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History: I am 22 year old girl who just graduated from college. I went on this trip with my mom as part of graduation present. This was our first cruise. Also I don't have great grammar just fyi. Overview: A wonderful cruise and even better itinerary. I am sold for life on NCL. Also to us this cruise was more about the ports then the cruise so we didn't do as much activities as we could of. We were just too tired from sight seeing and spent all our time in the spa :). Check in: We came in on KLM. If you have to fly oversea in economy this is way to go great free food and even free alcohol on the airplane. Also getting a passport was very easy in Istanbul even though we were a bit worried. We had Ekol pick us up from the airport and drop off up at the cruise ship. Then we made it to cruise ship around 3 and there was no line at all and we made it through checking in less then 10 mins. It all went so smoothly I could not believe it. Room: Our room was great. We had a fabulous deal and were upgraded to ocean view DD and the price was still a lot lower then what we started at with. We loved our TA. The room had lots of storage and was perfect for two people. I was really surprised about the bathroom. I accepted to be really tiny but it was very nice. The shower had even enough room to shave?. Our room steward was always friendly and helpful. We had little towel animals every day. Food: We loved the food everyday except once. The new 48 hour rule for reserving specialty restaurants instead of reserving for the whole trip was GREAT. I read about a lot of people having issues reserving restaurant times so we were a bit worried, but everything went very well. We always got the restaurant we want around the time we wanted. We tried all specialty restaurant and the two main restaurants. Our favorite was the steakhouse. The waiters and service was always good at every restaurant except Tsars. AT Tsars service slow and I did not like the food that night. Azura, Tangos, and Italian restaurant were all great free food options for dinner. The Grill at the pool was my favorite place for lunch. There hamburger there were just delicious. Breakfast was always great with lots of variety. And the food was never cold, except if it was suppose to be ? It was normally crowed in the breakfast area in the morning before we hit port but we would just take our food outside to the pool area and eat the food there. We could watch the ship pull into port without tons of people around us. They also served drinks out at the pool so we did not have to go back into to get drinks. Overall with food just love the option of eating when ever you want, where ever you want, and dress how you want. Optional Formal Night: One of our few complaints. They did not inform us that it was happening that night. I checked the daily a few times no mention that tonight was formal night. I guess if we looked at menus ahead of time we would have know that it was formal night cause of the lobsters being served. A lot of people were not dressed up that night but I asked a few if they knew of it being formal night and they said "No they did no." But we just wore our dresses when we went to Le bistro which works out fabulous because everyone was more dressed up in there anyway and we got our pictures taken that night. Also through out the cruise I saw lots of people dressed up too but still lots of people who were not. Spa: We spent a lot of time in the spa. We got the pass to relax in the spa. The stone /heat loungers are WONDERFUL. After a full day of sight seeing it was lovely to just grab a book and just relax. We went there enough all the spa ladies got to know us by name and were always nice and friendly. We also took advantage of the spa specials that were shown on the dailies. The massages, facials, reflexology, manicure, and predicators were all very relaxing and very good. Disembarkation: We got the first color off the ship and make sure you get into line very early when they give tickets the line was huge. We got first one off since we only had one day in Athens and wanted to make the most of it. We woke up at 5am and NCL had hot breakfast already out. Then we took our carry on off the ship which was really easy no one else was up. Then we met up with George the famous taxi driver and off we went. So overall very smooth later one it could have been bad but if you just got up early no problems at all. Itinerary Istanbul: We spent two days one night in Istanbul. Ekol was the company we used and they took care of us. We they fit in the stuff we wanted to do which was a lot and did it all cheaper then NCL tours. It was great having our own private tour; we learned so much and got to move at our own pace. We went to the Bizarre and got rugs, jewelry, and other gifts. It was great having our guide there she we keep us being ripped off and will help us bargain. When you’re in the bizarre remember do not be nice, just say no cause some of the shop keepers will really try and take advantage of you. Then we went to belly dancer dinner which was good food and great entertainment. The next day we went to see the Hippodrome, St Saint Sophia, and Topeka Place. Our guide was very informative, interesting and really nice person. Izmir: We used Ekol again in Izmir, Turkey. From there we drove to Ephesus which was a great Ionian, Greek/Roman ruins. I would also recommend seeing the Terrace houses even though they cost a bit extra well worth it. It gets you out of the sun for a little while and has beautiful mosaics and frescos. Our guide was very informative was a archeologist who has worked at this site. He knew a lot of very interesting details and took great pictures for us. Mykonos: This was going to be our beach day, but sadly it was rainy and cloudy most of the day. We did not get a guide here; Mykonos has a great bus system to get to most of the beaches. We went to Paradise beach, took some pics and try to lie down and relax, but it was just too cold. Then we went to back to the main town did some shopping. Mykonos is though very expensive town so we did a lot of just window shopping. A Paradise Beach towel coast 20 something euros, which I think is a bit ridiculous. Anyways try to find some shops off the beaten path and the shops get a bit more reasonable. Mykonos it self is very cute place though. Santorin: First this is the worst planned Greek island. If more then one ship is docked trying to get to Fira is very hard because you have to get on a gondola type thing which is very inefficient. So if you want to see the Island you need to get off on the first tendering boat possible and quickly get into the line because it will get worse. We got off on the first boat and got up to Fira really quickly. Then we went to a museum which was definitely very fascinating for people who love history. Afterwards we went on a Volcano Hike and Hot Springs. Volcano hike was gorgeous but the Hot Springs was defiantly something you can miss. Crete: We went with NCL tour in Knossos. Knossos is a very fascinating site but was really over crowed. We were packed like sardines in this ancient site. Also I really just do not NCL tours there expensive and can hardly hear what the tour guide said. Egypt: I would defiantly recommend Champion tour package of 2 day on night in Cairo. We had our own private guide instead of the huge tour groups of NCL and was cheaper then NCL. We got to move at our own pace and had our own driver. Our Tour guide was very nice and informative and was able to customize our tour for what we wanted to do. Olympia: We had a group formed on roll call of about 14 people. Our tour guide was great. By sharing this group it was again cheaper then NCL but still a smaller group then NCL tours. Athens: We did this on our own which is really easy because of Athens fabulous metro system which even has artifacts inside it. Makes sure to visit Acropolis before 9 am because that is when all the groups come. We stayed at the Fresh Hotel which was a very hip, comfortable hotel. With a very cool bar/lounge/pool area with a view of the acropolis would recommended to any young adults.

Norwegian Jewel - Eastern Mediterranean

Norwegian Jewel Cruise Review by Gabgab

Trip Details
History: I am 22 year old girl who just graduated from college. I went on this trip with my mom as part of graduation present. This was our first cruise. Also I don't have great grammar just fyi.
Overview: A wonderful cruise and even better itinerary. I am sold for life on NCL. Also to us this cruise was more about the ports then the cruise so we didn't do as much activities as we could of. We were just too tired from sight seeing and spent all our time in the spa :).
Check in: We came in on KLM. If you have to fly oversea in economy this is way to go great free food and even free alcohol on the airplane. Also getting a passport was very easy in Istanbul even though we were a bit worried. We had Ekol pick us up from the airport and drop off up at the cruise ship. Then we made it to cruise ship around 3 and there was no line at all and we made it through checking in less then 10 mins. It all went so smoothly I could not believe it.
Room: Our room was great. We had a fabulous deal and were upgraded to ocean view DD and the price was still a lot lower then what we started at with. We loved our TA. The room had lots of storage and was perfect for two people. I was really surprised about the bathroom. I accepted to be really tiny but it was very nice. The shower had even enough room to shave?. Our room steward was always friendly and helpful. We had little towel animals every day. Food: We loved the food everyday except once. The new 48 hour rule for reserving specialty restaurants instead of reserving for the whole trip was GREAT. I read about a lot of people having issues reserving restaurant times so we were a bit worried, but everything went very well. We always got the restaurant we want around the time we wanted. We tried all specialty restaurant and the two main restaurants. Our favorite was the steakhouse. The waiters and service was always good at every restaurant except Tsars. AT Tsars service slow and I did not like the food that night. Azura, Tangos, and Italian restaurant were all great free food options for dinner. The Grill at the pool was my favorite place for lunch. There hamburger there were just delicious. Breakfast was always great with lots of variety. And the food was never cold, except if it was suppose to be ? It was normally crowed in the breakfast area in the morning before we hit port but we would just take our food outside to the pool area and eat the food there. We could watch the ship pull into port without tons of people around us. They also served drinks out at the pool so we did not have to go back into to get drinks. Overall with food just love the option of eating when ever you want, where ever you want, and dress how you want.
Optional Formal Night: One of our few complaints. They did not inform us that it was happening that night. I checked the daily a few times no mention that tonight was formal night. I guess if we looked at menus ahead of time we would have know that it was formal night cause of the lobsters being served. A lot of people were not dressed up that night but I asked a few if they knew of it being formal night and they said "No they did no." But we just wore our dresses when we went to Le bistro which works out fabulous because everyone was more dressed up in there anyway and we got our pictures taken that night. Also through out the cruise I saw lots of people dressed up too but still lots of people who were not.
Spa: We spent a lot of time in the spa. We got the pass to relax in the spa. The stone /heat loungers are WONDERFUL. After a full day of sight seeing it was lovely to just grab a book and just relax. We went there enough all the spa ladies got to know us by name and were always nice and friendly. We also took advantage of the spa specials that were shown on the dailies. The massages, facials, reflexology, manicure, and predicators were all very relaxing and very good.
Disembarkation: We got the first color off the ship and make sure you get into line very early when they give tickets the line was huge. We got first one off since we only had one day in Athens and wanted to make the most of it. We woke up at 5am and NCL had hot breakfast already out. Then we took our carry on off the ship which was really easy no one else was up. Then we met up with George the famous taxi driver and off we went. So overall very smooth later one it could have been bad but if you just got up early no problems at all. Itinerary
Istanbul: We spent two days one night in Istanbul. Ekol was the company we used and they took care of us. We they fit in the stuff we wanted to do which was a lot and did it all cheaper then NCL tours. It was great having our own private tour; we learned so much and got to move at our own pace. We went to the Bizarre and got rugs, jewelry, and other gifts. It was great having our guide there she we keep us being ripped off and will help us bargain. When you’re in the bizarre remember do not be nice, just say no cause some of the shop keepers will really try and take advantage of you. Then we went to belly dancer dinner which was good food and great entertainment. The next day we went to see the Hippodrome, St Saint Sophia, and Topeka Place. Our guide was very informative, interesting and really nice person.
Izmir: We used Ekol again in Izmir, Turkey. From there we drove to Ephesus which was a great Ionian, Greek/Roman ruins. I would also recommend seeing the Terrace houses even though they cost a bit extra well worth it. It gets you out of the sun for a little while and has beautiful mosaics and frescos. Our guide was very informative was a archeologist who has worked at this site. He knew a lot of very interesting details and took great pictures for us.
Mykonos: This was going to be our beach day, but sadly it was rainy and cloudy most of the day. We did not get a guide here; Mykonos has a great bus system to get to most of the beaches. We went to Paradise beach, took some pics and try to lie down and relax, but it was just too cold. Then we went to back to the main town did some shopping. Mykonos is though very expensive town so we did a lot of just window shopping. A Paradise Beach towel coast 20 something euros, which I think is a bit ridiculous. Anyways try to find some shops off the beaten path and the shops get a bit more reasonable. Mykonos it self is very cute place though.
Santorin: First this is the worst planned Greek island. If more then one ship is docked trying to get to Fira is very hard because you have to get on a gondola type thing which is very inefficient. So if you want to see the Island you need to get off on the first tendering boat possible and quickly get into the line because it will get worse. We got off on the first boat and got up to Fira really quickly. Then we went to a museum which was definitely very fascinating for people who love history. Afterwards we went on a Volcano Hike and Hot Springs. Volcano hike was gorgeous but the Hot Springs was defiantly something you can miss.
Crete: We went with NCL tour in Knossos. Knossos is a very fascinating site but was really over crowed. We were packed like sardines in this ancient site. Also I really just do not NCL tours there expensive and can hardly hear what the tour guide said.
Egypt: I would defiantly recommend Champion tour package of 2 day on night in Cairo. We had our own private guide instead of the huge tour groups of NCL and was cheaper then NCL. We got to move at our own pace and had our own driver. Our Tour guide was very nice and informative and was able to customize our tour for what we wanted to do.
Olympia: We had a group formed on roll call of about 14 people. Our tour guide was great. By sharing this group it was again cheaper then NCL but still a smaller group then NCL tours.
Athens: We did this on our own which is really easy because of Athens fabulous metro system which even has artifacts inside it. Makes sure to visit Acropolis before 9 am because that is when all the groups come. We stayed at the Fresh Hotel which was a very hip, comfortable hotel. With a very cool bar/lounge/pool area with a view of the acropolis would recommended to any young adults.
Gabgab’s Full Rating Summary
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