I have done a lot of posting on these boards (and even more reading!) but I have never done a trip report. And even though I am nervous to post this I feel compelled to do it for two reasons: 1. I scoured the boards for months (who am I kidding---years) to find every little bit of info on the Med cruise I could. I was so thrilled when people posted. Especially the first Med cruisers this year who graciously posted the day they returned!! I benefitted so much from those posts that I really want to give back. I hope this helps someone!! And 2. This was the BEST TRIP OF MY LIFE!!! And I am hoping that a trip report will help me relive it!!! A little background....I booked this cruise the day it was released. My husband and I agreed it would be a wonderful way to celebrate our 20th anniversary. My sister and her husband decided to join us and celebrate their 15th anniversary. Between us, we would be leaving 8 kids at home!! We have 4 children (15, 12, 11, 7) that we left at various friends, families and camps! We have left them before but never for this long! I had a pretty complicated schedule (four pages!) printed up before we left as they were all going in different directions. But this too worked out wonderfully in the end! We booked what was then category 12's and hoped for an upgrade....we didn't get them but we were totally happy with our inside staterooms. I searched for airline tickets for months and ended up putting serveral alerts on my iPhone. Tickets had hovered from $1200-$1400 the entire time I had been searching. I had been hoping to spend about $800 on flights from MSP but I was starting to think that was unrealistic! One evening about 1:00 AM I heard my phone "ding". It was an alert message from airfare.com. Tickets were $871. I called my sister and we booked in the middle of the night. I was very concerned as I read some reviews of this consolidator AFTER I booked the flights! But in the end everything was very smooth and we had no issues at all. So for the past 18 months I have been researching and creating a binder filled with every bit of information I could find. We checked books out of the library, watched youtube videos in bed at night and memorized Rick Steves! In retrospect I think the anticipation and planning was almost as much fun as the cruise. Almost. But it really did extend the trip for us as we worked and planned and dreamed. So I think that is the background...! I am going to copy my journal as my trip report. I'll try to edit anything that is too personal or boring! Here goes....!