Barcelona to Venice? Early 40's couple - What cruise company would you recommend?

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#1
Gold Coast Australia
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Hi Cruise experts...
We are a Australian couple in late 30's early 40's looking at a cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary next May. Carnival, MSC, NCL etc... are the options that come up. Looking for around 12 days and doesn't really matter what port we leave from. Having travelled extensively but never cruised before we are open to all suggestions from room types, must see locations and where to go before and after the cruise for a total of 18 days away !!
#2
Australia
103 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Have a look and see if Royal Caribbean have any cruises that you like. It can be hard to find ones that cover that much of the med, but some do do it.
At a quick glance they have a 12 night Barcelona return that does Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche (Nice), France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Naples (Salerno), Italy; Barcelona, Spain
All excellent ports! And the serenade, albeit a bit older is a great ship for the med.
Good luck! From a fellow Aussie
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#3
Royal Wootton Bassett, UK
2,143 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Celebrity has Equinox doing this route twice 12 nightd in May 2013. Aqua Class is a really nice treat.

Rome is a great place for a pre/post stay as 1 day in port is never enough. Barcelona has lots to offer pre/post cruise.

Royal Caribbean have good cruises in the med.
NCL have good routes that start / end in different ports and are freestyle so an easy way to try cruising.

Look at the duration each ship stays in port when comparing. A couple of extra hours can be really valuable.
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P&O Arcadia Nov 16 (4 nights)
Cunard Queen Victoria July 16 (7 nights)
P&O Azura May 16 Bruges (2 nights)
Oceania Riviera Nov 15 Venice to Barcelona (11 nights)
P&O Britannia Jun 14 Norwegian Fjords (7 nights)
P&O Ventura May 15 St Peter-Port and Bruges Overnight (4 nights)
Oceania Riviera Nov 14 Monte Carlo to Barcelona (7 nights)
P&O Aurora Oct 14 (3 nights)
Celebrity Equinox June 14 Rome to Barcelona (7 nights)
Norwegian Spirit Nov 13 Spain/Morocco/Arrecife/Madeira (9 nights)
Celebrity Equinox July 13 Venice Redentore Festival (12 nights)
P&O Azura April 13 Zeebrugge and St Peter-Port (4 nights)
Cunard Queen Mary II Nov 12 Beer-n-chocs (4 nights)
Celebrity Silhouette Sept 12 Adriatic from Venice(13 nights)
Cunard Queen Elizabeth May 12 Spring Getaway (5 nights)
Cunard Queen Mary II Oct 11 to Cherbourg (2 nights)
Celebrity Solstice July 11 Barcelona to Venice (12 nights)
Celebrity Eclipse May 11 to Cork (4 nights)
P&O Azura Oct 2010 to Bruges and Le Havre (3 nights)
RCI Independence of the Seas Jun 10 Med (14 nights)
Celebrity Equinox Preview Jul 09 (1 night)
Norwegian Jewel Aug 08 Baltic Capitals (12 nights)
Norwegian Jewel Sept 07 Barcelona to Istanbul (12 nights)
#4
Georgia
6,226 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Foncai
Have a look and see if Royal Caribbean have any cruises that you like. It can be hard to find ones that cover that much of the med, but some do do it.
At a quick glance they have a 12 night Barcelona return that does Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche (Nice), France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Naples (Salerno), Italy; Barcelona, Spain
All excellent ports! And the serenade, albeit a bit older is a great ship for the med.
Good luck! From a fellow Aussie
Some friends and I just talked about this cruise yesterday. We may book it for October. For anyone who has done this can you tell us what the weather is like in Oct in these areas? I don't want to have to drag winter clothes with me.
Also does anyone know if Serenade has had any updates?
#5
USA
8,952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Not sure why Princess didn't show up with their Grand Med that does one way from Barcelona to Venice or the other way around. Last set of brochures we got still showed this cruise. IMHO I like Princess over some of the other lines mentioned here, seems just right for our demographic.

Congrats on the anniversary, I think you should do more research and insure that the ports you have on the cruise are the ones you want. Med is ALL about the ports and adventures/excursions/exploration of the history / culture in them.

I think Princess does all the big attractions ( Venice, Barcelona, Kusadasi/Ephesus, Istanbul, Piraeus/Athens, Naples/Amalfi/Pompeii/Sorrento, Civitavecchia / Rome, Livrono / Florence / Vencie, stops in France and Greece, Monte Carlo and another Mykonos that rotates around ).

Originally posted by 1HolidayQueen1
Hi Cruise experts...
We are a Australian couple in late 30's early 40's looking at a cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary next May. Carnival, MSC, NCL etc... are the options that come up. Looking for around 12 days and doesn't really matter what port we leave from. Having travelled extensively but never cruised before we are open to all suggestions from room types, must see locations and where to go before and after the cruise for a total of 18 days away !!
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Princess: 1999, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2015 Disney: 2000 Carnival:2005
#6
ohio
663 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
holland is wonderful - you will be on the young end of the curve but we have found it wonderful
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Nordam 2/27/2015




Eurodam oct 09
Celebrity oct 04
#7
Ontario, Canada
1,827 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Strictly from an itinerary perspective, Norwegian Spirit and Ruby Princess should probably have the busiest schedule. Both will go all the way to Istanbul, albeit no overnight there.

NCL map:


Princess map:
#8
1,182 Posts
Joined Nov 2000
When you go to the Mediterranean, it's all about the ports. Which company goes to the ports that you like? And which one has the best price. IMO, the ship and the cruiseline is secondary.

We are late 40's and last year, we did a 12 day Celebrity cruise R/T from Barcelona to Venice to Barcelona and it was fantastic. If you do a R/T cruise it may be cheaper because you can get your own R/T airfare for a good price.

Some advice, if you leave from Barcelona, try to stay their at least 2-3 nights pre-cruise. Staying in Barcelona may have been the highlight of our trip.
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Norwegian Gem, 09/08/12
Norwegian Jewel, 11/10/13
Brilliance of the Seas, 05/30/15
Navigator of the Seas, 11/10/15
Grand Princess, 07/20/16
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Norwegian Getaway 10/15/17
#9
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,304 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Just to confuse matters, don't forget the 2 main Italian lines, MSC and Costa, or the 2 cheaper lines, using older ships, Louis (Cypriot) and Thomson (UK).
If one of my relatives was coming from Oz for a cruise, I'd plan to take them on one with a sail into or out of Venice, with a few days there before hand- perhaps at a beach resort up the Italian coast, with easy access into Venice.
I'd certainly be looking at the Princess and NCL cruises mentioned, and I'm happy on both these lines.
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19 cruises; 10 ships; 7 lines; 89 ports
#10
Perth West Australia
899 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by 1HolidayQueen1
Hi Cruise experts...
We are a Australian couple in late 30's early 40's looking at a cruise for our 10th wedding anniversary next May. Carnival, MSC, NCL etc... are the options that come up. Looking for around 12 days and doesn't really matter what port we leave from. Having travelled extensively but never cruised before we are open to all suggestions from room types, must see locations and where to go before and after the cruise for a total of 18 days away !!
Hi you don,t say what part of Oz you live in ?
we are booked Ruby Princess med cruise August 2012 from Barcelona, living in Perth Singapore Stopover then Singapore a/lines Barcelona come home Venice to London Stopover then home to Perth. Emmerits fly to Barcelona but connecting flights are weird. we have done the Med Venice Barcelona Celebrity. in my opinion the Med cruise is the best stopovers are the way to go enjoy your anniversary Aussie
#11
Chicago
9,095 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Originally posted by Marie51
Some friends and I just talked about this cruise yesterday. We may book it for October. For anyone who has done this can you tell us what the weather is like in Oct in these areas? I don't want to have to drag winter clothes with me.
Also does anyone know if Serenade has had any updates?
It is still warm in the area in October, a great month to go as most children will be in school as well as fewer tourists in general in the cities. I usually always travel Europe in October. Having said that, a nice light packable windbreaker jacket is a must. Mornings may start out cool, but afternoons will be warm, so the layer approach to day travel is a must.
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#12
Vancouver, BC Canada
996 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by Marie51
Some friends and I just talked about this cruise yesterday. We may book it for October. For anyone who has done this can you tell us what the weather is like in Oct in these areas? I don't want to have to drag winter clothes with me.
Also does anyone know if Serenade has had any updates?
We did a similiar 10 day Celebrity cruise out of Barcelona in October of 2008 and the weather was fine. (spring/summer like) We spent 2 days prior and 4 days after in Barcelona. It's a great place but in hindsight, a back to back would of cost just slightly more.
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#13
Seascale,Cumbria,U.K.
5,304 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
It can be windy in Oct, after the autumn solstice, and the nights are lengthening.....the Mistral whistles down through France, so it can be chilly off Barcelona. Take something warm to wear on deck on an evening, and definately some rainwear....then it will be sunshine all the way!!
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19 cruises; 10 ships; 7 lines; 89 ports
#14
Madison, Alabama
276 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
We first cruised HAL in our early 40's and, yes, we were some of the youngest on board. However, since our objectives were on board romance plus on shore sightseeing, it was a perfect fit for us. Now in our mid 50's HAL is our first choice. HAL tends to be a slower paced, more elegant experience than the other "younger crowd" mass market lines.

Our Princess experience in Alaska was less than stellar as we felt crowded and rushed all the time. We recently completed a 20 day Med cruise on the Noordam (HAL) and had a great time on board and in the ports she visited.

For what it's worth, our table mates for the entire 20 days were two couples from Australia who were of the opinion that the longer cruise was best given the really long travel time from Down Under.
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#15
Pacific Northwest
6 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
We sailed this itinerary twice, once on Celebrity, once on RCI. Both were great but we like RCI ships better, and the age demographic is closer to yours.
As for the itinerary here are some tips you won't get from the brochures:

Villefranche -- Jet lag recovery day.
Livorno -- Car rentals available right at the dock. Do it. Drive thru Lucca on way to Florence. Park at structure next to train station. Be sure to get directions on how to drive back to ship, it's a bit tricky.
Civitaveccia-Take train to Vatican or Rome.
Naples -- Rent car, 3 blocks in from main street. Don't be intimidated, be aggressive and you'll do fine. Stop at Pompeii on way to Salerno, have lunch, shop, and go back to ship.
Santorini -- Rent a jeep, drive to IA for dinner overlooking harbor, winery at other end overlooks harbor as well. Don't waste too much time in Fira
Dubrovnik -- Rent a car, drive to Citva, nice resort town on the Adriatic.
#17
Gold Coast Australia
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I really appreciated the tips about what to do when I get to shore. If anyone else has some great ideas please feel free to add them to this link. I think I now have every cruise brochure that exists and will spend hours digesting them !!! We live half way around the world and we are stuck between seeing major ports for a day but seeing lots of them vs positioning ourselves for a week in major centres and doing day trips out. I think the unpack once option for a cruise certainly has appeal. Thanks again everyone !
#18
523 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
We (late 40s) did the 12 day on Princess (rome-Venice) last Aug. We had a great time, great ports, great food, but the majority of cruisers were 65+, if that matters to you.
#19
Ohio
166 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I am 40 and my Husband is 36, we were on Celebrity Equinox in November 2011. We really liked Celebrity in Europe. The food was very good, the staff was kind & the excursions were wonderful. We spend 3 days in Rome prior to cruising (to get over the jet lag). We did not sail in Aqua Class but I would love to someday. We are planning on using Celebrity the next time we go to Europe.
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