Our group booked this cruise because of the great Ports of Call. This was our second cruise departing from Venice, so we arrived ready to explore Murano, Burano & Tarcello and the Doges Palace which were must sees for this trip. Our hotel ordered a water taxis to take us to the pier and embarkation was fast and easy. On our first night aboard we had a magnificent dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, a highlight of the cruise. We have sailed with Holland in the past and were disappointed with the lack of activities, especially on the sea day. Lincoln Center Stage was a daily treat before dinner. This was the first cruise that we booked shore excursions on our own, thank you Cruise Critic for giving us the great tips. We used Via Tour, Shore Fox and Luca Zoppo for Naples, Sorrento and Pompeii. We did our research and found shore excursions that included sites we were interested in. Disembarkation ran smoothly with a transfer to the airport.
Cabin was nice, but nightly we were kept up by the loud base vibrations coming from the BB King's music venue.
This tour was the highlight of our visit to Albania! Our guide took us on a walking tour of Sarande and then it was off to the park. The ride to the Blue Eye National Park through the countryside was pleasant. The Blue Eye was beautiful, we enjoyed walking through the park, learning the history of the dragon, and putting our feet in the spring water. The views from Lekuresi Castle were magnificent.
We had been to Olympia on a previous trip to Greece, so we decided to stay in Katakolon. After a short walk, we boarded the Katakolon Fun Tourist Train, 6€. Our first stop was the beautiful estate Mercouri Winery. We purchased a glass of wine, and then began exploring the grounds, ending up sitting under trees taking in the beautiful scenery. Our next stop was the beach enjoying an ice coffee on a beach chair. We boarded the train and headed back to Katakolon for shopping and Baklava ice cream.
We loved Malta. The Hop on Hop Off Bus took us all around the island. We stopped at the Blue Grotto and took boat ride into the caves. It was an exciting and beautiful trip. Half our group stayed for sunbathing and lunch and the rest continued the island tour.