Monthly Archives: October 2011

Barcelona, Spain

Disembarkation in Barcelona is amazingly easy. We simply strolled down the gangway, pointed out our bags to a porter, and were ushered to a taxis. No immigration, no customs. By 10 am we were at the Hotel Condes de Barcelona. … Continue reading

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Aix-en-Provence, France

Our final shore excursion of the cruise took us from the dock in Marseilles into Provence. Our first stop was in the Luberon region, at the Val Joanis winery. We toured their award winning gardens and the cellar (a 200,000 … Continue reading

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Monte Carlo, Monaco

I’m never sure whether to call this place the city of Monte Carlo or the country of Monaco, because they’re almost the same thing. The city nearly completely fills the valley that is this country. In fact, from our cabin … Continue reading

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Livorno, Italy

Two quiet days recuperating on the ship, with not too much to look at, since Livorno was heavily damaged during WWII and hasn’t been rebuilt with anything but functionality in mind. The first day was raining all day, so our … Continue reading

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Civitavecchia, Italy

Well, Rome’s port isn’t the most attractive place in the world. It’s also not particularly close to Rome, almost 2 hours away in traffic. As it turned out, it didn’t matter, because I got sick and had to get some … Continue reading

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Amalfi, Italy

Today we arrived in Amalfi, a picturesque city on the Italian coast that shares its name. Contrary to reports, the shops were almost all open, even though it was Sunday, a last chance for the shopkeepers before the season ends. … Continue reading

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Taormina, Sicily

We spent a pleasant couple of hours in Taormina, a medieval city converted to a pedestrian tourist shopping street, on top of a hill in Sicily. The weather has warmed up to 71, and we had an alfresco lunch at … Continue reading

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At Sea

Friday was a relaxing day at sea, our only one on this itinerary. Our butler, Miroslav, brought us breakfast in our cabin along with some complementary Perrier Jouet Champagne. Linda did needlepoint in the Horizons Lounge for a while and … Continue reading

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Santorini, Greece

Today we visited one of the most scenic places I’ve ever encountered, the Greek Island of Santorini. We arose at sunrise to discover the ship sailing into the caldera of a giant volcano. We were tendered to a remote spot … Continue reading

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Patmos, Greece

Patmos is a small Greek island in the Southeastern Aegean. It wasn’t on our itinerary, but because of a strike in Rhodes to protest the Greek financial situation, that port was inaccessible, and Patmos was substituted. I don’t know what … Continue reading

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Kusadasi and Ephesus, Turkey

The port in Kusadasi was certainly busier than the last time we were here, when we were the only ship. Either things are quieter in the Middle East or people have just gotten used to it. No circling gunboats this … Continue reading

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Filippi and Kavala, Greece

The ship was rockin’ and rollin’ last night, I guess still feeling the effects of a cyclone over the Black Sea. It was still raining when we docked a bit late in Kavala, a hillside community in Macedonia (Northern Greece). … Continue reading

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Istanbul

This is our first time on Oceania, although they are owned by Regent, a high end line Dani and I once took for an enjoyable Mediterranean cruise. The Insignia is a beautiful ship, with by far the nicest finish work … Continue reading

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New York to Istanbul

With a lull in Linda’s projects for Disney, she was able to get away, so for her birthday we booked a cruise in the Mediterranean. When Delta changed their flight schedule, our connection through JFK became dangerously short, so we … Continue reading

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Thai Beef Salad

This is my favorite salad recipe. We originally got it from Standolyn Robertson, Jamie Robertson’s wife. She served it at a dinner that was memorable because it was the night, twenty years ago, that a micro burst blew down our … Continue reading

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Rocco’s Italian Grille

It had been a while since we’d been to Rocco’s. The food is always great, but we’d had some disastrous wine service during a Wine Syndicate event, and hadn’t been back. Saturday Ron and Bev invited us to join them, … Continue reading

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