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DC1979

Western Mediterranean or Baltic. Help!!

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I have to say I could go to the Mediterranean any number of times, once to the Baltic was enough.  We usually alternate - one Med, one something else, one Med, one something else and so on!  There is so much to see, and I do actually prefer the Western side of the Med.

Edited by Vict0riann

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5 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

They both have pluses and minuses. The Baltics itinerary is very standard. Does anyone know whether the Nieuw Amsterdam actually sails up through the archipelago and docks IN Stockholm or (as a larger ship) do they have to dock at Nynashamn, which is not ideal...

 

Also, trying to go to Berlin from the port in Warnemunde makes for a very long (and in my opinion) unsatisfactory day -- but there are other options from that port, such as Rostock.

 

The Western Med itinerary is kind of "meh" for me. But you have the opportunity to spend time in Rome, which is always a big plus. The port in Livorno is about 90 minutes from Florence; Pisa is a bit closer (about 45 minutes by train, I think).  Marseilles is a good gateway for places like Avignon or Arles. Barcelona is great. The others are nice, but not showstoppers, IMO.  October in the Western Med is less crowded, but you do run the slight risk of more rainy weather.

 

 

I’ve done the Baltics twice and I have to say, cruisemom summed it up quite well.  Her points about the archipelago (I bonded them ) are very important.

 

When we were in Warnemunde, I arranged a group to go to Berlin (DH wanted to go) and another small group to go to Rostock and about Warnemunde.  We learned a lot about history and saw some enchanting sights.  DH went on a very long bus ride and got a glimpse of Berlin.  They did enjoy their Berlin tour but he said in retrospect, he would have preferred to spend more time and a different way there.

 

How many nights are you in St Petersburg?  One overnight or two?  That also makes a difference.

 

5 hours ago, DC1979 said:

I did consider that, although I am a bit of an anomaly here. I notice most people on this board tend to prefer the smaller ships (and I understand why they do) but honestly I’m not a fan. I was on the Rynadam (the older one) and I totally didn’t like the ship.  Westerdam was ok, but I much preferred Nieuw Amsterdam and especially the  Koningsdam. I find there’s more to do and I prefer the restaurant choices (I swear I could eat at the Tamarind everyday lol).
 

I am starting to lean more and more towards the Baltic cruise! 

 

Nothing wrong with the bigger ships and a lot of people on the boards do like them but larger numbers can lead to longer lineups in St. Petersburg when you have to go through their customs and immigration.  Not a pleasant experience but a necessity.

 

Either itinerary is a nice one - St Petersburg will overwhelm you with beauty and the ostentatiousness.  The other ports not as much but they are beautiful and if you are doing the real scenic cruising to Stockholm, it’s incredible.

 

Personally, I think the Baltics is an experience everyone should do at least once.  Keep in mind that the weather can be much different than the Med and it can also be surprising so go planning on layers and dress according to what weather awaits you.

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2 hours ago, MAVIP said:

Excuse me....you are serious? Rome, Florence, Lucca, Monaco, Nice, Marseille, Barcelona, Cartagena, Gibraltar, Cadiz. No history, no culture, no buildings? 

I guess I am not allowed to disagree with your tastes....people do have different points of view from you.

 

But in any event, we started in Rome, and had several days there. We also visited Florence as part of Western Med route.

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Guess you will be good either way!  We love the Med too, and have spent over three months cruising there as well as probably more than a year travelling on land trips.  I do find the Med usually more relaxing but it can also be extremely busy depending what you choose to do.

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Guess you will be good either way!  We love the Med too, and have spent over three months cruising there as well as probably more than a year travelling on land trips.  I do find the Med usually more relaxing but it can also be extremely busy depending what you choose to do.

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I went ahead and booked the Baltic cruise.  I do hope to do the Western Mediterranean sometime for sure, but having just done the Eastern Mediterranean, I felt like it would be better to do the Baltic cruise next so I can see an entirely different part of Europe. I am very excited for the cruise...thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions!  🙂 

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40 minutes ago, DC1979 said:

I went ahead and booked the Baltic cruise.  I do hope to do the Western Mediterranean sometime for sure, but having just done the Eastern Mediterranean, I felt like it would be better to do the Baltic cruise next so I can see an entirely different part of Europe. I am very excited for the cruise...thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions!  🙂 

Congrats!  It's so exciting and I'm confident you will have a great time.  I'll like my photo review from 2017 so you can take a look if you want.  Like I said, it was the same itinerary except our voyage was 12 nights as we overnighted in Stockholm and Copenhagen in addition to St. Petersburg; the port stops should be identical though.  

 

This remains one of my favourite cruises and I hope to repeat it someday.  If you have any questions, fee free to ask.

 

 

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11 hours ago, DC1979 said:

I went ahead and booked the Baltic cruise.  I do hope to do the Western Mediterranean sometime for sure, but having just done the Eastern Mediterranean, I felt like it would be better to do the Baltic cruise next so I can see an entirely different part of Europe. I am very excited for the cruise...thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions!  🙂 

 

You will enjoy this I am sure.  Have a great cruise 🙂 

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22 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

The Western lacks the history...culture...buildings....that the Eastern has. By the way...doing a 24 day Eastern this summer.

 

The Baltic has a new and different history, culture, etc, from the Med.

Absolute tosh!

 

Barcelona, Cartagena, Murcia ( excursion from Cartagena), Pisa, Tuscany, Roma are World-Class destinations as as anything in the Eastern Med.  Also more diverse culture in The Western Med. Than in the Eastern. Athens is a dirty place, Mykonos, Sntorini is just IG fun and tourist trap shops, Istanbul is great though. And yes, I am European with extensive travel experience around the Med.

 

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14 hours ago, DC1979 said:

I went ahead and booked the Baltic cruise.  I do hope to do the Western Mediterranean sometime for sure, but having just done the Eastern Mediterranean, I felt like it would be better to do the Baltic cruise next so I can see an entirely different part of Europe. I am very excited for the cruise...thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions!  🙂 

I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.  The Baltic cruise is fabulous, and you can do the Med again in a few years.  Please come back here and tell us all about it.

Happy cruising.

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17 minutes ago, Despegue said:

Absolute tosh!

 

Barcelona, Cartagena, Murcia ( excursion from Cartagena), Pisa, Tuscany, Roma are World-Class destinations as as anything in the Eastern Med.  Also more diverse culture in The Western Med. Than in the Eastern. Athens is a dirty place, Mykonos, Sntorini is just IG fun and tourist trap shops, Istanbul is great though. And yes, I am European with extensive travel experience around the Med.

 

 

And now I feel this is going too much in the other way...

 

Athens may be a "dirty place" (really??  if so, then Rome is also, but so what?), but some of the most uplifting travel experiences I've had have been being one of the very first visitors at the Acropolis on a fresh fall morning and having it to myself for a few minutes -- being able to ponder the human spirit and will to accomplish such a masterpiece as the Parthenon. Or visiting the museum in the stoa in the Greek agora where one can see actual written evidence of democracy in action -- the ostrakha that were used to ostracize various politicians that were getting too big for their britches. And the HUGE treasure trove of ancient history found in the Athens Archaeological Museum -- including the gold from Mycenae, the incredible kraters and drinking vessels cleverly painted, the sculpture, the frescoes from Akrotiri....

 

Mykonos -- I am longing to go back and spend more time at Delos, which is an amazing site of which few realize the significance. Not only an early Greek sanctuary but also an epicenter of the Roman world in that it was probably (and shamefully) one of the largest slave markets in the Mediterranean.

 

Santorini -- Akrotiri, anyone?  This site captured my mind years ago when I was in college and saw a film about the frescoes which had only just been discovered. The wonderful representations in them that bring a long-vanished civilization to life so marvelously made me want to visit Santorini post-haste, and although I didn't get there for decades after, the thrill was just as great.

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, DC1979 said:

I went ahead and booked the Baltic cruise.  I do hope to do the Western Mediterranean sometime for sure, but having just done the Eastern Mediterranean, I felt like it would be better to do the Baltic cruise next so I can see an entirely different part of Europe. I am very excited for the cruise...thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions!  🙂 

Congratulations, our Baltic cruise was our favorite cruise. And, yes do the Western Mediterranean another year. Standing by the Acropolis is just an amazing experience. Rome has so much to offer. And Florence, getting my art teacher wife the experience of being in Florence was just wonderful.

 

A hint for a Baltic cruise---check out your roll call. See if anyone is looking for others to join on a private tour, or be the one looking for others to join you after you do your research and see which private tour appeals most to you. 

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On 2/5/2020 at 5:19 AM, DC1979 said:

I’m looking at two different itineraries for 2021 and wanted to get the advice of the experts.  I’m looking at either:

 

Jewels  of the Baltic on the Nieuw Statendam in June, going from Copenhagen to Tallinn, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Berlin and Hamburg 

 

or

 

Mediterranean Dream on the Nieuw Statendam in October, going from Rome to Monte Carlo, Provence, Barcelona, Cartagena, Gibraltar, Pisa

 

Both are for 10 days.  In May 2019 we did the Eastern Mediterranean on the Koningsdam for 12 days.  Loved the ship and loved the cruise but now am torn on doing the Western Mediterranean or seeing a new area altogether and doing the Baltics.  Any help on my conundrum? Thanks!! 

We were on the Oosterdam in Jan. They had a big promotion going on for certain Europe sailings in 2021. I think it goes to the end of February. $800 pp air credit, OBC credit, signature drink package, free gratuities and suites get free internet and more OBC. 
We booked it and I got a bump out veranda cabin. The trip is 14 days Jewels of the Baltic starting and ending in Amsterdam on May 9, 2021. 
I wanted to go up the Amazon, but couldn’t pass this up. We have never been to Europe, but are 4 star mariners. 

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