Rome to Barcelona and back!
("And the Monte Carlo stop was a plus!" cites Erma Packman)
Mediterranean Magic!

(The following was extracted from Holland America’s 1995 European Cruise brochure. True, it’s a soft sell piece for H/A, but it’s well written and covers many of the sights and scenes we experienced on our September, 1995 CLUB 44 cruise.)

            Who among us hasn’t dreamed of joining the jet setters at the gaming tables of Monte Carlo … of sipping espresso in a Naples piazza … of shopping little boutiques of high fashion on Rome’s Via Condotti.  Come, la dolce vita is within your grasp on our Western Mediterranean Cruise.

         One day out of Rome finds you cruising through Italy’s Lipari Islands. You find a comfortable deck chair on the Lido (close to the pool and pasta bar) and watch as the tiny islands parade by. Right past the smoldering islet of Stromboli and the Strait of Messina.

         On Malta the Palace of the Grand Masters (legacy of the heroic knights of the Order of St. John) awaits your inspection, and yards of intricate Maltese lace flow from the market stalls.

         And on Sardinia there is lovely Alghero to explore. Wander through cobbled Old Town, peeking in every little shop … explore the eerie world of Grotto de Nettuno, one of the most stunning undersea caves in the Mediterranean.

         Suddenly you are at the western end of the Mediterranean. In Spain’s Balearic Islands. And you got there so effortlessly, cruising along, having a wonderful time. Ashore, in Mahon, Minorca, shop for famous Mallorcan pearls. Dine on paella, seasoned with the island’s famous vinegar.

         Then on to Barcelona, where you will find the “Modernismo” fantasies of architect Antonio Gaudi and the numerous 11th century splendors of the Montserrat Monastery perched high in the mountains.

         Next, a day in Provence. From  Marseille, follow the scent of thyme, rosemary and lavender … inland to taste the riches of the realm: Avignon, city of the Popes; Arles, inspiration for Cezanne.

         After whirling the roulette wheel in the Maasdam’s casino (with a gambling lesson from the casino staff), you arrive in Monte Carlo ready to take on all bets. Have you ever seen such an opulent casino? Or felt so lucky?

         All things Italian are next … Prosciutto with melon in the Rotterdam Dining Room ... Fettuccine Alfredo at the Pasta Bar. Exciting cities to explore … Florence, epicenter of the Italian Remaissance … Pisa, where the famous tower tilts … Naples, gateway to Pompeii and the Amalfi Drive … Then Rome again.

Erma Fuchs Packman, AB 44
Washington, D.C.