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tiggerman101

Greek Isles- NCL Jade 7/13/2012 review

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Alright, it has been awhile since I have done one of these so I figured why not? Truth be told, it was a great time and I like my pictures. Anyway, lets get the basics out of the way shall we?

 

The cruise was taken by myself (David) and my partner (Wade). Here we are on our first day in Venice:

 

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This would be my 22nd cruise, Wade's 14th, our 3rd Med cruise and our 2nd NCL trip (which was also in Europe on the Jade). I will cruise anyone and really have no undying loyalty to any line. To be honest, I could never sail exclusively on any line as I like to change it up and everyone offers something a little different.

 

There is a bit of a backstory to how we decided on this trip so sorry but I am going to get it out of my system. We had originally booked and completely paid for a cruise on HAL Westerdam to Alaska for 7/14. However, I had been eyeing this Greek Isles cruise for over a year. The prices kept going down and finally I crunched some numbers. I realized that if I took everything I had already paid for the Alaska cruise and took the bottom line (Air, Cruise, Hotel, etc) it would be roughly the same if we did the Greek Isles cruise. Of course the air was MUCH higher, but the cruise was MUCH lower. We have done Alaska before so that also figured into the switch. It was only a couple days before final payment when we decided to change it all up. It was also a few days before our 15 day Hawaii cruise so that made the week extremely hectic. Oh well, I thought it was exciting since we normally plan our big trips way out. Wade thought I was crazy, but he takes a back seat to all our travel plans and has learned to trust me over the years.

 

So everything got switched (HAL was less then thrilled as I had pre-paid everything from tips, to dinners, one huge excursion, etc). I would still love to head to Alaska again some day, but I felt this opportunity was too good to pass up. So once we got back from Hawaii in late April, I really set to work on the plans for this trip.

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I promise to cut out my signature for most of this review as I am aware it is a bit obnoxious......

 

So on July 11th we got ready to fly out to Venice from Atlanta where we live. I love living in Atlanta because it make travel so easy. Having a HUGE international airport a subway away makes it very manageable plus I can usually get some good air deals (oh, but not this time. Europe air is crazy right now). We flew Delta to Amsterdam and then KLM to Venice. We had a four hour layover in Amsterdam which was first for us. I have honestly always had a direct flight. We actually went to Amsterdam for a few days before our Magic cruise last year so we were familiar with the airport (and I do like Schiphol). I decided on a four hour layover to give us plenty of time. Alright, to give me sanity as Wade tends to stress big time with travel. I really didn't want to take an 8 hour plane trip feeling waves of panic coming off him the whole time.

 

I try to be a good person but sometimes karma seems to build up and get me back all at once for past transgressions. This came in the form of a screaming child directly in back of me for nearly the entire flight. so yea, it was a long trip. We also remained on the planes for about an hour after landing in Amsterdam due to a lightning storm that erupted right we we got there. So yea, I was ready to get out of there after all of that.

 

The connection went well and we landed in Venice around 1 in the afternoon. I actually thought the Venice airport was going to be a bit bigger, but it was easy to get around. Coming from Amsterdam there was no passport control. We just got off the plane and went to get out luggage. I swear, landing somewhere far way away from home is just a feeling that really feeds my travel addiction. I love it. Always have and I hope I always do.

 

Yea, yea, I have many pictures coming up. Sorry.....

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Just to maybe help someone out.....We had been to Venice last year as an overnight stop on our Magic cruise. I am glad for this because I knew the layout a little. I knew where the cruise port was and also how to get around. I took all of this into consideration when I booked our hotel. I wanted something close to the Piazza Roma which is the only place in Venice where cars, buses, etc can come in. It is also right next to the cruise terminals. I knew we could easily take a bus from the airport as opposed to a cab and save a few Euros. We took the ACTV bus which was fine. There is a big transportation stand sat up right after baggage claim in Marco Polo. You can buy all sorts of tickets there (train, bus, etc). I choose the one way ticket on the express bus from Marco Polo to Piazza Roma. After that, head outside and the bus stand will be right there. You put your luggage underneath and climb aboard. There are a few busses out there so just be sure you get the right one. Now is not the time to be shy, just ask. Remember to validate your ticket in the machine by the bus door. The ride is about 20 minutes and very easy. You are then dumped off in the Piazza. From there, Venice is at your feet.

 

So, we had one night in Venice before our cruise. I went with the Hotel Papadopoli because of good reviews and location right by the Piazza. It turned out to be a great choice. We walked across the piazza, across one bridge and the hotel was right there. It is also on a small canal and just a block or so from the Grand Canal inbetween the Scalzi bridge and the Ponte della Costituzione bridge.

 

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The hotel was smaller, but very friendly. We were behind two other couples checking in. They were told they had to come back at check in time, but when we got up there we were told our room was ready and they had given us an upgrade to a canal view. Nice. We headed up to the fifth floor and our room.

 

It was a nicely appointed room, but kind of small. Hey you are in Europe. If you want "Big America" rooms, then you better be prepared to pay. The view of the canal was nice and quiet:

 

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We showered and got ready to head out. I learned on our last two trips to Europe to just get through the first day in regards to jet lag. We just stay up until night time and then go to sleep. When I wake up in the morning, I am pretty much adjusted to the time difference. The first night can be a bit rough, but the excitement carries me through it. Wade on the other hand suffers pretty bad. He is usually very tired and seriously could pass out standing up at times. Nothing like people mistaking you for a heroin addict....

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So Venice....I tell people just to get out and walk if you are able. To me, that is the charm of the city. Just get lost and wonder around the narrow alleys, across foot bridges, down the canals, etc. I love it. You will inevitably cross a small bridge and be taken aback by some beautiful scene.:

 

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We headed towards the Grand Canal and started our walk there:

 

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I was actually on a mission. Having been to Venice last year as an overnight stop, Wade and I had hit all the main tourist spot. i had a picture from the top of St Mark's Campanile (the big tower in St Mark's square). The picture was across the Grand Canal to the beautiful Santa Maria Della Salute. I had made this my wallpaper on my home computer so I had been staring at it for a couple weeks. This was my only goal for the day:

 

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I loved walking around the back streets of Venice. If you know your basic landmarks and layout of the overall city, then it is nice to just go with it. However, getting to this church was pretty difficult. There is no clear path and we were ducking down tiny alleys, etc trying to figure it out. of course you can just take a Vaporetto there, but that would be easy. We stopped here and there along the way :

 

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We just tried to keep heading to the end of the canal:

 

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Eventually we made it. I can never tell you exactly how we did, but we got there. It was pretty confusing and tiring in the heat, but so much fun. For me. Wade just looked at all the people getting off the vaporretto right in front of the church and back at me. Oh well.

 

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The inside is nice and there is some good history behind this church (I won't go into it). Like most of Venice, you can't help but marvel at the architecture and the age of a place like this:

 

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It also sits right on the mouth of the Grand canal so many people go there for the view. You are right across from St Mark's so it is nice out there:

 

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We sat there for awhile enjoying the breeze and eventually headed back to the hotel:

 

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Again, I love just walking around here because you just hit so many beautiful settings without even looking for them:

 

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We eventually got back to our hotel and decided to shower once again (it is July in Venice) and get ready to head out to dinner.

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We had no plans for dinner at all. We just wanted to walk around and find a decent place. We decided not to cross the Grand canal and stay more or less in the back neighborhoods away from the main walking paths. We just wondered around looking at menus here and there. Eventually, we came across a nice outdoor area and the menu looked decent. So we talked to a server and sat down:

 

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I have no idea what the name of the place was, but it was good. We had a cheese plate and a pizza each for dinner. We decided to get dessert later on somewhere else. Eating outside next to a small canal was very nice and it is times like these that I am reminded why I slave so much and live like a pauper at home to travel. Here is the restaurant from the canal:

 

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After dinner we strolled around and eventually bought some desserts from a stand. It was seriously some of the best Panna Cotta I have ever had. I can't believe I don't have a picture of it. After awhile it was dark and we were more then ready to head back and go to sleep:

 

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The next morning we got ready and decided to head out for a stroll and a small bite before going to the ship. We choose to stay in the back neighborhood again and it was a great morning. There were few people out and it was very peaceful and quiet:

 

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We stopped at a small cafe with outdoor tables and grabbed some croissants and coffee (Have I mentioned I love food in Italy). The walk back to the hotel was nice and we just took our time:

 

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Checking out was easy and we were staying another night after our cruise so I confirmed that. We walked out of the hotel, across the bridge and we were once again in the Piazza Roma. From there you can take a short people mover to the cruise area. It is really just a couple blocks but it is nice to use if you have a big luggage and don't want to mess with hauling it. Plus it costs one Euro so it isn't going to break you.

 

There are two stops and you want to get off at the first one for the cruise ships. There was our ship in port and also two RCCL ships embarking that day so it was a little crowded on the people mover. Once we got off we realized our ship was till a good distance away. I noticed busses for the two RCCL ships, but not one for ours. IWe just shrugged and started off with luggage in tow. To be fair, I heard that NCL had a shuttle from the Piazza Roma to the ship, but we never got word about it. No big deal to me, we were heading to a cruise ship in Venice. I certainly didn't care how I got there as long as I made it.

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Truthfully, it was a bit of a haul. I wondered why there were only a few other doing this trek with us, but it was a little early. We got to the terminal and figured out we needed to drop our bags off outside. There was a line to do so and it was moving s l o w. Apparently, nobody else had luggage tags and were having to have them written up by the porters. It was odd, in fact, when we finally got to the front of the line and showed that we already had our attatched they seemed a little surprised. Considering a lot of the passengers were European, I wondered if they didn't have the ability to print out tags on the Europe web site. I don't know, but it was a little weird that nobody seemed to have them.

 

We then entered the terminal and headed to check in. It was easy as there were many lines and we were just lead right up to a counter. From there we went through security and onto the ship. It was a very smooth embarkation:

 

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Awesome review so far and beautiful pictures! We were in Venice in June and loved it too.

 

A note to others looking to get to Santa Maria Della Salute - look for signs saying Per Accademia and take the bridge over the Grand Canal. Then keep proceeding to your left until you're nearly at the tip of the island. It's a bit of twisting and turning, but a lot of fun to wander around.

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A couple things before I head into the actual cruise review.....We had previously been on the Jade last January for a 12 day Eastern Med cruise. The highlight of that trip was to be an overnight stop in Egypt. However, three days into the cruise the riots broke out. During the cruise, NCL kept us well informed of the situation and we knew we would have to take a few days to "wait and see" if we could dock in Alexandria. It became evident that there was no way we would be able to and NCL did an awesome job of giving us a suitable substitution. We ended up heading to Istanbul for TWO overnights in place of Egypt. I was very impressed with how NCL handled the whole thing and Istanbul was an amazing destination .I thought NCL did a great job trying to find us a suitable port in place of the overnight Egypt stop. They kept it all very organized and deciding to cruise on NCL again was easy.

 

Now the Jade does the Greek Isles and some Adriatic cruises in the summer. The Greek Isles cruise consists of Corfu, Santorini, Mykonos and Katakolon Greece on a seven day run. However, we did a "one shot" 8 day Greek Isles cruise that had an extra sea day and substituted Izmir, Turkey for Katakolon. My main port was Santorini. If any of you out there are as obsessed with looking up cruises like I am, then you have also been bombarded with images of blue domes and whitewashed buildings. I admit, they got to me and I just HAD to go there.

 

As I said, I had been eyeing this cruise since last year. I also watched the prices consistently drop after final payment. So I decided to take a little chance. I booked the lowest category Ocean View cabin just to get on the ship. I planned on watching the prices like a hawk and hoped to eventually move up to a balcony after final payment. Since you can not get a price adjustment after final payment, I decided to start low and just keep upgrading myself. This worked very well as the prices did indeed plummet in the weeks leading up to the cruise. I just kept calling and moving up. We eventually ended up in an Aft-Balcony for about a $1,000 less then we would have paid if I had originally booked it. When all was said and done, I could have moved to a mini-suite for no extra charge, but I am an "Aft Junky" and wanted the view. We ended up in cabin 10168 which has an extended balcony from the ones on lower decks:

 

 

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This was a great cabin as the balcony alone was worth it. Of course, being aft, there were some soot problems and the foreign trash factor. It seems things would "fall" down from the outdoor eating table from above and land on our deck. I found straws, napkins, bacon, etc out there at times. I didn't care though, it was a great cabin.

 

Last time on the Jade we had a Penthouse Suite and we wondered if we would severely miss the "Suite Life". I has images of me with my face pressed against the glass during lunch at Cagney's begging someone to throw me a piece from the shrimp cocktail. Honestly, it wasn't a big deal to not have the perks this time. Sure they are awesome, but ultimately superfluous (we will do it again though!).

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A little more on what to expect from this review. Lots of pictures. I cruise for a couple reasons depending on the trip. Sometimes I just go to relax, but others are for the ports. This was definitely one for the ports. Wade and I are not night owls and don't party. I did plenty in my time and have many well earned "year chips" to show how far I have come. lol. I am actually a bartender in real life so I am far from a prude about anything. Anyway, we started cruising about four years ago and really fell for it. We actually DO spend a lot of time relaxing in our cabin at night. We will go to a show here and there and a couple things at night, but we are not disco boys. We do love NCL's Freestyle dining and all the various restaurants. It gives lame people like us something to do at night. Basically, expect a lot of port talk in this review and not much nightlife.

 

After we checked out out room and met our awesome and extremely friendly room steward we headed out to walk the ship a bit before muster and sail away. I forgot to mention two things. We had lunch in the Grand Pacific MDR and really enjoyed it. I wish every line offered lunch in the MDR on embarkation day (hint, hint Carnival...). Also, I LOVE having a coffee pot in the cabin. Awesome. Of course, it wasn't as nice as the machine you get in the suites, but I am a coffee junky so I will take anything. Seriously, I am the kind of guy who pre-makes the coffee and hits the "brew" button first thing in the morning. I absolutely hate having to trudge up to the Lido Deck on ships to get my fix (yea, yea, room service, but it take too long for people like me). Trust me, it is good for the other people on the ship that I don't have to do this. I am not human before my coffee.

 

So anyway, back to walking the ship:

 

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I like the ship just fine. It isn't a favorite of mine, but it isn't horrible. For the most part it is well appointed. The only tackyness that I see are the hallways to the theatre:

 

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and the Medusa Lounge:

 

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Then again, you are reading a review from someone who has done 15 Carnival cruises. I am pretty immune to tacky...um, I mean "playful". Honestly, I don't really care about the decor too much. I find it all kind of interesting. Of course the Jade is all done up in Hawaii themes from its former life as Pride of Aloha so that can be a little odd in the Med. Also the fact that our last cruise was a 15 day Hawaii cruise and well, it is amazing we were not more confused on just where the heck we were at time.

 

So, muster was held in the Grand Pacific and went alright. It amazes me that people still talk and don't pay any attention (shall we cruise you past the Concordia people?). We then went to our balcony for sail away.

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So sailing from Venice is awesome. You go out past the whole city and right by St Mark's, etc. It is a beautiful sail away so I brewed some coffee and got ready for it. First we had the tug boat attach to the back of the ship to pull us out:

 

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The boat actually pulled us out backwards and swung us over the the births next to ours (basically another inlet). I have never seen this before and it was pretty interesting:

 

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Basically, the ship did a 180 turn so it could then pull out of the birth forward facing. From there we sailed away and just watched Venice go by:

 

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Now, you can head on up to Spinaker's for a great view and running commentary from the cruise director if you want. I know he pointed out all the landmarks, etc and I am sure it was very interesting. However, we had sailed in and out of Venice before and just wanted the quietness of our balcony. Having an aft cabin meant we could see both sides so we were more then happy to stay put.

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Off we go:

 

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That night we decided to eat at Jasmine Garden. We ate there twice on the other cruise and enjoyed it. Once again, it was a good meal. The service was great and the hostess remembered us from the dining room earlier. By name. I was very impressed. It turns out she was the regular hostess there and throughout the cruise would talk to us whenever we passed by. It was a nice touch of customer service and one that NCL seems to excel at. After dinner, I think we just walked around a bit and then headed back to the cabin for some TV and much needed sleep.

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What dishes do you recommend at the Asian restaurant? I think we'll try it on the Star in Sep for the first time and many options sound good!

Edited by AttilaTheFun

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WOW Beautiful pictures. Were there any staff members that stood out?

 

Not to be nasty, but why this question for every person's review? Most people already mention the crew members that stand out but you always ask it like they didn't. I appreciate that you want to recognize the great crew members, but just confused why you always bring it up.:confused:

Edited by AttilaTheFun

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Not to be nasty, but why this question for every person's review? Most people already mention the crew members that stand out but you always ask it like they didn't. I appreciate that you want to recognize the great crew members, but just confused why you always bring it up.:confused:

Not a problem. In writing reviews people will say what they did, what they saw, and what they ate. Sometimes but not always will they talk the friendliness of staff (or not) but not about particular staff member unless asked. With this new "Vacation Hero" program, anyone now can be nominated from the Captain on down. I am always interested in staff members. I have made 17 Norwegian cruises and have become friends with a lot of staff members. I have also become friends with a number of passengers I have met. I love reading the different reviews and seeing the pictures taken. People interest me more.

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Not a problem. In writing reviews people will say what they did, what they saw, and what they ate. Sometimes but not always will they talk the friendliness of staff (or not) but not about particular staff member unless asked. With this new "Vacation Hero" program, anyone now can be nominated from the Captain on down. I am always interested in staff members. I have made 17 Norwegian cruises and have become friends with a lot of staff members. I have also become friends with a number of passengers I have met. I love reading the different reviews and seeing the pictures taken. People interest me more.

 

Fair enough! It's a great reminder to recognize all the hard work onboard the ship, but I've noticed a growing trend a reviewers mentioning their "Vacation Hero(es)" which is wonderful.

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WOW Beautiful pictures. Were there any staff members that stood out?

 

There were many and I will mention them as I go along. Being in the service industry myself, I am very aware of the quality around me. I will say that we filled out 8-10 cards on the last night of the cruise for different crew members.

 

What dishes do you recommend at the Asian restaurant? I think we'll try it on the Star in Sep for the first time and many options sound good!

 

Umm....It was all good. I am trying to remember. We actually ate there twice this trip as well however, once I had sushi. I know I had a beef dish and it was good. I also like the pot stickers. The Hot and Sour soup is nice, but a bit overpowering and neither one of us finished it all. I am not a fan of the green tea cake, but loved the Banana Pancakes.

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The next day was a sea day. Wade and I usually part ways on sea days. I love to lay out and he likes to roam the ship, play trivia, etc. He also likes breakfast and I am not big on it. Honestly, I have been doing 5-6 cruises a year and all that food easily catches up to you. I learned awhile ago that the "Big Breakfast" had to go. I don't eat much in the morning at home, so why should I on a ship? I will grab a muffin or something though.

 

So we split up and I hit the pool deck. Well, the area above the pool deck. i was out there at around 10 AM and able to get a chair fairly easy. This would be the only sea day I could do that. It soon became a crowded mess with the lounge chairs. The pool area got very crowded on sea days, but it is a cruise ship and pretty much expected. They did have singers and small bands play on the Lido and it was nice. Some was in Italian, some in Spanish and some in English. They seemed to try and mix it up.

 

Wade and I agreed to meet around 1:30 to hit the MDR again for lunch. It was then that I found out that Wade won the "Bingo Queen" title. He played Bingo in the morning and they choose two people to be Bingo queen and king. These two people were able to play bingo for free the entire cruise. He was ecstatic, but not real thrilled at the "Queen" part. I thought it was hilarious.

 

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In the end, he never won. In fact they only had bingo on sea days and only a couple times on those days. Coming from Carnival this was a bit of a surprise. They have bingo going on at all hours. You always have to sit through a dnag game waiting for a show to start.....

 

Anyway, after lunch we did our laps on the Promenade Deck. We loved this outdoor area and walkway. It was great to get away, never crowded and just nice:

 

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We found some wooden lounge chairs and had a bit of a nap. It felt great to just pass out for a little bit.

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Tonight we had dinner reservations at Le Bistro. We never hit this restaurant the last time we were on the ship so I was looking forward to it. It was also "Dress up or not" night and we noticed it was about 50/50 in that participation. We did not feel like lugging our suits on this cruise so we just wore some nice khakis and polos. This was actually a relief for me. I certainly do not mind dressing up, but it gets a little tiring packing all of it.

 

Anyway, Le Bistro was great. It was easily one of the better meals we had. I started with the "cones" and Wade had the asparagus:

 

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From there it was the Coq Au Vin for me and the fillet for Wade:

 

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Dessert was a challenge as they had a lot that I wanted to try. We decided to go the novelty approach and do the Chocolate Fondue for two:

 

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It was good, but I would try something else next time. One thing about the specialty restaurants, they were a lot busier on this cruise then our 12 day Jade cruise. A waiter told us this was usually the case between the longer and shorter cruises. It is just more spread out on the longer ones. It makes sense, but I still think they were busier overall.

 

Not to get into any tip discussion, but we always pre-pay gratuities. I like to pay everything possible ahead of time. We also do online reservations for restaurants and pre-pay those. I love the option, but you don't get any kind of bill at the end of the meal. It made it awkward because I will always tip extra for good service. I just learned to bring some cash with me.

 

After dinner we walked around a bit. Sometimes we would check out a lounge or singer for a bit, but we always walk the upper decks at night.

 

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Well, tomorrow was our first port day in Corfu, Greece and we had a lot planned. Time to go back to the room and relax before bed.

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When I woke up we were near Corfu, but not ported yet. Corfu lies off the coast of Greece mainland and only about two miles off the coast of Albania. It was a beautiful sail in as the sun rose. This is the moon over Albania:

 

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I sat out on the balcony with my coffee and enjoyed the ride:

 

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There are spaces for two ships to dock in Corfu. We were there with HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam. From the dock it is a bit of a walk down the pier to the customs building. Inside they had a few shops and the usual stuff (bathrooms, info, etc).

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WE are SO looking forward to reading and seeing the rest of your wonderful review as we will be doing the same cruise next year followed by a 12 day Venice - Barcelona the same day we dock.

 

Great pictures and the descriptions are short and to the point, no "frills", it's appreciated. DW just walked by as I'm typing this and says " more pictures pleaseeeeee !" lol

 

We'll be following this review with anticipation, and will be "picking your brain" as they say about your port excursions if you don't mind. This is my 1st trip to europe and DW's 2nd, her first was back in late 60's with her parents when she was a teenager.

Please excuse my enthusiasim, being Greek but born here in Canada, I'm very excited about going back to my parents "homeland" for the very 1st time and don't know if I can wait till July 27th lol.

 

cheers...the Ump...:D

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Haha at Bingo Queen - is this a democratic election they hold each cruise? I've never heard of such a title!

 

Did the Coq au Vin have bones in it? I would love to try it, but hate chicken with bones - one of my food quirks.

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Haha at Bingo Queen - is this a democratic election they hold each cruise? I've never heard of such a title!

 

Did the Coq au Vin have bones in it? I would love to try it, but hate chicken with bones - one of my food quirks.

 

 

It was a raffle that everyone that played the first bingo game got a ticket for. They drew for the Queen and King. It just so happened that the King was a woman.

 

The Coq Au Vin did have bones in it, but it was easy to work around. It was really good.

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Corfu, Greece

 

I went back and forth with what to do here. We had a somewhat short time frame as the ship left port at 3:30. I knew the island was larger then the others and I wanted to see what we could. A lot of people just head to Corfu Town which is the old walled section. I did want to see it, but I felt like we should get out and do more so I searched for a tour. I ended up choosing Corfu Taxi Private Tours:

 

http://www.corfutaxi****************/

 

They offered various tours of different lengths. I wanted free time in Corfu Town so I picked the four hour tour. Basically, it was a driver for four hours in our own car. They were very easy to communicate with and responded to my inquiries quickly. We were told to meet at the end of the pier right outside of the building at 9 AM. They did not require a deposit of any kind and I could fully customize the tour if I wanted to. We actually got to the meeting spot about a half hour early and they were there holding a sign. Our driver was the owner's sister and she was very nice. We told her we were into scenery and vistas and she told us her plans for us. With that we were off.

 

Now Corfu is a bit different then you might expect in a Greek Island. It is not the windswept barren land that you see in pictures. In fact it has quite a bit of trees and foliage. It is pretty, but different then the other two islands we would be going to. Also, it is Greek so all the names of places and towns are like Pitrosovoolikovia or something. Don't expect me to remember all the places we went to. Sorry.

 

The first stop was up the highest mountain to a nice view. Unfortunately, we were looking out right into the sun, so it is not the best picture:

 

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Our driver was always asking to take a picture of us and trying to be as helpful as possible. She had grown up here and along the day she gave us all the info about Corfu that we wanted. She was very nice and we learned a lot from her.

 

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We drove along the ridge line for a bit and stopped at another overlook to view a beautiful bay and beach:

 

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There were olive trees everywhere and the whole history and process behind them were fascinating. We stopped at a typical stand where we tried olive oil and bread. Wade had a shot of Kumquat Liquor that he actually liked. We bought a couple things and headed on.

 

Our next stop was the ruins of an old castle (Angelokastro- I looked it up for you).

 

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From there we headed out to Palaiokastritsa, or rather an overlook above it first:

 

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Again, the sun was a bit bad so the glare is off. It was beautiful up there though. They even had a nice pool you could swim in if you wanted:

 

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The area below has a few beaches with some beautiful inlets and water:

 

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This is our driver taking in the sights:

 

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There was a restaurant and bathrooms up there so we grabbed some drinks and headed out. From there we went down the mountain to Palaiokastritsa itself:

 

The water was amazing:

 

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The area is a resort type place. There are little hotels and nice little beaches everywhere. There is also the monetary that dates back to 1225. I didn't know what to expect, but I am glad we stopped. It is small, but beautiful. The plants alone are gorgeous.

 

Wade in the entrance:

 

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Here is me on a patio:

 

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I love these plants that look like snakes:

 

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The bells outside:

 

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The view from the monastery:

 

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From there we drove past the beach area:

 

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Eventually we stopped outside the palace, but we did not know if we had time to go in. Wade and I just walked to the front and looked at the grounds. We grabbed a drink and headed out.

 

We stopped at an overlook to see Mouse Island. It is a small, pretty little island with a lone church on it. Apparently, there are a ton of weddings that take place there:

 

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A closer look at the island:

 

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Then we were off to Corfu Town. We had agreed to be dropped off there. It seemed like it would be easy to walk back to the ship or just grab a cab. We stopped once more for a shot of the fortress in Corfu Town:

 

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Corfu town is nice. It is like a lot of other old European towns that we have seen in Italy, etc. It is mainly pedestrian with narrow streets and lots of shops and cafes, etc. We entered the heart of it from the street:

 

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We ducked around here and there and browsed a few shops, of course we stopped for some cheap pastries at one place. It was very good. The streets were nice to walk down:

 

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We knew we had to head back to the ship so we headed out near the fortress area. Due to time we didn't walk all the way to it but stopped to get a look:

 

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We decided to just walk it. I didn't think it was that far and there was a line for taxis. Wade and I walk everywhere so I didn't think it would be a big deal. We headed out the gate to the town:

 

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We just followed the road and had awesome views of Albania across the way. We could look back and see the fortress looming out:

 

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The water along the way was beautiful and there were small beaches here and there with some people out:

 

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When we turned the corner we saw the ship was still a distance. Not usually a big deal, but it was VERY hot and I really needed to find a bathroom. We stumbled on and roasted. Eventually, we hit a small restaurant that had a cooler with drinks indie. We went in and bought water and they let me use the restroom. They were very nice. After that, the rest of the walk was not too bad. We were tired and sweaty by the time we got back. We were also hungry so we hit up the Blue Lagoon for some wings and chicken fingers (and of course, the brownie sundae). I must say that I love the fact that NCL has a 24 hour, no fee, sit down restaurant to go to. It is a great alternative. After that I hit the pool for a bit. We had dinner reservations at Teppanyaki for later. We loved it last time so we were looking forward to it again.

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We walked the ship a bit before dinner and listened to the piano player in the atrium:

 

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Then we went to meet for dinner. The hostess outside the Jasmine Garden again addressed us by name and asked about our day. We had a few minutes before our reservation so I went to the bar for a virgin Bloody Mary.

 

Dinner was great. I love the show they put on, but the food is actually very, very good. I like the communal seating and we had some good table mates. Our chef was personable and fun.

 

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We sat next to a nice German couple that we would see all over the ship for the remainder of the cruise. We would have loved to hang out with them some, but the girl spoke virtually no english and the man was very limited. It did bring about an interesting factor for this cruise. The whole trip Wade and I were pretty much on our own. Our CC Roll Call was a dud and we didn't even have a meet and greet. Our last cruise to Hawaii was a HUGE group and we were constantly running into people, meeting up, etc. It felt a little odd this time around.

 

Anyway, dinner was good and the chefs posed for one more shot:

 

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Of course, we meandered around a bit then headed back to our cabin. The TV actually was a low point. First it was small and second there was not much variety. They did have an english movie channel which we watched a lot, but they repeated the same movies often. I don't care how cute it is, I never want to see that dang movie about the trapped whales in Alaska ever again (Big Miracle).

 

Well, tomorrow was Santorini and the port I was looking forward to the most. I was really excited. If anyone is actually reading this (seriously, anyone but the two that have commented? lol) then be prepared for a ton of pictures. Santorini did not disappoint. In fact, in over 50+ ports that I have been to, this one shot to the very top for me.

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Even though I've already posted, thank you again for sharing your review and pictures! I find it incredibly disappointing how people work so hard on reviews and don't get many reactions. I worked on a very thorough review of our Grand Mediterranean cruise with Princess that included lots of port tips and pictures and halfway through, people basically stopped commenting. I have basically given up on the thread. I always try to thank and encourage people who post helpful reviews on here.

Edited by AttilaTheFun

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I am living vicariously through the review/posts so keep 'em coming. I don't like commenting in between posts to reviews like this - I think it breaks up the flow. But don't worry, been "refreshing" the screens all afternoon to keep reading the additional posts that just keep showing up. :D

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Hey Tiggerman, am thoroughly enjoyng your review and photos - which are amazing! We're sailing the Jade in a little over 6 weeks, cruising the Adriatic, and so can't wait!

 

Looking forward to your next instalment of Santorini :)

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I am living vicariously through the review/posts so keep 'em coming. I don't like commenting in between posts to reviews like this - I think it breaks up the flow. But don't worry, been "refreshing" the screens all afternoon to keep reading the additional posts that just keep showing up. :D

 

Yeah! I dislike posting in between a review for the same reason. I will, however, post at the end. (So now you've just wrecked my M.O.!):p

 

It is great, keep it coming and I am enjoying the pictures....wonder if I can talk my travel friend into going to Corfu for a land vacation next year....:rolleyes:

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If anyone is actually reading this (seriously, anyone but the two that have commented? lol) then be prepared for a ton of pictures. Santorini did not disappoint. In fact, in over 50+ ports that I have been to, this one shot to the very top for me.
I confess, I've just been lurking. DP and I are taking our first-ever cruise in October as sort of a taste-testing to see if enjoy cruising - my ultimate vacation would be one that includes Venice and the islands of Greece.

 

Thank you so much for sharing your awesome photos and great commentary!

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Oh yay, I am so happy that I found your review!! I'm going to the ports you went to next week and I have an aft balcony on the Jade for my cruise in October so this review is awesome and has info for both!!! I love the pictures and can't wait to see more. Keep it coming!!!!

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