The Steal—Cruise the Mediterranean
Venture to classic Mediterranean ports in club-like sophistication on a 12-day voyage with Oceania Cruises. Embark the 1,250-passenger Riviera in Venice, where an overnight stay allows for that romantic gondola ride. You’ll call in such timeless cities as Dubrovnik, Civitavecchia for Rome, Monte Carlo, and Marseille for Provence before arriving in Barcelona. Spend days on board painting watercolors in the Artist Loft or preparing regional dishes in the hands-on Bon Appétit Culinary Center; in the evenings, savor the creations of celebrity chef Jacques Pépin before returning to your Deluxe Ocean View stateroom with its exclusive Tranquility Bed.
Explore: Step aboard your private motorboat for an eight-hour excursion around the Italian isle of Capri. Admire the famed Grotta Azzurra before lunch at a sea-edge restaurant and limousine tour around the island’s interior. Local experts at Onirikos handle the details.
Extend: Keep the magic going with a four-day, post-cruise journey to Spain’s cultural capitals, Madrid and Barcelona. Includes accommodations, breakfast daily, and guided sightseeing.
The Steal—Cruise the Caribbean
Scale the 200-foot-high rock wall as the 2,500-passenger Jewel of the Seas sails round-trip from San Juan on an eight-day southern Caribbean cruise. Royal Caribbean International claims one of the most innovative fleets at sea; play mini-golf or a game of eight ball on self-leveling pool tables, watch a Broadway-style show, relax by the pool in the adults-only Solarium, and let your hair down at 16 different bars and lounges. On shore you can snorkel Shipwreck Cove in Sint-Maarten, hike to a dormant volcano on Saint Kitts, and encounter green monkeys on a four-by-four safari in Barbados. You’ll also call on Antigua and Saint Lucia.
Explore: Visit the world’s sole drive-in volcano and its bubbling sulfur springs on a half-day private tour of Soufrière with Barefoot Holidays St. Lucia. Taste Creole bread, get a peek of the majestic Pitons, and stop by the island’s only working sugar mill plantation.
Extend: Spend a night at Hotel El Convento, the grande dame of Old San Juan. Virtuoso perks include a room upgrade upon arrival, if available, and credits toward dining and a massage.
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Traveler magazine, April 2013.
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