VIVA Viajes: Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas’ 9-day Med tour

There is nothing like riding a brilliant white cloud as it slides smoothly over the azure Mediterranean — the recent $30 million makeover to Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas gives this beautiful ship new grandeur.

Even more surprising, the value experience offers a spectacular array of discovery-driven itineraries like no other. During peak seasons, this is the only ship in its category that sails round-trip from the marquee city of Rome, Italy, stopping on the Amalfi coast before calling upon exotic Eastern Mediterranean hotspots, providing guests with a real sampling of the best of the Greek Isles.

The nine-day tours of the Amalfi Coast, Greek Islands and Turkey are among the most popular. The trip includes stops in Rome and Naples in Italy, and Santorini, Mykonos, Athens and Katakolon in Greece.

The immersive and culturally rich tours include standouts like the early morning visit to the Limoncello factory outside of Naples, with samples of lemon-infused sweets and Limoncello cream and gelato.

View into a ruin at Pompeii.

View into a ruin at Pompeii.

There’s also a stop in Sorrento to the the Imperial Hotel Tramantano for lunch with a remarkable view of Naples bay, and to buy local ceramics and laceworks in the seaside village.

The same day packs in more Amalfi Coast with an excursion to the village of Positano (grab a Santa Rosa puffed pastry filled with lemon cream) and ending with a stroll through the ruins of Pompeii with Vesuvius looming in the background.

Arrive in Santorini for the scenic active volcano hike on Nea Kameni. From here you will discover that you are in fact standing on an island in the center of a much larger volcano, the one that may have been the inspiration for Plato’s lost city of Atlantis.

The famous Blue Domes of Oia, Santorini, Greece.

The famous Blue Domes of Oia, Santorini, Greece.

Perched atop the larger caldara, the villages of Santorini will take your breath away. A cable car system will lift you up the sides of the volcanic island and then it’s off to the sun-bleached village Oia for lunch and shopping, or just exploring the town’s unique and otherworldly architecture.

A day on the lively Greek island of Mykonos provides more sun and shopping opportunities. Discover hidden treasures, churches, and museums in the town’s scenic narrow streets and relax in the sun with a cold beverage on the white sand beaches or with a view of the island’s distinctive windmills.

Explore the Acropolis and the world-famous Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of war and wisdom, and divine patron of the cityof Athens. Enjoy lunch and then set out to pay respects to the ancient Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, at the spectacular ruins of his temple at Sounion. After all, Poseidon is our divine host on the seas of eastern Mediterranean!

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The iconic windmills of Mykonos Island.

Get into the Olympic spirit in Katakolon, Greece. A short bus excursion delivers you to the site of the original Olympic games from the 8th century B.C. until the 4th century A.D. The temples, the training centers and the original Olympic stadium all beckon as tourists may walk through the crypt, the covered competitors’ entrance and onto this ancient field of competition.

The ruins of yet another of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Zeus, is central to the complex.

Back on the ship, relaxing or experiencing a day at sea, the Jewel of the Seas has every comfort you could want between excursions. Enjoy some makeover kisses like the refreshed adults-only Solarium retreat, Vitality Spa and Fitness Center, and Royal Caribbean’s most popular speciality restaurants, including Chops Grille steakhouse, Giovanni’s Table, Izumi Japanese cuisine, and Vintages with an extensive variety of wine and tapas. With VOOM, the fastest internet at sea, you will be able to share your adventures with everyone back home!

Acropolis temples.

Acropolis temples.

IF YOU GO:

To book a Royal Caribbean cruise, call 866-562-7625, or visit www.royalcaribbean.com, Visit Royal Caribbean on Instagram @royalcaribbean #comeseek

Paula Conway is an entrepreneur and author, publisher of Conway Confidential and President of Astonish Media Group. Follower her on Instagram @PaulaConwayNYC

For more VIVA articles and the latest on Latino lifestyle, entertainment, sports, health, fashion, business and community news, click here.

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