Europe 2016 : Montenegro and Sicily

Finally writing the last entry from our trip last year. I can’t believe it took me almost an entire year to finish everything!

After leaving Corfu, the Royal Princess took us back to Kotor (Montenegro). Since it’s our second visit, we decided not to sign up for a tour and just explore Old Town. We were able to see it last time, but we didn’t spend that much time looking around since we wanted to get back on the ship immediately to have lunch. As I mentioned in my last entry about Kotor’s Old Town, I really love how it makes me feel like I traveled back in time:

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I loved all the stone bricks and the cobblestone roads ❤

However, seeing all the cafes around the area will remind you that we’re in the 21st century

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We mostly walked around and checked out the many gift shops in the area.

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We noticed that there were a lot of stray cats around Kotor

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Most of them were plump and they looked well-fed, which makes me wonder if they are truly strays or if they have homes. Or perhaps tourists just enjoy feeding them.  It seems that the people of Kotor really like them because we found lots of cat souvenirs and cat museums (we didn’t go inside though).

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Walking around Kotor in the middle of summer was extremely draining, thankfully we found a bench with some shade to rest

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The place appeared to be some sort of kid’s area – the googly eyes on the tree we were sitting under and the colorful letters on the wall made that pretty obvious:

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And if that wasn’t enough, there was this huge doll sitting on top of the city walls

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And I mean HUGE:

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Before heading back to the ship we mailed some postcards that we bought earlier

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The following day was a sea day, which we spent relaxing on board

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The gift shop was having a sale so we bought a few things

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We also watched other passenger take dance classes in the Atrium (where the Balloon Drop party would be held)

That evening we got ready for our last formal night on the ship. Since my parents were now platinum members, we were invited to the Captain’s Circle for some drinks

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After a short message from the captain, we decided to head over to the Princess Live Theater to join in the Mythbusters Trivia game. We didn’t do too well, but we learned lots of interesting facts while we were there.

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Afterwards we headed down to the dining room for our last formal dinner on the ship.

During our meal, Generoso (the Maitre D’) dropped by our table for a quick chat. I grabbed the opportunity to take a photo with him.

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Out of all the Maitre D’ we’ve met during our cruises, Generoso is by far the kindest and most welcoming. There were over three thousand of us on that ship and he made genuine effort to try to get to know everyone. He always greeted us whenever we saw him, and he never forgot our names! That in itself is pretty amazing. And he’s extremely patient with everyone’s requests too. Thank you Generoso!

On our last day, our cruise took us to Palermo (Sicily). We met our guide at the port and she took us on a short bus tour around the city

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According to our guide they call this place the Square of Shame (or the Fountain of Shame) because the statues are all naked

After a while we arrived at Duomo de Monreale

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Inside was very beautiful. Much of the walls and ceiling were covered in mosaic tiles:

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Check out the details

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Outside the church were two statues:

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The first one was of William the Good holding the Cathedral as an offering

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In front of him was a woman, who our guide said was the Virgin Mary. She was the one receiving the cathedral as a present.

After this our guide took us to look around some mosaic workshops, since apparently this place is famous for them (which explains why the church was covered in mosaics)

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We also explored the area around the cathedral and found this fountain

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We asked a fellow tourist to take one of the few rare shots of the three of us together during this trip

Afterwards we headed back to our bus and our guide took us to the Catedral de Palermo

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While the mosaics in Duomo de Monreale were beautiful, the carvings and statues in Catedral de Palermo were just as breathtaking

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One thing that made this church extra interesting was that it was originally a Pagan temple, which was then taken over by Muslims and turned in to a mosque, before being converted to a Catholic church. Because of this, you can find lots of interesting details inside that you wouldn’t normally expect to find in a Catholic church – like verses of the Quran carved on the marble pillars.

Outside there were lots of shops and other interesting sights

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Another rare family photo from our trip.

We headed back to the bus after this which took us to the ship. We spent the rest of our day packing our bags and mentally preparing ourselves to bid farewell to the Royal Princess. We had such an amazing time on this cruise, and the memories will definitely stay with me forever. I’m so thankful that my parents decided to take me along and gave me this experience 🙂

That ends all my blog entries for our cruise last year. Just in time too, because we’ll be going on another cruise around Europe in a few weeks. We loved our Royal Princess experience so much that as soon as we got home my parents started browsing the internet for more cruises they could sign us up for. I can’t wait 😀

You can read all my entries about our Europe 2016 trip by clicking on THIS LINK. And below is one last vlog:

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