First off, we would like to thank you so very much for your planning and arranging our Italian Cruise this September. The Oosterdam of Holland America Cruise lines was a magnificent ship. Our cabin was cozy and bright. Our cabin stewards, Budi and Subchi, were most accommodating and couldn’t do enough for us during our stay. All the ship’s officers and staff were very attentive throughout the cruise. They always acknowledged all passengers with a smile and a “hello”.
I couldn’t believe I took over 1,000 photographs during the cruise from Venice to Rome while travelling through Croatia, Greece, Crete, Malta, Sicily, and Italy. The only disappointment was that the Captain had to divert our stop in Mykonos due to stormy conditions. Perhaps, that’ll be an excuse to return some day.
We were very impressed with the ports we visited with the exception of Serande, Albania. The shore excursions were perfect for learning the history and seeing first hand the magnificent buildings and other structures that aged over one thousand years. I personally love the old architecture which was the subject of so many of my photos. A few favourite sites were Dubrovnik, Olympia, Crete, Sicily, and Rome.
We walked the more than 700 steps of the walled city of Dubrovnik, Amalfi, the town on the cliffs overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. We also we were amazed at the ruins of Pompei and learned so much about the eruptions of Mt Vesuvius and the devastation it created. We were astounded by the Catacombs and the Colosseum in Rome. The idea of using the Hop on/Hop off buses was ideal for first-time visitors in all these cities.
There was so much to do and see during the cruise and our three additional days in Rome. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the wonderful new friends we made on the ship and will remain in touch with them. The local peoples in Italy, Greece, and Croatia were so interesting and loved learning how they live their daily lives.
Oh!! Can’t forget the craziness of the traffic in the Italy/Greece region. There are no parking meters and no apparent rules on how and where to park vehicles. Parking on sidewalks, on corners and double parking on the narrow lane-like streets, are the norm. No wonder scooters are so popular.
Oh well, it’s all a part of the charm of our Italian adventure.
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