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!


  1. We do think alike. We went on the Brilliance Med cruise in Sept 2010. I planned many of our excursions based on your 2009 blog.
    This morning I was looking at it again, as we go again in Sept 2012. You have booked exactly the same ship and itinerary we did (we booked in Aug while on an RCI Alaskan cruise). So, I like your taste, and will see how you plan for June. Thanks, Steve H. - Texas

  2. Hello Sherri,

    I have been reading your blog on your trip on the Serenade of Seas last year. I will be taking that same cruise on May 19th.

    I have a question, if you don't mind. What to do about money. Should I charge or should I bring cash ... and since all those locations take Euro, would I need to exchange at home, in Barcelona, the ship?

    This is my first trip (and probably my last!) to europe. I am excited and nervous at the same time.

    Any info you can provide I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you.


    BTW, your blog was great. It provided me with a lot of helpful information.

    1. Hi, Meekomom!

      We did a little of both, when it came to money. I tried to pay as much as possible ahead of time - so it would mean less worry during the trip. I then saved those receipts - and brought them with me - as it helped prove I had paid in advance. You can exchange money on the ship - at Guest Services. We also used the European ATM's a lot - but be careful with those; don't use them outside on the street...go INTO the bank to use the ATM. We brought a lot of Euro's with us which I kept in the safe in the room on the ship.

      Have fun - and good luck! :)