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Mediterranean Cruises
Old 09-24-2016, 12:21 PM   #1
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Mediterranean Cruises

My wife and I are thinking about a cruise in spring 2017 for about 10-15 days. Anyone have a cruise line they would recommend, something not wildly expensive. We'd likely leave from NY. Thanks.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:25 PM   #2
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I like Celebrity. I have not taken a "Mediterranean" cruise, but I have crossed the Atlantic and sailed into the Med on a relocation cruise, disembarking at Civitavecchia. There were numerous people on my cruise who were staying with the ship (Celebrity Constellation) while she cruised the eastern Mediterranean.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:16 PM   #3
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Pacific Princess-"Venetian Connoisseur" cruise; Venice RT; 12 days/10 ports. Great itinerary.

There are a couple choices in the Fall of 2017
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:30 PM   #4
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We too like Celebrity. and we took their 12 day Mediterranean cruise out of Rome in April to Malta, the Greek Isles, Turkey, Athens, & Crete--ending in Venice. The outside room price was right @ $1,233 per person including a $600 all you could drink package, all tips (room & dining) and a $75 credit for the shops. Any cheaper and they'd been paying us to go.

A year ago, we took a Baltic cruise from Copenhagen to all the Scandinavian countries and St. Petersburg, Russia with Norwegian Cruise Line. I suggest avoiding Norwegian as they're in transition after upper management changes. The food was terrible.

Both cruises were trips of a lifetime, as you can go a few days early and stay a few days after the trip's end.
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Old 09-24-2016, 01:45 PM   #5
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We too like Celebrity. and we took their 12 day Mediterranean cruise out of Rome in April to Malta, the Greek Isles, Turkey, Athens, & Crete--ending in Venice. The outside room price was right @ $1,233 per person including a $600 all you could drink package, all tips (room & dining) and a $75 credit for the shops. Any cheaper and they'd been paying us to go.

A year ago, we took a Baltic cruise from Copenhagen to all the Scandinavian countries and St. Petersburg, Russia with Norwegian Cruise Line. I suggest avoiding Norwegian as they're in transition after upper management changes. The food was terrible.

Both cruises were trips of a lifetime, as you can go a few days early and stay a few days after the trip's end.
I think you probably got on the ship as I disembarked!

One reason I like Celebrity is that they have a strong safety program, with crew resource management and other techniques adapted from the aviation industry. For the same reason, I would not travel with Costa.

I would love to do a Baltic cruise but based on what I have heard about Norwegian I might choose a different cruise line.
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:05 PM   #6
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I have taken 2 cruises with royal CAribbean and both were top notch. One cruise with Princess a month ago to Alaska and I would never take them again. The food was bad, toilets kept plugging up, leaks in hallways, some rooms, etc. You could not pay me to take another trip with them.
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:06 PM   #7
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If you like the Viking experience (quiet, midsize ships, with no kids or casinos) you'd enjoy their ocean cruises.

We took their Grand Mediterranean cruise last spring and had a wonderful time. The ship was very comfortable, the food excellent, and the sights well worth seeing.

Our cruise was a round trip - start and end in Barcelona. We arrived a couple of days early and enjoyed the extra time in Barcelona. So you are flying back and forth.

They don't really have "repositioning" cruises. They just build an itinerary around it. For example, they are bringing the Viking Star back from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean next February, so the 15 day trip leaves San Juan, stops in St. Martin, crosses the Atlantic, then stops at Madeira Island, Morocco, Cadiz, Valencia, then Barcelona.
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:56 PM   #8
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Costa and MSC are the cruise lines I would avoid. WE took an MSC cruise this summer and while it was ok, generally it felt a bit low rent. We took a RC cruise earlier this year and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:16 PM   #9
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Coupla yrs ago took air canada to barcelona, celebrity constellation to nice, cttavechia, naples, kusadashi, athens and home from istanbul. The ship is older but still a great trip. Took the sillouette on the baltic cruise, much better ship. This year took the millenium thru singapore, china vietnam, phillipines. Must be celebritys oldest ship and still great line.
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:24 PM   #10
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.....MSC are the cruise lines I would avoid.
2013, aboard the Celebrity Constellation, we became friendly with a Romanian lady crew member/cleaner, and chatted with her quite frequently.........she had crewed on MSC and had nothing good to say about the way they treated their employees, (whereas she enthused over Celebrity)...so much so that, rightly or wrongly, we were influenced enough that I doubt we'll ever set foot on one of their vessels.
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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We have done four Med cruises with Celebrity-10-14 days. I think that all but one were late bookings. All four were very good. We also did a last minute with RCI one way Rome-BCN. It was excellent.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:19 PM   #12
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My wife and I have been on so many cruises that we've lost count. And we only go when the fares are extremely low--and great bargains.

But we're totally burned out on the Eastern Caribbean--and will not be returning to the Mexican or Western Caribbean cruises.

That leaves the Med. cruises and Australia to New Zealand cruises of interest. The wife's wanting to cruise in the summer around the U.K., but fares seem pretty high.

It's tough being too well traveled.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:26 PM   #13
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I like Celebrity. I have not taken a "Mediterranean" cruise, but I have crossed the Atlantic and sailed into the Med on a relocation cruise, disembarking at Civitavecchia. There were numerous people on my cruise who were staying with the ship (Celebrity Constellation) while she cruised the eastern Mediterranean.
We did a similar repositioning cruise with Celebrity a couple years ago and loved it. Ship was the Reflection. Several very nice stops in Spain including 2 days in Barcelona. We stayed in Rome for 5 days after disembarking at Civitavecchia. Really nice trip and not very expensive. I'm not sure I would want to do the repositioning and then cruise the eastern Mediterranean. That's 25+ days on a ship. Too much for me. We'll eventually cruise the eastern Mediterranean, but we'll fly round-trip to Rome or Barcelona.
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Old 09-24-2016, 04:30 PM   #14
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DW and I took a 14 day Celebrity cruise from Rome to Israel, then Greece in 2012. It was by far the best of about a dozen cruises we've been on because of both the ship and itinerary. Booked last minute (month before cruise) and got a great deal on a balcony.

80% of cruisers were European, which we enjoyed. Would do it again if the opportunity came up. Mostly avoided the ship excursions and did our own after some research - glad we did that, much smaller group and more personalized tours. Met a few fellow travellers on Cruise Critic before sailing, that worked out well too.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:31 PM   #15
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Here are some of our experiences with some of the mainstream lines:

We did a eastern Med cruise on Celebrity 3 years ago out of Rome hitting Greece and Turkey. We've also sailed on them in Alaska and the Caribbean and are going on another eastern Med cruise with them in a few weeks.
What kept us coming back to Celebrity was that we really liked their service, food, and overall style. However, on the Cruise Critic boards, cruisers have chatted about some questionable changes such as trialing a la carte pricing for specialty dining, seemingly reducing staffing levels on ships, etc. They also seem to be creating 2 tiers of service (Aqua-class and above (ie suites) and below Aqua-class) with exclusive dining, venues, and other perks.
My friends just got back from a Celebrity cruise today and they didn't seem have concerns. I'm curious myself what our experience will be in a few weeks.

Celebrity generally tries to be fairly price disciplined and doesn't do a lot of discounting promos. However, they do release a half dozen or so discounted cruises roughly every Tuesdays with their Exciting deals promos. They can be hit or miss though and are generally past final payment days so you're basically locking in once you book. Celebrity seems to prefer to try to entice with perks like drink packages, on board credits, some free Internet, etc instead of discounting.

The missus took her parents on a couple of Med cruises on NCL. She didn't love the line but there are occasionally deals to be had. She paid ~$349CDN (pretax/fees) for 11 days in the eastern Med and ~$650 (pretax/fees) for 11 days in the western Med. The problem with NCL is that they seem to do a lot of nickel and diming. The food in the MDR wasn't great which kind of makes you want to buy the specialty dining. Many of the activities on board had fees.

She also took them on a Baltic cruise on Holland America and quite enjoyed it. While she didn't think the evening activities were very good, she feel other key items to be very good. The "free" (ie MDR) food was very good. Their itineraries seem to have very long stays in port. And the service was great.

We haven't sailed on Royal Caribbean in Europe but have in the Caribbean and Mexican Riviera. We like them. While we found the food quality going down a bit there seems to be a lot of activities on board. Kind of feels geared towards families though.
RC seems to have done a bit of price promoting the last few years such as buy one, get second person half off. Debatable if all of these discounts are truly a deal though.
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:31 PM   #16
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The missus took her parents on a couple of Med cruises on NCL. She didn't love the line but there are occasionally deals to be had. She paid ~$349CDN (pretax/fees) for 11 days in the eastern Med and ~$650 (pretax/fees) for 11 days in the western Med. The problem with NCL is that they seem to do a lot of nickel and diming. The food in the MDR wasn't great which kind of makes you want to buy the specialty dining. Many of the activities on board had fees.
Wow! What a deal.

At that price, I'm surprised she didn't have to "work" in the MDR.
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:27 PM   #17
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Wow! What a deal.

At that price, I'm surprised she didn't have to "work" in the MDR.
NCL has some pretty cheap deals some times. They're currently showing a couple of 10 day South American cruises for $199USD and $299USD (before taxes and fees of course). Wish the Canadian dollar was stronger.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:05 AM   #18
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They don't really have "repositioning" cruises. They just build an itinerary around it. For example, they are bringing the Viking Star back from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean next February, so the 15 day trip leaves San Juan, stops in St. Martin, crosses the Atlantic, then stops at Madeira Island, Morocco, Cadiz, Valencia, then Barcelona.
So....

Because of this discussion we ended up booking this for next February/March

Pretty good deal at $1999 each for a balcony room (well there aren't any rooms on this ship that don't have a balcony). It should be fun to see how we like being at sea for a week. Luckily their WiFi is excellent and you get all the wine/beer you can drink at meals. It's the same ship we were on last winter in the Mediterranean so we know it's comfortable.

We're going to tack on a couple of days on the front so we can get a wee bit of beach time in Porto Rico.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:08 AM   #19
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For those wanting to look online for cruises available, I watch the VacationsToGo.com website. Virtually every cruise in the world is posted there.

Sometimes the prices are good, and sometimes we can beat their deal at Avoya Travel where we have an independent travel agent.

On our last Celebrity cruise out of Rome, it cost us $1,299 per person (12 nights). We received $475 ship credit which covered all gratuities (room & waiters) and left quite a bit to spend in the ship's store. We also got free drink package which was over $700 per person. We got 2 free upgraded meals (birthday & anniversary), and it wasn't even our anniversary. If we received any more freebies, they'd have been paying us to go on the cruise. Deals are not like this every day, however.
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:28 AM   #20
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So....

Because of this discussion we ended up booking this for next February/March

Pretty good deal at $1999 each for a balcony room (well there aren't any rooms on this ship that don't have a balcony). It should be fun to see how we like being at sea for a week. Luckily their WiFi is excellent and you get all the wine/beer you can drink at meals. It's the same ship we were on last winter in the Mediterranean so we know it's comfortable.

We're going to tack on a couple of days on the front so we can get a wee bit of beach time in Porto Rico.
That's a pretty good deal - where did you manage to find it at that price?
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