Mediterranean Cruise 2012


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Europe » Italy » Sicily » Catania
October 24th 2012
Published: October 24th 2012
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The Ship - Nieuw Amsterdam

Just to fill you in about the ship. This is the newest one in their fleet of about 15 ships. It is designed for traditional cruising which suits us just fine.

There are heaps of activities every day for everyone and excursions on most days offshore where you can book a tour before boarding or onboard at the desk or at a kiosk screen on the walls in some areas. Or you can make your own arrangements - taxis, buses or walking whatever you want to do or you can choose to stay onboard if you wish.

The excursions are for most part - for the main part of the day with some of them for around 6 hours - think this depends on time and tide.

The ship has a large shopping area which is open most days when not in port so may be open before or after leaving port. It has sales on almost every day and some good bargains are to be had!

The rooms are quite a decent size - we have a Stateroom with a balcony - this has a couple of chairs, table and foot stool. The bathroom has a bath, toilet and hand basin and thankfully a clothes line which can stretch from one end of the bath to the other... lengthwise. The bed is lovely and comfortable as are the pillows.

The rooms are attended to twice per day and chocolates are left each night with a good night note and the cutest animals made out of towels with cut out eyes.

Great for us is that the fill the ice bucket each afternoon and we know where the ice maker is if it melts... on this ship you are allowed to bring wine and champagne onboard but is to be consumed only in your cabin. This is not always the case on all ships as they usually take if from you until the end of your journey. You can buy beverage packages or wine packages on board or just buy what you want when you want it and if you don't finish the bottle then it's labelled and brought to you when you want to have it again.

We had a look at an inside room which has no view or balcony and they are not for us and we also had a peek at a suite - much bigger and nicer than the Stateroom and have many other benefits but are twice the price so we quite like our Stateroom...

Today is a day at sea - so my day began with breakfast in the main dining room with my husband and an American couple from Colorado. I left them to it when I'd finished and went to have a facial done - it was so nice- we don't do these things often enough! Afterwards we went to watch Le Cirque but it wasn't what we thought it would be so wandered around the art auction - we swear some people come on the cruises just for the auction. We ran into some Adelaide people in the shop... where we bought some chocolate... no wonder we're putting on so much weight! Late this afternoon I went back to the Spa to have a pedicure - so nice and now we're about to get ready for dinner with the troops.

We checked with the Photography section for a photo we'd been asking for from the last cruise and they have again told us to come back tomorrow as the order was lost.

The ship has several types of restaurants from the casual Lido restaurant where you can go and eat anytime - similar to a cafeteria. Then there's the Manhattan which is a bit more upmarket and again you can dine anytime and are served by the waiters. The Canoletta - an Italian Restaurant - need to book. The Tamarind is an Asian/Japanese restaurant - must book, and the Pinnacle Restaurant which is our favourite and must book for this one. Others are casual around the pool and BBQ areas so something for everyone.

Also several bars, nightclubs, Casino, card rooms, picture theatre, The Showroom at Sea which has nightly entertainment, Culinary Centre, Internet cafe, IT learning centre, Spa & Beauty Centre, huge gym, Acupuncture area and a kids club. I've probably missed quite a few places but this is more to give you an idea than about my memory.....

Each day we receive notices in a box on the wall outside - invitations, notices and the daily HAL Explorer which has a time table for the events all day long- we can mark off what we want to do and keep it with us to keep us on track... well sometimes.. Also has information about the port, weather, docking time and boarding times.

We love cruising! It's great to be able to do what you want to at anytime and once you arrive you unpack once until the day before you leave when you pack again. (Any washing, dry cleaning etc is done at a reasonable price and back within 24 hours.)

Every day every lift mat is changed so that we know what day it is... thank God for this!!

Now did I mention about the food - scrumptious and too much of it - think we've put on far too much weight but there is a lot of walking done on the ship as areas you want to go to are at different ends of the ship and you can do several kms onboard each day....so am hoping that the scales don't tell me to get off when I get home.


Additional photos below
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Drinking yet again.Drinking yet again.
Drinking yet again.

So no more complaints about us not having a drink!!


25th October 2012

Nice review of the ship
Everything looks lovely. Hoping our Canada/New York ship is just as nice. I am sitting at work eating crackers and cheese!! Much rather being having a glass of wine on a ship! Roll on Adelaide/Bali/Canada New York etc.
26th October 2012

Review
Hi there, Just back from Rome today - turned a bit cold - will be going to Florence in the morning for the day, then a day at sea and fly to Portugal on Monday. Where's your blog?
26th October 2012

Mosaics
Hi there, Yes mosaics as you probably know, play a large part of the early artworks. We're loving our trip and only a couple more days onboard before flying to Portugal for a week, then London for a few days before we head to Melbourne overnight, Ballarat and then Adelaide before heading home for a month... Love from us xxx
26th October 2012

Review
Hi there, Just back from Rome today - turned a bit cold - will be going to Florence in the morning for the day, then a day at sea and fly to Portugal on Monday. Where's your blog?

Tot: 2.205s; Tpl: 0.073s; cc: 14; qc: 29; dbt: 0.0368s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 4; ; mem: 1.3mb