Need expert advice? Give us a call.

 (800) 225-8217 

Modern Luxury on the Mediterranean

Celebrity Cruise Line Balcony stateroom

In mid-September, we flew to Barcelona, Spain for an 8-night north Mediterranean cruise from Spain, and along the French Riviera, to Italy. We spent two days prior to the cruise seeing the amazing Catalonian city of Barcelona. Two days was absolutely not enough time to see all we desired to see, but we walked extensively in and around the oldest parts of the city. The architecture was simply amazing! The people were extraordinarily friendly and accommodating. We stayed at a hotel just off the famous tourist avenue, La Rambla, very near to where there was a recent ISIS-inspired terrorist attack where a truck was driven down the pedestrian walkway down the middle of La Rambla. Spanish police security was ever-present and we felt amazingly safe. On the last evening, we took a gourmet tapas walking guided tour which included wine tasting, a tapas dinner, and an incredible Flamenco show. I still get goosebumps every time I think back to when we watched the astounding dancing and singing that the performers provided for us.

On September 14th, we embarked on the Celebrity Cruise Lines cruise ship, the Silouette, which is 1,033 feet long and has a capacity of 2,886 total passengers. The Silouette gave us a feeling of modern luxury, exceptional service, tasteful accommodations, and great nightly on-board entertainment. Celebrity Cruise Lines has eliminated its formal dinner nights and replaced it with “Evening Chic” which means that you can get glamorous and be sophisticated in your own way. You could still wear formal clothing, but the dress code has been relaxed so women are only required to wear a skirt, pants or jeans with a casual top. Men are only required to wear pants or jeans with a sport shirt that has sleeves. My boyfriend took full advantage of the elaborate fitness room with tons of free weights and exercise machines. I had a fantastic personal massage that left me feeling amazingly relaxed!

Our first port of call was Ibiza, an amazing island off the east coast of Spain, for two days and one night. Ibiza is known for its nightlife and club scene as well as its beautiful sandy beaches. We toured the island on the first day and reserved the second day as a beach day. Unfortunately, that second day was a stormy one so we did more town activities.  Marseille is France’s second largest city and our second port of call. We spent a somewhat rainy day touring the old town area, which included a visit to the Notre-Dame de la Garde (which means Our Lady of the Guard), a beautiful Catholic basilica/church, which was almost like a fortress on a hilltop overlooking the old town and harbor. On the fifth day, we moved on eastbound to Cannes, France, and the weather turned sunny and warm. We walked through the high-end shopping district and vacation homes of Europe’s rich and famous. The long and lavish coastal promenade, Boulevard de la Croisette, was laced with expensive shops and elegant restaurants and ended at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrés, a huge convention center and the venue of the infamous Cannes International Film Festival. On the sixth day our journey was only a few kilometers further east to dock in Ville Franche, France, a small and quaint seaport which is just a short train ride from the exclusive beach resort town of Nice. We took the train to Nice on a gloriously sunny and hot day. We walked the streets of Nice until we arrived at the extraordinary downtown beachfront where my boyfriend and I spent a relaxing afternoon at a lovely private beach club where I made like a European topless in the sun! Oo-la-la!!! On the seventh day we had our port of call in Livorno, Italy, just outside of cities of Florence and Pisa. My boyfriend and I had been in Tuscany and had visited the city areas just last fall, so we decided to opt for a magnificent Celebrity Shore Excursion to the Cinque Terre, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of a string of five centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. We initially rode a coastal ferry from Porto Venere along the seacoast to Vernazza. The ferry ride provided us a spectacular view of the villages which towns consist of gloriously colorful houses surrounded by vineyards clinging to the steep terraces. Each town has its own harbor filled with fishing boats. After eating a superb Italian lunch, we boarded a local train back to our starting point. This was the highlight, for me, of the entire trip! On our eighth and final day of the voyage, we disembarked in the historic city of Rome, Italy. We took a Celebrity Cruise Excursion bus tour of the city, which focused primarily on the Vatican City and the Coliseum. We toured the St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica as well as the Coliseum. There were long lines and it was very crowded, but the Celebrity tour guide was able to expedite us at both locations. It was an astonishing step back into ancient history.

My Travel Albums

My travel photos
See more travel stories
Return to my Travel Leaders Certified Travel Specialists page

© Travel Leaders Group