Last month, Neal and I flew with Air Transat for an epic West Mediterranean adventure. We loved being able to see so much in seven days with the ease of hopping on and off the Norwegian Epic Cruise Liner, and I am so excited to share more from our trip with our full itinerary! We’ll also be posting a Vlog in the coming month so be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss it when we upload! All aboard…
DAY 1 & 2 | TRAVEL & CHECK-IN
After a smooth evening flight with Air Transat (read my tips for enjoying a long trip here) in Option Plus, we embarked on our trip at the port in Barcelona. I’ve been a Transat ambassador for the past year now, and I have to say, I have loved traveling with them. The experiences we’ve had, the amazing customer service from check-in to in-flight really makes a difference and more enjoyable. I’ve already shared how much I love to travel, but the “getting there” part has been a struggle for me and I truly feel choosing a good airline can make all the difference in your journey! A lot of you have asked for the booking link so I’ll start this post off by including it here so you can book a seamless package including a round trip flight, transfers and cruise boarding. Once we got off the plane, we transferred from the airport to the ship in Barcelona and our adventure began! We checked in to our room right away and hit the buffet!
DAY 3 | AT SEA
The next day was spent at sea as we traveled to Italy! We relaxed, enjoyed the sun on the deck and had a delicious dinner at “Taste.” The best part about cruising if you ask me is being able to design your day however you’d like. We were working on content and a vlog and with different excursions it’s always convenient to have meals when it works for you. This cruise is really designed in a way that you can customize your days, they call it “freestyle.” Every morning we’d get a little newsletter on our door with the weather, arrival/departure times, activities on deck etc. which was a nice touch. Ortis, who was our housekeeper, was the sweetest man, greeting us every morning with a smile and leaving us the cutest towel creatures whenever we’d come back to our room. Having great staff who were so helpful made our trip that much better! There is so much to do on the boat, we didn’t even get to explore half of it! Bowling, a vodka ice bar, 18 restaurants, 10 bars, live music and entertainment, water park, casino and so much more were included on the Norwegian Epic ship.
DAY 4 | NAPLES, ITALY
Arrival at 7:00 AM // Departure at 7:00 PM
Our first stop was in the port at Naples where we did an excursion to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. The Amalfi has always been a dream of mine to visit, and I felt like getting a little dose of it on this trip has me yearning to return and spend more time there! I loved getting a taste of each country and the different towns because you can see a lot and then plan new adventures. We did an excursion through Norwegian Cruise Line called “Sorrento & Amalfi by Land & Sea.” We left early (around 7-ish) and boarded a tour bus with a group, stopped for Limoncello, got to hear more history about the towns from the tour guide on the drive, had some downtime to walk around and shop or snap photos in Sorrento, lunch was included and then we hopped back on the bus for a long winding road to the Amalfi Coast. We wish we had more time in Amalfi, because it was just stunning, so I would recommend doing an Amalfi only trip either via bus or Taxi. The great thing about the NCL excursions is that the boat will wait for us to return, whereas if you’re late and go by taxi, the boat will leave (and nobody wants that to happen). For our first stop at a port, we were thankful to ease ourselves in with a guided tour so it was great, we just wished we had more time in Amalfi (we fell in love).
DAY 5 | ROME (CIVITAVECCHIA), ITALY
Arrival at 6:00 AM // Departure at 7:00 PM
Rome was one of the most memorable stops on this trip. There is so much history, beauty and art for your eyes to take in it’s almost impossible to digest it all in such a short amount of time. We booked another excursion through Norwegian Cruise Line that was called “Rome & The Vatican.” We toured around the Eternal City, driving passed iconic structures like the Colosseum which was just wild to see something from AD 80 with our own eyes in person! Then, we took a special trip to Vatican City where we visited the Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. This meant a lot to us because of our faith, and we were truly in awe the whole day. I remember our tour guide saying if you stopped and observed each piece for one minute it would take you a whole month to process what you saw. So much beauty! I highly recommend booking the tour with NCL because we saw how long the line ups were to get in, but with our pre-booked tickets we are able to begin right away and skipped the long line-up for tickets! Something to keep in mind! Lunch was also included on this excursion.
DAY 6 | FLORENCE / PISA (LIVORNO), ITALY
Arrival at 7:00 AM // Departure at 7:00 PM
We were a little last minute with booking an excursion for this stop, as we wanted to see how we would feel and what we wanted to do. There were many options: wine tasting in Tuscany, the leaning tower of Pisa, and what we initially sought out to do, which was The Cinque Terre. Unfortunately there weren’t enough spots left for us to take that excursion (a good reminder to book your excursions in advance). We were feeling pretty tired from the go-go-go as we hit the ground running trying to see so much, so instead, we slept in, and took a local bus and did a day trip in to Livorno! We love to see the tourist spots, but what we really enjoy when we travel is getting to see the daily life. We found this amazing spot called Terrazzo Mascagni, had the most amazing gelato, pizza and discovered this gorgeous Palazzo. It was the perfect way to end off in Italy and we know we’ll be back one day, we absolutely loved it all! When we got back on the boat, we went to the spa – I had a facial, while Neal enjoyed a massage and then we used the water facilities which was such a nice treat after carrying heavy camera equipment with us and being on our feet for hours. It was so relaxing and necessary!
DAY 7 | CANNES, FRANCE
Arrival at 8:00 AM // Departure at 6:00 PM
After Italy, we were so excited to explore the South of France. We booked another excursion called “Monaco on Your Own” and it was great because we got to take a bus from Cannes (seeing the film festival red carpet, yachts etc.) and drove into Monaco to explore the cute little village. We got to enjoy two hours there on our own, have some lunch and see the incredible yachts, homes, grand prix lanes etc. and then a quick drive over to Monte-Carlo for another two hours. Monte-Carlo was so fun! You feel like you’re in a James Bond 007 film walking into the casino, in awe of Hotel de Paris and easily getting lost in a Chanel boutique. We had dessert at Cafe de Paris and it was incredible! It was called “La Bella” if you ever get the chance to go and want to order this same one (see photos below). I love sitting at cafes and just people watching in Europe. It was all very luxurious, I felt like Grace Kelly for the day!
DAY 8 | PALMA DE MALLORCA, SPAIN
Arrival at 1:00 PM // Departure at 8:00 PM
Slowing things down, we spent our last full day in Mallorca! We took a 10-minute taxi ride from the port over to Palma Beach. We had a lot of on-foot exploring from the past few days, and we just wanted to eat tapas on a patio, sip some cocktails and swim in the Mediterranean sea! It was the best way to relax and end the trip.
DAY 9 | BARCELONA SPAIN
Arrival at 5:00 AM | Departing Flight: 2:00 PM
The next day we arrived back in Barcelona, and though we didn’t get to explore very much here because of our flight, we still got to see La Sagrada (from a far distance), the Christopher Columbus monument and the city square on the way back to the airport.
We got to see so much in such a short amount of time, which was amazing! It was quite fast paced as we wanted to see and do a lot (as are Euro-trips), but if you’re ever wanting to take it slow and just enjoy being on the boat there is always that option! You can really tailor this type of trip to your preference. Please let me know if you have any questions at all, we did a little Q&A in the travel video that will be posted soon, and you’ll be getting a better inside look at all of our adventures so stay tuned!
Thank you so much to Air Transat and Norwegian Cruise Line for a memorable trip we’ll not soon forget!