I realize I promised a port by port summary of our fabulous cruise vacation, but I am getting tweets from my hundreds of blog fans telling me to move on.  So this is the final blog on our vacation.  A summary,if you wish,and a commentary of advice for future followers in our adventure.

Two days in Venice was just about right.  To quote Julius Caesar, we came, we saw, we conquered.  One more water bus ride up and down the Grand Canal would have been one more than we needed.

The next day at Ravenna,south of Venice was a non event.  Pat and Krystal went to see the ruins but the rest of us chose to relax on the ship and recover from the previous few days.  In hindsight, given the hundreds of Roman ruins we were about to see, a good decision.  Sunshine was great so we could lounge around the pools and relax and try to acclimatize to the time zone.

Dubrovnik was wonderful and thanks to all the advice we were given we had an early start, walked the walls and were back aboard by 2 pm to avoid the monster thunderstorm that filled the rest of the day.  Our thanks to Sandra and Rick Steves for the advice to get to the Old Town early to walk the walls.  When we got off to explore the town the lineup to go up was at least an hour long.  A huge regret was that due to the overcast and rain we did not see the glorious scenery for the islands and coast of Croatia as we sailed in and departed.

Next day was in Athens where we took a bus to visit the Acropolis.  Actually we saw more than that but that is the memory.  A highlight of the visit to the escarpment was for Blaine to point out in the town below where he spent a couple of weeks in his VW van in 1972 vegging and drinking wine and never bothering to climb up to see the cradle of democracy.  The rest of Athens is a blur.

Next day off to Ephesus in Turkey.  This was at one time a major Roman city.  Rumor has it that this is where Mary (the mother of Jesus) spent her later years.  It was an important city that was abandoned when the port silted up but unlike Pompeii not buried by ash but by silt.  There was a huge amphitheater where apparently Saint Paul used to give speeches to convert locals to early Christians.  I wanted to go down to the stage to give my opinion on life to the gathered tourists in the banks of seats, but we were hard pressed for time and moved on.  My one and only visit to Turkey, and absolutely no impression of the country.

Next day in Mykonos.  Already did a blog on that.

After a day at sea we sailed into Naples and took the normal bus tour to Pompeii.  When I was a kid I read a Readers Digest book on the discovery and history of Pompeii which was just going through excavation.  Pictures of the forms of bodies made from plaster made the story seem so real.  Biggest discovery for me was the vast size of the town and scale of the excavations.  As a tour group, we only saw a small fraction of the town and the almost boring, now encased body forms and rooms.  The thousands of people crowding around and the obvious tourist route through the sites, did not excite me or remind me the impression of the personal disaster as the book I read 45 years ago.  Glorious but disappointing.

Next day on to Rome and the Vatican.  Again I have already done a blog on this.

Florence was lovely.  Small enough to walk around and see the major sights with lots of interesting buildings.  Far too crowded to go into the cathedral (again if you want to review my opinion on belly to bum tours of religious facilities read my blog on the Vatican)  Biggest disappointment was that we could not go into the Uffizi museum which has one of the finest collections of art in Europe.  In that case it would have been belly to bum crowding with a requirement to carry someone on your shoulders.

Toulon we missed and spent aboard.  Turns out as my blog stated, probably a mistake as the tourist sights were great and far fewer people.

And then we got to Barcelona which we loved.  Second to Paris in my mind for civic beauty.

Altogether my summary is that we took on too many ports in too short of a time.  Biggest regret is that you cannot do Rome in 6 hours.  6 Days maybe and not in the summer.  Aw well some future time

Still we had fun. Weather was great, food was bountiful and we had no major travel hiccups.  Not bad.