Travel

suggestions for mediterranean cruise

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 8th, 2018 10:05 pm
Tags:
None
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2808 posts
939 upvotes
Newmarket

suggestions for mediterranean cruise

Folks, I am looking for tips, we are planning Mediterranean cruise in the last week of September or first half of October, 10 days, If you have done or have experience please let me know which companies to avoid and which once are preferred, cost saving tricks, day trips and so on.
This will be our first cruise, I have seen many in the price range for $1700-1900 pp for ocean view plus flight and would like not to exceed that and the less the better providing the experience is adequate, I would like to hear suggestions how to make it as enjoyable and cost friendly as possible, that is regarding getting best deal, connections, accommodation on the day before and after, travel sites to purchase from and so on, thanks.

I am flexible on the departure and arrival times and cities.
64 replies
Member
May 7, 2017
347 posts
164 upvotes
NCL Epic is a great boat does this cruise
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 1, 2005
1884 posts
159 upvotes
Insides are cheaper, and my wife and I prefer them. much darker.

And no matter what you do, it will be enjoyable. Cruises rock.

Just be prepared the first time you flush the toilet. lol.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
23531 posts
22489 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Have not done this particular itinery yet... But it is on my MUST DO LIST, cause it is a great way to not only cruise the med, but to see places that otherwise are at the edge of the continent and not the easiest to link together...

Start (or end) in the Adriatic with Venice Italy, then look at ports of call such as Koper, Slovenia - Zadar, Croatia - Split, Croatia - Dubrovnik. Croatia - Kotor, Montenegro - ports in Greece - and ending (or beginning) in the South of Italy... Such as Rome

I want to do this cruise, cause it hits the highlights of many cities / countries that are not the easiest to get to. They also are outside of the norm, and vastly different from the core countries in Europe (ie Spain, France, Italy... Where most Mediterranean cruises concentrate on).

Besides those continental countries are fairly easy to get to (lots of flight sales to the likes of Barcelona - Paris - Amsterdam - Frankfurt) .. And get around by car or rail... And link together into a bigger vacation.

For the Eastern & Southern Med, look around, there are several Cruiselines that offer variations of these cruise itineraries (with a mix of all the possible ports).

Personally, if we do this once into Retirement, we'll probably go with the RCL Family of cruises (RCL - Celebrity - or Azamara). As we have cruised with them numerous times and they are a good fit for us

If you are looking to save money... Then YES look at Inside Cabins or Ocean View (window) categories. In reality, on a Med Cruise you'll spend almost EVERY DAY ashore exploring... So your cabin will just be where you sleep.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Sep 23, 2013
625 posts
772 upvotes
Vancouver, BC
Do you mean sept/oct 2017 or 2018?
how many people are going? any kids?

As others have mentioned, you should just go with an inside cabin. You're not going be in there very much this cruise.

There are some very knowledgeable people that frequent these threads, a couple of them are (or were) travel agents so i imagine you're going to get some very good advice shortly. As for what I can tell you, we did a Mediterranean cruise many years ago on Princess. Just the wife and I. So rich in history and breathtaking landscapes. I really dont think you can go wrong with any itinerary when you're over there, but I highly recommend one that includes Santorini.

Cruise deals are out there, for sure. Given you're just in the beginning stages of planning, you can go to vacationstogo.com to get a good snapshot of what's available during your window. Then you can narrow down to the exact cruise you want. You can book directly with the cruiseline or work with a travel agent.
No fanboyism here. I only pledge allegiance to the hotness. - Flossy Carter
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36455 posts
10770 upvotes
Ottawa
Been on 3 Med cruises. They were all 10 days or more. I prefer 10+ day because it does not get so hectic. A 7 day cruise tends to have 5 to 6 ports. In Europe, they can be very long (and expensive) days. 10+ days has sea days in between to recharge you batteries.
There are Eastern and Western cruises Eastern normally is Barcelona to Rome with stops in between. Eastern normally leave Rome and head towards Greece, the Greek Isles or to Venice. The choices are numerous so it is really what you want to see and do.
I find https://www.expedia.ca/Cruises has a lot of options. Other than that, you would need to contact all the cruise lines as they all have specials right now. Our favorite id Celebrity with Oceania second but, they are a bit more pricey than NCL or Carnival.
The real trouble is determining an itinerary.Do that first. Once you have decided wat areas you like to see, then you can narrow it down.
Deal Addict
Mar 30, 2009
1215 posts
778 upvotes
A European cruise is a like an intensive road trip with a very inflexible itinerary. So my number one piece of advice is to do as much research as possible, particularly on the ports that you will be visiting. Shore excursions can easily total more than the cost of the cruise, but you can save a lot of money by planning what you want to do at each port and avoid going with the excursions offered by the cruise line. Going on an excursion with the cruise line is a stress free way to go, but you will pay a fraction of the cost and see just as much as those excursions with proper research.

For a first time cruiser, you may want to think about how susceptible you may be to motion sickness. If you believe you are vulnerable to motion sickness, you should definitely get an inside cabin mid-ship. As for cabins, I would not recommend upgrading to an oceanview. Save the money for an excursion. A balcony can be worth the upgrade depending on the price and the time of year that you will be cruising.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2808 posts
939 upvotes
Newmarket
Thank you for the suggestions so far,
We travel two adults with no kids, wife gets all kinds of headaches and what not, infact sometimes I think she has them all the time, nevertheless she always wanted to go on the cruise while I am explore the land type of person, and this is a surprise birthday gift for her. I am surprised some of you recommending inside cabin, but I am all for saving money there and use it on something else.

Costa cruises appear to have good prices, anyone use these
Banned
Aug 30, 2017
59 posts
10 upvotes
Homerhomer wrote: Folks, I am looking for tips, we are planning Mediterranean cruise in the last week of September or first half of October, 10 days, If you have done or have experience please let me know which companies to avoid and which once are preferred, cost saving tricks, day trips and so on.
This will be our first cruise, I have seen many in the price range for $1700-1900 pp for ocean view plus flight and would like not to exceed that and the less the better providing the experience is adequate, I would like to hear suggestions how to make it as enjoyable and cost friendly as possible, that is regarding getting best deal, connections, accommodation on the day before and after, travel sites to purchase from and so on, thanks.

I am flexible on the departure and arrival times and cities.
Do you have kids? If you dont, avoid rcl, NCL, msc , Costa etc

Princess, celebrity should be doable with your budget

I went on 10 day last year on royal princess from Rome , this year the prices (at least for now) are lot higher than last year I've noticed, but I'm booked with rcl for now with looking to move to celebrity or princess later

Be careful with rcl as they've introduced non refundable deposit fares while other cruiselines haven't followed suit
Banned
Aug 30, 2017
59 posts
10 upvotes
Homerhomer wrote: Thank you for the suggestions so far,
We travel two adults with no kids, wife gets all kinds of headaches and what not, infact sometimes I think she has them all the time, nevertheless she always wanted to go on the cruise while I am explore the land type of person, and this is a surprise birthday gift for her. I am surprised some of you recommending inside cabin, but I am all for saving money there and use it on something else.

Costa cruises appear to have good prices, anyone use these
Costa/msc cater to Europeans more as in many languages so English is not predominant if that matters to you. As for quality, they are cheap for a reason.. ships are nice... service and food is lacking compared to others

Also look at the port times...I've noticed msc does stupid useless port times like 1pm-7pm which limits what you can do in port
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36455 posts
10770 upvotes
Ottawa
Homerhomer wrote: Thank you for the suggestions so far,
We travel two adults with no kids, wife gets all kinds of headaches and what not, infact sometimes I think she has them all the time, nevertheless she always wanted to go on the cruise while I am explore the land type of person, and this is a surprise birthday gift for her. I am surprised some of you recommending inside cabin, but I am all for saving money there and use it on something else.

Costa cruises appear to have good prices, anyone use these
I do not agree with the posters that says to get an inside cabin. Yes, they are in the middle but they are dark and cheap but you have absolutely no perspective and, they do not shield you from motion sickness. If you are prone to motion sickness and in an inside cabin, you cannot open the door to get fresh air, which helps. Anyway, the ships are so large, motion sickness is rare but even so, you can get medications or patches to prevent it. Get a balcony on a lower deck, you will be much happier.
Yes, a cruise is regimented but that is the itinerary you choose. if you don't want to get off the ship, stay on board, lots to do there too.
I choose not to cruise on Costa, it does cater to Europeans primarily and if you have not experienced Europe, European foods and European people and all the languages, you may be overwhelmed buy it.
It would be a fantastic surprise for her. Once you decide, post back, I have lots of suggestion for private tours.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2808 posts
939 upvotes
Newmarket
Pete_Coach wrote:
I choose not to cruise on Costa, it does cater to Europeans primarily and if you have not experienced Europe, European foods and European people and all the languages, you may be overwhelmed buy it.
It would be a fantastic surprise for her. Once you decide, post back, I have lots of suggestion for private tours.
We are europeans, polish to be exact, we would be very happy with European food, however if we wanted to communicate with other passengers it would be better in English as I do not expect the ships to be flooded with polaks.
When we travel together we usually like the convinences but do not go for the highest standards and prefer to spend extra money on trips and exploring, for example for AI in Cuba we would stick to 5 star, but would be happy with a 3 star in Mexico, this time however it is wife's bday and a very round number, so would like it to be something more special without breaking the bank.
I will pick your brain for the tours.
thanks everyone, all hints noted and taken.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36455 posts
10770 upvotes
Ottawa
Homerhomer wrote: We are europeans, polish to be exact, we would be very happy with European food, however if we wanted to communicate with other passengers it would be better in English as I do not expect the ships to be flooded with polaks.
When we travel together we usually like the convinences but do not go for the highest standards and prefer to spend extra money on trips and exploring, for example for AI in Cuba we would stick to 5 star, but would be happy with a 3 star in Mexico, this time however it is wife's bday and a very round number, so would like it to be something more special without breaking the bank.
I will pick your brain for the tours.
thanks everyone, all hints noted and taken.
Well, the prices for Med cruises is a over the place. Just make sure your are comparing the same things. Cabins n board ships ar basically, inside (no windows) outside with windows and outside with balconies. Then the balcony cabins are further prices by deck (lower is cheaper) and midships and forward/aft (midships being more expensive.
Conveniences on board vary too. The food is included but only at the main dining room, buffet area and snack areas. Specialty restaurants are extra. booze is also extra. You can pre buy booze or restaurant packages. Oh, don't forget the gratuities, normally they charge per person per cabin about $14 per person per day.
Ship excursions can range $80 to 150 per person. Private tour may be the same but, you can plan with the guide exactly what you want and you are not lumped into a bus with 40 others, some very slow people.
I just got this today from Celebrity [bhttps://www.celebritycruises.com/?allowMobile=y ... O_HOMEPAGE[/b]
Newbie
Dec 24, 2006
43 posts
15 upvotes
Gatineau
Don't bother the extra money on ocean view / Balcony, we got a balcony suite for our honeymoon and we did'nt spend much time in our room as there is so much to do on a cruise so it's pointless to spend extra money on an upgrade. We cruised with Princess, 12 days in the mediteranean in 2012 for our honeymoon and it was great.
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 10, 2005
36455 posts
10770 upvotes
Ottawa
Bidoup wrote: Don't bother the extra money on ocean view / Balcony, we got a balcony suite for our honeymoon and we did'nt spend much time in our room as there is so much to do on a cruise so it's pointless to spend extra money on an upgrade. We cruised with Princess, 12 days in the mediteranean in 2012 for our honeymoon and it was great.
See, there ya go. Each to their own. It extra cost is whatever ti is worth to you. :)
We love the balcony. We like sitting on the balcony on a sunny morning having a room service coffee and croissant while getting ready to go to breakfast. We like sitting on the sunny balcony having a glass of wine while getting ready for dinner. We also like sitting on the balcony at the end of the evening when all you can see is the distant lights and the phosphorescent waves. Oh, we also like being on our balcony seeing the ship dock early in a beautiful and much anticipated port. Even like seeing the dolphins playing in the ships wake on some days.
So yes, there are certainly lots of things to do on deck but, there is also great opportunity to enjoy the sea from your cabin...after all, you are on a cruise :)
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
12353 posts
4865 upvotes
Toronto
Bidoup wrote: Don't bother the extra money on ocean view / Balcony, we got a balcony suite for our honeymoon and we did'nt spend much time in our room as there is so much to do on a cruise so it's pointless to spend extra money on an upgrade. We cruised with Princess, 12 days in the mediteranean in 2012 for our honeymoon and it was great.
The cost from the inside state room vs Oceanview is big. For me, it doesn't worth the few hundreds dollars upgrade.
if I want to see the ocean, I get outside and the ocean is right there, lol

I'm going to the Medd. Cruise is October with RC. Will see how it goes.
Good thing that my wife agree with me so we have no argument, lol
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
Deal Guru
Dec 11, 2008
11378 posts
2323 upvotes
Ive only been on 3 cruised and never had a balcony. Ive never had enough free time to probably enjoy it.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 12, 2005
5132 posts
1771 upvotes
Mississauga
My favourite so far for med cruise is on the Celebrity Reflection.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2808 posts
939 upvotes
Newmarket
thank you for all the help so far, after having a dinner with my spouse, advising her about the surprise, having some input from her we settled on 7 days Norwegian Cruise, truth be told couple of weeks ago when I started the process there were plenty available but they were selling out quickly and there wasn't much left, so we had to decide to pick from what's available or change the plans all together. If you have day trip suggestions please let me know, we have actually booked the trip through the travel agent, and quite frankly I found her services helpful since we got additional advice, we got plane tickets as well, we can purchase from her the excursions at a cheaper rate than from the cruise, and at the same time it will be hassle free. We will arrive in Rome a day before the cruise and then the schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 
 
07:00 PM 
CIVITAVECCHIA (ROME) 
Thursday, September 28, 2017 
07:00 AM 
07:00 PM 
LIVORNO (FLORENCE/PISA) 
Friday, September 29, 2017 
08:00 AM 
06:00 PM 
CANNES 
Saturday, September 30, 2017 
01:00 PM 
08:00 PM 
PALMA MAJORCA 
Sunday, October 1, 2017 
05:00 AM 
06:00 PM 
BARCELONA 
Monday, October 2, 2017 
 
 
AT SEA 
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 
07:00 AM 
07:00 PM 
NAPLES/POMPEII 
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 
06:00 AM 
 
CIVITAVECCHIA (ROME)
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 27, 2004
1309 posts
611 upvotes
speedyforme wrote: Ive only been on 3 cruised and never had a balcony. Ive never had enough free time to probably enjoy it.
I've been on 4 cruises, the last 3 have been balcony. I believe most people would say once you have a balcony, you will never be able to go back to an inside cabin.
Some of the most relaxing moments for me on any cruise are enjoying coffee and watching the sun come up, or enjoying a bottle of wine and watching the sun go down. I also find myself just sitting on my private balcony sometimes during the day, reading a book or watching the water go by.

Admittedly, it is a few hundred dollars more, but to my mind, it's totally worth the extra expense.

Top