Mediterranean Cruises are quite popular given that part of the world is so old. There is much history to learn and many venues to see. And as you can imagine, there are several large well-known cruise companies such as Viking, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian and Carnival that service this area. There are lesser known lines, but they offer completely different atmospheres such as the tall ship cruises which would be very personal and quite exclusive.
Countries that are included on the Mediterranean Sea are Italy, Spain, Greece and France. Some of the cruises also visit Turkey through the Aegean Sea. North African nations such as Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia are also available on some cruise line schedules. Specific destinations might include archaeological sites, historic ports, cathedrals that are hundreds and thousands of years old, museums and excursions to sidewalk cafés, all the while learning about the birthplace of democracy, ancient religions, where the great painters came from and how certain wines became so famous.
But with so many places to visit and a myriad of things to do, which will be the best option for you? In this article, we’ll talk about the best Mediterranean Cruises and everything you need to know.
#1 Best Times To Cruise
The best time of the year for you to travel is going to depend on the weather and prices. For example, if you are looking for hot temperatures so that you can swim and snorkel, the peak season is going to run from May until September. These will typically be the most expensive months. On the other hand, if you want to search for bargains and not have to fight the throngs of tourists, then it might be better to cruise during November and March which is considered the winter season. It’s often advised, however, that traveling in October or April will bring in the cheapest cruise prices giving you the best value for your money.
#2 Where To Join and Disembark
When choosing a Mediterranean Cruise, it is important to plan your journey before the cruise and after. As you can join and leave the cruise in different ports, you will have to figure out what is the cheapest route and what is the easiest or most convenient. In some cases, you will have added expenses of flight to actually board the ship and go home.
In other scenarios, you can choose to cruise longer, but you will need the extra time to actually get to the cruise ship. For example, some of the cruise lines allow you to start in the UK, but it is two days traveling time there and back before you really hit any ports-of-call. The other point to remember is that not all lines let you get off and on at will. It is not a bus route, afterall, but they are trying to attract as many tourists as possible, so they are becoming more flexible in this area of service.
#3 Combine Cruises
Several of the cruise lines mentioned at the top of this article move their ships to the Caribbean or South America at the end of the Mediterranean cruising season. If you really want to extend your vacation and see as many wonderful places as possible, inquire about starting the cruise in the Mediterranean and staying on board until the ship reaches its final destination in another part of the world.
#4 Shop Around
Because the Mediterranean is the most popular area for cruising after the Caribbean, and since there are so many cruise lines servicing the area, competition can be fierce. Of course, all of this means that you can probably find some outstanding deals even during the peak season times. Don’t book the first package that you hear about, though. Find out what other lines are offering and compare to get the best package holiday for you and your family. Remember that some cruises allow pets and some specifically cater to children like Disney Cruises, so get what you want and need.
#5 Don’t Be Influenced By Unnecessary Perks
This is one area where travelers get caught. When looking at packages, somehow they get excited about things they don’t even need or want. Maybe the company is promoting the perks or a travel agent makes the perks seem great, but do they really suit you? An excellent example is when they talk about the gym and all the exercise equipment. If you have no intention of doing anything like that on your holiday, why even talk about it? It is not a perk to you. Balconies are another bone of contention. Most likely, you are not going to spend any time on a balcony from your room on a ship. You are much better having options inside your room and enjoy the outdoors from up on the deck, the deck’s balconies or the ground at ports-of-call.
Many people have no idea what a cruise ship looks like inside or the differences between the huge football-stadium size and the more intimate ships. This video is perfect because it shows what the more exclusive and smaller ships have aboard.