Mediterranean Cruise 2018: The Trip of a Lifetime

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas. Photo credit Lori Wagner.

It’s been coming up in my memories for almost a week now. Two years ago, we were on the trip of a lifetime; a Mediterranean cruise that began in Barcelona, went to Nice, Florence/Pisa, Rome, Amalfi Coast, Venice, Split, and Kotor before returning to Barcelona.

My son Danny graduated high school that year. When we lived in New York and the kids achieved some milestone, I always gave them a choice between a family party or a trip somewhere. They always opted for the trip. Danny wanted to see Italy. I’d been talking with friends already about a Mediterranean cruise, so here we were.

We were traveling from New Hampshire. The cost to park at Logan Airport for 2 weeks was prohibitive (still is) so we took a bus to the Airport. We flew overnight on Norwegian Air, changing planes in Madrid for Barcelona. I slept lightly and I don’t think Danny slept at all.

Is this a typical American tourist or what?

We nearly missed our connection in Madrid. We made it but our luggage did not. I had arranged for a car and driver to pick us up, but since our luggage did not appear we spent 2+ hours in Barcelona Airport dealing with that so our driver was gone by the time we looked for him. Fortunately, a taxi strike that had prompted me to scramble to hire a driver had ended and we caught a taxi to our hotel.

Our room wasn’t ready, as is the case most of the time with red-eye flights. Our friends had left the airport while we waited and had managed to get a room. I should have just gone up and laid down in her room, but we hung out in the lobby. It was hot, and I was too tired to even try to do any touring. We had 3 days to see the sights of Barcelona anyway.

The Tryp Wyndham Barcelona Apolo Hotel was where all of us were staying, arriving in increments from around the U.S. It was a really nice hotel and centrally located. The breakfast there every morning was included with our rate and very good. We also dined there the first night. Each room had a different picture over the beds.

Everything was good. My son even tried a burger with fried onions on it and enjoyed it, although it seemed to be a bit too many onions so he took some off. The Sangria was excellent, as were the drinks at the bar. We tipped the bartender good during the stay, and he kept trying to tell us it was too much, but we decided to be obnoxious Americans and over-tip regardless.

Our lost luggage was also delivered later that night. We’d be set the next day for touring.

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