Mediterranean Cruise – Part 1

Our Mediterranean Cruise: Day #1 and #2

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Ship: Celebrity Equinox

Sail date:  June 1st, 2012

On June 1st, 2012 we went by private car transfer  (Antonio and Son)  from our lovely hotel in Rome (Hotel Raffaello)  to Civitavecchia (Harbor).

It takes almost two hours to get from Rome to Civitavecchia and we found the transfer price  (€ 110.00) very good (regarding the comfort of the new Mercedes Benz, the politeness of  our driver and the travel distance).

Check in at the ship:
The check in process of Celebrity Cruises was fast and efficient. A soon as our driver approached the luggage area,  there were people from the cruise line waiting to unload our luggage from the car’s trunk.

The check-in process  was held in a huge covered area with dozens of people working, all of them extremely  professional and friendly. In less than 5 minutes the check-in process was over.

We arrived early (around noon) as the ship was scheduled to depart at 5pm, and the cabins were still locked

We stayed at the public areas and went to visit the ship’s entertainment areas.

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Exploring the public areas of Celebrity Equinox

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Many ships docked side by side @ Civitavecchia

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Indoor poos @ Celebrity Equinox

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Several bars on board, all of them with excellent taste regarding design

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Contemporary style

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Amazing plant “floating” in the atrium

We enjoyed the decor. Very good taste in a mix of classic and contemporary styles.  We were amazed by the giant plant “floating”  middle ship. This picture was taken while we were riding one of the panoramic elevators.
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While we were exploring we heard the announcement  that the cabins were ready to be occupied. We proceeded to our cabin (at the Penthouse Level) to drop our backpacks and get to know the room that  would be our “home” during the next twelve days.

Map at the restaurant’s entrance displaying the vessel’s route

We found very useful to have a map at the entrance of the restaurant showing our route.  Almost everybody stopped by the map to give a glance about “where we are” /  “where we will go” !

As soon as the vessel departed, we listened the “welcome on board”  from the Captain who was speaking from the Bridge.   The sound system of Equinox  is perfect and we could understand each word, regarding the strong Greek accent of the Captain.

He also got the news that our scheduled had to be  altered due to a strike of public transportation in Athens programmed to happen on the  same date we were scheduled to dock there.

To avoid the strike, the captain changed the order of the ports, so we could dock in Athens before the strike.  Some of the passengers applauded.  As the strike was “news”  to us,  we didn’t care that much, specially because we would stop in all  scheduled ports anyway, so the order didn’t make any difference for us.


Beautiful decor on Equinox: This sculpture is located @ the entrance of the Observation Lounge on Deck 12



First dinner on board: Just the two of us sitting on a table for two, by the window. Perfect service and tasty food.

After the show (yep, there is a live show every night at Equinox Theatre) we went to our cabin in order to….. sleep!
June, 2nd, 2012.
I woke up very early in the morning!    Yep, I woke up at 3.45AM  in order to be at the upper deck at 4AM as our ship was going to pass very close to an active volcano:  Stromboli.
By the time I got there there was only me, it was still a little bit dark and I was in doubt if I had the right day and time….
Fortunately, yes, I had it right. I saw the active volcano and enjoyed an spectacular dawn! 🙂

Before dawn


Sailing and seeing Stromboli Volcano


Sun is coming out


Another beautiful day in the Mediterranean Sea

We saw many dolphins playing around the ship. Unfortunately till I noticed them it took me a while to get my camera out of the case.   They were almost leaving when I shot some pictures….

Dolphins playing along the ship

That’s why a photographer must have the camera ready to shot all the time….  I couldn’t take pictures while they were still closer.  😦
After breakfast we were again at the upper deck, enjoying the views of Italy. Other photographers were there as well. All of us waiting the ship to go across the Strait of Messina.

Approaching Messina Straight

 Strait of Messina is a narrow passage between Sicily and Calabria.   The waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Konian Sea mix here, providing very strong current tides.

Very strong currents easily seen from the ship


Natural whirlpool dur to strong currents


The narrow passage (3.1km wide) we crossed on our way to Greece

The pylons are the higher in the world.
In the past, the electricity to the island came from aerial cables (this is the reason for the pylons).  The aerial cables were replaced by a  submarine power cable, but the pylons remained there as historical monuments.
During the sailing along the Messina Straight we had a glimpse of Sicily, Italy. Looks very pretty, we will go there in the future! 🙂
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Wow… busy day since 4AM! Time to forget the camera for a few hours  and enjoy the sun by the pool!

Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe

Etna is located on the east cost of Sicily, very close to the Strait of Messina that we just crossed. This is the tallest active volcano in Europe as well as one of the most active.
After lunch we stayed by the pool and hubby went to visit the ship’s kitchen.   We have done this before (during our Alaska cruise), so I preferred to stay under the sun getting a beautiful tan.  🙂

Hubby went to visit the huge kitchen

This evening everyone got dressed up in style to attend the “Captain’s Gala Dinner” .
Oh My Gosh…  I will put on some weight till the end of this cruise…..     🙂
After dinner we went to visit the Casino, only to have a look at the gambling tables and jack pot machines.  We don’t gamble, so we went just to watch people win and, most commonly, loose! 🙂

We don’t gamble. Just pretending….  🙂


Equinox’s Casino

Equinox Disco Club.  I guess everyone was tired after the Gala Dinner.  There were only the two of us there!

Equinox Disco Club

After walking along the beautiful promenades we went to  Equinox Theatre to watch the show.   I must say that we didn’t enjoy the show “that much” .   We had better shows when we visited the Caribbean with Royal Caribbean  (Mariner of the Seas) and also when we visited Alaska with Celebrity (Mercury).

Boring show. Our neighbor took a nap! LOL

Yep…. the show was quite boring.  Look to the guy who was seated next to us!!!   He took a good napping, during the performance!  🙂
For a  day where “nothing is supposed to happen” as it was just a “sailing day”,   we had a lot of things to do and enjoyed our day!

Resuming the day:We woke up before 4am, we saw active volcanos, we went to the pool, we attended the Gala dinner and also the late show at the theatre.

Time to rest because tomorrow the ship will be docking at Port of Athens (Piraeus) by  7AM!!!!  🙂
PS: If you want to see more pictures I shot of the Volcanos and of the amazing dawn, visit our Flickr Gallery clicking here!

About CeciliArchitect

World Traveler ~ Photographer ~ Social Media Specialist ~ Tourism Vancouver Certified Specialist ~ Independent Tour Manager and Events Coordinator ~ Blogger ~ Architect & Interior Designer (in my previous life)
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