Family Travels
Cruise Summer 2008
Ten night Mediterranean Cruise
10  Night Mediterranean
Celebrity's Galaxy

Rome, Italy
Sicily, Italy
Day at Sea
Athens, Greece
Ephesus, Turkey
Rhodes, Greece
Day at Sea
Naples, Italy
Rome, Italy
We decided to combine a cruise with our normal
European vacation.  It was a great decision, as this
is probably the easiest way to see the Greek Isles,
visit Turkey and combine Italy into one easy trip.
We looked at the cruise as a floating hotel.

We are comfortable with travel in Europe, so in
most of the ports we did not do "shore excursions"
 but rather did the destination on "our own"

Two exceptions:
Messina, Sicily:  Doesn't have a lot to offer around
the port....and our time in port did not allow for a
trip to the top of Mt Etna to see the flowing lava
(which is why we really wanted to visit here) we
decided to go inland.  In order to feel comfortable
that we would make it back to ship in time...we
booked the " Taoromina on Your Own"...basically
bus transportation to and from.

Ephesus, Turkey:  Was a little outside our comfort we booked a shore excursion offered by
Celebrity to Ephesus, Didyma and Miletus that we
highly recommend.

Otherwise, we treated each day in port like any
other Europe trip.  We did research at home,
printed maps and had some idea of what we
wanted to do.
Taormina, Sicily
A Taormina On Your Own shore
excursion was offered by Celebrity
from the port of Messina, Italy.

It provided bus transportation to and
and allowed you about four hours of
free time to explore the city and shop
and eat at your own expense.  It was a
great way to see the interior and to
guarantee your return to the ship.

Cute town.  Don't miss the Pizza  at
Porta Messina Trattoria (Messina Gate
and the Pistachio Pesto Gnocchi
Unbelievably GREAT!
We totally did Athens on our own...not as a shore
We visited the Acropolis, the Plaka, The Roman
Agora, and Syntagma Square....Eating the local
food the whole time we were there.  Too many
great pictures to share and experiences to relate.  
See it own webpage for more info

Celebrity's Galaxy
Take the time to "get lost" and
really explore the little town.
When you see Rome as a cruise destination, you will
notice the port is Citevecchia, which is about an hour
Transfers to and from the ship offered by the cruise
line are expensive and time consuming

Here are two Options:
 From the main station Termini (which is also on the
metro) there is about a 10 minute (long walk with suitcases)
to tracks 27-30 where the train to Citavecchia leaves from.  
Again, when traveling by train, ask customer service for
train schedules and make sure that you take the "direct"
train, not local trains which add so much time in many,
many local stations. In 2008, five person/family ticket one
way was $22.50 Euro (compared to several hundred dollars
in ship transfers.

It is a struggle to get your luggage up on the train...the
train is not A/C, so can be very hot...and if you don't arrive
early (we didn't) it is standing room only.
An hour later, you arrive at this cute little train station.  
Turn right upon exiting...The port is a easy 10 minute
sidewalk walk down the main drag (you could have up to a
20-30 minute wait for a taxi for a two minute ride)...just walk
Once inside the port, which is used for industrial shipping,
you MUST take a complimentary shuttle to the check in area
We split up our shore
excursions.  Dad, Brent and
Amanda went scuba diving
(which we booked privately)  
Mom and Erica had a
wonderful day of sightseeing,
shopping and eating
We only saw a little of the port of
Kusadasi.  We booked the Celebrity
shore excursion (7 hours) to see
Ephesus, Miletus and Dydima with a
wonderful Turkish buffet lunch.
This may be the best excursion for
seeing the interior and the major sights
Poolside on the Day at Sea
007 - Shaken not Stirred
Martini Bar

Dancing with Dad
at the Disco
Private Driver
Tours orTransportation to
Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful
Just Call Him and Talk Over what you want
and Negotiate a Price

Marco Retacchi
Via della Cappella
Love Rhodes.  This medieval
town will delight you.
It is so different from the other
Greek Island ports.
We did this walled city on our
own.  Do research before you go
Try to find the recommended
Mama Sofia restuarant
Having honeymooned here 25 years
ago, this was the highlight of our trip.  
We hired a private driver for the day so
we could fully share our love of this
island with our children.
Don't miss taking the donkey ride up to is an experience!
We got off the ship, and took a taxi to the National
Archaeological Museum, the highlight of which is
the wonderful mosaics from Pompeii
(which we visited in 2007).
Warning:  Naples basically closes down on
Sunday...if you are in a shore excursion
and do not do Naples "on your own"...everything
is closed.
We also followed Rick Steves' "walking tour" of
Naples (in reverse) and enjoyed pizza at
La Tana della'Arte
Toga Party
Poolside Mediterranean Buffet
happened to be the night of
Dad's Birthday
Frequent Cruising has it Benefits
We were recognized for our cruises
with Celebrity/Royal Caribbean and
were invited to the following special

Dinner at the Captains Table
with Mr. Starvos Zannikos (of Greece)  
Chief Engineer

Invited to tour below deck the
Engineering rooms

Invited to the Bridge during Sail Away
from Mykonos

Invited to Senior Officers Party
Chief Engineer - Mr. Zannikos
The Captain and his
First Officers
Kory - Hotel Director
The Engineering Rooms
We were surprised to learn
that the Galaxy could make
250,000 gallons of fresh
water from its desalinization