Cruising the Mediterranean


It is Sunday morning, one week after my traveling companion and I departed from Chicago, IL. We have spent four days in Rome, enjoyed our five hour train ride from Rome to Venice on Friday and experienced two nights and one full day in Venice.  It is a bright, sunny Sunday morning and we are starting our day by boarding a water taxi on Lido Island, which will take us to the cruise ship docking area in Venice.  Over the next few hours we will check in, board The Splendour of the Seas, and make our way to our cabin to unpack.  One of my favorite aspects of cruising is that once you have unpacked, organized your room and closet, there is no more unpacking or packing for the next week.

This is the last leg of the trip for my traveling companion and me.  However, when we return to Venice, some of the members of our group are going to spend a few more days there. Some are going to London and others to Paris.  As I approached the check-in line I was pleased to spot a few friends I knew from previous trips.  I consider this one the advantages of traveling with a singles travel agency.

The Splendour of the Seas is a spectacular cruise ship.  It is 10 years old and in exceptionally good condition.  It has all the wonderful amenities we expect on cruise ships today.  A few of which are: 24 hour complimentary room service, 2 swimming pools, 4 whirlpools, ocean view spa, fitness center and many conveniently located bars and lounges for relaxing and meeting friends.  I was able to check my emails in the area provided with several computers for those of us who can’t seem to leave our work at home and need to know what is happening in our other life.

I spent the first day at sea perusing the library and choosing a book to read during “downtime.”  I also visited the ship’s gift shops and sat on the balcony of my cabin to read and nap in the sun. After again reviewing the schedule of tours for the week ahead, I decided I needed to store up some energy. You will understand why as I take you through our busy week.

Near the end of the week, I, along with a few other women in our group, had the honor of joining our captain for dinner.  Captain Oerjan Raadmannsoey was born and raised in Norway.  He went to sea for the first time in 1975 and received his Master Mariner’s license in 1997.  Between 1975 and 1997 he served on passenger ships, cargo and oil tankers, and graduated from the Naval Academy in Bodoe, Norway with a degree in Navigation and Ship Handling.  He enjoys his vacation time skiing and fishing with his family, who still reside in Norway.  He was a gracious host and we enjoyed getting to know more about Captain Raadmannsoey.  We found that he had his own goal for this time with us.  He started with the guest on his right and went around the table and chatted with each of us regarding our professional and personal life goals.


The Splendour of The Seas Docked in Rhodes, Greece


As it turned out, I needed the rest I had enjoyed the first day on the ship for our day in Athens.  Walking up the path to the Acropolis is quite an accomplishment, but well worth it.  The history surrounding the Acropolis goes back to the 5th Century BC, when Pericles persuaded the Athenians to begin a grand building program.  The result of this work now represents the political and cultural achievements of Greece.

When you venture up to the Acropolis, you will be able to explore areas around each of the following famous historical monuments:

  • The Propylaea
  • Temple of Nike
  • Pedestal of Agrippa
  • Vraoneion
  • Chalcothece
  • Bronze Statue of Athena
  • Arreforeion
  • Parthenon
  • Erechtheion
  • Temple of Roma


The Parthenon, The Acropolis of  Athens, Greece

After this adventure, we returned to the city of Athens to enjoy shopping and a cappuccino at Starbuck’s before boarding the ship and sharing a wonderful dinner and fun with our group.