This being our first Christmas away from Australia ever we were perhaps a little apprehensive.
The 17 hour Flight from Brisbane to Dubai was a killer but do able. After a night stopover in Dubai it was just a 6.5 hour hop to Rome where we had organised a drive to the Port ( Civitavecchia) by Private Car Service.
After the usual chaos of registering our details it was time to board.
The Norwegian Jade now it seems, does all the Mediterranean Cruises on a semi permenant basis.
One thing I thought was very well run was the disembarking for your excursions. Guests were all asked to meet in the Stardust Theatre at the Bow area of the Ship to await the calling of your Ship booked excursion.
Tours were called when your Coach was available and as you left the venue your excursion tickets were double checked and you were given a sticky number to wear on your shirt etc, which was your Coach number.
From there it was a simple walk down to Deck 4 where you left the Ship and was directed to your Coach,
This was a vast improvement to other Cruise Lines we've sailed with and simple but foolproof if one listened for your Tour and followered instructions.
While it is true most Excursions booked through a Ship are more expensive we did decide to use this service as we had not been to the area before and thought at least you are guaranteed to get back to the Ship before it sails where if a private tour company misses the Ship you are stuck well and truly.
The prices of the excursions on board Ship were pretty close to on par with private tour companys.
The Buffet Food Area on Deck 12 was part of the complimentary venues, was kept spotless for our entire Cruise as the Crew, God Bless Them were friendly, pleasant and hard workers and very aware of cleaniness.
The food there was quite good but very, very busy mornings especially.
As usual there was enough food to feed The Russian Army if they had of turned up.Quite a good range we used it quite a lot and never had any problems.
Also within the complimentary venues was Bali Hai Bar/Grill seats 65, The Blue Lagoon 24hr seats 94, The Garden Cafe/ Kids Cafe seats 418, The Great Outdoors on the Stern of the Ship seats,198, Topsides Bar & Grill seats 242, The Grand Pacific seats 480 and Alizars seats 258., all were very good with the pick of the bunch being The Grand Pacific.
Other Restuarants on board was specialist dining which incurs a cover charge ranging from $15.00 per Adults to $30.00 per Adult.
From dearest to cheapest they are:
Cagney's Steakhouse seats 166 $30.00 per Adult, $15.00 per Child.
Teppanyaki Japanense Hibachi Restaurant seats 32. $25 per Adult $12.50 per Child.
Moderno. Cusine Chirrascara Skewers of Beef, Pork, Lamb & Chicken $20.00 per Adult, $10.00 per Child.
Le Bistro French Cusine $20.00 per Adult $10.00 per Child
Jasmine seats 78 Chinese, Japanese, Thai, All Asian Cusine $15.00 per Adult $7.50 per Child.
Jasmine also has Sushi Bar prices a la carte.
Papas Italian seats 128 $15.00 per Adult $7.50 per Child.
Pizza can be delivered to anywhere on board $5.00 per order.
While we were on board we chose not to use any specialist Dinning Restaurants as we felt Cover Charges were one of the things we did not feel were needed on top of all other charges. In every Bar there is a automatic 15% added to your shipboard account every time you buy a drink. As is a $12.50 US Per Person Per day for everyone over the age of 2 for Service Fee/Graturities which can be removed from your account if you take a stand. I feel the age of two incurring such a fee is pure greed and should be reveiwed.
Apart from the fee structure we found it to be a pleasant Cruise which took in the Ports of Rome (Civitavecchia) Olympia (Katakalon) Greece. Athens (Piraeus) Greece Ephesus ( Izmir/ Istanbul ) Turkey.
Naples (Italy) then return to Civitavecchia to disembark.
The Second part of the Cruise is the 11 day Round Trip with Ports being Rome (Civitavecchia) then to
Florence/Pisa (Livorno) Monte Carlo ( Monaco a Tender is used here) Provence (Toulon) France.
Barcelona Spain. Valencia,Spain. Cagliari,Sardinia (Italy) Carthage,(Tunisia) Palermo ( Sicily) Naples (Italy)
then return to Rome ( Civitavecchia) to end the Cruise.
Would we recommend it to anyone Yes indeed.