Norwegian Jade Eastern Mediterranean Preamble

This cruise came about in quite an unusual way, our original plan was to try Costa Venezia before she moved to US waters and rebranded as Carnival Venezia. We found a cruise that really appealed, but on two occasions after actually booking and then rebooking, Costa cancelled them saying they were no longer available. So we gave up on Costa and looked to see if there was anything else of a similar nature at the same time of year and I found this one. The itinerary ticked boxes and because we know the ship from cruising on her in 2015, the decision was easy and we booked.

We have not sailed with NCL since 2015 and that last outing was actually on Norwegian Jade so it will be interesting to compare the two experiences. One difference is this time we have the added vegan aspect to deal with and research has shown it is possible to eat well as a vegan but we will need to make sure we speak to the dining teams once onboard and get them onside.

There are 4 new ports for us on this cruise and we have tours booked at 3 of them so it really does feel like things are returning to normal with regard to organising and planning shore excursions.

Date Location Arrival Departure
Monday, April 17, 2023 Piraeus, Greece 5:00 PM
Tuesday, April 18, 2023 At Sea
Wednesday, April 19, 2023 Ashdod, Israel 6:00 AM 11:00 PM
Thursday, April 20, 2023 Haifa, Israel 6:00 AM 8:00 PM
Friday, April 21, 2023 Limassol, Cyprus 7:00 AM 3:00 PM
Saturday, April 22, 2023 Rhodes, Greece 8:00 AM 5:00 PM
Sunday, April 23, 2023 Kusadasi, Turkey 6:00 AM 12:30 PM
Monday, April 24, 2023 Istanbul, Turkey 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
Tuesday, April 25, 2023 Mykonos, Greece 1:00 PM 9:00 PM
Wednesday, April 26, 2023 Piraeus, Greece 7:00 AM

Our cabin selection was a simple enough exercise and we have found a standard balcony in more or less the exact location we favour.

We also have a new departure port for us on this cruise and we will be sailing to and from Piraeus, Greece. We fly out the day before, (Sunday morning) and will spend one night in Athens prior to boarding the next day.

In the 2 weeks prior to our departure, civil unrest and the threat of terrorist attack, rocket fire and military confrontation in Israel forced the cruise prior to ours to abandon stops at both Ashdod & Haifa, replacing them with Santorini and Heraklion. However, things seem to have settled down in the region since and at the time of writing we are still scheduled to make these two stops. ?? We are cautiously optimistic they will happen but if they don’t then so be it, better to be safe than sorry.

So, all that remains, for now, is to get to Athens, details of which will follow in the next instalment.

7 thoughts on “Norwegian Jade Eastern Mediterranean Preamble”

  1. We haven’t sailed with NCL before but have been to all of the ports before and there is plenty to do. Ashdod is the classical port for getting to Jerusalem / Bethlehem where security is always tight.Last year most cruise lines dropped mandatory pre boarding Covid testing but required vaccination certificates. Are there any such requirements now? Good luck with all of the ports you manage to visit and looking forward to your pictures / observations on NCL.

  2. good morning, hope that you will enjoy Israel. I’m living not far from Ashdod, and I was busy this morning in thinking where to have my breakfast outside om my day off.
    the rocket fire was on the borders of gaze strip and the north border, and unlike Putin who try to destroy Ukraine, here its more to show that they can shot them.
    also the terrorist attack are mostly in the west bank small road, which you are not going to be there.
    over all you will most probably see quite place, only in Jerusalem you will notice present of military’s soldiers and police in the streets, but this is normal ( for us at list). have fun!

  3. You are going on a cruise? YEAH! We all get to go on a cruise. Can’t wait to hear your reports. And we are leaving on a short one three days after you get back. Perfect. Looking forward to hearing what you think of NCL. Have been hearing that they have changed the menus in the MDRs to being the same every, single night. I know that won’t upset your vegan bride but it I will be interested if that is truly the case. Great ports. Haven’t been to Israel yet but have been to all the rest. Sounds superb. Enjoy Athens. We loved it. So looking forward to your blogging this trip.

  4. I will be following your journey with interest. We haven’t sailed with NCL. We didn’t manage to get to Israel either because of terrorist threats.

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