Dubrovnik, Croatia Seaside
My first full cruise in the Mediterranean was very exciting. With three of us working with the kids, that means one works a full port day while two of us can get off at port. We all work every night, but that means we get most of the daytime off to go explore. Our first stop was Livorno, near Florence and Pisa in Italy. I went on a tour north to see the Cinque Terre. A friend had recommended it to me and I definitely want to return! It was still cold and overcast, but beautiful! There was flooding in the fall of 2011 and there seemed to be a decent recovery where we were. We only saw two of the five villages. I will come back here on my own to visit all of the villages.
Our next stop was Civitavecchia, near Rome. I worked all day so I didn’t see anything. However, I know I will be returning to Rome for a few days during my independent travels so I wasn’t worried about missing it. In Naples I took a tour to see Pompeii. The guide was really interesting and we even saw the old red light district there (evidenced by the sculpted penis on the wall). I would definitely recommend seeing it. They also haven’t excavated the entire site so that future generations can do that.
The ship next docked in Catania, (Sicily), Italy. I went to see a cute little town called Siracusa. It was a lovely coastal village with a nice central square. I got sick on the cruise and had to be isolated in my room for 24 hours so I missed Nafplion, Greece. Luckily I was cleared so I could visit Katakolon, Greece. I went to see ancient Olympia. The original field and stadium entrance is still intact. The finish line was made out of stone that is still in place. I also went into the museum and saw lots of artifacts.
Dubrovnik, Croatia was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know what to expect, but it has a nice walled old town filled with churches, market vendors, and restaurants/cafes. I also had a delicious lunch in the hillside and had beautiful views of the clear water and old town from above.
Finally we arrived to Venice and didn’t have a chance to explore until I officially left the ship at the end of my contract.
It has been another long time since my last blog. Life on the ship is so busy and tiring that it is quite hard to keep up with a blog! If I don’t make blogging a priority, it doesn’t get done! Anyway, I had a great 3 and a half month contract. I saw ten new countries and crossed the Atlantic Ocean! I had always wanted to cross the Atlantic Ocean, to feel kind of like an old explorer. It was actually fairly calm and I didn’t get seasick! I was very excited to step on land again when we reached the Azores off Portugal.
Unfortunately crew was not allowed shore leave on our first port since it was a tender port and we had an early departure. The next port we stopped at I was able to get out thankfully! I really enjoyed Ponta Delgada, Portugal. It was quite foggy and a little cool, but it was a wonderful change from the hot and similar looking Caribbean islands. I really adore working in the Mediterranean. There is so much history and buildings and towns are so interesting to just wander through.
I was able to experience a few tours in Spain: a bunch of palaces in Seville, Mijas, a small charming hillside village near Malaga, and an overview tour of Barcelona with a trip to Sagrada Familia.
At the end of an 18 day cruise I was ready for the new set of passengers to come on and experience more of the Mediterranean!
Have you ever done a trans-Atlantic cruise?