Well, we're back from a most smashing holiday, over one of the most awful of virus-y colds ever, and well, back to the usual stuff of course.
The holiday was 'really fun' to use an American term I heard quite a bit. The Royal Caribbean cruise line is US owned and patronised; though altogether there were 62 different nations aboard. There was everything you could want aboard, including two swimming pools, various bars, lessons in painting, dancing and languages, as well as how to fold the towels in the cute way the stateroom attendants did it to amuse us. Deck games plus a climbing wall, plus 3.5 x around the ship = 1 mile - or you could run it, either in company or alone.
The food was impressive. Not just beautiful, well cooked food in such a variety that you couldn't get bored, but consistently good if you were partaking at 6 am or 2 am. Doubly impressive when you consider they were catering for 2,500 people for all those hours. And, the staff were at all times, pleasant and polite - and with a genuine smile.
We needed to return from one trip due to a stonking migraine I developed. Not only was the taxi fare refunded, but I was able to see the doctor, and enquiries were made into my welfare with real concern.
We visited Venice (stunning) Egypt (smelly and dirty, as usual) Israel (clean, friendly and efficient) Athens (gorgeous - with the Amphitheatre, which was cool) and Croatia which had oranges and pomegranates growing on trees (which a young, New Yorker thought might be tomatoes (!)) and an, as yet, freshness that appears to be unsullied by us rotten tourists visiting.
As it was a 'Holy Land' cruise of course there was a visit to Jerusalem, to see Jesus birthplace. The manger in a stable turns out to be a cave down several lots of steps, (which I didn't venture down as a) I am claustrophobic and b) not religious) instead of a wooden stable that all kids in a Christian world have been fobbed off with. It was also not very 'godly' for those who were expecting that, apparently, due to the sheer volume of the crowds. Which is a shame if that's what you've actually paid all your money for.
The ship is the holiday itself with, as I say, everything you could want and is very comfortable. The visits to the various countries involves getting off the ship, onto a coach, visit something in that country, and return back to the ship. Which does give you a flavour of the various places, and we have definitely decided we will return to Venice. And, there is a but. Which is that we like to visit a country and see more than just the sight it is famous for. So, I don't think that cruising on a big ship is for us in the near future.
We did return, as said, to the usual bugs picked up on the journey home, usually, which does detract somewhat from the relaxing effect of the holiday. So, we'll be planning the next one soon, I'm sure. I will post up piccies soon. Promise.