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Insights from Italy (and beyond)—Day 14: Another day at Sea

Today is our last day of the cruise. We dock in Venice tomorrow morning. It’s been a great week. We’ve  seen and done so much; its seems longer and yet the week has flown by.


Celebrating 25 years


Last night we celebrated our anniversary (again) by going to one of the specialty restaurants on the ship. La Cuisine, an Italian restaurant was charming and the food was delicious. After eating Italian food, I now love pasta. I’ll have to learn to make it the way they do!

Ron is a romantic at heart.  At dinner, he bought me a red rose and then during dessert, he took out a piece of paper on which he’d written out the wedding vows from my second book, A Song of the Heart. We read them to each other and then made a toast. Funny, it felt more significant and meaningful than our vows 25 years ago (can’t even remember what we said back then)

After dinner we enjoyed an hilarious vaudeville act at the theatre. We closed off the evening once again by relaxing in the hot tub.

The sea has been rough. Last night we left the balcony door open and listened to the waves splashing. The boat rocked me to sleep. I love that feeling.

The  cruise has been wonderful. the food is delicious and plentiful! The service is great. Other than super slow internet service that we had to pay 40 cents a minute for, we can chalk this up to a fun, successful and memorable week.


Chocolate Pharaoh


The chocolate buffet I missed turned out to be a zoo (Ron’s words) but he brought me a plate of delicious bites and has some pictures of the incredible sculptures.


Leaning tower of chocolate


Oh, yes, there was one other mix-up on our cruise. It was quite funny. When we first checked in, they told us we were registered with a tour group. We told them we weren’t, but the girl at the desk seemed to believe the computer rather than us and informed us that ‘our’ group was meeting for a welcome party on the second day of the cruise. We decided to check it out – more out of curiosity than anything else. It was a formal event, so we dressed up, but still felt out of place when we saw the other couples who were there. As we arrived, we were immediately served drinks and appetizers. We heard a couple near us speaking to one another in French and didn’t think too much of it until we realized that everyone was speaking french and not a word of English could be heard. No one seemed to pay any attention to us, but we didn’t want to have to try and explain why we were there so we left as inconspicuously as we could and barely suppressed our laughter as we exited the lounge. We’d enjoyed the drinks and the appetizers were really good, but we never did find out  how we got put in with a French tour group.

Insights from Italy (and beyond)―Day 10: Relaxing at Sea

Enjoying the pool!

As I sit to write, we’re rounding the southern tip of Greece, passing between the mainland and the Isle of Crete. It’s dark out but I can see strings of lights and luminous clumps from our balcony, so we must be close to land. It’s been a full day at sea as we make our way to Athens. The weather was perfect; we took advantage of the swimming pools and deck chairs on our floating hotel.

Ron decided to be adventurous and did some wall climbing. He scrambled up the medium level with ease, so decided to try the advanced climb. The old guy’s still got it! It was no easy task; we watched people much younger give up half way up and come back down defeated.

Ron wall climbing

The entertainment on the boat is great. Last night we watched a husband and wife team doing an acro-balance performance. They’re called Crazy Horse and have to be seen to be believed. They’re phenomenal, already holding records for some of their feats. What impressed me is the ease at which they lift and balance and hold their stances. They not only make it look effortless with no sign of strain on their faces, but they manage to move so smoothly to the music as they balance, it could be compared to a sexy Latin dance. The woman can hold her husband’s full weight (he’s a big muscular guy and she looks small beside him). As she stands with knees bent, he sits on her legs, puts his feet on her shoulders and then they both slowly lean back. Both bodies are parallel to the floor and all the weight is on her lower legs. Wow!

Earlier tonight we watched Jonathan Kane impersonating Sir Elton John. Really talented! I’d have to say he sings Elton John’s old stuff better than Elton does now. He looks like him, too, with the wild suits, dark glasses and distinctive gap between his front teeth. It was fun. Ron and I had fourth row seats and even got up to dance on the stage as he sang his encore.

We’re enjoying the cruise thus far. Food is good. Norwegian offers free-style dining which means we don’t have assigned seating in a formal dining room each evening. There are many restaurants to choose from: pool-side casual to ultra formal. We plan to enjoy them all.

The sights are beautiful. Rugged hillsides, jagged coasts and spectacular sunsets. The color of the water is different here than we’ve seen other places. In Mexico we saw a brilliant turquoise. In Alaska, it was dark jade, but this is the bluest water I’ve ever seen. As we looked down from the wall in Dubrovnik yesterday we could even see through the clear water.


Blue water off the Croatian coast

The staff on the boat are friendly and smiling, encouraging everyone to chill out and have fun. Even the clocks on the pool deck offer great advice.


Clock's wisdom

My favorite part so far, however, was enjoying a sunrise from our bed this morning. Without even lifting our heads off the pillow, we watched the early morning sky light up in shades of orange and purple as the sun slowly inched it’s way to the horizon. Hard to get any better than that!


Precious time on my computer

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