In November of 2019, my husband and I took a three week trip to Europe. Two weeks would be spent on a Mediterranean Cruise Cruise with the Norwegian Spirit.

Here was our itinerary. Due to some inclement weather, we had a slightly adjusted schedule but ended up only missing two ports and visiting Ravenna, Italy instead of Venice.

DatePort of CallArrivalDeparture
11/07/2019Rome/Civitavecchia05:00 PM
11/08/2019Strait of Messina
11/09/2019Thira/Santorini12:00 PM10:00 PM
11/10/2019Athens/Piraeus07:00 AM07:00 PM
11/11/2019Mykonos07:00 AM04:00 PM
11/12/2019Day at Sea
11/13/2019Ravenna5:00 PM
11/14/2019Ravenna04:00 PM
11/15/2019Dubrovnik09:00 AM04:00 PM
11/16/2019Kotor02:00 PM08:00 PM
11/17/2019Corfu10:00 AM05:00 PM
11/18/2019Messina09:00 AM07:00 PM
11/19/2019Naples07:00 AM05:00 PM
11/20/2019Livorno09:00 AM08:00 PM
11/21/2019Rome/Civitavecchia06:00 AM

Our first port was Santorini, Greece. But on our way there, Andrew woke me up around 6:30 am to catch this beautiful sunrise off of our balcony. You see to the right of the rainbow is an island. It is actually an active volcanic island, Stromboli. If you can, we suggest upgrading to a balcony. It is worth the price and the countless stunning views during your journey!

The photos below show the Greek islands of Santorini (left) and Mykonos (right). These were by far my favorites! The tiny walkways, gorgeous white buildings and lots of pretty bougainvillea to admire. If you are ever able, I would spend two to three days here at each of these islands.

And the sunset at Santorini was spectacular! Panoramic views of the neighboring islands and beyond.

The above image is the Athenian Acropolis. Athens was our least favorite city/stop because it was a dirty city and the people weren’t overly friendly about us being there. But this was neat to see, nonetheless. A few hours here is plenty to see everything.

After being in Greece for a few days, we are now headed North. We were originally headed to Venice, but due to an extreme flood, we were eventually rerouted to Ravenna, Italy. One thing to note, as being on a ship, you have to make the best of what you are given. So when plans change, adjust and keep an open mind. This port ended up being one of our favorites as well. The image on the right is one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life! The coffee shop was called Caffetteria Guidarello, and we realized it was more of a chocolate place than anything else. Think of the best creamy, thick hot chocolate with fresh whipped cream. It was that times 10! I could have five of these.

After two days in Ravenna, we were headed down south on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. These next few images are from Kotor, Montenegro, Corfu, Greece, & Dubrovnik, Croatia. He hiked up a hill at any moment we had to see the views. Our ship is that second one further back in the image below.

Since we traveled in November, we were visiting most of these locations towards off-season. This meant that we were often the only ship at these ports. That made getting around the cities easier and less-congested than it would probably other parts of the year. We definitely had a fair share of rainy days, but who doesn’t like dancing in the rain?

Below is a quick picture of the BEST GELATO I’ve ever had. We had to go back multiple times during our short visit to get in as much as we could. This is chocolate, strawberry & fresh whipped cream on top. Delightful doesn’t even begin to describe it!! Go to Rome. And then head straight to Giolitti for gelato!!

We had fun eating and walking our way through each new city. Trying to get a feel for the way people live their day to day lives. Take in the views and enjoy the food along the way. Below we walked the old fortress walls around the town of Dubrovnik.

Another favorite meal was at Corfu, Greece. Those are pancakes with honey, feta and grapes. Amazing and unique with the best feta I’ve ever had. Not pictured was the large hot chocolates we also had at this fun cafe called Sway Bar & Kitchen.

Below is our unforgettable experience in Naples, Italy. Pizza, rain, castles, and cappuccinos made the day complete. Earlier in our trip, while we were in Ravenna, we met this sweet older couple who were on their vacation from Naples. We told them that we were traveling via a cruise and were to port in Naples later in our stay. They said they had to show us around their city, so we took them up on it! We got a fabulous walking tour in the rain from our sweet friend, Giovani. He then took us to one of the best pizzerias in Naples, Di Matteo. We will forever cherish this city and the people in it!

Once we got off of the ship, we made our way back to Milan, Italy, where we would later fly out. We spent a few days in Bologna, Italy eating nearly everything in sight. Being the foodie capital of the country, we had the best pasta and pastries! The above image on the left is another favorite meal. It was black ink pasta filled with fondue cream and a pumpkin sauce with macadamia nuts. Looks odd but tasted delicious. On the right, there was the best chocolate stuffed croissant and of course a cappuccino.

Why can’t our bakeries in America create these amazing sweet treats? Everything was tasty and fresh! Guess that’s a good enough reason to go back one day.

Why do we love to travel? It helps you center yourself and humble yourself. It helps you get out of your comfort zone and make the best of any situation. There is so much beauty and culture outside of your home city or state. You learn to appreciate what you can easily take for granted at home. You can try new foods that just don’t exist elsewhere. And you meet amazing people where language doesn’t even hinder you from making friends.

This was our first cruise together as a couple. We enjoyed the ship. The food was good and the staff was very attentive. Maybe our next one won’t be 14 days, but they are fun and can help simplify your itinerary. We mostly used the ship in the evening and for sleeping, so it worked for what we needed.

So, where are you headed to next?

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  1. Jan says:

    This was such a lovely recap of your trip!  Nicely done, kids!  Also, it seems you added some spectacular photos.  The encouragement to travel is heartwarming, and so glad your timing was good.  No covid19 for you! Thanks so much for doing this.  Many luvsnhugs and hopes for future fun!  💗💗🤗🤗💗💗

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