Now that I’m writing this post, I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I returned home from the Royal Princess Cruises. My gal pal, Courtney who writes Color Me Courtney, invited me as her +1 for the Mediterranean excursion. This was a nine day trip, so it was important for me to have pieces that could be worn while on the ship and during the day for our shore excursions. There were many pieces that I included from the Ann Taylor summer collection on my travels. The outfit above, I wore a few times while exploring on the cruise ship and dressed up with heels for our formal group dinner. Adventure awaits…
Our trip started in the beautiful city of Barcelona. After checking into our hotel, URH San Sebastián Playa Hotel, in the city of Sitges, which is thirty minutes outside the city, we boarded a bus and headed into town. While in Barcelona, we walked around, picked up a few necessary items(my luggage didn’t make it onto my connecting flight :(), and enjoyed paella at an outdoor cafe. The morning before we boarded the ship, I went out for an early morning run and headed back to the hotel to snap a few photos in the beautiful city of Sitges. Thank goodness I packed a few outfits on my carryon. This Ann Taylor dress was the perfect breezy dress for me to walk around for the day and explore this lovely beach town. Typically, I’d wear this dress with nude sandals, but those didn’t arrived with the rest of the luggage, so I went with my white sneakers! Check out the full post here.
All aboard! Our first stop Cartagena, Spain…
Since this was my first cruise, I wasn’t sure exactly what to think as we made our way through the ship to find our room. We quickly unpacked and made ourselves at home. The following day we docked in the port of Cartagena and started our first excursion. We chose to visit a traditional Spanish Ranch on the Cartagena countryside. The Spanish horses were mesmerizing. After spending the afternoon on the ranch, we headed back to the City of Cartagena to walk around and enjoy the beautiful weather. Around 5pm, we boarded the ship and headed south to Gibraltar.
Gibraltar, a part of British territory, sits at the southern tip of Spain. From the top of the highest rock on the port, you can see Morocco. Instead of participating in a shore excursion, we decide to walk around the port and explore. You see more photos from our trip to Gibraltar here.
That evening we boarded the ship and set in for a full day at sea. We were at the southern tip of Spain and our next destination was in the south of France, Marseille.
In Marseille, we tagged along with Ashley and Jared, founders of Sugar of Cloth, to explore for the day. We were lucky to have someone drive us around all day, so we were able to see a few extra places. We stopped to see the Notre-Dame de la Garde and then headed to the city Aix-en-Provence. We walked around, exploring the city and stopping to eat burger and fries. Of course we did :). Rumor had it that beautiful poppy fields surrounded Aix-en Provence, but we weren’t able to find any in the city. Thank goodness for Instagram and Pinterest, we somehow located these beautiful poppy fields. It was a little adventure trying to find these flowers but we finally found them alongside a main road. Our driver was a good sport about it, but I think he had to give his car a nice wash after having us go up and down dirt roads to find the fields. Getting close to our boarding time, we hurried back to the ship to enjoy the last of the sun and get ready for dinner.
The next morning we arrived in Genoa, Italy. If I were to take a trip to Italy, this is one place I’d want to revisit. This was also my first time in Italy. I cannot say enough good things about the Italians and Italy. The people were so welcoming and the country was beautiful. While exploring Genoa, I opted for my striped Ann Taylor dress and blazer (you can see the office version of this look here). Since we’d be near the water for the day, I wanted something to cover up, just in case it got a little chilly outside.
We first stopped in Santa Margherita, which is a traditional Italian area. The city was filled with colorful houses and the streets were full of Italians from the surrounding areas. After grabbing a quick bite at a local pizzeria, we headed north to Portofino.
Portofino, Italy is absolutely stunning. The picturesque harbour was breathtaking. If I were to take a summer off and travel Europe, I’d want to stay in Portofino, drink red wine, read lots of books and get lots of R&R. We were only in the city for a few hours. Courtney and I walked around, snapped lots of photos and enjoyed gelato as we waited for the boats to come get us and take us back to reality.
The last stop on the cruise was the Port of Livorno. After a few days at sea, I was feeling a little under the weather and the forecast was full of rain. I decided to stay back and walk around Livorno on my own, while the rest of the crew headed to the Cinque Terre. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to walk around aimlessly. This isn’t always easily when traveling in a group, so it was the perfect time to walk around in circles, walk in and out of shops, stop for coffee and take in the city of Livorno.
That evening we had one last dinner together and I wore this Ann Taylor dress and wedges to bid everyone farewell. As bitter sweet as it was to pack up and get ready for a 9 hour flight back to New York, I was ready to see Matt and my furry animals! Thankful to Ann Taylor and having the opportunity to experience a little bit of Europe this summer. Looking forward to seeing more during my next trip!
Big thanks to Ann Taylor and team for sponsoring today’s post. As a long time customer of Ann Taylor, I’m thankful be part of a wonderful partnership.