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Review of the Mariner of the Seas
Cruise Date: July 2011
Booking: Travel Agency
Cabin category: (optional)
Mariner of the Seas - Mediterranean
We started in the Port of Rome, Civitavecchia. We had two days to get here from Venice to the port. The city is nice but nothing special it is an industrial city. It has been a good place to restock necessary supplies otherwise not a lot to do. Like France, Spain, Greece we also ran into strikes in Italy. Many people missed the cruise because they could not get to the port from Rome because for two days the trains, buses and taxis were on strike.
From Civitavecchia we sailed to Israel and our first port was Haifa. That day we went to Tzippori were many think Jesus was trained from 12-30 years old? Many ancient churches and the Roman Mosaics were awesome. The town was about three kilometers away from Nazareth where Jesus lived .
Jerusalem & Bethlehem, Israel
First Israel would take weeks and Jerusalem at least a week to see it in detail. I can?t do justice to Jerusalem by writing about it but I would highly recommend the trip to anyone. It is the most contradictory place I?ve ever been to. The Jewish mindset there is so completely bizarre to my way of thinking based on the bible. Because of all the different religious sects along with secular Jews their interpretations of the Torah let alone the Old Testament is dumbfounding. Hopefully we?ll come back for a two to three month stay in the near future.
Athens & Corinth, Greece
We arrived in Athens and saw the Acropolis from the highway. We go to Athens again so we took a tour to Corinth this time. It is so amazing to be in places that you read about in Scripture. The temple of Apollo?s was there were Paul preached. This is the temple were thousands of priestesses would come out at night to seduce and proselyte unbelievers into their belief system. Even locals knew the history that travelers from all around Asia Minor would come to the temple for sexual favors. The size of Corinth was amazing along with the vast ruins.
Ephesus, Kusadasi Turkey
Wow, wow, wow what a place. Again I can?t do justice to this place by writing about it. The book of Ephesians is one of my favorite books of the bible especially chapter one. For all you bible scholars out there transliterate the first chapter for a special treat. Everyone who told us about don?t miss Ephesus was right. Any trip to the Holy Land would be great but to miss Ephesus would be a huge mistake. Go to YouTube and type Ephesus to look at the ruins and the history.
Ephesus is in Turkey today. Turkey, Croatia and Slovenia have been such a surprise on this trip. I would like to comeback to all three spots for a month or more to each. That being said I personally found Greece and Italy to be immensely underwhelming.
This was a very nice place. The old fortress that surrounded the old city was awesome. This was the only Greek island I really liked to this point. It was clean and well kept up over the centuries but that was probably because the Turks controlled it for 600+ years. The Greeks got it back less than 100 years ago. The Germans offered Greece 100 billion Euros for Rhodes and Crete to help them out financially while we were in Rhodes.
Any remnants of the Minoan civilization were long gone so that was disappointing. Crete was not my cup of tea unfortunately.
This by far has been my favorite city in Italy so far. From Christopher Columbus?s house to the streets and architect this city was great. You could spend days going up and down all the little narrow paths. I did this for about five hours with Lori and another three on my own. It is like a maze for adults. Never have I been so lost and I must have asked directions no less than a dozen times.
Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo, Monaco
We did all these in one day. Beverly Hills, Rodeo drive pale to the opulence. The super rich come out at night but we were there in the day. At the Hotel Monte Carlos Casino there were 14 Ferrari cars lined up at the valet. Six of these were Testorosas along with Bentleys and Rolls Royce convertibles. The principality of Monaco was breathtaking, Nice and its beaches awesome and Cannes amazing. Awesome place but not my cup of tea either.
Birth place of Napoleon and boy is he still revered here. I thought the island was rich with history, culture and the landscape was beautiful. It is easy to see way this place is so popular with the French and German.
Wish K2 was here. It is always beneficial when someone can show you the ropes. We took the Hop on Hop Off bus today and it was a great way to get on overview of the city from a tourist perspective. This was good for us because we spend three more days here later before we leave. To describe Barcelona is difficult. The city most reminded me of New York City. It was vibrant and in your face feel to it. From the architect, to the scenery and the entire tourist running about it by far has been my favorite big city. From the famous park and cathedral influenced by Gaudi to the Olympic stadium, Columbus statue, university we took them all in. When we comeback we will spend more time at these sites along with venturing into the interior of Spain.
Mallorca is one of the five islands (of a particular chain of islands that I can?t remember the name of) and the main tourist island. The island is the size of Oahu and gets nine million visitors a year and four international airports. Lori and I both like this place. We went to the Drach Caves (Dragon Caves) which were nice but not impressive like the one in Slovenia. We visited the pearl factory which was less then interesting. We saw the towns were local hero Rafael Nadal was born, currently lives and where he bought his mother a home, lol. The countryside was gorgeous kind of like the desert of California in Hawaii. The city of Palma by far is my favorite city on the entire trip since we started back in May. The city was clean, open and had architect that dated back 150BC.
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