While I am Blogger-at-Large for Oceania Cruises, I do not have the privilege of traveling onboard year-round. As the calendar has turned to August and summer enters the home stretch, I find myself at home in the States, where an exceptionally warm summer season has forced me indoors and revealed a guilty pleasure of mine. When I need to “get away,” I pull up Facebook and search my newsfeed for the Oceania Cruises headline, Where in the world are our ships today?, which is my personal favorite. I have found this simple therapy lets me escape for a moment to milder climates with memories of my previous journeys with Oceania Cruises and daydreams about my adventures still to come.
Today has been no different as the newsfeed revealed that Regatta is cruising the Hubbard Glacier in Alaska; Insignia is in London preparing to explore Scandinavia; Marina is visiting Santander, Spain; and Nautica is anchored along the Amalfi Coast. Each destination is wonderful, but Amalfi in particular calls up an Oceania Cruises memory of mine and whisks my mind away to the Mediterranean.
It was November 2008, and Amalfi was on our itinerary, but a storm would not allow us to anchor there. We stopped at Sorrento instead, an equally charming port that Nautica also visited just yesterday on her current itinerary. Sorrento overlooks the Gulf of Naples, just around the corner from Amalfi. The day was overcast for our trip in 2008, which may not seem ideal, but it turned out to be the perfect day for exploring this quaint little town with its famous cliff-top hotels.
The cliffs rising out of the sea offer extraordinary views during a pleasant climb from the tender’s dock to the historic, central portion of the community along Via San Cesareo. Walking through the narrow streets revealed tall buildings with craft shops on the lowest level and various townspeople’s homes on the floors above. The sights and smells were intoxicating. There were a number of woodworkers and ceramic artisans crafting their wares in their studios, shopkeepers replenishing their displays in their storefronts, and the warm buzz of all the town’s visitors investigating the local treasures.
It is here I found a new appreciation for Limoncello. Each shop and restaurant proudly boasts the origins of Limoncello and is all too eager to serve you a sample of the world’s finest. The walls of the shops are adorned with paintings and photos of the lemon groves of the region that produce this tasty aperitif and digestif. Of course, you are invited to taste and purchase as much as you like to fully stock your home once your travels have come to an end.
This hot summer day of August will soon turn into a hot summer night. I believe I’ll enjoy a lovely Limoncello after dinner and forget about the heat wave, as my mind will have me walking the streets of Sorrento. And thank you, Nautica, for making all of this possible.
The next time you are on Facebook and see where the ships are located, hit the like button if you have been to one of the ports and post a comment about your experience. It will help get all of us through these dog days of summer and inspire us to look forward to our next voyage with Oceania Cruises.