It may be ancient history, but cruising the Mediterranean is an all-ages affair.

Can you hear the mermaids singing? Or is it the siren’s call? No, perhaps it’s the cries of men magically morphed into dolphins as punishment for their treachery. Whatever it may be, the truth is that it all started with a myth, powerful in its longevity, an ancient tie that binds the Mediterranean, from the coast of Greece to the shores of Italy and Spain to the beachheads of Tunisia. It’s the story of Ulysses, an ages-old tale spun in a way that exploits the foibles of mere mortals: lust, greed, temptation trussed up in the name of true love – a love so great, Ulysses would endure all of the above and more for his 10-year odyssey, mostly by ship, to get home from war and into the arms of Penelope, his faithful wife, on the island of Ithaca.

We, however, only had 10 days for our own Mediterranean odyssey, a graduation gift to our son, about to embark on a university career majoring in history. Our teenaged daughter came along for the ride, so it was key that we could find a mode of transportation that would allow us to cover all our bases and please the multi-gen nature of our group. Holland America Line had just such a ticket – the 10-day Mediterranean Enchantment on board the Noordam, with eight ports of call, including Rome (eternally fabulous!), Florence (yes, Michelangelo’s David is that good-looking!), Monaco (and the casinos of Monte Carlo!) and the aforementioned Tunisia.

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