17 November 2012

October 2012--Our First Cruise. . .Day 3: Villefrance, France

22 October 2012

Monday morning we woke up in Villefrance, France--a small, coastal town, in the heart of the French Riveria, founded in 1295.  Here's the AM view from our stateroom:

Charlotte checking out the view!!

Because of  my late night, I was off to a slow start, so Keith took the girls to breakfast.  Mom & Dad Brum booked a guided excursion to Nice & Eze, but we decided that our three upcoming Italian excursions were enough for us!  Instead, the big girls went to Adventure Ocean (no surprise!) and Keith, Charlotte, and I took the tender ship over to Villefrance to wander about. 

 There wasn't much to the town. . .just a few market stalls and the Citadel (1560), which we (kind of) walked through.  Keith did walk up and look at the Chapelle St. Pierre, but because of the stroller, I stayed down and browsed some shops.

Here is the little tender ship we took over to the town:

It was impressive views all around from the tender ship while heading in to shore. . .I have to say that although the town didn't have much to offer, it was--by far--the prettiest port that we were in.  Definitely some of my favorite pictures!!

It wasn't even that bright. . .and that's not even my squinty eye!!  Oh well. . gotta get in the pictures sometime and it's a cute pic of Charlotte!! :)

There were a couple of these guys, and Charlotte had to give each a high-five!

After we explored Villefrance for a bit, we queued to board the tender ships back to the Liberty.  Hannah & Maggie had already eaten with the kids' club staff, so Keith, Charlotte and I hit the Windjammer buffet.

Charlotte LOVES the prawn crackers we get with Chinese takeaway, and the ship had multi-colored ones!

After lunch, it was back to our room for the five of us. . .and time for a short rest.  Charlotte and I continued to rest, Keith and Maggie went swimming, and Hannah stayed back to read for a little while.  While the girls & I got ready for dinner, Keith tried out the fitness center.

The PM view from our stateroom:

The H2O Zone that the kids spent plenty of time in:

For dinner, Hannah joined Grandpa and Grandma in the dining room.  Keith, Maggie, Charlotte, and I went to Johnny Rockets diner, because I couldn't stop thinking about getting some cheese fries and onion rings.  I had just started feeling better from my late night, but right about when we sat down to order, nausea hit me like a mack truck!  Keith had a bug before we left, so I either got it from him or from the close quarters of the cruise ship.  Either way, the day was done for me. . .and after one onion ring, I needed to sleep the sick off!   Everyone else called it a night shortly after I did--probably for the best, since we had an early start for Pisa the next day.  

14 November 2012

October 2012--Our First Cruise. . .Day 2: Toulon, Provence, France

21 October 2012

Our first cruise stop was Toulon, which is in the Provence region of Southern France.  This was the view from our stateroom on Sunday morning:

We didn't pre-book an excursion for this day, but had signed up for the Dreamworks Character Breakfast featuring characters from Shrek and Madagascar.

The menu was filled with all sorts of chocolate drizzled items and then there were the chocolate milkshakes!  Served to us without having to order them and they were, in my opinion, the best thing ever!!  However, Hannah took some convincing. . .but she finally tucked in!  :)

Maggie LOVED them!

Charlotte wasn't interested in milkshakes!

We all enjoyed meeting the characters. . .
. . .except for Charlotte who wasn't interested!

After breakfast, the kids all made their first visit to the kids' clubs--Royal Tots Nursery for Charlotte, and the Adventure Ocean for Hannah and Maggie.  The adults decided to take a ferry ashore to visit the Provencal Market in Toulon.

I was glad to know where they were stored! ;)

Toulon is the capital of France's Var region and is characterized by its mountainous landscape, fortified medieval villages, and its original Greek & Roman influences.  Located on what's considered to be the most beautiful and well-protected natural harbor in Europe, it is a center of French naval dominance and has been a seaside center of trade for centuries.  (info from Royal Caribbean pamphlet)

After many, MANY stalls of fruit and veg (although I did pick up a scarf and we managed to find pastries) we headed to this restaurant for some moules (mussels), bread, cheese, and WINE!

I headed back before Keith and his parents so that I could pick Charlotte up from the nursery. . she was asleep in the rocking chair when I got there.  Keith grabbed the big girls when he got back and they all went swimming.  I managed to get a run in at the ship's fitness center. . where I quickly realized that I do not like treadmill running!!

This evening's dinner theme was formal, so we all got dolled up in our (somewhat) formal clothes and got our picture taken:

Dinner was exactly what you would expect a formal dinner with kids to be. . .messy & a bit chaotic!  The big girls were itching to finish fast and go back to Adventure Ocean.  In fact, they didn't even eat their dessert!  Then Charlotte needed to be changed. . .so although we didn't really get to sit and enjoy much of it together, it was a nice meal in the end!!

The day ended with bedtime for the girls, a little bit of euchre, and another bottle of vin in our room.  Keith was ready for sleep, so I went out and explored the ship a little.  I shopped (because the night time was when the shops were open), and then sat in the piano bar with a dirty martini for a bit.  Before heading back up to the room, I hit the English pub for a pint and Jimmy Buffett covers!  Needless to say, after that I was ready for bed!  Morning came very early the next day!!