Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Naples/Capri, Italy


Star Princess arrived in Naples at 8 AM.  We had already had breakfast because our shore excursion, Pompeii & Amalfi Coastal Cruise,  would be departing shortly after the ship was cleared by local authorities.

Looking out from the upper deck, we saw that we weren't alone.  In this picture (left to right) are the Grand Holiday,  Liberty of the Seas, and Norwegian Epic.

If you are familiar with ships, the blue funnel might strike you as odd. Shouldn't that funnel be red?   Well, once upon a time it was.  This ship was previously known as Carnival's Holiday.   In November 2009, Holiday was retired from the fleet and  transferred to the fleet of Iberocruceros, another cruise line owned by Carnival Corporation & plc as the MS Grand Holiday.

About Naples...

Italy's third-largest city, Naples is a bustling metropolis famed for it stately buildings, crowded streets, pizza and notoriously bad traffic. However, this beautiful city is rich in centuries-old culture and customs. Naples is also your gateway to the Isle of Capri, the fabled Amalfi Coast and the ruins of Pompeii, buried in ash by the cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

12-Night Cruise, Day 3...

Our tour began in Naples where we boarded an air-conditioned motorcoach for a 45-minute drive to Salerno where a motorlaunch took us on a scenic 60-minute cruise along the gorgeous Amalfi coastline.   Arriving in the town of Amalfi  we had 60 minutes of free time to explore the town or visit the Amalfi Cathedral (entrance fee not included).

Following our visit to Amalfi, we cruised back along the Amalfi coastline to Salerno and boarded our motorcoach for a 30-minute drive to Pompeii where lunch was served at a local hotel.

After lunch we  explored the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pompeii, which uncovers excavations of a lost city buried deep beneath the ash when Mt. Vesuvius violently erupted in 79 AD.  Our guide, "Mama Nancy", explained the remarkably preserved remains that hint at daily life-their customs, buildings and cuisine.

Following Pompeii, we re-boarded the motorcoach and drove to a nearby cameo factory, where artisans apply skills handed down for generations, intricately carving seashell or coral into beautiful jewelry-true works of art, and beautiful keepsake souvenirs.   Those that wanted to purchase a keepsake had time to do that before we reboarded our motorcoach for the 30 minute return ride to Naples.

We will explore each of the parts of the tour in detail in additional posts.   Here are some photos on our Facebook Fan Page (please Like us so that you'll get updates as we continue our posts):

Naples/Capri Arrival        Drive to Salerno                        Amalfi Coastal Cruise
Exploring Amalfi               Drive to Pompeii / Lunch         Exploring Pompeii       
Cameo Factory

More information and photos of our day in Naples, Salerno, Amalfi, and Pompeii to follow in additional blog posts. 


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