I have to tell you a secret. I’m a fan of cruises. That is not to say the stereotypes are not true. They’re full of old people. They wear their pants really high. They can’t take the stairs. And, 4,000 people on a cruise consume 40,000lbs of food a DAY! (who wouldn’t when the plates are that big). Even though that is a disgusting fact, it doesn’t stop me. A cruise is like traveling “light.” For our 12 day Mediterranean, all we had to do was wake up. Filling our day was the easy part. There’s a gym, a spa, educational seminars, movie theaters, multiple pools, basketball courts, art auctions, live music, dancing, a variety of restaurants, a performance theater and even a casino (the sexy man legs competition and water olympics were dismally attended on this cruise to Joshua’s disappointment). Some of the newer ships have rock walls, wave pools, and zip-lines. I’ll admit that I was prejudiced against cruises before I went on my first. It was a Caribbean cruise with Joshua’s parents and sister, brother-in-law, and niece. We lived in Florida and it was the only way they’d come to visit, so we had to do it. It was awesome. No cell phone service, no internet=disconnected. During the day, we were either busy with activities on the ship, relaxing, or out on foot taking a tour and exploring the day’s port stop. Every night we had a multi-course dinner with the family. The only decisions we made were which exercise class to go to, do I want a Pina Colada or a Strawberry Daiquri, and how do I fit in this art lecture with my dodgeball tournament (Joshua’s dilemma). Then you add in sites like VacationsToGo and it can be an extremely good value, especially for last minute deals. If you use them–call our man Clyde.
When we boarded the ship, we were actually so surprised by our room (we paid for the cheapest) that we called the front desk before we touched anything to make sure we were in the right one. We got all fancy for our first formal dinner…our wardrobe for the entire 12 nights (just get a different waiter and they won’t notice, right?!). Joshua loved seeing all the old men and women in their tuxedos and sparkles especially around the champagne tower. We jumped right into the cruise scene with a show, the Venetian Orchestra. They performed a sampling of important classical music (like a 101 version for un-cultured souls like us!).
Dubrovnik is one of those places always listed as a “hidden gem” and a great spot still under the radar on many travel sites. We explored the old town with new friends, Toni and Omarr.
We had perfect weather for a walk along the city’s walls with views of the Adriatic Sea before attending a food and wine festival hosted by the local culinary school.
For $3, you could try all the Croatian food you wanted including my favorite “Lady Cakes” which the president of the cooking school told me are named so because they make women the perfect shape (basically white chocolate covered in coconut, two things I don’t like separate but apparently love together). For $2, you could drink the local wine. We ate and drank in the old town amongst the white washed buildings with green shudders and red tiled roofs characteristic of Dubrovnik. Sorry for the lack of pictures…too busy eating and fighting old women for the last scraps.
On our way out of the city (it’s only ½ mile across), we popped into the oldest pharmacy still in operation in Europe with all the potions and lotions you could dream of.
By the end of the day we were beat. We had just enough energy for wine and sushi on the boat before a movie “cooldown.” When are we going to relax?