My wife and I decided to celebrate our silver anniversary by having a different type of holiday. Being campers, we weren't sure what to expect by changing our holiday type so drastically by taking a cruise, though as we love travelling, it seemed like a great way to visit lots of different places, albeit in a short time.
Having decided to cruise, we then had to select an itinerary, and a cruise line. Our actual anniversary being in July, this more or less put paid to the idea of cruising the Caribbean, known for being somewhat stormy at this time of year, so we were probably going to stay in Europe. Freestyle or more formal set times. Being campers, this was quite an easy decision to make, though my wife would have liked the opportunity to dress up a little more. In the end, the Norwegian Gem back-to-back Adriatic and Greek islands cruise was selected as it ticked all of the boxes.
Flying into Venice a day early gave us plenty of time to visit some of the sites before boarding our ship in the afternoon.
Embarkation and disembarkation - Nice and smooth with no problems.
Cabin - Loved the mini-suite, plenty of space, balcony and a lovely bath and shower. Stewards were fine though didn't top up the milks or coffees as often as we would have liked.
Food - Buffet breakfast every morning in Garden Cafe was quite busy but a good selection of food, both healthy and not so healthy. We tried to vary our choices most mornings and were generally pleased with the selection available. Ate in the Magenta most evenings and were pleased with the quality and quantity of the food. Ate in Cagney's and Le Bistro once each and although the service was much better and more personal, didn't feel that they were worth the extra money. The steak however in Le Bistro was one of the nicest steaks I have eaten. The evening buffet selection was excellent and we also enjoyed the free 'tapas' at the bali hai grill in the evening.
Entertainment - Cruise director Gary was very talented, and I particularly liked his talk on the Venice departure. Shows in the Stardust were nothing to write home about, but seemed to get an enthusiastic response from most of the crowd. The house band, Norwegian Gem Showband did a good Big Band evening in the Spinnaker Lounge.