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NCL Mediterranean Cruise {Norwegian} Review

NCL Western Mediterranean Cruise

NCL Mediterranean Cruise
Post Last Modified – February 29, 2024 ¦

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Our 13 Day NCL Western Mediterranean Cruise – Review

It’s been a few years now, but I just wanted to share our outstanding …

🌺 NCL Mediterranean Cruise 🌺

with you.

Our 13 night cruise onboard the 🚢 NCL Norwegian Cruise Line Jade, which was outstanding. We visited new and exciting ⚓ Ports of call each and every day!

Our cruise vacation seemed to go by far too quickly, as we took advantage of all the great shore excursions as much as we could.

Norwegian Getaway – Cruise Ship Jade

NCL Cruise Ship Jade

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. 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 worked on cruise ships for over 10 years, and she picked the – Mediterranean destination on her last 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 everlasting memories like we now have.

Norwegian Cruise Line Mediterranean Cruises

Houses of Parliament London England

Houses of Parliament London England

My wife and I accompanied with our two teenage children at the time, began our journey ✈ flying non-stop from …

🍁 Vancouver, British Columbia 🍁

to London, England.

Unfortunately, time only allowed us 2 nights in London, prior to embarking on 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 Sightseeing Tour Bus which was a perfect way to see the sites of the city. At sunset, we enjoyed a ride on the famous …
🎡 London Eye 🎡

Definitely worth the 🎟 ticket and booking in advance for the spectacular view of London, especially watching the 🌇 sun setting during the ride.
The link above will take you to {Viator by Tripadvisor} and their page for more information and online advance booking.

London Eye Ferris Wheel

London Eye Ferris Wheel

Europe Cruises With Norwegian Cruise Line

Boarding the Norwegian Jade in Southampton Great Britain

It was an easy 🚆 train ride from downtown London, out to the coast at Southampton where our cruise departed.
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 stopping at ⛰ Gibraltar and then on to the Mediterranean. This is where his ship 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!

Norwegian Mediterranean Cruise

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! 🙂

Our 13 Night NCL Mediterranean Cruise Itinerary

✔ Day 1 – Ship departs Southampton, Great Britain;

✔ Day 2 – At Sea;

✔ Day 3 – Vigo, Spain;

✔ Day 4 – Lisbon, Portugal;

✔ Day 5 – Cadiz (Seville) Spain;

✔ Day 6 – Gibraltar;

✔ Day 7 – Malaga, Spain;

✔ Day 8 – At Sea

✔ 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.

First Cruise 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, Vigo 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!

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

Beautiful Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon is beautiful city and the largest in Portugal, where we opted for the trip out to the; Historic Town of Sintra.

Located 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!

Third Cruise 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

This was a full day spent viewing some of the historical sites in Cadiz.

It was then on to one of the beautiful white villages located along the shores of Spain, spending the afternoon wandering the small streets and walkways.
One can easily find yourself getting lost while 🚶 walking along the towns small corridors and walkways!

We then finished the day enjoying some time on 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, as 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. 🙂

Fourth Cruise 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 finally 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, Gibraltar is paradise!

There’s duty free shops galore and more 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!

They may be great to see from us visitors, but 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.

Fifth Cruise 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 visit.

Some of these include; the 11th-century Fortress of Alcazaba and the Museu Picasso Malaga. For those who love to shop, there’s the outdoor mall in the city as well to spend time browsing.

Musician in Malaga Spain

Musician in Malaga Spain

The 📸 photo above is just one of the many 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, Nerja 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 kilometer scenic drive from Málaga, but well worth the visit.
Our tour included a wonderful lunch at a cliff side restaurant, with spectacular views!



Sixth Cruise 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.

The beach is approximately 25 kilometers from Olbia, and was a perfect relaxing beach day in north-east Sardinia!

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

Amalfi Village Italy

Amalfi Village Italy

This was a fantastic day, choosing a full day 9 hour tour. Stops included; Naples, the stunning Amalfi Coast and the Historic Site of Pompeii.

This was an amazing scenic tour which covered the stunning 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 amazing ⚱ Ruins of Pompeii.

Historic Site of Pompeii

Streets of Pompeii

This was an incredible experience, walking among the; Ruins of the Lost City of Pompeii. Be sure to see my posts and photos of our …

📸 Visit to Pompeii. 📸

It really is worth taking in, should you ever visit Naples. It was definitely one of the highlights of our many tours and stops on this incredible cruise vacation!

Eighth Cruise 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 visiting Rome and the ⛪ Vatican. We opted for the full day tour including; Rome highlights and city tour.

This included 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. The Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine and of course, the Colosseum.

This was another great full day tour, spending time in the Historical City of Rome!

St Peter’s Basilica

St Peter’s Basilica Rome Italy

Ninth Cruise 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 NCL Cruise!

First, we headed to the historic town of Lucca. We were free to walk through the old town and view its; Medieval Towers, ⛪ Ancient Churches and Lucca’s 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. It was a pleasant day, but only recommended if you simply; Must See the Tower, in person.

Tenth Cruise 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 scenic {Promenade des Anglais}.

This is 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.
This promenade is lined with an; outdoor market, various shops and restaurants.

We had an enjoyable afternoon experiencing the sites of this beautiful part of France.

Eleventh Cruise 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 of Barcelona and then transfer on to the ✈ airport.

Barcelona is an amazing city, but unfortunately we were only able to see but a glimpse of what it has to offer.



Final Thoughts Banner

This was a wonderful vacation on Norwegian’s Western Mediterranean Cruise, and one I would certainly recommend to everyone.
It was a very busy cruise, full of fantastic tours and beautiful sites to take in at each and every Port of Call.

The crew were very helpful and friendly during the entire voyage. 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 beautiful sunny summer mornings and afternoons.

Norwegian Cruise Line Cruises 2024/2025

Be sure to check out Norwegian Cruise Line Mediterranean Cruises for their latest hot cruise deals and incentives happening now!

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A Blogger Since 2012, Robert has a {Passion for Travel}, having worked in the industry for over 35 years. He enjoys sharing special moments & tips on; Travel, Health & Wellness, Book Reviews and much more!

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