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Other Mediterranean Ports Dubrovnik, Gibraltar, Istanbul, Kotor, Kusadasi, La Goulette (Tunis), Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal), Malta, Odessa, Sevastopol, Varna, Zadar

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  #1  
Old January 19th, 2009, 09:23 PM
usctrojangal usctrojangal is offline
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Default Help: Where to start & end - Rome, Venice, Barcelona??

I'm researching a Med. cruise for May. I've never been to Europe.

I need some advice on the best ports to start and/or end. I've narrowed it down to two cruises. One with a roundtrip to Rome, or the other cruise starts in Venice with an overnight in Venice on embarkation and it ends in Barcelona with an overnight on disembarkation - or vice versa depending on the date I pick. The Venice/Barcelona has a port of call in Rome, but only the typical cruise times at port - 7am arrival 8pm departure. I've read on the boards it is best to have a couple days in Rome. I've also read the same about Venice and Barcelona! Decisions decisions! The roundtrip Rome has a port of call in Barcelona, but not Venice. If you had your choice of either of the above cruises, which one would you do?
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Old January 19th, 2009, 09:34 PM
winncruiser winncruiser is offline
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A fantastic trip begins in Venice with an overnight....leaving out of Venice around 2:00 pm...

with a stop in Rome for the day and ending in Barcelona where you can stay for a couple of days post cruise.

That was my favorite of the four Med cruises that I have done in the last four years.
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  #3  
Old January 19th, 2009, 10:38 PM
Susan-M Susan-M is offline
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We did a Barcelona to Venice cruise for our first Med cruise ... with a one day port stop in Rome, and 2 nights each in Barcelona and Venice. A great itinerary, but too little time in Rome, so on our next trip, we started in Rome with 3 days pre-cruise and ended in Athens with another 3 days post-cruise. All great cities ... and since you can't fit it all in in one trip, you'll just have to go back too.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 10:43 PM
cruiseluv cruiseluv is offline
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Well, that's tough. Rome is my favorite city in Europe so I would be biased and say to pick the one R/T Rome.

I am one of the few people in the Universe that doesn't think Barcelona is great. To me is just ok. Venice is something else.

But since you have never been to Europe maybe the one with beg in venice , ending in Barcelona, gives you more of a sampler. Difficult to tell w/o knowing the complete itinerary.

Good luck!

Last edited by cruiseluv; January 19th, 2009 at 10:44 PM.
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  #5  
Old January 19th, 2009, 11:02 PM
CathyCruises CathyCruises is offline
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Personally I would begin in Barcelona and end in Venice--save the very best for last. Not sure of what line you are checking, but we did that exact itinerary on Celebrity Summit in November and we had two port days in Rome, as well as two in Istanbul and one in Athens. I bet Celebrity is doing that itinerary again and that could give you a great alternative.

Good luck! I love Barcelona and Rome but Venice is amazing!!

Cathy
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  #6  
Old January 19th, 2009, 11:24 PM
knitter knitter is offline
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There is no way to do justice to Rome in one day, or even 2. I've not been to Barcelona yet (arrive there 4/30 for a couple of days) so no comment on that. Venice is unique, but you can get the flavor in a day if that is all you have. I would round trip out of Rome, spend some pre or post days in Rome, and sneak off to Venice for a couple of days!
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Old January 19th, 2009, 11:55 PM
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chipmaster chipmaster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usctrojangal View Post
I'm researching a Med. cruise for May. I've never been to Europe.

I need some advice on the best ports to start and/or end. I've narrowed it down to two cruises. One with a roundtrip to Rome, or the other cruise starts in Venice with an overnight in Venice on embarkation and it ends in Barcelona with an overnight on disembarkation - or vice versa depending on the date I pick. The Venice/Barcelona has a port of call in Rome, but only the typical cruise times at port - 7am arrival 8pm departure. I've read on the boards it is best to have a couple days in Rome. I've also read the same about Venice and Barcelona! Decisions decisions! The roundtrip Rome has a port of call in Barcelona, but not Venice. If you had your choice of either of the above cruises, which one would you do?
European cruise is all about the ports, ships / cabins less so. You make it sound like the only things to consider are Rome start/end, versus Barcelona to Venice. You haven't said much about the other ports that these two cruises have. Those could/are/were what swung me to the Venice to Barcelona on Princess. Rome is a wonderful city that can't be done justice in a day or even two or three. The same can be said for many of the other cities. A cruise is good to get you a taste of many cities with no time to really discover the city. That is the nature of these

The round trip start and leave in Rome gets you a couple days on either end there which you can't get on many other cruise. But on the Venice / Barcelona you get the opportunity to explore TWO other wonderful cities and still sample Rome, I chose the second and got Istanbul, Athens, Ephesus, Naples, Florence/Pisa, Marseilles, and Mykonos. In the end only you can decide which is more important.

Good luck, its a hard choice, but take heart, no matter what you pick you'll have a blast
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Old January 20th, 2009, 04:08 PM
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LILynn LILynn is offline
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I did a cruise that left from Rome and ended in Venice a few years ago (Princess). We flew into Rome 2 days in advance. Rome was fantastic. But I LOVED Venice - it is magical. I could spend a week in Venice just walking around - it is a great walking city. It does not have the famous sites as Rome does, but I just loved it.


I just booked another cruise for this September - Venice to Barcelona - overnighting in both cities on HAL. I cannot wait to go back to Venice again. We stop in Rome for the day - this will be my third time there. I am happy to go back but the one day will be fine for me.

You will probably get a million opiniions - If I were you I would read about all the ports and try to make a list of what you want to do in each. ThenI would decide based on that.

Just something to keep in mind - Rome is pretty far from the port that you leave from.... it is about 1 1/2 hours away.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 04:28 PM
DDawson DDawson is offline
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I too am in the camp that believes Barcelona is nice, but nothing to compare with Rome or Venice.

Our first cruise we did a 5 day tour of Spain before joining the ship in Barcelona. We loved Spain and would have liked more time in Barcelona.

We had one day in Rome which was not even enough time to drive by the major sites, let alone go into many of them. We ended in Venice and stayed on an extra 2 days and again this was just not enough time.

After that trip we realized we wanted more time to see Italy (even though we also enjoyed Spain). So this year we are doing a trip that starts and ends in Rome and Venice. This way we can spend as much time as we wish both pre and post cruise.

Do keep in mind that it's a short flight between Rome and Venice or less than a 5 hour train ride. Do which ever cruise includes the most ports that interest you and then if you are able - add on some land time to see other cities.
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Old January 20th, 2009, 11:06 PM
pris993 pris993 is offline
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I have been fortunate enough over past 20 years to have visited all these ports many times.

Given this, no matter what you choose you can't lose.

When selecting which ports to begin and end in, I consider other issues so far not mentioned here. If money or costs are an issue, I encourage folks to begin or end their cruise in Barcelona. Barcelona is an easier port to begin or end a cruise in because it does not costs a lot to get a taxi to or from a ship.

By contrast, Rome and Venice are pretty costly to get a taxi to and from the nearest airports.

Hotels are less costly in Barcelona as well, compared to Italy.

For a first time cruiser to Europe would recommend even looking for a cruise that begins and ends in Barcelona.
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  #11  
Old January 21st, 2009, 12:19 AM
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I guess I'd want to know the ports of call before deciding. I'm not as familiar with Rome as I am with Venice (magical) and Barcelona (fascinating). I plan to remedy that in May with 3 days pre-cruise.

If you have the time, what about flying into Rome for a couple of days pre-cruise, then taking the train to Venice (or flying there) to embark on your cruise? Or fly to Milan & visit Lake Como. Or to Florence and spend a couple of days there (I love Florence)...

Susan-M is right - no matter what you choose this time, you're going to return!
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