Showing posts from May, 2015

Chosen to Join and Share Istria!

It was 2006 and I was ready to take my first trip to Europe by myself. I had only been once before at that point and, as a single mom, I hadn't thought about going back. Just as my daughter was about to turn 21, the opportunity presented itself to cover a tennis tournament . I also had enough miles for a first class ticket to Europe. It didn't take me long to make the decision. The tournament was a special one. It was the Smirkva Bowl , a competition in Pula, Croatia, for 10 and under kids. They had teamed up with "Little Mo," a similar organization in the United States founded by the family of Grand Slam champion Maureen Connolly Brinker, to bring four players from the U.S. to Croatia for an exhibition event. I planned to spend time in Paris and Rome too, but it was Croatia that would take most of my time and attention. Three weeks before the trip, I developed shingles. If you've seen the television commercials for the shingles vaccine and wonder

A Taste of Bali on the MSC Divina

You know you had a great time when you can’t believe a week has gone by. That’s how Mom and I felt on our last full day on MSC Divina . It was another day at sea, but it wasn’t supposed to be. The ship was to go to Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas, where I was going to finally try windsurfing. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating. It was too windy for the tender to go out. As excited as I was about spending the day in the Bahamas, I was fine with also staying aboard. MSC Cruises always makes sure there’s plenty to do on their ships and I would actually have a chance to finish a book! I had gotten up and ready for the beach and instead headed to the Top Sail Lounge in the Yacht Club section of the Divina for breakfast. Top Sail had my favorite breakfast because there was always a huge selection of fresh fruit. I took a bowlful, along with some yogurt and a freshly baked blueberry muffin. I also enjoyed a cappuccino, another complimentary perk to havi

Exploring MSC Divina on a Thanksgiving Sea Day

My immediate family is small and spread out throughout the country. The Thanksgiving holiday has become less about big family dinners and more about getting together with whomever we can. In 2013, Mom and I went on a Seabourn cruise Thanksgiving week. For 2014, we decided to repeat the idea and head on the MSC Divina. It turned out to be an excellent choice. After a couple of days of ports, it was nice to have a sea day. We had hit our first rough patch of sea the previous night and sleeping in was just what I needed. I went to the Top Sail Lounge, which is only available to those staying in the Yacht Club section on MSC Cruises , for breakfast. They had a great selection and I enjoyed a full plate of berries, Greek yogurt, cheese, and an apricot tart. I sat back with a cappuccino and enjoyed the view while I caught up on social media and email. Mom had slept even later than me and was relaxing in the cabin, but I had a galley tour to do with the Executive Chef.

Discover Costa Maya with the MSC Divina

The port of Costa Maya , Mexico, had been damaged heavily during Hurricane Dean in 2007. It had since been rebuilt to include everything you could want in a cruise port stop – shopping, beaches, restaurants, bars, and even a little history. I had never been to Costa Maya so I wasn’t sure what to expect before I got there on my MSC Cruise . Mom decided to stay in for the morning while I explored Costa Maya, but we had breakfast together in Le Muse, the restaurant exclusive to Yacht Club members on the MSC Divina. We had a selection of Danish, croissants, scrambled eggs, and waffles with fruit. It was just the meal I needed to get me ready for the long day of walking ahead. The pier was filled with shops and restaurants, and even a Senor Frogs with a swim-up pool. There was also a museum that I didn’t get a chance to go to, Museo Maya. The three cruises had really filled up the area. There were two other ships in the terminal, one from Royal Caribbean and one from