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After an enjoyable (though sleepless for me) flight, we landed in Rome about forty minutes early. Since we’d had different travel itineraries originally, we split up with Mom and Dad again, as they had pre-arranged transfers with NCL. I’d debated taking public transport, but it’s a bit of a hassle from the airport to cruise port, involving train transfers and having to schlep somehow from the station in Civitavecchia to the makeshift cruise terminal. So, in the end, I bit the bullet and paid for a private transfer, which was both comfortable and convenient, if a bit spendy.

After a pleasant hour-long drive through the countryside surrounding Rome, we arrived at the port about an hour before check-in time, which began at 10:30. As we were starting to board, Libby’s parents arrived at the terminal, which enabled us to plan to meet up for lunch.

We ate our “welcome aboard” lunch in the elegant Grand Pacific dining room, enjoying the same menu we had aboard Dawn a couple of months ago. After lunch, we took a nap for a little over two hours before heading to the muster drill at 4:00pm. Despite my total lack of sleep, I was the first one up and faced the task of rousing Libby and Emerson. Thankfully, I was able to stop just short of blasting the ship’ horn into our cabin. :-)

After the muster drill, Libby and my mother went to the “port and tour” talk. Meanwhile, Emerson played happily in the cabin while I unpacked. She also made friends with the next door neighbors by chatting them up during the sail away from Roma. Afterwards, the four of us met up for dinner at Jasmine Garden (the ship’s pan-Asian specialty restaurant). Emerson ordered pizza off the regular kid’s menu, and the rest of us dined family-style on a variety of dim sum and entrees. Delicious!

It’s good to be back aboard Jade (which played host to our “best cruise ever” back in 2008). She feels the same… like slipping back into a comfortable pair of favorite shoes.

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