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Cruise from Venice to the Greek Isles
Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Our Alitalia flight to Venus was not as comfortable as other flights we've been on; but we got there. We stayed at a comfortable hotel in Sant Elena. We loved Sant elena. It wasn't touristy, like St. Mark's Plaza. It was near a beautiful tree-filled park, where we ate dinner at an outside cafe a couple of times.
The highlights of our exploring of Venice were the walks along the grand canal to St. Mark's plaza, the gondola ride, taking pictures at sunset from the top of the clock tower, and seeing the little shop and the canal where Kathryn Hepburn had fallen into the water in the movie, "Summertime" in which she and Rosonno Brazzi had starred.
Our Norwegian Jade cabin was comfortable, but not luxurious. I had ordered a celebration cake to surprise my daughter for her first cruise. The cabin was beautifully decorated and the cake was delicious, but there was no room in the tiny fridge to keep it from spoiling. Most of the cake had to be thrown out.
comparison with the Princess and Crystal Cruises I've been on, Norwegian Jade did not measure up. The food in the dining room was repetitious and not that tasty. The entertainment was repetitious and not that entertaining. What we did enjoy was sleeping with our balcony doors open listening to splashing water before falling asleep, the gorgeous views from our balcony, and the excellent room service, which included cute animals made from towels that were left in our cabins each night.
We did not go on any excursions provided by Norwegian Jade. We either had arranged our own tours or explored on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed every port we visited.
At Corfu we visited the Achillon museum, which was previously an Austrian princess's summer palace.
We explored Santorini at sunset and got gorgeous photos.
We ate at the water's edge at Sunset Cafe on Mykonos after exploring unusual varied-shaped architecture and uniquely paved narrow roads and admiring the clear, clear, clear water on the beaches.
We visited the remains of ancient greece at the Olympia village and wondered at the ancient artifacts in its nearby beautiful museum.
All in all, we had so much fun. It was a trip of a lifetime and neither of us will ever forget Venice, Italy, or the various ports we'd visited in Greece. Less
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Cabin review: BB Balcony
Beds not that comfortable. Small balcony. Small cabin. Everything we needed was provided, however. Quiet location. On the last night a smoker smoked in the balcony and her smoke came into our cabin. Also, sometimes, in the morning, a guest with a hacking cough would cough on her balcony and talk to someone inside her cabin, and the sound clearly was heard from our balcony. It was a little annoying but didn't happen often enough to ruin our cruising experience.
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Port and Shore Excursions
The Achillion palace was pretty: pretty statues, pretty architecture, pretty garden...but nothing that absolutely wowed me. It was fun taking pictures there. Later we visited Corfu town. Very touristy...lots of shops...and we ate at an outside cafe there. My Venice salad was delicious. My daughter ordered a pizza with french fries on it. Her pizza didn't look good to me, but she said it was delicious. Albania across the Adriatic Sea, Mouse island and the Old Fort were also very interesting to see.
I had arranged a taxi tour at this port. Our tour guide met us outside the ship and took us to the village of Olympia. As we walked among the ruins, we took many photos. In one spot, my daughter and I were surrounded by towering ancient greek columns. At that point I'd exclaimed to my daughter, "We're standing in ancient Greece!" I was moved by the realization of where we actually were and what had actually been there at one time, thousands of years ago.
The museum close by had so many beautiful art treasures. The sculptures and vases were beautiful, making me wonder if art has improved any with the passage of time. It didn't seem to me that it had.
Afterwards, our tour guide took us to see more of Katakalon and even allowed us to wander through a village cemetary, a special interest of my daughter's. Then we had lunch and wandered a little among some shops in a tourist area where I again bought some postcards as mementos of our visit to ancient Greece.
We did not take a tour at this port. My daughter and I arrived there by a short bus ride, which was free and provided by the cruiseline, and got there before most other tourists had arrived.
The streets there were very narrow and all vehicles were either tiny Fiats, motorcycles, or bicycles. A regular size car could never make it through the narrow streets.
After walking through the labarynth of blue-trimmed white shops, we followed the shoreline to see what we would find. The ocean water was crystal clear and so alive. We passed by a cafe along the way that sat right on the water and noted that we'd like to come back to it for lunch. We took many pictures of typical greek-styled Byzantine little churches, Venice-like old structures with ocean water splashing up against their walls, and finally came upon three picturesque and very large old-style windmills. We met numerous house cats along the way.
Then, after sitting awhile in the shade of a hill at a picturesque sandy beach watching swimmers and sunbathers at another beach across the way. we retraced our steps and ate lunch at the sunset cafe, which was right on the water. It was fun to watch the water splash against the quay, hoping that those sitting right next to the quay would get wet.
After spending a lovely hour or so sitting and eating at the cafe, I purchased some postcards and a little momento of Mykonos at a tiny shop. Then we walked to our bus and returned to our ship, having thoroughly enjoyed our exploration of this beautiful port.
Waiting in line to take the cable car up to the rim of the volcano was hot, hot, hot! It was interesting to see others riding mules up instead of riding the cable car. At the top we found a sunset tour and ate lunch at the cafe while waiting for our tour to begin. I sat at a table with a fan blowing on me so was fairly comfortable while eating a meal that was mostly egg plant and tomato sauce. Then we rode in a van and, when we stopped, we did a lot of up and down hilly narrow street walking to get to our destination. I can't remember the town's strange name, but its streets were beautifully paved and the white strangely-shaped shops and white inns hanging onto the sides of the volcano rim with their bright blue swimming pools were beautiful in the sunset. This was an extraordinary photo opportunity, and we took gorgeous sunset photos here.
Loved Venice! Must stay away from St. Mark's Plaza during heavy tourist crowding. Best times there are early morning and early evening. The walk from Sant Elena to the square was beautiful and interesting. The gondola ride was so expensive, but a must do because it's Venice! Everything we ate was delicious. We rode the vaporetta to do a backstreet tour and took a water taxi to our cruise ship on embarkation day. In September the weather was a bit warm (not extremely hot), but the humidity was so high that are clothing became soaked from our perspiration. Drink lots of water!