Saturday, November 6, 2010

2010 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey - The Beginning...Almost.

We are about to start out on our 2010 Goldring Travel Food & Wine Cruise aboard the Seabourn Odyssey. We will be visiting a wide area of the Mediterranean during the “off season”, so hopefully we will get a taste of what a number of ports are like without tourists…other than, of course, us!

Our adventure has us visiting Greece: Athens (with a pre-cruise excursion to Corinth) then on to Patmos, Pylos and Crete. We then travel to Sicily visiting Catania, hopping over to Valetta, Malta, and then back to Trapani, Sicily before cruising on to Naples, Italy and ending in Rome.

We will enjoy a number of experiences along the way. During our visit to Corinth and the Corinth Canal we will enjoy a typical Greek lunch (olives, cheese, lamb and/or fish); Shopping with the Seabourn Chef (“where” remains a secret); a private Wine Tasting (with regional food compliments) onboard the Seabourn Odyssey; a tour of Malta’s port towns with a visit to Mdina (the Silent City) and lunch at Bacchus, a restaurant built right into the city’s wall; a visit to the market in Catania with a special lunch (again, compliments Goldring Travel); and, possibly a surprise or two.

Our group includes guests with a wide range of personalities and perspectives. One that I am truly interested in (and enjoying immensely) is a blind couple; who have graciously allowed me to write about their experience from my perspective. I hope that sharing my thoughts will not only provide some interesting thoughts, but will make what many people to think to be “unspeakable” to be fodder for interesting discussion of different perspectives.

Here is one example: We will be staying at the St. George Lycabettus Hotel, which is located in the Kolonaki area of Athens…more a residential setting far away from the noise and traffic of downtown Athens. What I truly enjoy, beyond the local restaurants and tavernas, is the view of the Acropolis which you can enjoy while lying in bed. The hotel’s Deluxe Acropolis View rooms even have a small balcony. While you probably think, “Why spend the money on an Acropolis View room when you can’t ‘see’ the Acropolis?”, the answer lies with the different perspective. You would be correct that an Acropolis View room would be a waste of money, but the Deluxe Acropolis View room provides a feast for the senses: The sounds of the neighborhood and the smells of Athens (rather than stuffy hotel air).

So with some “regulars”, a returning guest after a few years away, some lovers of the smaller Seabourn triplets on their first cruise on a big sister ship, and new to Seabourn cruisers, with both Veranda Suites and Wintergarden Suites occupied, there will be lots to take in and even more to enjoy and talk about!