Our Final Port Day, Yesterday in Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast

Good afternoon from the beautiful Serenade of the Seas, we are currently traveling at 16.8 Knots back towards Barcelona, Spain. It is about 77 degrees Fahrenheit or about 25 degrees Celsius. It is very humid though, and it feels more like the upper 80s in the full sun. We are sailing in some of the smoothest seas that I’ve ever seen, and with a slight haze, it makes for a beautiful day on the Med!

Yesterday, we were picked up by our tour guide in Salerno, Italy at about 8:00 in the Morning, and our first stop was a place where I have always dreamed of going, Pompeii. If someone was to ask me what the best representation of a Roman City was, I would say Pompeii, not Rome! This is because Pompeii was buried under volcanic ash and preserved during the Time of the Roman Empire.

It was 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius blanketed the city in 20 feet of ash and killed practically everyone within the City Walls. In Rome, on the other hand, there are many artifacts and buildings from the ancient Empire, but the city as been lived in by other people since the Empire fell. Overall, there is more history throughout the years in Rome, but Pompeii paints a better picture of the ancient Roman City.

To save some time on our onboard Internet package, I am going to number the photos and caption them ahead of time.

In Pompeii, we visited the Forum (1), An Original Pompeian Street,(2) an ancient Roman Pub/Bar(3), some of the original preserved skeletons found on the site, with a plaster cast put over the top to create the correct body shape (4)(5). These people knew they were going to die and there was no escaping it.

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After Pompeii, we began our drive along the Amalfi Coast. Here is a great photo looking down over Positano on the Coast.

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We drove even further up above Positano for lunch, which was incredibly fresh, all organic, and there were incredible views!

Here are the views from the Restaurant, and some photos of our fresh Italian lunch:

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Well, yesterday was another incredible day in what I have now decided is the best place I have ever visited, Italy.

Look for a brief ship tour blog post later on today.

I hope all of the photos are in the right order!

Ciao for now!

Spencer

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A Double Blog, Athens, Greece and Kusadasi, Turkey

Hello from the Serenade of the Seas, we are underway towards Santorini, Greece at a speed of 14.7 knots.
I am going to give you all a double blog tonight, Athens from yesterday and Kusadasi, Turkey today.
Lets Start with Yesterday morning. We left the ship nice and early to head into the European Capitol of Knowledge, Athens, Greece. It was once of those days that was brutally hot, but just what I wanted it to be!

We were on a private tour, and our guide, Dimitris, made sure that we made it up to the Acropolis just ahead of the ship tours for our ship, and both Holland America ships in port.
The Acropolis was home to incredible feats of architecture before the Roman Empire even existed, and to know that people can still admire the Parthenon and other temples up there is great! Just as I said about Rome, you can’t really describe it, but it is all just so incredible!

We enjoyed the Temple to Athena (The Parthenon) along with the Olive Tree planted in honor of the tree that the goddess Athena supposedly gave to the city long ago.

Later on, we visited the 16 pillars left of the Temple of Zeus, which contained over 100 originally. The only negative part of the day was the heat. It was about 100 degrees (Fahrenheit).The Changing of the Guards in front of the Parliament building was also entertaining. The ceremony has been carried out every hour of every day for over 150 years, with no exceptions. There is a major ceremony that is only once a week, Sundays at 11am. That is the one we saw. What precision in the way they march and move!

I got just what I wanted for Lunch, a Gyro! A traditional Greek sandwich with either Chicken or Pork, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, and Tatziki Yogurt Sauce.
We strolled around on the Pla├ža, the marketplace of Athens, and then headed back to the port of Piraeus with our driver.
We had a great day in Athens, Greece yesterday!

Here are some photos from the day:

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The Changing of the Guards

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A Family Photo. I’m on the Right!

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The Parthenon
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Now today in Kusadasi, Turkey we took our one and only ship tour of the trip, “The Tastes of Turkey”. We started by going into a small village by the name of Sirince, with a population of 600. This was definitely off the beaten path. We had a freshly prepared traditional lunch in a small Turkish restaurant… Pictures below.

One of the most interesting parts of the day was going into a Turkish Carpet shop where they weaved their own silk, wool, and cotton carpets, and allowed us to try some strong Turkish Coffee.
Today definitely helped open my eyes to the genuine old world culture, and knock off name brands that make up what we call Turkey!

Now, here are some Photos of our day in Turkey:

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Part of my Lunch

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The Restaurant

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The Carpet Weaving

Enjoy!
Spencer

The Role that the RMS Titanic plays in the Cruise Industry, and other factors that keep people from Cruising

100 years ago at this moment, the news of the Titanic’s Failure was reaching land. Many passengers were on board the Carpathia, heading to New York.
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Today, there are people who won’t go on a cruise because of the Titanic.
I have heard people say “I have seen the movie Titanic one too many times”. Even though safety is considered much more of a priority now, and we are using modern technology on these ships, some people still won’t do it.

Some of the other reasons people don’t go on cruises

-“I will get sea sick.”

-“It’s too expensive!” (Well, those are the people that go to Disney World every year, and Disney is more expensive)

-“I will get bored” (There are so many activities! You can barely tell you’re on a Ship) There is plenty for kids to do too, and it’s not that bad as of crowds of kids, even during Spring Break!

-“I will feel trapped” (Many ships nowadays do a very good job making you feel like your not trapped at all, like Oasis of the Seas, very open.)

-“Cruising is dangerous” (Very common excuse now because of the Concordia and other disasters)
As I said above, safety is a major priority.
It is more safe to go on a cruise, than ride in a car, based on the number of injuries/deaths per year. *on average

I would like to thank Mikey Faust from Mikey’s Cruise Blog and Dave Rist for some insight on the factors that keep people from Cruising.