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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2009, 04:08 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Spain
Posts: 9
Just to say thankyou for all your assistance for the trains times etc. Everything worked out very well especially the Civitaveccia Rome trains, very easy almost too easy as we didn't get back to the ship until 20 mins before all aboard as we were so confident about the journey!!!! Italian trains very good and punctual surprisingly. We absolutely hated Naples, we should have known what it was like as the lady in the info place at the port told my husband to take his Rolex off and put in in the safe back on the ship !!!! We found it very difficult to find the train station, when we eventually did there were such a lot of low life hanging around we decided not to go to Pompeii and Sorrento as it all seemed decidely dodgy. Took ourselves off on the sightseeing tour, absolute rubbish and very overpriced at 22 euro for the HOHO bus , completely badly organised and generally just awful. We will never go back to Naples ever again!!!! Malta was a surprise, I have spent years telling everyone that Malta was boring, it wasn't, it was delightful, so much so that we want to go back again for a week. Very highly reccomended. Rome of course was wonderful, Florence again amazing but we were a bit tight on the train times as we didn't get off the ship early enough. Cannes. well thats my new favourite place in the whole world, we were going to go to Monte Carlo as we had been before and liked it but as we only had a short day decided to stick around in Cannes. we so fell in love with it if I ever win the lottery I am moving from Spain straight there, what a gorgeous place. Thanks again to everyone regarding the assitance in planning my trip. I have to say that we forgot, at one time, to validate our tickets but got caught by the conductor, yikes, but she let us off. Some Americans we spoke to had also been checked and fined 10 euro each for not obliterating their tickets whoops. NCL Gem on the whole was excellent, the food was superb, the suite very comfortable, only niggle was the cost of drinks, absolutely stupid prices, wine each evening was a minimum of 35 US dollars plus 5 dollars tax for wine that we buy here for about 3 euro. I know they have to make a profit but that was outrageous. We stopped having the wine after three nights it was just too ridiculous. All in all an excellent holiday we saw most of the things we wanted to see and fell confident in doing the trains and buses on our own, it obviously worked out a lot cheaper than the shore excusions. Great holiday thanks again especially for the Italian info. Davina
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:17 AM
penny3333's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
Welcome home Davina Thank you so much for your great review. I am so happy to hear you had a great time. Since I've never visited any of those places, it was great to read your review. If I ever am lucky enough to get to the Med, I'll know what to avoid. I want to do an itinerary with Spain, Greece, and Italy. One day, I pray

Get busy planning your next cruise, it makes the return to reality a little less painful. Best wishes!
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 11-24-2009, 03:23 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 151
Thanks for posting your review. It was great to read about your cruise. I'm hoping to do that one, some day.
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 11-25-2009, 05:14 AM
LisaP's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 5,589
Welcome home, Davina, and thank you so much for the trip report. I especially appreciate your advice on Naples. We had thought of doing the HOHO bus, and weren't 100% sure, so you've steered me in a better direction.

How was embarkation/disembarkation in Barcelona? (I think that's where Gem was ported, but you'd know better than I.) Did the timing of the muster drill give you enough time to get off the ship for a quick visit in Barcelona?
Happy cruising!
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:19 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Spain
Posts: 9
Hi Lisa yes Barcelona is easy they do the life boat drill later in the day or the next day at sea ( which I thought was extremely amusing in case you had an emergency during the first 24 hours.!! ) Barcelona is easy from the port taxis should cost maybe five euros to take you the Ramblas or about the same if you want to go to the Sagreda Familia. The HOHO bus in Barcelona is superb, you can see everything but sorry to report I can't remember the cost.
Naples as I say was horrid, full of fumes. noise. pollution, road works, and very strange people so it may be an idea to get a taxi to the rail station and go to Pompeii and Sorrento which apparantly were nice. Its just that we ran out of time , wasting it on the HOHO bus where there was nothing to see and very loud italian music for most of the narration, not good. We met an American/Italian girl who asked her uncles who live in America now, who were from Naples, where to go that was nice, they said nowhere I think that gives you a bit of an idea. Even the neopolitans don't like their own city!!!!! Have fun enjoy Barcelona I love it and would like to retire there from where I am in Alicante but apparantly its a bit expensive so maybe I'll have to think our retirement plans!!!! Davina
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:31 PM
queenofcruzin's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Warren, MI
Posts: 658
Hi Davina
Glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise ! I sailed with RCI to the Med we embarked and disembarked in Barcelona. I loved that city, arrived 2 days ahead, well planned too, spent 1/2 day in Amsterdam airport. Stayed in a little hotel on the Ramblas, great location, tiny hotel. Sailing solo, but used the subway during the day, stayed close at night. Taxi to the port. I felt the same way sailing into Naples, but it turned out to be a great day ! Took a ship excursion to Pompeii in the morning, and Capri in the afternoon. Now I would do excursions on my own, but pricey also made it easy, and full of great memories. Your excellent report brought me back, Thank You !
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 11-29-2009, 06:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,904
Davina, thanks for the great review. I'm glad you had such a good time, Naples notwithstanding.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2010, 01:32 AM
truquera's Avatar
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 14
excursion to Pompeii
I am happy you had a great time in your trip but I am surprised about what you say about Naples, I think with the excursion to Pompeii, your point of view would change, for us it was one of the best places we visited. We took a taxi (waited for us) and we went back to the ship.
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-19-2010, 07:57 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 206
Hey Davina,
Welcome Back. Good review. I agree totally about Naples. As soon as we arrived, my eyes started to water and did not stop until we sailed away. Dirty Dirty city. Dodgey characters everywhere waiting to pounce on the tourists. We took the train to Sorrento and to Pompei. We had to watch our backs literally. Thieves everywhere. Monte Carlo, Florence divine. We enjoyed the NCL Jewel years ago. I like the NCL product. We will try them again. Perhaps considering fall Eastern Med on the Jade now too. Thanks for info on Barcelona. Cheers.
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