Jef wanted to take a European cruise for his birthday this year. He found the itinerary he wanted through NCL. It was a 12 day cruise with no sea days. We stopped in a port every single day. The cruise boarded in Rome, so we left a day early to ensure that we would not miss the boat. I’m really happy that we gave ourselves some extra time because we heard a couple of nightmare stories from other cruisers who missed the boarding due to plane issues. We had an overnight flight from our connection in Newark. Of course I didn’t sleep on the plane at all. We took the train from the airport to our hotel and we were able to leave our bags there while we waited for our room to be ready.
We walked a block back to the train station to grab some lunch and then found that the Baths of Diocletian were a couple of blocks from the hotel. The entry fee included the museum along with the remains of the baths. Even though I was only half awake, the remains of the baths and the museum were impressive. I probably could have spent more time there if I had not been so tired. Please enjoy the pictures that I took while we were there.
We went back to the hotel and were able to take a nap for a few hours before we ventured out to dinner. We were not staying in a touristy area, which was nice because no one was yelling at us to sit at their restaurant. We found a quiet street and ate outside. Although the reviews were good, we were let down by the pasta portion of our meal. One thing to note about Italian menus: they have first and second plates, but unless you are super hungry, you will not be able to eat two whole plates of food. I ate almost half of my pasta to leave room for my chicken and grilled vegetables.
The next morning, we took the train back to the airport to meet the transfer bus to the port. We had to wait about half an hour for enough people to show up to get on the bus. Luckily, they took our luggage right there and we didn’t have to get it again until it showed up outside our cabin door. That was a nice touch. The port was about an hour from the airport. We check in online and they checked our COVID vaccinations at the airport as well, so we skipped those lines and only had to wait for the baggage check line and the line to get our IDs.
We, like everyone else, went straight to the buffet after we boarded. It was not long at all before they allowed us to go to our rooms. We relaxed there for a bit and then took a walk around the boat to get acquainted where everything was located. Our luggage arrived around mid afternoon, so I was able to unpack everything before dinner. It was nice to be settled in so quickly. The entertainment on the ship was plentiful. They had at least one show every night (sometimes two) as well as a game show. There was also live music in all the lounge areas. We usually ate an early dinner, went to the early show, then the game show, then back to our cabin to relax, and go to bed early. Our first stop was St. Tropez, France.
We got off the ship around 10 or 11 to check out St. Tropez. We didn’t expect too much because it was the end of the tourist season and it was a Sunday. We wandered around the marinas and saw the castle, but didn’t feel like hiking up to the top. We got some French pastries and went back to the ship a few hours later. It was neat to say that I had been to St. Tropez, but honestly, it wasn’t that exciting in November.