We had a good cruise on a cruise line we had been reluctant to try because of its nickle and diming rep . Some of that was evident and the last minute change of policy concerning carry-on liquids didn't help . However the level of the food and entertainment as well as a great itinerary led to a fine cruise . We would have had a good time visiting these ports regardless of the ship but were generally pleased with our NCL experience . Impressed at how well a ship with 700 more then 100% capacity worked . If the price is right , we will do NCL again .
C+ CABIN Weird room but the real issue is it is just too narrow . The curves in the wall attempt to disguise this . Renato our steward was efficient and polished . Balcony was an issue . 9th floor is uncovered plus all the decks above look down on you as those decks are set back . We discovered cigarette butts , ping pong balls all general dirt which wasn't kept clean by steward . I didn't have a problem with the "deconstructed" bathroom setup but DW did . A note on the most uncomfortable toilet seat ever . Torn balcony curtain was quickly fixed .
Well located aft of the back elevators . Oddly shaped room but the real issue is it is just too narrow . The curves in the wall attempt to disguise this . Renato our steward was efficient and polished . Balcony was an issue . 9th floor is uncovered plus all the decks above look down on you as those decks are set back .
I didn't have a problem with the "deconstructed" bathroom setup but DW did . A note on the most uncomfortable toilet seat ever . Torn balcony curtain was quickly fixed .
Perfect place to start your cruise from . We arrived 3 days prior and stayed in Hotel Paral.lel which was very well located on the corner of Avenue del Parallel in the Poble Sec area . A 3 minute walk to Metro Stops and a 7 minute walk to the Blue Bus (at the Mirador de Colom - Columbus Monument) which takes you to your port. The hotel is very basic with excellent A/C , great showers and a bar fridge in each room . We stayed for a total of 4 days before and after our cruise . They stored our luggage as we arrived well before check-in time. Excellent optional breakfast .
We traveled the city using a T10 card and bought a museum pass (Articket BCN) which gave us access to 6 different museums including Picasso and Miro also avoiding ticket lines . We also booked 2 "free" walking tours both with great guides . The Sandemans New Barcelona roamed the oldest part of the city . The other was a Gaudi tour by Runner Bean Tours . Not a great tour due to the fact that we would see the outside of a building, hear about it .then go on a metro to the next site and so on . We went to the Park Guell designed by Gaudi on our own . Quirky with wonderful views .
We were told there are two kinds of food in this city , good and great . We agree . As an example we stopped for lunch prior to the Picasso Museum at Bar Potito . We ordered from their menu del dia . For 10 Euros we got fabulous fish , salads , fresh melon and beer . We enjoyed 2 meals of Pincho (small version of Tapas) around our hotel . Fantastic ! Incredible coffee and danish are available on every corner .
Shopping is also great in Barcelona but the best thing was the people including the tourists . The locals love their city and are happy to show it off to the world . Tremendous city to cruise from .
We rented a car from Hertz . They were located in the area where the ferries dock , just out and to the right of our dock Book in advance . Got a brand new manual Fiat . Only stalled 4 times looking for reverse . The plan was to take the highway A3 to Salerno , stop a couple of times as we drove back along the Amalfi coast and then back to Naples . It was a brilliant idea because if it was crowded we could cut out stops . We tried to stop a couple of times but it was so CROWDED . In the end we stopped for lunch at Hotel Onda Verde's restaurant , Franchino . The view was beyond breathtaking . Built on an incredible steep wall face , you park on the sixth floor and take an elevator down to the ground floor . It's located between Amalfi and Positano .
The drive between Salerno and Sorrento is 60 kilometers of the wildest , steepest craziest thrill ride you will ever experience . Watch out for buses , motorcycles and pedestrians , none of whom seem to worry about about their mortality . SO MUCH FUN !
We were worried about time so we returned the car back in Naples by 3 . We had time to do a little exploring . Do you know a ice cappuccino costs 1.2 Euro standing up at the bar but 5 if you decide to sit like a tourist would ? We stood
Great day although less so for DW . .
We were more then fortunate to have been set up with a private tour at the Ruffino winery , Ruffino Poggio Casciano by a dear friend . We picked up our Hertz car right at the dock for which they charge an extra 15 E each way . Another manual , this time I didn't stall once . We made our way towards Firenze (Florence) turning south off the SGC at the edge of town . Another half hour and we pulled up at the winery which specializes in the highest end Super-Tuscans and Chiantis . What a wonderful tour from Edoardo . We were joined by a great family and got a comprehensive tour of the land , cellars and the estate . Lunch was magnificent as were the wines . I really tried to limit my consumption as I wasn't keen to experience a DWI in Italy .
Our return drive was quite as we luxuriated in just experienced lifelong memories . Our only sour note was filling up with gas where we were overcharged . Small price to pay .
This was a tender port . Since we had no scheduled tour we picked a 9:10 time . No reservation was needed . We walked right on. They want to fully fill up the tenders even if there is another tender waiting . We walked around the city starting by climbing many stairs to get to Musee de la Castre . The rest of the day was walking , eating and shopping .
A couple of hints . Cannes is the ultimate tourist town so be aware . This means you can certainly pay fabulous amounts which is fine if that's what you want to do . For example there are multiple free beach areas but you may pay up to 50 Euros for a lounge , umbrella and towel for the day . Same goes for food . We shared a great Pain Bagnat sandwich which I survived on 35 years ago on my grand Europe tour . We ate on the waterfront with a beer from a waterfront kiosk . Million Euro view .Earlier we had shared a brioche loaf studded with nuts and fruits . Oh so good . Bought wonderful soaps in a supermarket for a small fraction of the soap store price .
We took the tender back and again they waited till it was more then full even with another waiting to be filled . BTW , finding a washroom can be a challenge in Cannes .
This grade is NOT reflective of the city which has many wonderful attraction , merely our experience on a bad day . NCL sells a roundtrip shuttle for $15 . Departure was fine although we were left at an desolate stop a good 5 minute walk from where we were promised . We walked to the Cathedale de la Major and then up the hill to what was said to be the oldest part of town . We then walked around to the shopping areas . DW was very happy discovering Mango Outlet for shoes . It started to rain and we ducked in to Galerie Lafayette a very impressive department store with an exceptional and expensive food department .
My stomach started to hurt from too much food , too much cruise and too much everything . We got back to the drop off spot to find 80 plus waiting . We only got on the third bus . Was not happy . Over a half hour wait and it looked to be much worse for those behind us .