to me when I did the transatlantic last year. Much to my delight, several of the crew I knew from that time were on board for this cruise. They greeted me like family which is the way it gets to be when you are a frequent cruiser.
Here I am with Olga - who I met for the first time this cruise.
This is Michelle from the Philippines.
Last, but not least, is Christina - I got to meet her mother who was sailing with us this cruise.
Livorno, Italy - with Ricardo
Last year, when I cruised in the Mediterranean on the Legend of the Seas, we were fortunate to have Ricardo show us about Pisa and Lucca. As soon as I knew we were coming on the Navigator, I contacted the taxi company and was able to have him escort us again. He is such a delight and we had the most wonderful day.
Pisa is a lovely city in the central Italy region of Tuscany, on the Arno River. It has a population of about 80,000 people and is famous for its leaning tower. Pisa figured signifignantly in ancient times and during the Middle Ages.
The tower and cathedral at Pisa
The leaning tower and statue of cherubs
The leaning tower of Pisa
The leaning tower is the freestanding campanile or bell tower and is the third structure built
in the square, following the cathedral and the baptistry. While it was meant to stand vertically,
soon after construction, it began to shift, because of a poorly laid foundation and loose
substrate. Restoration work, which began in 1990, has corrected the lean 1.51 degrees.
The construction of the tower took about 177 years, progressing in three stages. War halted construction, at one time, for almost a century. The tower houses seven bells, one each for a major note on the musical scale.
A coffee break in Pisa
Close up of Pisa cathedral facade
Little police car
Pisa street scene
Lucca, Italy - birthplace of Giacomo Puccini, opera great
Lucca is a Tuscan city in Italy, situated on the River Serchio. It became a Roman colony in 180 B. C. and its Renaissance-era city walls remain intact. Napoleon took over Lucca in 1805.
Lucca's Giacomo Puccini, composer of operas La Boheme, Tosca, Madame Butterfly
Crowded shopping street, Lucca
Tall tower, Lucca
Beautiful Luccan Square
Angel looking out on the square
The square is almost deserted at the end of the day
Our final toast to Lucca
Passing a luxury Italian yacht builder
Apartment living in Tuscany
We had spent a wonderful day in Pisa and Lucca and I bade farewell to Ricardo for a second consecutive year, somewhat sadly, wondering if this might be my last trip to this area of the world. If I ever return, he will definitely be the first person I will call to take me about, perhaps to Cinque de Terre or another wonderful area near the port of Livorno.