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Mediterranean Cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

May-June 2022 | Our itinerary

Day 1: Barcelona, Spain

Sunday was the big day! We had finally made it to our big European summer vacation and nothing could stop us now. After picking the earliest check-in time a few weeks before the trip, we arrived to the port around 9am with a large crowd of other people. We stood around for a quite a while but once the line got moving, the check-in process was very quick and easy. Just be sure to read the documentation they send online to make sure you have everything you need before sailing. Once on board, we explored the ship and settled in for our week at sea!

Day 2: Ajaccio, France

Monday morning we woke up in a rush. Alec and I missed our alarm & barely made it off the ship in time for our excursion. I guess that’s just the Stegall travel luck!

The excursion we had booked was called The Calanche Of Piana. This tour took us through 2 different cities in France in a giant tour bus. There was a lot more traffic than normal so we didn’t get to see as much as promised but we still made the most of the day. Our first stop was about an hour drive to Corsica! Once off the bus, we had about an hour to eat lunch and explore this cute little town. After grabbing some pics, we headed to eat lunch at Restaurant Le Saint Jean. Alec and I shared a Caesar salad with some refreshing lemonade. Since eating in Europe takes longer, after we wrapped up it was practically time to go to the next stop. So we headed back towards the bus and headed towards Piana.

During this part of the excursion we were supposed to have a lot more time but there were too many big tour buses, like ours, driving on narrow one-way roads which caused a lot of traffic jams! So instead of getting out and walking around we had to enjoy the views from inside our bus which were still breathtaking! After the treacherous one way drive and turning around on the side of a cliff, we grabbed a quick treat in Piana before driving back to Ajaccio to get back on the ship.


Day 3: Rome, Italy

Tuesday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn to prep for our full day in Rome! After grabbing a quick bite to eat from the breakfast buffet, we headed off the ship to find our Hop on Hop off Rome tour bus for the day. The transfer from the port to the heart of the city was about an hour and a half which was the perfect amount of time for a quick cat nap. Most of the excursions we did, we did have to take pretty long bus rides there and back which did end up helping us adjust to the time better and get as much rest as we could before very long and eventful days.

We finally arrived in Rome around 10am and immediately walked to the Trevi Fountain. As I’m sure many of you have seen on social media, it gets very crowded at this historical site so the earlier you can arrive the better. Be sure to pack some pennies too and throw 1-3 with your back facing the fountain, your eyes closed, and over your left shoulder using your right hand into the fountain. They say if you throw one it means you will return to Rome one day, if you throw 2 you will find your true love in Rome, and if you throw 3 you will get a divorce. So be sure to pay attention to how many you throw in depending on what you’re looking for in life ;) After taking tons of pics and admiring the sculpture, we got some gelato from a shop around the corner. Even by 11am, it was already pretty toasty so this was a nice refreshing treat to help us stay cool. *Pro-tip- it is super hot in Rome in the summer time so be sure to pack water, sunscreen, and hats while touring the city.*

From there we ate our gelato on the go, and headed for the Pantheon. We didn’t have time to go inside any of the historical sites but did love admiring them from the outside. On our way, we stopped at the Piazza di Pietra, for some shade and cool pics. Once you get to the center of the city there are tons of signs directing you to the most popular sightseeing spots which makes navigating much easier because your phone maps aren’t great in all of the alleyways. Afterwards we swung by the Piazza Navona before grabbing some lunch. *In these areas it is super important to watch your surroundings as there are many pickpockets and people trying to hand you things "for free" then require you pay. So just be mindful of everything going on while enjoying all of these breathtaking sites!*

We decided to stop and eat at Er Faciolaro, which was located in between the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. They started off by bringing each of us a glass of champagne (which is customary + complimentary) while we browsed the menu. Alec ordered a pizza while I ate some pasta and we both sipped on some local red and white wine. It was exactly what we imagined it would be like eating a romantic, Italian meal in the city of love. After lunch, we were feeling rejuvenated and ready to see as much as we could the rest of the afternoon.

As we headed to the Roman Forum, we had to take many breaks along the way to stop in the shade and drink some water. It was 90 degrees (which is hotter than normal there that time of year) so rest breaks were a must. It took about 30 minutes to walk to the other side of the forum which was longer than normal as they were holding an event in the city so many of the roads/sidewalks were blocked off. But honestly it wasn’t that bad of a roundabout walk and allowed us the opportunity to see even more of the city.

Once we made it to the other side we were right in front of the infamous Colosseum. It was so cool getting to see this historic landmark that has been around for so long. The feeling was almost surreal standing in front of it, I was truly living all of my Lizzie McGuire dreams in real life. We debated back and forth for a while if we wanted to take a tour inside or not but with the little amount of time we had we decided against it. After talking to tons of different family members and friends prior to our trip, the vote was split pretty much down the middle as to whether or not to go inside or not. I think our takeaway is you can see mostly everything you need to see from the outside, but if you are a big history buff it is worth the time and money to go in. Luckily they have tons of tour options varying in prices so it really just depends on what you want to see/do with your time in Rome. After our long walk through the city we needed a quick pick me up so we decided to pop into a restaurant across the street from the Colosseum. I of course got an aperol spritz and Alec chose a local Italian beer. Both were just what we needed to cool off before making our way back to the tour bus to get back to the ship.

All in all we had a wonderful time in romantic Roma and loved the ambiance and history of the city! P.S. below are some other suggestions of things to do when in Rome that we just didn’t have time for but would highly recommend:


Day 4: Capri, Italy

Wednesday morning was by far the day I was most excited for and it did not disappoint one bit. After grabbing an early morning breakfast on the ship, we hopped off the ship for our Capri on your own excursion. Since we docked in Naples, Italy, we had to take a ferry from there to Capri which was about an hour long (the cost of the excursion included the ferry + a guide on the island). Once we made it to the island around 9:30am we had a couple of different options. *Note: there are a couple of different tiers to Capri so something to keep in mind when planning your visit.

From there we could spend our day on the island as we wished at no additional charge. Or we could stay with our tour guide, pay 30 euros a person to get a shuttle ride to another tier of the island. Also included in that price was a Chair Lift and a ride down from the top of the island to the bottom via cable cars. Since we wanted to see as much of the island as possible, we decided to pay the extra amount to get to do more with our tour guide. Picking this option did make the time feel more rushed but it was by far the right choice for us!

Once we hopped in our shuttle it was about a 20 minute drive to the middle tier of the island. This part is known for its shopping as well as the chair lift which takes you to the tallest point on the island. Since our “additional excursion” included a ticket for the chair lift (something was highly recommended to do when visiting Capri) we decided to do that first! The ride took about 20 minutes but provided a beautiful view overlooking the entire island + beyond. After hopping off at the top, we grabbed some highly recommended limoncello slushies as well as some refreshing Aperol Spritz while taking in the views. We spent about an hour at the top before catching another chair lift ride back down to the middle tier.

By this point we had really worked up an appetite and were over the moon to get some delicious pizza & drinks. After wandering around the cute little town and snagging the most gorgeous pictures, we stumbled upon the perfect lunch spot called Ristorante Pizzeria da Giorgio. Seriously the best restaurant we have ever been to with the best view in the world, amazing pizzas, and strong yet refreshing limoncello. Since we had a larger group we ended up getting 4 different pizzas to share which were all super authentic. After devouring all the pizzas, Alec and I decided to keep exploring the island and do a little shopping. It was so funny getting to see all of the unique shops + designer name brands. We of course had to stop into Gucci and purchase my first designer bag! It was such a treat + total surprise but is a memory I will never forget.

After our big purchase, we hopped into the cable car back down to the bottom of the island. It was a great way to get around the island but was pretty packed & very toasty inside. Of course before we could leave the captivating island of Capri, we had to get some fresh gelato (I swear we got some at every stop). With our gelato in hand, we headed down to the water to dip our feet in the water before heading back on the ferry to get on our cruise ship. Hands down was our favorite stop on the cruise ship and a destination we will dream about forever!

P.S. below are some other suggestions of things to do when in Rome that we just didn’t have time for but would highly recommend:


Day 5: Florence, Italy

Thursday was another favorite day of ours getting to explore 2 beautiful Italian cities! We started the morning off grabbing some breakfast on the ship before departing for our Florence & Wine Tasting at Tuscan Castle excursion. Once on our tour bus to drive from the port to Florence (which took a little over an hour to get to), we got to take a quick cat nap to prep for the long day ahead wandering to another unforgettable European city.

We got to the heart of Florence around 12pm where we followed our tour guide to the meeting spot in front of the Piazza Santa Croce. From there we had until 3pm to explore the city, grab some lunch, and do as much shopping & site-seeing as we could. So Alec and I quickly tried to find a barber because he really wanted to have an Italian barber shave his face during our time in Europe. Sadly, all barbers were by appointment only so we decided to try again in Cannes, France the next day. While walking up and down the alleyways and streets, we found ourselves in a shopping area in front of the Arno River. After snapping some gorgeous shots of the picturesque city, we hopped into Trattoria Ponte Vecchio to grab a bite for lunch.

We picked the restaurant for the romantic vibes and gorgeous views and stayed for the tasty food + incredible drinks! After splitting the bruschetta as an app (one of Alec’s favorites) we then shared the fusilli de pesto alongside a bottle of Lambrusco (which is red champagne). We had never had it before but immediately fell in love and try to get it everywhere we go now! *Reminder- meals in Europe take much longer than America so be prepared to wine & dine.

After paying our tab, we had a little extra time to wander the streets a bit more before heading back to our meeting spot to get back on the tour bus. We walked to the Centro Storico, Piazza San Firenze, Florence Cathedral, and Uffizi Gallery before grabbing some much needed gelato and heading back to the group. From there we got back on the bus and took about an hour drive to Tuscany for our wine tasting at the castle.

Upon arrival we got a wonderful welcome from the staff who then took us on tour and of the castle + winery while sharing the story of how it all came to be. During the tour of the vineyard it was a little toasty so it was hard to pay close attention but once the tour of the wine cellar started it was much more enjoyable. We got to see where the wine is made, stored, and all of the in-between. It was so cool to go underground and learn all about the Tuscan Wine Castle + their family story. Once the tour was complete (about 45 minutes later) they took us to their event room to begin our wine tasting. The tasting consisted of 1 white wine, 2 red wines, and finally a dessert wine to top it all off. During the tasting they also had a beautiful plate prepared for everyone with meats, cheeses, and breads that paired perfectly with each wine. After our tasting was complete, we went back to the gift shop to grab some souvenirs + an extra glass of the white wine because we loved it so much. Once we wrapped up we hopped back on the tour bus to drive back to our cruise ship. It was the best day exploring the city + sipping on Italian wine in the beautiful countryside, couldn’t think of a better way to spend our day in Flornece!


Day 6: Cannes, France

Friday morning we had a nice slow morning finally getting to sleep in and enjoy some extra time on the ship. Our original excursion to Monaco got canceled earlier in the week due to the F1 race happening. We were pretty bummed about the cancellation because we were really wanting to go to the city to see everything going on with the race but in the end it was no big deal!

Once we finally got ready, we got off the boat and onto an emergency boat (which is how they sailed us to shore) and had lunch at Byron Pub. This was a cute, local restaurant located right off the main strip. Alec and I shared a delicious, authentic French charcuterie board plus a bottle of champagne. All while reminiscing on our amazing trip this far and daydreaming of coming back to France again someday!

After enjoying our tasty meal, we decided to walk around the city a little bit before heading back to the ship. One of our favorite things to do while we were abroad was just walk up and down the streets, admiring all of the unique and colorful buildings. Being in a different country was just so surreal, we took it in every opportunity we got! While wandering around Cannes, Alec was in desperate need of a shave so we were on the hunt to find a barber. Unfortunately, all of the barbers were booked, so while we did some souvenir shopping, we got him a razor and called it a day. Right before we started making our way back to the ship, we stumbled upon the local farmer's market and grabbed some fresh fruit to snack on. Another reason to allow yourself time to just explore because you never know what you will find!

During our visit in the city, the 75th Cannes Film Festival 2022 was wrapping up for the year. This event takes place every year in Cannes (typically in May) to preview new films from all around the world. Since it is invite only, they try to make it feel inclusive for all throughout the city. They had a lot of cool photo ops around the venue with red carpet everywhere which was fun to snag some pics on and pretend we were a part of the festival. Really wish we would have had time to go catch a film in the Arcades located in the heart of the film festival but unfortunately our timing didn’t work out.

All in all we really enjoyed Cannes (honestly more than expected), all of the gorgeous views, and friendly people, definitely somewhere we’d love to go back to again someday!


Day 7: Palma Mallorca, Spain

Saturday morning we all woke up super excited for our relaxing excursion, Palma Views & Beach break, on the last day of our cruise! After getting on the bus and driving about a half hour to a beach in Palma Nova, we decided to grab a quick bite to eat. There were so many tasty looking places but we finally decided to stop at Il Chiringo Pizzeria before enjoying our beautiful beach day. Alec and I ordered a Blanca and Goat pizza plus some refreshing drinks to help us cool off.

After we wrapped up at lunch, we headed across the street to the beach. There were tons of lounge chairs and umbrellas you could rent for the day from the lifeguards on the beach. We ended up paying about €30 for four chairs and two umbrellas. After lathering up in sunscreen, we hit the beach just like we had been dreaming! The water was a little cooler than expected but felt good after a long week of sweating in the hot summer sun! We got to spend about two hours lounging around the cute beach town, grabbing some souvenirs, and eating our hearts out with some refreshing gelato of course! The perfect last day of our beautiful Mediterranean cruise before heading to Greece for a week.


The cruise line:

We cruised with Norwegian Cruise Line and couldn’t have been more pleased. This was my second cruise, Alec’s first, but I hadn’t gone on an NCL cruise before. If you are big into cruises we would just highly recommend picking a line and sticking with it (just like most people do with airlines). There are many perks to sticking with one brand and tons of discounts when you do so!

The reason we picked a NCL cruise this time was because we were sailing overseas. Norwegian is best known for their international cruises unlike some of the other lines. Now I would also venture to say the ship wasn’t as nice as some of the other cruise lines but when you sail internationally you typically don’t spend much time onboard anyway so that part doesn't really matter. What it truly comes down to is what matters to you! So if you plan to eat, drink, lay out by the pool, and hang around the boat most days I would go with a Royal Caribbean ship that sails through Mexico. And if you’re looking for an international ship that takes you to a bunch of different cities in the span of a week, Norwegian Cruise Line is for you! On that note, lots of people asked why we decided to do a cruise instead of just visiting the cities. Our response to that would be to save time, see more, and save money. Was it ideal to only get to spend a couple hours in each city, yes and no. Some cities (like Rome & Cannes) for sure but others (like Capri, Palma Mallorca, & Florence) we could have spent days at. It was a trade we were willing to make though so we could see them all!

The packages + pricing:

The total price per person is all dependent on the package you pick + the room you stay in. They offer many options ranging in prices to accommodate all budgets. When we booked our trip, they had a promo going (and still do) called Free at Sea. This package offers unlimited open bar, free excursion credits, free speciality dining, & free wifi. Most of the restaurants are included in the general price you pay per person, however with the Free at Sea package, you are able to eat at 2 of the additional cost restaurants “for free.” See below for more details on the Free at Sea package! We also highly recommend reaching out to an agent to help with any additional booking needs or accommodations. It is also always nice to just have a contact when book an expensive, international trip.

The staterooms:

On board they have 6 different room type options all varying in price based on location on the ship. We stayed in a Balcony room on the back of the cruise ship. Especially if you have a small fear of cruise ships or don’t like small spaces, we highly recommend a room with a balcony. It helps make the space feel bigger + allows for fresh air & more light. Location wise doesn’t matter as much in our opinion being at the back of the boat was nice & easy to remember but a side room would suffice as well. Just as long as you are high enough up to get a balcony is the biggest priority! Our room felt plenty big enough for the 2 of us + offered tons of closet & storage space. Another pro-tip for cruising is unpack, unpack, unpack. It is way easier and more comfortable to unpack your suitcases then store them under the bed for maximum space in the room.


How to get around/in-between the islands


Our experience:

We flew from Dallas to Philadelphia to London then finally to Barcelona (which was quite the trek for sure) but London was technically an added bonus location we were not expecting to stop in. Our original plan was just to fly from Dallas to Philadelphia and then to Barcelona leaving DFW around 2pm on Friday, May 20th and landing in Barcelona, Spain on Saturday, May 21 in the morning. If you’ve been reading our travel blog posts for a while you know Alec and I typically don’t have the best of luck traveling and it appeared that this trip was no exception. Unfortunately these days flights get canceled and delayed pretty regularly, without much warning. So as we were sitting in the DFW airport enjoying our lunch at Pappasito’s, we got a notification that our flight to Philly had been delayed which affected the rest of our travel plans too. After quickly talking to an agent we were able to figure out some new arrangements but had to give up premium economy seats to be able to make it to Barcelona in time before our cruise ship departed. All in all it was quite the travel experience but super grateful we were able to go and make it there on time! Luckily on our way back we flew business class from Barcelona to Philadelphia to Dallas with no problem or delays at all (just a long layover in Philly). *On that note, we just highly recommend not planning too much the day you arrive (or booking anything that is not refundable) as you may miss out or lose some money. We unfortunately didn’t follow our own recommendation but will be sure to do that on our future travels for sure!

Building points:

The biggest piece of advice we can give is pick an airline and stick with it. We like to fly American Airlines (it’s what I’ve flown since I was little) because we have built up a lot of miles + have Gold status thanks to all of our travel adventures from last year. It truly doesn’t matter what airline you pick, as long as you use the same one as much as you can. We also have the American Airlines credit card, which helps us build points as well.

Cost & Airlines:

When we flew from DFW to Philadelphia to Barcelona, we flew American Airlines. However, when we flew from Barcelona to Athens we had to fly on a subsidiary of American, so we chose Iberia Airlines. Overall, it was a great experience, and we can’t wait to travel internationally again! As many people probably know (& see online) international travel can be expensive but the best things you can do are watch the prices over time and buy in advance. You can expect to pay anywhere between $1,200-$5,000 just depending on the time of year you are going + the section where you choose to sit. Sitting in the main cabin was definitely doable but not the most comfortable on the way there. However you do get the same meals and most of the same accommodations as in the premium economy. The only difference is bigger seats + a Casper sleep package with lots of goodies.


Restaurants (on board):

Cagney’s Steakhouse

Garden Cafe

Garden Cafe

Great Outdoors

La Cucina

Le Bistro

O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill

Shanghai’s & Shanghai’s Noodle Bar

Shanghai’s Chinese Restaurant

Spice H20


The Manhattan Room


Additional cost restaurants:

Moderno Churrascaria



Bars & Lounges (on board): Starbucks

Atrium Bar

Bliss Ultra Lounge

Cascades Bar

Epic Theater Bar

Headliners Comedy Club

Humidor Cigar Lounge

Maltings Whiskey Bar

O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill

Push Beach Club

Sake Bar

Shaker’s Martini Bar

Skyy Vodka Ice Bar

Spice H20

The Cavern Club

The Haven Lounge

Waves Pool Bar


Restaurants we ate at in each city:


  • Burn the Floor

  • Howl at the Moon

  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical

  • Perspective Studio

  • Professional Portraits

  • Aqua Park

  • Aqua Park Kid’s Pool

  • Click Photo Gallery

  • Entourage Teen Center

  • Epic Casino

  • Epic Theater

  • Headliners Comedy Club

  • Jogging/Walking Track

  • Mandara Spa & Salon

  • Meeting Rooms

  • O’Sheehan’s Neighborhood Bar & Grll Bowling Alley

  • Pulse Fitness Center

  • Spice H20

  • Splash Academy

  • Sports Complex

  • The Haven

  • Thermal Spa Suite

  • Video Arcade

  • Wii Wall

  • i-Connect Internet Cafe

  • Crest

  • Jetties

  • Sandbar

  • Sandbox

  • The Collection Art Gallery

  • The Photo Gallery

  • The Pointe

  • The Tides

  • Tradewinds

Excursions off site (through the cruise):



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