Italian Cruise

Lisa Brady on 29 April 2018
I organise a lot of cruises and have clients who love to cruise. When I was offered the opportunity to attend a conference on the newly launched Carnival Horizon ship, I jumped at it! The cruise was set to sail from Naples, cruise overnight to Rome then we would disembark in Livorno.

Travelling with some fellow Travel Counsellors we decided to travel to Naples a day early and spend 24hours in Sorrento, far too short a time to visit the incredible place and cut even shorter by a 3hour flight delay but it was absolutely worth the visit! There's a few ways to transfer from Naples to Sorrento, we decided to try the train. First tip - never get the train from Naples to Sorrento unless you are a very confident traveller. It's not pretty or easy and takes too long (longer than the flight) - see pictures for the train. I recommend a private airport transfer or head to the port and use the hydrofoil service, we did this to get us back to Naples and it worked like a dream. The Hydrofoils take around 40 minutes to get to Naples port and the cost for one way is €6.50.

Sorrento is spectacular. There are lemon and orange trees growing everywhere so the scent is captivating. It's a stunning place to walk around - catch the small train around to gain your bearings. We had a gorgeous authentic Italian meal at the 'Garden' restaurant, the best pizza ever! Treat yourself to a bottle of locally produced Limoncello, its divine. A hidden gem with spectacular views is the Foreigners Club, a wedding venue which will welcome you for a coffee or lunch and the views from this venue are incredible. Sorrento is a great place to explore the Amalfi Coast - take a trip to Pompeii, Capri, Mount Vesuvius. Take the hydrofoil or brave the train!

Our hydrofoil was timed perfectly and delivered us next door to our home for the next two days, Carnival's newest ship - Horizon. The ship is huge with its own Dr Seuss themed waterpark, Imax cinema, basketball court, spa, adults only zone...the list goes on! Carnival are party ships and cater for every type of customer - it is loud, proud and is extremely popular with our American friends.

After a heavy night sampling the Cuban Cocktails (honest it was hard work), then conference the next day the easiest thing would have been sampling the spa, waterpark and Jacuzzi, but when in Rome! So, with my fellow Travel Counsellors we took a speed three-hour tour of Rome and saw almost everything - Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps etc. We had just enough time for a Gelato (pistachio and lemon...delicious!), before our transfer back to the Horizon.

Next day was debarkation day at Livorno and another day of exploration waited for myself and fellow Travel Counsellors as we had hired a car to explore Tuscany before our evening flight home from Pisa. The roads were fab, no crazy drivers and spectacular scenery everywhere. The Leaning Tower of Pisa was basking in sunlight and looked so much brighter than when I visited in December! The highlight for me was an afternoon in Lucca, a destination in itself - truly bellisimo, this town hidden behind imposing city walls has beautiful cobbled streets, stunning architecture, shady promenades and the most amazing Calzone, especially when washed down with an Aperol Spritz. An afternoon strolling this beautiful place makes you feel like you have stepped back in time and are a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. Time to return our lovely hire car and fly home, but what amazing memories we made. Ciao Bella!