Friday, 12 February 2016

FoodieSeeker Friday - Carnival Vista Countdown!

Ok, it is official, the cruise excitement has well and truly begun! It is now less that 200 days until we set sail on Carnival Cruise's brand new liner for 2016, Vista! To say that I am excited is a slight understatement!

Preparation for the big holiday has really begun. Our passport photographs have been taken, our forms have been completed and they are ready to go in the post. If I am completely honest I still cannot believe that this is happening. This is going to be a dream trip come true. Italy is a country that I have always wanted to visit and I never thought that we would be going on a cruise together as a family.

As you probably know, Vista is Carnivals newest vessel. At the moment it is in the indoor preparation phase and soon to be going to sea trials. Then in April it will be delivered and ready to set sail with guests! Now that the vessel is almost ready we have got thinking about excursions.

When we set sail in the summer we will be going from Barcelona to Messina, Sicily Italy to Naples, Campri and Pompeii Italy to Rome, Civitavecchia Italy to Livorno, Florence and Pisa Italy to Marseilles France to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and back to Barcelona. As I type these destinations I am getting so excited. These are paces which I have wanted to visit for a long time. I used to live in Spain but I have never visited Barcelona. It has always been a must see for me as has Italy. So knowing that we will have the opportunity to spend time in these places certainly has got me thinking as to what we can do.

Whatever we decided to do will have to be child friendly. It has been a dream of mine to visit the Vatican, but unfortunately I do not think that this holiday will be the time to visit. The twins will only be four and will not thoroughly appreciate where we are. After all, they are children at the end of the day, so whatever we decide to do must be family friendly. As most children. the twins always need toilet stops and often want to do their own thing. So when it has come to excursions the ones that let you do as you want, in your own time certainly have been our preferred option. I envision us exploring the town or city where we are, the five of us, showing our children new cultures and simply taking in the atmosphere and discovering authentic places to eat. Who could possibly visit Italy without eating some authentic pizza, pasta and of course their tirimisu dessert!

When I sat and looked at the excursions that Carnival offer for our holiday I was amazed to see that they will be doing a whopping 75 excursions over the 8 days!

How will we be able to narrow it down?

There are so many places that I want to see and visit. I thought that today I would tell you about the tours that I think would be best suited to us as a family with an older child and smaller twins. Having children with a 7 year age gap it is essential that we do activities that please everyone and I truly believe that Carnival will definitely have what we are looking for!

Here are my favourite excursions that will be available...

In "The Godfathers" Footsteps

The Godfather is one of the Hubby's favourite films. On this excursion you are taken to two very old, beautiful Sicilian villages which were both used in the filming of The Godfather films. After a short bus ride to Savoca you walk to the Bar Vitelli and see their collection of memorabilia from the filming. After enjoying a local Granita and a walk around the village you travel on to the next village of Forza d'Agro where you will see the beautiful baroque church that was featured in the famous wedding scene in The Godfather part 3. This excursion is 4 and a half hours which I feel would be the ideal length for the twins.

In "The Godfather's" Footsteps

Pompeii on your own

Pompeii is a place that I have wanted to visit for a number of years. To see the city that was demolished by ash and pumice stone in 79AD will certainly be a sight to see. We have selected this trip as one of our favourites because it is a 4 hours trip and one, that once we are there, we can make our own way round explore the ruins and try to imagine how life must have been when Pompeii was a thriving city.

Ruins of Pompeii

Discover Mallorcan Wine

A definite foodie adventure. Seeing the vast Malloracan fincas where they grow the grapes for their wines. See where they store their wines in barrels until they are aged to perfection in a stone cave. With the wine tasting there will be some beautiful views of this lovely Spanish island.

Discover Mallorcan Wine

Wines of Tuscany

Another foodie must while in Italy is to see where they product their world famous olive oils and some of the best wines in the world. After seeing the vineyard and the beautiful estate you are shown the wine making process followed by wine tasting and enjoying a selection of local produce such as bread, meats and cheeses. As a family we all love artisan produce and could quite happily feast on cheese, breads and dips!

Wines of Tuscany

These are our four favourite excursions.

If you were going to visit these areas where would you visit? Have you been there before and can you recommend anywhere?

This is going to be such an exciting adventure for all of us and I am looking forward to sharing our whole Carnival experience with you.

In the next Foodieseeker Friday post I will be telling you how I imagine some of the meals to be and will  have a go at making one of them myself.

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