Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mediterranean Cruise: Catinia & Messina

Our trip started out on a rocky note with our flight being delayed due to weather and then missing our flight to Rome. After speaking to our amazing travel agent and working with multiple airlines we formulated a plan to meet the cruise ship at it’s first stop in Messina, Italy. So here is a peak into our crazy journey to Messina.
Our first of several flights!

After missing our flight to Rome, we got a connecting flight from Charlotte to Frankfurt, Germany and then Rome.  In Germany, we took the chance to enjoy pretzels and kielbasa while waiting for our connecting flight.  The Frankfurt airport was the biggest airport I have been to. It was an interesting experience going through foreign customs and security not knowing the language. The security was very simple and felt a lot less invasive than US airport security.

Once in Rome, we found out our luggage never made it off the tarmac in Charlotte. We gave them our cruise information and the airline said they would do their best go get it to us in Athens which was the third day of our cruise. We had one more flight to get to Sicily and our hotel for the night. We were starved at this point and not being a fan of airplane food I had barely eaten all day. So we ate our first slices Italian pizza while at the airport. Sadly, it was an Italian version of Sabarro and tasted horrible!

With one more light to go we were ready to get to our hotel room. Our last flight from Rome to Catania was quick. Once we landed, we got a cab to our hotel and checked out bus times to Messina for the next morning. We stayed at the Catania International Airport which was a very modern hotel close to the airport. We were exhausted and ready to see our cruise ship in Messina.

View of Mt. Etna from our hotel balcony

The next morning after an amazing hotel breakfast, we went back to the airport the next morning to catch a bus to Messina. It was an hour bus ride to the port and on the ride we enjoyed  the beautiful scenery of Sicily. Once in Messina, it was a quick walk to the cruise terminal. The concierge helped us with finding our luggage and gave us toiletries, dry cleaning vouchers and a few shirts which helped out tremendously.
Our first stop once we finally got settled was lunch on the outside deck with the drink of the day. After over 24 hours of traveling, we finally felt like we were on vacation.

View of the coast while traveling to Messina

Our first sight of the ship

After re-fueling we ventured out into the port of Messina to pick up a few necessities and clothes. There was not much right around the cruise terminal, but we were able to pick up nice Italian dress shirt, pants and belt for Joe.  We spent the rest of the day resting and exploring the ship. At sail away, we headed to the sunset bar for drinks and live music while watching the cruise ship leave port.




  1. Aside from the crazy start to your vacation, it sounds like everything went well. The pictures are absolutely beautiful!

  2. oh my goodness . . . it sounds like such a crazy stressful start to your vacation! I hope the rest of the trip was far more relaxing and way more fun!

  3. oh no on the luggage, but yay for the breathtaking views and a nice concierge!

  4. Wow...what a mess of traveling at the beginning...it all turned out to be well worth it, though!

  5. I have just come back from Italy. Stunning pictures! I can't believe that you got to see Mount Etna!! What a palava...but I hope you truly enjoyed the rest of it though!


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