Norwegian Jade’s Mediterranean and Greek Isles

My friend and world traveler, Ralph sent an email postcard “Greek Islands this week and around the boot of Italy to Rome next week on NCL Jade”

I went straight to the Norwegian Cruise Lines to find out more about Norwegian Jade on the website. All the official and formal information was there. Their site will answer absolutely every question.

The magic happens to this cruise when the official Norwegian Cruise Lines details are combined with the live commentary and experiences of a fellow traveler. My friends name is Ralph. He and his beautiful and brilliant wife Jan are world travelers. Ralph and Jan are RJ here.

Santorini. One of the most beautiful Greek Isles. Photo: NCL

The Norwegian Jade  sails the Mediterranean year round. Norwegian Cruise Lines is the pioneer of Freestyle Cruising. Meaning dress as you please, no tie or tux required. Eat when, where and with whom you like. Dive in for a midnight swim or take a sunrise stroll. Schedules and activities fit you – it’s your vacation.

There is entertainment day and night, 20 restaurants, extravagant spa, fitness center and, a casino. Dive into swimming pools, or golf andtry out the first rappelling wall at sea. And that’s just on board. Every port has choices of shore excursions.

We signed up for a Norwegian Cruise Line Master Card because they offered a 10,000 point reward for sign up and 2 points for every dollar spent on NCL.  That has added up to over 30,000 points which will give us $300 of on board credit which will help cover the internet cost and our enforced gratuity. RJ

7-Day Eastern Mediterranean, Greek Isles from Venice

Ports of Call: Venice, Italy, Corfu, Greece, Santorini, Greece, Mykonos, Greece, Olympia (Katakolon), Greece

The Norwegian Jade sails the Mediterranean year round. photo NCL

On board Norwegian Jade for lunch at 2, dinner at 7 and a show at 9:30. Usual lifeguard drill at 4:30  Big ship, lots of people. Had a steak for lunch, roast duck for dinner. Weather is comfortable, Sea is calmer than lake Ontario. Brunch at the Outdoor Terrace with almost anything you might ask for. RJ 

Meals are the first thing you notice about Norwegian Cruises’ Freestyle. You may eat in one of 2 main dining rooms, ordering off the menu. Plus, you have your choice of an indoor or outdoor buffet. Bring the gang or enjoy a romantic dinner for two.

Plus, there are a variety of cafes, grills and to go choices. Enjoy poolside dining, a kids cafe, tapas bar, coffee bar and a pub. You can even have room service 24 /7 for private, in-room dining. While these choices are open to all, there are some specialty restaurants such as French or Japanese cuisine that have extra fees.

After leaving Venice, there is a full day at sea. A perfect time to settle in and get familiar with the Jade.

It seems to me that no matter where I am headed for on board, I have to go through the casino. Dinner again in a sit down restaurant and the show was a ballet/exercise husband/wife team from Poland.  The strength, balance and teamwork they presented was extraordinary. RJ

Next, RJ was off to Greek Isles including Corfu and Santorini. Known for it’s verdant views and hidden beaches, Corfu is considered one of the most beautiful of the Greek Isles.

Thanks to the ongoing volcanic activity, Santorini is known for the fabulous views and unforgettable sunsets. The sharp volcanic cliffs rise above the Aegean Sea only to dive again into the unforgettable blue waters. A bus takes you around the island. After a sunset dinner, a cable car returns passengers to port.

We are on Mykonos, a dry, rocky volcanic island with a resident population of 10,000.  There were probably almost that many tourists today. Took a tour on a 4×4. We went to a museum and took a walking tour. The whitewashed houses have blue or red domes and there and windmills. Beautiful.  Back onto the main ship we looked down at the water and it was such a deep, dark, blue it looked like someone had poured purple and black ink into the water.

Tomorrow we will arrive at Katalokan, a town of only 600 on a peninsula on the mainland of Greece which will be the jumping off point for a tour of Olympia. RJ 

Passengers tour historic Olympia – home of the original olympics. There are guided tours of the ancient ruins. See the Archaeological Museum where there are ornaments from the Temple of Zeus. Visit a family-owned wine estate, enjoy a wine tasting and visit the traditional family museum.

Day 7 is another full day at sea and finally Venice on Day 8.

Papas is just 1 of 20 restaurant choices. Eat when you want with Free style cruising. Photo: NCL

On Board

Free Style cruising means everyone does what they want. Special supervised kids activities go on day and night. Adults can slip away for a romantic dinner for two or a shore tour; gaming in the casino or island shopping.

Curious, RJ dropped in for a moment or two at an art auction. Then, there was a presentation about how to tell fake and real jewels.  And later, a workshop explaining chinese herbal medicines. The instructor also offered acupuncture in the health spa.

At the spa, there are a variety of massages, facials, and manicures. There is a fitness center with bikes, free weights, basketball courts, treadmills, ellipticals and special classes.

There are jacuzzis and swimming pools, a sun deck, several bars, jogging and walking tracks for use any time. Quieter pursuits are found in the library or the card room plus dozens of specialty activities.

“We leave our bags and they are transferred to our new quarters for the next week. Jan planned a Venice itinerary including the Doges Palace, cross the Bridge of Sighs, go to Museo Diocesano, San Zaccaria, and La Piata. We have to be back by 5 to continue our cruise odyssey.” RJ

My friends spent the day touring Venice. Their luggage stayed on board and was transferred to a new room. Next, the Norwegian Jade set sail for a 6-Day Croatia & Greece, Roundtrip Venice. RJ began their second Mediterranean Cruise.

I have not been on the Norwegian Cruise Lines. Lillian Butler, Jans mother, loved to travel. I met her, and Ralph and Jan on a Steamboat excursion. Even at age 100 Lillian could tell the tales of her travels. Miss Lillian has passed. But, I believe she is still traveling. Just beyond our imagination. PBH

You might like: Norwegian Jade Croatia & Greece, Roundtrip Venice

 

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