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Cruisin' for a bruisin' at the polls: Gingrich skipped campaign trail for luxury cruise

Michel Verdure

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and his wife Callista recently were spotted aboard the Seabourn Odyssey in the Greek Isles.

First it was a six-figure Tiffany bill. Now it’s a luxury cruise in the Greek Isles that's getting Newt Gingrich into trouble. It turns out that instead of hitting the campaign trail, the presidential candidate spent the past two weeks sailing in the Mediterranean. 

The news of his whereabouts quietly emerged earlier this week. On Thursday, three key members of his staff -- a campaign manager, senior adviser and longtime press aide -- announced they were departing his campaign, citing a difference in "vision" for victory. (See Gingrich remains a candidate, but how serious?)

Gingrich and his wife Callista, as well as the former model Twiggy, were outed as guests on the Seabourn Odyssey by a commenter on the website Cruise Critic, according to several news reports. "Amalek" had spotted the couple on the luxury liner, which was reportedly docked in Istanbul before sailing for two weeks in the Greek Isles.

Odyssey suites for Mediterranean trips range from $2,499 per person to $8,699 per person. This ship holds just 450 guests in 225 "luxury" suites. Among the ship's perks are "lavish station buffets," "themed dinners served tableside," a "thermal area" featuring  sauna and steam rooms, and perhaps a favorite of the Gingrichs', a private showroom for diamonds and other gemstones.

When asked by msnbc.com about Gingrich's stay on the ship, a spokesperson for Seabourn, who declined to give his full name, said, "no comment." In response to a request from Politico for information about the trip, a spokesman for the Gingrich campaign sent an e-mail message that read "no comment" -- in Greek.

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Rebecca Ruiz is a senior editor at msnbc.com. Follow her on Twitter.