Cruised from Barcelona on the 14th of Feb. on the NCL Jade, and was an adventure to say the least. Our connecting flight to Barcelona was cancelled so of course one our bags caught up with us in Italy on day 3 of our cruise. The cruise line provided free laundry service, toiletries and tee shirts until we got our bag. Our cabin stewarts did a good job for us. The food was good overall and the specialty restaurants were OK. We did like the Tapas Texmex and especially liked the Japanese restaurant with the show. The entertainment was very good especially the Spanish comedians, Flamenco Show, Violinist, Magic shows. Overall a good experience. We just wanted a floating hotel and got it. The ports of call were Italy, Greece, Egypt, Malta and back to Barcelona. We took No cruise line shore excursions. We did that on our own.
We did not do much in Italy, just went into port city. We had already visited Rome and were not feeling well anyway.
Our next stop was Athens, Greece. We took the Hop on Hop off bus. We got as far as the Acropolis and Zeus temple. There were demonstrations so the buses were delayed. We high tailed it out of there in a taxi to port to avoid problems.
Our next stop was in Izmir, Turkey. We took a private tour for the two of us with Denizhan Pekoz, Skype: denizhanpekoz MSN Messenger:firstname.lastname@example.org Yahoo Messenger: email@example.com Fullday (8hours) Ephesus & Villages Met with our guide in front of the Izmir port passenger Terminal. Departed the pier for the an hour drive to the magnificent site of Ephesus. Ephesus is the best preserved of the Greek/Roman cities in Anatolia. You will see the beautiful Celsus Library. After a visit to Ephesus Antique Site, you will arrive at Sirince Village, were we saw the local life at a village and purchasing some small local souvenirs and handicrafts. The village is also famous for its local grape and other fruit wines. During the lunch, mingle with the local people of the village. Have a cup of traditional Turkish coffee at the main coffee house of the village. He was very knowledgeable, speaks good English and is reasonable priced.
Then we arrived in Alexandria, Egypt. Again we hired a private tour with Rasha Hamid www.egyptsunset.com 0020106415951 She was fantastic. She had a driver waiting for us outside the terminal. The driver was very good, cautious, and quiet. We met up with her in Cairo. Went to the Giza Pyramids(Cheops, Chephren and mycrenus), the Sphinx, Khan El Khalili Bazzar shoping,The Egyptian museum & the treasures of king TuT Ankh Amen, lunch at a great Egyptian restaurant next to the pyramids. She also spoke very good English, reasonably priced, and very knowledgeable about Egyptian history. I would highly recommend her, she was great. Spent the night there at the Marriott hotel in Cairo. Great shopping there too at the hotel. The following day Rasha picked us up and took us to the Saqqarra Pyramids, the citadel of Salah El din,and the mosque of Mohamed Ali, lunch and back to the ship.
Next port of call was the Island of Malta. Did the hop off hop on bus. Reasonably priced, went to the important sights, beautiful place.
Back to Spain. We had a great time and you can feel confortable in booking with these tour operators.
Onboard staff was friendly and helpful. Great trip.