Archive | August, 2012

Olbia, Sardegna

30 Aug

Our new friends wake up earlier than us and came knocking a little after 8am. Surprisingly I was almost ready and James was the one dragging. (Apparently the soreness of racquetball lasts for days). They graciously waited for us and we made our way to the free shuttle into the center of Olbia. However at 830am there’s not much going on and we were quickly trying to figure out what to do. We found an open air market and some outdoor cafes. Slowly the shops began to open and the town came to life. Even though we forgot our bathing suits and towels in our haste to leave the ship, we tried to see how to get to the beach.

This consisted of asking multiple Italians how to catch the bus, how far the beach is and how much money it would cost. Of course everyone gave a different answer, or didn’t speak English. We temporarily gave up and went to sit at a cafe where we indulged in Mirto, the local liquor. Even in this sleepy town, there were gypsy’s begging us for money while we sat in the restaurant. After talking with some other cruisers, who were Spanish, and a local, our friends decided to head to the beach and we decided to stroll around some more before heading back to the ship.

Back at the ship we hopped into our bathing suits and hit the deck. Despite applying sunscreen multiple times, James somehow managed to get the weirdest patchy sunburn. It’s pretty hilarious. Almost as funny as us attending the Italian lesson and learning his Italian name is Giacomo!

Tonight was the Captain’s gala. Everyone was in their evening finery and making their way to the cocktail reception. There was flutes of prosecco and mimosas along with finger foods. The captain and the cruise director impressively spoke in Italian, English, Spanish, French and German. Afterwards we had a pleasant dinner at table 192 with our new friends, along with a family from Toronto, a couple from New York, and a couple that speaks Spanish and no English and must feel really left out.

After dinner we joined our friends on their balcony for some after dinner drinks before hitting the onboard clubs. We may or may not have stumbled into the 17 and under club. The jury is still out since there was a full bar…hmm. Fortunately, there is round the clock room service and James and I were able to order a nice lunch at about 4am. Let’s see how well we hold up for tomorrows excursion in Ibiza.

20120830-102515.jpgOlbia MarketsJames and Eli in OlbiaMirto tasting

Departing Rome

28 Aug

Our flight into Rome was delayed by an hour due to congestion out of JFK, shocker. After getting our luggage, and sorting out customs, which consisted of getting our passports stamped without making eye contact. We exchanged some Usd for euros and had our selves some cafe au le and split a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich. Power breakfast! The bus was roughly an hour and a half from the airport to the port of Civitavecchia. The port was a bit more chaotic considering it’s Italy, and organization is not something they’re well known for. Once onboard we found that our room is actually very spacious and that we are fairly self sufficient besides the fact ever announcement and activity is in Italian. Somehow we managed to book a couple of excursions and sync our credit cards to our room key without the help of any english speaking assistance on board. But we were a little confused when it came time for the safety drill. Bottom line; each cruise line has their own way of performing the drill and its important as passengers to recognize that and realize that it only really cuts about 20 from your vacation time. No biggie.

There are 2 seatings for dinner, 7pm or 9:30pm….woof! Being in our mid to late 20’s we decided to suck it up and go for the 9:30 seating. Thankfully there is a nice young couple from Jordan and Lebanon sitting at our table. We’re excited to meet new and fascinating people and explore Olbia, Sardinia tomorrow.

Back by popular demand

26 Aug

Apologies as I have been seriously slacking. I, like many young professionals, get caught up in daily work life and sometimes forget to stop and do more of the things of love…like share my passion for travel. I follow many other blogs that post daily, and I make time to read. But for some reason I have not devoted as much time to my personal life as I should.

On that note…I am currently sitting in one of my favorite places in the airport (the delta lounge), getting ready to go on my favorite airline (delta, duh) and during one my favorite times of the year (vacation!). James is (finally) starting to see the light and joining me on a spontaneous European cruise vacation. I still can’t believe he fully trusted me to book this whole trip so I’m a little nervous that it won’t live up to our girls trip in April.

Tomorrow we leave from Rome and head to the Costa Serena where our journey will begin. Before you say anything I want to preface with “yes I know what I’m getting myself into”. I will not deny that what happened earlier this year on Costa was a tragedy. But I’m not one to let the past deter me from doing what I want to do. Besides… It was cheap as hell! We’re really excited. Considering that we’re seasoned travelers, we’re positive that our Costa Cruise experience will not be as horrible as some people make it out to be on cruise critic. 🙂

All Aboard Costa SerenaSafety DrillFirst Drink Onboard