Cruises

Capri, Italy

The Isle of Capri is a true place of beauty. This is why it became the playground of the rich and famous. Many people are confused by the isle’s name of Capri and the city of Capri on the Isle. The Isle has two main cities: Capri and Anacapri. This island is rugged with cliffs and a huge mountain near Anacapri. It has two beaches, the large and small beaches. The ferries drop you off at the large beach. There is a large marina there and porters will take your bags to your hotel. This is a great idea since you will be walking.

Once at the marina at the large beach you can take a bus up a windy road or a funicular up the hill to the center of Capri city.Take the funicular. it is fast and fun. At the top is the main piazza with its clock tower. In this area are many restaurants, bars, gelaterias and stores. Many of the small streets are alley like but take them and you will discover many interesting stores and shops.

So many tourists opt to come on a ferry in the morning and leave in the evening. This is the biggest mistake you can make! Stay at least one night. After the tourists have left, the locals come out. Be a local and enjoy life. This is what being an Italian in Italy is all about. Remember Italy is not a quest to visit as many places as you can in a week. It is about the food, the people, the life, the museums and the cities. You can not fully enjoy or understand Italy without sitting back in each city and being part of the life. Running through a city causes you to miss the life all together reducing Italy to just another tourist destination. Believe me, Italy is not just another tourist attraction!

Come walk with us through the cities of Capri and Anacapri and join us on a boat ride around the Isle. Be romantic in one of the most romantic places on Earth…

– George

Categories: Anacapri, Bars, Beach Resorts, Beaches, Blue Flag Beaches, Blue Grotto, Cafè, Campania, Capri, Cave, Cooking, Cruises, Eating, Eating Italian, Europe, Ferries, Food, Funicular, Gelato, General Travel, Italian, Italy, Italy BLOGs, Mount Vesuvious, Museums, Naples, Passegiata, Planning a vacation, resorts, Ristorante, Romance, Sorrento, Southern Italy, Stairs, Towns, Traveling without a tour, Tyrrhenian Sea, Villa Brunella, VLOG, Walking, Wine | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Plan a Trip in Italy – Part 6

So we have our itinerary and know where we are staying, Know we need transportation while in Italy. We have a few choices:

  1. Tour – This is our least favorite and we never do this. Tours tend to be big, slow moving and they choose restaurants that give them a kick-back (not ones with great Italian food). Tours have had complaints for a long time. Some are giving Free Days where you are on your own to explore. They do handle the issues of language, getting lost and easy of touring but at an expense. In our opinion a great expense.
  2. Rental Car – This is our favorite to go to small towns and hilltop cities. In large cities we park for the duration of our stay and walk or take local transportation. Car rentals are easiest at the airport. You get your car and drive out and are on an autostrada quickly. In the south where we have our home, it is critical to have a car. It is the country and you need a car to get around. Italy’s roads are easy to navigate and GPS works great. You have a choice of American car rentals like Hertz, Avis and Budget as well as European (usually cheaper) like Eurocar. The Autostrada has great Auto Grille (rest Areas) with good bathrooms, great food and gifts. Take a break from driving and enjoy.
  3. Cruises – This is an option we do not like. Cruise tours are short and not enough time to really see a city. A few hours in Rome is not enough to see it. It certainly is not enough time to sit at a bar and experience Italian life. You go to Italy not just for the sites but to experience the Italian people and customs.
  4. Ferries – In beside areas like the Amalfi coast, take a ferry to visit other local towns. This is a fast and sonic way to travel an area. Ferries are usually not expensive.
  5. Train – An in between option is to take the train. Most airports have easy access to trains that take you into the nearby city. From any of Italy’s big cities you can board high-speed trains (Trenitalia) to any other big city in Europe. Trains are fast and efficient. Remember that your ticket must be validated before boarding the train unless you have an e-Ticket that says no validation necessary. Validation is sticking your ticket into a yellow validating machine at the end of tracks and getting it time stamped. From a large city you can transfer to local trains that go to almost all local towns. You can get to your destination or a nearby town easily.

Trains Italy

However you get around Italy, enjoy the ride. Look at Italy’s vast rugged countryside. The mountains are large and very rugged. Italy was formed by very violent volcano and earthquake events. It literally rose out of the sea. What was left is a very beautiful countryside. Italy is one of the most visited countries on Earth. Go and see why! Explore Italy and be romantic.

Tomorrow we ill look at booking your airfare and pricing.

George & Jo Anne

 

Categories: Auto Grills, Autostrada, Car Rentals, Cruises, Driving in Italy, Europe, Ferries, General Travel, Italy, Parking Garage, Romance, Small Towns, Trains | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Caribbean Cruise

We are back from our Caribbean Cruise. Although this has nothing to do with Italy or Europe, it needs to be said. Have you ever taken a cruise? Which line is your favorite? We are not Carnival travelers. We only took one cruise before on Celebrity and it was an awesome experience. The prices seem to be close across all lines. The food on Celebrity was great, the rooms (balcony) were large. We ordered a drink package which was expensive but we felt worth it. It covered all alcoholic drinks, wine, beer, soda and water. We had no limit on the number of drinks. We could order anything except top-notch brands. The wine was very good and there was a variety of it. Internet service was excellent.

Now on this trip, Celebrity was sold out so we decided to take Holland America to the Eastern Caribbean on the Westerdam. This was recommended to us by several friends. We did not know that they were purchased by Carnival! Had we know we would never have taken the cruise. This was a mistake and we will never take them again. Here is our review:

PROS: The food was very good. It was prepared correctly and was delicious. You can eat as much as you want. There is a buffet for those that don’t want to dress up or like piling their plates high. Then there was the main dinning room. This was very nice and the food was great. Again you can order whatever you want and as much as you want. There are also specialty restaurants for an additional fee.

CONS: The staff was very young and we did not get the feeling of confidence that we had on Celebrity. The ship had a very bad roll. On Celebrity we hit a tropical storm at sea and that ship did not roll as much as this one. The rooms (balcony) were nice but not as big as on Celebrity. The drink package was very expensive and horrible. It had a limit of 15 drinks a day (alcohol, soda and water). When I tried to order a Pinot Noir I was told that was not included in my package. I had a choice of Cabernet for red. It was a horrible wine that after the first sip I couldn’t finish it. It also took a half hour to get drinks. Another person on board told us that they ordered wine and water and were told they could not order two drinks on the drink package at a time. They had to drink the wine, wait 15 minutes and then order a water. Jo Anne managed to complain and we were refunded our drink package money. They then put us in the Admirals Wine package. This allowed the purchase of bottles of wine that were much better quality.  The Internet service was the worst. After paying $200 for 500 minutes of service we couldn’t download anything. Surfing the net was painful! They refunded half our money. As we exited the ship in Fort Lauderdale my phone dinged with the arrival of 200 emails and 50 face book messages from days ago that I never saw on their internet.

All in all, we were somewhat relaxed but the trip was a waste. The stops are geared to selling you jewelry, drinks, etc except for Old San Juan. That was a real city and fun. Our advice is be very careful of cruises. Holland America will nickel & dime you to death.

George & Jo Anne

 

 

Categories: Caribbean, Cruises | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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