Cruise through the Mediterranean

Very last minute, while in Rome, we saw and advertisement for a cruise leaving from the port (50 min away by train) for 80% off of the regular price.  It was last minute and we decided some good food with some late sleeping and relaxing was in order. Plus mom said  “A week without planning ” would be nice.   We have been exploring and walking a lot in the past month….we discussed it together and decided to do it.  Took the public train ($5) to the port and caught the public bus ($1) to the dock. Got right on board as this cruise lets people board and disembark at any of the ports (its like a giant hop on-hop off cruise ship).IMG_3440 IMG_5863IMG_5921

COSTA DIADIMA: This ship is so big. It can fit  3,000  people on it.  Before I got here I was excited to join the “tween club” but they didn’t have it because mostly it was younger kids or older kids and we were in the middle and couldn’t join in on the activities, PLUS, it was all in Italian anyway. Crew Members were shocked there were Americans on board as this caters to European’s on holiday and does not advertise in America. 

The ship was not crowded and they even upgraded our room to a better one (we booked the cheapest ones). We had 2 rooms next to each other because they could only fit 2 people in each one.  IMG_3442.IMG_3482Sawyer and I would watch the water from this window.

This entire ship was full of Italians, French and other Europeans, no Americans. IN fact, they collected our Passports because at every port they had to let the authorities know there were “Americans on board.”   All other people had the EU cards (European Union).  Hardly anyone spoke any English and all the signs and menu’s and announcements were in Italian so we never knew what was going on.   The announcement would come over the loudspeaker in Italian and for all we knew it could have said  “The ship is sinking, abandon the boat !!” BUT…..there is always a positive side to everything. We did get to relax in a very comfortable bed, sleep late, eat a lot of food, and the BEST part of all was seeing the good shows they put on in the theatre every night.  We saw a Circus Act, a Musical, The Voice finals, An Opera, A rock and roll show, and others.  We played BINGO 3 nights and one night Sawyer WON 125 Euro’s.  That is $139!!  He was so happy, Sawyer and I decided before hand if either of us won we would split the money. So we each got 50 Euro’s and spent the rest at the Video game room.  We also saw Dancers perform like “Dancing with the stars” it was cool.IMG_3604 IMG_3547IMG_3481  IMG_3583We played cards in the card room too.

Sawyer and I played basketball on the court outside. The weather was sometimes rainy but sometimes sunny.  The pool on the ship was so small (backyard pools in America are bigger) and we never went in. Plus it wasn’t that sunny anyway.

We only got off the ship at 2 ports, we weren’t concerned with touring the other places because we’ve been doing that for 5 months already.  We got off at La Spezia, Italy and we did the Cinque Terre village walk. That is where you walk /hike in the hills from village to village overlooking the coast. The houses were small and built over looking the ocean and no cars allowed. Very remote.

We walked the entire day and it was a great hike. Passed lemon trees, vinyards and farms.  It started to rain the last hour and got slippery.IMG_3460 Vernazza

Fun Fact:  Cinque Terre is the name of a district that encompasses five glorious towns, where small houses are surrounded by lush nature. Visitors to this district will be fascinated by the beauty of these five small villages. It is a World Heritage Site.

We had the hike to ourselves.  In the summer they have to “limit” the number of visitors because it gets too crowded!

The next time we got off was on the island of Mallorca, off the coast of Spain. We did the bus tour of the Island and it was nice.

IMG_3586 Every night we would have a “gelato!”  Yum.

The cruise wasn’t “fun”  it was more relaxing and we liked the shows.  We were fully rested after this week and ready for more European exploring adventures.  When we disembarked at the port in Rome, we took the train to the airport and later that afternoon we boarded a flight to Budapest, Hungary.  I’ll post about that in a few days….stay tuned and keep checking my blog!  Write me at rileymeckley@yahoo.com.