If you asked me if I had a favorite ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet I’d probably say no, yet I’ve been on the Jade 3 times, so there you have it, for now one is coming out the winner. Though the Jewel and Star are following close behind with 2 cruises each and of course I plan on cruising on the Breakaway once it comes out.
This sailing was slightly different from the other two because I had a better idea of what to expect. I’d taken this exact sailing before and so knew my way around the ship as well as the port stops. Once again whether at sea or docked in some fascinating place I found plenty to do during the day and evening so I’ll recount events and add photos in order if at all possible.
October 31st was a rainy day in Rome, so it seemed as good an idea as any to get to the port early before all of the plane arrivals started to board. My transfer picked me up around a little before 10am and after another stop we arrived right in front of the Norwegian Jade by about 11:15am. I was escorted up to the Star Bar where I was greeted by Carlos Zarate who was the concierge on the Jade when I was there last in February. After a hearty welcome and interesting conversation (Carlos can always brighten your day and make you think) I was told that Cagney’s was open for lunch and I went in to enjoy a delicious fish burger. I can’t remember what kind and I was going to take photos but I’d left my large bag in the Star Bar and wasn’t about to part from that sandwich to go and get it. All I can say is that wowza it was delicious and was a great way to start my cruise.
Soon after it was announced that the staterooms were available, so I head on over to room 11626 (Aft). It was my first mini suite and I was excited about having more room than on my previous cruises. The room was quite nice and quiet, just right for a relaxing vacation, though in the end instead of relaxing I wound up trying to do as much of everything as possible.
Heading downstairs I put my name in for the “Dinner with an Officer” drawing and went to find out more information on taking a behind the scenes tour. I’d done one once on the Epic earlier in the year, but as this was the first cruise I’d taken with Platinum Latitudes status I thought it’d be cool to see some of the goings on the allows the Jade to sail on the Mediterranean and keep so many people happy.
The day of the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet that Paula had so painstakingly prepared for. Right down to invitations in cases she’d decorated for the Staff and Officers that she hoped would attend. We wound up having about 70 CC members there and from the Staff and Officers many showed up including Gary Glading our tireless Cruise Director, Hotel Director Mirsad Bucuk and Captain Kim Karlsson.
Shortly after that I head on over to the Latitudes Party which I never miss. Who can pass up photos with the Officers looking so dapper in their Ship Whites not to mention wine and cheese.
There was an informative talk on Egypt talk at 2pm given by guest lecturer Hany Tawfeek (President of the Guides Association) on the Mysteries and Wonders of Egypt. While I didn’t catch it in person it played on the television. Later during the week I did go to the 2nd talk.
While wandering around I noticed someone pass by that took me back 8 months. It was “M” from Ireland. Back in February she, her sister and I spent a day wandering around Funchal Madeira together while on the Jade for the Canary Islands cruise. Imagine my surprise seeing her here as well! She told me that her sister “B” was also on board this go round and they’d brought other family members too. So the next time a staff member tells you not to worry about acting silly while on vacation because you’ll never see your fellow passengers again…I’m here to tell you that’s not true, because ohhhh the stories “M” & “B” could tell about that fun day in Feb!
Later that evening Paula and I went to the “Sailing Solo & Singles Mixer” to get acquainted with other travelers on this journey by themselves in some form or fashion. Here we met (the names have been changed to protect the guilty heh heh) Jace, Stace and Shaw. Stace and Shaw were sisters sailing with their family, and Jace was a super cool Australian that was later dubbed “Elvis”. We all hit it off are were usually found around each other at some point during the day. Shaw, Paula and myself were nick named Charlie’s Angels and The Three Musketeers by the Maitre’d at the MDR and the Captain respectively. While we accepted both titles happily, truth be told we were probably closer to Huey, Duey and Louie! 🙂
Next on the list was the Captain’s Cocktail Party! First a chance to take photos of them looking handsome in their day uniforms now the chance to take photos with them in their evening dress. Can’t beat that! Add that wine and cheese and once again I’m enjoying myself!
I head to dinner that evening with the ‘troupe’ and on the dance floor later that night. At some point probably around 1am, I fell into bed off with pleasant dreams about what the next day would hold.
We arrived in Katakolon Greece, and the rest of that story is here:
We arrived at the port of Piraeus, and I made my way into Athens, the rest of that story is here:
We arrived in Izmir Turkey and I took a tour of Ephesus. I’ll post the link to that story once it’s up.
Was the sea day before arriving in Alexandria Egypt. I used this time to wake up when by body wanted to, got dressed and made my way up to Spinnaker for the Officer’s Profile which is an interesting Q&A where audience members get to ask all kinds of questions of the Captain, Chief Engineer and Hotel Director.
Afterward Shaw and I went to the Stardust Theater to listen to the “Amazing Egypt” lecture by Hany Tawfeek. In the space of a 1/2 an hour or so we’d picked up a lot of information and I found myself looking forward to Egypt even more than previously. Once the session was over Shaw and I asked Hany to sign our Freestyle Dailies. What a nice memento of our Mediterranean cruise to Egypt.
I hope that Norwegian Cruise Line continues to add guests lecturers as it’s truly an enriching addition to the cruise experience.
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