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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Landrum in Europe: Our Last Days

May 28th, 2010

After many days of shore excursions (including one that involved climbing a volcano!), we finally had a little more rest and relaxation in the form of a sea day.  Mr. L and I were happy to lounge around the ship, eat, and relax.

We’d even seen some dolphins jumping around the bow of the ship from our cabin’s TV, so we rushed out to the deck to watch them play.  I didn’t capture any pictures, unfortunately, but it was still fun to see!

We chose to eat at the ship’s Mexican-themed restaurant that evening, and this was the only time that we decided to eat at one of the “pay” restaurants Norwegian Cruise Line offers.  The food was just alright, and we concluded that after you actually looked at all of the things that aren’t included in your typical cruise ticket, it wasn’t really nice that we opted to pay extra for food from some restaurants on board.  But more on that later in my mini-review of our cruise :)

We did get to experience a Mediterranean sunset that evening though, and it was absolutely gorgeous.

The sunset, the stunningly blue water, and the relaxed atmosphere made for a treasured day amidst the chaos of ports and itineraries.

May 29th, 2010

Unlike the day before, the 29th was not another sea day, but a port day!  That morning we pulled into Palma de Mallorca on an island located off the west coast of Spain.  For what was officially our last full day of our cruise, we chose again to indulge in some relaxation.

We did go up on deck to check out the city of Palma from a distance, and it was so beautiful!

Palma's La Seu Cathedral, built between 1229 and 1346.
Bellver Castle, built in the 14th century, and one of Europe's few round castles
The sunburned Landrums in Palma!
We also roamed around the cruise ship, doing various activities and admiring others, such as:

Giant chess board
Giant checkers
Pool area
Place to practice your golf swing
Jogging track
The ship's main lounge (which I must say isn't nearly as impressive as pictures I've seen of other ships' lounges)
And of course reading on the deck!
That evening, as we pulled away from Palma, we played a little more giant chess while I took some pictures of our ever-changing scenery.

Leaving port
Goodbye, Palma!

We soaked up our last day, in some ways eager to return home, and in other ways, wanting to do it all over again.

May 30th, 2010

After many fun-filled, crazy busy, and also relaxing days on board the Norwegian Jade, it was time to finally debark and spend our last evening in Barcelona.

We had our last breakfast in the buffet and departed relatively early.  We took a taxi to the same hotel we stayed in the first time, the H10 Montcada, and since we were pretty early, we left our luggage with the hotel to wander the streets of Barcelona for a while.

Unfortunately for us, we didn't realize that everything would be closed since it was Sunday!  We did manage to find some coffee in the haven of Starbucks (ironic!) and we mulled over our trip for a bit.  Then we made our way back to the hotel and read newspapers and whatnot until our room, which was pretty much the same as our first room with a slightly different layout, was ready.

We spent the rest of the day reliving our experiences, recovering, and of course going to bed early for our 6AM flight.

May 31st, 2010

Unfortunately for us, the worst happened – we overslept the next morning.  We woke up about ten minutes before we were supposed to leave the hotel, and we barely managed to make it out of the door with all of our belongings.  I’m still amazed we didn't leave behind anything that I know of!

After rushing to the airport via taxi and checking in at the Lufthansa desk, we literally made it to our gate with no time to spare – the flight was already beginning to board.  We said our thank you prayers, boarded the plane, and said goodbye to one of the most beautiful countries I’d ever been in.

We took the same route back through Germany (where we had another pretty ridiculously long layover so we bought presents!) and finally to U.S. soil via Charlotte, NC.  After only a short while in Charlotte to grab a bite to eat, we boarded our final plane to Biloxi, where we were greeted by my parents.  It was definitely good to finally be home – I’d missed seeing signs in English and other little things like that :)

It took a few days for us to fully recover from the trip, but it was absolutely worth it.  Next time, though, I probably wouldn't do the cruise part again.  It was nice being able to hit so many ports in such little time, but Mr. L and I really didn't enjoy the actual boat part of the cruise like we thought we would.  We just felt like anything fun (the casino, eating at the better restaurants, drinking, etc.) would've been additional money that we weren't comfortable spending, so we opted not to participate in those activities, especially after doing the shore excursions we chose.

We may consider taking another cruise in the future, possibly to Alaska or the Caribbean, but we may just decide to vacation on our own.  It could turn out to be more fun that way, and definitely more immersive.

Overall, our honeymoon cruise to the Mediterranean was an amazing experience, and I’m so glad we were able to go.  We got to see so many different, beautiful, and fantastic places, and I wouldn't trade our time there for anything.  I’m looking forward to going back to Europe, but maybe without the cruise ship part :)


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