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Monday, August 22

Back from Europe

We've been on a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise.  It's the cruise I paid $125/person for, but it ended up costing much more than that.  I decided we should make the most of the opportunity, since I don't know when I'll ever go back.  We purchased several excursions through a third-party, not Carnival.  This included trips to Pisa, Florence, the Vatican, Pompeii, the Colosseum, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, and Nora.  We also paid for local transportation, museum entry fees, alcohol, a few meals in-port, and a couple small gifts to bring back home.  Plus I gambled, too much on one day  in particular but in moderation the rest of the cruise.

I mistakenly called this a frugal cruise.  True, the price I paid for the cruise was quite cheap.  But the lesson I learned is that Europe is not a cheap place.  Was it worth it?  Absolutely.  One of the biggest surprises was the Value Added Tax (VAT) within the European Union.  It's like the sales tax we have in the U.S., except it's already included in the price of things.  The VAT was over 20% (as high as 26%) in each of the places we visited.  A small bottle of Coke, for example, cost as much as 3 Euros.

One of our favorite places was the island of Corfu, Greece.  For some reason, prices there were very reasonable.  We toured the island, visited some historical buildings, and shopped local markets.  I bought Olive Oil soap bars for 80 cents and a bottle of Kumquat liquor for 7 Euros.  We were also impressed with Dubrovnik, Croatia.  It, too, was reasonably priced.  I took an Uber there from the port to Old Town for the equivalent of $6.  It would have been double that in the U.S.

Our bodies are still adjusting to the 6 hour time difference.  It's a little after 2 AM and I am wide awake.  I went to bed around 7 PM though.


  1. It looked like you guys had a great time in Europe. I'm sure you got your money's worth.
    Where are you headed to next?

    1. We're in Birmingham now working on a vacant property. Don't have another trip planned until Thanksgiving.