Saturday, October 29, 2011

Playing catch up... Cruises 6-8; sorry it's long!!

OKAY WOW I haven’t written in a while and I apologize! I’ve been caught up with tours and shows and just have been too lazy to update my blog… oops! But I have some time now, and I’m going to try and catch you all up on the highlights of the last 3 cruises =)

Cruise #5 (continued)
I last left off about our Ballroom show, which I’m sure it went well. I’ve done six shows of that since that particular cruise, so I can’t remember the specifics about it. All I know is that all of the shows are beginning to feel like second nature to me and I LOVE IT! I don’t stress out about anything and I feel good performing onstage =). The next day was Africa, and Sarah and I got to go on tour to Carthage and a small city called Sidi Bou Said. Let me say that Africa was basically everything I expected it to be. I mean, we ported in Tunisia, and it looked sooo poor. It wasn’t a bad tour, but there wasn’t anything good to buy there. Carthage was cool to see, lots of it is still up, but I’m over ruins at this point HAHA. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I got to see it, but there’s only so many broken buildings you can see before they all start to look the same ;) The next day was Palermo, in which we had our Vegas show, so I didn’t get off the boat. Unfortunately, my roommate had a very minor eye infection and wasn’t allowed to dance in the show, so we had to reblock, and then she also couldn’t come on tour with me the next day in Naples. We were scheduled to go to Capri, but I promised her we’d go together, so I asked Shore Ex to put me on my second choice, so I got to go see Mt. Vesuvius! We took a 4x4 up the side of the volcano and then walked to the very top and I could see inside the crater; it was pretty awesome! Afterwards I went to our favorite pizza place, Castel Nuovo, and got rooms and I pizza and brought hers back to her on the ship. And that was really all there was for the rest of Cruise #5!!!

Cruise #6: The Last Eastern Med Cruise in Greece
Day 1: Civitavecchia obviously. Didn’t do much except for free wifi at my regular café that I go to, then had the normal boat drill, company meeting, tech rehearsal, and our LUEY performance. Easy day!

Day 2: Sea day, so we did Ballroom Blitz. We had our tech at 12pm and our two shows in the evening!

Day 3: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Sarah and I didn’t have a tour planned so we walked into town so we could pick up some gifts, and then did some grocery shopping at the grocery store right by the port. We were going to go cliff diving but it was a little too chilly for that. I took some really pretty pictures of some of the cliffs instead =)

Day 4: Corfu, Greece. Again, we didn’t have any tours planned so we just walked around to look for some shoes we had found previously and got some more souvenirs/gifts. When I got back, I called my sister so I could talk to Avery because it was her birthday and they were going to the Taylor Swift concert =) I was SO glad to talk to them!! Day 5: Katakolon, Greece. I had
IPM so I didn’t get off the boat, I must have slept in and was a lazy bum lol

Day 6: Santorini, Greece. Today was finally a tour! Roommate and I went to Oia and got to walk around and shop. I got myself another piece of jewelry that matched my ring and earring set, as well as some more gifts. HOLY COW it was very cold, windy and rainy this day! After about an hour of free time in Oia, we went to Sigalas winery and got try the greek wines they produce. They were all very good, I actually liked the sweet red wine the best interestingly! Sarah bought a bottle of it, so we might be enjoying that later on this contract haha. After that, we spent the rest of the time walking around on our own. We had lunch at a café over-looking the sea and we had the best greek pizza ever, and I also had the best cup of hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted! So despite the rain, it was a good day =)

Day 7: Kusadasi, Turkey. No tours this day, we had a game plan of getting coffee and getting the rest of the gifts we needed to get for some people. After we got all of that accomplished, we sat in Starbucks the rest of the afternoon to use free wifi and, of course, have a cup of Starbucks coffee!!

Day 8: Athens, Greece. We just did the transfer to Athens so we could have wander on our own for about 4 hours. We actually didn’t buy anything this time! We did a lot of window shopping and tried stuff on, but we didn’t buy one thing =) The only thing we bought was Starbucks, because we found one while we were walking around lol. On our way back to the bus, we saw a “peaceful protest” in the street…. People were marching by the government building because they had all taken a third pay cut. Nothing got out of control, but it was crazy to be standing right next to the protestors!

Day 9 was a sea day, so we had Vegas, and Day 10 was Messina, Italy, and I had IPM so I wasn’t able to get off the ship. And that about sums up Cruise #6! The last of my Greek cruises for a while! Overall, I really liked Greece… despite its terribly economy; it’s a really beautiful country. 

Cruise #7: The last complete Western Med before the Crossing
Day 1 was Civitavecchia and I got some new black boots, some groceries and did free wifi. Day 2 was Livorno, but I had IPM so I couldn’t go anywhere. I wanted to go to Florence, but I can save it for future contracts =) Day 3 was Monte Carlo, and we had our Ballroom Show and I had IPM again because I had switched with someone else in the cast. The only thing I remember about the ballroom show was the during the first one, the pit got stuck about a foot down so we all had to lay down and hide until it finally moved all the way down; it was pretty funny =)

Day 4 was Barcelona. Sarah and I got on the tour that took us to see the Montserrat Monastery. I was a little weary at first because I’m a little tired of seeing cathedrals and monasteries, but this one was beautiful! It’s over 2,000 feet up in a mountain and the views are gorgeous. The monastery itself is gorgeous too. It’s also the home of the Black Madonna and a famous boys choir. I got a lot of good pictures, and was pretty satisfied with the tour itself. We got back to the ship around 5pm, and immediately had to get ready because we were going to have a special dinner and see a flamenco show (another tour offered). It was way cool! It was a dinner theatre, and they served us seafood rice, chicken and veggies, and the best mousse dessert ever! We also had bread and Spanish wine and the show was really great! Sarah and I took pictures with some of the dancers afterwards =) After dinner was a panoramic tour of the city at night, which was alright. Since we do overnights in Barcelona, I had already seen pretty much everything they were taking us too, so I was just ready to get back to the boat. We were going to go out that night and meet up with some cast members, but after touring all day, we were too tired and called it a night haha. The next day in Barcelona, we went to the post office to mail a bajillion post cards, get Starbucks, and get the last of the gifts we’d wanted to purchase. And that pretty much sums up our last overnight for Barcelona.

Day 6 was Palma de Mallorca and we walked to the mall… AND IT FELT SO GOOD!!! I’ve missed malls! I definitely did a little shopping (oops) but I keep telling myself that I’m in Europe, so why not!? ;) We just spent the day at the mall because it felt like an American thing to do on a cloudy, gloomy day haha. We had lots of rain this last couple of cruises… fall is coming! I’m glad I get to see some of it before I get to the Caribbean; especially since fall is my favorite season!

Day 7 was a sea day so we did our Walls show, which went well. After that was Africa, and even though I had IPM, most people don’t get off the boat so I just went and used free wifi at the same restaurant I always do. Day 9was Palermo, and we did our Vegas show, so we had our tech at 10am, and then afterwards, Sarah, Ali, Susan and I got off the boat to go grocery shopping and have lunch. The shows went well that evening; I spotted my favorite passengers of this cruise in the front row! Their names are Paul & Nicole, I met them on the last cruise (they were doing a 20 day cruise) and they are from Vermont… so sweet! I had quite a few tours with them so I got their contact information so we could stay in touch. They have family in Oklahoma as well! Hopefully I’ll get to run into them later in life =)

The last day of the cruise was Naples. We wanted to go to Capri but we couldn’t because we had traffic director training, however, it was chilly and rainy so the tour to Capri may not have been a good idea that day. Instead, Sarah, Ali and I walked around to get some things for Kellie and then had lunch for the last time at Castel Nuovo and said goodbye to Antonio, the owner. Soooo that about sums up the last cruise of this itinerary! It was pretty good; I enjoyed it =)

Cruise #8: The LAST European Itinerary and the CROSSING TO FLORIDA!!
YAY for beginning the last of my cruises in Europe! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a blast here, but I’m ready to be home. I want to use my phone and see regular stores and buy regular food and have a million pumpkin spice lattes LOL I’ll at least be able to do this every time we’re in Ft. Lauderdale, and we’ll see how much usage I can get out of my phone on the other ports. But I really can’t wait to call all my family and friends when I get back into the states =) SO with that, here’s how this cruise has been so far:

Day 1 was Civitavecchia BUT roommate and I got on the tour to the Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica so it was back to Rome for the day!!! I was so glad we got this tour, it was all so amazing! After we walked around the Vatican museums, we saw the Sistine Chapel and then went inside St. Peter’s Basilica. It was all very stunning. Also, outside a TON of chairs were set up because I guess every Wednesday the Pope speaks and does some sort of dedication… but it was just cool to see the whole thing full of chairs, compared to the last time we were there and it was just wide open space. AND, I’m not sure how many people know this, but the Vatican City in Rome is actually the smallest county in the world… it’s a legit country with its own laws, government, etc. The cars’ license plates always have SCV and there’s special Euros that can only be used there. So basically I was in two different countries in one day… haha! After all of that tour, we got to have lunch at restaurant called Papa Rex, and the salad and pasta was amazing! The wine was also pretty good, and the tiramisu dessert was delicious! The best part though was the espresso after everything; definitely the smoothest and most delicious cup of espresso I’ve had in Europe! :) After lunch, we did a panoramic drive through Rome, and I just love how BIG everything is. It’s pretty awesome. I could definitely live in Rome if I really wanted to I think… it’s a really pretty city =) We headed back to the boat around 3pm and Sarah and I barely made it to our muster stations for the boat drill… we were literally running from the bus to the gangway, to our rooms to grab our lifejackets and then to our stations. It was pretty hilarious. We finished off the night with company meeting, tech rehearsal and our bumper show.

Day 2 was back in Monte Carlo. I didn’t get off because I was super tired from the previous day, so after our morning tech of our Ballroom show, I napped for the afternoon. The shows went pretty well, both crowds were pretty full and loud, but I just felt tired throughout them. I need to learn to get better sleep!!! LOL you think I would with all my extra time on the ship… lol I just wear myself out between tours, the gym, and all my performance duties I think.

Day 3 was Barcelona, and I walked around the city with Sean, Sarah and Zac. We went to the post office, Starbucks, the grocery store, and checked out a couple of Halloween stores. Sarah and I are going to the Halloween parties onboard as Thing 1 & Thing 2 from Dr. Suess, LOL we’re borrowing matching red onesies from two of our cast members, and found the blue wigs at one of the Halloween stores. PERFECTO!! I didn’t do much of anything else for the evening; I had dinner, made an appearance at the VIP party onboard, walked Deck 3 for 45 minutes, then read myself to sleep =)

Day 4 was a new port!! Cartegena, Spain. I took a tour that took me to Elche, which was an okay tour. We saw a cathedral where a famous play is done, and then saw some palm tree/botanical gardens. Nothing too spectacular, but it was still interesting. I think the coolest part though was that there was a medieval festival going on to celebrate All Saints Day, so it’s only happening this weekend and we got to be there for it! It reminded me of the Renaissance festival, so I saw lots of people dressed up from that time, jewelry stands, random knick-knack stands, and different kinds of room and drink from that time period.

AND FINALLY CAUGHT UP… today was Malaga, Spain. What a gorgeous port!!!! It reminds me a little of California and a little of Miami; lots of palm trees and resorts on a beach =) Sarah and I got to go on the tour that went horseback riding in the Mijas mountains; which was sooo much fun! Such beautiful views and just very peaceful! Before, we got to eat some Spanish snacks: bread with a super delicious garlic dressing, garlic tomatoes, prosciutto, cheese and of course red wine. All the wine is very sweet and light here! After the tour, we came back to port, and since we had 4 hours before all aboard, Sarah and I went to walk around the city a little bit. We got our spoons and magnets, and then had lunch at a café. I had a yummy chicken & strawberry salad with a yogurt dressing, Sarah got 2 seafood tapas, and we ordered Sangria! The sangria in Spain is the best Sangria EVER! We finished off the whole pitcher that they brought out (which is pretty big) and felt a little giggly after, but nothing too extreme lol. After we paid, we got some gelato on the way back to the boat since we only have a few ports left to get gelato (which is 1000000000x better than ice cream!) Now we’re back on board being lazy in our cabin and watching tv!

So there you have it, all caught up! SO sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted! And I’m sorry this is more lengthy than I wanted it to be… it’s to summarize ten day cruises I suppose lol! Tomorrow is Cadiz, Spain followed by Lisbon (Portugal) and then we have one sea day after that and our final port of call, which is Madeira, Portugal. Then… ITS SEVEN DAYS AT SEA MY FRIENDS AND THEN I WILL BE BACK IN THE USA!!!! I cannot wait!! I’ve been craving a pumpkin spice latte for 3 months… and I’m going to drool when I get one!! Lol Hope everyone is doing well and I miss you all!!!! Until next time!!! <3

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