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How To Enjoy Getting To Europe

DiademaNAPLES, Italy — Anybody who has flown to Europe or back knows there’s no such thing as the perfect day (or two), even if you fly business class.

Our trip to this southern Italian city was as good as it gets.

If you leave from the West Coast, as we did, figure on being in your hotel about 21 hours later. That’s 21 hours, period, not something adjusted for time changes. 

Our flight was on Delta. It was outstanding. Check-in, from airport arrival to gate arrival, took minutes, not an hour or two. We changed planes seamlessly in Seattle and Paris. There was plenty of activity to keep you busy on the flight over the Atlantic, if Romeo Hotelsleep wasn’t on the itinerary. A bunch of movies, music selections, even games to play in the seat-back screen. Meals with the regularity not seen, never mind rarely seen.

The best part: no nickel and diming. All included.

The transfer to the Romeo Hotel in the heart of Naples was easy and this beautiful W-style hotel is ideally located. From our window we could see the cruise ship, the Costa Diadema, we were about to board. We could walk to it in five minutes. Alas, there is (much) luggage to consider. A ride to the ship takes 20 minutes.

Then it was nap time. We think we have the sleep solution figured, because you leave mid-morning one day and arrive mid-day the next…more or less. So, sleep as little as possible until you check in, then catch a few hours (for your second wind), go for dinner around 7, hang in there until 10, then go to bed.

Assume you went to bed in North Naples-AntonioAmerica at 11 p.m. on Tuesday. That’s 8 a.m. in Italy. You get up at 8 a.m. (4 p.m. in Italy). Fast forward to bed time in Naples…10 p.m. Sleep eight hours. If you’re lucky enough to sleep until 8 a.m. (11 p.m. in North America), in that 48-hour period you’ve had about 16 hours’ sleep.

It’s not the ideal end to jet lag, but it’s close. And friendly people everywhere…at the airport, on the plane, from the airport, at the hotel.

Ah, dinner.

Osteria da Antonio was the place. He’s owned it for 26 years. When he goes on vacation in the summer, the people are lined up at his door waiting for him to re-open. Only 10 per cent of his customers are like us, strangers to Naples. The fare is classic Italian, in a seaside port. So you have fish: spaghetti with clams, and pasta shells stuffed with fish. A little tiramisu for dessert and half a bottle of white wine.

It was a two-day period that, as the Italians might say, was perfecto!

Today at portsandbows.com: Choices to embark Costa's Diadema

Celebrity Millennium
17 nights
April 26, 2015
Shanghai, Jeju City, Kobe, Shimizu, Tokyo, Petropavlovsk, Vancouver
Balcony: $1,199
Cost per day: $70
www.celebritycruises.com

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