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The Honeymoon: Part II

We left off yesterday with us leaving the Amalfi coast town of Positano.  From there, we headed northbound on an assortment of trains via Rome, eventually ending up in a big long town that started with a ‘C’.

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I could write it down, but honestly, neither you, I, nor the spell checker would be able to pronounce it – so we’re just going to focus on what’s there…a big boat:

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Ok, rather, in the case of the above photo – a man, with a big boat.

There are a gazillion cruise ships out there in the Mediterranean this time of year, so choosing a specific boat required quite a bit of research.  Weeks of research.  In the end, I decided the Celebrity Equinox would provide the experience that I hoped both of us would be looking for.  This 10-night cruise would take us through the Greek Islands and Turkey, and do so in a way that focused on really good food, good ports, and all (hopefully) without the occasional tackiness that sometimes came with cruise ships.

Way back this winter I had actually found a really good rate on some of their ‘AquaClass’ cabins (basically a fancy name for the same cabin as everyone else, but with access to a different dining room that focused on better/healthier offerings).  So with that, combined with everything from a Hot Glass studio/show, to spin bikes, pools and even a lawn – I was optimistic this would turn out fun…and relaxing.

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The goal of the cruise when I booked it was to actually pick ports that in general didn’t require a lot of touristing.  What I mean by that is some ports you feel heavily compelled to go out, run around like crazy for the 12 hours you have, and then get back on the boat exhausted at the end of the day.

I didn’t want that.

And thankfully, when The Girl found out that we were on a cruise – she didn’t want that either.

We decided then that the goal was really more of enjoying the concept of waking up in a new town every day, doing a bit of exploring – but otherwise just enjoying the concept of relaxing.  So much of my travel is go-go-go (for example, flying to India for 48 hours or the like), I really just wanted 10 days of relaxation with a bit of variety tossed in.

In turned out, we both absolutely loved the way this worked out.  We slept in all but one day, we enjoyed everything the ship had to offer, and we just enjoyed relaxing.  And we ate anything that looked interesting.  We even worked out a bit.

For every other day/month of the year as endurance athletes we focus on eating perfectly, following the perfect training plan, and everything else that comes with it.  This trip…not so much.  For once in years, both of us just simply enjoyed everything we thought interesting.  We didn’t worry if we couldn’t fit in a run that day because we instead needed to recover from our third trip to the Ice Cream bar that day. Nor did we worry about ordering warm chocolate chip cookies and milk from room service at 1AM (hey, it’s all free…and it actually tasted really good!).

So, in short, here’s one photo pre day on the trip…maybe two if you’re lucky:

Day 1: Leaving Rome:

What?  You already got 5 photos from this day above!… okay fine, here’s one.

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Day 2: Sicily, Italy:

Ok, just this one you’ll get a small series of photos.  The Girl had made this really cool little banner sign that says ‘Just Married’ on it.  We hung it from our balcony.  Here’s a series of photos take a long ways away using a big lens.

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(Yes, if you click on the last picture you’ll notice our running shoes outside drying on our deck following our morning run…)

Day 3: At sea

I love the whole relaxation concept of days spent solely at sea.  And formal night is always fun (we actually had two of them!).  Though, for the camel…I have no explanation.

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Day 4: Athens

We cheaply grabbed one of those double-decker get on/off all you want buses for about $10 and had a blast all day long.  More on that second picture in a future post (once you tire of travel related posts I’ll spring it on ya)!  Though, you might get an idea from this post when I was in Athens earlier this year for work…

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Day 5: Turkey

This was the only day we actually took a cruise ship excursion run by the boat itself.  In retrospect, we won’t do that again.

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Thankfully, it (the tour bus) ended quickly and we were able to get back to exploring on our own.

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Day 6: Mykonos

Make no mistake about it – Mykonos is definitely a beach & party island.  Though, with our stay fully in the daylight…we’d only see but a small sliver of that.

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Day 7: Rhodes

We mostly spent the day at the beach that day, and I didn’t take too many pictures in town.  But, I did take a handful of photos at the Hot Glass Show on the boat itself.  They had 1-2 shows a day lasting about 2-3 hours.  Without a doubt, this was the entertainment highlight of the trip.  We loved watching them spin out new creations every 25-45 minutes, all while narrating the steps and answering questions live.

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Day 8: Santorini

We ended up renting a 4×4 for $20 and spent the day wandering the island.  If you go to the Greek islands, skip the rental car and pickup a cheap 4×4 and go exploring.  We had a blast!

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Day 9: At Sea

We took one of their spin classes late afternoon (no, not in an attempt to counterbalance the desserts we ate…that would have been futile).  The bike geeks amongst you may have noticed the Power Pilot on the spin bikes.  Regrettably, none of them were actually hooked up.

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Day 10: Naples

A day without many good pictures, as we mostly treated it like a sea day and just lounged around close to the ship.  It was our last full day of vacation (the next day started at 6AM to get all the way home).  We figured we’d be back in Naples in the future and spend more time then.  So here’s one of the passing high speed ferry boats I enjoyed taking pictures of from the 11th deck of the ship.

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Day 11: The trip home

Monday we headed back towards home.  Without question we had a blast on the trip and loved every minute of it.  Perhaps the biggest thing for us was that we actually couldn’t find a single grumpy crew member on board the Equinox.  No, really, there just weren’t any.  The wait staff we had (they were from Bali) were awesome – beyond awesome.  We loved chatting with them each night.  And the stateroom attendant folks were just the same.  The only disappointment if any was the majority of the nightly shows (all except the second to last one, done like a Cirque du Solei show, which was good). The rest of the shows would easily be high classed by most high school musicals.  But, the awesomeness of the food and the crew made up for it.  There were virtually no bad meals, whether it be buffet or fine dining.  And you know me, food is of the utmost importance!

Speaking of which, after we left we caught our shuttle over to the airport. There, while waiting a few hours for our flight we stumbled into a mozzarella bar.  Brilliant!  Perhaps my favorite Italian food is fresh mozzarella.  And here we had an entire place devoted to it!

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I would estimate that during the course of the trip we ate fresh mozzarella at least once per day at a wide variety of places and cities.  Yet, interestingly enough – this was the best mozzarella I’ve ever had…anywhere…ever.  And yet, I had it in an airport.

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After we downed our gigantic buffalo mozzarella balls we ran for a slew of flights eventually getting us back home (not exactly the most optimal routing…but it worked).

We both had a blast on our honeymoon – both enjoying relaxing and spending the time together to enjoy places in the Mediterranean.

Thanks for reading!

8 Comments

  1. I will repeat myself, but great photos Ray!!! The new lens ... you could sell those to the cruise company or some travel agencies to go with their offer :)

    And I am sharing your passion for mozzarella ... it is a bit easier for me living in Europe. Was hard to get really good one in US - or not that hard but expensive ...

    Reply
  2. SSB

    Sounds like you did a good job relaxing on your honeymoon. And enjoying the cruise. I spent 8 weeks on a cruise ship one summer. As a crew member, but with passenger status. Best of both worlds (crew bar & hookups on side trips + full dining privileges) and only had to 'work' 4 hours a week. Wouldn't trade the experience and fun for anything. But I may never set foot on a cruise ship again.

    So I was reading your last post and I was thinking now that you guys have tied the knot, you should both do posts on how you met. Maybe you have, but I don't remember (or started reading after the fact).

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  3. Chee-vee-ta-VEK-i-a

    :-)

    Reply
  4. OMG this is just fabulous! And how coincidental I was just emailing someone IN Civitaveccia 2 minutes ago!
    Your pics bring back so many great memories--we did a Med cruise awhile back on the Grand Princess. It was awesome. Glad you enjoyed!

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  5. Well I know who to tell Phil to come talk to when we plan a honeymoon! Glad you guys had such a great time!

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  6. Ihsan

    If the place you visited in Turkey is Ephesus (and I think it is), I have NEVER seen that place with such a crowd. OMG!

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  7. AWESOME!!! My boyfriend & I are going on a Med cruise w/ RCCL tomorrow and honestly I've been sooo confused about which types of excursions to do (it's my 1st cruise, ever, and my 1st trip to Europe). I was excited to read your ideas of getting a 4x4 and a $10 bus... that's exactly what we'll do! : )

    And more importantly... CONGRATS on your marriage & a happy honeymoon : )

    Reply
  8. MMV

    Wow beautiful pics...sounds like you guys had a blast!! Congrats once again! Never taken a cruise but, will consider it now.:)

    Reply

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