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Why you should upgrade your Mediterranean cruise in 2023

Mediterranean cruise holidays offer the complete all-in experience whether you’re after rich history and ancient wonders or world-famous cuisine and designer boutiques – here’s why you should opt for an upgrade to go all-in onboard your ship, too.

Mediterranean cruises are all about giving yourself over to delicious food, warm cultures (and climate!) and the total relaxation of a holiday at sea.

What better way to truly immerse yourself than with an upgrade package so you can enjoy a panoply of onboard benefits without ever having to worry about costs adding up in between your fun-packed jaunts ashore?

With Norwegian Cruise Line – or NCL – you can upgrade from just £149pp (on a six to eight-day cruise) on top of your cruise fare and the bang for your buck is seriously impressive, whether you’re a cocktail convert or a stay-in-touch-with-home devotee.

Guests on the Free at Sea upgrade package will enjoy Premium Beverages (a wide selection of soft drinks, spirits, cocktails, wines by the glass and bottled or draft beer) and speciality dining across such fabulous restaurants as Japanese joint Teppanyaki, French eatery Le Bistro, Cagney’s Steakhouse and more.

Other perks of a cruise upgrade to Free at Sea are Wi-Fi and excursion discounts (US$50 per stateroom, per port of call!) plus guests three and four in the stateroom pay only the applicable tax for their cruise on select sailings – perfect for families travelling with children.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet is custom-built for dazzling views (top tip, head to The Waterfront for the best vistas) and boasts comfortable, well-appointed accommodation to suit all needs and budgets from inside staterooms to penthouse suites in the Haven by Norwegian.

The dining options offering a variety of cuisine are vast and the entertainment is award-winning – expect hit Broadway-style shows such as Million Dollar Quartet, Burn the Floor and more.

Last but not least, NCL has a variety of ships that have access to ports other cruise lines cannot visit – talk about bragging rights. Endless cocktails, exclusive destinations and Wi-Fi to send jammy pictures back to mates at home if we upgrade you say? NCL’s Mediterranean cruises are sounding pretty good to us!

So, once you’ve tucked into some sumptuous sushi and soaked up a stunning show on your ship, how can you best put your excursion discounts to good use with the NCL upgrade package?

We’ve had a look at some of amazing itineraries to choose from with Norwegian Cruise Line.

NCL Mediterranean cruises

Let's go!

NCL offers an exciting variety of Mediterranean cruises 2023, check out these four taking place this year from summer through to autumn.

Greek Isles: Santorini, Mykonos & Florence

This Mediterranean cruise packs in some true gems of Italy and Greece as well as a call into Malta. In Rome, gaze at the masterpieces of the Vatican and some of the best art the world has ever known, wander around astounding historic monuments – from the Colosseum to the Pantheon – and legendary museums, and sip on an espresso while people-watching as the chic locals swan by.

After a spell onboard Norwegian Breakaway sampling steak and making inroads into the wine list with gusto, you’ll find yourselves in Greece.

In Santorini snap photos of the famous sunset and the island’s iconic blue and white buildings, in Mykonos admire the windmills or take a ferry to the tiny island of Delos steeped in mythology, and over in Kefalonia, take in a 12th-century Byzantine cathedral, stunning 16th-century frescoes and the underground Lake of Melissani.

Leaving the Greek islands, Valletta in Malta boasts an array of splendid Baroque palaces, piazzas, gardens and churches while Naples, on Italy’s Amalfi coast, is home to grand piazzas, cathedrals and castles.

Then finally Florence – a Tuscan marvel. Don’t miss Santa Croce church, Piazza del Duomo or Michelangelo’s David on your Mediterranean cruises here… and be sure to inhale as many gelato flavours as you can!

Set Sail

Greek Isles: Santorini, Mykonos & Florence with NCL

Duration: 8 nights
Where: Rome (Civitavecchia) Italy | Santorini, Greece | Mykonos, Greece | Argostoli, Kefalonia, Greece | Valletta, Malta | Messina (Sicily), Italy | Naples, Italy | Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy | Rome (Civitavecchia) Italy
Ship: Norwegian Breakaway
Price: Inside from £1,425 pp

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Mediterranean: Italy, Greece & Croatia

Three for the price of one on this Mediterranean cruise with NCL. You’ll sail from Rome and stop at Naples – why not head to the ancient city of Pompeii during your stay? Remember with the Free at Sea cruise upgrade package guests get an excursion $50 per room, per port of call!

Then it’s onto Palermo in Sicily. This Italian city serves up a unique blend of Romanesque, Arab, Norman and Byzantine monuments – do visit the magnificent Palermo Cathedral and buzzing outdoor markets. Maybe pick up some souvenirs for those pals you keep spamming with smug holiday photos…

Also in Sicily is Syracusa, founded by ancient Greeks nearly 3,000 years ago. Expect ancient ruins aplenty, Medieval streets and impressive piazzas as well as a turquoise water-lapped shoreline and charming cafes.

Your Greek port of call is Corfu, studded with hillside villages, secluded coves and sandy beaches as well as a giant fortress and palace (the erstwhile birthplace of Prince Philip no less).

Next, Croatia. Dubrovnik “the pearl of the Adriatic” features centuries-old buildings topped with bright orange roofs, spectacular 13th-century walls and marble streets while Split’s crowning glory is Diocletian’s Palace along with café-lined promenades and coastal mountain vistas. As for lesser-known Rijeka, the city has ornate, Baroque buildings left behind by the Austrian empire.

The Mediterranean cruise ends in Venice (Trieste); take a gondola ride, zone out on a white-sand beach, and admire the phenomenal architecture in St Mark’s Square and throughout the floating city.

Set Sail

Mediterranean: Italy, Greece & Croatia with NCL

Duration: 8 nights
Where: Rome (Civitavecchia) Italy | Naples, Italy | Palermo (Sicily), Italy | Siracusa (Sicily), Italy | Corfu, Greece | Dubrovnik, Croatia | Split, Croatia | Rijeka, Croatia | Venice (Trieste), Italy
Ship: Norwegian Getaway
Price: Inside from £1,195 pp

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Mediterranean: Italy, France & Greece

You’ll visit four fabulous Mediterranean countries on this one cruise. Starting in Athens, the oldest city in Europe, tour the Acropolis and ogle some of the most significant architectural structures and finds in the Western world.

After calls at Santorini and Italy, with stops at Naples, Rome and Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), ship Norwegian Jade will cruise on over to France. In Cannes stroll the renowned palm-lined Promenade de la Croisette, keep a beady eye out for the rich and famous or motor up Suquet Hill for a view of the city, sea and Lerins Island.

Next up is Spain; in Palma, Majorca, the Gothic cathedral is magnificent and the art scene vibrant. As for Barcelona, stop by Gaudi’s famous unfinished masterpiece La Sagrada Familia, wander the medieval streets of the Barri Gotic and laze on the city’s beach.

You’ll then cruise to Ibiza (a few cocktails for the road anyone? No need to worry about the bill with the Free at Sea cruise upgrade). Explore the 16th-century Castle of Ibiza and the Museum of Contemporary Art and soak up the rugged coastline. Top tip: the most popular beaches here are Talamanca and Ses Figueretes.

Walk off the inevitable tapas consumption during your call at Motril with a nature hike or hit the city’s Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza to admire a 17th-century church surrounded by breathtaking panoramic vistas.

After sailing to Seville – make time for the Plaza de Espana and gargantuan cathedral – the cruise will end in Lisbon. Chomp on some pastel de nata, ride the iconic colourful trams and meander down the narrow cobblestone streets before you fly home.

Set Sail

Mediterranean: Italy, France & Greece with NCL

Duration: 11 nights
Where: Athens (Piraeus), Greece | Santorini, Greece | Naples, Italy | Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy | Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy | Cannes, France | Palma, Majorca, Spain | Barcelona, Spain | Ibiza, Spain | Motril, Spain | Seville (Cádiz), Spain | Lisbon, Portugal
Ship: Norwegian Jade
Price: From £1,239 pp

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Published 02.03.23