Norwegian Jade cruise review
When you're touring Europe by ship, you have several tour options in ports of call:
Ship-sponsored shore excursions can be more expensive than touring on your own, but they do offer one advantage:
Before our cruise, we were leery of shore excursions from a big ship, since we figured the tour groups would be overwhelmingly large. As it turned out, NCL had that issue covered: In a typical port, the ship offered a diverse menu of excursions to keep group sizes manageable.
For example, the list of excursions from Kuşadasi, Turkey included 11 different tours ranging in length from four to 6½ hours at prices of USD 54 to USD 129 (with discounts for children).
In Rome's port of Civitavecchia, there were 11 tours of 4½ to 10 hours, and in Livorno, passengers could choose from 18 tours of three to 10 hours to Florence, Pisa, the Cinque Terre, and the Tuscan countryside.
are provided in some ports (free or at a modest cost, depending on the city). In Livorno, for example, the port shuttle cost €5 roundtrip, with buses coming and going every half-hour throughout the day. A more expensive shuttle took passengers to the railroad station, where it was easy to catch trains to Pisa, Florence, and other cities.
In a few smaller ports, such as Santorini and Cannes, ships must anchor offshore and ferry passengers to shore on local boats or the ships' own .
We were impressed by Norwegian Jade's efficiency in "tender ports." Passengers can pick up tender tickets at a desk on Deck 7 and go back to their cabins or wander around the ship while waiting for their groups to be announced. (On some ships, passengers are required to wait in theaters or lounges.) To minimize passenger queuing, Norwegian Jade's tender dock can handle two boats at a time.
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