We went on the trip of a lifetime for our honeymoon in August 2006. We decided on an Eastern Mediterranean cruise because it was a totally new experience for both of us. Neither of us had ever been on a cruise, or been to the cities where the ship stopped, allowing us to create a totally new memory as newlyweds. We ended up with fantastic activities at every port of call, but were still able to relax while we were at sea. We chose a stateroom with an oceanview and balcony so that we could enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea every morning over coffee when we woke up.
It was amazing to start our life as a married couple wandering through the streets of Dubrovnik, having a delicious pasta dinner in Bari, swimming in the Aegean Sea with Rhodes as a backdrop, and visiting the site of the first Olympic Games in Olympia. Each location was truly postcard-perfect. With stops in Italy, Greece, and Croatia, it's hard to pick of one single best activity, but there are two that were the most memorable. The first was in Santorini, Greece, where we hiked to the top of a dormant volcano. After waking at dawn and climbing to the top of the shadeless volcano in the surprisingly intense early morning heat, we were rewarded with the shimmering sea, and a view of Fira town that we would never have gotten otherwise. The other incredible experience, at the end of our amazing vacation, was to sit back with a bottle of red wine and traverse Venice in a gondola, while we shared some romantic time together and reflected on of the wonderful things we were able to do throughout our first trip as a married couple.
We never would have been able to make our dream honeymoon a possibility without Traveler's Joy. The cruise and excursions would have cost us about $5000, but our friends and family members helped us to make our dream a reality. Friends and family generously treated us to a beachside dinner in Mykonos, the romantic gondola ride in Venice, a day of shopping in Bari, the volcano hike in Santorini, as well as other activities. They also contributed to the cost of the cruise itself. Some of our newly engaged friends liked our honeymoon registry so much that they said they would be using Traveler's Joy themselves!
This trip was a great bonding experience that we will look back on for the rest our lives together, and I'm sure we'll tell our children and grandchildren stories about searching for the Temple of Aphrodite in Rhodes, learning enough of the Italian language to order dinner in a restaurant without a written menu in Bari, and getting a gelato between museum visits in Venice. We would definitely recommend this trip to globetrotting honeymooners who want the opportunity to see many different places while unpacking their bags only once, all the time, soaking in the cultures and attractions of the Eastern Mediterranean. This was a perfect honeymoon for us, and we have hundreds of photos to look at whenever we want to reminisce about it.