July 2017 - 11 Night Mediterranean & Greece (Rome Roundtrip) Cruise on Norwegian Spirit
Fun Mediterranean Cruise
This cruise great way to get a glimpse of the Mediterranean and know which locations you would like to visit again. The best part of the cruise is that you unpack once and you visit many different locations.
Messina, Sicily - We did not book any tour and instead decided to walk. While we saw some beautiful buildings and churches, we could not find any destination place or a place to eat. We headed back to the ship early.
Look to see what excursions are offered for this port.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy - Rome is about 1 to 1.5 hours away from the ship. We stayed at in Rome for a day and a half prior to getting on the ship and enjoyed a food walking tour. There is a lot to see in Rome. It would be best to arrive early before your cruise or stay a few days after.
Iraklion (Heraklion), Crete - We did not schedule any tour or excursion in Crete. When we got off the ship and noticed that there was nothing within walking distance, we decided to take a hop on/off bus. We visited a couple of historical sites and enjoyed lunch and shopping as well.
Naples, Italy - Book a tour with Carmine and you won't be disappointed. We had a party of 6 but I believe he can fit 8 people.
Carmine takes you through Naples and along the Amalfi Coast and you get to visit some of his secret stops.
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece - There is a small town at the port walking distance from the ship. Lots of shops and restaurants with beaches nearby. An easy walk back and forth to the ship. If you are shopping, bring cash as the stores seem to ask for Euros rather than credit cards.
Santorini, Greece - Our favorite stop for this cruise. Santorini is the typical Greece that you see in movies or TV. The white buildings and churches with the blue dome roof. The ship docks at sea and you have to take a tender to get to shore. We took the ship's excursion to visit the Village of Oia and wished we had more time. Beautiful views driving up the mountain and we saw donkeys crossing the street. Lots of cute shops and places to eat. We enjoyed brunch and then walked the cute little streets of shops. Our bus took us to Thira which is located at the top mountain/cliff. Breathtaking views, deep blue water with more restaurants, shops galore, pedicures (with little fishes in the water). The tour included a ride down from Thira to the sea level on a gondola which they call a "cable car" takes you from the top down to sea level. The ride down takes about 5 minutes but the line waiting for the ride down can get very long in the afternoon. The ship recommends you do not take the donkey's or walk down.
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy - Florence was a fun port to visit with a lot of historical sites and shopping. Note that the museums are closed on Mondays which is the day we were in port. Recommend you hire a drivers/taxi is you are planning on visiting Florence. It's a long ride.
Piraeus (Athens), Greece - Highly recommend you book a tour in Athens as it is not walkable from the ship. We used Private Greece Tours and Aki was our driver/tour guide. Five stars for the private tour for our group of 6. Aki was at the port before we got off the ship waiting with a sign with our name. He had a van that could seat 8 passengers that was very clean, comfortable and he had ice cold water for us. Aki spoke English and Greek and was extremely knowledgable with Greece and Greek History. He was very friendly, personable and adjusted our tour to meet our needs. We went to several outdoor historical sites in the morning, a fantastic Greek lunch was arranged for us and finished the day with an indoor museum.
P.G.T. TOUR GROUP
Cagliari, Sardinia - Honestly cannot remember what we did in Cagliari and I did not take any pictures.
Valletta, Malta - Beautiful views as you are coming into port. We took the hop on and off bus and went to the Blue Lagoon. The bus ride took about 45 mins to 1 hour and takes you to the other side of the island. The bus pickup was every 45 minutes. We needed to book a ferry ride to get to the Blue Lagoon and we decide to just catch the next bus back to the city. We had lunch in the city and headed back to the ship. We should have spend our day visiting the city area of Valetta instead heading out to the Blue Lagoon.
Norwegian Spirit - As a group of 6, we purchased the Norwegian iConcierge App for $9.95 per person so that we could text each other while at sea. While the app works, note that the person receiving the text has to have the App Open and the Chat open to get your text otherwise they have no idea they have a message. If you are the "main" person on the ship account, the app will show you each time a charge is made to your room. The App allows everyone to view the ports of call, daily agenda of what's going on and other ship info.
The on-board Internet works okay. It allows one device to connect at a time so you can share. There were times it would give us a network error and was unusable and other times it would take 1-10 tries before you could connect. For $29.99 per day, we had higher expectations.
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