My First Cruise
A few years ago I went on my first cruise on the Noordam operated by Holland America. We did a week long cruise in the West Mediterranean beginning in Citavecchia and going to Livorno, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Malaga, Tunis, Palermo, Naples and back to Citavecchia or the gateway to Rome. We joined the cruise with my in-laws for the first half of their cruise as a surprise. I have to say from the beginning I was very anti-cruise and it did not appeal to me, however I was converted after this voyage.
We stayed at a lovely hotel just out of Citavecchia with fantastic views of the town and sea.
Our cruise in the Med
What amazed me is how comfortable you can be on the ship. Our cabin was not too small and the bed comfortable. On the first day we also found out the spa had a special limited to 20-30 people to have unlimited entry into the spa, pools, sauna and hot rock beds. It cost 10 dollars a day each and was a great investment as people under the age of 18 were forbidden entry. It became an oasis of calm away from the main pool where it was Lord of the Flies on a boat. Kids without parental supervision having a free for all. The crew to fearful of offending the parents by telling kids to keep out of the Jacuzzi or bomb in the pool.
The other thing I enjoyed on the cruise was the food. We did go to a few speciality restaurants but mostly we went to open dining. Holland America also let you bring on board your own wine. I am not sure if this is still the case. Entertainment was ok and the best I thought was their piano player at one of the bars.
I organised all of our shore excursions with the exception of one in Tunis. We walked around Monte Carlo, Malaga, visited the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, explored Pompeii, took a bus tour of Barcelona and explored by foot Palermo in Sicily. In Tunis we toured the city, visited the American WWII cemetery and some Roman ruins. I enjoyed the cruise and my introduction to life at sea in luxury.
Since this cruise I have done another one and look forward to the next one.