Sunday, May 12, 2013

Just Cruisin' (A Flashback)

Written on May 4, 2013

Tonight I am writing from the comfort of our wonderfully large white king-sized bed in our sizable ocean view cabin on-board Holland America’s Eurodam. We've been aboard since Monday, today is Saturday, and so we’re about halfway through our 11-night Mediterranean Cruise.

We departed from Rome, where we met my parents just two days before. They flew in on Friday and we flew in from Prague on Saturday, meeting them for the afternoon and evening, and spending all day Sunday dragging them around to show them as much of the city as we could, after exploring the Pantheon and the Coliseum. Whew! Early Monday afternoon we all boarded the ship (after a quick mishap involving a van and Drew’s iphone…funny story) and began to settle in.

The four of us before our first formal night
It’s been quite a change for Drew and I from the way we’ve been traveling since February 2nd, let me tell you! 
  • First of all, we are staying in the same room for eleven nights. Eleven nights! That hasn’t happened since we left home! It’s been really nice to unpack and live out of closets and drawers rather than organizational Ziplocs, stuffsacks, and backpacks! 
  • Secondly, we’re with my parents! We’ve made many friends during our travels and even stayed with new and old friends along the way, but to actually be exploring new places and spending time with my parents is really awesome. 
  • Thirdly, our “world” is much more confined causing us to slow down a bit. We tend to travel at a pace that not too many people could probably keep up with, walking an average of probably eight hours a day. It’s a bit of an adjustment to slow down due to processes, procedures and lines that are just part of cruise line traveling. Plus, when we’re on-board the ship there are only so many things to see and do. We’re almost forced to just relax and take it all in because there’s only so much we can do in the time allotted at each port and on the ship.  
  • Fourthly, we’re eating (at least) three meals a day and the food is amazing! It’s still a bit of a challenge with my having to eat gluten free because I always have to ask and don't have quite the selection as everyone else, but overall the cruise line is doing a good job catering to me and giving me what I want. And Drew is enjoying eating whatever he wants whenever he wants. He’s gotten two appetizers or two desserts or even two dinners – just because they all sound delicious and – he can!
  • Lastly, the crew aboard our ship is amazing and they treat us well. Our room is cleaned  twice a day, the sheets are turned down nightly with a chocolate left on our bed, fresh fruit is left in our room each day, and we have all the comforts of home (yes, even a washcloth!!)

It’s going to be a bit of an adjustment when we get off – but I am just happy we have a few more weeks of our adventure left. I’d definitely be pleased to have even more, but I suppose this journey has to come to an end at some point.

In case you’re curious for more details of our cruise,there’s a quick rundown of our itinerary below. I hope to write posts and share pictures from each port soon.

Monday – board
Tuesday – at sea
Wednesday – Kerkira, Greece (Corfu)
Thursday – Katakolon, Greece (visited ancient Olympia)
Friday – Santorini, Greece (amazing place!!)
Saturday (today) – Kusadasi, Turkey (visited the ancient city of Ephesus)
Sunday and Monday – Piraeus, Greece (Athens)
Tuesday – at sea
Wednesday – Messina, Italy (Sicily)
Thursday – Naples, Italy (tour to Pompei)
Friday – disembark in Rome, we’ll spend the day in the city until our flight to Bucharest, Romania
Drew's first cruise! He has no idea what he's in for...
The food! Oh, the food!
One of the two pools - this one had a retractable roof that blocked the wind
Another shot of our boat - docked in Katakolon, Greece
One of the nightly towel animals that awaited us. We loved these!

The super creative towel animal we made for our room steward, Wibi :)

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