This year prices seem right for another trip to Europe and the Western Mediterranean is the selected destination. Originally, I was going to go with one of my sons (working on that cruise with all of our kids goal) on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.
When our group expanded, we jumped over to the Norwegian Epic sailing on the same date with essentially the same itinerary as prices were much higher on RCCL and no perks. Ultimately, my son and his girlfriend had to cancel because he couldn’t get that particular timeframe off of work (low person on the seniority totem pole). So, I’m sailing with all my siblings (sister T., sister M. and our one brother).
The itinerary originally stopped at Marseilles where I was looking forward to seeing Provence. In August, NCL changed this port to Palma Majorca so I’ll have to see Provence another time.
Here’s the current itinerary:
I’m excited about all the firsts for this experienced cruiser.
1. First Europe Cruise. I’ve sailed on more than 20 cruises and six cruise lines, but never have sailed in Europe. I’m excited to visit Italy again from this perspective as well as visit a couple of new to me countries.
2. Spain and France. This trip will include first time visits to these two countries and we’re spending three nights pre-cruise in Barcelona.
3. Travel Companions. All four of us have never cruised together without spouses. It will give us a chance to spend more time together on-board. Unfortunately, because I’ve visited the main sites at our three Italy ports, I’m going my separate way a couple of days.
4. Norwegian Cruise Line. It’s been many years since my second and last Norwegian cruise (Spirit). At that time I said never again due to food quality and constant sales pitches. The itinerary, price and passage of time convinced me to give them another chance. One sister and my brother are first-timers with line so I’m looking forward to all our thoughts afterwards.
The Norwegian Epic looks ugly to me from the exterior but I’m willing to overlook that in favor of what’s inside.
My sisters and I first booked an inside but took advantage of a price drop to move to a balcony cabin a few months later. The advantage is no one has to climb up on a bunk (dangerous at our age 🙂 ) , we got some outside space along with one more perk.
Our brother booked a studio cabin and I’m really interested in touring it because who knows when I’ll want to cruise and not have anyone to join me. Plus, the lounge is really appealing.
Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing more of our trip planning and of course a detailed review once we’re back!