The Best Mediterranean Cruise
Magnificent Sites from Barcelona, Spain to Marseille, France on the Epic, Norwegian Cruise LineClick thumbnail to view full-size
We Cruised the Mediterranean for Our 30th Wedding Anniversary
During this pandemic because of certain travel restrictions l enjoyed revisiting some of the most amazing locations my husband l travelled to before his tragic death. Join me as we explore some of our amazing photos along with descriptions and cost to visit these awesome sites. We humbly give thanks to our Grand Creator Jehovah God, for the privilege to see so many beautiful parts of the world through a seven-night Western Mediterranean Cruise on Norwegian's Epic. Our flight was on a Saturday, out of Newark, New Jersey which took a total of seven hours to #Barcelona, Spain which is about six hours ahead of our time. Upon our arrival in Spain, we decided to exchange our American dollars for #Euros. One US Dollar equals 0.89 Euro. We had done research and knew that Euros, were vital for our expenses which included a taxi for about forty dollars from the airport to the ship. After numerous checks of our passports, starting from Newark's Airport to our arrival at the cruise line, we finally boarded the illustrious Epic of #Norwegian Cruise Line. This ship was impeccably clean with embellished chandeliers, furnishings, restaurants, shops and staterooms. Tremendous anticipation filled our thoughts as we located our stateroom; this time with a balcony to begin our thirty year wedding anniversary celebration.
Our Cruise Begins With Tremendous Anticipation
The Norwegian Epic, departed the port of Barcelona around 6:00 pm for our Mediterranean Cruise. We had planned and saved for this trip, although after my injury, we were not sure if our plans would come to fruition. Fortunately, the air travel was not too tricky and waters of the Mediterranean were smooth and not choppy or disheveled like they might be during an ocean cruise. We thanked our Heavenly Father for the calm waters daily.
Many may think that this trip was costly but after thirty years of marriage and the fact that we had never been to Europe as a couple; we prayed and decided to do something special for ourselves. Thankfully, after numerous prayers to God, we were able to pay a total of $2,400 per person in installments. For this seven-night Mediterranean Cruise which included nonstop roundtrip airfare on United Airlines, from Newark, New Jersey to Barcelona, Spain. We took the time to shop around for airfare which was lower by not booking the cruise and airfare together at the same time. We booked the cruise through CruisesOnly, at the beginning of the year which also caused the prices to be a little more reasonable. The search engine and computer savvy person can easily get these prices even at a lower rate. l look forward to cruising again in the future after this pandemic is over.
On Sunday, We left Barcelona, Spain on the way to Naples, Italy
After Departing From Barcelona Our First Port of Call on Norwegian Cruise Line was Naples, Italy. In the Morning We Visited Pompeii Excavations and Other SitesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Our First Day At Sea and the Magnificent Sites of Pompeii, An Ancient City Near Modern Naples, Italy
During this pandemic lt is nice to review amazing trips that my husband and l once travelled. It is like looking over old photos in a trance of beautiful memories. Join me as l revisit these spectacular locations. On Monday, after the luxurious Epic Cruise Line, left the port of Barcelona, Spain on Sunday; we enjoyed our first freestyle dining option at the Manhattan Supper Club on Deck 6. We dined on delectably fried calamari as an appetizer, sirloin steak, roasted pork loin, with sides of vegetables and snickerdoodle pound cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert. Our table for two positioned near the spectacular two-decked, floor to ceiling windows. After drinks, we retired with excitement for the planning of our tours during our first day at sea. This gave us the opportunity to explore the ship. On Monday, while at sea, we enjoyed such activities as Bowling, Poolside Music with a DJ, while we consumed our delicious breakfast at the Garden Café Buffet.
Naples, Italy A Mecca of Archaeological Findings and Ornamental Beauty
We arrived at our first port on Tuesday. During the night we sailed and arrived at the port of Naples, Italy around 7:00 a.m., that morning. Previous guests highly recommended the #Pompeii Excavation tour. "Pompeii is a vast archaeological site in southern Italy's Campania region. Once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, Pompeii was buried in meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E. Near the coast of the Bay of Naples, the site features excavated ruins that visitors can freely explore," stated Wikipedia. Recently a story was featured on ABC Action News where archaeologist discovered a “fast food eatery bar.“ Terra-cotta jars were uncovered which was ”ancient equivalent of street food.“ Our interest was also peaked after the 2014 movie entitled, Pompeii, where a Roman Senator played by Kiefer Sutherland, fought against Kit Harington, a slave who was also a gladiator. The two battled for the love of the same woman Emily Browning, as the destruction of Pompeii surrounded them from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
The intrigue of Pompeii consisted of a tour of various Roman ruins which involved towering statutes, elaborate remains of homes, businesses, brothels, rocky stoned streets where chariots once maneuvered, bathhouses and spas. Our well-informed tour guide Ada astutely shared historical points about this once enriched city that buried in more than 30 feet of ash which lasted two days in 7980. helped tourist to see the dissipation of Pompeii 's previous residents. They could have easily spent their days within their marble encased walls, eating fresh baked bread and cakes from their local bakery. Daily they would visit their copious bathhouses with running water, swimming pools, saunas, and changing rooms were available for both women and men.
Pompeii, A Roman City of Pure Lavishness Buried In Ash
An article in The Watchtower magazine of January 1, 2003, made this comment about the city of Pompeii, "In the first century of our Common Era, Pompeii and Herculaneum were two prosperous Roman cities situated in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. For wealthy Romans, they were popular resorts. Their theaters were capable of holding audiences of over a thousand, and in Pompeii, there was a large amphitheater that could seat almost the entire town. Excavators of Pompeii have counted 118 bars and taverns, some of which served as houses of gambling or prostitution. Immorality and materialism were rampant, as wall paintings and other remains testify."
This #Watchtower article explicitly discussed how Volcanologists discovered that on August 24, 79 CE, the first eruption occurred from Mount Vesuvius. A clear warning for the surrounding inhabitants of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Some residents did flee but many did not. Tragically, those that remained in these areas lose their lives in the downpour of superheated gases, pumice, and rocks. "During the excavations, plaster was used to fill in the voids in the ash layers that once held human bodies. This allowed one to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died," mentioned Wikipedia. Warnings were given beforehand about the danger of this volcano. Do we adhere to similar warnings we receive today?
The Restoration of Pompeii, Not Excavations
Our tour guide Ada also reminded us of the negative aspects of Pompeii, such as the abundance of brothels. Prostitution was not illegal and accepted by the Romans. "The Roman empire wanted prostitution because they paid taxes and they had a high income from the prostitutes." This was one of the major attractions of Pompeii. Additional information shared about the poorer residents of the city. "People who could not pay for water came to the fountains. The fountains where they would place their hands. People used the relief of the fountain to get information." There was an abundance of information shared concerning this once wealthy city of Pompeii. "You need seven days to see excavations. One part of the city still buried under ash," explained Ada. Archaeological excavations began in the 1700s. She also explained, "We are restoring Pompeii, no excavations but restorations." Ada, talked about how "buildings were covered in marble because this was a rich city, frozen in time."
The spectacular Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy was our second port of call where we arrived at on Wednesday.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Norwegian Cruise Lines' Second Port of Call was Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Wikipedia beautifully describes "Civitavecchia, Italy is a town and commune of the province of Rome in the central Italian region of Lazio. A seaport on the Tyrrhenian Sea, it is located 80 kilometers west-north-west of Rome, across the Mignone river. The harbor formed by two piers and a breakwater, on which is a lighthouse. The name Civitavecchia means 'ancient town.'" Major cruise lines stop and start at this port for shore excursions to see "Rome and Vatican sights, which are ninety minutes away."
Tours organized for trips to the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Raphael's Rooms. We could have also visited St. Peter's Basilica & Papal Tombs tours were also available. You can obtain these type of visits before you arrive for your cruise through Shore Excursions Group, LLC out of Weston, Florida. The cost of these excursions can range from about $50 per person for a few locations or up to more than $150 per person for a full package tour of Rome. After walking the streets of Civitavecchia we returned to the ship.
We Dined At Cagney's Steakhouse On the Epic
Later that evening after a nap we had dinner at the incredible Cagney's Steakhouse on Deck 7. We had made reservations which suggested all the specialty restaurants to sit by the windows. We watched the sun cascade beautifully across the sea as we left the port of Civitavecchia. This signature restaurant offers a variety of selections. We started with their baked potato soup and pork bellies. These dishes are an absolute must-have. We followed our appetizers with their delicious prime rib and surf and turf platter. We had cognac for drinks after dinner. For dessert, we had crème Brulee and a beautiful mixture of fruit with a cream topping. This was one of our best meals on the ship. There was no charge for these meals or drinks with the specialty dining package.
The cost of a 7 Night Mediterranean Cruise with Freestyle dining and beverage package and nonstop round trip airfare directly to the port where ship departs.
What do you think a 7 Night Mediterranean Cruise with freestye dining and beverage package and nonstop round trip airfare should cost?
Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy Was Our Third Port of CallClick thumbnail to view full-size
Livorno, ( Florence & Pisa), Italy Was the Third Port We Visited
Sounds of Italian music played in our ears as we passed through the beautiful city of Livorno, Italy. Neatly dressed women and handsomely dressed men stood near their businesses as we passed in our red bus with an open top. "Between 1590 and 1603, the city of Livorno was established with laws that were directed to Jews that lived freely up to a period of unity of Italy," stated the recording on the tour bus. The recording also mentioned, "a sort of fish soup is the symbol of Livorno. Pachuco is a fish and then a strong coffee with lemon zest," was also famous with a lot of the residents in Livorno. There was also a discussion about the popularity of the expressionist movement which influenced their artwork in area museums.
Spectacular Mountain Views From A Sky Car
The very best part of our visit was our ride on a sky car up to the mountains which overlooked the delightful area of Livorno. Florence, Italy is about a two-hour drive from Livorno. How sad to hear through news stories previously such beautiful towns as Livorno, Italy were devastated by an earthquake. More than 250 were killed and numerous historical sites were destroyed in the towns of #Amatrice and #Pescara Del Tronto, Italy.
Things to bring for Mediterranean Cruise
one formal outfit
hat for excursions
Your passport is vital
Monte Carlo, Eze and La Turbie, Was Our Absolute Favorite TourClick thumbnail to view full-size
Monte Carlo and Nice, France Were Intriguing Tours
The Monte Carlo, Eze, and Nice, France was my favorite location to visit. "Nice, capital of the #French Riviera, skirts the pebbly shores of the Bale des Anges. Founded by the Greeks and later a retreat for 19th-century #Europe's elite, the city today balances old-world decadence with modern urban energy," expressed Mobile-friendly. Eze is located in "southeastern France and is not far from the city of Nice. Your jaw will drop at the gorgeous view of the Mediterranean from Eze, a charming hilltop town on the Cote d' Azur. The tiny village of Eze is one of the jewels of the south of France which is probably why it is chosen as a holiday spot. . ." Tragically, in the news a few months after our visit, a total of eighty-four were killed and more than two hundred injured as a truck driver drove through a crowd during a celebration in Nice. What critical times we truly live in.
Monte Carlo Is An Absolute Jewel
Monte Carlo is in the Principality of Monaco. Spectacular shoreline views, Hotel de Paris, and the world-class casino is surrounded by a beautiful garden with top designer boutiques such as #Cartier, Prada, and Chanel. We walked in the Chanel boutique and was graciously greeted by well-dressed ladies and gents. Professional politeness rolled off their tongues which was followed by bright smiles. They explained that there was a second floor which we casually visited. There was an exquisite cape that was shown to me for a mere $2,000. I smiled and thanked the well-dressed saleslady to leave the cape where it was because we were there as tourist and nothing more. Videos of gorgeous models constantly played on screens throughout the store.
Extravagant Wealth and Amusing Scenery Captivated Our Attention
Wikipedia mentioned that "Monte Carlo (literally ’Mount Charles‘)is situated on a prominent escarpment at the base of the Maritime Alps along the French Riviera. Near the western and of the quarter is the world-famous Place du Casino, the gambling center which has made Monte Carlo an international byword for the extravagant display and reckless dispersal of wealth.'" We do not gamble but visiting this area and seeing this impressive casino structure from the outside with its exquisite appearance was interesting.
Our driver David, had given us an hour to walk around Monte Carlo and explore its sights and food. After going into this elegant restaurant to use its white marble bathrooms, we decided to get some delicious sherbet which exuded from a cone. It was refreshing on a hot day. Now, it was time to return to our vehicle so that we could head over the Nice, France where we toured a perfume factory with scintillating smells that filled the air as we approached the building. Our tour guide at the facility talked about how perfume was made from a variety of flowers. She also suggested that the best way to protect your perfumes is to leave them in the original container or box they came in. Rather than purchase perfume at the factory, David, our driver suggested that we should purchase it at another shop downtown.
Taking A Taxi Was Beneficial For Sightseeing in Monte Carlo & Eze, France
Our tour with David, as our driver throughout Eze and Monte Carlo, was compelling. For four hours in a private, impeccably clean vehicle with the comforts of a limo, we paid about 150 Euros per person. This excursion was purchased at the port once we got off the tender or shuttle that we came over on from the cruise line. It was the best decision that we made.
Marseille (Provence), France Was Our Final Port Call On SaturdayClick thumbnail to view full-size
Marseille, France A Seaside Gem
We arrived in the last port of call on Saturday which was Marseille (Providence), France. Once we left the ship, taxi cabs were available through cruise staff members. For a total of 50 Euros, we had a personal driver from the area who gave us a guided tour for two hours. More than five minutes into our trip, we stopped for a quick photo. With tremendous excitement, we greeted our spiritual brothers and sisters in Marseille, France. Our driver was amazed that we knew people there. We explained that Jehovah's Witnesses are all over the world. No matter where we go in the world, we are brothers and sisters who love each other because of the teachings from God's word the Bible from our Heavenly Father. After hugs and cheek to cheek kisses, we returned to our taxi and headed up to Notre-Dame de la Garde. It was situated on a mountaintop that grandly overlooks the city. Numerous visitors were at this location so we did not stay very long.
The Exotic Sites and History of Marseille, France
This unique and exotic city has an amazing source of history. "Marseille's answer to Alcatraz, this brooding Island-fortress-prison has hosted victims of religious persecution, anti-royalists, revolutionaries and Alexander Dumas (fictional) hero, the #Count of Monte Cristo. Very often adapted for film and television, it tells of Edmond Dantes, a sailor unjustly accused of treason on the eve of his wedding and held up for 14 years before becoming the only inmate to escape by swimming across to the city. Today, his exploit inspires an annual swimming race, the Monte Cristo Challenge. In 1890 the prison was closed and the Island opened to the public."
Marseille became a part of France in 1481, "but the city retained in theory the right to provide her own defense. The new Chateau was too many people an unwelcome reminder of royal, Parisian authority. This was a dark period of history for Marseille, France. Today, this Mediterranean city, "...is the country's second largest city, after Paris, with a population of 852,516 in 2012, . . . Marseille was the most important trading center in the region and the main commercial port of the French Empire," stated Wikipedia.
Pitbull's, video for Norwegian Cruise Line entitled, "Freedom," featured on YouTube.
Final Photos of Spain, Italy and FranceClick thumbnail to view full-size
Our Seven Night Mediterranean Cruise Was An Outstanding Experience
During our Epic cruise on Norwegian, delicious food was served and top entertainment was presented. Such performances as The Epic Beatles, Piano Bar Music with Ian West, The Supreme Dream Girls and Cirque Dreams & Dinner. Other activities included Open Mic Karaoke, Late Night Dance Party Music with our DJ, The Perfect Couple Game Show, Deal or No Deal Game Show and numerous shopping facilities within the ship. There was also some of the best five-star specialty restaurants on this ship. Many tourists acknowledged that this was their first time on the Epic and they had not been to this part of the Mediterranean before. Ann, from Scotland, said, "This is the best cruise I have ever been on." We totally agree with Ann.
Our 30th Wedding Anniversary Celebration was a tremendous success. This Mediterranean Cruise on the Epic of Norwegian Cruise Line was awesome. From the excellent accommodations to the appetizing food. We have traveled on numerous cruises and this was one of the best. The ability to see such dazzling locations throughout Spain, Italy, and France was delightful. We are fortunate to have been given such an exquisite place to live called the earth, from our Grand Creator.
Disclaimer: Angelladywriter, is not responsible for the advertisements that surround this page. If you have any questions or concerns about anything within this article including the video, contact me at email@example.com