April 6, 2024

Tampa & Celebrity Constellation

We fly to Tampa then embark on Celebrity Constellation for a 15 day voyage to Spain.

Tampa & Celebrity Constellation

Off to Italy!

Matching bags, yay! I love how coordinated our luggage is this time. And yes, there is a sewing machine in one of those suitcases!

We left our house in Panama City Beach and flew down to Tampa.

Hotel Flor in Tampa

We stayed at the Hotel Flor, a hotel from the 1920's. They still have the original mail chute installed. And an old shoe shine.

Embarkation on Celebrity Constellation

The next morning we headed over to the cruise terminal.

The porter who helped us with our bags was super impressed with Mitzi. At first he thought she was traveling solo and proposed marriage. Then I showed up and he was so funny joking around. He made us laugh and after Mitzi handed him the tip I had to snap the picture. One of his coworkers said, as we walked by, "he needs to stay in his lane!"

That exciting moment when we board the ship!

The sun was out and it was a very nice day. So after lunch we caught some rays. Well I did – guys can take off their shirts but women can't. It should be the other way around haha.

While we were eating lunch Faruk sold us on signing up for the specialty restaurants and doing the Chef's Table. He's from Turkey and also sold us on going to Instanbul!

We sailed out of the port as the sun was setting.

Off to Italy!

Sea Day

First full sailing day. We are at sea today.

We 'bought' some insulated water bottles from the Celebrity store.

The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed the sun above the pool deck.

The sewing machine makes its appearance!

Mitzi talking to Sydney and Benson.

Sea Days

The seas are rough, but we are tough.

We didn't do much on the 2 rough sea days. But did enjoy the sunshine and a nice dinner. The middle picture was taken by a lady next to us. I explained the camera (M11) was manual focus and she was so confident about using the camera. Well, the focus didn't come out great but it's still a good picture of us :)

I took the picture of Mitzi and look how clear her eyes are!


After 3 full sea days, and 2 of those days being heavy seas and lots of ship rocking and rolling, we arrived in Bermuda.

This is where we were going to stop last November on our way home from Europe, but the wind was too high and the captain decided it wasn't safe to dock.

So we experienced the port area today. We had a nice lunch at Amici Cafe.

Followed by Häagen-Dazs ice cream for dessert.

As we pulled out of port the Pilot boat picked up the pilot. I was able to get the exact moment when he was touching both the Constellation and the Pilot boat. I'm such a nerd.

We had dinner out on the back deck at the Oceanside Cafe. The sun was setting, the weather pleasant. Very nice.

We have 4 full sea days ahead and on the 5th day we arrive in Ponta Delgada, one of our favorite stops from our cruise last year.

I totally forgot to get the pictures off the Q3 two days ago. We had dinner at La Petit, the french restaurant. The food was great, and the entertainment was fun, but it was all a little odd. Clever, but odd :)

We've been at sea all day today (and three more full days to go).

Mitzi was so pretty on our way to dinner had to get a picture in the stair well.

We had dinner at Tuscans, the Italian restaurant. This was a great dining experience. We'll be going back. The ambiance, wait staff, and food was really fun.

After dinner we soaked in one of the outdoor hottubs on the main pool deck. The wind is very high, the waves are turbulent, and the air temp is cool.

Getting into the hot tub was easy. Getting out, not so much. We rushed back to our room without taking the time to dry off. It would not be worth stopping for anything in that wind!

We are near the end of our second full sea day, out of four. Not much going on. We had dinner in the main dining.

They had lamb shank and in honor of Don, I got one. And it was perfect!

We've been at sea for 6 entire days. We couldn't go to the Azores because of the high winds our sea days were extended from 4 to 6.

Today, the 7th day, we pulled into port at noon in Cadiz, Spain! Land ho!

We didn't take too many pictures the last few days. The few we took, here they are.

One of the days we had dinner at Tuscan Grille, the Italian restaurant. It was good, but we think being it Italy will be even better :)

The New York steak in the picture looked great. But it was tough as leather. I'm pretty flexible when it comes to steak, but I really couldn't chew it. I had to ask them to replace it with a Fillet and that worked much better.

Mitzi got her hair cut! Super cute!

Mitzi's been sewing up a storm! The trumpet is the last piece of the Alice in Wonderland quilt, it's coming along so nicely. She just started a Snapshot into Christmas quilt. So talented.

Here's the Cadiz port as we pulled in at noon today. We got the bus to Seville, it's a 90 minute drive. We were in tour group 1. Or maybe those stickers mean we had to go number 1? Or we were the best passengers so they awarded us number 1? So many possibilities haha.

It was raining lightly when we got to Seville and started exploring.

We found a place to eat in the Santa Cruz Quarter – the old Jewish Quarter. The place is called Doña Elvira. They have the best water bottles in Spain. Another winner.

The bread they served us was like homemade bread. Perfect.

We got baby prawns. They fried them like potato latkes. A new treat, we enjoyed it!

We ordered the Black Paella with Seafood. We've never seen this before. So beautiful! And delicious.

After lunch we walked over to the Seville Cathedral. Largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Good I bought tickets yesterday because they were all sold out today. That place is crowded!

The alligator is hanging from a very high ceiling in the entrace. It's huge.

We walked up the tower and some some nice views over the city.

The intricate stone work on one of the pillars outside the tower.

I love this picture of Mitzi looking out one of the tower windows and capturing photos with the Leica Q2. She's such a great photographer. Great eye for composition.

We walked around the cathedral and felt small.

Christopher Columbus's body is buried here. It's in the box the statue guys are holding behind Mitzi. Interesting!

These robes were made in the 1500's for some emperor or some other important guy. The clothing clearly outlasted him haha.

We walked around Seville. They love their ham hocks here.

This pasta store had beautiful pasta in their window.

We found an ice cream store. They had an amazing chocolate ice cream. I mean, this is how it should be. It will stain your teeth and give you a chocolate high for hours.

I bought some Iberico ham. It's better than I expected. Deep and rich flavors and textures. Yum.

As we rode the bus for 90 minutes back to Cadiz, Benson was texting Mitzi. See if you can understand what he said. Mitzi did 😄


Last Fall we sailed through the Strait of Gilbraltar and had a beautiful view of the northern tip of Africa and the southern tip of Europe.

Today we actually got to stop and experience it first hand on the land.

We walked about 2 miles to the cable car and took it up to the top of the Rock of Gilbraltar. There was a monkey hopping on the cable car greeting us when we arrived at the top.

We walked around and cautiously kept some distance from the primates.

It was foggy at the top so we couldn't see the view. The mist made it mystical which was nice.

Here's a bunch of alliterations to describe it lyrically:

Meandering mist, magically mesmerizing, made the moment memorably majestic, a marvelous marvel of misty magnificence.

It's a pretty steep drop!

Heading down, we got a great view of the harbor and Strait as we descended out of the mist.

We walked to a small Indian restaurant for lunch. And found a chocolate shop along the way.

This 15 day Transatlantic sailing is coming to a close. Boo hoo. One more sea day tomorrow and then the next morning we sail into the port of Barcelona. We've been there so many times recently, I think it will feel like a friend we get to say hi to again.


We are off the ship and in a taxi on the way to our next adventure, a couple days at our favorite: Camiral!

We felt a bit sad leaving the ship. We have such a wonderful time on these voyages. Mitzi is a great traveling companion. I’m so grateful she’s willing to do all this adventuring with me. She adds the spice of life!