Traveling with Princess Cruises through the Western Mediterranean was nothing short of FABULOUS! First let me start out by saying that after my first cruise (and last before Princess), I wasn’t a fan. I didn’t have a great experience years ago as I cruised through the Hawaiian Islands. I went with some friends and my family and it just wasn’t my thing. But THIS…..was much, much, much different! I mean it was COMPLETELY different!
When we arrived at the pier, and went through the process of checking in and so forth, it was effortless! Things were organized and efficient which I appreciated! My cruise was actually OUR HONEYMOON, and what a place to spend our HONEYMOON! They treated us throughout the entire eleven-twelve days like ROYALTY! And I mean everything from a beautiful cabin to fresh flowers to drinks and fresh fruit……and even chocolate covered strawberries. And the treats kept on coming all throughout! WOW!
We traveled on the Emerald Princess. It was clean and well kept. We loved our cabin, which was on the top level with a balcony….especially for HONEYMOONERS! We had beautiful views every single day. Our room steward, Dee, took such great care of us. He called us by name from day one! He ALWAYS attended to our needs with such great care. He was AWESOME! I wish I had a picture with him…he was from Poland, but he didn’t want to be photographed. Each day we came back to our room, he would have the blanket folded differently, one day he had folded it in to a huge fan and had it on our bed. Another day we came back and he had each of our hats sitting on top of our pillows….those little touches were definitely noticed!
I LOVED the GYM. It was huge and had EVERYTHING there, including fresh towels and water! There was always someone there if you had a question regarding the equipment, etc. And then the SPA! WOW! The service at the spa was impeccable! We had a couple’s massage and it was SO SO GOOD! Each of our therapists were attentive to our individual needs and concerns. They made it so relaxing and special for us! I had a manicure one day, and the nail tech was so conscientious about her work. I even told her I wished I could take her home with me! She was from South Africa and was super sweet! The manager of the spa was so personable and friendly….the customer service was off the chart!
On our days where we were at sea, which I think were three, there was PLENTY TO DO! There were speakers, ice and fruit sculpting, games, performances, and of course the pools and hot tubs (yes there were multiple pools) and the spa! There wasn’t ever a dull moment….if you didn’t want a dull moment!
When it comes to food on ANY VACATION….sometimes I struggle. I’m such a simple eater, and love to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. The food that was available to us on our cruise was DELICIOUS! There seriously was everything you could think of ALONG with FRESH!!!! I LOVED being able to grab an apple and take to my cabin! Eating fresh berries and yogurt in the morning was delicious. And then they also had fresh baked cookies that were to die for! I was so impressed with the freshness and quality of the food!
One morning we were treated to a SPECIAL HONEYMOON BREAKFAST in our cabin! The food they brought to us was enormous! We had pastries and breads, fruit, quiche, fresh orange juice, smoked salmon, bacon…..and oodles of it too! What a MEAL and a TREAT for us….again….always treated like royalty!
The ENTERTAINMENT was another surprise for me! There were some REALLY GOOD entertainers….musicians, magicians, singers, and actors! We really enjoyed all of it and participated in something almost every night! One night we sat out by the pool underneath a warm blanket (which they provided) and watched a movie on a HUGE SCREEN with popcorn! It was super romantic and cozy!
Another cool thing on the ship was that WE were invited to go up to the bridge to meet the captain and all his crew! That was SUPER COOL to see how they navigate the ship. The steering mechanism wasn’t a big huge wheel like you would imagine….it’s like a joystick just a few inches long! We felt very privileged to have had this opportunity, and the crew was so nice and really took their time with us!
OUR DAILY EXCURSIONS!
Our daily excursions were amazing! I forgot to mention that when we first checked on to the ship, we were given a card, like a credit card. This card was used to check on and off the boat, used at any of the shops, and also to open our cabin door! This made it SO EASY and CONVENIENT to get around! All of the tour guides that were arranged for us were courteous, knowledgeable, and accomodating! Traveling with Princess Cruises was so easy! Now on to our agenda…..
Montenegro was our first excursion on our cruise! You can see it is VERY BEAUTIFUL! We toured through the very best of Kotor. It’s considered one of the best preserved medieval towns on the Adriatic coast. We visited a really cool museum first off. I especially loved the ships so beautifully displayed. The cobblestone streets were charming along with the flowered windows! We then went on a boat over to see Our Lady Of The Rocks, a tiny church on a man-made island. Kotor is quickly becoming a very popular travel destination.
Croatia was just BEAUTIFUL! We visited Dubrovnik and I had no idea it was so gorgeous. It’s so picturesque! The limestone streets there absolutely glistened from thousands and thousands of people walking on them throughout the years! Despite the heavy damage from the conflict in the early ’90s, Dubrovnik has been restored to its pre-war beauty. For me I would never have thought that this country would be SO GORGEOUS! We have some family who come from Croatia and couldn’t believe the likeness in the people there! Our tour guide could have been the sister of my new brother-in-law! Such friendly warm people!!!!!
Now on to Greece. We visited three areas of Greece….Santorini being my FAVORITE! Also Athens and Olympia. In Athens the Acropolis was super cool! It’s an ancient city that sits high atop of Athens with the remains of many historical sites. The main one being the Parthenon which was a temple. It’s just unbelievable to see these ruins of such incredible history! The VIEW from the top was SPECTACULAR! We then went and strolled the streets of Athens and had the MOST DELICIOUS FOOD of our trip! The greek gyros were so yummy! What a fun city! Loved all the colorful buildings too!
Then Santorini! I have wanted to visit Santorini for so long! The whitewashed buildings and blue roofs are iconic. I wished I could have spent MORE time there capturing all of its beauty! This is the one place I’d like to GO BACK and spend more time. We visited three different villages which Oia was my FAVORITE! It’s the most picturesque of all and is where you want to take that perfect picture you see all over with the white buildings and blue roofs. I learned that around the years of 1967–1974, a military government established their power in Greece. They then set a political agenda of displaying uniformity across the landscapes, which stated a rule of re-painting all the houses in blue and white. You can go on and on and on there with all the white with small splashes of color!
In Santorini we also visited Black Sand Beach which was GORGEOUS! The black sand is caused from volcanic activity. We weren’t there very long, just long enough to grab a bite to eat and take some pretty pictures of me in my WRAP from Chicos!
Last stop in Greece was in Olympia. We had the great pleasure of visiting a local olive tree farm and learned all about olives, how they are grown and harvested. I didn’t know that you don’t ever want to eat an olive straight off the tree! It’s extremely bitter, and nothing like olives that have been cured. This process usually takes about 5-6 weeks. We were treated to the most delicious olive oils and breads, along with an authentic Greek lunch. We were truly stuffed! I wish I could have brought some of the olive oil home with me….it was the best I’ve ever tasted! After lunch we learned how to Greek dance and had such fun dancing the afternoon away!
We spent one day at sea, enjoying the EMERALD and all of it’s amenities. Our next port was Corsica, France, one of the 18 regions of France. It is an island that sits just south of France and west of Italy. It’s roughly 133 miles long and 50 miles wide. We went with a group to see the beautiful gorges of Prunelli. Then it was a BEAUTIFUL stop overlooking Tolla Lake which was SPECTACULAR!!!!! We then traveled through the lush Zipitolli Forest to the deep red granite cliffs of these Gorges. We stopped at a local café for a delicious SNACK/MEAL of Corsican cheeses, jams, and cured meats. It was absolutely yummy and a little bit…..I man a LOT ROMANTIC!
The next day we were off to Sete, France. This day we decided to see it on our own. We had the best time strolling at our own pace enjoying the shopping, the FOOD (it was gelato nearly EVERY day) margarita pizza, and paninis. I don’t think I’ve ever seen palm tree lined streets in Europe! BEAUTIFUL! It really was such a LOVELY day! We sat out on a patio at a local restaurant for a couple of hours just people watching…..and eating of course! It was fun showing Lorin one of my favorite places! He’s a pastry lover and so we had to try a fresh fruit tart! It was really a day of relaxation for us!
Our last day was a quick day strolling the sites of Barcelona, Spain! We were with a tour group and honestly this is THE BEST way to see the most important sites of a country! I had been to Spain before, but it was still fun to revisit the Columbus Monument. This impressive Corinthian column was erected in 1882 for Christopher Columbus, in celebration of his returning from the Americas. These olympic sculptures were beautiful in the early morning sunlight! Then over to see the La Sagrada Familia church. This church has been under construction since 1882 and is predicted to be finished in 2026. It is one of Spain’s top tourist attractions. The detail on the outside is incredible….I loved the color! Part of it is open to the public for worship. It’s a real site to behold! We loved Barcelona!
So……have we missed our gelato? Yep we sure have! We absolutely had the time of our lives with Princess Cruises and Chicos on this amazing journey through the Western Mediterranean! We will have lifetime memories of such a BEAUTIFUL time in our lives together! We are SO GRATEFUL!!!
If you’re thinking of a cruise to see the world……traveling with Princess Cruises is such a a great option!! You won’t be sorry….I feel like they are the experts in cruising. We met so many people on the cruise who had been on multiple (and then some) trips with Princess Cruises. Why do they keep coming back over and over…..because they are simply THE BEST!
P.S. If you’d like to view a recap of our cruise, you can find it on my Instagram @chicover50 in my STORY HIGHLIGHTS……CRUISE! There are about 100 video clips of our amazing HONEYMOON!
P.P.S. THIS blog is everything I packed and how I styled it for my cruise!