In 2009, my husband and I embarked on a 12-night Western Mediterranean cruise that took us through Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Dubrovnik.

In the summer of 2012, we're heading back...only this time, our three kids will be joining us, and it will be a 12-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise that will have us sailing through Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

This blog is a chronicle of our cruising experiences - the good, the bad, the ugly. It includes a day-by-day journal of what we did, how we did it, what we did right - and what we didn't do so right.

Not only do we use this to "remember" our adventures, but our hope is that our story will assist others in their own planning.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

2012: Choosing the Room

After realizing we had earned a free 12-night European cruise, our next step was figuring out when and where to go.


I love Italy. Italy loves me. (At least it's food does).

It was a no-brainer to choose the 12-night cruise that stops in Italy, as well as Greece, France and Turkey.

We also love the Radiance-class ships on the Royal Caribbean line.

So, it was a no-brainer to choose the Serenade of the Seas, which is a virtual twin of the Brilliance of the Seas that we cruised in Europe with in 2009.

As far as our cabin, initially I had chosen the exact same cabin as we had before in 2009...a Grand Suite, on the hump, next door to the Royal Suite. I love the hump cabins - good views, good balconies, and good proximity to the central elevators and the Concierge Club.

However, we're going to have three of us in the room - and one of those three is a pre-teenage girl. Ack. Who will need lots of space for all of her stuff. And space just to sprawl. (If you're a parent of teenagers, you know what I mean about "sprawl."

So, I changed my cabin after our initial reservation to Cabin #1560, an Owner's Suite on Deck 10. My husband and I had this same cabin on our very first cruise ever, back in 2004, on the Serenade of the Seas. (That was a cruise to the Southern Caribbean).

For the boys, being that they're...well...young, and won't be spending much time in their cabin...we've booked an Ocean View stateroom on Deck 4. All they require is a bed and a shower and a toilet. Not necessarily in that order. Oh, and food.

So...we're set. I've made the deposits on the cabins and will be sending in monthly payments until they're paid off.

Can't wait!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Me with Taylor, Brad & Mickey

A recent conversation at our house:

Me: "Honey, how would you like to take another cruise?"

Hubby: "You know I don't like to cruise. It messes up my balance."

Me: "But. But. But. I LOVE to cruise! We could go back to the Mediterranean, where the waters are smooth, and you won't get as seasick."

Hubby (with skepticism): "That still doesn't sound appealing. Besides - it would cost a fortune."

Me: "But it would be half-price."

I've learned over the years that if you mention "half-price" or "free" to my Hubby, you will most certainly get his attention. I now had his full attention.

Me: "You know that Visa card we carry around and use all of the time? The one with the Royal Caribbean cruise ship on it?"

Hubby: "Yeah...I know the one."

Me: "We are the now proud owners of 250,000 points on that card. Which entitles us to one free 12-night cruise in Europe."

Hubby: "Book it."

And so here we are. We are now heading back to Europe in June 2012, for a 12-night Mediterranean/Greek Isles cruise on the Serenade of the Seas.

We're also taking three of our kids with us: Brad, who will be 22 years old at the time of the cruise; Taylor (son), who will be 19 at the time of cruising; and Mickey (daughter), who will be almost 13-years old at the time of the cruise.

I'll be posting here about our pre-cruise plans, and then do another post-cruise review.

Should be fun! Should be interesting!

And it will ALWAYS be an adventure!