October 2019 - 7 Night Western Mediterranean (Barcelona Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Epic
Norwegian Epic, October 20, 2019
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September 2017 - 7 Night Alaska Sawyer Glacier (Seattle Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Jewel
November 2007 - 8 Night Mexican Riviera (Los Angeles roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Star
May 2005 - 7 Night Pacific Coastal (Los Angeles to Vancouver) Cruise on Norwegian Star
Sail date: October 20, 2019
Cannes was nice, but I live in Southern California. If I want to shop at stores I can't afford, I can go to Beverly Hills or Newport Beach. There is a tour called "The Little Train" that will take you around the city, as I recall it was 12 euros, and starts right outside the port. The cathedral is worth seeing. I don't want to say anything bad about Cannes, it was nice but didn't do it for us otherwise.
We did a shore excursion to the Amalfi coast and Pompeii. Both were fascinating and well worth seeing.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy
See my comments on the timing of the shore excursion on Rome, the same thing applies here. My wife and I both felt that Florence was the best city we visited. We booked the Hop on-Hop off bus, and went ot the Uffizi Gallery. Florence was the center of the Renisannce, and the Uffizi shows it. It did take enough time to see that we didn't do the hop on-hop off bus, after the Uffizi, we got some lunch and went to the Duomo (right next to the Uffizi), did a little shopping then it was time to go.
We arrived in Barcelona the night before the cruise, and stayed four days after. The two main attractions in Barcelona are La Sagrada Familia and the Picasso museum. Definately get tickets for both of them ahead of time, otherwise you'll be wating in line for a long time if they're not sold out already. There is a park on the east side of La Sagrada Familia with a pond, stop there and get pictures of the church reflected in the pond. If you're staying in Barcelona, food is very reasonable at tapas bars, a good meal for two runs 15 to less than 20 euros. Tickets for the Metro, also good on busses, can be had for 10.60 euros for 10 rides, and the ticket can be shared. This is a big discount over the 2.20 euros for one ride, and will get you everywhere you want to go quickly. If you want to see Park Guell, part of it requires a ticket, and they do sell out, get them ahead of time. Mont Juic is another park worth seeing. Tickets for the Miro museum can be purchased at the door, no long lines or selling out ahead of time.
Palma De Mallorca, Balearic Islands
By the time you get to Palma, the itinerary will have you worn out, but you don't get there until 1:00 pm so you can sleep in. Beautiful city, but like Cannes, not a whole lot there. The castle is worth seeing.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
When you look at the port times, and see that you're here for 12 hours, you may think you have a lot of time. (The same goes for Livorno). We did the Rome on Your Own shore excursion, which leaves an hour after the ship docks. Then it's an hour and a half or more, depending on traffic, to get to Rome and back. Then you have to be back on the ship half an hour before departure. So that leaves 7 1/2 hours in Rome. We got tickets for the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. When you get your shore excursion tickets, there is a note saying to not book anything before 11:00 am. Of course, this is too late, keep it in mind when planning your cruise. The same goes in Livorno if you're going to Florence or Pisa. Rome was amazing, but way overcrowded. The cruise goes to Rome on Wednesday, which is the day the Pope gives a public address, so it may be more crowded that day. We couldn't get close enough to the Trevi Fountain to throw a coin in, and even with timed tickets, the Sistine Chapel was wall to wall people, good thing what you want to see is on the ceiling.
Reading reviews of the Epic, some people get way too upset about the room layout. You may or may not like it, but don't get upset about it. There is a laundry special in the middle of the cruise on all Norwegian ships, whatever you can stuff into the laundry bag will be cleaned, folded, and deilvered to your room for $20. This is much easier than packing enough clothes for the entire vacation. When you're in Europe, be sure to have a few coins with you. Public restrooms charge half to one euro to use. If you go in a restaurant, coffee shop, or other business with a restroom, you can use the restroom for free if you're a customer.
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