What took me so long???

What are we still doing here???

I have been home from my last trip for a month and 2 days… and yet I haven’t made a peep about any future travel… so unlike me!

Well, peep peep peep…. my next jaunt has been decided upon, booked and mostly paid for (what is left?  AIRFARE!  I hate airfare pricing… even though I am a “professional” I still never know when is the perfect time to bite the bullet….)  I monitor usually for at least a good couple of months and hope that magically one day I will log on and find that the fares have dropped hundreds of dollars… unfortunately (or fortunately since it makes me stress out) I don’t have that much time for this trip…  we are less than 2 months away so I have to “you know what or get off the pot” soon.

Crystal Serenity

Our ship the Serenity! What a great name!

“Where are you going Suzanne?”  Well I am so glad that you asked!  We are off sailing on the high seas this time and not a river (I heard you all gasp!)  This go around we will be sailing with Crystal Cruises on their Crystal Serenity (With just a little over 1,000 passengers and a 2:1 ratio we will still get that wonderful experience that we are used to when sailing on the smaller river cruises).

A couple of years ago we sailed with Crystal on their other ship the Symphony so we are really excited to see how the Serenity differs!

And where will we be off to?  Well this is also a pleasant surprise that every port will be a destination that I have never been to!  I am just marking tons off my Bucket List with this trip aren’t I?

Crystal Serenity Istanbul to RomeThe name of the itinerary we chose is Crystal Getaways, which is a shorten itinerary from their Roman Empire Exploration cruise.  Crystal decided this year to offer shorter legs in conjunction with their longer journeys.  Perfect for those of us that can’t take 2 weeks off for vacation.  The original cruise was Istanbul to Barcelona.  Considering that I had been to the stops between Rome and Barcelona I opted to leave the ship in Rome and spend extra days there vs. on the ship.  I think it is a smart move on Crystal’s part to allow passengers to almost create their own cruise itinerary!

We will start off in Istanbul spending 2 days before we set sail to Kusadisi, Turkey (a nice day at sea sailing the Dardanelles).  Then a visit to Mykonos, Greece, a day of sailing the Mediterranean Sea then on to Sicily/Catania, Italy; Naples, Italy and ending in Rome! (now I have been to Rome but that was years ago and it was cold and rainy, hopefully this time it will be different).

Trevi Fountain at night

See, I brought Ilyse to Rome with me also… what a nice Mom I am!

We will spend a couple of extra days in Rome on our own so that Matt can see the sights.  And this just dawned on me, last time I threw some coins in the Trevi Fountain so I guess that really does work!  Look I am coming back!

So over the coming weeks I will be focusing on what to do in each of these ports, more information about the ship itself, what we will be doing in Rome afterwards and of course I will tell you the most important thing:  how much money did I end up spending on that damn airfare….  I can tell you right now, if I want to just change planes once on the way there and back I can only fly US Air and right now that pricing flying from Charlotte to Istanbul and Rome back to Charlotte is $1,900.00 pp.  So unless pigs start sprouting wings I guess I am going to have to suck it up and change planes a couple of times in each direction.  If I bite the bullet and do that I am looking at fares that range from $1,100 – $1,400  pp depending on the airline.  What is on my wish list?  Lufthansa… what is on my no-way-in-hell list?  Probably British Airways (last time I flew them I was really disappointed with the condition of the plane).

As always, if you would like any help in planning your own vacation you know where to find me!  Visit my website Champagne Vacations or call (888) 877-8464 or send me an email at Champagnevacations@gmail.com!


About Champagne Vacations

Owner of Champagne Vacations and Travel Consultant for almost 20 years. If I can't go myself, I will send you there!
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