Originally, I booked Israel. That would have been great. Then my wife packed up and left after 18 years of marriage. My GF didn't want to go to Israel, so I changed to the Panama Canal with NCL. I had never been on NCL before, but I figured they'd be just like Carnival and Royal Carribbean, which I have cruised many times. I couldn't have been more wrong. When my GF left me, I switched the cruise back to the Medeteranean, which I love. The dates for Israel changed, and I booked Greece, Turkey, and Egypt out of Rome. 10 days. Egypt was off the State Department warning list and they were scheduled for elections 6 weeks before the journey, so I figured it was safe.
A month before the sail date, the military government refused to give control to the civil government and the announced that they'd retain the power to arrest and hold people with no charges and to summarily execute citizens and foreigners. RED FLAG. I called NCL. I wrote NCL. They wouldn't let me change the itinerary without a stiff penalty amounting to basically forfeiture of the entire amount. They assured me it would be safe.
The week before I left, there were riots in Rome, Athens was burned out, and they were killing Christians in the streets of Cairo. Again, NCL promised it was safe.
We saw the homeless packed on the streets of Rome, we saw burned out government buildings and cops in riot gear in Athens, and Cairo? We had armed soldiers and police on our busses and military escorts to the tourist areas. The cops said it was to make us feel safe. Not only did it have the opposite effect, but we actually weren't safe. My travel mate was assaulted by a camel guy and several of the other passengers we spoke to were groped in public sexually.
The police and army were corrupt, attempting to extort money everywhere we went. The one exeption was Rosetta. While the town was poorer than border towns in Mexico, the people were nice and welcoming. I still didn't feel safe with the mountains of garbage and the lack of smiles on people's faces, but at least nobody accosted us. This was all very sad because it was literally one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, even with 6 continents and 55 countries on my passport; not to mention all 50 states.
Also, NCL does this thing where they charge you $15 for washing 4 clothing items the day before they do a special for $30 for an unlimited number of items as long as you can fit them in the laundry bag, which is big.
Additionally, there was no resin ship model in the gift shop. They were out. Who the hell runs out of ship models on a ship? It's the only ship I've sailed on where I don't have this souvenir. Not that I'll miss it.
The bright part of the cruise was the crew. Hector and JJ from Cruise Director Jill's staff were amazing. The food was excellent and the activities were a lot of fun. They didn't mention the rules during the blackjack tournament, so I had to enter 3 times and won twice, but that really threw off my game for the final. I was ahead until the last hand. I bet wrong and lost, but if I had bet right, I would have won! Lesson learned. LOL. Got free champaigne anyway.
My Elvis won the costume contest with my travel mate playing Lady Luck. Nice prize for that, but no trophies like they have on RCI and Carnival.
I will never risk my life or go on NCL again. Well, maybe if JJ gets a cruise director job.