Gilbert Speaks on Cruises

24 Oct


This was my very first cruise to anywhere, but it was the third time that I went overseas. My first trip was with Starr Tours’ Leisurely Tour of Tuscany, and the second trip was to Benevento and Amalfi with my 92-year-old Uncle Mario and my cousins. The cruise was with Starr Tours, and I went to parts of Greece and Italy…so the question is, “Did I really need to buy that watch?”

Ship Time

My fellow psychic/medium/ghost investigator and very good friend, Jean and I decided to take a cruise on the Norwegian Jade. The trip was organized by Starr Tours, which I highly recommend. On this trip, Jean and I would be seeing the highlights of Greece and Italy, which included a trip to Mount Etna. Although Jean had been on two other cruises, this was her first to the Mediterranean…it was my first ever on a boat larger than the ferry trip I take from Napa to San Francesco, or the ferry trip I took from Amalfi to the Isle of Capri.



Jean suggested I buy a watch in order to keep ship time while we were on the trip. I had thrown my watch away in 2010 when I retired from the Academy of Natural Sciences. I was curious as to why there was something called ship time vs. time where we were visiting? Our cell phones changed time on their own, but did we spend time in the Twilight Zone while at sea?…you can learn more here.


I thought I was immune to seasickness, because riding on ferry boats can be rough, but I found out real fast that I can’t look at the water unless I am on the part of the ship that is going forward…go figure…at least the pills worked and by the second night, I was ready to explore the world (as long as the boat was going the right way LOL). Starr Tours provided our group with our very own tour director, Angela Belmont, and she was freaking amazing with keeping us together until we got on the ship, and making sure we were in tune with the activities going on within the ship and off. I am definitely asking for Angela on my next cruise.


Jean and I booked a small cabin, no window, no balcony, but it was all we could afford. We had the most wonderful Cabin Steward, Mark Cuyugan, who treated us like royalty. We had planned so many excursions that the room was used only for bathing and sleeping. We had booked a trip for every port…which meant we were constantly on the move.

Our first stop was the Acropolis, where we had time to visit Athens, and even had time for shopping at a few quaint shops nearby. I was able to purchase a beautiful charm of an owl with blue eyes. In Greece, these owls are thought to represent wisdom.


Each day was a new stop with us going to Oia & a beautiful winery. My favorite excursion was to Mykonos. The buildings are beautiful, and the people friendly.

Our next trip was to Valletta and Malta with the same beautiful white and blue colored buildings.

My favorite excursion was to Taormina and Mount Etna. Taormina is an experience in itself where you can experience ancient times as you stroll through the streets where the crusaders once walked, You could see Mount Etna from Taormina. Our tour guide, Beatrice was well informed on the history of both Taormina and Mount Etna and her lively reveal of important facts was worth the trip, as was the lunch at the foot of Mount Etna.

I can’t explain the awe that I felt when we did reach Mount Etna. This volcano is humbling in its size and power. I would like to revisit Sicily again, and maybe spend more time in Taormina.


Before we talk about the other excursions, I want to talk about the food and the activities on the Norwegian Jade. There is so much to do from the time you wake up until you stumble down your hallway to bed. Speaking of stumbling down long hallways, but I don’t know if it was the drinks, or if my internal GPS was affected due to the motion sickness, but Jean and I kept getting lost. It was almost comical until I thought of that Stephen King film…LOL…


We were offered everything in entertainment from movies, to scavenger hunts, to Karaoke to dancing and finally to the excellent stage shows held in the Stardust Theatre. There was even a casino, but I was so busy with excursions and shows, I never got to play. We can’t forget the food, which to me, was top of the line both in selection and taste. The service in all the restaurants and in the huge common eatery was beyond expectations. I became friendly with the man in charge of overseeing food and beverage throughout the ship. Thank you Mr. Ross Rudwick for making sure every place I ate in was spotless, and the staff friendly. I will miss the brave souls who greeted each guest with “Squishy, squishy, happy, happy” These people kept us safe from germs

Another highlight of the trip was visiting Pompeii and getting a guided tour through the ruins. This place is ancient, but you can still see the paint on the walls. We ended our trip with a visit to Cinque Terre. Amazing, just amazing…except for a bathroom I used in one of the towns. There was no toilet.

There was a sink…and a hole in the floor. No handle to hold onto, and the toilet paper was across the room out of reach of the hole in floor. This would have been a true Lucy Ricardo moment if I had messed up in any way. When you flush the hole, you have to jump back quick. I want to go back to Cinque Terre and spend time in all five villages.


Would I take another cruise on a Norwegian Ship? Yes, I would. I would hope to go back to the Jade. I made a lot of friends on that ship including the best bartender in the world, Goran, who works in Bliss. Did I need my watch?


Not really because all my excursions were booked through Norwegian and they won’t leave port until all their tours return. I had to save a long time for this cruise, but it was worth every minute and every penny. I almost cried when at the last show in the Stardust Theatre, the Captain and the entire crew came out to thank us for choosing Norwegian.


One Response to “Gilbert Speaks on Cruises”


  1. Gilbert Speaks On MHz Worldwide Broadcast | gilbertspeaks - November 19, 2019

    […] at the ripe of age of 70-years-young is that the people in Europe (I have only been to parts of Italy and Greece) are more global than Americans. They travel more easily between countries to work and vacation, […]

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