Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Having been on Norwegian Jade previously we were not looking forward to the ship only to the Itinerary as we had wanted a cruise that visited these locations and the Gem ticked all the boxes for us.
We were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed every minute. Cabin was perfect for us, staff were always very helpful, nothing was too much trouble. Food good , used the Grand Pacific most of the time. Teppanaki one night which was fun. Best of all was spa package use for the week @ $89 per person, we used this every day and was extremely good when you had been out for the day.
Entertainment, we only managed two shows, los Amicos should not be missed so funny. Staff in the Spinaker lounge kept us entertained nearly every night, Ian West very good in the Crystal atrium.
We did all shore visits ourselves, all really easy to arrange locally.
All transfers were with NCL and very efficient with exception of having to be taken to the airport early , arriving at More
airport at 11 am for a 14.50 flight, would have preferred to have stayed on the ship until at least 12.30, some clients did not have a flight until later that evening. Airport is Chaotic especially when all the cruise ships dock. Less
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Cabin review: BA10120
cabin very centrally situated. Quiet cabin lots of storage space. American and European sockets. Coffee maker provided and bath robes. Small fridge. Safe. Good seating area. Could be awkward getting past each other when using the European plug for hair tongs etc as mirror is close to this. Balcony good size two chairs and small table.Has a light outside. TV only has Skynews unless you want to pay to watch a movie. Comfortable bed, plenty of pillows. Good shower, shower gel and shampoo provided.
Port and Shore Excursions
This port is quite easy to use, plenty of taxis waiting to take you to Acropolis etc but make sure that you know the cost before you get in , should be between 20-26 Euros per taxi not per person. some got ripped off. Or you can use the metro or take a local bus number 040 from the town of Piraeus. Best to arrive at the Acropolis for 8am as it will not be too hot or crowded after this it gets packed. Visited the Plaka for shopping, good for jewellery. Be careful if your taxi driver offers a tour or lunch always ensure you know fully where you are being taken and what is included, one passenger was charged 160 Euros for the tour for 4 persons and over 200 Euros for lunch plus they still had to pay entrance fees.
We were due to tender in this port but instead we were taken into the main harbour. On arrival there were coaches to take us to the old town, arriving at the Pile gate. obtained tickets to walk the walls 10 Euros per person, very hot need to take water and a hat although there are small cafes on the wall. Lots of steps but wonderful scenery, would not have missed it.I had been to Dubrovnik before so I acted as the guide for our party of four. Had a stroll around the town afterwards, visited a couple of churches, which are worth looking at. Taxis were available near the port exit. If we had more time would have travelled to Cavtat or the Arboretum, which is on the way as had been to both before.
Arranged tour through Internet , had a very good guide who took 8 of us in a very luxurious air conditioned bus with a driver to Ephesus. Would recommend him email@example.com. Our guide came with us to the house of the Virgin Mary and also into Ephesus, please note you must use local currency here not Euros or Dollars. Ephesus was fantastic, our guide Zafer explained all to us but it was extremely crowded and Hot. No water inside Ephesus so take some with you and of course a hat. Will visit again in the future. Journey time from Izmir port to Ephesus approx 1hour 15 minutes.
We left and returned to this port and did not have time to go into Venice itself but had been before. Cruise ship goes past St Marks Square on its way out and back, all very beautiful, worth getting up early for to see it in the early morning light.