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Mediterranean Which Cruise Line, Itinerary?


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We are interested in visiting the Mediterranean; trying to see as much as we can in one visit.  We are especially interested in visiting the buildings of antiquity, so are interested in Rome and Athens for sure.  We've been to Europe and have seen many cathedrals;, so cathedrals aren't a must for us.  We're trying to visit the Mediterranean in one visit, so are looking for at least a 14 day cruise, with a pre and post in Rome and Athens.  Some cruises  itineraries include ports in Turkey, which also sounds intriguing.  Most importantly, we want to experience the scenery of the Med, see the Amalfi Coast, walk the cobblestone streets of the most scenic ports.  Any suggestions would be most appreciated.  As yet, have not found what we're looking for.  Back to back 7 day cruises would also be a possibility.  Also would like to know if Rome and/or Athens are doable in one day, if they land in the middle of a Med itinerary.

Edited by StillGoinStrong
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Eastern Med cruise sounds like what you need.  The one I did started in Rome, then did Greece and Turkey and back to Italy.   It was fabulous. 

Honestly, I didn't think I would enjoy Turkey but I did immensely.   So did my Mother, which also suprised me.  Granted there were some tougher areas in Istanbul, but if you are travel wise.  Should be ok.   Blue Mosque, Spice Market, and Underground Cistern were our favorites there. 

PS: Say nothing to the people hawking.  My Mother and I were so polite the first few times "no thank you". Boy howdy did that draw them in more.  We learned to say nothing after lol.

 

The history is incredible.  You think Rome is old, then as you head East, it's all older.  Ottoman empire is old.......

 

 

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Hello!  We have been looking into a European cruise.  And, it sounds like we have kind of the same thing we are looking for.  What I did was do a broad cruise search.  You can do that here on this board.   And I put in some of the ports I knew I wanted.  Like Rome and Athens.  Greece would be a biggie for me, and I want to see Santorini.  I threw in historic Dubrovnik.  Once you do this you will see how many cruises hit the places you like.  

 

Budget and how long of a cruise you want might also be important.

 

Cruise line is a big personal preference!

I am just guessing that Princess would be good with you.

 

I wanted to do an itinerary on Holland America that hit all of these.  But that didn't work out.  So now I am seeing the Grand Mediterranean on the new Enchanted Princess.   Instead of Naples on that one Holland America cruise, it hits all of these other ports as well as Toulon France. (not such a biggie)  But then ends at Barcelona.  Maybe Barcelona would be something you would really want to visit.

https://www.princess.com/cruise-search/details?adobe_mc_sdid=SDID%3D020B6D5B96C1FDE6-113D41FA6EAF6A87|MCORGID%3D21C91F2F575539D07F000101%40AdobeOrg|TS%3D1573746031&adobe_mc_ref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.princess.com%2Ffind%2FrecentlyViewedResults.do&voyageCode=N056

 

I have heard that Turkey is amazing.  But, I am not sure that would still be on my list right now.

 

 

Edited by PRINCESS Sweet Pea
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In October '18, we did a Celebrity Eclipse 12 day cruise. Barcelona, Mallorca, Messina Italy, Mykonos, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes and Malta. The cruise was very classy and the ports gave you a good feeling for the stop in one day.

 

Our next European cruise will depart from Venice with the final disembarkation being in Rome. We will then do a 3-4 night Rome DIY tour then travel to Florence for 2-3 nights before flying home.

 

We have done land tours to Italy previously and there is simply too many world class sites to see than what a cruise could possibly offer. Picking one thing to do on a short cruise tour in Rome is similar to going to Disney World and having the choice to ride only one ride before you have to leave.

 

If buildings are your thing, a cruise stop in Athens would give you a pretty long tour of the Acropolis. In Greece, the old buildings are in ruins so you have to use your imagination to invision what they looked like in their heyday.

 

Now in Rome, you walk into these old buildings and you can see how impressive they still are. The Pantheon is a classic example, Santa Maria Maggiore (440ad) and many other churches that are very old. Couple that with the Colosseum and throw in art from Michaelangelo, Raphael and other classic artists and you have one great trip. But seeing  all that is not doable in one cruise day.

 

I would fly into Venice a few days early to see that remarkable city, then cruise to Rome with a definately stop in Athens. Then stay in Rome for as many nights as you can. If time and budget allow, I would go to Florence. There are no 2000 year old buildings there but the Renaissance buildings and art leaves you spell bound.

 

Cruising is great. Small ports even Mykonos, Malta, Rhodes and Santorini can be done in a one day tour and giving you a pretty good feeling that you saw the highlights.

 

But Rome simply had too much to offer, I didn't even mention the Vatican Museums (world class art culminating in the Sistine Chapel) then walking into St Peters. That can be a full day alone.  

 

So check out a Venice to Rome cruise coupled with your own land tour. Only way to do it.

Edited by WallyNDiane
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maybe look at some premium lines  they usually stay longer in port & are more port intensive

some have no sea days  so can be exhausting

I would look for one that starts or end in Rome  then spend  a few days there

it makes for  a long day in Rome if it is just a port stop  & the distance into Rome from the port is maybe 1 hr +

 

Depends on your budget & time constraints

Check the link at the top "FIND A CRUISE"   for some options

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We loved leaving from Barcelona great city to spend a few days, ship  is not as important as ports since there are very few sea days and long port days my favorite places to visit

Florence 

Naples

Venice

Kotor

Dubrovnik 

Athens 

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10/6/20- 10/20 -- HAL Veendam Venice - to Rome - stopping in Athens and Istanbul

6/8/20 -6/20  -- HAL Zuiderdam Rome to Rome, stopping in Athens and Istanbul

6/7/20 - I believe Oceania has a sailing from Barcelona to Athens, also stopping in Rome and Istanbul

 

There are several others -- if you are interested in Rome, you should take a cruise which either starts or ends in Rome to allow yourself several days there.

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3 hours ago, StillGoinStrong said:

We are interested in visiting the Mediterranean; trying to see as much as we can in one visit.  We are especially interested in visiting the buildings of antiquity, so are interested in Rome and Athens for sure. . . .We're trying to visit the Mediterranean in one visit, so are looking for at least a 14 day cruise, with a pre and post in Rome and Athens.  Some cruises  itineraries include ports in Turkey, which also sounds intriguing.  Most importantly, we want to experience the scenery of the Med, see the Amalfi Coast, walk the cobblestone streets of the most scenic ports.  Any suggestions would be most appreciated.  As yet, have not found what we're looking for.  Back to back 7 day cruises would also be a possibility.  Also would like to know if Rome and/or Athens are doable in one day, if they land in the middle of a Med itinerary.

First, Rome is at least an hour inland from the port of Civitavecchia so you may want to do a pre-cruise visit in Rome and then board the ship to visit other Med ports (we've done this several times).  Off-hand, I don't know of itineraries that would include the Amalfi coast (we have visited it when at Naples), but I'm sure there are some on small ships.  We have also done several ports in Turkey and Greece on a RT out of Civitavecchia.  While I enjoyed our overnight in Istanbul, I'm not sure I'd do it today with the political situation there.

Edited by BarbinMich
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3 hours ago, Jnsplace1 said:

 

The history is incredible.  You think Rome is old, then as you head East, it's all older.  Ottoman empire is old.......

 

 

I agree the history is incredible, but I'm having a little trouble following you after that. Rome was (supposedly) founded in 753 BCE. It was a Roman emperor, Constantine, who founded Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the 330s CE. Even after the Western Roman empire fell to the various barbarians, the Eastern Empire, based in Constantinople persisted and became known as the Byzantine Empire. Still nominally Roman, although Greek became the primary language used due to the geography.  

 

The Ottoman Empire wasn't founded until 1299 CE, and didn't defeat the Byzantine forces at Constantinople until 1453, a date often considered the final hurrah of the Roman Empire. 

 

Certainly there were eastern civilizations that pre-date the Romans considerably (Greeks, Babylonians, Hittites, Egyptians spring to mind...)  But not the Ottomans.

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We have done a couple cruise from the Med, agreed a great way to see a different city/port every day. 

 

I'd say the best line is the one that does the most ports you want with the sailing you want.     I think all the mainstream lines are pretty close, some more party like, some more full of formal image, some about ship amenities, but if you pick Europe it is PORTS, PORTS, PORTS.

 

Like others suggested we did one that started in Venice and ended in Barcelona ( Grand Med ), with stops in Athens, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Rome, Florence, Naples.   Was crazy amazing but a terrible tradeoff as a day in Rome, Naples ( Amalfi ), Istanbul was so hurried and just wet our appetite, but nothing is ideal.

 

Our second focused on the Greek Islands and had allowed a little more exposure, but also less variety.

 

Hardest thing is the port tradeoffs.

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I agree the history is incredible, but I'm having a little trouble following you after that. Rome was (supposedly) founded in 753 BCE. It was a Roman emperor, Constantine, who founded Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the 330s CE. Even after the Western Roman empire fell to the various barbarians, the Eastern Empire, based in Constantinople persisted and became known as the Byzantine Empire. Still nominally Roman, although Greek became the primary language used due to the geography.  

 

The Ottoman Empire wasn't founded until 1299 CE, and didn't defeat the Byzantine forces at Constantinople until 1453, a date often considered the final hurrah of the Roman Empire. 

 

Certainly there were eastern civilizations that pre-date the Romans considerably (Greeks, Babylonians, Hittites, Egyptians spring to mind...)  But not the Ottomans.

Fair enough! My memory could very well be faulty.   Perhaps I was thinking Greece instead.

 

I think Pantheon and the Colosseum is one of the oldest buildings in Rome still standing?  Many other buildings are underground or gone?  

Turkey has Ephesus (Kusadasi) which is very cool to see and very old.  Well worth a trip.

 

Either way, Turkey may be a bit challenging to see currently.  I was there 4 years ago, different times then.  Greece wasn't ideal to see at that time.  Amazing how things change.

 

I guess the point is, figure out which ports are most interesting.   And maybe keep mind open, after all, I didn't think I would enjoy Kusadasi.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I saw Ephesus, and seeing the Library and the ruins was stunning.

 

Edited by Jnsplace1
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Your question brings back fond memories or our first Med cruise.  It was "Grand Mediterranean" itinerary on Princess.  I think it was Barcelona to Venice.  The current itineraries for Princess' "Grand Med" cruises are different.   If you can find something that is maybe Venice to Rome (or vice versa) that might work well for you.  Anyway all good advice here from other posters.  

 

Additionally, I think you are already aware that flying around Europe is really easy.  So staying longer in places like Athens or Rome can be added from just about anywhere.    

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  • 2 weeks later...

The cruise you’re looking for sounds really similar to what we have booked for next June. It’s the 12-night Greek Odyssey cruise through Holland America. It starts in Rome and ends with an overnight in Venice. Here is the order of of ports:

 

Rome (Civitavecchia)

Naples (excursions to the Amalfi Coast possible)

Santorini

Kusadasi, Turkey

Heraklion, Crete

Athens (long day from 7 am to 11 pm, so plenty of time to fit lots in)

Nafplio

Katakolon (Olympia)

Corfu

Kotor, Montenegro 

Venice

 

It’s a very port-intensive cruise, which is what drew us to it. We wanted to see as much as possible, and this delivered. We’re starting on the front end with a couple days in Rome and ending with a couple days in Dubrovnik once the cruise is over since we’d like to see Croatia and this cruise doesn’t stop there. 

 

 

 

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Princess Cruises had a cruise that started in Barcelona and ended in Istanbul. We love the Med. The places we enjoyed the most were Venice, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Rhodes, Capri and Amalfi coast, Athens, Kusadasi and Istanbul. The cruise didn't include Rome, but I am pretty sure you can find some cruises that will include the majority of the ports you want to visit.

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