Mr Papa Gives His Perspective on Cartagena

Yesterday, we made a port of call in Cartagena, Spain. It’s a relatively small coastal Spanish town that dates back to before the Romans and Carthaginians. We were not really sure what there was to do in town, but we had decided to just walk around town and take it in. The weather on this cruise, except for the heavy rain in Livorno/La Spezia, has been pretty nice, but cool around 60 degrees, with a high around 70. I ate a nice breakfast on the stern of the ship and watched our approach into the Spanish town in a harbor protected by a couple of break walls which made for some interesting maneuvering for our large boat. The town is also home of a Spanish Naval base, so there were several destroyer class ships in port plus even one Spanish submarine though it was quite small compared to the US submarines I have seen.

After our late docking (complete about 10:00 am), Suzanne and I went into town to scout around while the kids stayed behind at the fun factory. Suzanne and our daughter had plans to go back into town after lunch for some shopping.

I was pleasantly surprised by the town. It was very clean and friendly with some interesting buildings and architecture. Suzanne did a bit of shopping and picked up an authentic, though used, Flamenco dress and some professional castanets for her dancing. She was pretty excited as she always wanted to buy a real Flamenco dress in Spain and we were surprised to find a nice one for a pretty cheap amount. After lunch, Sean and I played some Bocce Ball while the girls were shopping. There is also a little section of the lawn area where they do hot glass blowing demonstrations. We haven’t actually seen one of these yet, but will likely do so during one of our at days at sea coming up.

After an afternoon of fun, we enjoyed our sail away from Cartagena from the top deck. Thus far, most of our sail-a-ways have been at night, so on this gorgeous day, it was fun to finally get to enjoy one in daylight. With the warm day and the sun setting over mountains and then the ocean, it was very picturesque.

After the sail away, we got dressed for dinner (casual night) and visited our predinner spot, the Cellar Masters lounge. We had another tasting of Australian wines. Dinner last night was a kind of a featured pasta night. Most of the dishes included some sort of pasta. The kids and I enjoyed a Spaghetti and meatballs dinner while Suzanne had the seafood pasta. The meatballs dish is considered one of the favorites of the Chef. They were all very good though Suzanne felt the seafood pasta she had in Rome was better.

Dinner was kind of interesting tonight because there was a lot of extra scurrying, activity and commotion in our dining area. About twenty minutes after we were seated a couple was seated a few tables over from us and seemed to garner quite the attention. The hotel director and our assistant maitre d’ as well as the cellar master were well preoccupied with them. In talking with one of our servers, we found out these VIPs were some multi-millionaires. They were staying in the Owners suite to the tune of $150k for the cruise. If was kind of fun to watch the royal treatment they got. To Celebrity’s credit, our service didn’t suffer one bit. They actually brought in some additional wait staff to cover our area and make sure our service remained top notch. After their dinner, the Head Chef came to their table and chatted with them for a few minutes. To my surprise, he then headed over to our table and talked with us for nearly ten minutes before he went back to work. So, we were in pretty good company last night!

After dinner, it was Sizzle Dance Night. Basically, it was some Latin dancing in the Sky Lounge. I had fun watching, but the dancing is not my cup of tea, so Suzanne found some other gentlemen to dance with. For a couple of dances, she just went out there by herself and danced her Flamenco routines to the music. It was about 1:00 am when we retired for the night, but it was our lucky night and we would be gaining an hour on the clocks as we slept.