Livorno and the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Not Exactly!

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I know I’ve posted this many times here at cruise Talk: If you really want to see a city, site or attraction, a cruise ship is not the best way of insuring that you will make it there. There are just too many variables related to cruise travel that can disrupt the scheduled itinerary. Weather and rough seas came into play for us at our first scheduled port Livorno.

We woke up early this morning and had room service breakfast so that we could be down stairs in the theater for our excursions to Pisa at 8:30. Right after we woke up the ship announced that because of the rough weather overnight, a freighter was not able to depart the port of Livorno and therefore we had to be redirected to the port of La Spezia where we would be tendering into the port. All of the ships tours were still going to continue but just out of La Spezia instead of Livorno. Unfortunately, the process of tendering takes much longer than simple disembarkation, so it was very slow going to get the people off the ship. This process was aggravated by the fact that the weather was still rather rough and they had to take fewer than the maximum load of passengers per tender. After waiting for two hour in the lounge and then hearing the announcement that the tendering was being delayed by rough seas and hail, we decided to cancel our tour and have a relaxing day on board the ship. We were a little disappointed that they didn’t have a better way of handling the waiting time for the tours. To require the tour participants to just sit in the theatre until their number was called without assigning some sort of schedule was rather frustrating. Had they just said our tour would just be delayed two hours or so we might have been more willing to give it a try, but after waiting in the theater for two hours, another 4 hour tour in back weather just didn’t sound fun. Our tour did proceed without us, but only with a two hour delay and questionable weather. Towards the end of the day the weather did start to clear, even revealing beautiful snow capped mountains in the distance, but during our tour time it was still pretty windy and rainy.

We enjoyed the opportunity to relax on the ship, and figure we’ll just have to see Pisa on another trip to Italy. During the day we were able to catch up on sleep while the kids enjoyed the fun factory. My son even braved the wind and cold to practice putting up on the Solstice Lawn Club. Before dinner my husband and I visited the Cellar Master bar again where we did the “Tour de France” wine flight. These mini tastings are a great way to experience new and varied wines.

Once again the dining experience in the evening was the highlight of the day. The service is incredibly efficient and the dishes quite flavorful. Last night was had a very good chicken entre that featured a breast stuffed with sage and sun-dried tomatoes on a bed of pasta with a flavorful cream sauce. Every one absolutely loved it.

After dinner we had a choice of the late dinner show with a West End star, or a Karaoke. Since I love to do Karaoke, be decided to head to the Karaoke session. We weren’t expecting a big crowd, but the people that did show up were fun and supportive. Due to the light crowd I was able to sing 4 songs, which was a lot of fun. I met some really nice people who were also singers, so it was quite fun. I’ll get to sleep in tomorrow as we have nothing schedule for our stop in Villafrance.