Italy ‘19 – Day One – Bon Voyage

This holiday seems to have been a long time coming, mainly because we booked it so long ago. I mean a long, long time ago. More than a year ago. So the build up has been excruciatingly long. Anyway, we are on our way finally.

First stop is Bristol where the flight leaves from. I’ve never been to Bristol Airport before but it is to Bristol what Stansted is to London, i.e. nowhere near the place that it is named for. Once inside you could have been in any airport as those in the UK are pretty much identical.

Our destination was Naples where we were taken by bus from the airport to the cruise terminal. Naples was similar to London in that the traffic was stationary on the roads. In an effort to get us to our destination quicker the bus driver attempted to jump the queues by slipping through a service station which probably shaved all of a minute off our journey time. Still at least he got plenty of opportunities to sound his horn.

The first week of the holiday is on board the Mariella Explorer 2 cruise ship. This is a new boat to us and to its owners Tui having only been refitted in April. This shows in that it is modern, spacious and has a crazy golf course on the upper most deck!


Like previous boats this one has lots of restaurants (10 in total with some creative counting), a coffee shop, bars, casino, spa etc and is still dwarfed by some of the cruise ships she docks beside. One thing that is greatly changed from the last boat we came on is the theatre which we have grown to love over the years for some fun and it has to be said cheesy performances.

The theatre on this boat is huge holding 1,000 people at a time which is slightly more than half of all the passengers. There was a shorter show this evening when we were treated to a singer with a nasally voice vaguely similar to Mariah Carey, a thin guy who murdered David Bowies’ Heroes before all 12 of the cast had a stab at Hall and Oates and killed it dead! Maybe they need to hit their stride or perhaps Tui should have spent less on the theatre refit and more on the cast!