IMBA Study Abroad: Mediterranean cruise, Napoli and Capri.

We went on a Royal Caribbean 7-night Mediterranean cruise. It was fantastic. We boarded in Barcelona, spent a day at sea, and then stopped at Napoli, Civitavecchia, and Livorno in Italy, and Villefrance and Marseilles in France.

The ship is enormous and definitely engineered for fun 🙂 We left our bags and immediately explored it. We found a jogging track, a rock climbing wall, an in-line skating track, an ice-skating rink, a basketball court, a number of bars and a nightclub, among many other things. We then got ready for the ship’s dinner service and discovered that we had six amazing people at our assigned table. We would be dining with them for the rest of the cruise, and we all had great chemistry! After dinner we went to the nightclub, The Vault, and watched people dance (or try to!) and went to bed early.

Napoli and Capri

After a day at sea we docked in Napoli, Italy. As soon as we disembarked I was taken aback by how beautiful the city is, even at the port. There was a castle immediately in front of me, and many beautiful buildings and houses around it. We purchased tickets to ride a boat to Capri, and once there more tickets to another boat headed to the blue grotto, la grotta azzurra. Once you get to the entrance of the grotta you have to switch to teeny tiny 4-person boats, sit on the floor and lay very low. The rower then bends backwards and pulls the boat in past the tiny entrance to the grotta using a cable that is set up there. That’s when the magic happens…the water inside the grotta is unbelievable. It is an indescribable turquoise or aqua color and seems as if it was artificially lit from within. Several tiny boats are in the grotta at any time and the rowers sing Italian opera as they paddle. It is truly a magical experience.

Inside the grotta azurra.
Inside the grotta azzurra.

After the grotta we climbed a ladder off the side of the cliff and walked to the Tridente restaurant. We feasted on an authentic and ridiculously fresh caprese salad (in Capri!), risotto con frutti di mare for Monica, and homemade ravioli filled with fantastic cheese for me. We walked around the area after lunch and found two chaises with sun screens that were practically calling our names. We listened and took a delicious nap atop the cliff overlooking the ocean.

Lunch in Capri!
Lunch in Capri!

We took a Pullman (bus) back to Anacapri and then Capri, and walked around the dock area. We had a slice of delicious caprese cake with gelato and shopped for souvenirs. We then took the boat back to the port and boarded the cruise ship. Dinner was fantastic as usual: wonderful food, service and company. Then we went to one of the bars, High Notes, where The Bamba Band plays latin music every night, to enjoy and dance to their music. To end the night we visited The Vault, the ship’s nightclub, and continued to dance the night away!

View all articles by Deborah Zinn.

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