|The Seabourn Legend|
With Rome at our backs, our driver, Mauro, transported us from the hectic paced Eternal City through slower paced suburbs, on to grassy hills and fields and finally to the smooth blue Mediterranean. Arriving at the port of Civitavecchia our next mode of transportation, The Legend, awaited. White gloved attendants whisked away our luggage and within moments my husband and I found ourselves with glasses of champagne in hand while checking in onboard the ship.
In a matter of minutes, another white gloved gentleman led us to our veranda cabin which was to be our home for the next seven nights. Bidding us "Bon Voyage", the attendant departed as we toasted each other with the remaining champagne in our glasses just before popping the cork of the chilled bottle which had been so patiently awaiting our arrival.
Opening the veranda door we gazed at the ocean that would soon be ours and grinning, we toasted again as our luggage arrived along with Sonja, our room attendant, who brought indeed more champagne and a smoked salmon appetizer. Yes... this was the rest and relaxation we were looking for!
Easy to get used to, the aptly described 200 guest mega-yacht provides a most comfortable atmosphere along with touches of luxury at every turn - sophisticated yet simple. From the delicious food, to the friendly staff to the thoughtful itinerary with special touches (Captain Anderssen took us past the erupting Stromboli for our viewing pleasure), sinking into vacation-mode was no problem at all. More importantly, some of the "usual" touches from larger cruise ships (queues, loud announcements, soda cards, signing for drinks, sexy leg and belly flop contests, etc) were noticeably absent.
|Twice Baked Goat Cheese Souffle - I'll take two!!!|
|Sauteed Salmon with Cauliflower Puree|
|Breakfast with a view of the beautiful cliffs of Lipari|
On a side note, I was interested to learn that all of the incredible breads and pastries were baked onboard the Legend. Apparently one man begins baking bread just as the rest of the chefs are retiring for the evening and he bakes the entire night through providing all of the bread needs for the following day. Rolls, sliced breads, and bread sticks were always available in addition to muffins, croissants, and other offerings. Pastries, cakes, cookies, and innumerable other sweet confections were also available leaving one with more choices than one can possibly try. Pastries and such were provided by a wonderful team of talented pastry chefs who had my heart from moment one.
|I couldn't decide... so I chose both the White Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce AND the Coconut Cream Pie...|
Fueled and ready to go, a new port awaited our exploration each morning by 8 AM. Most ports were simple enough to wander through on foot as the Legend docked or anchored nearly downtown in the small ports of Sorrento, Taormina, Trapani, Valetta, Lipari and Gaeta. Transportation to town was provided by the ship if walking was not possible, and in addition excursions to various tours and activities including pizza making and olive oil tasting were available for purchase. Preferring to keep our days mostly unplanned after our full speed ahead days in Rome, we chose to forgo most excursions in place of a more relaxed pace spent wandering about the local ports and tasting the local fare.
While lunch was served onboard the Legend, taking advantage of the local fare and cafes in most ports was our preferred choice. Enjoying fresh Italian Pizzas, Cannoli, Cappuccinos, and Salads had us gushing with pleasure and considering a full time move to Italy.
Early in our voyage, Captain Erik Anderssen hosted a Gala where he introduced the ship's officers and many of the staff, obviously a close knit and cohesive group. Taking a moment to address the guests, Captain Anderssen read the following poem which touched my heart and seemed to sum up our vacation and in general, our way to Liv Life:
Decide to be happy today,
to live with what is yours,
your family, your business, your job.
If you can't have what you like,
perhaps you can like what you have.
Just for today, be kind, cheerful, agreeable,
responsive, caring and understanding.
Be your best. Dress your best.
Talk softly, look at the bright side of things.
Praise people for what they do,
Don't criticize them for what they can not do.
If someone does something stupid,
Forgive and forget.
After all, it's just one day.
It might turn out to be a nice day.
With memories of the Legend still swirling in our heads, returning to real life has had its difficult moments. We simply can't thank Captain Anderssen and his crew enough for seeing to our every request and for pampering this tired mom and dad for a week.