Photo Tour: Cruising into Venice Italy

Cruising into Venice Italy on the NCL Spirit 2

Cruising into Venice Italy is one of those magical travel moments. For us, it was several years ago, and we were on the NCL Spirit. We stood at the bow of the cruise ship, and despite the crowds, looking out it was captivating. I shared my photos of Venice from the ship, but for some reason these remained in my […]

10 Travel Tips to Cruise the Mediterranean

Real snake used in entertainment onboard the NCL Spirit

We recently decided to cruise the Mediterranean on the NCL Spirit. It was a last minute deal, and we loved it. No, we did not win the lottery.  We booked six days prior to leaving at a discount so big it was cheaper than the nightly price for a hotel and included  12 nights, all […]

Canals, St. Marks, Bridges, and a Gondola in Venice Italy

Gondolas in Venice Italy

Venice is the final port on our 12 night Mediterranean cruise. We arrived the day before we disembarked, giving us an opportunity to come ashore in the evening, and return to sleep on the ship. Such an interesting city, I wish we had spent significantly more time here. However, we didn’t, so we only had time […]

Running on the Track at the Original Olympic Village in Athens

Olympic Stadium in Athens

Sometimes we get to do really cool things and today was one of those days . . . we raced on the track in the original Olympic village in Athens, Greece. It wasn’t an official race, just our family, but just being in the original Olympic village was amazing.  We had a super busy day in Athens, taking in […]

Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, and Other Sights in Athens Greece

Acropolis in Athens Greece

We are in Athens Greece, just for the day as it is another port off the cruise ship. We knew right from the beginning that one day isn’t enough time to see this historical city. I have been to Athens before, but it’s all new to the rest of the family. To maximize our time, […]

Ephesus: Turkey’s Wonder of the Ancient World


Ephesus is one of my favorite ancient sites so far, interesting and stunning.  Having stellar weather helped to, offering clear blue skies. Honestly, we almost skipped this ancient Greek treasure. We our cruise ship docked in the port of Izmir, Turkey for only half a day. When I read that Ephesus is a bit over […]

Istanbul’s Key Sites and a Carpet Shopping Story

Istanbul Turkey

We had a long cruise ship port stop scheduled for Istanbul, Turkey and planned to tackle it without a guide. We knew the city highlights, and even had downloaded a self guided city tour.  The only free city tour I could find was in the evening and the timing just wasn’t going to work out for […]

Mykonos Greece – Windmills, Waves, and Whitewashed Walls

Greek islands

The contrast of the stark whitewashed buildings against a deep blue sky and turquoise sea caught my attention as we sailed into the port of Mykonos. This Greek island is a sharp contrast from the capital city of Athens. Mykonos offers a peaceful, relaxing bit of Greece. It was one of nine ports as we cruised the Mediterranean […]

Pompeii and Naples – Why You Need to Visit Both Cities

Pompeii italy

Naples is our final cruise port on Italy’s Mediterranean coast line. Like in Pisa/Florence and Rome, one day is not enough. We opted for Pompeii and Naples, but that meant giving up the Amalfi Coast. In truth, I have waited a long time to visit Pompeii.  Thirty years ago when I was touring Europe, we […]

Photo Tour: Vatican City – The World’s Smallest Country

St Peters Basilica in Vatican City

When we crossed from Italy into Vatican City, we entered our 20th country since we left New Zealand in March. Today was probably our busiest travel day, as our cruise itinerary allocated only one day to see Rome, which we had to split with Vatican City. We hired Max Leotta who turned out to be a fantastic […]

Photo Tour: How to See the Highlights of Rome in a Day

Photos of Rome

Today we attempted the impossible, to see the highlights of Rome in a day, including a visit to the Vatican. We knew it couldn’t all be done, but we had no option as Rome was a port stop on our Mediterranian Cruise on the NCL Sun. The secret to our success was two fold. First we did […]

Florence In a Day: Uffizi, Duomo, and Piazzale Michelangelo

Florence Italy

This afternoon we were in Florence, Italy.  Like every other port we stopped in, we tried to cram the maximum into one day and this one was loaded as it started out climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  One thing we did have to decide in advance is which art museum to visit. There is […]

Pisa Italy: Climbing the Leaning Tower and Visiting the Cathedral

Miracle Square

With one day in port to split between Pisa and Florence, we needed to be focused. Top on the girls list was climbing the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I did it 20 years ago when I first visited Pisa. Then it was easy. We just bought our tickets, got in the queue, and then climbed the […]

Toulon: A Cruise Port in the French Riviera

French Riviera

The French Riviera beaches are stunning, and the cruise ship port of Toulon is no exception.  It was our first port-of-call and we were ready to explore.  I don’t know about you, but when I think of the French Riviera I think of expensive hotels, posh restaurants and topless beaches. Lucky for us we had […]

Cruising the Mediterranean on the Norwegian Spirit

Norwegian Spirit

We just spent the last twelve nights onboard the Norwegian Spirit, cruising through the Mediterranean from Barcelona Spain to Venice Italy. Unfortunately, we didn’t have internet access on-board, thus the lack of travel adventures as they were happening. We plan to share mostly photo posts for the next week or so, featuring our port highlights. We […]