And just like that it’s already been 12 days and I’m back in Hong Kong already. My 10 night Eastern Mediteranean cruise on Celebrity’s Reflection is officially over
It’s strange because in a way I feel like I was gone for so long, but at the same time it passed by so quickly!
So where did we leave off?…Oh yes, I was on my way to Rome…
We took the midnight flight out out from Hong Kong and arrived in Rome early Thursday morning, June 6, and headed straight to our hotel. I stayed in the same hotel as I did the last time I was here, Grand Hotel de la Minerve, because of it’s close vicinity to everything. It’s steps from the Pantheon and just a short walk everywhere else.
My sister ended up catching a stomach bug right before we boarded our flight from Hong Kong to Rome and ended up only seeing the inside of our hotel room during our 1 night stay in Rome. Which meant I got to spend the majority of the day with my dad. First we had a quick breakfast/lunch nearby. It was kind of an odd time to eat since it wasn’t quite lunch time, but breakfast was already over so it was more of an early lunch.
I wasn’t feeling anything too heavy and went with a salad of bresaola (the beef equivalent of prosciutto), rocket leaves, and giant shavings of parmagiano regiano. A very salty but enjoyable lunch.
After eating, my dad and I headed towards Piazza di Spagna to do some shopping and sightseeing in that area. On our way over we made a mandatory stop at Giolitti’s for some gelato.
Pistachio and extra dark chocolate for me. And Pistachio and coffee for my dad. Apparently a photo was not enough of a memory for me and I proceeded to drip an entire chunk of melty chocolate gelato down the front of my white shirt. Classic.
As my dad, my stain, and I continued on our way towards the Spanish Steps, the sun was really blazing. I’ve never been to Italy in the summer months and it was pretty warm out there. The good thing is it cools down significantly in the evenings and mornings. Kind of like cali weather.
Eventually we headed back to the hotel to get ready to go to dinner at Maccheroni.
I had been thinking all day about their tomato and basil spaghetti and was more than ready to dig in. My favorite thing about their pasta is that it is always al dente and full of plump ripe tomatoes.
After dinner, I was leading us back to the hotel and lo and behold I somehow took the wrong turn and ended up back at Giolotti’s. I’m usually the one in charge of leading the way and the last time my family and I were in Rome for a week I (no joke) led us to Giolotti’s just about every night after dinner. And honestly it was by accident every.single.time. Gelato just has a way of calling out to me. ; ) Not a bad place to get lost I guess.
Since my mom didn’t eat gelato with my dad and I in the afternoon and we just happened to be next to two gelato shops, we made a quick stop into Groms (which is a few steps down the street from Giolotti’s) for a small cone of grapefruit and apricot.
If you’re ever in Rome and deciding between Grom and Giolotti’s, I would personally suggest going to Giolotti’s because you get a lot more for the same price of 2.5 euro. Plus there are way more options at Giolotti’s. However, I’m not saying Grom’s is not good, because it is definitely delicious as well. I just prefer more gelato
The next morning we had a quick meal of scrumptious crusty bread and bresaola we picked up that day from a nearby grocer, before catching a taxi for the 50 min drive out to Civitavecchia to begin our cruise.
Before we knew it we were already all checked in and ready to go!
Once on board we had a quick lunch at Ocean View Cafe on deck 14, where there is basically food served buffet style from 6:30am-1:30am daily, before heading to our rooms to unpack and become better acquainted with what was on board. (I knew 24 hour room service and an ice cream bar for the next 10 days meant trouble)
A little after we arrived in our rooms the alarm sounded for us to attend the mandatory emergency drill. On our way to our designated emergency area is when I really realized just how large this boat was. 16 floors total with an art gallery, theater, casino, spa and so much more. There was even a mini flywheel studio onboard.
When we returned from our drill there were little canapés (delivered daily around 4pm) waiting for us to snack on.
We began pulling away from the port just as we were finishing up unpacking and a little later my sister and I headed down to Opus on deck 3 to join our parents for dinner.
Opus is the main restaurant on the boat where you are assigned a table that is yours throughout the entire cruise whether you choose to dine there or not. They have a 4 course menu that changes daily. Although there were many other dining options, my family chose to eat there the majority of the nights as we enjoyed the company of our waiter.
I started with the beet and goat cheese salad, as well as an unpictured white gazpacho.
For my main I chose the pan fried salmon over summer squash.
And rounded it all out with a couple scoops of vanilla lychee frozen yogurt for dessert.
I’m happy to report that everything I had that evening was delicious, especially the frozen yogurt.
There were already activities and shows happening on board our boat that night, but after dinner I was beyond ready to head back to our room to turn in for the night. Plus we had an early morning the next day.
Next stop: Messina, Italy!