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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 03:25 PM
Review of our 12 Day E. Mediterranean Cruise aboard the NCL Jade 3/7/2010

Please be patient....I'll be posting our report in sections! Also time is short for me, so I'm afraid this is the "unedited" version.

About us: Loyal “Norweenies”, 40 & 50 something, cruising on the NCL Jade for the very 1st time.

Disclaimer: A review is for all intents and purposes a perspective of OUR overall experience.

Our Adventure: 1 day pre-cruise in Barcelona; Eastern Mediterranean cruise, round trip from Barcelona, Spain -> Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy -> Messina, Italy (Sicily) -> Izmir, Turkey -> Alexandria, Egypt -> Valletta, Malta -> Barcelona, Spain; 1 day post-cruise in Barcelona – 5 full sea days included. (Love my sea days!)

Note: Sicily was a substitute port in place of Athens, Greece, which was canceled due to a ground transportation strike. Sad not to get to the Acropolis, but we had a blast in Sicily!

Barcelona Pre-Cruise:

Flight arrangements were booked independently with American Airlines. Prior to our flight there was news of a potential strike after our departure, which thankfully never came to pass!

We departed JFK on 3/5/2010 @ 7PM prepared with $500 euros in advance, arriving at BCN 3/6/2010 @ 9AM on schedule. Thanks to the red-eye flight and some off & on rest, we were ready for some touring Saturday until we could check-in at our hotel. All of our arrangements went off without a hitch, except for our time at the BCN airport. For whatever reason, passengers from our incoming flight waited 1-1/2 hours for our luggage! Ridiculous!

Thankfully Barcelona City Tours waited for us and quickly whisked us off for a 4 hour tour of key sites in Barcelona. Due to the number of roll call members booked, the fee was only 39 euros/pp. We were transported in small vans, making it comfortable for everyone in our group. (Thanks for arranging everything, Pam!) At the end of the tour, we were all delivered to our individual hotels, including our luggage safely stored in the back of the van.

http://www.hotels.com/ho192596/hotel-onix-liceo-barcelona-spain/

We booked Hotel Onix Liceo through Hotels.com.for 1 night pre and post cruise @ US $157/night. It is located on Carrer Nou de La Rambla, just 2 blocks from port & the Christopher Columbus Monument and directly adjacent to all the action on La Ramblas. Room type was requested, but not guaranteed. For our night pre-cruise, we received a balcony room facing Nou de La Rambla, which was greatly appreciated by me since I smoke. It was a bit noisy into the wee hours of the morning, but nothing bad enough to hamper our sleep. (Thankfully I had remembered to pack my international hairdryer and adapters, so we were all set for the European outlets.)

We had heard and read all about the threat of pick pockets in Barcelona, and were well prepared with money belts, a Pac-Safe purse for myself, etc. But honestly, even though we heard a few horror stories, we never felt threatened once during our 2 days there. Just like any city, it takes common sense, being alert, not wandering into secluded areas and avoiding tight congestion with pedestrians.

Although there are tons of options for dining on La Ramblas, the front desk suggested we stray just 1 block beyond for better food and prices. We did just that, found many to choose from and were not disappointed! After dinner, it was off to bed for us, to recuperate from jet lag and get ready for our cruise!

The "unfinished" La Sagrada Familia Cathedral by Gaudi
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Opposite side of The "unfinished" La Sagrada Familia Cathedral by Gaudi
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Park Guell by Antoni Gaudi
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Palace at Plaza de España, Barcelona
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The port area of Barcelona
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The Louis Majesty (Former NCL Majesty) docked after the rogue wave incidenthttp://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/CIMG0059.jpg

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 03:31 PM
Embarkation:

It just so happened that there was a marathon in town this morning, which involved La Ramblas down and around the Christopher Columbus Monument, blocking direct access to get to port from our side of the city. Top it off, Hotel Onix Liceo is on a one way street, which just by luck goes towards La Ramblas! *sigh*. When we asked the front desk clerk to call a taxi for getting to port, he just chuckled and said there was no way that could happen until the marathon was finished. So off we go on foot, with luggage in tow, towards the port area.

In hindsight, we should have waited to hail a taxi until there was sufficient break in the marathon action that police would let us cross over to the port side. Unfortunately our sights were set on getting to the terminal a.s.a.p., so we hailed the first taxi we could. The taxi driver (who didn’t speak an ounce of English) tried to forewarn us by motioning that it would involve all kinds of lefts & rights. Even a kind gentleman passing by, who translated for us, conveyed the same message. Nonetheless, we got in the taxi. You have no idea how far out of our way we had to go to get there – to the tune of 50 euro including tip! Lesson learned….LOL!

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We reached the terminal by about 1PM and by then bus loads of passengers were arriving and there was already a long line formed outside just to get into the terminal. Despite that, everything moved along relatively quickly. We were assigned to Group 1 for check-in and promptly off to the Grand Pacific for lunch afterward. We got there with just 5 minutes to spare. Whew! :-D

Note: As we were previously informed, passports are collected at NCL Check-in, for advance preparation of Quick Trip stamps for Egypt and would be returned before reaching Egypt.

Staterooms were available at 3PM. Sailaway was at 7PM.

Meet & Greet:

As usual, NCL provided a place for our Meet & Greet, scheduled at 11AM in Le Bistro the morning of our 1st sea day. Attendance was great and the room was bustling with chatter as many had arranged private tours together. Light refreshments of juice, coffee, tea and pastries were served. Some officers also stopped by to say hello and address the group.


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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 03:35 PM
NCL Jade:

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Our 1st night and the following sea day involved rough seas, rain or heavy overcast, with temps in the 50’s. (We left Barcelona just in time, because they got about 3-4 inches of snow!). Otherwise, smooth sailing the rest of the cruise, with slight seas at worst and temps progressively getting better the closer we got to Egypt.

Although there are a few differences in layout, we found the Jade to greatly resemble the Dawn; just on a smaller scale.

> Oddly, the “Blue Lagoon” was on deck 8 overlooking the atrium and occupying ½ of what we consider Salsa’s on the Dawn. Having it there took away from the feel of a 24 hour diner and eliminated some self-serve items during the late hours of the night, like coffee, tea, milk, etc. Much to our surprise, the Photo Gallery was located where the Blue Lagoon should be!

> The atrium is nowhere near as “grand” as the Dawn’s, because it lacks the openness exposing the top level skylights and beautiful elevators, etc. Regardless, it served its purpose.

The MDR “Grand Pacific” is in the same location as the “Venetian; Alizars is in the same location as “Aqua”; the Medusa Lounge is in the same location as Dazzle’s; so on and so forth. We knew our way around in no time flat!

The décor of the ship definitely tells tale that she once was in Hawaii. However, none of it affected our enjoyment of the ship to any degree.

We found our stateroom to be well kept, short of places sometimes overlooked, like the very top shelf over the TV and part of the table under a shelf which needed to be dusted. We met our steward, Ronald, at embarkation and found him to be accessible and accommodating throughout the cruise. Once in a while wash cloths seemed to be in short supply, but they were soon replenished.

We booked an aft BA balcony; stateroom 10668. Thanks to tips here at Cruise Critic, we have long awaited to book one of these, with the extended balcony. So roomy! Plus, on the Jade they already come with chaise lounges & chairs. The only downside was that the weather wasn’t nice enough to sleep with the door open at night. *sigh*

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We’ve grown to consider Hugo & his staff on the Dawn as the best there can be! But we must give credit where credit is due. Armando De Silva is a wonderfully hospitable HD as well and his staff did not disappoint.

We found the food to be comparable to what we are used to and enjoyed it very much. Finding out that Messiah was Exec. Chef just sealed the deal !!! We enjoyed the MDR for lunch and many dinners, but also ate at Papa’s Italian Kitchen twice (excellent), the Jasmine Garden (Asian) restaurant (very good), Cagney’s (very good) and Le Bistro 3 times (excellent) including 1 privately with Armando DeSilva as our host.

We are not buffet people, if we can help it. But we did have a quick breakfast there twice and were amply satisfied. I must say I like the layout on the Jade far better, with separate serving areas for the various food stations; opposed to the Dawn’s.

Knowing this was a hectic itinerary as far as excursions were concerned, we can’t comment much on the entertainment. Our sea days for the most part were to recoup, kick back and reflect! We teamed up with another couple and played some “tribond” trivia (and won). Messiah (Exec Chef), Jill (CD) and Armando (HD) put on a baking show in the Atrium one sea day. (Quite comical to say the least!) We took in a few shows in Stardust Theater; flamenco dancers, the comedian, and crew show. I played bingo once, came out a loser and didn’t win the free cruise (boo hiss hiss boo). We made our donations at the casino (machines were tight). Paid our visits to some of the bars. (Lowest bar tab yet!) Went to see “What’s My Line” at Spinnaker’s Lounge (and helped the panel cheat a bit! LOL) Joined another couple to play “Quest” on the last night (and won). Otherwise, we enjoyed our aft balcony and as much nice weather as we could!

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 03:43 PM
Port Excursions: Some of you may recall my concerns about not having our passports while at port, due to advance preparation for Egypt. So in short, the countries/locations we were visiting, the potential for transportation/traffic issues and/or not having our passports played a large role in deciding to book all of our excursions solely through NCL.

Yes some are pricey, but my peace of mind was worth every penny. We’ve been on excursions that have returned to port late for all aboard. Thankfully we’ve never missed the ship, but the risk is not one I like to mess with.

Kudos to those who booked privately without issue. We’ve done so in many Caribbean ports, but the Med was new to us. So it is what it is.

Rome: “Exclusive Rome & the Vatican”

Our excursion was transported by a large van and limited to a small group, which greatly helped us stay together and proceed to each stop on a timely basis. Unfortunately the weather was horrible; rain was expected, but it was cold as well. So outdoor sites proved to be uncomfortable for most of us. I had packed a trench coat in anticipation of rain, but ended up having to buy a souvenir umbrella for 5 euros.

After traveling for roughly 1-1/2 hours from Civitavecchia to Rome, the bus was parked for a walking tour. First we saw the Arch of Constantine, then we headed to the Roman Colosseum and Roman Forums. Needless to say our walking tour was cut short voluntarily, since we were getting wet and cold. It was so windy that our umbrellas were constantly turning inside out!



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Next, we went to a restaurant called Eduardo’s for a wonderful 4 course lunch.

Then off to the main event; The Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica!!! Thankfully all indoors! In short, we were awestruck from start to finish. Also, it wasn’t very crowded in the afternoon and we were all able to stay together with ease even with some random roaming at times. Two hours there was not sufficient to take in all there was to see, but more than adequate for our first time visit.

We visited a gift shop at the top of St. Peter’s Square, before boarding our van to head back to Civitavecchia.



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Eurocruiser2010
April 1st, 2010, 04:12 PM
Great review so far! Your balcony looks amazing! You mentioned that you had a BA balcony ... are all balconies as big as that?

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 04:24 PM
Sicily: “Taormina & GreekRomanTheater Walking Tour”

Under short notice, NCL managed to offer several excursions, which were announced via stateroom mail. Without any time to research, we must say we really enjoyed the one we chose!

The ride from Messina to Taormina was picturesque in itself, but walking through Taormina was absolutely beautiful! This was my first time to Europe and as was suggested by my husband, I fell in love with all the old architecture; much of Taormina’s dating back to the 16th century.


Taormina is situated on top of a large hill. Our bus had to part down below, from which we rode an elevator up to the top. Immediately we were enjoying a very scenic view and could even see part of Mt. Etna in the distance. Most of the walking tour entailed navigating one main, narrow street, lined with shops, restaurants, lovely chapels, fortress walls and the like, until we reached the Greek Roman Theater. Simply beautiful!


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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 04:26 PM
Sicily continued........


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After the theater, we all had leisurely time to adventure on our own as well. Uncle Paulie and I chose to buy some souvenirs and locate a sidewalk café for some pizza – which was successful !!! The pizza was great, as were the beer and shots of limoncello!


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Despite booking this cruise for all the wonders of the world we would see, we come away saying this was one of our most enjoyable ports!

negn
April 1st, 2010, 06:03 PM
Looking into similar trip next year Also was going to use NCL for tours Am comfortable in the Carribean on my own but ""chicken "" when overseas. They are pricey but peace of mind and security is "'priceless""

CaniacRN
April 1st, 2010, 06:18 PM
We're embarking on the Jade in 3 weeks, so a different itenerary, but out of BCN as well. We're also staying in 10668, so thank you for the balcony pictures! Very glad that the chaises are already on the balcony. I was planning on having to do some convincing to get them! ;)

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 06:29 PM
Turkey: “Ultimate Ephesus”

In route to Ephesus, our bus stopped briefly at a rest area. Much to my delight, there was a small storefront with some really nice Turkish woven crafts for sale. One in particular could have served for a bed coverlet or table cloth, beautifully adorned with camels and ornate decoration. I asked the price and the gentleman told me $35 US. It was beautiful, but I had no practical use for it and told him so. He must have thought I felt it was too expensive and he started to offer it at a lower price, which I told him was not the case and that his price was perfectly acceptable; it was just too big for my needs. What does he do? He goes into his store and finds a comparable design as a dresser scarf….for $10. I bought it! I also purchased a woven wallet for $1 (which NCL ended up selling on board for $4.99.)

Our guide was great; very knowledgeable and informative. Ephesus was amazing, as were the Terrace Houses! We even marveled at the fact that the theater is still in use today, with recent concerts by Elton John, Sting and U2. Amazing!

Our walking tour through Ephesus
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Terrace Houses
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Ephesus Library of Celsus
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We have to get in these pictures once in a while! LOL
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Great Theater of Ephesus
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Turtles06
April 1st, 2010, 06:35 PM
Auntie Barb, I'm enjoying your review and pics, as we did this same cruise about six weeks before you (the Jan. 24 sailing, one of the ones really hit by Norovirus; I'm glad you guys were okay). So it's sort of like reliving our wonderful cruise, except, of course, that we didn't dock in Sicily. Happy to read your report about how things turned out so well there, as you made lemonade out of lemons.

In the small world dept., we were right next door, in 10666. Ronald was also our steward, and we found him extremely attentive. A really nice guy and a very hard worker.

Looking forward to reading the rest of your review....

PS: According to our Ekol guide, the theater in Ephesus is no longer allowed to be used for live performances, as the sound damages the ruins. The Sting concert was very damaging, apparently; a whole section started to crumble. :-(

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 06:43 PM
Turkey continued.....

There were some Roman actors and entertainers at the end of our tour of Ephesus; a bit on the hokey side. Supposedly we were to feast on goat cheese & wine, but never did I see that being offered.

Before boarding the bus, we had some free time to shop at the various vendors beside Ephesus. We did some shopping, but also planned to shop more once back at port. Now I wish I had shopped more extensively, as the variety of items for sale was extensive, surprisingly prices were good, and we never did get to really shop back in Izmir (late returning).


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Afterwards, we had a splendid lunch at Hotel Kismet, which awarded us with some very scenic harbor views.



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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 06:45 PM
Turkey continued.....

Our last stop was to see Turkish rugs being woven, along with a demonstration of how they wind silk from cocoons. Then we were offered refreshments while being shown some of the beautiful carpets in their warehouse. Although we saw some we’d enjoy having, the whole ordeal turned into high pressure sales. Salesman were off to the side monitoring every “Oooh and Awww” we made and ready to pounce at the end of the exhibition. Some fellow passengers bought some small enough to carry-on the ship & take home, but I wasn’t aware of any purchasing any for shipment. (We managed to get away without purchasing, but would be very interested in hearing from anyone who did buy some carpets and whether they receive them without issue!) Supposedly we were to receive discounts and our guide seemed disappointed that many didn’t buy (as I suspect she gets a commission).



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Before leaving the Turkish carpet warehouse, I did some “window shopping” at a jeweler there. Prices were outrageous, in comparison to Mexico. I will say it was remarkable how much the price suddenly was reduced on a necklace I had my eyes on, once I indicated I’d pay in cash. LOL By then it was too late for me; I was put off and my mind was made up. So I left there empty handed too.

Then we returned to port; unfortunately too late to do any extensive shopping, but we did manage to step in the Duty Free shop while waiting in line inside the terminal to board the ship.

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 07:03 PM
Great review so far! Your balcony looks amazing! You mentioned that you had a BA balcony ... are all balconies as big as that?

The aft BA balconies on decks 9, 10 & 11 (I believe) are substantially larger than those on the side of the ship. The key reason is the structure of the ship in the stern and that they are dead center adjacent to honeymoon suites. They are simply wider and deeper than normal.

DMH15
April 1st, 2010, 09:45 PM
on my TA on the Jewel I did the Exclusive Rome and Vatican and loved it too. Thanks for reminding me! Hoping to be on the Jade next, same itinerary as you. I am enjoying your review!

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 10:24 PM
Thanks for hanging in there with me folks! :)

Sea day before Egypt:

As promised, our passports were returned that day. A time was set for passengers to pick them up in Le Bistro at their leisure.

Anticipating the purchase of cartouche, we stopped in the ship’s store to see what Columbian Emeralds was offering. The representative went on to inform us to be leary of the cartouche offered on the excursions; that the hieroglyphic symbols were glued on (emphasizing how could they manage so many orders in so little time) and that gold content was questionable. The size and design we were interested in was being offered by Columbian Emeralds for $399 US. If on the B2B cruise, you would receive them at the end of the Western leg of the cruise. However, since we were only on the Eastern itinerary, they would be shipped home. They said they are crafted in Greece. Since we really wanted our cartouche to come from Egypt, we opted to see what was offered on the excursion instead.

Egypt: “Best of Cairo Overnight”

The port we’ve been anticipating for a long time; the highlight of our journey!!!

Up bright and early this morning; 6:45AM was our meeting time in Stardust Theater. We had an early risers breakfast at the buffet and off we go with a carry-on bag in tow.

From the moment our bus left, our guide Manal (female), was filling us with information, which greatly helped pass time over our 3 hour journey to Cairo from Alexandria. She was great and you could tell she really loves her work!

We did order our cartouche on the bus. In comparison, the ones we wanted cost $250 US and would be ready for pick-up later this evening.

Day 1: Our agenda for the balance of the morning was the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, aka Alabaster Mosque, The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, lunch, check-in and some rest at the Conrad Hotel by Hilton.


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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 10:27 PM
Day 1 in Cairo continued......

After we were all refreshed, we set out for a Nile River cruise for dinner (complete with a “Whirling Dervish” & belly dancer for entertainment), the Papyrus Institute (where we picked up our cartouche at Luxor Jewelry), the Sound & Light Show by the Giza Plateau and a much needed night’s rest!
Some points about this day:

> We’ve seen some of King Tut’s treasures in Philadelphia, but that exhibit didn’t come anywhere close to the treasures held in Cairo! We were advised to leave our cameras on the bus, so not to take up precious time checking them inside the museum; no cameras permitted. Please note: they did NOT confiscate cell phones. LOL No further comment necessary. *ahem*

> Our hotel accommodations were outstanding! Our room as on the “Executive Floor”, requiring key card for access. The room was spacious, with plush bedding and a balcony overlooking the Nile with a great view of Cairo (if you could see past the smog). We were quite pleased, coming into this excursion with no clue where we’d be staying! Also, being a 5 star hotel, we were told not to worry about the food warnings and found the food to be quite good. However we did restrict ourselves to bottled water and that’s what was served at our tables.

> We were happy with our cartouche and it was obvious the symbols were soldered on! We had also ordered t-shirts for friends and family with their cartouche embroidered on the front. Nice souvenirs. Paul also bought a galabeya for himself.

> The sound and light show was a bit hokey, but provided a lot of historical information in preparation of Day 2.


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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 10:43 PM
Egypt continued.......

Day 2: This morning’s agenda was the Step Pyramid Complex of Sakkara, where we also went inside a tomb; then Memphis, where the Limestone "Colossus of Ramses II" is on display.

Note: We never saw the "Colossus of Ramses II". We're parading all around the grounds at Memphis in search of it, but had no clue it was inside a building! Duh!

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And then we were on our way to the Giza Plateau! But first we have a special stop in store for us!

My long time dream was to be riding a camel with the pyramids before me. Today was my day, as our guide had arranged rides at $10/pp for those interested. Let me tell you all about it! LOL


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There were literally herds of them on top of this hill. Most everyone in our group - including Paul - were already on their camels and lining up for their ride. ... Now it's Barb's turn.

With my left foot in the stirrup, I attempt to swing my right leg over the camel. Well, I had my purse and camera around my neck, which immediately got stuck as I'm trying to mount him! LOL Then the guy assisting me, takes my leg and swings it around for me. (Embarrassing to say the least!)

Now the camel has to stand up. He tells me "Lean back". OMG! I immediately freaked out. You see, I had one stirrup that I could not reach once on this camel. All I had to balance was the peg in the front and back! I started screaming to get me off of him right now! Thankfully our guide was nearby and she made sure the guy got me down. I was shaking once I got off and told them "That's it. I'm done! You can keep my money!" ROFL

Our guide offered my money back, but they did find a camel with 2 stirrups and thankfully my feet could reach them both. So off I went to catch up with the group. (Yeah right!) Paul was laughing and taking pics of me. LOL

As this kid is leading my camel (he had control of two of us), someone else was having difficulty. So what does he do? He lets go of our camels to go and assist. I'm thinking, OMG if this camel takes off I'm going to kill somebody! LOL Thankfully my worries were for naught.

Then the kid (He must have been around 9 years old) looks up at me and asks if I'm American. After which he says to me "Go Obama!". I wasn't going to get into a pissing match with the kid in charge of my ride, so I just frowned. Then he says, "So you liked Bush?". This all from a young Egyptian! Argh!

As I pass Paul, who is now returning on the last leg of his ride, I asked the man beside me if he minded if we cut our ride short. LOL He says "I am so glad you said that! I didn't want to ruin your ride!" LOL With that, we told the kid it was time to turn around. Believe me, I couldn't wait to get down!


But I did get the photo depicting my long time dream! Oh and BTW....After Paul's ride was over, his camel went to bite him (tore his shirt) and knocked him to the ground!

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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 10:48 PM
Egypt continued....

The balance of our day delivered the long awaited visit to the Giza Plateau to see the pyramids and the sphinx and lastly lunch at Mena House before heading back to Alexandria.

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> We were given ample time to explore around the pyramids on our own and that we did capturing many popular poses on film, as well as getting scammed for money on a photo opportunity and solicited to buy this and that from vendors on foot. LOL Interesting day, but one I will never forget!

> Our stop at the Great Sphinx of Giza was brief, being issued tickets to enter the temple for a closer photo opportunity too.

> Lunch at the Mena House was very nice. I can also see why many try to book reservations there. Beautiful property situated in the shadows of the pyramids!

Aw but all good things come to an end. We were headed back to Alexandria and late for all aboard too. NCL reps were standing by the vendors, pointing us to the ship, saying there is no time for shopping. *sigh*

As we were already some distance from the bus, Paul and I realized we were missing something. We forgot to get our carry-on bag off the bus! LOL!

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 11:12 PM
Malta: “Malta’s Scenic Beauty”

We had heard that the port of Valletta was very scenic coming into port and it did not disappoint! We were out on the promenade deck taking tons of pictures upon arrival.

As such, we were disappointed to have booked the excursion. Although we did see a lot of great scenery, there were very few stops and we knew we would have had enjoyed it much more adventuring in Valletta on our own.

All the same, we enjoyed our visit and left with Maltese Cross charms to add to our collection of souvenirs.


Pictures at the Port of Valletta, Malta


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A well as a few select pictures from our tour and sailaway


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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 11:15 PM
More pictures touring Malta and sailaway...

The "Blue Grotto"

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Scenic overlook

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Sailaway at sunset

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AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 11:40 PM
Debarkation:

This was by far the earliest and fastest disembarkation we have ever experienced. Color codes were being called as early as 6AM. Everyone is requested to be out of their staterooms by 8:30AM and off the ship by 9:30AM. We had a quick breakfast at the buffet and then prepared to leave.

Immediately down the escalator, we quickly found our luggage and off we went. The port area outside the terminal has a nice setup for queuing passengers waiting for a taxi, keeping everything orderly and hassle free.

Barcelona Post-Cruise:

We were back at Hotel Onix Liceo in no time flat, who kindly checked our luggage until our room was ready for early check-in. Meanwhile, we set out to have something to eat.

This time we ended up with an interior room at first, which was too small for our liking. For a small 20 euro upcharge, we were given a terrace room instead, which has an exterior terrace off the back side of the hotel and far more quiet. Very nice!

Then Paul and I were off to spend our day doing our own personal walking tour of La Ramblas, from Place de Catalunya down to the Christopher Columbus Monument and back. We stopped at Hard Rock Café for our Barcelona t-shirts. We also walked through the "St Josep de La Boqueria", a public market, and enjoyed some Mediterranean Clams & Octopus for lunch. What a great afternoon we had!

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We finished off our last day there with dinner at the same restaurant we ate at before, a stop for some Churros & Chocolate for dessert, taking in a show “Opera Flamenco” at the Teatre Poliorama and back to the hotel to prepare for our flight home in the morning.

Barcelona, we’ll be back!

Going Home:

With a 10AM flight from BCN to JFK, we requested a taxi for 7AM since the airport is reportedly a ½ hour drive from the hotel. One was waiting for us as requested, but our trip was much quicker than expected; not because the distance was overstated, but because our taxi drove like a “bat out of hell” to get there. The highways were clear, except for other taxis, and we arrived within 15 minutes. LOL

Prior to leaving for our trip, I changed our AA notifications to go to my husband’s cell phone. Much to my dismay, we found out our flight was delayed an hour and Uncle Paulie never received a notification. I knew I should have checked at the hotel. We could have slept in another hour! LOL

American Airlines may not have gone on strike, but as many know British Airways did. Those who chose to stay overnight in Barcelona post-cruise were certainly in a predicament. Subsequently, AA was overbooked. We were offered a bump, but declined. Come to find out a family we met on the cruise were offered a bump the day we debarked for hotel + $400/pp, which they accepted. Then they took another bump the day after for hotel + $600/pp. Not too shabby! Darn, I wish we could have justified staying another day!

Anyways, we had decided to forego breakfast and have a bite to eat at the airport. This was not a problem, but the only place to have typical breakfast faire was McDonald’s. Not! Instead, we chose to eat at an eatery serving pizza & pasta. Much to our delight, the tortellini was wonderful!

As we made our way to the gate, we found that this brand new terminal only had about 40 seats for a flight of approximately 260 passengers. Duh! All the seats were already taken once we arrived, so I sat on my luggage. Then it turned out our gate changed to the one adjacent to ours. Add insult to injury, there was no plane outside. We had to be bused to our plane, sitting out on the tarmac somewhere! Not fun lugging our carry-ons (ya know the ones with wheels?) down metal steps to board the shuttle bus.

Aw, but we did finally board the plane and had an incident free flight home, short of some occasional turbulence. Knowing 2 stewards on the flight made it all that more enjoyable too! Getting over our jet lag took a few days, but we’re well and returned without any Noro, Mummy Tummy, Hepatitis or the like.

It was a trip of a lifetime for us and we had a wonderful trip !!!! Thank you so much for listening!

AuntieBarb
April 1st, 2010, 11:54 PM
on my TA on the Jewel I did the Exclusive Rome and Vatican and loved it too. Thanks for reminding me! Hoping to be on the Jade next, same itinerary as you. I am enjoying your review!

It's fun to relive it, isn't it? :) You might say that's what I've doing too. Thanks for reading!

woozlebear
April 2nd, 2010, 02:53 AM
It's fun to relive it, isn't it? :) You might say that's what I've doing too. Thanks for reading!

Thank you for spending the time to post your review. We are travelling same itinery, same cabin in January and really looking forward to the cruise, just hope for fine weather!

Susan:)

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 08:53 AM
Auntie Barb, I'm enjoying your review and pics, as we did this same cruise about six weeks before you (the Jan. 24 sailing, one of the ones really hit by Norovirus; I'm glad you guys were okay)

PS: According to our Ekol guide, the theater in Ephesus is no longer allowed to be used for live performances, as the sound damages the ruins. The Sting concert was very damaging, apparently; a whole section started to crumble. :-(

Crew were serving at the buffet in the beginning of the cruise, but midway they opened it up to self-serve. After Egypt, the crew were serving again. We were told in confidence that there were a few cases; folks they suspect kept it quiet not wanting to miss the port of Egypt.

> We were also told that regardless of reporting illness, they monitor toilet paper usage. :eek:

I was actually surprised our guide stated it was being used (or had been). As it was, we were asked not to climb around due to the potential of collapse. So if it's that dangerous, why would they still use it? Nonetheless, having a concert there must have been thrilling, no matter how recent. But I certainly respect preserving what they can!

MRDIAL
April 2nd, 2010, 08:57 AM
Wonderful review and simply awesome pictures!!! Thank you so much for sharing with everyone! I'm sorry you aren't doing the B2B as I would love to meet you.:)
Marilyn

Turtles06
April 2nd, 2010, 09:03 AM
> We were also told that regardless of reporting illness, they monitor toilet paper usage. :eek:



Wow. Being two women, we sometimes had to ask Ronald to leave us an additional role of toilet paper. Maybe that put us on a watch list. Too funny!!! :):)

smilesback
April 2nd, 2010, 09:17 AM
Your photos are exceptional! Thanks! Your read has a good sense of humor and very enjoyable. (:eek: except my politics are different as I would have rooted for Obama). Hope to see you on-board sometime. Take care, Ciao!

snorklin'barb
April 2nd, 2010, 09:41 AM
Thanks for the wonderful travelogue, Auntie Barb! We loved the Jade through the Norwegian fjords last summer and when I came back for some reason I was looking at your fabulous itinerary.

Sorry you missed Athens but looks like you enjoyed Taormina to the fullest.

I was reading one roll call back in Dec. who had arranged Cairo overnights privately but NCL's was also mentioned. I was wondering what it all included and how it was and your vivid descriptions & pictures describe what sounds like an excellent tour. Hope you didn't have any valuables or medications in that carry on, lol.

I've read some reports that people are too exhausted by the time the Nile dinner cruise rolls around at night. What did you think?

Interesting that you had a late return. Do you know how the private excursions with overnights turned out for others? On the Gem TA there were a few excursions that returned late as well - nothing major but the ship was waiting.

You've confirmed my worst nightmares about camels, lol! Your DH got kicked - oh my - was the camel spitting, too?:eek::D

You tantalized us with showing the appetizers in Turkey after those incredible Ephesus pictures. How was the rest of the meal?

Nice t shirts you guys had in one of the pictures. Was that some kind of James Bond girl depiction?

Glad to hear the officers & crew were so visible and friendly.

Actually I loved reading all of it.:)

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 09:44 AM
The things I love about cruising; especially with NCL!

First and foremost, getting away from the rat race with my man! Champagne on the balcony? You bet ya!

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Beautiful skies and seas - Mother Nature's canvas! I especially love the wake of the ship!

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AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 10:02 AM
Hey there! Nice to see you! :)


I was reading one roll call back in Dec. who had arranged Cairo overnights privately but NCL's was also mentioned. I was wondering what it all included and how it was and your vivid descriptions & pictures describe what sounds like an excellent tour. Hope you didn't have any valuables or medications in that carry on, lol.

Ya know, NCL's price on that excursion was indeed pricey, but we've got to say that everything that came with it (meals & hotel) more than justified the price. Plus, the quantity of what we saw and the time we had to see it, makes me wonder how others on private excursions - jam packed with so many stops - actually get to enjoy it all.

As for our bag on the bus....We went back for it; not a problem. But it was funny that we were just walking away not giving it a thought until I said "Ooops!" LOL

I've read some reports that people are too exhausted by the time the Nile dinner cruise rolls around at night. What did you think?

Not for us! We had a couple of hours to eat & relax at the hotel before going back out. Heck, we took the opportunity to shower and freshen up from the heat & dust of the day. Worked out perfectly in my opinion.

But we were indeed ready for sleep by the end of the day, but that's mostly because of such an early wake-up for the excursion meeting time on top of a full day of activity.

Interesting that you had a late return. Do you know how the private excursions with overnights turned out for others? On the Gem TA there were a few excursions that returned late as well - nothing major but the ship was waiting.

Never were we in danger of missing the ship, thankfully. But coming in on top of "All aboard!", without time for additional shopping was a downfall in a couple of ports. As I recall, we left on time in all ports except Egypt, which was only about 15-30 minutes delayed at most. There was talk about NCL getting fined for such, but they do enough business there it wasn't an issue.

You've confirmed my worst nightmares about camels, lol! Your DH got kicked - oh my - was the camel spitting, too?:eek::D

The worst part is when the camel gets up or down. Without being able to plant my feet in stirrups, I definitely felt like I was going down! That whole thing was too funny looking back, but I was scare sh*tless at first. ROFLMAO! (Planer's Edge says he can picture me to a tee!)

The camel tried to bite Paul, but luckily only got a hold of his shirt and tore it. Then he fell on his knee and scraped it up a bit, but that's it. Fortunately we didn't have any "spitters" ROFL

You tantalized us with showing the appetizers in Turkey after those incredible Ephesus pictures. How was the rest of the meal?

The entire meal was great! Yes it was a fixed menu and the main course included lamb, which was not to the liking of some. But we were more than pleased!

Nice t shirts you guys had in one of the pictures. Was that some kind of James Bond girl depiction?

LOL....Actually those were t-shirts we bought at an Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) concert.

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 10:08 AM
The things I love about cruising; especially with NCL!

Accessible staff, who really do make you feel like part of the "NCL Family"

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Paul with Messiah, Exec Chef

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Our dinner with Armando DeSilva, Hotel Director

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AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 10:12 AM
Not only are the crew happy and helpful, they are talented too!

Jill announcing the Crew Show

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Gabby rocking the house

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Messiah performing "I feel good!"

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AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 10:14 AM
Seeing "Fountains" one more time......

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AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 10:15 AM
Having a "home away from home" and being spoiled rotten!

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AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 10:19 AM
Your photos are exceptional! Thanks! Your read has a good sense of humor and very enjoyable. (:eek: except my politics are different as I would have rooted for Obama). Hope to see you on-board sometime. Take care, Ciao!

Thank you!

As for Obama....Certainly your choice. We'll just leave it at that! :)

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 10:20 AM
Wonderful review and simply awesome pictures!!! Thank you so much for sharing with everyone! I'm sorry you aren't doing the B2B as I would love to meet you.:)
Marilyn

Thank you, Marilyn! Believe me, if our employers would have gone for the idea, we would have loved to do the B2B.

Perhaps we will meet someday. Happy sails!

Tangocherie
April 2nd, 2010, 10:23 AM
Many, many thanks for such a well thought out review. One of the best I have ever read! Your photos are wonderfull. This is one cruise I'll have to take.

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 10:27 AM
Many, many thanks for such a well thought out review. One of the best I have ever read! Your photos are wonderfull. This is one cruise I'll have to take.

Thank you so much!

I got to reminisce while doing so too, which is helpful for PCD sufferers like me! If you can arrange to go, I highly recommend it! :)

bluesea777
April 2nd, 2010, 10:37 AM
Excellent review - great reading and the photos were superb. You certainly relived our East Med cruise experiences. We also took NCL's Best of Cairo Overnight and LOVED it.

We did speak to a lady who took private overnight Cairo tour - less number of people, smaller bus, about half the price - they enjoyed it, but ran out of time and they missed one or 2 things.

Seems to me that the motorists in Cairo gladly gave away to the large tour buses more than the smaller ones - we had no problems with the congestion on the roads in Cairo.

stegosaurus1
April 2nd, 2010, 10:57 AM
!Dan and I are so happy to see your post...we love your pictures, love the camel ones...wish we were there! Love Barb and Dan:D

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 11:01 AM
Excellent review - great reading and the photos were superb. You certainly relived our East Med cruise experiences. We also took NCL's Best of Cairo Overnight and LOVED it.

Seems to me that the motorists in Cairo gladly gave away to the large tour buses more than the smaller ones - we had no problems with the congestion on the roads in Cairo.

Thank you! Very good point as well, because our bus would jut out into traffic and take command of where we were going without a problem! :D Cairo traffic is crazy indeed! LOL

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 11:03 AM
!Dan and I are so happy to see your post...we love your pictures, love the camel ones...wish we were there! Love Barb and Dan:D

Hi Barb! Thanks a bunch! Much love for the two of you! {{{huggers}}}

I've got my scopes on the Holy Lands in 2011. LOL Wanna come?

Wineshipper
April 2nd, 2010, 11:53 AM
AutieBarb

Thank you for the wonderful review of your trip. We will be on this one in 54 weeks. I lived in Izmir for 3 years back in the mid 60's and really looking forward to seeing this city and Ephesus again. Looks like lots of changes since then. Walking the ancient streets can really change your perspective of history.

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 12:04 PM
AutieBarb

Thank you for the wonderful review of your trip. We will be on this one in 54 weeks. I lived in Izmir for 3 years back in the mid 60's and really looking forward to seeing this city and Ephesus again. Looks like lots of changes since then. Walking the ancient streets can really change your perspective of history.

Thank you!

We really enjoyed our visit there, only wishing we had the time to interact more with the people and all Izmir is about. Our perspective of history has indeed changed though. In fact, all the ancient ruins we saw definitely had its impact on us.

Enjoy visiting again!

jkloni
April 2nd, 2010, 01:04 PM
Review was perfect Barb! Not too much not too little. It was like I was in your pocket traveling around with you. And you didn't look scared one bit on that damn camel. I heard camels were mean - and Paul's tried to bite him! I wonder what made the camel do that??

Even though we rarely book excursions thru the cruise lines, I have to agree that in non-Caribbean foreign ports I'd probably go with the cruise sponsored excursions too. That overnight one was incredible! That room - wow.

I had no idea what that thing was that you were looking to buy in Egypt. THen I saw the picture of it around Uncle Paulie's neck. So it's like a medallion... never heard of it before - but it looks really nice. Did you get one? Or a better question...what did you decide to get for you on the trip?

I never really had Egypt on my bucket list. But I have to tell you the pics of those pyramids made me think of it as an option now.

Love, Love, Love you pictures and your review! I'm so happy you and Paul and such a wonderful time!

Kathy

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 01:57 PM
Heeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, Kathy! ;) Thanks for stopping by! Aren't you supposed to be packing? :p (You know I would be by now. LOL) Pack lightly!

Review was perfect Barb! Not too much not too little. It was like I was in your pocket traveling around with you. And you didn't look scared one bit on that damn camel. I heard camels were mean - and Paul's tried to bite him! I wonder what made the camel do that??

Thanks a bunch, Kathy. Happy to have you along, even if just virtually. Glad you enjoyed the pics.

Believe me I was scared. That pic of me is on the 2nd camel 1/2 way through my ride. We had time to get acquainted! LOL

I guess Paul's camel thought he was hanging around too long, since his ride was over with. Kind of a "Get moving along now!" :D

I had no idea what that thing was that you were looking to buy in Egypt. THen I saw the picture of it around Uncle Paulie's neck. So it's like a medallion... never heard of it before - but it looks really nice. Did you get one? Or a better question...what did you decide to get for you on the trip?

That's it...a medallion. Any assortment of hieroglyphic symbols can be placed on it, for whatever meaning desired. Most folks get their names in hieroglyphics, which is what we did. Except Paul added the "Watchful Eye" at the end of his (or some similar meaning). LOL

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 02:31 PM
A couple of things I forgot to mention...

If you plan to ride a camel in Egypt, make sure it's pre-arranged by your tour company. DO NOT buy one at the pyramids on your own! Why?

> Because someone there did, at just $15 to ride.........BUT they had to pay $55 to get off of the camel !!!!!!!! :eek: Scam artists!

Also, some of the hieroglyphic symbols on Paul's cartouche looked different after a day or two; brassy color compared to the rest. We had felt good about our purchases, but then had to wonder. However, Paul took his to be checked and it is indeed 18K gold. We had noticed the different cast was on alternating symbols, which the jeweler stated was done for affect and that those symbols merely had higher copper content.

> I am not implying that all of them can be trusted. Just be sure to check over your merchandise before buying and if you see any variation like we had perhaps this info will help you feel more confident in your purchase. :)

jkloni
April 2nd, 2010, 02:37 PM
A couple of things I forgot to mention...

If you plan to ride a camel in Egypt, make sure it's pre-arranged by your tour company. DO NOT buy one at the pyramids on your own! Why?

> Because someone there did, at just $15 to ride.........BUT they had to pay $55 to get off of the camel !!!!!!!! :eek: Scam artists!

I'm still laughing. (ok I know it wasn't funny to the person it happen to.) Pretty sneaky - what if you don't pay?? They make you stay on the camel forever? Who would think to ask how much to get on - and OFF the camel? Thanks for the insight.

Kathy

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 03:02 PM
I'm still laughing. (ok I know it wasn't funny to the person it happen to.) Pretty sneaky - what if you don't pay?? They make you stay on the camel forever? Who would think to ask how much to get on - and OFF the camel? Thanks for the insight.

Kathy

ROFLMAO! Could you imagine? Had that been me, you would have heard me screaming all the way down in the Big Easy!!!

FLAHAM
April 2nd, 2010, 03:06 PM
The threat of pickpockets is very real in Barcelona. It takes much more that merely avoiding unsavory or very crowded situations to be safe from them.

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 03:24 PM
The threat of pickpockets is very real in Barcelona. It takes much more that merely avoiding unsavory or very crowded situations to be safe from them.

I can appreciate what you are saying and goodness we heard/read about it plenty before we left. Even the Freestyle Daily had notations of such.

But....

Pickpockets are very real in lots of places, like NYC (as well as other US cities and other places around the world) too. Sure, if you aren't vigilant, you are a moving target. It just takes some street smarts.

hightownCO
April 2nd, 2010, 03:48 PM
Enjoyed reading your review very much!

I was going to be on your cruise (started the roll call in fact) but jumped to a Princess cruise that was this last November. Wanted to go sooner and $wise better. Still had Egypt but a few different ports and was roundtrip from Rome so we spent two days touring there before the cruise.

So sorry you had to miss Athens! This was my first time to the Med and the Acropolis was one of the top highlights for me.

Good to know that you had a fine time! We might even consider doing it all again in the future on Jade or NCL!

Thanks!

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 04:03 PM
Enjoyed reading your review very much!

I was going to be on your cruise (started the roll call in fact) but jumped to a Princess cruise that was this last November.

So sorry you had to miss Athens! This was my first time to the Med and the Acropolis was one of the top highlights for me.

Thank you!

I remember you making the switch. Good to hear it all turned out well for you and that you got to enjoy Rome before going on the cruise!

We're disappointed not getting to Athens, as we were looking forward to both the Acropolis and spending some personal time in Plaka. But I'm bound and determined to get back there, so there is always another day...another cruise! :)

mellygo
April 2nd, 2010, 04:09 PM
Loving your review!! Booked on the Jade for 10 day in Oct of 2011, and cannot wait!!

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 04:19 PM
Loving your review!! Booked on the Jade for 10 day in Oct of 2011, and cannot wait!!

That's a long time to be anxious!!!! :) But I can so relate!

First we booked Alaska for 2009, over a year in advance. Then we decided to take this cruise in 2009 instead, later discovering that my booking would put us in Rome on Easter Sunday! So we postponed it until this year. It was well worth the wait though!

Make sure you come back and tell us all about it. Enjoy your cruise!

airlink diva
April 2nd, 2010, 04:40 PM
Thanks for a great review on your 12 day cruise!
This is a group of ports that I would love to do!
One of the people on my roll call wants to do this cruise!
I will let her know to check out your review.
----------------
Now playing: Streetwize - Lost Without U (http://www.foxytunes.com/artist/streetwize/track/lost+without+u)
via FoxyTunes (http://www.foxytunes.com/signatunes/)

AuntieBarb
April 2nd, 2010, 05:12 PM
Thanks for a great review on your 12 day cruise!
This is a group of ports that I would love to do!
One of the people on my roll call wants to do this cruise!
I will let her know to check out your review.


You're welcome! I hope it helps entice a booking! :)

stegosaurus1
April 2nd, 2010, 06:05 PM
Hi Barb! Thanks a bunch! Much love for the two of you! {{{huggers}}}

I've got my scopes on the Holy Lands in 2011. LOL Wanna come?
I'll work on Dan!!!Love Barb

AuntieBarb
April 3rd, 2010, 09:09 AM
I'll work on Dan!!!Love Barb

Better make that 2012! LOL

lucille&mike
April 3rd, 2010, 07:20 PM
Barb;

Thanks so much for the absolutely wonderful review and pics. We enjoyed it so much, I posted it on our roll call for the same cruise in November 2010. Thanks again!

AuntieBarb
April 3rd, 2010, 11:08 PM
Barb;

Thanks so much for the absolutely wonderful review and pics. We enjoyed it so much, I posted it on our roll call for the same cruise in November 2010. Thanks again!

You're very welcome!

Hey, I'm excited for you. It's a great itinerary for sure. Enjoy your cruise!

tequilalynn
April 3rd, 2010, 11:42 PM
Oh my gosh, thank you for the wonderful review and the awesome pictures. My husband and I will be on the Jade 3 weeks from tomorrow and it looks like a beautiful ship. Our first time with a balcony, BB on deck 9 and I'm sure it will be beautiful. Thanks again for sharing your cruise!:o

hightownCO
April 4th, 2010, 09:27 AM
Just wanted to pop back in and say how much I enjoyed your pictures! I couldn't see them from my work computer before. They are great.

I bought the same cartouche as you. I love the filagre (sp)

Happy future cruising to you!

msdizzy
April 4th, 2010, 06:15 PM
Hi.........Your trip looked wonderful..thank you for sharing with us...We are travelling on Jade in November and really looking forward to seeing all the ports.. Cant wait!!!! Linda

AuntieBarb
April 5th, 2010, 08:55 AM
Just wanted to pop back in and say how much I enjoyed your pictures! I couldn't see them from my work computer before. They are great.

I bought the same cartouche as you. I love the filagre (sp)

Happy future cruising to you!

Thank you, Sharon. Glad you enjoyed the pictures! :)

The majority of folks on our bus were buying the cartouche with the silver background. We liked the filigree the most too. :)

Hi.........Your trip looked wonderful..thank you for sharing with us...We are travelling on Jade in November and really looking forward to seeing all the ports.. Cant wait!!!! Linda

Linda, thank you. Have a wonderful cruise! Be sure to come back and tell us all about it, so I can relive it once again!

AuntieBarb
April 5th, 2010, 09:09 AM
NCL Jade:

Knowing this was a hectic itinerary as far as excursions were concerned, we can’t comment much on the entertainment. Our sea days for the most part were to recoup, kick back and reflect! We teamed up with another couple and played some “tribond” trivia (and won). Messiah (Exec Chef), Jill (CD) and Armando (HD) put on a baking show in the Atrium one sea day. (Quite comical to say the least!) We took in a few shows in Stardust Theater; flamenco dancers, the comedian, and crew show. I played bingo once, came out a loser and didn’t win the free cruise (boo hiss hiss boo). We made our donations at the casino (machines were tight). Paid our visits to some of the bars. (Lowest bar tab yet!) Went to see “What’s My Line” at Spinnaker’s Lounge (and helped the panel cheat a bit! LOL) Joined another couple to play “Quest” on the last night (and won). Otherwise, we enjoyed our aft balcony and as much nice weather as we could!

For those who know Uncle Paulie, isn't he looking great?

I neglected to mention that Paul was able to keep up with his workout routines in the gym daily. Although he is used to working out after work, he managed to switch it up for the cruise and went bright and early each morning, without much competition for the equipment. They didn't have every apparatus he is accustomed to working with, but there were satisfactory alternatives to amply cover his strength and cardio exercises.

I know...I know...I could use some exercise myself. However, I slept while he was working out! :D

coka
April 5th, 2010, 06:24 PM
You are a gorgeous couple! I enjoyed reading your review over the weekend and loved the pictures you included. Thank you for taking the time to post it all!

I do have a question or two for you. Have you been to the Med. countries by land before? If yes, was cruising better, not the same as, or different than? Did cruising the open waters of Med. look/feel different than the Caribbean Sea open waters? Thanks in advance,

coka

AuntieBarb
April 6th, 2010, 08:44 AM
You are a gorgeous couple! I enjoyed reading your review over the weekend and loved the pictures you included. Thank you for taking the time to post it all!

I do have a question or two for you. Have you been to the Med. countries by land before? If yes, was cruising better, not the same as, or different than? Did cruising the open waters of Med. look/feel different than the Caribbean Sea open waters? Thanks in advance,

coka

Hi Coka! Thank you for the compliments!

This was my 1st time abroad to any extent, while Paul has been to Europe but in the vicinity of Germany/Switzerland/Austria. So other than his preconceived appreciation for old architecture, it was a new adventure for both of us; especially all the wonders of the world to see!

We've always considered cruising the "best bang for our buck", but there's no doubt in my mind that traveling it by land would heighten the experience and afford much more time to truly see and appreciate everything. This cruise was the perfect introductory package though!

A couple of friends of ours have stressed how easily and inexpensively one can travel the region by small planes, trains and automobile, with nothing but small bags of clothing in tow and doing laundry at hotels, etc. Oh how I wish we'd taken this adventure in our earlier years with the time to do it right.

Perhaps March is not a good month for comparison, since we experienced a lot of rain early on and rough seas. We never saw the gorgeous aqua waters which the Caribbean provides or seas smooth like glass. However, things calmed down extensively once we were going through the area of the Greek islands and down through Egypt. The water in and around Malta was beautiful as well. But I'd have to say the Mediterranean reminded me more of the open waters of the Gulf. The Caribbean is still my favorite in that respect! :)

coka
April 6th, 2010, 06:38 PM
Thanks Barb for the feedback. I appreciate it very much!

coka

bkaction
April 8th, 2010, 08:45 PM
great review and pics, will be taking same cruise 3/11, Thanks

GARNERSINMH
April 9th, 2010, 10:28 AM
Great review and photos! Thanks for taking the time to share. We are on a similar cruise next year and I'd love to see the onboard options. Did you keep your dailies, by chance? If so, could you please share those too?

AuntieBarb
April 9th, 2010, 04:04 PM
Great review and photos! Thanks for taking the time to share. We are on a similar cruise next year and I'd love to see the onboard options. Did you keep your dailies, by chance? If so, could you please share those too?

Thanks and you're welcome! Enjoy your cruise!

No, sorry to report we did not bring them home this time. So much changes from year to year.

AuntieBarb
April 9th, 2010, 04:07 PM
great review and pics, will be taking same cruise 3/11, Thanks

Thank you! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

tiyana4
April 16th, 2010, 05:06 PM
What a wonderfully illustrated and informative review! I have never been so excited about taking a cruise based on one review alone, as I have with yours. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

We are booked on this same itinerary on the Jade in November and hope to have half the good times you and DH did. Thanks again.

sweetpea143
April 16th, 2010, 06:03 PM
Debarkation:

This was by far the earliest and fastest disembarkation we have ever experienced. Color codes were being called as early as 6AM. Everyone is requested to be out of their staterooms by 8:30AM and off the ship by 9:30AM. We had a quick breakfast at the buffet and then prepared to leave.

Immediately down the escalator, we quickly found our luggage and off we went. The port area outside the terminal has a nice setup for queuing passengers waiting for a taxi, keeping everything orderly and hassle free.

Barcelona Post-Cruise:

We were back at Hotel Onix Liceo in no time flat, who kindly checked our luggage until our room was ready for early check-in. Meanwhile, we set out to have something to eat.

This time we ended up with an interior room at first, which was too small for our liking. For a small 20 euro upcharge, we were given a terrace room instead, which has an exterior terrace off the back side of the hotel and far more quiet. Very nice!

Then Paul and I were off to spend our day doing our own personal walking tour of La Ramblas, from Place de Catalunya down to the Christopher Columbus Monument and back. We stopped at Hard Rock Café for our Barcelona t-shirts. We also walked through the "St Josep de La Boqueria", a public market, and enjoyed some Mediterranean Clams & Octopus for lunch. What a great afternoon we had!

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1354028647552_1136504775_1068.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/15725_1356915319717_1136504775_1075.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/15725_1356927040010_1136504775_1075.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/15725_1356928080036_1136504775_1075.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/15725_1356928400044_1136504775_1075.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/15725_1356928720052_1136504775_1075.jpg

We finished off our last day there with dinner at the same restaurant we ate at before, a stop for some Churros & Chocolate for dessert, taking in a show “Opera Flamenco” at the Teatre Poliorama and back to the hotel to prepare for our flight home in the morning.

Barcelona, we’ll be back!

Going Home:

With a 10AM flight from BCN to JFK, we requested a taxi for 7AM since the airport is reportedly a ½ hour drive from the hotel. One was waiting for us as requested, but our trip was much quicker than expected; not because the distance was overstated, but because our taxi drove like a “bat out of hell” to get there. The highways were clear, except for other taxis, and we arrived within 15 minutes. LOL

Prior to leaving for our trip, I changed our AA notifications to go to my husband’s cell phone. Much to my dismay, we found out our flight was delayed an hour and Uncle Paulie never received a notification. I knew I should have checked at the hotel. We could have slept in another hour! LOL

American Airlines may not have gone on strike, but as many know British Airways did. Those who chose to stay overnight in Barcelona post-cruise were certainly in a predicament. Subsequently, AA was overbooked. We were offered a bump, but declined. Come to find out a family we met on the cruise were offered a bump the day we debarked for hotel + $400/pp, which they accepted. Then they took another bump the day after for hotel + $600/pp. Not too shabby! Darn, I wish we could have justified staying another day!

Anyways, we had decided to forego breakfast and have a bite to eat at the airport. This was not a problem, but the only place to have typical breakfast faire was McDonald’s. Not! Instead, we chose to eat at an eatery serving pizza & pasta. Much to our delight, the tortellini was wonderful!

As we made our way to the gate, we found that this brand new terminal only had about 40 seats for a flight of approximately 260 passengers. Duh! All the seats were already taken once we arrived, so I sat on my luggage. Then it turned out our gate changed to the one adjacent to ours. Add insult to injury, there was no plane outside. We had to be bused to our plane, sitting out on the tarmac somewhere! Not fun lugging our carry-ons (ya know the ones with wheels?) down metal steps to board the shuttle bus.

Aw, but we did finally board the plane and had an incident free flight home, short of some occasional turbulence. Knowing 2 stewards on the flight made it all that more enjoyable too! Getting over our jet lag took a few days, but we’re well and returned without any Noro, Mummy Tummy, Hepatitis or the like.

It was a trip of a lifetime for us and we had a wonderful trip !!!! Thank you so much for listening!


We are on an abbreviated version of this itinerary this summer. As I read your reviews of the ports we have in common, I am taking notes so I follow your lead. We laughed out loud when we read about the Hardrock T-Shirts in Barcelona. We make a point to buy Hardrock T-Shirts for our family every time we visit a place where there is a Hardrock Cafe. You know the joke about someone in the family visits a certain place and all they bring back is a T-Shirt. We have enjoyed the review and the pics. Thanks so much for sharing.

AuntieBarb
April 17th, 2010, 09:58 AM
What a wonderfully illustrated and informative review! I have never been so excited about taking a cruise based on one review alone, as I have with yours. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

We are booked on this same itinerary on the Jade in November and hope to have half the good times you and DH did. Thanks again.

You are very welcome. Glad you enjoyed it!

I can only imagine the anticipation you are experiencing, as we did for over 2 years. I will look forward to hearing about your adventure as well. Enjoy your cruise!

AuntieBarb
April 17th, 2010, 10:07 AM
We are on an abbreviated version of this itinerary this summer. As I read your reviews of the ports we have in common, I am taking notes so I follow your lead. We laughed out loud when we read about the Hardrock T-Shirts in Barcelona. We make a point to buy Hardrock T-Shirts for our family every time we visit a place where there is a Hardrock Cafe. You know the joke about someone in the family visits a certain place and all they bring back is a T-Shirt. We have enjoyed the review and the pics. Thanks so much for sharing.

Thanks for reading! Yes, we used to do the "all they bought us was this damn t-shirt" thing too! LOL

:) We try to get Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts wherever we go, but we specifically buy the authentic, can't buy them anywhere else ones with the HC logo stitched on the sleeve. This year's version for Barcelona didn't have the logo, but we still bought them. If ever there was a spot during our visit which made us subject to pick pockets, it was at HRC. The counter for t-shirts was in an area about the size of a bathroom, jammed packed with people!

Sometimes I hesitate to wear them. Unfortunately I had borrowed my husband's from St. Thomas a few years back by accident and stained it. :( So I was to make sure to replace it. The last time we were in St. Thomas we specifically took a taxi to HRC in order to do so. Come to find out they closed down. :eek: Guess who had to give up their t-shirt?

Enjoy your cruise and be sure to let us know all about it! :) What's your itinerary?

AuntieBarb
April 17th, 2010, 11:01 AM
Oh my gosh, thank you for the wonderful review and the awesome pictures. My husband and I will be on the Jade 3 weeks from tomorrow and it looks like a beautiful ship. Our first time with a balcony, BB on deck 9 and I'm sure it will be beautiful. Thanks again for sharing your cruise!:o

What a lousy thread hostess I am! I missed your post. My apologies and thank you very much.

Gosh, you must be getting excited! Headed out April 25th? I hope the Iceland volcano ash situation doesn't affect your travels!!!!!

sunshine nana
April 17th, 2010, 03:29 PM
Thanks for the pictures. We were in Barcelona in Nov. of 08. We had to lug our carryons up and down stairs to/from the plane when we got to Barcelona and when we left. I felt sorry for the older people who had large heavy bags. That's when I decided to take as many trips as possible while we can still handle our bags. I think it's common to have to do that in BCE. We were on Delta.

AuntieBarb
April 17th, 2010, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the pictures. We were in Barcelona in Nov. of 08. We had to lug our carryons up and down stairs to/from the plane when we got to Barcelona and when we left. I felt sorry for the older people who had large heavy bags. That's when I decided to take as many trips as possible while we can still handle our bags. I think it's common to have to do that in BCE. We were on Delta.

You're welcome and thanks for reading.

Sorry to hear you went through that twice, but have to agree with traveling now while we can! Can't imagine older folks having to lug their carry-on luggage up/down those metal spiral staircases. It didn't appear as if there was anyone to assist either.

All in all, our experience at BCN was about the only downside to the trip. Well, short of my camel ride that is! LOL

atlasali
April 17th, 2010, 05:59 PM
Lovely photos, good descriptions, excellent advice (especially about the camel scam). I had no idea that Malta was so lovely. I will have to add it to my list of places to visit.

AuntieBarb
April 18th, 2010, 10:57 AM
I enjoyed your trip...Lovely photos, good descriptions, excellent advice (especially about the camel scam). I had no idea that Malta was so lovely. I will have to add it to my list of places to visit.

Thanks for "cruising" with me! :) It was a very special trip for us. Now I'm wishing for the other Med destinations and hoping hubby jumps on board that idea!

gym2
April 18th, 2010, 01:16 PM
Barb,
Thanks for the wonderful review and pictures. It brought back many wonderful memories as we did the same trip back on 1/3/2010. Very interesting to see the details of your Cairo overnight. We were fogged out of Alexandria, so our Overnight excursion didn't leave until a little after noon. The first day was non stop - and we didn't check into our room until midnight. But what unbelievable sights!
I did buy a rug in Turkey, about 9' X 5'. I was able to get them to come down from the original price, to the price I was willing to pay (Which did include shipping costs). I signed the back of the rug with a black marker and back on the ship I wondered if I would ever see that rug again! Well, about 10 weeks after returning home, the rug was delivered - by FedEx - and it looks absolutely beautiful in my living room! I don't regret the purchase at all!
Thanks again for the great review and enjoy your next cruise!
gym2

AuntieBarb
April 19th, 2010, 08:38 AM
Very interesting to see the details of your Cairo overnight. We were fogged out of Alexandria, so our Overnight excursion didn't leave until a little after noon. The first day was non stop - and we didn't check into our room until midnight. But what unbelievable sights!

I had read about the port delay. Day 1 must have been exhausting for you! Even at a more leisurely pace, it didn't take us long to drift off once our heads hit that pillow!

I did buy a rug in Turkey, about 9' X 5'. I was able to get them to come down from the original price, to the price I was willing to pay (Which did include shipping costs). I signed the back of the rug with a black marker and back on the ship I wondered if I would ever see that rug again! Well, about 10 weeks after returning home, the rug was delivered - by FedEx - and it looks absolutely beautiful in my living room! I don't regret the purchase at all!

Thank you for the feedback! It's great to hear your carpet made it to you! We had our eyes on an 8X12 with natural thread (not that we needed it) and they did drop the price considerably towards the end of our visit, but we'd heard a few horror stories and were afraid to risk it. Good move on marking the back of the carpet too!

beamer101
April 20th, 2010, 08:02 PM
The things I love about cruising; especially with NCL!


Our dinner with Armando DeSilva, Hotel Director

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/15725_1355853893182_1136504775_1072.jpg






Am I missing something, or does your husband bear a very striking resemblance to Armando? Of course Paul looks much younger!

AuntieBarb
April 20th, 2010, 10:35 PM
Am I missing something, or does your husband bear a very striking resemblance to Armando? Of course Paul looks much younger!

ROFL....I'll have to pass that along to Uncle Paulie too. No, I assure you, they are not related. :)

mek
April 20th, 2010, 11:18 PM
Thanks for the review and pictures. We are going to Egypt in December on Brilliance of the Seas - I can't wait to see the pyramids!

AuntieBarb
April 21st, 2010, 09:07 AM
Thanks for the review and pictures. We are going to Egypt in December on Brilliance of the Seas - I can't wait to see the pyramids!

Thank you! I couldn't wait either and still don't believe I was there. It was so surreal!

samm13
April 25th, 2010, 10:15 PM
my husband and I are taking our first cruise and we have decided on the eastern med on the JADE. We leave Jan 23rd, 2011. We were told the weather can be damp and cool but ok with that. Thank you so much for such a detailed review as well as the wonderful pictures and your sense of humour.

AuntieBarb
April 26th, 2010, 09:31 AM
my husband and I are taking our first cruise and we have decided on the eastern med on the JADE. We leave Jan 23rd, 2011. We were told the weather can be damp and cool but ok with that. Thank you so much for such a detailed review as well as the wonderful pictures and your sense of humour.

You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed it !

First cruise AND that amazing itinerary all wrapped up into one? Wow, that's like sending a little kid into a penny candy store to get anything they want. I'm excited for you!

chonda
April 27th, 2010, 01:56 PM
My Husband and I are going on this very cruise next April on the Jade. We loved your pictures and review. I think I am more excited than my husband as he has never cruised before. I have been doing so much research on things to do in the ports. Thanks again for the review.

Chonda

AuntieBarb
April 28th, 2010, 10:24 AM
My Husband and I are going on this very cruise next April on the Jade. We loved your pictures and review. I think I am more excited than my husband as he has never cruised before. I have been doing so much research on things to do in the ports. Thanks again for the review.

Chonda

You are very welcome!

I do hope your husband joins in on the enthusiasm. Enjoy your cruise!

NJfoodie
April 28th, 2010, 11:22 AM
Hi AuntieBarb!
Welcome home and I'm glad to hear you and uncle Paulie had a fabulous trip! The itinerary sounds amazing! We're still working on Alaska or bust in 2011, but maybe I can convince DH to do the Med later on, and on a cruise may be the only way I'll ever get to see Egypt... And for what it's worth, I have a feeling I'd have been right there with you being terrified of my camel after getting on one considering I already have a habit of panicking at the last second and doing stupid things like not being able to let go of the ladder on the boat while going snorkeling. :p

Curious - did you actually climb the steeple stairs in La Segrada Familia? I was in Barcelona several years ago and it's a beautiful city. The pickpockets however, are plentiful and in many cases are kids. While you won't get harassed or any threats to your safety, it's still not uncommon no matter where you are to find later that you have some things missing despite not being around crowds. We were traveling for a work conference, and my boss had her purse stolen in the hotel lobby while we were all having lunch.

Question about the European itineraries - would the excursions been feasible w/ a child/were there families w/ kids on any of them? That might be a factor in when we could consider this trip - whether our munchkin could come with us or if we would need to see if grandma was up for a week or so's visit.

AuntieBarb
April 29th, 2010, 09:25 AM
Hi AuntieBarb!
Welcome home and I'm glad to hear you and uncle Paulie had a fabulous trip! The itinerary sounds amazing! We're still working on Alaska or bust in 2011, but maybe I can convince DH to do the Med later on, and on a cruise may be the only way I'll ever get to see Egypt... And for what it's worth, I have a feeling I'd have been right there with you being terrified of my camel after getting on one considering I already have a habit of panicking at the last second and doing stupid things like not being able to let go of the ladder on the boat while going snorkeling. :p

Curious - did you actually climb the steeple stairs in La Segrada Familia? I was in Barcelona several years ago and it's a beautiful city. The pickpockets however, are plentiful and in many cases are kids. While you won't get harassed or any threats to your safety, it's still not uncommon no matter where you are to find later that you have some things missing despite not being around crowds. We were traveling for a work conference, and my boss had her purse stolen in the hotel lobby while we were all having lunch.

Question about the European itineraries - would the excursions been feasible w/ a child/were there families w/ kids on any of them? That might be a factor in when we could consider this trip - whether our munchkin could come with us or if we would need to see if grandma was up for a week or so's visit.

Well hello there, Gigi! How've you been? ;) Thanks for dropping by!

Knowing this was probably our only hope of seeing Egypt was a factor for us too. Quite an expensive trip in comparison to floating around the Carib (or Bermuda :D ), but well worth it in our minds.

We would have enjoyed going inside, but unfortunately we weren't able to do much more than walk around the La Sagrada Familia and take pictures. Otherwise we had other things on our agenda while in Barcelona and never got back there. Hopefully we'll return someday.

The excursions in Turkey and Egypt (and Greece had we gone) would probably be fine with kids, seeing how they get fidgety and need time to burn up pent up energy! LOL They could do that no problem and still be kept in close range. Rome, especially at the Vatican, would probably have tried my patience with "bored kids" and having to keep a watchful eye at all times to keep them close at hand. Then again, there are probably private excursions that can be fine tuned to be more "kid friendly".

Enjoy Alaska! We hope to get there as well in the not so distant future. Actually I originally had Alaska booked before switching to the Med.

Grumpy and Wife
May 18th, 2010, 05:07 PM
AuntieBarb - you are wonderful! That was a fantastic report that we loved reading because it is what we will be doing next April! Thank you!

sboston06
May 19th, 2010, 04:30 PM
Hi Barb!

Thanks for the great reviews and pictures. We are planning the same itiniery in November for our honeymoon. This definitely got me excited and antsy for it to get here!

We have been trying to decide if we should book private tours vs. ship tours and I really appreciate your review of the NCL tours. Approx. how many people were in your tour groups? I am not so much concerned about the price of the excursions, but more the number of people detracting from the overall experience.

Thank you!
Sherilyn

missbelinda77
May 20th, 2010, 03:02 AM
Hi Barb,

Thank you so much for your detailed adventures & photos. We head off on Nov 21st on the same cruise - only 6mths to go! It is my husband Paul and my first cruise, so we are very excited :)

Cheers,
Bel

dancewithe
June 13th, 2010, 01:10 AM
Could you tell me how much $$$ your excursions ran? I looked on the website for NCL and can't seem to get any pricing. We are thinking of going next year. Especially the one to Cairo.
Do you think you would have gone at a different time of year - warmer?-if you knew the kind of weather you were going to have in March?
Also, what kind of preparations for Egypt did you have to make? You mentioned something about the passports.
It's important to us to get to Greece...have you heard that this is a usual thing to cancel Athens?

mundaetraversa
June 13th, 2010, 09:11 AM
Hi Barb,

Thank you so much for your detailed adventures & photos. We head off on Nov 21st on the same cruise - only 6mths to go! It is my husband Paul and my first cruise, so we are very excited :)

Cheers,
Bel

We will be on your sailing, missbelinda77, and it's also our first cruise! Yay for people like AuntieBarb who post such useful and detailed information for newbies like us. Also glad to see you're from Sydney - I went to UNSW!

Turtles06
June 13th, 2010, 09:58 AM
Could you tell me how much $$$ your excursions ran? I looked on the website for NCL and can't seem to get any pricing. We are thinking of going next year. Especially the one to Cairo.
Do you think you would have gone at a different time of year - warmer?-if you knew the kind of weather you were going to have in March?
Also, what kind of preparations for Egypt did you have to make? You mentioned something about the passports.
It's important to us to get to Greece...have you heard that this is a usual thing to cancel Athens?

I'm not Auntie Barb, but we did this same cruise on the Jade a little bit earlier than she did, which put us in Egypt the very first week in February. The temperature there (and in Turkey) was perfect for touring. Much later in the year, and it would be unbearably hot. Yes, it was cool in the rest of the ports (and rainy in Rome), but the crowds were relatively small and I thought the winter was an excellent time for a Med cruise going to such popular ports. Just don't expect to be lounging around the pool on sea days (though we did have one where we could).

An overnight in Cairo is not cheap, but it's more expensive to do it on an NCL sponsored tour than with a private tour, and you'll see less. (Go on the ports of call portion of this board, do a search, and you'll find many recommendations for reputable tour guides in Egypt.) We used a private tour operator in Egypt, stayed overnight in Cairo (at the fantastic Oberoi Mena House), and paid, if I recall correctly, $260 US per person (not including tips). (Visitors need a visa to enter Egypt, but folks arriving by cruise ship are given a "quick trip" stamp in their passports that is put on while you are aboard the ship, your passports having been collected by NCL when you embark in Barcelona and given back before the ship docks in Alexandria.)

Finally, if Greece is "a must," let me pass along advice from others on this board -- if any port on a cruise is "a must," and there's any possiblity the ship could skip it, you should strongly consider a land tour. There are no guarantees with cruises. I've read that ships miss some ports occasionally in the Med because of weather. And with the political problems still going on in Greece, who knows?

While our cruise did dock in Athens (Piraeus, actually), everyone aboard missed being able to enter the Acropolis because 1. we were late arriving in Piraeus because of rough seas on the day between Rome and Athens and, 2. once we docked in Piraeus, Greek authorities would not clear the ship for an entire hour, while they took their sweet old time going through everyone's passport or who knows what else. By the time we were able to go ashore, it was too late for anyone to get to the Acropolis before it closed. (We saw it, of course, but couldn't enter.) We also lost half a day in Egypt, as authorities there held the ship up for five hours while they did a health inspection. (We were on one of the sailings with a nororvirus outbreak.)

My point is that, when traveling, stuff happens... Gotta role with it...

Despite the drawbacks mentioned above, we had a fantastic time. The Jade is a wonderful ship, and this was a terrific itinerary.

AuntieBarb
July 29th, 2010, 02:29 PM
My apologies for responding so late. I haven't visited this thread in a while!

Hi Barb,

Thank you so much for your detailed adventures & photos. We head off on Nov 21st on the same cruise - only 6mths to go! It is my husband Paul and my first cruise, so we are very excited :)

Cheers,
Bel

You're very welcome, Bel. 4 months now! It was a trip of a lifetime for us and hope you enjoy it every bit as much as we did; even if it rains in Rome!

Could you tell me how much $$$ your excursions ran? I looked on the website for NCL and can't seem to get any pricing. We are thinking of going next year. Especially the one to Cairo.
Do you think you would have gone at a different time of year - warmer?-if you knew the kind of weather you were going to have in March?
Also, what kind of preparations for Egypt did you have to make? You mentioned something about the passports.
It's important to us to get to Greece...have you heard that this is a usual thing to cancel Athens?

I support Turtles06 response to your question.

As for weather, I think the time of year we went was great. If it had been warmer in the beginning of the cruise, no doubt Turkey and Egypt would have been uncomfortably hot. Rain in Rome is a possibility anytime. So it rained on our parade and dampened our enjoyment outside, but we still got to the Vatican! :)

We only booked Cairo with NCL for "peace of mind", given the location and being our 1st time over there. In the future, we'd probably go with a private operator, as there are several mentioned here at CC with great reviews.

NCL displays the excursion cost per person, but you need to be in the process of booking the excursion - not just the port excursion descriptions section of their website. We paid $499/pp for our overnight excursion to Cairo, which is definitely high compared to SOME private tours but we don't regret one penny of it regardless.

We will be on your sailing, missbelinda77, and it's also our first cruise! Yay for people like AuntieBarb who post such useful and detailed information for newbies like us. Also glad to see you're from Sydney - I went to UNSW!

Happy to hear it was useful to you!

However Sydney? I'm not from Sydney.

AuntieBarb
July 29th, 2010, 02:41 PM
AuntieBarb - you are wonderful! That was a fantastic report that we loved reading because it is what we will be doing next April! Thank you!

Glad you enjoyed it and thank you for reading! Enjoy your trip and make sure you come back to tell us all about it!

Hi Barb!

Thanks for the great reviews and pictures. We are planning the same itiniery in November for our honeymoon. This definitely got me excited and antsy for it to get here!

We have been trying to decide if we should book private tours vs. ship tours and I really appreciate your review of the NCL tours. Approx. how many people were in your tour groups? I am not so much concerned about the price of the excursions, but more the number of people detracting from the overall experience.

Thank you!
Sherilyn

Sherilyn, the size of our tour groups varied. Our excursion to Rome was an "Exclusive" group, riding in a mini-bus with perhaps 16? I can't really remember the exact count. Now there were other groups, but they all went about on their own and had lunch at different locations as well.

Our walking tour in Sicily (substitution for Greece) involved bus loads over to Taormina and then 1 guide per bus load. Ephesus and Cairo were 1 guide per bus load as well. The crowds at these ports had no effect on the flow or enjoyment of our tours, except for the museum in Cairo which was packed but thinned out as we got further away from the front entrance.

AuntieBarb
July 29th, 2010, 02:42 PM
I'm not Auntie Barb, but we did this same cruise on the Jade a little bit earlier than she did, which put us in Egypt the very first week in February.

Thanks for contributing in my absence! ;)

psbtrvlr
July 29th, 2010, 02:55 PM
Thanks for contributing in my absence! ;)

Hi Barb! (and Paul!)
You still don't have a cruise booked? My cruise credit that I bought on the Jade was burning a hole in my pocket so I HAD to use it. :D

Pam

nccruiser47
July 29th, 2010, 05:38 PM
AuntieBarb....I have been agonizing between an itinerary similar to yours and one in the Carib. I did a B2B out of Barcelona 7-day western Med and it was absolutely fantastic and I want to go back. Greece and Egypt are on my list of must-sees. And, I have that cruise credit I need to use up too. (I guess it's an illness to keep purchasing those on board future credits, but a good one)

Thank you so much for the great review and I think you helped me make up my mind. I am looking at an itinerary that starts from either Rome or Barcelona and ends up in Venice...............can not wait!!!

AuntieBarb
July 30th, 2010, 10:41 AM
Hi Barb! (and Paul!)
You still don't have a cruise booked? My cruise credit that I bought on the Jade was burning a hole in my pocket so I HAD to use it. :D

Pam

There IS something terribly wrong with that, right? OMG, why do you think I'm back to posting over here? I am suffering from PCD terribly...and we've got not just 1 cruise credit but 2 to book!!!!

The Med cruise - although well worth it and wouldn't have changed a thing - has gobbled up the cruise "reserves" for a spell. We've got 2 in college this fall and well....we've got to recoup before we can set sail again. :(

So where are you headed this time, Pam?

AuntieBarb....I have been agonizing between an itinerary similar to yours and one in the Carib. I did a B2B out of Barcelona 7-day western Med and it was absolutely fantastic and I want to go back. Greece and Egypt are on my list of must-sees. And, I have that cruise credit I need to use up too. (I guess it's an illness to keep purchasing those on board future credits, but a good one)

Thank you so much for the great review and I think you helped me make up my mind. I am looking at an itinerary that starts from either Rome or Barcelona and ends up in Venice...............can not wait!!!

Glad to hear and I'm excited for you! Did you book it yet? :D

(Yes, cruise certificates obviously serve as our way of dealing with PCD! LOL)

psbtrvlr
July 30th, 2010, 06:16 PM
There IS something terribly wrong with that, right? OMG, why do you think I'm back to posting over here? I am suffering from PCD terribly...and we've got not just 1 cruise credit but 2 to book!!!!

The Med cruise - although well worth it and wouldn't have changed a thing - has gobbled up the cruise "reserves" for a spell. We've got 2 in college this fall and well....we've got to recoup before we can set sail again. :(

So where are you headed this time, Pam?


We used it to book POA in Hawaii for my 50th birthday!

nccruiser47
August 1st, 2010, 04:15 PM
I couldn't decide so I booked two cruises next year. 12 Day Eastern r/t from Barcelona that will enable me to enjoy Egypt and a bit of Greece. And then later in the year I am doing a 15 day from Venice to Rome heavy on the Greek Islands! The Jade looks beautiful..........sister to the Gem!

dmtb518
August 1st, 2010, 05:54 PM
WOW This review is great... I am going on the Jade in March of 2011.. This was very informative and gave my mom a sigh of relief once she saw all of your pictures. I cant wait to go! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this.

Lovincruisin1321
September 21st, 2010, 01:00 PM
Egypt continued.......

Day 2: This morning’s agenda was the Step Pyramid Complex of Sakkara, where we also went inside a tomb; then Memphis, where the Limestone "Colossus of Ramses II" is on display.

Note: We never saw the "Colossus of Ramses II". We're parading all around the grounds at Memphis in search of it, but had no clue it was inside a building! Duh!

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1354284453947_1136504775_1068.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1354288934059_1136504775_1068.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1354363775930_1136504775_1068.jpg

And then we were on our way to the Giza Plateau! But first we have a special stop in store for us!

My long time dream was to be riding a camel with the pyramids before me. Today was my day, as our guide had arranged rides at $10/pp for those interested. Let me tell you all about it! LOL


http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1352230002587_1136504775_1064.jpg


There were literally herds of them on top of this hill. Most everyone in our group - including Paul - were already on their camels and lining up for their ride. ... Now it's Barb's turn.

With my left foot in the stirrup, I attempt to swing my right leg over the camel. Well, I had my purse and camera around my neck, which immediately got stuck as I'm trying to mount him! LOL Then the guy assisting me, takes my leg and swings it around for me. (Embarrassing to say the least!)

Now the camel has to stand up. He tells me "Lean back". OMG! I immediately freaked out. You see, I had one stirrup that I could not reach once on this camel. All I had to balance was the peg in the front and back! I started screaming to get me off of him right now! Thankfully our guide was nearby and she made sure the guy got me down. I was shaking once I got off and told them "That's it. I'm done! You can keep my money!" ROFL

Our guide offered my money back, but they did find a camel with 2 stirrups and thankfully my feet could reach them both. So off I went to catch up with the group. (Yeah right!) Paul was laughing and taking pics of me. LOL

As this kid is leading my camel (he had control of two of us), someone else was having difficulty. So what does he do? He lets go of our camels to go and assist. I'm thinking, OMG if this camel takes off I'm going to kill somebody! LOL Thankfully my worries were for naught.

Then the kid (He must have been around 9 years old) looks up at me and asks if I'm American. After which he says to me "Go Obama!". I wasn't going to get into a pissing match with the kid in charge of my ride, so I just frowned. Then he says, "So you liked Bush?". This all from a young Egyptian! Argh!

As I pass Paul, who is now returning on the last leg of his ride, I asked the man beside me if he minded if we cut our ride short. LOL He says "I am so glad you said that! I didn't want to ruin your ride!" LOL With that, we told the kid it was time to turn around. Believe me, I couldn't wait to get down!


But I did get the photo depicting my long time dream! Oh and BTW....After Paul's ride was over, his camel went to bite him (tore his shirt) and knocked him to the ground!

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1352009317070_1136504775_1063.jpg

Love this story!

Bet46
September 24th, 2010, 03:57 PM
I loved your March 2010 NLC Jade 12 Day E. Mediterrean Cruise review. I am going on the same cruise almost a year (to date) from your cruise and you certainly have given me some insight. I had no idea the weather would be so cool. (I'm a Texan and March weather is not cold.) Most everyone was wearing light waterproof jackets. The camel escapade was hilarious. I am a short female and I am apprehensive about getting on a camel myself. I saw some animal drawn carts in some pictures. I was wondering if that would be another option to getting around besides the camel ride? You did not mention the camel's smell. I have heard they really smell bad. Anyway, it amazed me how you had time to write (in detail) all that you did during your cruise. Keep it up. You are fun to read! Bet46

Lovincruisin1321
September 25th, 2010, 03:23 PM
I loved your March 2010 NLC Jade 12 Day E. Mediterrean Cruise review. I am going on the same cruise almost a year (to date) from your cruise and you certainly have given me some insight. I had no idea the weather would be so cool. (I'm a Texan and March weather is not cold.) Most everyone was wearing light waterproof jackets. The camel escapade was hilarious. I am a short female and I am apprehensive about getting on a camel myself. I saw some animal drawn carts in some pictures. I was wondering if that would be another option to getting around besides the camel ride? You did not mention the camel's smell. I have heard they really smell bad. Anyway, it amazed me how you had time to write (in detail) all that you did during your cruise. Keep it up. You are fun to read! Bet46

Hi Bet: I've been to Cairo and the pyramids so I might be able to answer some of your questions.
The camels do smell. They don't look that clean and I chickened out at the last minute but my daughter rode one and loved it. Our group had no problem having to pay for camels to get off of them. Some other threads mentioned this. The only problem I encountered was taking a picture of my friends on the camel and the guy chasing and hunting me down on the bus for $. I just ignored him.
I plan on doing this cruise in Dec 2012. I really want to get my nerve up to ride the camel. I'm short too and scared of heights, but I'm going to do it!
Feel free to ask me any questions. It's a trip of a lifetime!

Turtles06
September 25th, 2010, 03:40 PM
I am also short, don't even ride horses, and was a little apprehensive about getting on a camel last Feb. at the Pyramids when we were on this same Jade itinerary. However, there was no way I was going to be in Giza and not ride a camel. So I did it, and of course am totally glad I did.

Just be prepared for the fact that when the camel stands up, it does so from its hind legs first, so you will feel as though you are going to be thrown over its head. Just lean back as it stands up, and hang on. You are up pretty high, and I think I had a death grip on the saddle horn for quite some time, but finally got comfortable and really enjoyed myself. And my camel didn't smell, either. :)

Just do it, you'll be glad you did!

Lovincruisin1321
September 26th, 2010, 07:27 AM
I am also short, don't even ride horses, and was a little apprehensive about getting on a camel last Feb. at the Pyramids when we were on this same Jade itinerary. However, there was no way I was going to be in Giza and not ride a camel. So I did it, and of course am totally glad I did.

Just be prepared for the fact that when the camel stands up, it does so from its hind legs first, so you will feel as though you are going to be thrown over its head. Just lean back as it stands up, and hang on. You are up pretty high, and I think I had a death grip on the saddle horn for quite some time, but finally got comfortable and really enjoyed myself. And my camel didn't smell, either. :)

Just do it, you'll be glad you did!

Good advice. Thanks!

AuntieBarb
October 9th, 2010, 10:02 AM
WOW This review is great... I am going on the Jade in March of 2011.. This was very informative and gave my mom a sigh of relief once she saw all of your pictures. I cant wait to go! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this.

Thank you...You are most certainly welcome! I'm glad it helped your mom put her fears to rest.

We still talk about returning. It was such a rewarding adventure and a trip we will never forget!

I loved your March 2010 NLC Jade 12 Day E. Mediterrean Cruise review. I am going on the same cruise almost a year (to date) from your cruise and you certainly have given me some insight. I had no idea the weather would be so cool. (I'm a Texan and March weather is not cold.) Most everyone was wearing light waterproof jackets. The camel escapade was hilarious. I am a short female and I am apprehensive about getting on a camel myself. I saw some animal drawn carts in some pictures. I was wondering if that would be another option to getting around besides the camel ride? You did not mention the camel's smell. I have heard they really smell bad. Anyway, it amazed me how you had time to write (in detail) all that you did during your cruise. Keep it up. You are fun to read! Bet46

Spring can be so unpredictable. The only time we were really uncomfortable was while touring in Rome. Hopefully your trip will be nothing but blue skies and nice temperatures!

I don't recall any drawn carts as an option for tourists. To my knowledge, they were in use by excavators. Although I could have missed such an opportunity with all my apprehension about the camel! lol (Yes, the camels had a certain odor about them, but not too terrible in my opinion.)

Sharing our cruise adventures is the type of feedback I've enjoyed here for years. I hope you'll do the same when you return!

Our group had no problem having to pay for camels to get off of them. Some other threads mentioned this. The only problem I encountered was taking a picture of my friends on the camel and the guy chasing and hunting me down on the bus for $. I just ignored him.
I plan on doing this cruise in Dec 2012. I really want to get my nerve up to ride the camel. I'm short too and scared of heights, but I'm going to do it!
Feel free to ask me any questions. It's a trip of a lifetime!

Happy to hear they didn't manage to scam you out of any money. I have found there are a lot of places (not just Egypt) where folks feel the privilege to ask for money when they or their property are involved in photo opportunities. We had a similar experience in Antigua, merely for taking a picture of a woman with a bundle of fruit on her head. Just remember they aren't as fortunate as we are. A small tip will keep them happy.

Hopefully you'll get up the nerve to ride a camel on your next trip. Be sure to come back and tell us all about it! :D

new salt
October 9th, 2010, 11:39 AM
An excellent thread, thank you. We are doing this cruise next March for our fortieth anniversary. I would add that anyone who can do a full tour of Egypt (with all its problems and irritations) should. We had a few days in Cairo (Mena House) followed by Luxor, a Nile cruise and Lake Nasser to Abu Simbal followed by a week of R & R at Sharm al Sheik. It is an utterly overwhelming experience and totally unique.

New Salt

celyvabeach
October 17th, 2010, 09:12 PM
Egypt continued.......

Day 2: This morning’s agenda was the Step Pyramid Complex of Sakkara, where we also went inside a tomb; then Memphis, where the Limestone "Colossus of Ramses II" is on display.

Note: We never saw the "Colossus of Ramses II". We're parading all around the grounds at Memphis in search of it, but had no clue it was inside a building! Duh!

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1354284453947_1136504775_1068.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1354288934059_1136504775_1068.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1354363775930_1136504775_1068.jpg

And then we were on our way to the Giza Plateau! But first we have a special stop in store for us!

My long time dream was to be riding a camel with the pyramids before me. Today was my day, as our guide had arranged rides at $10/pp for those interested. Let me tell you all about it! LOL


http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1352230002587_1136504775_1064.jpg


There were literally herds of them on top of this hill. Most everyone in our group - including Paul - were already on their camels and lining up for their ride. ... Now it's Barb's turn.

With my left foot in the stirrup, I attempt to swing my right leg over the camel. Well, I had my purse and camera around my neck, which immediately got stuck as I'm trying to mount him! LOL Then the guy assisting me, takes my leg and swings it around for me. (Embarrassing to say the least!)

Now the camel has to stand up. He tells me "Lean back". OMG! I immediately freaked out. You see, I had one stirrup that I could not reach once on this camel. All I had to balance was the peg in the front and back! I started screaming to get me off of him right now! Thankfully our guide was nearby and she made sure the guy got me down. I was shaking once I got off and told them "That's it. I'm done! You can keep my money!" ROFL

Our guide offered my money back, but they did find a camel with 2 stirrups and thankfully my feet could reach them both. So off I went to catch up with the group. (Yeah right!) Paul was laughing and taking pics of me. LOL

As this kid is leading my camel (he had control of two of us), someone else was having difficulty. So what does he do? He lets go of our camels to go and assist. I'm thinking, OMG if this camel takes off I'm going to kill somebody! LOL Thankfully my worries were for naught.

Then the kid (He must have been around 9 years old) looks up at me and asks if I'm American. After which he says to me "Go Obama!". I wasn't going to get into a pissing match with the kid in charge of my ride, so I just frowned. Then he says, "So you liked Bush?". This all from a young Egyptian! Argh!

As I pass Paul, who is now returning on the last leg of his ride, I asked the man beside me if he minded if we cut our ride short. LOL He says "I am so glad you said that! I didn't want to ruin your ride!" LOL With that, we told the kid it was time to turn around. Believe me, I couldn't wait to get down!


But I did get the photo depicting my long time dream! Oh and BTW....After Paul's ride was over, his camel went to bite him (tore his shirt) and knocked him to the ground!

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g207/pcfamily/NCL%20Jade%2003-2010%20E%20Med/Review/13305_1352009317070_1136504775_1063.jpg


I was reading Jade reviews and came upon this thread. We will be on the Jade for our Holy Land cruise in Nov 2011. Glad you enjoyed your trip and thanks for the review and thoughts about the ship.
Had so much fun reading your camel story...it was hilarious. Asked my DH if he is planning to ride a camel in Egypt he said "heck yes!". But he did not know that they bite!!! Did you get a picture of Paul when his camel bit him and knocked him to the ground?

dmtb518
October 22nd, 2010, 11:49 PM
[quote=AuntieBarb;23833147]Embarkation:

It just so happened that there was a marathon in town this morning, which involved La Ramblas down and around the Christopher Columbus Monument, blocking direct access to get to port from our side of the city. Top it off, Hotel Onix Liceo is on a one way street, which just by luck goes towards La Ramblas! *sigh*. When we asked the front desk clerk to call a taxi for getting to port, he just chuckled and said there was no way that could happen until the marathon was finished. So off we go on foot, with luggage in tow, towards the port area.

In hindsight, we should have waited to hail a taxi until there was sufficient break in the marathon action that police would let us cross over to the port side. Unfortunately our sights were set on getting to the terminal a.s.a.p., so we hailed the first taxi we could. The taxi driver (who didn’t speak an ounce of English) tried to forewarn us by motioning that it would involve all kinds of lefts & rights. Even a kind gentleman passing by, who translated for us, conveyed the same message. Nonetheless, we got in the taxi. You have no idea how far out of our way we had to go to get there – to the tune of 50 euro including tip! Lesson learned….LOL!

Auntie Barb...
Do you know if this is an annual event off hand... I hope I dont have this same problem...
~Dawn

Lovincruisin1321
October 24th, 2010, 11:01 AM
Thank you...You are most certainly welcome! I'm glad it helped your mom put her fears to rest.

We still talk about returning. It was such a rewarding adventure and a trip we will never forget!



Spring can be so unpredictable. The only time we were really uncomfortable was while touring in Rome. Hopefully your trip will be nothing but blue skies and nice temperatures!

I don't recall any drawn carts as an option for tourists. To my knowledge, they were in use by excavators. Although I could have missed such an opportunity with all my apprehension about the camel! lol (Yes, the camels had a certain odor about them, but not too terrible in my opinion.)

Sharing our cruise adventures is the type of feedback I've enjoyed here for years. I hope you'll do the same when you return!



Happy to hear they didn't manage to scam you out of any money. I have found there are a lot of places (not just Egypt) where folks feel the privilege to ask for money when they or their property are involved in photo opportunities. We had a similar experience in Antigua, merely for taking a picture of a woman with a bundle of fruit on her head. Just remember they aren't as fortunate as we are. A small tip will keep them happy.

Hopefully you'll get up the nerve to ride a camel on your next trip. Be sure to come back and tell us all about it! :D

Next time you are on the board can you e-mail me. I have questions about your overnight excursion in Cairo. Your review convinced me to book with NCL! My e-mail is rmartinez1321@hotmail.com

Lovincruisin1321
October 24th, 2010, 11:02 AM
Thank you...You are most certainly welcome! I'm glad it helped your mom put her fears to rest.

We still talk about returning. It was such a rewarding adventure and a trip we will never forget!



Spring can be so unpredictable. The only time we were really uncomfortable was while touring in Rome. Hopefully your trip will be nothing but blue skies and nice temperatures!

I don't recall any drawn carts as an option for tourists. To my knowledge, they were in use by excavators. Although I could have missed such an opportunity with all my apprehension about the camel! lol (Yes, the camels had a certain odor about them, but not too terrible in my opinion.)

Sharing our cruise adventures is the type of feedback I've enjoyed here for years. I hope you'll do the same when you return!



Happy to hear they didn't manage to scam you out of any money. I have found there are a lot of places (not just Egypt) where folks feel the privilege to ask for money when they or their property are involved in photo opportunities. We had a similar experience in Antigua, merely for taking a picture of a woman with a bundle of fruit on her head. Just remember they aren't as fortunate as we are. A small tip will keep them happy.

Hopefully you'll get up the nerve to ride a camel on your next trip. Be sure to come back and tell us all about it! :D

Next time you are on the board can you e-mail me. I have questions about your overnight excursion in Cairo. Your review convinced me to book with NCL! My e-mail is rmartinez1321@hotmail.com

AuntieBarb
October 27th, 2010, 09:59 AM
Auntie Barb...
Do you know if this is an annual event off hand... I hope I dont have this same problem...
~Dawn

Every year in March, as I understand:
http://www.adventure-marathon.com/Marato-Barcelona.aspx

AuntieBarb
October 27th, 2010, 10:02 AM
I was reading Jade reviews and came upon this thread. We will be on the Jade for our Holy Land cruise in Nov 2011. Glad you enjoyed your trip and thanks for the review and thoughts about the ship.
Had so much fun reading your camel story...it was hilarious. Asked my DH if he is planning to ride a camel in Egypt he said "heck yes!". But he did not know that they bite!!! Did you get a picture of Paul when his camel bit him and knocked him to the ground?

First off, I am now jealous of your future cruise! The Holy Land itinerary is in my bucket list, but unfortunately still not booked!

No pictures of Paul's camel incident. I was still occupied getting my camel turned around to head back! LOL But he does have the shirt that was torn as a momento. :D

AuntieBarb
October 27th, 2010, 10:05 AM
Next time you are on the board can you e-mail me. I have questions about your overnight excursion in Cairo. Your review convinced me to book with NCL! My e-mail is rmartinez1321@hotmail.com

Email sent! :)

shiphappy
November 20th, 2010, 09:46 PM
They were outstanding! Can I ask what kind of camera you were using? We will be cruising next October in the Mediterranean for our first time. Thanks.

lloyd&carolyn=1
December 10th, 2010, 11:40 AM
AuntieBarb,
Your Review was/is da BOMB!!!!!!
You have literally set us up for our Feb trip

Thanks;)

cruiseman111111
December 22nd, 2010, 07:34 PM
Great pix...

Ocean Spirit
December 23rd, 2010, 02:40 AM
Thanks AuntieBarb! We leave in a few days and really appreciate all your efforts in posting all your experiences.

I also want to know what kind/model camera you use... great pics!

AuntieBarb
January 15th, 2011, 02:45 PM
They were outstanding! Can I ask what kind of camera you were using? We will be cruising next October in the Mediterranean for our first time. Thanks.

AuntieBarb,
Your Review was/is da BOMB!!!!!!
You have literally set us up for our Feb trip

Thanks;)

Thank you, thank you, thank you! :) Just dropped by because I am so needing a cruise and have those 2 Cruise Reward certificates burning a hole in me pocket! Until then, I need to live vicariously through all of you!

Those pics were taken with a Canon PowerShot SX120 IS.

To all headed out on this itinerary now or near future....ENJOY!

erdoran
January 15th, 2011, 04:55 PM
I apologize if this info is buried in this thread...I noticed in your first posting your roll call worked something out with Barcelona City Tours regarding a city tour & hotel dropoff. Is that barcelonacitytours.com or some other company? I want to check into this a bit for my roll call, or at least for myself & roommate. thanks

AuntieBarb
January 15th, 2011, 09:15 PM
I apologize if this info is buried in this thread...I noticed in your first posting your roll call worked something out with Barcelona City Tours regarding a city tour & hotel dropoff. Is that barcelonacitytours.com or some other company? I want to check into this a bit for my roll call, or at least for myself & roommate. thanks

That's the one! The larger the group, the less $ per person.

erdoran
January 16th, 2011, 07:38 AM
thanks for the info!

cruiseman111111
January 30th, 2011, 08:41 PM
Nice review, great photos!