This was our first trip together, which started a journey of a lifetime. The trip took 2 weeks of planning, a 1700$ ticket from Seattle->Europe, and a 6 month long wait. We both had travelled alone in these 6 months. Yesha covered a month long tour in the Arctic, visiting the land of midnight sun to see some northern lights, meet the Santa in Finland and an early winter trip to Japan and much more while Shobhit did some interstate travel to San Francisco, Chicago, DC, Alaska and an international trip to Brazil and Mexico. But this was the trip we both had been waiting for.
Both of us had never experienced a cruise vacation before, so it was kind of nice to sail. It was the Norwegian Epic cruise, and the ship was humongous. Pictures don’t lie!
So we checked in with our passports, and got inside this huge ship. The rooms were small yet nice but very cozy. It was a trip with 5 of other friends, so we booked 3 different rooms on the cruise. And what followed for the next 6 days was nothing less than a magical experience.
Day 1, Day 2- Sail into the Mediterranean
The first two days was all about cruising. We had tons of activities planned on the cruise. Movies, shows, live entertainment, swimming pool and Jacuzzi, learning some salsa on board and some amazing food which was available 24/7. The shows are for all age groups and had to be pre-booked. Make sure you sign up for these when you arrive on Day 1 and not all are free on onboard. The cirque du Soleil shows are to be paid for on this ship but they are totally worth it.
Day 3: Naples , Amalfi coast
It was time for our first excursion. Having booked a private vehicle prior really helped us move around the place with ease. Beginning with Sorrento where we first got off and took pictures with our travel board. This continued all the way till Positano, following Amalfi coast which was our last stop on the tour. Roads were great, and the scenery was too pretty to ignore. It’s great to swim in Positano however you need to be ready with your swim wear since there is very less time when you travel through the cruise.
Day 4: When in Rome, do as Romans do!
We made our way into the heart of Italy. We did the day trip to Vatican City square, explored the smallest country in the world by foot, and in the process celebrated Yesha’s 24th birthday. There was a huge queue to see things, and the sun wasn’t helping. But we were determined to explore different alleys, buildings, and just going through the roman architecture left a deep impression into our mind. And not to forget, being in Rome, how can we miss the visit to the giant Coliseum!
Day 5: Florence- Exploring Cinque Terre
This has to be our favourite day of the cruise. Our driver drove us off to Cinque Terre, which is a rugged portion off the coast of Italian Rivera. There are beautiful little towns, and there is a train and ferry transport between these small villages. We went to Riomaggiore, Manarola & Monterosso and were enthralled by the beauty of this place. The local shops were surreal, both for the colors, experiences or the food they provided. Shobhit enjoying his authentic pesto pasta finally on this trip. After a long day we were finally back on our cruise for some jacuzzi to relax and plan for the days ahead.
Day 6: Cannes: Monaco & Monte carlo
Looking over Monte Carlo
Today was a day to visit yet another mini country- Monaco. Our tour included a visit to Monte Carlo, where we saw the famous F1 race tracks and some of the most amazing cars to have been built on the planet. We then explored some of the streets in Monaco and explored a few chapels and architectural sites finishing our trip to some breathtaking view points of the town. And of course not to forget the famous beautiful casino of Monte Carlo.
Day 7: Mallorca
On one hand, this city, founded by the Romans some 2,100 years ago, is full with (literally) wall-to-wall history and architectural splendour. You can journey back in time and wander the mazes of alleyways and cobblestone paths that surround the Gothic cathedral. On the other hand, Palma is bustling with life, highlighting the island’s best restaurants, shops, nightlife and a vibrant art scene. We had a good time exploring the city in the day, taking a swim in Mediterranean and enjoying some more sun before we headed back to cruise, one last time!
Day 8: Back in Barcelona
The cruise got us back in Barcelona in early morning and it was time to explore the Spanish city. More on this in another blog.