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ex HARALD JARL ::: ex ANDREA ::: SERENISSIMA :::

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    Cecilia, this is just a fantastic trip report. Naturally i spend much more time by studying each ship picture than watching those of the Italian surrounding, but i can imagine the delight of having lunch or coffe on an Italian island during a cruise. A big WOOWW for # 671/3. That is a great catch!
    Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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    • Seagull
      Seagull commented
      Editing a comment
      There were SOME excursions when I thought of you Ralf! …those that included time to visit local markets! …stay tuned for fruit, veg and fish!

    Day 4 – Palermo, Sicily



    Arriving in Palermo early the following day.




    From out on deck I could see Snav Sardegna - IMO8712518 (ex Olau Hollandia, Pride of Le Havre) - one of the Grandi Navi Veloci ferries on the Palermo - Napoli route.




    Watching Costa Favolosa arrive.

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      The morning excursion, part bus, part walking tour, took us first to the cathedral.




      Reminding me of Rome, this crossroads is known as the Quattro Canti (Four Corners) and is embellished with fountains as well as sculptures representing the four seasons, kings and patron saints of the old quarters of the city.



      …more fountains

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        This imposing building is Teatro Massimo - the opera house, built at the end of the 19th century at the height of Sicily’s prosperity. In a state of disrepair by the 1970’s much was restored in the 1990’s. Perhaps you recognise the building from the film The Godfather, (part 3).




        A glimpse off the main streets...




        ...and the street market.




        Bonus photos for Ralf! - more scenes in the market.

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          Some people decided to have lunch at restaurants near the port, while others, including me, returned to the ship. I took the opportunity to take a couple of photos of the typical lunch buffet - soup, salads, choice of hot dishes, and a tempting array of fruit and desserts, though I frequently finished with the cheeses, fresh bread and a glass of red wine.




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          • Sigve
            Sigve commented
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            Oh, the lunch buffet ("soup, salads, choice of hot dishes") I would have enjoyed it very much!

          • Clipper
            Clipper commented
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            I see carbs, a lot of carbs!

          • Seagull
            Seagull commented
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            It was very tasty Sigve. Choices, Clipper, choices!!!!

          Such a great feeling of "being there" in posts 678-680!

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          • Seagull
            Seagull commented
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            So pleased Tommi – that’s the feeling I’m trying to achieve with the ship/excursion mix.

          I agree, Tommi. My favourite of the last posts is #679/2. This picture of the entrance and the backyard is so full of life. Each corner is in use for something more or less important. It is hard to imagine the inside look of the Bed&Breakfast, but i suppose it is well climatisated and in perfect shape. There is often a big difference between the outside and inside in Italian houses.
          For me it is hard to believe that you prefered the lunch on board instead of the Italian restaurants, cafés and of course the gelaterias! For me it had to be at least a combination.
          The market pictures are wonderful. Look at this fresh fish! Yummy!
          Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

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          • Seagull
            Seagull commented
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            Ralf: The restaurants where those people wanted to go were some pizza places rather geared for tourists and ferry passengers close to the port - not especially Sicilian, and a whole pizza is far too much for my appetite anyway. Also if one wanted to go on the afternoon excursion (which I did) there was not the time I would have needed to choose a restaurant, order, and eat such a lunch at a proper leisurely pace before being picked up by the bus. There would be a MUCH better opportunity to eat a local lunch independently on another day. And I have already been taking advantage of local café/ gelateria opportunities, such as that pictured at Erice which got Yves excited – and I assure you there will be more!

          After a few days at the shipyard in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands, "Serenissima" crossed the Atlantic to St.John's where she is docked now.

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          • Guest's Avatar
            Guest commented
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            Sorry Tommi my fault, I should have written the island Antigua and Barbuda in the Caribbean

          • Tommi
            Tommi commented
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            No problem at all, I was happy to discover that there actually were two ports with the same name on the other side of the Atlantic.

          • Tommi
            Tommi commented
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            The second one is btw located in the northern parts of Canada.

          Ah you’ve been following her too, Bengt!

          After my cruise she made another one - not Noble Caledonia - as well as the scheduled time in the dockyard at Las Palmas. I suspect she is now also doing another charter, before the first of four for NC starting on 20th December.

          A pack of Noble Caledonia brochures popped through my letterbox yesterday, including one devoted to Serenissima in Central America and the Caribbean in January to April 2016! She will have an even more extensive schedule over there than currently in 2015/16 with some similar itineraries (including the Panama Canal) and other new ones - eight cruises in all, so it would seem that bookings for the current season have gone well.

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            Another advantage of having lunch onboard the ship that day in Palermo was some free time to enjoy being out on the decks in increasingly delightful weather, and I took a few photos.
            View from outside my cabin:






            Up decks and in the opposite direction, Snav Sardegna was still there.

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            • PoloUK
              PoloUK commented
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              Sardegna is the old P&O 'Pride of Le Havre'. A very pleasant way to get from Portsmouth to Le Havre until 2005. We also had one glorious Sheerness to Vlissingen trip on her when she was the Olau Hollandia. Sorry - irrelevant, but happy memories.

            • Clipper
              Clipper commented
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              Polo, please don't apologise for mentioning Olau. I sailed Sheerness-Vlissingen with them a couple of times in the 1980s. Having been weaned on down-market Sealink, I was open-mouthed at Olau's quality. The greatest pleasure was "Captain's Table". Happy memories indeed.



            It was a good opportunity to take photos of the wonderful open lounge area on Deck 6 - no one in the way, and the cushions still fairly tidy!

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              Walking forward along deck 6 past the port side lifeboat and zodiacs...




              ...and then turning to take a view in the opposite direction.




              From the same position, looking across the ship through a cross-passage.

              At this point I can imagine Clipper rushing to the deck plans in some confusion! It does rather seem as if I should have reached a dead end, with no direct way either through the cross passage or further forward. See for yourself:



              But, as is obvious from the above photo, one can continue. From the cross passage, the central door does lead to the Deck 6 cabins and forward stair, as shown in the plan. And just look in the photo of the passage how the well-maintained paintwork shines and reflects the light!




              I'd stayed on the port side and continued forward to the stair which goes up to Deck 7 and the bridge wing, pausing first to turn round and take this.
              But note there is the same arrangement starboard, so the cross passage provides a quick relocation between the bridge wings without disturbing the officers on the bridge itself. The walkway around what used to be the panorama lounge is roped off, for the privacy of the two Owners Suites 601 and 602 now located there.

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              • Clipper
                Clipper commented
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                Thank you for the great photos and explanation Cecilia. That version of the Deck 6 plan really doesn't indicate its true nature. The arrangement at the port/stbd ends of the cross passage could be better represented as in Serenissima's brochure of and earlier versions - Andrea and Harald Jarl. Did you venture into the Deck 6 cabin corridor and use the forward stairs?

              • Seagull
                Seagull commented
                Editing a comment
                Yes, I did explore that cabin corridor, Clipper - may even have taken photos at later times, and I got shown in someone's cabin too - but I think I'd better just stick to posting day by day. Even if I'd collected together all the photos of each location, I'd never manage to choose the 'best' There will be a lot more of 'your' lounge for example!



              Looking out from the corner tucked away between the stairs and the roped-off walkway, (I love that curved railing!), I noticed our Tour Director with two of the local guides.




              The view from the bridge wing...



              ...and into the bridge.




              But I won't linger by the bridge or talk to the officers on this occasion as the buses have arrived for the afternoon excursion, and some guests are already heading ashore.
              In this photo from the bridge wing you can see the balconies of Executive Suites 702 and 704.

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                I'm now ashore, and taking two more photos of the ship before boarding the bus. I hope you enjoyed your exploration out on the upper decks and are now ready for the 45 minute drive to visit the village of Monreale!

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                  Walking from the bus parking place at Monreale we head along and up towards the cathedral. Not too many tourists at this time of year. In the souvenir shops you may have noticed the three-legged symbol of Sicily - rather like that of the Isle of Man.

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