My earlier review was the Eastern Med leg of this long cruise. We had done the western Med twice before, so some of the ports were familiar to us. In addition, we had spent a month touring Italy on our own. This leg and the prior one were very port intensive, so we did not spend a lot of time on the ship. We ate breakfast in the Lido. The Lido on the HAL ships is far superior to Princess. Both side were busy - one side had any kind of poached egg you could imagine - with ham, spinach, even smoked salmon. There was a crepe station where you could get a variety of fillings and toppings. It was our favorite meal of the day. When tired after a long day at port, there were often buffets by the Sea View pool, which featured cuisine of the country we visited. Im a NYC native - I loved the mid-ship setting. We were impressed with the efficiency of the ship.
We did not have to re-embark in Venice, since we were already on the ship. We did the city on our own, the day we arrived. Though More
disappointed that the St Marks area was flooded, we still enjoyed riding the vaporetto and the Rialto bridge area. Most of all we loved sailing out of the city. Our cabin was on the starboard side, so we had a great view of the city.
We missed the port of Lavorno. We have been to Florence many times, so that was not on our agenda. But the captain got on the TV and explained the reason for the decision.
Everyone was so impressed by his thorough explanation of the situation.That the weather report by the captain - Vincent Smitt - became a regular feature of the Good Morning show. The cruise director was excellent and Tom - the port expert was extremely helpful. I have an allergy to flowers. It took a while to get them to understand how difficult it was to sit at a table with orchids. But by this leg, they knew to move them away from me. We are not big eaters, so we did not go to any specialty restaurants.
The ports are described below - we went to the Island of Kefalonia - the port is Argostoli - CC does not have it listed - when we missed Lavorno, we went to the Island of Sardinia - port Cagliari -also not listed on CC - nor is the port of Catania where went to Taormina Less
Nieuw Amsterdam Cruises to the Western Mediterranean
I have been to Elisabeth's Shonbrun palace in Vienna. That is a magnificent palace. I was extremely disappointed with Achilleion. It is a tourist trap. It was sold by Elisabeth's heirs when she died. It has been used for various things during the past century. It is a tourist trap - with nothing original in it.
The main entrance to the walled city. We had a short guided tour of the walled city. It was extremely crowded - we walked around for a while and then headed higher up and had lunch at a wonderful restaurant. I would love to go back to the walled city sometime when it were not so crowded
This was a very expensive tour. But since it was unique, and we had been too the city several times, we decided to go for it and were not disappointed - the tour takes you to the places Gregory Peck took Audrey Hepburn to in the Movie Roman Holiday. The only disapointment was rain at the end - we walked from the Trevi foundatin, past the Spanish Steps to the bus in pouring rain - the 1st rain we experiened in 4 trips to Rome - there are no guarantees in travel
Our driver gave us a map and we did the city on our own and met the driver at the end - you do not need a guded tour of the city -easy to do on your own - we found a great restaurant and had a good lunch with fellow cruisers