By Jackie Sheckler Finch
Ah, Tahiti… The name conjures images of balmy beaches, spectacular sunsets, friendly folks and long lazy days sweeping away cares of the world.
The thought of visiting Tahiti is certainly a dream scenario. Never did I think it would happen but here I am heading for that faraway island.
The first time I ever savored tiramisu after a wonderful dinner, I was awake most of that night. Not one to have problems sleeping, I couldn’t understand why the tasty dessert would give me such a jolt.
Then a chef explained what goes into tiramisu and I knew. As a non-coffee drinker, I was getting a big dose of caffeine when I indulged in the sweet treat. The solution? I only eat tiramisu at lunch or early in the day so the caffeine energy will have worn off by bedtime.
A strikingly modern building with glass galore is home to some of Greece’s historic treasures. The $175 million Acropolis Museum was opened to the public in June 2009 and is now one of Athens’ most popular attractions.
The Acropolis Museum sits on an archaeological site only about a quarter mile from the Acropolis. Glass floors in the entryway and the museum let you see the excavations below. A wall of windows inside the museum offers spectacular views of the Acropolis.
When goats started tripping down the hill with luminous looks in their eyes in 1400 BC, local folks began to wonder what was going on.
“Following the goats back up the hill, they saw the goats were inhaling fumes from a crack in the ground,” tour guide Penny said. “Crazy goats.”
Twilight drifts slowly over the countryside. A shepherd guides his flock up a narrow lane. A man weeds a potato patch within a high stone wall. The day’s end serenade of nearby songbirds floats on the wind.
And a 16-year-old named Ivo waits to greet us as we disembark from our tour bus. The large vehicle can go only so far on these old byways so we follow the boy to our much-anticipated home dinner in the Croatian village of Gromaca.
Now I know why Robert and Sharon Amoruso always seem to look so happy. They have cruised an amazing 1,336 days with Princess Cruises.
That is more than three and a half years of being pampered on a Princess ship.
“We did that over a span of 11 years,” Robert hastens to say. “Our first Princess cruise was in September of 2005. We have been returning ever since.”
One day in Athens? Heading to the Acropolis is one of the most popular destinations for visitors. For my Athens tour, guide Katia explained that the word “acropolis” means “the highest point in the city.”
The famous landmark was constructed in the 5th century BC and it demonstrates the Greek’s great expertise in architecture.
Strolling onto the stage of the Regal Princess Theater, passenger Don dedicates his song to his father. Then he starts crooning the Sinatra standard “My Way.”
Don can sing. All three judges of “The Voice of the Ocean” swivel their chairs around to say “I Want You” in asking Don to be on their team. At evening’s end, Don has won the cruise competition as “The Voice of the Ocean.”
Two brothers returning from a voyage on July 22, 1452, were surprised to find an icon of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus on a small rock in the middle of the sea.
“They believed it was a miracle and said they would build an island with an altar to honor the icon,” said tour guide Diana. “They started bringing stones here and that is how we got this small island.”
A new wave of technology will be available aboard the Regal Princess on Nov. 13. The Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess will welcome the high-tech gadget in early 2018.
The Ocean Medallion is a wearable device powered by a first-of-its-kind interactive technology platform within the OCEAN – One Cruise Experience Access Network.