Mediterranean Cruise 2015

Let me introduce myself. I recently retired after 35 years of teaching middle school math. My husband retired a few years ago, and had been anxiously awaiting my retirement so that we could travel. We especially were looking forward to the ability to travel off-season, since it is so much more economical. Our first adventure was planned as a retirement celebration: a 28-day Mediterranean and Transatlantic cruise. We were unsure whether or not we would go stark raving mad after 28 days on a cruise ship, but were willing to give it a try!

Our cruise departed from Venice, and so we decided to go a few days early to explore the city. We chose to fly on Icelandair to get to Europe. They allow you up to a one week layover in Reykjavik at no additional cost, and we had been wanting to see Iceland. I especially wanted to see the Northern Lights; that is an item that is near the top of my bucket list. So, we tacked on a couple of days in Reykjavik at the start of our trip. From there, we flew in to Paris, and took an Air France flight to Venice.

I wanted to chronical our adventures, therefore the blog. Please keep in mind that my recollections are imperfect! There are several reasons for this:

  1. My hearing isn’t great, and there was almost always background noise, so what was said by the tour guides and what I heard may be two entirely different matters!
  2. The tour guides all spoke heavily accented English. In Iceland, my husband asked me what Mugawumps were. He said the tour guide kept referring to them. The word was magma. . .I was unsure what rape-ids were. He informed me she was saying rapids.  You get the point!
  3. I tried to take notes whenever possible, but these were written either in a moving vehicle or while walking. My handwriting is pretty bad under the best of conditions; these were not the best of conditions.

So, if you read a fact and say to yourself, “What is she thinking! I know that this is not true!”, please refer to points 1-3 above.

Links to my trip report for each city we visited are below:

Pre-Trip visit to Iceland: Iceland

Travel Day to Venice (adventuresome!): Flight to Venice

Pre-Cruise stay in Venice: Venice

We’ve got Spirit!: Embarkation Day!

Athens:  It’s all Greek to me!

Ephesus: A walk through ancient history

Istanbul:  A city in two continents

Mykonos:  Pretty white buildings on a hill

Naples:  Taking one’ s life in the driver’s hands!

Rome: Arrivederci, Roma (but we’ll be back)

Pisa and Florence:  Artwork and wine

Toulon: Viva la France

Barcelona:  City of Gaudi

Funchal:  Hills, Views and Poncha!

Transatlantic Crossing and the Caribbean:  And, all the rest!

And, in conclusion:  Lessons Learned












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