First to explain "misadventures", this trip has proved to be a little challenging, so far!
Within the first 3 hours of arriving in Rome I had lost my jacket (not expensive but the only warm thing I had), Kev's wallet was pick-pocketed, some money, all credit cards, travel card and driverís license, our only excuse is "very jet lagged" (29 hours door to door) and we are sticking to it!! We then spent the next few hours on the mobile trying to cancel and replace cards but of course we ran out of credit on the phone which was linked to one of the stolen cards so they refused to add any money to it.
Getting very frustrated we called our landlord (private apartment rental) who, by the way, had met us at the airport and driven us 20 mins to the apartment (and spoke great English) all for nothing. He agreed to come back to the apartment and take us to the police station to help with the reporting etc.
Thank goodness he did as NO English understood there, plus he used his phone to report to the credit card people in Italian. He then drove us back to the apartment where we decided to have a shower and get ready to go and find some dinner but that wasn't to be either, we couldn't get the shower to work (a NASA invented model with 10 nozzles that could get you to the moon and back but no water could be extracted by us). Yes, you guessed it, we had to ring him back and he came down again and fixed it with ONE touch!!!! Don't let anyone tell you that talians are not helpful!! All this for a $110 apartment we had for 2 nights! He even suggested a great restaurant & shopping area to walk to for dinner which proved to be just that and a few wines later we started to feel a bit better. I'm sure as soon as he got home the 3rd time he made notes to no longer deal with crazy Australians!
The next day we took the local train to Ostia Antica, the ancient port for Rome as Kev had always wanted to see it but we didn't realise this was school holidays in Italy and the train to Ostia Antica was also the train to the beach so we had to stand for 30 minutes and was then rewarded with a "closed today" sign after walking 20 minutes to the site! We both were having trouble loving Rome at his stage!
So next day, by train again, to our cruise ship to be hopefully pampered as feeling a little low!! We then caught the wrong train BUT this one did go to the right place and was a very comfortable express costing 4 times the price and although an inspector was on the train he never checked our tickets, so finally our luck was turning! Silly us, not to be!! Kev had read the ship was 300-400m from the train station on a level walk, but the actuality was no signage, cobble stones and stairs, proving more than difficult and then the retractable handle on Kev's 20 kilo bag deciding to come out in his hand when getting off the train just added to our woes!
Luckily the ship is HUGE and we could see it to work out where to go, an exhausting time later we reached HEAVEN complete with air con, porters and free booze! We both decided then we were never getting off especially when we discovered Kev's phone was missing and we still have no idea where!!!
The ship and cruise has been all we could have hoped for, the shore excursions great, except for my hat flying off the hop on hop off bus in Malta, the food fantastic (we have conquered the ship waddle, no one can walk properly after this much food!). Our free liquor package is being used to the limit, and after our first few days who can blame us! Hence my explanation of "Javin" this much luxury, comfort and excess reminds us of Brad & Angelina (without the 6 kids) and after spending Kev's birthday lunch on the Isle of Capri with amazing views, touring Malta by bus, riding the cable car to the top of Santorini, wandering the back streets of Rhodes, our private day tour to ancient Ephesus with a lunch at a local farm and still 5 lovely days to go, cruising could definitely spoil you!!
For those who are considering joining us next year please ignore the first paragraph, I promise you we normally have adventures not misadventures!!!! I can get you references!!
Off for some more food, itís my mother's fault she used to tell us to think of all those starving Ethiopians, so I have to clear my plate but I guess ordering 3 courses is not actually necessary, I ponder that over dessert!
Love Jan x