Welcome to my recollections of the wonderful cruise my wife and I took during the month of July, 2010 for our 5th anniversary. This will be an ongoing series replete with anecdotes, history, pics, and even videos taken as we experienced all that our various ports of call had to offer. As usual, click on the pics to view larger versions, and don't forget to also click on the "Vimeo" vids to view the brief live-action clips.
If you missed a prior trip report, or would like a refresher, please click on the appropriate link below:
Day 1 -- When in Rome.
Day 2 -- Bad Sun Rising.
Day 3 -- Let Me Take You On A Sea Cruise.
DAY 4 -- Into the Wild Blue Yonder.
Our cruise ship, the "Equinox" took its sweet time leaving the Tyrrhenian Sea and the rest of Italy behind. We disembarked from Rome the day before at just a little past 6:00 pm, and by early morning the next day we were just nearing the toe of Italy's "boot" and entering the Strait of Messina. I awoke sometime around 8:30 to find Stromboli--one of the world's most continuously active volcanoes--looming large and in charge just outside our starboard-side balcony.
As you can see, the haze in the air this morning was thick, but even still I was able to spy houses there at the base of the volcano. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to chance living so close to a huge and angry beast like Stromboli. I swear, sometimes I think human beings can be extraordinarily fatalistic!
Around 30 minutes after leaving this volcano island behind, Sicily came into view -- and what a sight! I was amazed by the sheer size of it, and the number of cities, towns, and villages I could see all from the privacy of our little balcony. It was an amazing sensation, the sight of land rolling past us. It might seem odd to some of you, but such a thing thrills me!
Before long we were through the strait and out in the open. We entered the Ionian Sea not long after that, and it was very smooth sailing from then on. We had a whole day ahead of us of doing nothing but lounging about the ship as we sailed ever closer to our first port of call -- Santorini in the Greek Isles! Until then, the only thing I could take pictures of was the open blue water all around us.
The entire day was nothing but gorgeous clear skies, cool sea breezes, and relaxing by the top deck pool. I mean seriously, it might sound boring . . . but boring was what we wanted on this day. It gave us a chance to rest and unwind. The many bars and waiters eager to serve us cold drinks and yummy food sure helped to add to this desire, and we took full advantage of it all! Back in our stateroom, as we were nearing the Greek Isles, I took this vid of our surroundings as I stepped out onto the balcony to show you all the true meaning of "blue":
Later on we caught one of the nightly entertainment shows at the Equinox theater (very creative name there), but I have to say I was thoroughly disappointed. We both were. I agreed with Lisa that this was one area where Royal Caribbean seemed to have Celebrity beat. Each night on our last Royal Caribbean cruise felt like an entertainment extravaganza! This, on the other hand, felt like amateur hour. But, hey, you can't win them all, right?
This trip report ends here because, to be honest, not much else of note happened for the rest of the night. We knew we were going to sail into port early afternoon the next day, so we stayed up late that night and ordered room service and watched tv in our stateroom. I left the balcony door open as we slept, lulled by the gentle sonorous swelling of the calm seas.
But as I slept, I couldn't contain my excitement at the thought of swimming in the Aegean the next day. We didn't have much planned for Santorini, you see, except for imitating beach bums on the black volcanic sands the island is famous for. It sounded like a perfect first port of call on this wonderful cruise.
Up next: Day 5.
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