I’m back and I missed you all soooo much! I hope you followed my trip on Instagram, and especially on my Instastory. About three weeks ago, I shared with you that Bob and I decided to take a big ole’ trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary. We’ve been cruising the Riviera (Italian, French, and Spanish, to be exact) for the past few weeks and having a blast! It is going to take me several posts to tell you all about it, but today I’m going to start by telling you how we planned it, where we went, and why we chose a cruise.
When our kids were younger, we took them on a few cruises on mass market cruise lines. We loved unpacking once, food choices to please everyone’s palate, and lots of fun activities both onboard and in ports. When it came time to plan our big anniversary trip, we knew we wanted to go to Italy, but the idea of planning all of the details of where to go, stay and eat just overwhelmed us. Truth be told, we are kind of anxious and neurotic travelers. We tend to get worked up about every detail. (Raise your hands if you think we sound like super fun people!) So we opted for a cruise. When it came to planning, we knew we needed help. Enter Cruise Specialist Tom Pecena from Ahoy Cruises. We read about Tom in a local publication and knew his knowledge and experience would be perfect to help us plan this special vacation and calm the savage beast of our neuroses. He was wonderful! Tom helped us plan every aspect of our journey, from flights and airport transfers, to tour guides and shore excursions. Also, I am sure it will not surprise any of you that I called him, um, multiple times with packing and wardrobe questions as well. 🙂 He was infinitely patient and helpful.
Bob and I knew we wanted a premium, “grown-up” cruise line this time around, and after telling Tom our preferences for dates, itinerary, and filling him in on our various neuroses (!), Tom recommended Oceania Cruises for us. Pricing on Oceania includes airfare, free internet, free dining at specialty restaurants (six!), free soft drinks, bottled water, coffee, tea, etc., free 24-hour room service, and more. Unlike other premium cruise lines, the inclusive pricing does not include alcohol, which makes it a great value. (Beverage packages are reasonable and readily available, however.) Oceania is known for their incredible cuisine – prepared under the guidance of Executive Culinary Director, Master Chef Jaques Pépin. (The food was fabulous! I was saved on the trip home by my “fat jeans” that I threw in at the last minute!) Tom also helped us select our stateroom, giving us valuable insider information about the best deals and locations on the ship. We selected a cruise that started and ended in Rome (we’d never been there before) and then sailed along the western coast of Italy, visiting the Provence region of France, and two ports in Spain as well. In a later post, I will go into more detail about all of our ports and what we did in each one.
I’m so sorry I don’t have room for more details today! (After getting great constructive feedback from you guys, I’ve been working on writing shorter posts lately, and I want to stay faithful to that.) I promise to cover everything in the coming weeks! (If there’s anything you especially want to know, please leave a comment below and I will be sure to cover it.)
In the photo at the top of this post, I’m in Portofino, Italy, which was one of our favorite ports. It was overcast that day so I threw a cute cardi I’ve had forever over this black ruffle hem tee (under $50 and also comes in pink!) and my fave white jeans. My leather Keds slip-on tennies (similar) were my go-to shoes throughout the trip. We did lots of walking and they were a cute, comfortable, and stylish alternative to my workout tennies. Lemme tell ya’, those Italians know how to dress!
I promised my husband I wouldn’t work on our trip so I didn’t answer any of your comments on Instagram or my last post. This was difficult for me (!!!) and I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Please know that your sweet comments meant the world to me and I read each and every one. Thank you so much for making our trip extra special by sharing our joy!
P.S. You can reach Tom Pecena from Ahoy Cruises at 214-761-1968 or via email at email@example.com. (He doesn’t have a website. Dude is old-school. LOVE THAT!!!) He seriously knows his stuff.