Loved the Eastern Med with Jade: Norwegian Jade Cruise Review by jsummerton

Norwegian Jade 5
Member Since 2009
127 Forum Posts

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Loved the Eastern Med with Jade

Sail Date: January 2011
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
We loved this trip. We got lucky and the weather was really great overall even though it was Jan. 2 - Jan 14. Because the big holiday is Jan. 6, the traffic was light in Rome and Athens. Yes we made Athens although some earlier cruises weren't able to get there because of unrest. The holiday made it a bad day to protest. All in all, it was the perfect time to go.

The ship was as many have said. It's beautiful but the Hawaiian decor is out of place. The mini-suite was spacious -- one of the best rooms I've ever had on a cruise. It was a little too cold to use the balcony much on this trip.

We didn't use the pay restaurants and very much enjoyed the Alizar and the buffet was fine too. Yes, it's crowded in the day but I just went out to the back of the ship and ate outdoors.

We didn't see many of the shows. I saw the violinist and that was nice. Quite a wide variety of music. Then we saw Elements and that was quite a spectacular show. Definitely a very good More show.

The best purchase of the trip for the ship was getting a spa pass at the beginning of the trip. The spa is beautiful and we hung out there most days. After a busy day of walking, how nice to have a hot tub and then heated lounger to relax those muscles -- while looking out the windows at the front of the ship. Very nice.

The ship was everything we needed it to be. The main star was the ports we visited for us. Less

Published 01/18/11

Cabin review: MA11080 Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony

Lots of room. Great bathroom. Good balcony. Liked everything about it.

Read All Mid-Ship Mini-Suite with Balcony (MA) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

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.

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.

Read 1749 Barcelona Reviews

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.

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.

Read 184 Izmir Reviews

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.

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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