A Mediterranean Cruise on the Star Clipper

Cruising the Mediterranean on the Star Clipper

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It’s hard to believe it’s been more than two months since SVV and I boarded that plane bound for Rome. Coming back and starting a new job—my first stint in an office in six-and-a-half years!—just two days later means my summer has flown by faster than most, and I feel like our time abroad was only a fleeting dream.

Royal Clipper cruise in the Mediterranean

But it was very much real, and before I tell you about all the fabulous places we visited over the following 21 days, first I’ll give you a bit of a backstory about how this trip came to be.

Two years ago, we had our first brush with Star Clippers. It was a work trip, and lucky for SVV, he was able to come along for a change. For a week, we bopped around the Caribbean, starting and ending in St. Maarten and making stops on Nevis, Antigua, Îles des Saintes, Dominica, St. Barths and Guadeloupe. It was one of my favorite vacations to date.

Blacklane Limo transportation in Europe

The week after we returned, my beloved grandfather died at 91 years old. He had been living with my parents for years (and, for nearly a year after we moved back, us, too). We all miss him dearly—he would turn 93 this Thursday; happy birthday, Granddaddy—but suddenly my mom was free to roam a bit more. After raising two kids then having both of her parents live with her for the better part of a decade, I’d say she deserves it.

Last year, we took a family trip to Europe while I was still working on Semester at Sea. We briefly toyed with the idea of repeating an Enrichment Voyage, but the timing was tough and the route too similar, so my mom said: “hey, how about we all take a family cruise on that line you liked so much?” A little digging on the Star Clippers site resulted in the perfect itinerary: 11 nights in the Mediterranean, covering Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia. We were sold. Luckily, my sister and her boyfriend—both of whom work at a Big Four firm—were able to get the time off, too.

Europe vacation on the Royal Clipper

Simultaneously, SVV and I had been planning a long vacation to Sicily for his 40th birthday. We were able to merge the two and spend two weeks on the ship and in Rome with my family, then split off for a week visiting his former haunts on the small Italian isle. It was the best of both worlds.

Of course, Delta didn’t want to make it easy on us and nearly made us miss our flight on a delayed connection—seriously, they cannot make the 34-minute hop from Nashville to Atlanta a seamless transition ever—and lost both SVV’s and my bags. FOR FOUR DAYS. Have we seen a penny of compensation? Heck no. They didn’t even offer us a toothbrush in the meantime. Who’s surprised? More on that as we continue to fight the world’s worst airline at a later date…I still haven’t cooled off from our travel debacle.

Blacklane Limo transportation in Europe

In the meantime, we were extremely grateful that we had organized transportation ahead of time in Rome. It’s nearly an hour’s car ride from Rome to the port of Civitavecchia, from where most Italian cruises depart.

nuns at the airport

Since there were six of us, we definitely wouldn’t fit in a cab. So we ordered a chauffeur from Blacklane Limousines who would take us straight to the ship in a luxury limo-van of sorts.

Blacklane Limo transportation in Europe

But first, he sat patiently with us for hours, first as we waited for Kari, Josh and my parents to get in from Charlotte, and then waited some more while we tried to sort out our luggage situation, with no help from Delta.

We weren’t the only ones waiting for someone, it turns out. Nuns…they’re just like us!
A Mediterranean Cruise on the Star Clipper

Eventually, we were on the road—24 hours awake at this point—and our driver dropped us right off at the port. This time, we would be on the Royal Clipper, the largest of the fleet of three tall ships, which also includes the Star Clipper and the Star Flyer. Having been on the Star Clipper (170 passengers max) before, I didn’t think that size mattered (sorry, had to), but I will admit that I liked being on a marginally larger vessel like the Royal Clipper, which holds 227 plus crew, as there were more decks and nooks and crannies in which to hide out.

Europe vacation on the Royal ClipperWhen we arrived, the ship wasn’t ready for boarding yet, so we had moseyed on into the port town for sustenance (pizza, duh…when in Italy).

Europe vacation on the Royal Clipper

Well-fed—and OK, well-boozed up—we returned to the ship and were finally able to settle into our cabins, as all our previous travel woes seemed to melt away.

A Mediterranean Cruise on the Star Clipper
A Mediterranean Cruise on the Star Clipper
COMMENTS
  • August 26, 2014
    Laura

    Hello!!! Sorry my english 🙁 I would know How is Tom Felton in person, He is nice? He seems very lovely 🙂 and His girlfriends jade Olivia, How is her in person? she is cute and lovely? She is very pretty, right?
    You blog is perfect 🙂

  • August 26, 2014

    I just sent the link to Star Clippers and this post to my mother, planting the seed of our own family vacation along the Mediterranean. Sounds like a wonderful experience. Don’t be surprised if you get an email in the next few months from me about booking a cruise!

  • August 26, 2014

    Yay Rome! Boo Delta.

    xox

  • August 28, 2014
    kellyspeca

    awsam place wana go dere………… nyc pics

  • August 28, 2014

    That must have been nice to go on a cruise with yoru family! I would love to do that, especially in such a beautiful location! I still haven’t managed to get myself on a cruise yet, but it looks like fun!

    • August 31, 2014

      I’ve been on a few cruises (and even worked on a cruise ship), and I much prefer the quiet of a small ship like this one! Those 8,000-person ships just aren’t my thing.

  • August 31, 2014

    You know in all my years I’ve never been on a cruise. 🙁

    I like the idea of this Star Clipper thingy though — smaller and more personal!

  • August 31, 2014

    Wow, what a gorgeous boat! Seems like you two had a great time! 🙂

  • August 31, 2014

    Wow! I must say that it definitely is a great vacation (discounting the luggage issue). The pictures are great and it looked like you and your family enjoyed a lot. I’m loving the Star Clipper.

    Now, might as well start saving for a ride of my own… Heheheh.

    • September 6, 2014

      Yeah, with those price points, it’s definitely a “special occasion” trip 😉

  • August 31, 2014

    *Shakes fist at Delta*

    That ship looks amazing! So romantic and perfect for a Med sailing. I’m SO JEALOUS! I wanna go on a Luna vacation… can we switch places for the next family outings? You can borrow the Orth sibs for a week and I’ll take your precious crew?

    • September 6, 2014

      How about we COMBINE them instead?

  • August 31, 2014

    What an experience. Not including the Delta fiasco (it does not surprise me), the Italian vacation sounds fantastic!!

    • September 6, 2014

      Is there any way we, being The Internet, can take Delta down? How they continue to screw people over is beyond me!

  • September 1, 2014

    See, I wouldn’t mind doing one of these small, more private cruises… just the ship itself is an experience!

    • September 6, 2014

      Exactly! I haven’t been on a big cruise ship in a decade and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to one either.

  • September 1, 2014

    Wow, what a beautiful ship! What a great way to travel!

  • September 1, 2014

    Wow, what a beautiful ship! What a great way to travel!.

  • September 4, 2014

    When I was watching the Delta drama unfold on social media, I was DYING INSIDE for you. Seriously. I would lose my shit if I didn’t have access to my carefully planned packing list, especially on such a special trip! And I now live in fear of the same happening to me…

    • September 6, 2014

      Ha! And we still haven’t had any resolution whatsoever. Time to fight harder… =(

  • July 12, 2015

    such a great cruise on great ship,
    you are like a TripAdvisor.
    thanks for sharing

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