best cruise line for Mediterranean?

Jan 1st, 2007, 12:02 PM
  #1  
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best cruise line for Mediterranean?

We're a couple in our early 70's, healthy and fit. Would appreciate feedback on choices for upscale cruise line. Looking for spacious and handsome staterooms (must have king bed), but not "snotty" company. What I guess we're looking for is "luxurious" without being "fancy" if that makes sense. Thank you.
poss is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 11:55 PM
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HAL, Princess, P & O, Celebrity, Oceania, plenty of lines.
Check them online or through a good agent.
Ida101 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 05:29 AM
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Altho not as priced as "upscale"
I think you will find the HAL brand
quite to your looking. This line
tends to have classicial pianists
and entertainment that would not
speak to, say, the lower societal
eschelon.
Rhea58 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 06:26 AM
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Poss, we have been on several Mediterranean cruises and our favorite thus far was on Regent. They're an upscale line but no snobbishness whatsoever. They may have a formal night but you can always opt out of this by eating in the always casual restaurant or ordering room service. The cabins are all suites with king size bed (or 2 singles if some prefer).
pjammin123 is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 06:30 AM
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Celebrity and Oceania would be good choices though I am not sure about them avoiding the "lower societal
eschelon" whatever that means. I think I'll dig out my old sociology texts to do some research. Whew!

jacketwatch is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 08:07 AM
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We just returned in October from our 14 day Istanbul to Venice cruise with Oceania. Ports were the Greeks isles plus Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily, Amalfi Coast.

My thoughts - Advantages: (1) Smaller ship with approx 600 passengers who were all very friendly, well traveled and enjoyable to be around. Ages ranged from early 50's to early 80's. (2) No formal nights. Everything is "country club casual" at night which means dressy outfits (not formal) for women and slacks and collared shirts for men (sport coats optional). (3) Open seating in the restaurants (except for speciality restaurants that required reservations). Food was great (4) Decor was beautiful. (5) Could bring aboard our own wine/liquor for cabin consumption. Disadvantages: (1) Size of cabins. They are small. You need to opt for a least a penthouse for decent space. Learned our lesson there. (2) If you're looking for great entertainment, not there, although there was a great string quartet playing in the lounge area. On the other hand, we were so tired from seeing all the sights we didn't mind doing a quiet night in our cabin on our verandah.

Overall, we loved being on a smaller ship after trying NCL and Celebrity. It was wonderful. Considered it a step up from Celebrity. We will definetly cruise witht hem again. Next time, we would just opt for the penthouse level.
patandhank is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 08:19 AM
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I am not an seasoned travelor but I must admit my husband and I loved Costa cruises. It was a step up from HAL in our opinion. The announcements in 4 languages got weary after awhile but hey! We met great people from all over and had wonderful food and activities including a golf pro on board - but that was 5 years ago. Good luck - Eileen
eileyann is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 10:10 AM
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I do not consider Costa to be an upscale line in any way, nor does the industry in general. They are a budget line.

HAL does offer spacious and gracious staterooms and service and would be a great choice for you, if you enjoy a traditional cruising experience on a more formal line.

Celebrity is nice as well but is having issues with ship maintenance. I do not find their accomodations to be luxurious unless in the best suites and still not as nice as HAL.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 10:47 AM
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We recently cruised on the Tahitian Princess which is the same ship basically as what is in Oceanias fleet. Patandhanks observations about a ship of this size is right on the mark. I will add that you will feel sea motion to a greater extent on a ship of this smallish size but the Med is usually calm so this shouldn't pose a problem. You wil also, logically, see the same people more often due to the smaller passenger capacity so it promotes a more friendly atmosphere. The stage on the Tahitian was small and the productions were a bit limited due to size constraints but that really wasn't an issue either. You are going for the Med, not the onboard shows. Oceania is a good option for you I think. As for Costa to each their own though I agree with kfusto in her assessment. I don't equate them in the same class as HAL, X, or Princess. Cheers, Larry
jacketwatch is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 12:23 PM
  #10  
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Thanks for the many and detailed responses. I've been doing some looking at the various websites, and I think that Regent or Oceania may be oour best fit. We wouldn't be happy with assigned seating, for instance-- and I like the idea of being able to have a table just for two if we'd prefer on some nights. We tend to go to sleep early, so I don't think we'd catch any of the shows, so entertainment doesn't matter to us.
I'd love to hear from people who maybe have cruised with both Regent and Oceania who might be able to give more comparisons/contrasts.
Thanks so much!
poss is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 12:31 PM
  #11  
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Ooops! I just checked the Oceania website again, and they seem not to have king beds. Alas, that leaves them out of the picture for us. Too bad because in other respects it's appealing.
poss is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Poss: For tons of passenger reviews try this web site:
www.cruisecritic.com.
jacketwatch is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 06:02 AM
  #13  
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jacketwatch: thanks very much. In fact, I do use that site and agree that it's terrific. The one drawback is that each line seems to have its boosters, so that it's sometimes difficult to get the kind of cmparison/contrast I'm hoping for. I'm disappointed that Oceania doesn't have king beds. I guess our choices are limited.
poss is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 08:16 AM
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I welcome anyone's advice:
Tom and I want to take a Mediterranean cruise for 10 days in late May or early June. (Greece, Italy...)
We do want luxury, however, we are not inclined to desire formalilty on a vacation. Is there such a thing? We are both sensitive to seasickness so a larger ship is a must. Does such a cruiseline exist?
melissawelsch is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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melissawelch: Absolutely! Regent is the ticket. Awesome suites, no formal nights on most all sailings, great food and service, open dining with wine included,as well as tips and drinks.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 24th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Dear kfusto,

I'm intrigued by what I've read about Regent. One concern: on Fodor's review, there seems to be an emphasis on dressing for dinner. I am all for that IF I'm not on vacation. We love St. Bart's for this very reason: country club casual is appropriate at all times, or less What is your opinion of the formality of Regent?
Thank you!!
melissawelsch is offline  
Jan 27th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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We cruised on NCL's the Jewel last summer and the ship was amazing!
auntdab is offline  
Jan 28th, 2007, 06:02 AM
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Country club casual is the everynight dress on most Regent cruises. some will have a formal night but not many anymore and there is always an alternative restaurant.

What I like about Regent is that people are not dressed like slobs. They do not puch the envelope and wear cargo shorts and flip flops to dinner. Some men will bring a sport coat (my husband does) and wear that one or two nights.

On most cruise lines these days, people dress like I do to work in the yard. Regent attracts a well dressed yard that understand that CCC is just that and that ball caps and flip flops are not included.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 29th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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Definitely check Crystal cruiseline. We did a Mediterranean cruise on them about 5 years ago - and it was completely fabulous - in all aspects. It's not over the top fancy - complete understated elegance, and the staff on the ship are amazing.
Debi is offline  
Jan 30th, 2007, 02:41 AM
  #20  
 
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Crystal does enforce their dress code in the evenings throughout the ship and they do have formal nights. I would consider them "fancy" and some call them "snobby" as well.

Read the many reviews at cruisecritic before you make a decision.
kfusto is offline  

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