The Catholic University of America


Cruising the High Seas

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Jerry and Carol Dennis in the ship's dining room. Carole is a 1987 music school graduate.

“How I Spent My Summer Vacation” in the spring issue of The Catholic University of America Magazine featured vacation stories and tips from a variety of readers who traveled to Europe, Canada, India, and other destinations closer to home. In this “web extra,” we share a story of two cruises.

Anniversary Celebration

Carol Dennis (B.M. 1987) celebrated her 55th wedding anniversary with a Mediterranean cruise. “It was the perfect way for us to travel. I have some mobility issues and use a cane. So to be brought to each destination with a tour bus waiting was perfect. How else could we pack in 1,000 years of history in 10 days?”

Dennis and her husband, Jerry, visited cities and towns in Croatia, Greece, Turkey, and Italy. Santorini, Greece, was a favorite. “The beautiful Aegean island features white-washed buildings with bright blue domes. The white and blue set against the Mediterranean Sea is even more beautiful than what you see in the movies,” says Dennis.

Dennis, a lifelong musician who received her degree in organ performance at age 50, says between ports she and her husband enjoyed sitting on their veranda and reading and watching the water. “To me there is nothing more peaceful that being on the water.”

Carol’s Tips:
If you can afford it, book a state room with a veranda. Don’t bring too many clothes. Before you go, research your ports of call. It will enhance your time at each stop.

Mother-Daughter Bonding

When Gabby Solimine, a junior media studies major, embarked on a cruise to Bermuda with her mom, Maria, last summer, the two were in for a surprise; and not just because it rained the whole time. “It was the first time we had gone on vacation alone and by the end of the cruise, she felt more like a friend,” says Gabby.

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Maria and Gabby Solimine on their mother-daughter cruise. Gabby is a junior media studies major.  

“We get along great,” says Maria of her only child. “But still with all that time together, she could have easily gotten tired of Mom’s company. I started out going on vacation with ‘my little girl’ and discovered a lovely, mature, articulate woman. The trip strengthened our bond.”

The two didn’t let the rain dampen their spirits. They went to the disco, the shows, and the casino. They judged a belly flop contest and did well in a “name-that-tune” game show. And “we shopped till we dropped,” says Maria.

“My mom is game for anything. Even though she embarrasses me from time to time, she’s the perfect companion for a cruise,” says Gabby. “My father had a stroke last year. He’s doing well now, but it made me realize how short life can be. So I want to take the time to enjoy and appreciate my parents.”


Gabby’s Tips:
I was shocked by the food. It was amazing. It was all-you-can eat and just about anything you want to eat. Be careful and pace yourself.