We arrived in Rome after a long flight from Australia, 2 nights before our cruise. Stayed at the Monte Carlo, near the Termini. A nice clean little hotel/B&B to stay in pre cruise.
Thanks to Joann's organising we were picked up from our hotel by a mini bus for our transfer to Civitavecchia. Embarkation was easy, no dramas or hiccups.
Although at this point I should mention that I was very annoyed, when I discovered through my own research that not all balcony's have a cover over them...who knew! I feel that either the travel agent or NCL should warn passengers that this may be the case. When you book your cabin it's not really something you think about when picking a cabin, you just assume they are all covered. Live and learn. People above us could look down on to our balcony.
Like many passengers that embarked in Rome the restaurant bookings and spa booking I had booked and paid for pre-cruise didn't exist in the ships system.
I rang guest services about the spa/massage I'd booked and they told me that I'd have to chase it up with the actual spa...um, no I don't, isn't that your job, guest services!!
LE Bistro - Loved it, favourite restaurant/meal on the ship.
Teppanyaki - We thought it was very ordinary, everything just cooked in Soy sauce. I think the whole experience depends on how good the chef is at not only his foodie skills but his entertaining skills as well.
Spa/ massage - Cancelled it. When you book through the NCL website the cost is $129 for a 50 min massage, extravagant but what the heck we are on holidays. Then they add on tax, then you find out that because you are sailing in Spanish waters there is another tax added on, so now the massage is $179, no thanks!
Buffet - Good, loads to choose from.
O'Sheehans - Became our local. Nice relaxed atmosphere, decent breakfast. Shared many a drink and laugh with Dave and Joann. More than just a bar, Joann learnt sooo much in O'Sheehans, including Gary's No1 recipe, Toad-in-the-hole !
Ice bar - Good fun, you should do it if you've never been in one before. Try it topless, no not me, that crazy yank Dave.
Martini tasting - Had 5 martinis in 1 hr, oh yeah and they were strong, phew. Not complaining though. The staff in the Shakers bar are lovely, especially Michael.
We found the drinks on the ship very reasonably priced.
We only did one pivate pre organised tour and that was in Florence, well done Jay.
In other ports we thought that there would be enough for us to amuse ourselves for one day rather than try and cram too much in. Tour took us through Tuscany to Pisa. Would love to say how lovely it was but most of us fell asleep due to the "Grande " beers at lunch, oops !! Loved Cannes, Marseille was picturesque around the marina, but we couldn't believe how much rubbish was in the water there. Barcelona, great, went to the Camp Nou stadium.
Naples, shopped, walked around. We were going back there post cruise.
Dis-embarkation was quite easy, only thing I didn't really like was that all your luggage had to be packed up the night before and left outside your room. On their website they say you can take your own luggage off, but on the ship they do try to discourage it.
Overall, we did have a lovely holiday, I think made all the more enjoyable by the people we met. A big thanks to Joann and Dave, really enjoyed your company,we now have new friends for life, hope we can catch up again.
Gary and Stef, so nice to meet you, loved your sense of humour.
Thank you to everyone who helped with pre booking tours and transfers, made life easier for us.
Not sure if I would cruise with NCL again, we did love the ship, easy to find your way around ect. Just the dramas with the pre booked items and the uncovered cabin ect and the way it was handled, puts me off.