Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Library at Ephesus

It's hard to get an idea of the scope and detail of this ancient building. It was one of the largest libraries of the ancient world. The scultures and detail of the facade are spectacular. 


Here we are standing in front of the ancient city of Ephesus. It was very cool to be able to be in a city that you've read about so many times in the Bible. I would close my eyes and try to imagine Paul walking through this city. Pretty amazing. 


This is the port in Turkey were we arrived. It was a very beautiful city with wonderful people. 


This little chapel is possibly a home that Mary (Jesus mother) lived in outside of Ephesus. It's very possible that she lived in this region after the crucifixion but I doubt that this is the actual house. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Lack of Blogs

Sorry about the lack of blogs but the internet access ever since we got off the boat has been terrible. I still have pictures and stories from the following...
- Turkey (Ephesus)
- Athens (Parthenon and Corinth)
- Paris
We are now in Paris and the internet at our hotel is not much better. I may have to finish up when I get home. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Dinner and Cruise Operations

I want to make a few observations about our cruise. 1) the food has been incredible. We were upgraded to Aqua class which gives us access to a specialty dining room. The food has been amazing with plenty of selections. Tonight we had a nice sized lobster tail and baked Alaska. You can see how nice the presentation is. We've only had the buffet once for lunch but it was awesome as well. We've been to four specialty restaurants with very high quality. 

2) Celebrity is an amazing cruise line. Incredible customer service and for the most part no one wants to accept a tip unlike other cruise lines where people always have their hands out. We've been treated like royalty. 
3) This ship holds almost 3,000 passengers but there are no crowds. I often wonder where everyone is. We don't have to wait in lines or feel squeezed anywhere we are. 
4) We've arranged all of our excursions on our own which has saved us quite a bit of money but has also allowed us to go in smaller groups and customize more than you would in the big bus tours from the cruise line. 
5) We've made a bunch of new friends using the Role Call forum on Cruise Critic and then a private Facebook Page set up for just this cruise. There are about 10 of us that eat dinner together, do excursions together and spend hours talking around the pool. We do have our own time and eat by ourselves when we want to but it's nice to meet new friends from around the country. 
6) This is hands down the best way to see Europe. You get to see so many amazing places without having to pack up each night and deal with trains, planes and automobiles. You wake up and you are in a new amazing port with all kinds of interesting options. I would do this in a second. 
7) Find a reward point credit card and use it to pay every bill (but always pay it off in full every month). We use the Sapphire Card by Chase. We have been saving points and have been able to pay for 3/4's of this cruise, all of our airfare, 2/3's of our hotels with points we've earned on this card. It takes a while but it is quite worth it. 

Windy Night

That night as we sailed the wind got up to 52Knots with a relative wind of 65Knots. That is over 70 miles an hour on the deck. I went up and walked around - it was pretty spectacular. We were heading straight into the wind so you really couldn't feel it rocking the boat.