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. 

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