Experience An NCL Mediterranean Cruise

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NCL Mediterranean Cruise

Our Spectacular 13 Day NCL Mediterranean Cruise

It’s been a few years now, but I just wanted to share Our Norwegian Cruise Line Mediterranean Cruise with you. Our 13 night cruise on board the Norwegian Jade was simply fabulous, with new and exciting ports of call each and every day. Our cruise holiday seemed to go by far too quickly, as we took advantage of all the great shore excursions each and every day!

The Jade was built in 2006 and has a crew of 1078. Passenger limit is 2402, making it a perfect size for our liking. Not too small and at the same time, not too big!

I am writing this to share our fantastic vacation with you and if you have been thinking about this type of cruise, I can honestly say, it is definitely worth taking. In fact, I have a niece who has been working on cruise ships for over 10 years, and this season she has picked the Mediterranean for her next engagement.

Cruising on the Mediterranean in the summer months is like no other, with spectacular views and historical ports of call that are sure to leave you with lasting memories like we now have!

A Fabulous Norwegian Cruise Line European Cruise

Houses of Parliament London England

Houses of Parliament London England

My wife and I accompanied with our two teenage children, began our journey flying non – stop from Vancouver, British Columbia to London, England. Unfortunately, time only allowed us 2 nights in London prior to our cruise. One could easily spend a week enjoying the many sites and attractions in the United Kingdom.

Downtown London England

Downtown London England

We took advantage of the ever popular Hop On / Hop Off Tour Bus which was great, and at sunset, enjoyed a ride on the famous London Eye. Definitely worth the ticket for the spectacular view of London, especially watching the sun setting during the ride!

London Eye Ferris Wheel

London Eye Ferris Wheel

NCL Mediterranean Cruise

Boarding the Norwegian Jade in Southampton Great Britain

It was an easy train ride from downtown London out to the coast at Southampton. Ironically, this is where my father boarded ship when he was in the Canadian Navy during WWII. From here we would head south, following his route to Gibraltar and then on to the Mediterranean where his ship also spent a great deal of time cruising, as well as in the Atlantic during war time.

NCL Cruise Ship Jade

NCL Cruise Ship Jade

Boarding was smooth and friendly, arriving just in time to head to the buffet for lunch! The ship was conveniently located just over the bridge from the train station, about a 2 minute taxi ride. If it were not for our luggage, it would have been an easy walk to the ship.

A Brief Look at our NCL Mediterranean Cruise Itinerary

Royal Air Force Red Arrows

Royal Air Force Red Arrows

As we began sailing out of Southampton, we received a special treat from the Royal Air Forces beautiful Red Arrows, performing in the skies above.  We could be so lucky! 🙂

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 – Ship departs Southampton, Great Britain;


Day 3 – Vigo, Spain;

Day 4 – Lisbon, Portugal;

Day 5 – Cadiz (Seville) Spain;

Day 6 – Gibraltar;

Day 7 – Malaga, Spain;


Day 9– Olbia, Italy;

Day 10 – Naples/Pompeii, Italy;

Day 11 – Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy;

Day 12 – Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy;

Day 13 – Cannes, France;

Day 14 – Barcelona, Spain.

NCL Mediterranean Cruise First Port – Vigo, Spain 08:00 am – 05:00 pm

City of Vigo Spain

City of Vigo Spain

Arriving at our first port of call  in the City of Vigo, we were excited to disembark and enjoy our day in Spain. This is a bustling sea side port on the Atlantic Coast. Situated to the north of Portugal, it is largely an industrialized city and dates all the way back to the Roman era.

NCL Cruise Ship Jade in Vigo Spain

NCL Cruise Ship Vigo Spain

With lots of history and things to see and do, we enjoyed a full but relaxing day in the city. We visited The Parque del Castro and Historic Fortress, and a lovely afternoon strolling along Vigo’s historic Old Town.

Vigo Spain’s Beautiful Side Streets and Old Town

Vigo Spain Side Streets

Enjoying the Musicians and Sites of Old Town Vigo Spain

Musicians Vigo Spain

We all had a great afternoon enjoying the sites and sounds of Vigo on a beautiful summers day in Spain!

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Second Port – Lisbon, Portugal 08:00 am – 05:00 pm

Beautiful Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon Portugal

A beautiful city and the largest in Portugal, we opted for the trip out to the historic town of Sintra. Situated just 28 kilometers from Lisbon, it is named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its cultural significance and outstanding natural beauty.

Sintra Portugal and the Moorish Castle

Sintra Portugal

With the historic remains of the Moorish Castle a top the hillside and the charming town site, it was a lovely day enjoyed by all!

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Third Port – Cadiz (Seville), Spain 09:00 am – 08:00 pm

 Cadiz Spain Side Street

Cadiz Spain Side Street

Cadiz is an ancient port city and the oldest city in Spain dating back to the 16th century. Here we chose the small historical city tour and then on to one of the famous beach side white villages surrounding Cadiz.

White Village Plaza Spain

White Village Plaza Spain

A lovely full day viewing some of the historical sites in Cadiz and then on to one of the popular white villages along the shores of Spain, spending the afternoon wandering the small streets and walkways. One can easily find yourself getting lost walking along the towns small corridors and walkways. We then finished the day enjoying the beach and surrounding area.

One of the Many White Villages in Spain

White Village Spain Side Street

It really was like walking through a maze!  Each and every tiny side street looked the same.  We actually had to ask for help to get back to where our bus was parked. 🙂

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Fourth Port – Gibraltar 08:00 am – 05:00 pm

 City of Gibraltar

City of Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory situated at the south point of the Iberian Peninsula and entrance way to the Mediterranean Sea. A major shipping port and full of history, Gibraltar or more commonly known as The Rock, was great to see. As a matter of fact, my father said during the War, this is where naval ships would often come for supplies. For duty free shoppers, it is a paradise, with duty free shops galore in the town square.

Two Monkeys in Gibraltar

Monkeys in Gibraltar

We enjoyed a Cable Car Ride to the top of The Rock with outstanding views and of course, surrounded by free roaming Monkeys. They are protected here and are everywhere, and appear to be quite annoying to most locals!

We also toured inside St. Michaels Caves. This is a system of limestone caves situated inside The Rock of Gibraltar, complete with an auditorium which has superb acoustics for live performances. Finishing off our tour of this tiny seven mile piece of territory, we were taken to the Lighthouse at Europa Point.

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Fifth Port – Malaga, Spain 08:00 am – 07:00 pm

Malaga Spain City View

Malaga Spain City View

It’s hard to escape history on this cruise with Malaga being no exception. Malaga is a very large and beautiful seaside city offering visitors a number of museums and historical sites to see, including the 11th-century Fortress of Alcazaba and the Museu Picasso Malaga.  As well, those shoppers can enjoy the outdoor mall in the city as well.

Musician in Malaga Spain

Musician in Malaga Spain

Enjoying local musicians playing in the outdoor shopping mall in the city.  Just another beautiful sunny summer day in the Mediterranean! 🙂

The Alcazaba Fortress of Malaga Spain

Alcazaba Fortress Malaga Spain

We enjoyed a tour of the city, along with the Fortress, and then on to the small former fishing village of Nerja.  Now a picturesque and popular seaside resort protected by the Sierra de Almijara Mountains is also known as ‘The Jewel of the Costa del Sol’.

Picturesque Coastal Resort of Nerja Spain

Coastal Nerja Spain

It was about a 53 kilometre scenic drive from Málaga, but well worth the visit and included a wonderful lunch at a cliff side restaurant with spectacular views!

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Sixth Port – Olbia, Italy 08:00 am – 05:00 pm

Olbia Italy and Lighthouse

Olbia Italy Lighthouse

Once a quaint fishing village, Olbia is now the central starting point to some of the most beautiful beaches on the northeast coast and the sparkling Costa Smeralda. This is a 56 kilometer stretch of magnificent coastline and beaches.

Crystal Clear Warm Waters at La Cinta Beach Italy

La Cinta Beach Italy

Our family loving every opportunity to spend time in water and on the beach, we chose the tour out to La Cinta Beach. A beautiful stretch of beach that stretches for 3.2 kilometers with crystal clear warm water and a white sandy beach. Situated approximately 25 kilometers from Olbia, it was a perfect relaxing beach day in north-east Sardinia.

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Seventh Port – Naples / Pompeii, Italy 08:00 am – 08:00 pm

Amalfi Village Italy

Amalfi Village Italy

This was a fantastic day, choosing a 9 hour tour including Naples, the stunning Amalfi Coast and the Historic Site of Pompeii. This was an amazing scenic tour covering the Amalfi coastline with its tight switchback roads and beautiful vistas along the way.

Stunning Views Along the Amalfi Coastline

Amalfi Coastline Italy

We enjoyed an excellent sit down lunch high above Sorrento, with amazing views of the town and Bay. After lunch, we stopped for a stroll in town enjoying this lovely beach side village overlooking the Bay of Naples.

It was then to explore the Ruins of Pompeii.

Historic Site of Pompeii

Streets of Pompeii

This was an amazing tour walking among the Ruins of the Lost City of Pompeii.  Be sure to see my latest posts and detailed photos of our Visit to Pompeii.  It really is worth taking in, should you ever visit Naples.  It was one of the highlights of our many tours and stops on this incredible cruise!

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Eighth Port – Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 08:00 am – 08:00 pm

 The Colosseum and Arch of Constantine

Colosseum and Arch of Constantine Rome Italy

Of course one of the main highlights of this wonderful cruise is a Rome and the Vatican. We opted for the full day tour including Rome highlights and city tour, along with a guided tour of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica.

Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica

The Vatican Rome Italy

Magnificent St Peter’s Basilica Inside

St Peter’s Basilica Rome Italy

This full day tour included a morning drive to many historical parts of Rome, including the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine and of course, the Colosseum. A great full day in the city of Rome!

St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica Rome Italy

Be sure to return again, or sign up for My Newsletter, as I will be posting many more pictures of this ancient city and the other fabulous sites we took in during our short visit.

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Ninth Port – Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy – 08:00 am – 08:00 pm

City of Lucca Italy

City of Lucca Italy

Yet another full day tour on this incredible cruise vacation. First, we headed to the historic town of Lucca. Walking through the old town and viewing its medieval towers and ancient churches, along with many other historic buildings.  Lucca really did give you a feeling of just how old many of these villages and cities surrounding Rome are. For example, we viewed a Romanesque cathedral dating back to the 12th century!

Leaning Tower Pisa Italy

Leaning Tower Pisa Italy

It was then off to Pisa and to Miracle Square, with the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and other beautiful structures in the plaza. A pleasant day, but only recommended if you must see the Tower in person, as there is a long walk from the bus to the Square and wish to visit the old city of Lucca as well.

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Tenth Port – Cannes, France 07:00 am – 02:00 pm

City of Nice France

City of Nice France

Arriving in Cannes, we opted for the 4 ½ hour bus tour, taking a very scenic drive from Cannes to Nice. A beautiful drive giving you a glimpse of the city, taking you along the Promenade des Anglais, a three mile boulevard lined with palm trees along the Baie des Anges.

Nice France Side Streets

Nice France Side Streets

Stopping in Old Nice, we strolled along the shoreline and the Cours Saleya promenade lined with an outdoor market, various shops and restaurants. We had an enjoyable afternoon experiencing the sites of this beautiful part of France.

NCL Mediterranean Cruise Eleventh Port – Barcelona, Spain 05:00 am

City of Barcelona Spain

City of Barcelona Spain

Our cruise concluded in Barcelona arriving early in the morning. Our flight home worked perfectly to be able to take in a short city tour and then transfer to the Airport. An amazing city, but unfortunately we were only able to see but a glimpse of what it has to offer.

This was a wonderful cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line and one I would certainly recommend to others. It was a busy cruise, full of fantastic tours and sites to take in at each and every port of call.

The crew were very helpful and friendly, the meals in the buffet and dining room were excellent with no complaints what so ever. We thoroughly enjoyed the dining area located outdoors on this ship, just off the buffet.  It was great having our meals and snacks outdoors in the open air enjoying the summer mornings and afternoons.

Safe travels!

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Did You Know …

“Ships have been called “she” for centuries; it’s a seafaring tradition that began with the earliest sailors and is still widely practiced today.”

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