Son Makes Mom’s Dream Come True with Europe Cruise

View of people on Holland America Line cruise ship at sunset in Europe.

Growing up in Colombia with a single parent, Diego Alonso can’t help but be in awe of his mom. “I owe my mom everything I have in my life,” he said. “She has made so many sacrifices for me, from giving me the best life growing up to using all of her savings to help me get through college in the U.S.”

He always knew he wanted to do something special for her someday. She gave so much to help him realize his dreams – he wanted to do the same for her. Last summer, the chance arose to do just that. His mom, Amparo Virgues, dreamt of experiencing the enchantment of Santorini, Greece, and Diego purchased tickets for two to take her there on a Holland America Line cruise.

View of people drinking coffee outside of cafe on Holland America Line cruise vacation.

“For me, the cruise was an opportunity to live our dreams. You just have to make the decision and do it!”

Embarking on a 7-day cruise to experience the magic of the Mediterranean, Diego and Amparo visited awe-inspiring sites in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

“I loved Rhodes. The Acropolis of Lindos with its almost perfect columns and the view of the bluest ocean was unreal. My mom loved Santorini, of course. It was her dream, but she was very impressed by Croatia. Swimming in the Adriatic Sea and experiencing the culture through a shore excursion made us feel really connected to this country.”

Both Diego and his mom share a love for adventure, and knowing this was her first cruise, they treasured every moment.

“I love that at this point of our lives, we are like good friends. We joke around and plan adventures, and it’s easy to do. She is always down to adventure, and that’s what I love to do in life the most!”

As much as Amparo was grateful to experience Santorini firsthand, she said the best part of the entire cruise vacation was who she was spending it with.

View of person exploring the sights of Mediterranean port.
View of people on boat ride in Italy during cruise vacation.

“It means a lot,” she said. “We have a special bond as mother and son, and the fact that we had a lot of time doing special activities is priceless. Spending quality time is irreplaceable. It strengthens bonds and creates memories.”

When they weren’t exploring the shores of the Mediterranean, they were immersing themselves in the onboard experience. “It was a dream come true, but also one that I want to keep repeating!” Diego said. “We were very happy with the incredible crew, and their kindness and hard work. They made the trip what it was.”

Diego is counting down the days until their next Holland America Line cruise, which he hopes will be in the Mediterranean again. Until then, they have plans to meet up in Canada to witness the jaw-dropping sights of Niagara Falls this summer. With Amparo living in Colombia and Diego in the U.S., they don’t see each other often. That’s one reason they have become travel buddies. They never let a chance pass them by to make more memories together.

Amparo instilled that zest for life in Diego, and he credits his mom for the person he has become. He looks forward to continuing to grow and give back to the world because she inspired him to do just that.

Diego and Amparo, thank you for sharing your story with us. We look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon! And to all the moms out there, we wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day whether you’re at sea or ashore.


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