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Home > Member Reviews > jsummerton's Port Reviews of Barcelona, Rome (Civitavecchia), Athens (Piraeus), Izmir, Cairo (Port Said), Malta (Valletta)

jsummerton's Port Reviews of Barcelona, Rome (Civitavecchia), Athens (Piraeus), Izmir, Cairo (Port Said), Malta (Valletta)
Norwegian Jade cruise in January 2011
Member Name: jsummerton
Cruise Date: January 2011
Embarkation: Barcelona
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Member Review: jsummerton's Norwegian Jade Review
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
I was very surprised at how much I loved Barcelona. We spent a few days before the cruise here. A clean and very pleasant city. People were kind overall and traffic was reasonable. I never felt unsafe.

We did Barcelona on our own with public transportation. We found it very easy to do for the most part and people helped when we got confused.

In one day we visited the Ramblas, Park Guell and La Sagrada Famillia. Definitely see the church after dark -- it's beautiful.

We spent a day in Montserrat and it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Otherworldly.

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Rome (Civitavecchia)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We'd been to Rome before but thought we were going with friends who had never been so we got an introduction with everything we could do in one day with Driver Guide Service. We had one of the best tour guides of the whole trip -- Claudio.

We saw Trevi fountain, Navona plaza and fountain, the Vatican including the museum and the Sistine Chapel. We stopped to look through the keyhole which was beautiful. We of course went to the colliseum and saw many more things. The really amazing thing about Rome is that these things are fairly close together and the whole part of the city is scenic -- every street is beautiful and old and interesting.

The only downside of the tour was that it was priced for the van and someone backed out leaving us with a greater share in the end instead of paying per person. Also, we didn't realize they bought the Vatican tickets ahead of time and some of our folks didn't want to go in at that stop. So the tickets were bought before they told us they ddn't want to go. Of course, it's great that the tickets were already bought for those of us who wanted to go because we jumped to the head of all the long lines. It was amazing.

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Athens (Piraeus)
Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
I had never been to Athen before and was excited about the Acropolis. It didn't diappoint. Yes, there are a lot of stairs to get up there and since I'm not in shape at all, I was afraid. But I made it just fine and it was beautiful up top. It's an experience to have once in your life for sure.

We had a private tour. We also saw the Plaka, the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier, and the Olympic stadium.

It's not a place I feel I would need to visit again but it was a beautiful place to visit once.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
We took a tour with Hello Ephesus, I believe. They did a nice job. We got the deluxe day long tour. The tour guide was nice and very informative about Turkey which was nice because we saw the Roman ruins in Ephesus and the Virgin Mary's house and nothing was really "Turkish".

The sights were very nice. The terrace houses at Ephesus are a must do. I've heard people say that they are perhaps better than Pompeii. I don't believe it but it is quite impressive in the terrace houses.

We were able to avoid the carpet factory and they included dinner with folkloric show.

If I go back to Turkey, I'd like to see more of the people and their lives now -- the bazaar or something. It's a beautiful country and the people seem nice there.

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Cairo (Port Said)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We took a tour with Ramses and the guide was Islam (not an uncommon name). This was one of the best tour on the whole trip. The guide was very good, easy to understand and full of info. Islam knew where to get the best photos and was happy to take them for you.

Cairo is mostly about the pyramids -- they're just like what you've seen in the photos but now you'll be in the photos. Ramses arranged that we'd all get a camel ride and although it was kind of scary on that camel -- it provided some great photos. the tombs at Saqqara have some amazing ancient artwork that I wouldn't have missed for anything.

The second day we saw a mosque and the museum. If you ever visited a museum with a King Tut exhibit, that day could be changed for something else -- maybe Alexandria.

Definitely a highlight for me.

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Malta (Valletta)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
I'd never really heard of Malta before we were going on this trip. But it is very beautiful. We had a van driver take us around Valletta and to the Co-Cathedral. Then to the temple at Tarxian and finally to Mdina. All very interesting.

If you've never heard of Malta, a good book to get you excited about it is Monserrat's The Kappillan of Malta.

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