When you see how many photos are in this blog post, you’ll fully understand why I spared you by making the executive decision to put together our Mediterranean cruise recap part 2! Ha! You might’ve actually fallen asleep by the time all of the trip photos uploaded. Plus it’s double the fun for me to relive the memories, so what the heck!
In case you missed our trip recap part 1, we got the really awesome experience of going on a Mediterranean cruise trip with Princess Cruises, along with some fellow bloggers — Coco Kelley, Sugar & Charm, New Darlings, Color Me Courtney, Corporate Catwalk, Livvy Land, Hi Sugarplum, Princess Pinky Girl, and Smart Schoolhouse.
During the second half, we visited Aix en Provence, Portofino, Rapollo, Santa Margherita, Cinque Terre, and ended in Rome. I’m now a certified Italian coast lover! It was hands down my favorite part of the trip!…
First thing to note, I was TOTALLY not prepared with my clothing choices for this trip. I was basically freezing my Texas tush off most of the days. Granted it didn’t really help that we got some rain on several of the days.
We had booked the private car for a day for when we docked in Marseille, which we shared with Courtney and Olivia. If you can swing it, it’s totally the way to go on excursions if you’re hoping to see as much as you possibly can each it city! We didn’t exactly plan out our itinerary wish list for the driver very well, but we still snuck in a lot.
First we drove through Marseille to the overlook at Notre Dame de la Garde (above), and along the water, through the city a bit.
Then we went to Aix en Provence so that it was more walkable to avoid the big city traffic of Marseille. Provence is definitely a small, quaint town, but we had a great lunch and crepes, plus we stopped by the famous soap shop.
After wandering for some photo-ops and shopping, we took the car to the French countryside to find this field of poppies before heading back to the ship. It took us FOREVER to find the poppy field, which involved a pretty hilarious adventure of off roading in the Mercedes, accidentally coming to a dead end at someone’s private chateau, and then eventually finding the field right off the side of the main road, ha!
It was totally worth the road trip to see them, it’s a pretty magical experience standing in a giant field of poppies in the French countryside. A pinch me moment for sure!
The next day we chose the Portofino, Rapollo, and Santa Margaherita excursion from the Genoa port. It takes about 30 minutes by bus to get to Rapollo (the first stop), where we stayed for about an hour or so.
We had cappuccino, croissants, focaccia(!!), and strolled the market along the sea. You also get little audio tour gadgets that the Italian guide kept referring to as “whispers”. Needless to say Jared and I kept referring to everything as our “box of whispers” after that, haha!
From Rapallo we took the bus to Santa Margherita, which to be honest, you don’t have time to see much of at all. It’s mainly just getting to say you drove through it, and from there you get on the ferry to get to Portofino.
Portofino, though freaking expensive as all get out, is so stunning it hurts! We would totally go back and stay there for a night or two if we could. It’s such a beautiful place, but you’ll definitely have to fight the tourists at the main dock area if you plan to have lunch by the water. Still worth it!
We also had gelato approximately one million times while we were in Italy, and Portofino was no exception. Granted it did melt immediately considering it was the one day on the trip that was relatively warm weather.
We chased all of the gelato down with a little focaccia, so you could basically say we were on a severe dairy diet while we were there, ha! Well that and add a Aperol spritz, and it was a sealed deal.
Our last big excursion day on the trip was to Cinque Terre, and let me just say, I could’ve actually cried myself to sleep over the fact that it POURED the rain the entire time we were there. I was most looking forward to it because it was like my Pinterest dream boards coming to life!
Despite the rain and poncho action, we actually managed to have a hilariously fun day getting lost, drinking wine, and eating endless amounts of pasta with Courtney, Jenn, Olivia, and the boys. Plus a $10 Italian rainbow umbrella can definitely buy you happiness on a day like that, ha!
The last day we disembarked in Rome, and took an excursion to see the The Vatican. We didn’t totally think through the fact that we had to catch a train to Venice at noon that day, which meant we had to haul all of our luggage to The Vatican for the tour. I also jiggled relentlessly lugging my giant suitcase over the pebble-stone streets. Not our shining moment, but we made it work!
Jared and I decided that we’d milk our time overseas by staying an extra week in Italy to visit Venice, Florence, and Rome, which I’ll be sharing photos from next week. We’re already itching to go back on another overseas cruises because it was SO easy only having to unpack once and skip the chaos of navigating everywhere on our own. We really want to do the Baltic Sea cruise, have any of you taken that one or something similar? We’d love to hear your advice on it!
A big thank you again to our friends at Princess Cruises for partnering with us on this trip!