Barcelona to Dubai Cruise

We decided to join Jen’s parents on a 16-day cruise from Barcelona to Dubai on a new Royal Caribbean ship called the Spectrum of the Seas. This was a good way to spend some time with them and relax. The Spectrum was a brand new boat and our portion of the trip was considered the inaugural trip.  The full journey was destined for Singapore where the boat would be stationed to serve the Asian market. 

Although this was a long cruise, it only stopped at the following ports: 
  • Barcelona 
  • Civitavecchia (Rome)
  • Naples
  • Athens
  • Aquaba
  • Dubai

The rest of the time we kept busy with multiple activities. Here are a few that we enjoyed: 

  • Progressive Trivia: Every day, we participated in a trivia contest that tested random knowledge. We learned a lot about South Africa (since that's where the trivia host was from), a lot about different phobias, and what random groups of animals are called.  Did you know that a group of owls is called a parliament?


  • Flow Rider: Yay


  • iFly: Nothing better to dry your gums 


  • Fencing: Yep, they really had fencing. This was their first attempt at this activity on a ship, and the experience was pretty short. But it was fun to give it a try since neither of us had tried fencing before.. plus there is nothing like being equipped with a sword and saying, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die" 


  • North Star: The North Star is a big bubble on top of the ship that gives you a bird's eye view of the ship. It seemed like a silly idea at first, but in the end, we were surprised at how impressive the view actually was.


  • Morning Yoga: Every other day they had free yoga classes :)


  • Comedy, Music Shows, and movies on the top deck: At night we had a variety of entertainment opportunities with semi-known performers.


Jen's parents stayed on the boat for another journey all the way to Singapore. But we had to go back to work after Dubai. 

All roads lead to Rome

After travelling so many roads around the world, we finally made it... to Rome!  It was only a quick 3 day stopover on our way back to Montreal.  Too many things to see/do and so little time... so we just visited the major sites and will leave the rest for next time :).

As part of our "quest" to see the Wonders of the World (no, not really), we had to see the Colosseum and neighbouring Foro Romano (Roman Forum).

We also popped by to visit Pope Francis, but he wasn't home... guess we'll just have to come back!

We spent the rest of the time casually wandering the streets of Rome to see what else the city has to offer.

Oh!  Of course we can't forget the most important part of the trip.. the Gelato!  During our 3 days, we visited what the internet considers to be the best gelato places in Rome.  Miam miam.  :P