It's only 8 days until The Compadre's Cruise of 2008 commences. There's a lot of excitement, nervousness and anticipation as the last few details are being worked out. Actually, I think a lot of the anxiety might stem from what and how to pack! :-) Perhaps I should provide a little background as to how this whole adventure has come about...
One night, while enjoying the company of friends and playing games, we decided to take a trip. My friends and I wanted to go back to the Middle East as our love for Israel continues to grow from our previous trips. While it didn't seem prudent at the time to just tour Israel, we decided upon a Holland America cruise. The itinerary was fantastic - the first time Holland has presented it, in fact. We're embarking on a 14 day cruise of the Mediterranean and the Black Seas - "Black Sea & Egyptian Explorer"! I've always wanted to go to Egypt. Last year, we tried and got as close as the Israeli-Egyptian border, but our taxi driver was adamant that we not go in and by the looks of the guards at the border...it was probably a wise decision.
Our itinerary is great. We start from Athens, Greece and continue to Istanbul for two days, overnighting on the ship. From there, we go into the Black Sea and visit Sochi, Russia. Then, it's off to Sevastopol, Ukraine; Constanta, Romania; Varna, Bulgaria: Haifa, Israel; Limassol, Cyprus and finally, Alexandria, Egypt before returning to Athens.
The planning and preparation for this adventure has gone really well. In fact, maybe a little too well. It seems that there is rarely a trip planned (by anyone) of any magnitude that there isn't a little hiccup that has to be calmed, or a wrinkle to be smoothed. I had commented earlier that I couldn't believe how we hadn't encountered one with only 10 days to go. That is...until yesterday morning. The hotel that we had planned to stay at upon arrival into Athens prior to the cruise - cancelled. Yep. Cancelled. Granted, it wasn't the end of the world, but holy cow - none of us really wanted to spend the day of arrival at the airport. We get in at 12:50 in the morning and the ship doesn't sail until 5pm. That's a really long time checking out the local airport. Seriously. So, what's a girl to do?
I let my fingers do the walking and after looking extensively, finally found a hotel that offered triple rooms. Oh, and one that didn't break the bank. We'd all like to have a few coins to spend on the trip - and not all at once before we even set sail! Oh, I should mention that there is some sort of National celebration that is going on in Greece that created a shortage of inexpensive hotel rooms. It's going to work out - of that, I am certain!
It's my intention to chronicle the adventure as we go, so keep checking back and please, feel free to leave comments!