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Karina J. Eugenio
Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship Contest
Royal Caribbean Destination: Europe ‘06
In June of the year 2006, I was going to turn 15. I didn’t want a big sweet 15 or 16 luxurious party, the expenses were too much, and the planning was too overwhelming. I wanted something simple, just something that my mother and I would be able to enjoy without any headaches during the process. So we decided we wanted to take a cruise to the Mediterranean, it’d be the same thing as a sweet 15 party except the big planning, and money spending. In my perspective it’d be a great way to spend my 15 birthday, considering we’d be in a cruise, sailing to different parts of three different countries in Europe in 7 days. It was my second experience sailing on a cruise, the first time I was in a cruise was the Walt Disney Cruise, and I was about 7 or 8, I hardly remember too much of it. So as we planned it out, the more excitement grew in us.
On June 30th, 2006 we departed from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. We left at 9:00 pm, New York time and arrived at Paris at 8:00 am, we were soon being rushed to board another plane destination Aeropuerto Barcelona, in Spain. Eight long, tiring, uncomfortable hours on a plane, from New York to Paris, and one more hour from Paris to Barcelona, wasn’t how we pictured the exciting trip, but there wasn’t a need to complain. When we arrived to Barcelona, there was a bus waiting for the passengers of Royal Caribbean Cruise, to take them to the cruise awaiting, our ride was the perfect opportunity to start taking pictures from beautiful structures to the unique taxi’s and cars.
We arrived at our ship, and immediately felt the quiet and peace of the ocean. Our cruise left during the night to our first port Naples, Italy. Naples is filled with the most incredible people I’ve met in my life, strangers don’t know you and they would blow kisses at you. Italian flags hanging from every balcony, with clothes lines running from practically every building window. Our tour bus took us to the Almalfi Coast, with stomach upsetting turns on hills, looking through the windows of the bus was the most terrifying experience. Our tour ended with lunch at a four stars hotel, and then back to the ship.
Next stop was Florence and Rome, Italy. Florence was filled with beautiful churches. The best part of Rome was being able to see the Coliseum, where the Romans held their gladiator fights, walking among the grounds where the Romans once walked. We also went to the Vatican where Pope Benedict XVI lives.
Next stop was Monaco, Monte Carlo, and Marseilles three locations in France. The first thing our tour guide said, was to be prepared to see the two cleanest separate states of France, and she was correct. We visited Grace Kelly’s tomb, along with the other members of the royal family. Monte Carlo had the famous Paris Casino, and Marseilles was the windy city, where our final tour ended at a cathedral whose Virgin Mary was made of leaf Gold.
When we arrived back to New York adjusting to the time difference of Europe was the most complicated affect, but it was a wonderful experience leaving us with everlasting memories.