Seeing Sicily with a private tour guide

DAY SEVEN: Messina, Sicily (via the Wind Surf).  Aldo Valerio greets us with kisses, like friends he hasn’t seen in a long while. In reality, we’ve never met except through email. Valerio runs a tour company called www.secretitalia.com and also works with a Canadian based company www.toursbylocals.com that puts together guides with travelers—especially those who are cruising and don’t want to be limited to ship excursions. Even though we’re sailing on the 315-passenger cruise ship Wind Surf, …

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The Amalfi Coast past the ghostly volcano on Stromboli

Wind Surf with Mt Vesuvius in background DAY EIGHT: The Amalfi Coast of Italy from the Wind Surf.   WOW! We are standing on the deck of the Wind Surf at 10 p.m. our eyes glued to a spectral cone rising from the sea ahead of us with occasional pulses of red and pink shimmering off the top.  It is the island of Stromboli off the Coast of Italy.  As we get closer we can clearly see the …

Read moreThe Amalfi Coast past the ghostly volcano on Stromboli

A day at sea on the Wind Surf, crab cakes and more…

DAY SIX:  Sea day aboard the Wind Surf. Thirteen year-old Sophie e Bonin is sipping a virgin colada on deck. “So relaxing,” the Southern California teen declares. “It’s a great vacation!” I would assume the 240-plus adults on board the Wind Surf being attended by 187 crew would agree on this spectacularly sunny sea day. They are reading on deck, playing scrabble and cards, indulging in a leisurely lunch (everything from gyros to Greek beef salad, cold …

Read moreA day at sea on the Wind Surf, crab cakes and more…

Exploring the historic Adriatic city of Dubrovnik

DAY FIVE:  Dubrovnik, Croatia (via the Wind Surf).  Where is my pedometer when I need it? It’s over 90 degrees and terribly humid and we’re  walking Dubrovnik’s famous 14th Century walls with its view of the red rooftops, the sea, the kayakers and sunbathers and our ship, the 315-passenger Wind Surf. Another plus of sailing on a small ship is that she can anchor just off shore–a five minute tender ride—rather than the larger port 20 minutes …

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Sights and eats in Korcula Croatia

Sometimes the best vacation days are unplanned—just like life. We arrived this morning on the Wind Surf on the Croatian island of Korcula—a beautiful town with medieval walls that is on the sixth largest Adriatic island—nearly 20 miles long and three miles wide.  The area is known for vineyards, olives small groves and more. People here believe Marco Polo was born here, though there is no physical evidence to confirm that. I thought a friend who is …

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Ashore with the chef to the local market in Rovinj Croatia

Let’s play follow the Chef. It’s the most unique shore excursion I’ve ever seen and it doesn’t cost a penny. We’ve just arrived at our first Croatian port, Rovinj, aboard the 315-passenger Wind Surf—one of Windstar’s distinctive sailing yachts and the largest in the three-ship fleet. The Ship’s executive Chef Ronald Waasdorp has invited guests to follow him to the local open-air market and 28 of us have taken him up on his offer. “I don’t know …

Read moreAshore with the chef to the local market in Rovinj Croatia

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