We picked this cruise because it offered a great itinerary for the price and because it offered activities to fit a variety of interests. We travelled as a group of twelve with ages ranging from 12, 16, 19, mid forties to mid fifties.
Overall this was a good cruise. This itinerary meant we spent a lot of time off the boat, but the meals and entertainment were decent. Staff were friendly and helpful. The food was below average from what we have had on HA and Celebrity. Drink selection was quite good, but having to pay for bottled water because it wasn't included in drink package was a real drawback for us.
Many people commented on the layout of the room as being a negative because the toilet was separate from the shower and sink, but we found this to be convienient when getting ready. There are sliding doors for both areas, so you still have lots of privacy.
The boat is huge. We really noticed the crowds on sea day. I would not enjoy this boat on a cruise where you spend a lot of time on the boat. We struggled to find sun chairs and there were long lines at the restaurants and bars.
Entertainment was really good. Precilla and the Cirque show were awesome. We don't often attend the ship evening shows, because we find them pretty lame, but it was very entertaining.
We booked our own transfers and excursions because the prices from the cruise lines are always much higher.
Can't remember our exact cabin number, but we had a mid ship mini suite with balcony on the 9th level. Cabin had lots of room with plenty of storage. The most we have had on any cruise. The layout and flow made sense and everything worked as it should. Water pressure was very good in the shower.
We booked a private tour which took us to Pisa and then into Florence. Well worth seeing Pisa. This was the highlight of the trip for me. The lookout on the way to Florence was pretty spectacular and allowed for a great view of the whole city. The Basillica in Florence is amazing.
We did not book our excursions with NCL. Rome has lots to see and do. The public metro was easy to navigate and relatively inexpensive. Our flight was delayed a day, so we had to cram everything into one day, but we managed to see the Vatican (do not recommend as it was basically Disneyland for Catholics); Colosseum and the adjacent grounds Palatine Hill were amazing; Trevi Fountain (Extremely crowded, but worth seeing); Spanish steps (great view from top).
We just got off the boat and walkwd. It is a short distance to the shopping district. Lots of great little shops and eateries. We spent about 4 hours just walking around and then made our way back to the ship.
We were able to secure three cabs once we got off the boat. They had a list of sites and we picked the three we wanted to see. We went to a castle, a bull ring and a Cathedral. It was an efficient way to see the highlights and our drivers were friendly and helpful. They told us a lot about the area and its history.
We took taxis from the port to the Sangria Famillia. This is a spectacular piece of history, architecture and art. It was the highlight of our trip for sure.
We then hailed taxis that took us to the market district. This is a walking only street with lots of shops, restaurants and street performers. We walked our way to the port and had lunch at a nearby shopping complex. Took a taxi back to the ship. Taxis were easy to find, friendly and spoke English well.
We booked a private transport to Pompeii and then a drive up the coast to Sorrento. Pompeii was amazing. We spent 4 hours there and could have easily spent another 4. So much history. The trip up the coast was great. There are a couple of viewpoints we stopped at to get pictures of Mt. Vesuvius and other villiages. We spent a couple of hours roaming around Sorrento before having a quick lunch at one of the local restaurants, before heading back to the port.