Saturday, February 28, 2009

Itinerary Overview

Our journey begins in one month on Saturday, March 28. We’ll be flying Delta Airlines (shocking to hear from me, I know… not!) from Tampa to Barcelona via New York-JFK. After our overnight flight, we arrive early in the morning and will be checking into the Gallery Hotel. Why the Gallery Hotel? It had good reviews from other travelers and is situated in an excellent location. We’ll be in Barcelona for just one night before the cruise, and we’ve not made any plans other than stating our intention to eat tapas that evening.

The next day, we’ll head to the port to embark on our 11-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas. Here’s the planned itinerary:

Given that we’re rather experienced travelers, we usually explore destinations on our own. For example, last year we only booked one tour organized by our cruise line… which didn’t work out exactly as planned. That said, successfully navigating unfamiliar ports (given the often limited amount of time on shore) requires sufficient advanced planning. But, if “failing to plan” really is “planning to fail,” we’re setup nicely right now to go down in a spectacular blaze of ignorance-laced, ill-prepared glory.

The notable exception to having no earthly idea of what we’re going to do is in Egypt, the raison d’etre for this trip. The primary goal is to get off of the ship and onto the land. Why? Because, it will be our first time on African soil: another continent visited. Our secondary goal is to “see the Pyramids.” I know... how very touristy of us. Our final goal is to return safely to the ship on time for sailing away. To accomplish these objectives with maximum ease (and hopefully minimal stress), we’re currently planning to take the “Medieval Cairo” tour organized by RCI.

At the end of our cruise, we’ll return to the Gallery Hotel in Barcelona and will have two additional days in this fantastic city.

We return home on April 12, Easter Sunday.

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