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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ciao Roma and Bon Voyage

Hello, dear friends.  If you are one of those people who hide from the neighbors for fear of being invited over to their home to show
you pics of their last vacation, this post is not for you.  I understand. I know that you are itching to move on to that decorating blog with all the pretty pics.  I get it.

For all you loyal readers who stuck around, you may or may not know that the Mister and I took a 7-day cruise this Summer.  We left from Rome and ended in Venice.  We both agree which is very rare that this was the best cruise we have ever taken.

First of all, I want to mention my friend, Sandy from You May Be Wandering who was our travel agent extraordinaire.  Because of her expert advice as well as her attention to detail, our vacation was as smooth as silk.  Sandy also planned all of our ground transportation.  We always had a professional, punctual driver and a pristine, comfortable car.  Sandy is with SG Travel advisors, an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel.  You can contact Sandy here.

We ran into a slight hiccup before we left for the airport. I asked the Mister to help me close my suitcase which he did with a smile.  It was when he picked up the suitcase that we hit a snag.   He told me that he wasn't sure he would be able to carry it down the stairs.  He suggested unpacking it and re-packing it downstairs.  
I thought what has he been smokin'?  

After a lot of whining, eye rolling, flattery, and pouting, the Mister finally gave up, shook his head, took a deep breath and carried the full suitcase downstairs. 

This is the receipt for my bag. 
The male ticket agent gave my man a sympathetic look.  

The grinning agent then stuck the badge of shame on my bulging bag.
What's next?  
A Chunky Lady name tag for moi?

The flight was 9:30PM, and it was about 30 hours long. 
Ok, it wasn't 30 hours - it just felt that way.

The Mister splurged for business class because he didn't want to spend the whole flight listening to me whine. 

Good call, Mister!

The Mister snapped this pic of me.
Don't I look like Sleeping Beauty?

Our driver picked us up at the airport and drove us to the Westin Excelsior.  We stayed there last time we were in Rome.

I left the Mister in charge of Miss Daisy while I powdered my nose.

Obviously, the Mister was not paying attention because when I got back, I found Miss Daisy flirting with the Concierge.  
He seems quite taken with her.

The Westin Excelsior is a beautiful hotel with a stellar staff.

And charming rooms!

We freshened up and headed down the street to Harry's Bar, one of our favorites.

It was very warm that day, so we decided to sit inside with the air conditioning.

Great bar snacks!

We munched on some hors-d'oeuvres and ice-cold chardonnay.

 The Mister's sweet tooth went into full gear.

That evening, we ate at the sidewalk cafe at the hotel.

More appetizers and vino.

The next morning we got up bright and early.  We inhaled more calories, and our driver picked us up to take us to the ship which was to be our home away from home for the next week.

We had a veranda suite which had a good size bathroom as well as a walk-in closet.

The most valued amenity was butler service.  A butler was assigned to each cabin to satisfy the guest's every need.  Our lucky guy, Rumberto, brought me my coffee every morning.
Gosh, I miss that guy.

Our previous cruises have been on the Celebrity line, which we enjoyed very much.  

This time we decided that we wanted to try a smaller ship.  We ended up on the Silversea Silver Muse and loved every minute of it for a few reasons.

Check in was a breeze.  It was very organized and no lines.

The guests were made up of an older group than Celebrity.  
I would say the median age was about 50.
I felt like a youngster.

There were very few children.  
Don't get me wrong - I love kids as much as the next guy.

Our activity director worked behind the scenes rather than with a mike in his hand trying to recruit people to play Limbo. 

It was so relaxing and quiet at the pool.  Nobody fought over a chaise lounge, and there was no constant motion of moving chairs.

We went on a few excursions.  At the most, the group was made up of only about a dozen people.

We found that it was a lot easier to meet people on a smaller boat.  We made lots of new friends.  As a matter of fact, we met the in-laws of a famous celebrity.

How's that for a teaser?  To find out who that celebrity is you have to read all of my boring stimulating vacation posts.

Until next time...

Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Feel free to contact me through comments and email. I love to hear from my readers!


  1. Since I am one of those people who just loves to read travel posts, I thoroughly enjoyed this! Italy is one of my favorite places in the world and it's been WAY too long since I have been there. Looks like you had a wonderful time!

  2. I'm the person who always invited herself to someone's house after they returned to see their travel slides -- and stayed awake, too! I've not been to Italy so I'm really looking forward to the next posts!

  3. Wow....anxious to hear about the rest of your vaca....pics are gorgeous!

  4. I stayed awake all the way to the end as I'm up for a small ship cruise and yours sounds perfect. Will be watching for who was related to your shipmates!

  5. Wow...so far I am loving your trip. I would love to have a butler. Can't wait to hear the rest.

  6. Loved this and enjoyed every word and picture, Katie. I am living vicariously through you for the next two years while I serve out the sentence I imposed on myself by promising my son two years of full-time work at his office. What WAS I thinking? More and more, please. xo xo xo Diana

  7. :-) how fun. And now for the rest of the story ..

  8. I love seeing your photos and hearing about your trip. Sandy is amazing! Italy is a beautiful place and I am looking forward to seeing and hearing more about the places your visited just in case I missed them on my last trip!

  9. Wow -- looks like a fabulous trip! Can't wait to hear more!

  10. I am a weirdo who loves reading about others travel - and looking at their pictures !! Can't wait to read the next installment !

  11. Wow, what a trip! Love the photos and Miss Daisy is a big flirt. Your rooms look fabulous! I can relate to your mister upgrading to business class, so he doesn't have yo hear you whine. I want to see more. have a great weekend.

  12. First, I am very impressed that you have a favorite bar in Rome. Who knew you were so cosmopolitan! Second, since you're an empty nester, won't you adopt me? I want a trip just like yours, veranda and all! It looks like an amazing trip!!!

  13. Love this! The smaller cruise ships are what I've heard seasoned travelers recommend we take if we ever decide to cruise since we don'tcrave the big crowds. I'll wait with bated breath as to who the celebrity in-laws are. Happy fall, and have a great weekend.

  14. Oh girl this looks like so much fun! I want to do a smaller ship cruise too. The last cruise we went on I've lovingly..not really..called the redneck booze cruise. Ick!!

    This all looks wonderful. I'll be talking to my Mister about it. :)

  15. Well, I loved every bit of this post. We went on Celebrity for our Alaskan Cruise and then opted for a much smaller cruise line, Holland America, for our Canadian cruise a couple of years later. We so enjoyed the smaller ship, 1/3 the people, thus 2/3 less confusion. It was perfect. Looks like this was a most memorable trip for sure!

  16. Sounds like a dreamy trip Katie, so glad it was "smooth sailing!"

  17. Katie, I love travel and travel posts. We have cruised with Oceania which is so similar to Silversea. I enjoyed every word and can’t wait for more. Venice is one of my favorite cities, and Italy I just love!

  18. I'm one of those people who love to look at other people's travel pictures! Looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip! Thanks for sharing at Best of The Weekend!

  19. I enjoyed your post and will be following along on your adventure. We recently did a cruise with Regent and were happy with a smaller ship as well.


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