I mentioned a while ago that I was taking a vacation back to Europe this summer and that I would be away from the site for a bit as I didn’t have access to the internet. I’m back (well I’ve been back for three weeks now) and I thought that I would share a bit about my trip. To begin with my wife and I went on a 12 night Mediterranean Cruise. We also added on a few days to the beginning and end of the trip so it ended up being 15 nights. I had an outstanding time and I highly recommend it to anyone who can go. We went to six countries if you count Vatican City in there. The real countries that we visited were Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, and Spain. For course I had to try a beer in every country possible, but before I get into the beers per country, let’s talk about the beers on the ship.
We sailed on the Norwegian Spirit and I was shocked by the amount of adult beverage choices. I would say that they offered 16 different beers, which is impressive considered some sports stadiums do that carry that many and a ship has to carry everything with them for the duration of the trip. Of course they had the typical Bud stuff but they also had a good selection of English and Belgian beers (all of which also happen to be owned by InBev). There were some German beers and a craft beer favorite Sam Adams. I guess you know that you are a big brewery when you can be purchased on a cruise ship thousands of miles away in a different continent.
The first beer that I had a chance to try was in Athens, Greece. As you can see in the picture above it was a Pils Hellas, which confused me for a bit as Pilsner is a style, and Helles is a style, but whatever. It was refreshing an had a bit more sweetness compared to a Bud Light, but it wasn’t anything special.
Turkey was one of my favorite stops for a number of reasons, but they also had the best beers. Efes Pilsen was excellent and refreshing. I actually had a six pack or so of this beer during the trip because I liked it so much. They also made a dark beer that you can see below.
The dark beer, Efes Dark, was outstanding. It had some nice hints of chocolate and coffee but was still on the light, refreshing side. It was almost 100 degrees on the majority of the port days, so refreshing was necessary.
We made another stop in Greece on our way back from Turkey at a small island named Mykonos. While there isn’t a ton to do on the island, it was a nice break for us compared to the busy stops we had for the majority of the trip. Mythos was not a special beer by any stretch, but it hit the stop and was a perfect combo for our lunch pictured above.
Italy probably has the most happening craft beer scene out of the countries that we visited. The problem is that they are extremely expensive. Instead of dropping 15 Euro on a real Italian craft beer, I opted for Peroni Red. I’ve had Peroni before, but never the red. It wasn’t anything special in my book and I wouldn’t look for it again.
I honestly didn’t have time to grab a beer in France or Spain so I can’t comment on their beers, but I was so happy to come home and get flavorful beer. It’s probably unfair of me to look at the sampling that I had and compare it to home, but there just was not the selection that there is here at home.
I will be happy to post other pictures from my trip if requested. We had 10 total stops on our cruise which are listed below:
- Venice, Italy,
- Athens, Greece,
- Ephesus, Turkey
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Mykonos, Greece
- Naples, Italy
- Rome, Italy
- Florence, Italy,
- Cassis, France
- Barcelona, Spain
Also let me know if you have any questions if you are considering a similar trip. My wife and I would be happy to help.