It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two months since returning home from our Mediterranean cruise. Or that it’s taking me this long to report back on each of the stops! #badblogger I think I subconsciously drag them out so I don’t have to admit to myself the trip is over. Which is probably why I tend to save my very favorite spots for the final posts, too. (In fact, I never even blogged about our days in Cinque Terre from our Italy trip two years ago…and it’s one of my favorite places we’ve ever been!)
Not to say Cartagena wasn’t a good stop…let’s be honest, any stop on a Princess cruise is going to leave you awestruck. But what I’ve learned about cruising, is so much of your experience in each port has to do with the excursion you select, or your preparedness for the city.
And in our case with Cartagena, we neither booked an excursion, or read-up on the city before arriving. #badtravelers It was only the first official stop on the cruise, but our fourth day of the trip, so I think jet lag had set in, and we were ready for an easy day.
So instead of a delicious tapas food tour or exploring the Roman Theatre (which I would totally do if we ever returned), we decided to forgo agendas, and let the itinerary unfold on it’s own. Many of the cruise ports are far from the actual cities, but fortunately, the ship docked in the heart of Cartagena’s marina, so we were able to wander aimlessly on foot.
The city dates back to 100 A.D., and thanks to its Mediterranean location, it’s been inhabited by many different cultures, who have all left their mark during the tumultuous history. And even more interesting, is to see these ancient Roman and Spanish buildings surrounded by palm trees.
We spent the day lurking in doors, eating a huge lunch surrounded by exuberant locals, and dipping our toes in the cold Mediterranean waters…then returned to the Royal Princess for a nap by the pool. It was our first time experiencing the ship while at port, and we loved the feeling of having it to ourselves! Have you ever skipped a port, and spent the entire day on the deserted cruise ship?