Cruising the Western Mediterranean – Spring Break 2015 Part One

DSC07648Cefalù Palermo, Italy

Hello all, Have you been missing me? Hopefully not too much. I have only been gone a week but it seems like a month. I have missed you but I will admit I have enjoyed the break. Since I have been away a bit, I thought I would share with you what I was doing while I was gone.

This year for spring break we took a seven-day cruise around the Western Mediterranean. One last big trip before we move back to the States this summer. This was my family’s first cruise and overall it was a great success. We chose a cruise for the ease of seeing many places on one trip and because we traveled with another family and the logistics of getting seven people around Europe would have been daunting. My husband who was initially not keen on the idea of a cruise and being “herded,”  loved it. “This is great, we don’t have to do anything!” were his exact words. I am usually the one that does the planning so I’m not sure what he would normally be doing but he was probably just glad not to hear me stress about anything.

The first port on our cruise was Rome, Italy

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We made stops at Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square

The Colosseum…

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and the Pantheon…

Rome was lovely and we were excited to see some of these amazing monuments but it was also very crowded with tourists. This may have been due to the fact that we arrived the day after Easter which is a peak time for visitors.

I actually enjoyed wandering through the streets and the amazing lunch we had more than braving the crowds at the historical sites.

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After spending the days exploring the ports each night we cruised and woke up to beautiful coastlines like this one.

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Or next port was Palermo, Italy where we traveled to the nearby town of Cefalù. This little town sits on a rocky coast that could not be prettier.

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We spent the day walking around the town, viewing the cathedral, and enjoying the views from the beach.

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After another night at sea and a little on board entertainment

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We arrived in Valetta, Malta. Malta was one of my favorite ports. This prosperous island nation was bright and sunny, boasting 300 days of sunshine per year.  This means Malta is one of the few places in Europe which are “green” all year round. A bonus for English speakers, Malta was formerly part of the British Empire so it is a great stop for picking up books and magazines in English.

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That’s our ship, the Splendida, at the port of Valetta, Malta.

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My son is a Titanic fanatic so this cruise was a dream come true for him, fortunately it ended better…

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A few shots from St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina, Malta.

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and the gates into Mdina.

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Most of the buildings in Malta featured these lovely painted bay windows that I could not get enough of.

and of course a little British influence the kids loved.

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Hope you are enjoying the photos. I will share the last three ports tomorrow so I don’t overload you.

Comments

  1. Beautiful photos, last year was our first cruise too, my parents had been previously and they eventually got us to go with them. We sailed from Venice and visited Kotor in Montenegro, Corfu Island, mainland Greece -Athens, the island of Mykonos and Kefolonia. All so different and so amazing in their own way. We loves the crusie ship itself and the food was lovely. We sailed with Royal Caribbean and loved the fact that we could eat or drink tea all day and night if we wanted. What was your cruise ship like? We have booked to go on Allure of the Seas this year visiting Spain, the island of Mallorca, France and Italy. I can’t wait and I am looking forward to seeing more of your photographs and more detail about your trip

    All things nice..

    • We sailed with MSC on the Splendida a huge newer ship which I though was great but I also have nothing to compare it to. I had no complaints but being an Italian cruise line most everything was done in multiple languages including English.This means sometimes the excursions would be a mixed group and everything presented twice. I have not sailed within Europe on cruise lines like Royal Caribbean which are based out of English speaking areas to know if they do the same. I would love to have done the Greece cruise but it was not available for our time of travel. I loved our trip though and tomorrow will share some photos from Spain and France. Barcelona has been on my bucket list for years and it was amazing! I would go back in a heart beat. Check back in tomorrow for details.

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