Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise: Day 11 Livorno, Italy

Viv & Jill’s Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise: Day 11 Livorno, Italy
12-Night Mediterranean Romance Cruise June 3-15, 2011

Livorno is the gateway to Tuscany, Italy

Livorno is the gateway to Tuscany, Italy

Day 11 – June 13: Livorno, Italy

Docking in Livorno, the gateway to Tuscany, by 7 am and with most passengers planning excursions of some sort off the ship, we actually decided just prior to going to breakfast that we were thoroughly exhausted from our last 7 weeks exploring Europe and being in a different place almost every day. Our original plan was to take the train to Pisa, take the obligatory photos with the leaning tower, jump back on the train and go to Lucca for a leisurely lunch and make it back to the ship by 5 pm. So, instead of doing the mad dash tour of Tuscany in a day, we decided to stay on board and have the ship almost exclusively to ourselves for most of the day. This turned out to be a splendid idea.

We waited until 8:30 am to go the Manhattan Dining Room for breakfast and enjoyed being served by our cheery waiters. Once finished we donned our swimwear and with reading material in hand eased into chaise loungers next to the pool where we parked ourselves for the next 6 hours. For the first 4 hours it was only us using the pool and we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of only a couple hundred fellow passengers on board. Throughout the day we grazed lunch munchies at the Lido buffet, Terrace Grill and Slice, but didn’t overindulge as we  wanted to be able to enjoy the Formal Farewell Dinner.

During Happy Hour in the Ocean Bar we caught up with friends that had been off exploring and eating their way through Tuscany all day. Although they’d had fabulous excursions they were very jealous when we told them of our lazy day with so few people aboard and wished they’d taken more time to just relax and enjoy the ship.

Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam Mediterranean Romance Cruise - Farewell Dinner

Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam Mediterranean Romance Cruise – Farewell Dinner

Arriving at the Manhattan Dining Room for our 5:45 pm reservation, we were promptly seated and started our meal with the Escargot Bourguignon and Duck Foie Gras Pate appetizers. Next we each had the Boston Lettuce with Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese Salad. For main courses we both chose the Surf and Turf with filet mignon and lobster tail on porcini basmati rice and an array of sauteed vegetables. Then we were treated to the Baked Alaska parade which allowed us the opportunity to applaud the kitchen crew that had worked so hard to fatten us up during the cruise. We both decided to skip the Baked Alaska for dessert and instead opted for the Molten Chocolate Cake with berry sauce. Although this was tasty, it was the only culinary disappointment of the trip, simply because we expected cake to be gooey inside and not the texture of a brownie.

After finishing with a cappuccino we made our way to the 8 pm performance of NYC in The Showroom at Sea. The entertainment by the Nieuw Amsterdam resident performers was very well done and their singing and dancing routine was a nice way to wrap up the evening.

At 11 pm I headed for the Northern Lights disco with friends to dance the rest of the night away while Jill had already retired with a good book.

Towel Art - Monkey Business

Towel Art – Monkey Business

Explore More of WJ’s Holland America Line Mediterranean Romance Cruise

Overview | Itinerary | Photos | Day 1: Venice, Italy | Day 2: Venice, Italy | Day 3: Dubrovnik, Croatia | Day 4: Corfu, Greece  | Day 5: Argostoli, Greece | Day 6: Santorini, Greece | Day 7: Sea Day | Day 8: Catania, Italy | Day 9: Naples, Italy | Day 10: Rome, Italy | Day 11: Livorno, Italy | Day 12: Barcelona | Day 13: Barcelona Disembarkation |

 

Click here to visit the Holland America Line website.

7 Responses to Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise: Day 11 Livorno, Italy

  1. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    dutch 09/24/2012 at 8:58 pm Reply
    • YES! Disney cruiseline is one of the best. Its srtteaooms are bigger than most ships, and for adults they have an adult only pool and restaurant. They have shows every night. And they have rotating dining. This means that instead of being stuck in one huge dining room for the entire cruise, you rotate between three fabulous themed restaurants. While you are on the cruise, most of your time would be spend at the ports exploring. While many people on the cruise do have kids, they dont rule the ship. During the day the kids are pretty much occupied in planned activities. Any cruise you go on is going to have kids on it, so do yourself a favor and go on one of the best cruiselines. They have the best service possible. Even though you rotate dining rooms, your waiter goes with you, and by the second or third day, you waiter knows what you like to drink and has it waiting on the table for you. And they know you by name.

      Ajid 10/29/2012 at 12:04 am Reply
  2. I would recommend both. You could fly into Milan take the train to Venice, pick up a rental car leaving Venice and drop it off when you arrive Rome. For visiting Florence en-route you can’t really drive in and park, most of Florence is limited to vehicles with permit only and there’s traffic cameras to catch the offenders. Best is probably staying somewhere on the outskirts of Florence along a train line and day-trip. For all the rest of traveling about the countryside in Italy is best done with a car, the roads are good, generally well marked, you won’t get lost but yes bring a good map. The Touring Club Italiano (TCI) regional maps are the best, you can order them online. Rental cars in Italy aren’t cheap, primarily because of the mandatory insurance. Many times its as much as the rental itself. Gas is expensive though most rental cars are very efficient. Tolls are expensive as well. Certainly driving is in no way an economical thing to do but the freedom of your own wheels outweighs cost for many.I would add that do not necessarily listen to those who tell you not to drive in Italy. It depends on the type of driver you are. I live in a major metropolitan area and am used to traffic, congestion, and people doing crazy stuff. Its no different in Italy other than the latter is practiced not just in major cities but done all over in rural areas as well. Passing up the middle with oncoming traffic and around blind corners, etc is commonplace. If you are used to driving in rural, quiet, well disciplined areas then you may find driving in Italy a frazzling experience. Its all relative.

    Arif 09/28/2012 at 5:20 am Reply
  3. If you want to be away from kids then DO NOT go on a Disney cruise. There are plntey of other alternatives on great cruise lines that offer more options and accommodations as good or better than Disney. Disney has only two ships and thus your options for itineraries are very limited and prices on Disney tend to be higher.For an anniversary I recommend Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean or Holland America. Royal Caribbean tends to have families with kids but the other cruise lines have some but not as many kids. All of these cruise lines do have programs just for kids to keep them busy each day and special areas on ships where the kids hang out with professional staff persons to supervise them. Some have special water play areas on ships for kids with water slides and such. The other way to have fewer kids is to cruise to Alaska, the Panama Canal, The Mediterranean, or New England/Canada. Also, cruises longer than 7 days usually do not have as many kids on board.

    Darren 09/29/2012 at 10:18 pm Reply
    • For getting between major Italian cities the train is tough to beat. Trainitalia’s Eurostar service is generally quite good. I strongly recommend against renting a car. Two weeks to cover 5 major cities will be a packed (but not impossible) trip. Go to the top of the duomo in Florence. Plan your time in advance for the Vatican as their museum hours are not very accommodating. Milan is not the best tourist attraction, go see Bergamo for an afternoon instead.

      Bilal 10/26/2012 at 8:35 am Reply
  4. I have so enjoyed your review of this cruise, as we are thinking of booking the very same (albeit ever so slightly altered itinerary for future sailings).
    Unfortunately I was dying to hear about self-touring to Florence from Livorno…. I realise you had ‘a day off’, but do you have information about the options for getting to Florence, and how difficult / expensive it is?
    We don’t like taking real tours, and as we have been before we are happy to wander around on our own, but I am concerned about the cost of getting there, as there is 4 in our family these days and few concessions offered for child-travellers!

    Lisa 10/03/2012 at 3:38 pm Reply
    • The journey from Livorno to Florence takes a bit of time if you are doing it by yourself. The train station in Livorno is on the opposite side of town from the port – so you either need to walk 45-minutes or take a cab, which can be a bit spendy. Then it would require approximately a 60-90 minute train journey to Florence – possibly with a change in Pisa. For a family of 4 it may be more cost effective to either hire a private van, rent a car (which will be waiting for you when the ship arrives), or take one of the cruise excursions. If you are sailing with HAL, the Travel Director will be able to provide you with all the details available at the time of year when you cruise. Hope this helps. Cheers, Viv and Jill.

      Viv 10/04/2012 at 9:31 am Reply
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