April 14, 2011 JFK is not capable of handling the new Air France A380 and it took over 2 hours to load the baggage. As a result we missed our connection in Paris, but were re booked on an Air Italian flight to Rome. We stayed at a small hotel, the Rensidenza Cellini which we found on trip advisor and were very pleased with our choice. We enjoyed walking around Rome and orientating ourselves to this new destination for us. On Sunday morning we traveled to Civiteveccia where we boarded the Legend to start our 28 day cruise. We will return to Rome for a week upon the completion of the cruise.
April 18th After cruising all night we reached the harbor leading to Bonifacio, Corsica early in the morning. It is a beautiful little port. We took a morning excursion to the village of Sartene which was very enjoyable. This was our first visit to Corsica. Around Bonifacio the island is primarily limestone, but as we traveled to Sartene if was dominated by granite. Photos of this part of Corsica are here. We will return to another port in Corsica in several weeks.
April 19th The day was spent in the beautiful little village of Le Lavandou. This was another new destination for us and one we would be tempted to return to for a night or two. Hopefully my photos of Le Lavandou will show you why we enjoyed it so much. Prices seemed very reasonable.
April 20th We had been in Marseille on several occasions while driving through France, but only to pickup or drop off a rental car. We never considered it as a destination, but were pleasantly surprised by the picturesque waterfront. We probably would not chose it as a destination on its own, but it would certainly be a place to spend several days at the start of or conclusion of a cruise. In particular we enjoyed taking a ride on the small tourist train and would certainly use the "Hop-on / Hop-off" tour bus on any future visit. Photos are here.
April 21st Sanary sur Mer was our port on Thursday - another delightful and small coastal village. Thus far the days have been sunny and the temperatures in the high 60's. Photos of Sanary.
April 22nd and 23rd The weather deteriorated and became cool, windy and rainy, Our port on Friday was Saint Raphael which we had previously visited on land trips. The Legend had to anchor and those passengers that did go ashore were disappointed after the quaint villages of Le Lavandou and Sanary Sur Mer. Additionally getting on and off the tender was difficult. The poor weather continued on Saturday and because of the high winds the Legend was again at anchor while in Cannes and tender service was discontinued. Actually we rather enjoy a leisurely day on board the ship as a time for me to catch up on my photos and Eleanor her reading. They were able to start a tender service in the afternoon when the seas calmed a bit, but we chose to stay on board. The nice thing about an extended cruise is that we don't really have to be in a rush to see everything in seven days. We had been in Cannes in the past.
April 24th The weather improved a bit for Easter Sunday and we spent the day docked in Monaco. Because of the Holiday all the shops were closed. We will be back here again next Sunday. Preparations are underway for the big formula one car race later this month. The crew decorated the ships with lots of chocolate Easter Bunnies and colorful Easter Eggs for the day. There were about 40 of us that are continuing on for a second week. The remaining guests disembarked and the new passengers arrived. Monaco Photos
April 25th The weather man was wrong on his forecast for today and we enjoyed a sunny day in the 70's. Antibes is the largest port in the Mediterranean, so we were pleasantly surprised to find the old city a total delight with lots of small shops and narrow colorful streets. All in all a perfect day! Antibes Photos
April 26th Ile de Porquerolles is a small island off the coast. Most of the island is a National Park. It has a quaint harbor and small village. There are very few cars on the island and most people (and tourists) use bikes. We anchored and were glad we went ashore iearly n the morning. By late morning the island was full of tourists that arrived via ferry and kids on bikes and skateboards made it a bit crowded for our tastes. We enjoyed a hike up to an old fort and windmill. We departed for Barcelona shortly after lunch. Ile de Porquerolles Photos.
April 27th Barcelona is one place we have always wanted to return to after our first visit in May 2009 and we throughly enjoyed another day of perfect weather. This photo link includes my photos taken two years earlier.
April 28th Palamos is a short distance north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain near the French border. Each day this week has been for cool rainy weather, but the days have turned out sunny and pleasant. Palamos has the largest beach we have visited thus far on the cruise. Photos
April 29th Once again the weatherman was wrong and the day turned out to be just fine. Port Vendres was a pleasant surprise. There was even an obelisk dedicated in part to American Independence. Photos
April 30th High winds and rough seas made it necessary to cancel our stop in St Tropez, and we anchored at Villefranche-sur-Mer for the day. I think I was the only person on board that wasn't disappointed! This is a very pretty port near Nice which offered me the opportunity to take lots of photos. Eleanor would have preferred the glamor of St Tropez, but we had been there some years ago and hopefully will return sometime in the future.
May 1st Today marks the end of our second week on the Legend and we are once again in Monaco for the day. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed walking around the city. It is really impossible to describe the wealth in this country. Once again this was a turnover day. About 30 of us are continuing on. Monaco Photos