Oriflame turned 50 and we were all invited to celebrate this on a Mediterranean Cruise. Guess if we were excited? Fredrik was for sure and even though I am not a cruise person, I was also looking forward to a week filled with some sunny days at sea!
A Night in the Eternal City
But first it was time for a night in the eternal city of Rome . And a perfect one we got. Arriving around lunch we checked in at Roma Luxus Hotel and the minute I entered I was in heaven. This boutique hotel has everything you could ever wish for. A truly exquisite design with different style depending on the section you are in, amazing service with a genuine and personal touch that makes your stay perfect and last but not least, the soul and charm you can only get from hotel located in an 18th century palace.
We stayed in a gorgeous suite with a pink plush sofa, a huge bath tub in the living room, a cozy bedroom and a cute little balcony among the roofs in the trendy and up-coming neighborhood of Monti in the old part of Rome. On top of this, it also hosts one of the most instagramable restaurants I have seen – Madre – serving delicious Italian food with South American influences. Well, this hotel was just a dream and made our short visit in Rome one we will always remember!
Sightseeing in Rome
The world is big, right? Sometimes though it feels very small. Imagine how surprised we got when we met one of my favorite colleague and her husband outside the restaurant that the hotel has recommended us. It turned out that they also stayed at our little gem. So instead of a romantic dinner for two we had a lovely one for four and ended the evening by getting lost in the narrow streets of the old part of Rome, admiring the incredible Colosseum by night and being swept away by all the history that lives in the walls of this part of the city.
Days at Sea
Next day in the evening it was time to sail out into the unknown, to conquer the Mediterranean Sea for a week. The best time of the day when being on a cruise is for sure the evenings. The sunset, the wind in your hair and only the sea as long as you can see. Truly mesmerizing!
Once again the world reminded me how small it can be. When we entered the boat I told Fredrik that I really recognize this one. I have been on a cruise only once before and that was two years ago when my mother’s husband, Bengt, turned 70. That time in the Caribbean but it turned out that it was with the same boat – the Celebrity Silhouette.
Given this, I have not seen so many cruise boats but if you like to travel with a silver lining, I can truly recommend the Celebrity Silhouette. It is built for adults rather than families with a lot of different spaces where you can hide away from the crowds that usually ends up around the pool. The bar located in the stern is a great place to enjoy a drink or two or to just chill out in a one of the lounge sofas all day long. There is even a lawn if you want to feel the grass under your feet.
Best Mediterranean Cruise
The restaurant choices are many and so are the cocktail bars. If you are more into the healthy aspect there is a great gym where you can run on the treadmill watching the never ending sea or why not relax in the indoor pool area or get pampered in the beautiful spa. If you are after a more secluded place to enjoy the sun the sun beds in the upper floor in the front is the perfect place to be. Just make sure to get a cabin with a balcony on the higher floors and you will have a great time.
The Return to the White Island of Wind
After a day at sea it was time for our first stop, Mykonos! One of my favorite Greek island where I only one month earlier spent a week with my girls. This time I got the opportunity to show Fredrik around in the labyrinth of cobble stoned pathways lined by whitewashed houses. Organic gyros, tzatziki and a Greek salad at Nice N Easy, a mojito at a bar in little Venice and then a walk up along the steep roads to 180 degrees sunset bar for another breathtaking Mykonos sun set. Mykonos always deliver and we left the island of wind with a big smile!
A Travel Back in Time
Next day we woke up in another place, another country. Turkey and the UNESCO site of Ephesus was on the agenda. Built in the 10th century BC by the Greeks, conquered by the Romans and back then one of the most important commercial cities due to its location close to the harbor of Kusadasi. As many ancient cities, it got destroyed a couple of times but still it is a very impressive place to visit.
Walking around in the footsteps of our ancestors listening to stories of how life was back then is a trael in time. I am always amazed of their construction skills. The ruins of the amphitheater, the library and all other buildings gave us a glimpse of how beautiful this city was back then.
The Celebration & Reunion
Our last stop was Athens. This is where the real celebration of Oriflame’s 50’s birthday would take place. 6000 people from all over the world in a huge arena. That was for sure a memorable moment!
Unfortunately, we did not have so much time to explore Athens so Akropolis will have to wait for another time. Still we ended the day in a great way. Dinner by the sea together with current and old colleagues. An evening filled with stories, laughter and yummy food and wine!
The Glamorous End
After Athens, it was time to spend the last two days at sea with a glamorous end – a gala dinner under the stars!
For me traveling is not only about the travel as such but almost as much about the planning, doing the research, setting your own itinerary, find the best boutique hotels and restaurants. A cruise does not fulfill any of these criteria. Still, it is a perfect way of traveling with a larger group, if it is to celebrate a 50’s or a 70’s birthday. And one thing is sure, life at sea is amazing and the Mediterranean truly showed us its best sides!
Want to see more? Have a look at our Mediterrenean vlog on our Youtube channel!