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Waking to a Limoncello  headache after our sumptuous evening in Sorrento, Elysia and I get set to be  the ultimate tourists for the day, heading through winding roads to the ancient  town of Pompeii.

We can see Vesuvius looming  above the low-lying clouds from our balcony and the many years of studying the  events of 24th August 79 AD come flooding back to me (thanks to the teachings  of Cassandra Morrison).

The day may have started like  any other but the terror that followed has been frozen in time for tourists  like us to see.

Recorded in detail by Pliny  the Younger in a letter to Tacitus, the eruption of the still active Vesuvius took  the life of his uncle, author and philospher Pliny the Elder, along with the  entire town of Pompeii.

“Broad sheets of flame were  lighting up many parts of Vesuvius; their light and brightness were the more  vivid for the darkness of the night,” Pliny the Younger wrote.

The last recorded eruption of  one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world took place in 1944 and plans  have been ongoing to relocate the millions of people who still live in the  eruption zone.

Larger than life lemons and  stallholders promoting their oft-erotic wares, welcome us before we don  headsets and brace ourselves for the 45- degree heat.

Having had a picture in my  mind for so many years of what Pompeii would look like, I was surprised to find  that I did have to venture into my imagination quite a bit to create a beautiful  city of the ruins that were in front of me.

The site is actively  refurbished and our group is taken on a journey through life as it was in 79  AD.

Crowds filled the ruins and  the heat was palpable, but ticking Pompeii off my ever-growing bucket list was  a dream come true – if only I could have experienced this with my high school  ancient history class, then my dream may have been truly complete!

Heading back to the ship to  dip in the refreshing cool of the pool, we prepare for a night of world class  entertainment with Tara Lynn Khaler and John Ellis joining the Crystal Ensemble  of Singers and Dancers for “Curtain Call” in the Galaxy Lounge.

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Words: Natalie Aroyan