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Thread: Tips for cruising the Mediterranean

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    Tips for cruising the Mediterranean

    So looks like chance and circumstance are taking my partner and I on a Mediterranean cruise in the fall. We haven't booked yet, though, so wondering if anyone has any 'important things to know' when booking these things.

    As far as I can tell you're looking at the class of cruise-line, the destinations, and the ship itself. We're thinking the 'mainstream' class is within our budget.. and we're still trying to figure out if we want to do Western or Greek Isles.

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    And we went ahead and booked.. 9 day Greek Isles Cruise departing from near Rome at the end of September. With Royal Caribbean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    And we went ahead and booked.. 9 day Greek Isles Cruise departing from near Rome at the end of September. With Royal Caribbean.
    Good for you! Tan before you go, so this summer, work on your tans. Not saying it for the looks, but for your comfort. You don't wanna be in Greece with a sunburn.
    If you haven't seen it, the movie "Summer Lovers" was shot in Santorini. The crowds are not the same (more crowded now, but that is everywhere), but September is much better than in June,July and August, which is the worst regarding crowds...

    Have a wonderful time, and let the light, the water, and the colors, wash over you.

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    Get that Australian sun block, Blue Lizard.

    Lucky bastard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Copernicus View Post

    I would be happy to give you advice. My wife and I have been on several Mediterranean cruises, primarily on Celebrity ships, but we have cruised other itineraries on other lines. Do you have a particular cruise in mind? How far along in the process are you? Have you purchased the cruise yet? How long will the cruise be? Do you know what kind of cabin you want? Do you prefer a party experience or something a little calmer? There are some differences across cruise lines.

    If you haven't got a cruise yet, the primary ports for embarkation and debarkation will probably be Civitavecchia (outside of Rome), Venice (spectacular sailaway from there), Athens, or Barcelona. Of all of those, Venice is my favorite.

    You can PM me, if you want to take this offline.
    Thanks, I may take you up on that offer eventually although it would seem that we've got the basics down. We haven't booked yet, just need to nail down the right cruise which we've researched a bit. Class of cruise ship, ship review, port, length, destinations.. that's pretty much what we're looking at right now.

    Right now I've got my eyes on this Greek Isles cruise on the Jewel of the Seas.

    I had wanted Marseilles to be one of our ports but it looks like we need to make one sacrifice or another, and it seems like our choices are either Western or Greek Isles. So my current thinking is a 9 day cruise with a couple days on land in Rome before we head home.

    I mostly asked in case there were a couple things you 'gotta' know.. but in terms of picking our cruise we've done our research and read several blogs, so I think we've got that down, for the most part.
    Cruise Critic is the best source of information. Definitely join the online "roll call" for that particular cruise. You can also sign up for the Connections party on the Cruise Critic web site. (The ship will send an invitation to your stateroom.) That will give you an opportunity to meet some officers and also make contacts with folks that you meet online. You might want to consider joining with some CC folks on local activities at ports rather than going with the more expensive excursions offered by the ship. People will be making arrangements on the Roll Call and can answer all questions that you have.

    Royal Caribbean is a good line. Excellent entertainment, food, and activities. If you like to ice skate, Jewel has an ice rink and puts on ice shows. The RCL corporation owns Celebrity and Azamara, as well, but Royal Caribbean cruises tend to be more popular with a younger, family-oriented working crowd rather than 60-somethings.

    We've been to all of the ports you are going to and can answer questions about local logistics and things to see. Probably the least interesting of the ports is Messina, Sicily, but you should find some things to do in just a day. However, if you are paying for excursions, most people go to Taormina. You might also find some interesting local group activity with roll call members. Be sure to try to catch sight of Mt. Etna when the ship passes by.

    You can get into Athens by bus or bus+train from the port of Piraeus, if you want to do Athens on your own and do it at minimal cost. A trip to the Acropolis followed by a visit to the Acropolis Museum (if you like history) is well worth the time for first time visitors.

    Civitavecchia is a very small town that is located about 40 minutes by train from Rome. Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) Airport is situated between Rome and Civitavecchia, so I recommend you consider a shared limo from the ship to the airport on disembarkation day. We had an early flight out once, and getting there on time can be a bit of a wild ride. Getting to Civitavecchia from Rome takes about an hour by train, and you'll probably want to get to Termini rail station, if you choose that method (the cheapest). Be extremely wary of pickpockets and "friendly" scammers at the rail station and on the train. You can walk from the train station to the port entrance. Alternatively, you could stay overnight in Civitavecchia. Not much to see there, but it can be a charming little town to walk around in.
    Going to go ahead and move this post over here. I appreciate the tips, have joined the roll-call on cruise critic.. now to fully flesh out our budget, do some research on the ports, and get an idea of what type of tours we'll want to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    And we went ahead and booked.. 9 day Greek Isles Cruise departing from near Rome at the end of September. With Royal Caribbean.
    Good on ya! It sounds delightful..

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    Just booked a speedboat transfer from Fira to Oia while we're in Santorini. That'll be fun. That along with all of our other major transport.

    Now it looks like we're pretty much set for all of the major stuff. Just need to buy travel insurance and a few other things, and maybe make a few restaurant reservations.

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    Really cruise experience is amazing. Just before some days i get the experience in Dubai cruise, where get the lots of enjoy with dinner along with music and soft drink.

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