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susan1957
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School holidays in Europe begin in June and finish at start of September. If you want a less crowded experience travel outside these times for the Mediterranean.

 

Scandinavian and Baltics cruises have a shorter season, but don't typically have a lot of children on board.

 

There are a lot of UK /IRELAND cruises for most if the year but weather is very unpredictable.

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Europe is a big area.  No one pat answer for best time to cruise weatherwise.

 

If doing a cruise that includes Venice, check when the monsoon season is - late September, early October.

 

We are doing a Norway fiord cruise in June 2020 on the Legend, but avoided summer when we did our Princess Italy/Greece/Croatia, early to mid September instead.

 

We are taking a 15 day NCL TA from Fl to the Azores and Spain late April and early May this year.

Edited by evandbob
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4 minutes ago, evandbob said:

Europe is a big area. 

No one pat answer for best time to cruise weather-wise.

 

If doing a cruise that includes Venice,

check when the monsoon season is - late September, early October.

.

We did a Western Med cruise in mid-late September 2008.

 

Rain ruined our Rome(Civitavecchia) and Barcelona stops.

Cannes wasn't too great either..bit improved after noon.

.

Rainy Bracciano-390.jpg

Rainy Trevignano-72.jpg

B-502.jpg

Barcelona-503.jpg

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We did Athens to Barcelona on the Vista in Mid-September 2016.  Weather was great except for last day in Barcelona (rain).  Temps were still mid 70's daytime to Mid 60's nighttime.

Thing about the Mediterranean is you are not there for the beaches like in the Caribbean.  More about city tours and the history.

Edited by HawkIVette
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We did Barcelona/Italy on the Horizon in April 2018, it was fabulous. Rome and Florence were crazy crowded but they always are. We booked the Legend for the end of June 2020, Dover, England to Barcelona. Can’t wait for that one! 

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We did Europe in July 2017 and had a great time. Although we did get soaked by the end of the day in Oslo. Thankfully, we had a sea day the next day so our shoes could fully dry! LOL! And then we spent 6 days in England after coming back to Southampton. But when we were in London, there were still a lot of kids in school, we'd see them on the tube in the morning, in their uniforms.

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2 hours ago, kctwinmommy said:

We did Europe in July 2017 and had a great time. Although we did get soaked by the end of the day in Oslo. Thankfully, we had a sea day the next day so our shoes could fully dry! LOL! And then we spent 6 days in England after coming back to Southampton. But when we were in London, there were still a lot of kids in school, we'd see them on the tube in the morning, in their uniforms.

British school kids only finish for summer holidays roughly around 3rd week of July.

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In our experience the Mediterranean is good anytime from April through October.  Will be hotter/muggier June-August.  Like Scpirate, we have had terrific luck with October weather .

 

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4 hours ago, newport dave said:

British school kids only finish for summer holidays roughly around 3rd week of July.

 

Not entirely true, schools in Scotland finish at the end of June 😉

Edited by pinkpanther52
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19 hours ago, evandbob said:

We are taking a 15 day NCL TA from Fl to the Azores and Spain late April and early May this year.

If you dock in Ponta Delgada you NEED to get out of town to see the fantastic nature. We spent a week there in 2017 and ALL rental cars was booked for the whole week. We ended up booking a Jeep tour with Green Zone, it was FANTASTIC. They know the island very well and can use private roads that you can't use if you rent a car.

Ponta Delgada doesn't offer much to see and you will miss out if you stay there during your port of call 

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If you want Spain and Italy, you're looking at a Western Mediterranean cruise. I would advise avoiding the summer months if at all possible -- it is insanely crowded in many of the popular ports with both cruise passengers and tourists on land trips. The shoulder seasons (April/May and late September/October) are much better experiences. The weather is also better.

 

Years ago we did land trips in Europe during the summer months. I wouldn't do it now.  I've done 10 Mediterranean cruises -- 2 in late April, 1 in September, 5 in October and 3 in November.  The September one was extraordinarily hot -- it was 101 F when we boarded in Athens and stayed warm the entire cruise. I've also had the occasional rainy day in October or November. Well worth it to avoid the crowds...

 

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It can rain at any time of the year but no two days will be the same. Spring or autumn will be warm but less crowded. British children have six weeks summer holiday, 3rd week in July to 1st week in Sept, except Scotland who start in June. 

Just pack a mac

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Have cruised Europe and the Med  four times;  Always chose May. Perfect weather and very calm seas.  So that is my pick.  May;  if you go early May you may save money; because the cruise prices start to go up in May/Jun time frame

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

If you want Spain and Italy, you're looking at a Western Mediterranean cruise. I would advise avoiding the summer months if at all possible -- it is insanely crowded in many of the popular ports with both cruise passengers and tourists on land trips. The shoulder seasons (April/May and late September/October) are much better experiences. The weather is also better.

Agree - my preferred months of travel are May or October. It is far too crowded for my taste during the summer months and, bonus, shade is very scarce is some ports (think Rome). Rain can occur any time of the year - I would rather have a few days of rain than scorching temperatures with hordes of tourists. I come prepared to layer (if needed) and always pack an umbrella.

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We think the best time is what is often called the "shoulder season."  In most of Europe this would be during the spring and fall months.  While the major tourist parts of Europe are crowded (with tourists) for much of the years, these should months (such as April, May, Sept and Oct) seem like the best compromise in terms of reduced crowds and decent weather.   There is a new trend where folks are cruising in Europe in the winter months which we think has a lot of downside.  Consider that certain popular European destinations such as the Island of Capri, Greek Islands, etc.  darn near shut-down in the winter off-season.  Go to the town of Oia (on Santorini) in November and you will find most shops are closed, many restaurants are closed, etc.  While these places can still be charming in the off-season, many tourists find it disappointing that many places simply "close for the season."

 

Hank

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I find it hard to see how rain can ruin a once in a lifetime port....our Panama Transit was actually improved by the rain. Honestly, we did love the heavy tropical rain at the time. It somehow fit and we had the hot tub to ourselves.

 

Then again, I am British.

 

Go in MayJune as most European schools are still in and the weather is great. September is OK but some things will /be shutting for the season and theres a wind down feel to some places.

 

Weather wise the stops will play a part. Lower Med (Greece/Malta etc) will sizzle May til September but more northern ports in France/Italy and Croatia will be cooler but still lovely.

 

Choose a cruise that isn't Italy heavy and try and get a cruise that goes both West and East Med as you get to see places such as Malta/Croatia/Greece etc. 

Edited by Velvetwater
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1 hour ago, Hlitner said:

 Consider that certain popular European destinations such as the Island of Capri, Greek Islands, etc.  darn near shut-down in the winter off-season.  Go to the town of Oia (on Santorini) in November and you will find most shops are closed, many restaurants are closed, etc.  While these places can still be charming in the off-season, many tourists find it disappointing that many places simply "close for the season."

 

Hank

 

Hank, not sure when the last time you were in Oia in November was, but I have been to both Santorini and Mykonos twice in late November and I would say 85-90% of places are still open. I think it may be due to the shift in the cruise season (skewing later), but there has been no shortage of shops and tavernas open.

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No guarantees about the weather, but generally the Med is uncomfortably hot June / July / August, unless you prefer to spend your vacation in a Greek taverna behind a long cold beer.

Best bet for sight-seeing are the shoulder seasons - late April and May, or September into October. Comfortably warm, not too crowded. Later in October you're chancing a change of season -  sometimes good sometimes not.

 

Northern Europe - Britain & especially the Baltic - mid-season gives you the best chance of good weather, but in July & August at the expense of more crowds & higher cruise prices.

June is probably ideal, but doesn't always work out that way. 

 

JB :classic_smile:

(experienced cruiser but amateur clairvoyant) 

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