June 2015 - 12 Night Grand Mediterranean (Venice To Barcelona) Cruise on Norwegian Spirit
My daughter and I went on this cruise for her graduation/18th Birthday. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise experience once we arrived at our stateroom. Our steward, Tutuk, was awesome. He always greeted us by name and with a smile every time he saw us. His smile and welcome made up for our embarkation experience which was not so great. Just an FYI, no matter what they tell you when you call and ask, do NOT get to the port after about 7:00! We had tours scheduled in Venice and asked about embarkation time. We were told up until 10:00. We got off the people mover at about 7:30, and there was no shuttle or any transportation further, we had to drag our heavy suitcases all the way to the terminal which was quite a hike. Then, by the time we got there the terminal was closed for check in so we had to then drag all of our bags to the Guest Services Desk (these people weren't very knowledgeable about much of anything the entire trip). Needless to say, we were not very happy at that point. As I said, things turned around immediately upon meeting our cabin steward and getting settled in, and we had a great time on this cruise. Our first two days were at sea, and there were plenty of things to do if you didn't want to just lay around on the pool deck. We went to see only one show, but it was fantastic (Elements)! We did buy an internet package that we used with no problems (be aware it is satellite based so somewhat slow). We went to the casino one night, and I was relieved that it was not nearly as smokey as some that I have been in on other cruise lines. The ship itself was very nice. They kept it clean and in good repair. Sanitation was really important to the cruise line, which made me very happy. They had staff at the doors to the buffet and at the check-in station when getting back on board from port days with spray bottle of hand sanitizer, and everyone got their hands sprayed. There were also tons of hand sanitizer stations throughout the ship. The food was excellent, of course. We ate at least once a day at the Blue Lagoon (they had great burgers). All of the staff were friendly. The ports of call were outstanding for the most part, although there was not much to do in Toulon. We went to the beach for a bit (note to families - tops are optional). Rome wore us ragged - the tour we booked had A LOT on the itinerary and it was super hot. We loved getting to see all that we did, but we were tired and sickish from the heat by the end of the day. We should have prioritized that day a little and saved some things for next time. In Mykonos, we wished we would have gone on our own to spend more time at Kalafatis Beach, but our tour was great. We did not go through the shore excursions desk for our tours but booked them through outside companies to save money. Disembarkation was incredibly easy. I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone who wants an outstanding sample of the Mediterranean! The only snafu we had was embarkation which was partially our own fault for spending more time in Venice. All else was beyond our expectations!