Thursday, October 23, 2008

10th annual President's Cruise 2008

Day 1 - Barcelona
cannot believe how fast time has passed. We arrived the first day in Barcelona and the gang scattered all over. Some guest visited the Gaudi architectural buildings and some visited Museums. Leonard and I visited the town of Sitges, just outside of Barcelona. A sleepy little seaside town that was not only quaint, the locals were friendly and helpful. If anyone has a chance to visit Sitges, they should.

Day 2 - At Sea
Everyone was out enjoying the open spaces. NCL has some wonderful places to hang out and enjoy the sea life. For me I spent the day in the spa. Some people spent it playing cards and others enjoyed family time.

Day 3 - Malta
This series of Islands were a surprise to me. The arrival into the port of Valletta is probably one of the most beautiful in all of Europe. I have never been to this unique little port. A lot of the clients took the jeep safari tour around the island, they saw breathtaking view including the site where Popeye, the movie was filmed. Cute and very quaint. We spent the day hiking into of the town and fort. In general, we had a relaxing and great time.

Day 4 - Naples
One of the largest cities in southern Italy. The ship pulled right into town with the train station, ferry service, and taxi right in the front door. From here you can visit, Pompei, Mt. Vesuvius, Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, and Capri. A lot to pack into one day. In general, we suggested the guest pick their favorites but not to over do it ALL. Our group went only to Capri since have been to Pompei and Sorrento before. We hiked to the top of Capri island, wander around had lunch, had Gelato, and had more Gelato.. you get the idea

Day 5 - Rome ( Civitavecchia )
This is the gateway to the great city of Rome. The Eternal City is hard to do all in one day, even though many will try! Between the Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain; many will return exhausted. The day started at 7am and many are just returning now at 6:30pm. Leonard and I opted to take a biking trip through the Italian Countryside. We climbed and coasted through the street of Tarquinia & Clementina followed by visiting the main Palazzo in town and the we finished with a visit at a typical farmhouse for wine tasting and a sampling of local olives and Jams.

Day 6 - Livorno
Livorno is the gateway to Tucany and the cities of Florence and Pisa. Florence is the home of some the world's greatest Italian treasures. Almost everyone got off the ship early and visited both Pisa and/or Florence. Florence has one of the largest collections of art by Leonardo da Vinci and Botticelli. Or coarse one should never forget about the Duomo or the David by Michelangelo.

Since Leonard & I had visited Florence before we decided to take a shore excursion to Cinque Terre, The Five Villages. It was one of the most memorable trips we have ever taken. The day was rainy and crappy but it didn't bother us at all. The well preserved century old villages with their footpaths winding high above the sea, leading through olive groves and vineyards was a sight to behold. it is something that I will remember forever.

Day 7 - Villefranche
This small quaint little town is just east of Nice and Cannes and west of Monaco. it is the perfect place to port. Everyone had an agenda. As early as 7am people were off the ship visiting Nice, Cannes or Monte Carlo. Many of the clients took guided tours but many also walked into town and caught the trains into the different cities.

We took the day just relaxing in Villefranche and ended the day sitting in a cafe by the water, people watching. It goes to show you, no matter what you want to do, a cruise is a perfect vacation.

Tomorrow is the end of the 10th President's Cruise and we hope everyone had a great time. It is back Barcelona and back to work. We have set the date ffor next year's President's Cruise and if you are interested, please give us a call. 800.298.8688