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First time to italy


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I am interested in taking a cruise to italy with my daughter who is 23. Can anyone recommend a good first time to italy cruise?

 

My DH and I just went to Europe for the first time on the Emerald Princess this past July and August. You can read about our trip here. It might give you some ideas.:) http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=824560

 

Janet

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I know that the people who read these boards are cruise enthusiasts, and I loved my recent Istanbul-Athens cruise. However, I thoroughly believe that to truly see just Italy for the first time, if that is your wish, a land vacation is far superior.

 

Yes, I can see why Venice would be nice on a cruise, but so many of the areas a tourist would wish to visit on a first trip are very far away from anywhere a cruise ship could venture, thus requiring lengthy bus or train rides from the port. I read these boards and hear about the hours people spend in transit to get just a few hours in Florence, let alone Siena, Pisa or anywhere else in Tuscany, and even efforts to reach Rome, and I don't get it. Italy has fantastic public transportation, the kiosks where you buy tickets at the train stations all have English programming, people in the main tourist areas speak great English, etc. Yes, you only unpack once and have the same bed to adjust to, but using, for example, Florence as a base, you can truly explore Tuscany, using Venice as a base, you easily can visit Verona and Padua, etc.

 

I know many would say a cruise gives you a taste, and you can go back again more in depth, and I truly understand the convenience when visiting water intensive places like the Greek islands, but why circle Italy and miss so much?

 

Thanks in advance for your reasoned replies. I truly do not mean to provoke, but cannot understand.

 

Cordially,

Pam

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I can only respond to the last post by saying " THE ORIGINAL POSTER ASKED WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CRUISE to Italy......not whether it is best to do land or cruise.

 

My answer to her question is that everyone has their own opinion as to the best time to cruise in this area and you will get lots of opinions to follow, I am sure :) and here is mine ;)

 

We loved our trip at the very end of November last year. The prices were soooooo low, there was no crowds, lines or traffic to deal with (as in the summer months) and the weather was gorgeous - nice and cool for the copious amounts of walking/sightseeing to be done (also unlike the heat in the summer months). Now some will argue that summer is better.....nice beach weather for those areas where a beach visit is warranted. But we decided we werent there for the beach anyway (we live on the beach) and couldnt pass up the savings on not only the cruise prices, but also the hotels etc. were cheaper since it was "off" season.

 

Would I never travel to Europe in the summer ? Sure - in a heartbeat. But it will cost me more :(

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Texancruiser, you are even more off point than I. Please reread the original poster's request. Nowhere did she ask when to cruise to Italy, but was asking for recommendations for a cruise. I simply recommended that a first-timer to Italy only do a land trip, not a cruise.

 

BTW, I should add the food in Italy is fantastic, and you won't get as much opportunity to try it if you are cruising!

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I've done both and think it depends on what type of vacation you want. If you cruise you can get a 'taste' of italy but I don't know how much in depth exploration you can do with only a few hours in each port.

 

I can't get enough of Italy and was really happy when my sis finished her master's we travelled for 5 weeks just in Italy. On the way we met people that were doing 9 countries in a few weeks. Not that that's bad either but we wanted to concentrate on one country. This Nov we are taking another cruise but spending a week ahead of time to revisit Venice and Rome. I could probably spend a week in each city. This will be my third visit to each and I know I haven't seen everything I want to see!

 

Again different ways to travel, none of them wrong. It just depends on what you are looking for in a vacation.

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My read on it is that the OP is asking which cruise LINE to use! And I am going to recommend Oceania. They have a cruise, can't remember the name, Iberian something, which I would have loved to do--90% is in Italy, and since they have small ships they can get into ports that the big boys don't go.

 

If I could have afforded it I would have done it in a heartbeat. Upscale cruise line, supposedly good to excellent food, and lovely ships.

 

The only reason I am going again on Celebrity is because the price is so much less than a land based trip--plusses and minuses both ways.

 

Cathy

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I am interested in taking a cruise to italy with my daughter who is 23. Can anyone recommend a good first time to italy cruise?

 

Here is my recommendation: Find a port-intensive cruise line like Oceania or Azamara. Both of these lines sail the smaller (685-pax) "R" class ships and have itineraries that make stops at mostly Italian ports - with a day or two of Croatia and/or Greece along the way.

 

I would suggest finding a Venice-to-Rome or Rome-to-Venice itinerary and plan on tacking a few extra Venice days onto the beginning (or ending) of your cruise. Then on the other end of your cruise, schedule 5 or 6 land days in Tuscany where you can schedule your own time for cities like Siena, Orvieto, Florence, etc. Oh yeah, be sure to spend a couple of days in Rome, too. It takes some leg work to do the land portion, but it's well worth it. I recommend Rick Steves' Italy book as a basic reference tool.

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I am interested in taking a cruise to italy with my daughter who is 23. Can anyone recommend a good first time to italy cruise?

 

 

I think anytime you can get to Italy and cruise is a good time :D

 

Summer is hot and crowded, but not so much it is unbearable.

 

I would suggest decide if Italy is all you really want to see or perhaps take the opportunity to explore more of Europe; France, Spain Greece, Turkey or even Egypt. Many cruise lines offer Italy and those mentioned countries too!

 

There are many similar itinerarys being offered by almost all the major cruise companies. Since the Med is more about the ports then ships I would suggest decide which are the ports you just must see then find the shipline that sail it and match them up with the dates you are available. Sure Carnival, Costa, Princess, RCI are all different but on such a port intensive cruise my personal opinion its the tours and tour companies you select will be what makes the trip most memorable.

 

Happy planning!

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Hi Cintipam

 

Thanks for your post.

 

We (hubby and I) are going to Italy in April. We want to see Italy and (Paris/Prague) and maybe a week in Spain and finish with a cruise We'll see what's on last minute specials).

 

We were going to do a tour of Italy but my son has talked me out of it.

What would you consider are the must sees?

Obviously Florence, Venice, Rome.

I don't hear many people talking about the Amalfi coast. I thought that was supposed to be great.

I've still got a long way to go with my planning (obviously).

I tried to send you a Private message but that doesn't seem possible.

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We took our first Med. cruise last summer on the Legend of the Seas from Rome. We had been to Rome many years before and were looking forward to the opportunity to spend some more time in that beautiful city. We spent 4 nights in Rome pre-cruise and 2 nights post-cruise. Had an amazing time. One of the reasons we decided on RCI's Legend of the Seas was that it included Egypt and seeing the Pyramids was a lifelong dream.

The cruise was fabulous and we are hooked on Med. cruises so are returning next year to sail from Barcelona on RCI's Brilliance of the Seas -- I will finally get to Venice!:D

Photos and cruise review in the links below.

Kathy:)

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We are excited, and leave Monday, and have combined a land tour as well as a cruise. It is true, the planning is long, but we first found the cruise we wanted, and it is port intensive on Grand Princess from Venice to Rome. We then filled in the rest with starting in Milan and renting a car, going to cinque terre for 2 days, Florence for 3 days, Verona, Padua and winding up in Venice for 2 days. After the cruise, we will spend 4 days in Rome before flying home. We have checked the CC boards for tour ideas from the cruise and have a great tour planned in Naples to include the Amalfi coast! So, you really can see alot if you have the time to plan.

 

We also look forward to it being a little off season, so should not be quite so crowded. We selected this ship and cruise because the stops in port were for a full day. When we looked at some of the cruises, the port time was only half a day or not enough time to really see much. When we found this cruise, we liked the idea of full days in port as we were trying to see as much as possible.

 

Good luck with all your planning....it is fun!! Especially now, when we will get to experience it all!

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