Monday 25 April 2016


Time truly flies. We're just under thirty days out until embarkation day! This countdown is officially on.

Since my last post, Izmir has been dropped from our cruise. While there has been whispers of another port, ultimately, Carnival decided it wasn't feasible to fit another port in our itinerary. Our first port was cancelled due to a security advisory issued by the U.S. in Turkey. While I'm disappointed by this cancellation, safety does come first. I was looking forward to revisiting Turkey because I had lovely time at Ephesus during our last Mediterranean cruise, but also mostly because I wanted more of these amazing Firinindan Raspberry Tartinis I had purchased from a convenience store in Kusadasi, Turkey. I know, so random, but it truly makes me sad that I won't be able to stock up on my favourite snack.

However, taking Turkey out of our itinerary also means we will have to pay a VAT (Value Added Tax) on purchases made during our cruise. This complicates everything. Our departing port is Athens, so if Carnival is charging VAT based on Athens, then we will be paying up to 23% tax on purchases made on the ship (different purchases are taxed on different rates).

All in all, I am so very disappointed we won't be visiting Turkey during this cruise. It causes a big financial wrinkle in our trip (plus a sad tummy). Nonetheless, I'm trying to staying positive because it will be an amazing experience. I'm so excited to visit Malta on my birthday! Now onto packing... how will I fit 10 days of dresses in a medium size suitcase?

Monday 4 April 2016

Accommodation Talk

Wow, has it really been two months already?

Since moving out from my parents' place back in November, I've been keeping busy with home life. Unfortunately, groceries don't buy themselves and bathtubs don't clean themselves.

The good news is I've been slowly doing some planning on the side. We managed to book both hotels for Athens and Barcelona. We'll be staying by the Acropolis in Athens, and in the Eixample neighbourhood in Barcelona. The hotels are definitely pricey. I entertained the idea of booking our accommodations through Airbnb, but ultimately, I didn't really feel comfortable about it. We'd already done Airbnb in Rome a couple of years ago and we didn't particularly love it. Unfortunately for us, we didn't have the most pleasant first experience. Our contact was hours late in meeting us, and we never met the owner. The apartment wasn't cleaned well prior to our arrival. The second shower was literally a locker, so the four of us shared one bathroom. After that experience, we decided to stick with hotels as long as the price was decent.

We are now officially less than 50 days away from our sail date! I'm definitely very excited about this cruise, and thankfully, time has been flying by. The next step is to book our tours and excursions, my favourite part (other than outfit planning). I'll keep you posted, and this time I promise I'll be back in two weeks, not two months!

Hotels with Views of the Acropolis & La Sagrada Familia aka "Hotels I'm Not Staying At"