Today marked the official start of the cruise and our first stop after the port city of Venice, Italy. Last night before we turned in we saw a notice that said to put your clocks ahead one hour what we didn't realize was that was for the following day so Jenn and I woke up under the assumption it was nearly 11AM and not 10AM and rushed to get ready to ensure we were up and ready for our 12:30PM excursion in Dubrovnik, Coatia.
Needless to say we were ready an hour ahead of time which wasn't all that bad of a thing to happen. Jenn ordered herself room service with cereal, toast, pastries, and a banana. I went down to Starbucks and got a Carmel Macchiato and a Sticky Bun. An hour later I went to go get some towels for our excursion at the pool and picked up some hamburgers and hotdogs they were cooking for the 4th of July to make sure we had enough food in us before departing.
Today our excursion had us going into the Old-Town of Dubrovnik and allowing us to explore for a little over an hour and then going to a nearby secluded beach for two hours. All seven us headed down to the theater got our number for the tour (12) and left the cruise to board a bus. What is hilarious is we were on the bus for less then a half a mile, went through customs and then were asked to board a boat which took us to Old-Town. The boat ride lasted over a half hour and both my Mom and Amy looked extremely sea sick and were extremely glad to be off the boat as soon as possible.
There is no other way to describe Dubrovnik other then its gorgeous. The streets are clean, well maintained, and some of the most picturesque I have seen in Europe. For those that don't know, parts of Ally's and my favorite show/books (Jenn loves the show as well) Game of Thrones is taped in Dubrovnik. There was a couple of times that we would walk by an alleyway or a wall and recognize places that Game of Thornes uses in the TV show. The tour-guide also mentioned it a few times in her brief ten minute tour. It was really neat to see King's Landing from the show come to life right before our very eyes.
When we were left to explore for an hour we began walking through the town and bought tickets for everyone but Amy and my Mom to climb the walls and explore the walled in city from above. This was a smart decision as we got to capture some of the best views of the day from this point and really take in how beautiful the city is. The only downside is there were hundreds of stairs to climb and it was anything but cool outside.
We made it back to the meeting point with a minute or so to spare and jumped back in the boat to take a ten minute transfer to the beach. The beach was a gorgeous secluded bay that had umbrellas and beach chairs ready for us to use. We all snatched up some chairs and umbrellas and of course Ally and my dad ran straight into the water with everyone else a little slower to catch up. We all had an incredible time at the beach, with the scorching temperatures outside the beach was by far the warmest I have ever experienced in the ocean. We laid around, explored the nearby town, and just enjoyed the full two hours of beach time before heading back into Dubrovnik.
The boat transfer dropped us back off at Old-Town and we had two options to go straight back to the cruise ship or explore more for the next hour or so and catch one of the cruise shuttles. Well Jenn and I decided to stay in town while the rest of my family went back to the cruise ship to eat dinner at the Winjammer Cafe. Jenn and I explored some different areas of the city that we hadn't been to yet, took a ton of pictures, and even sat down for dinner. We didn't have a ton of time because it was 5:30PM when we sat down for dinner and the last transfer back to the cruise ship was at 7PM. So we had a quick yet relaxing dinner at a restaurant called Cele Brunch and Bar where I had a pepperoni pizza and Jenn had a cheese pizza. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was some of the best pizza I have ever had rivaling some of the great pizza I just ate in Venice and even back home in the States. It hit the spot and we continued walking through the city after dinner and back onto bus to take us to the cruise ship.
We met up with the rest of my family who had just gotten back from dinner. We all decided we weren't going to waste our time going to the show tonight so my parents called it a night and the rest of us explored the ship. We looked at our pictures from the first formal night, walked around some of the shops in the ship. Jenn got her first of many I am sure strawberry shakes at Ben & Jerry's and Jake and I went to the pool deck and he got a beer while I got one of my first Cokes on the trip. We then found out that Jake's card had all of the on-board credit for his room so he bought us all drinks to celebrate the third day on the cruise. Jenn got some Bailey's on the rocks, I had a Vodka Collins, and Jake got a White Russian. Amy and Ally got a green drink that tasted pretty bad, not sure either of them finished it. We ended up walking around the pool deck playing some ping pong and then calling it a night.
For a day where we ported into a town, it was a super relaxing day. Both Jenn and I said we would love to go back to Dubrovnik, enjoy the beaches, the beautiful cobblestone streets, and explore more of the walls and nearby surroundings. We were big fans of Kings Landing, or Dubrovnik as most people know it.