European cruise suggestions?

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Apr 25th, 2017, 08:09 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2017
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European cruise suggestions?

My husband and I are considering a European cruise for our upcoming vacation. We are both in our early 30s and hoping a cruise might offer us an easy way to see a few different European countries and give us a little structure without necessarily having to be follow a tour group itinerary.

We've never been to Europe (or on a cruise!) so we're somewhat flexible on destinations as it will all be new to us, but we're especially interested in Belgium and Germany (though we wouldn't necessarily need to see both on this trip). We're pretty low-key travelers so we don't need access to a ton of activities, but we also don't mind being on a cruise ship where there's a lot of action as long as we can kind of pick and choose what we do.

I've looked at some little river cruises and seen itineraries from big cruise lines as well, but I'd love opinions from those who have taken a similar trip. Our past "big trips" have been to nice all inclusive resorts, but cruises are new to us.

Any recommendations?
pklw is offline  
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Apr 25th, 2017, 09:10 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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We did all AI's too until we began cruising and then its been all cruises ever since for the most part.

We've never done a river cruise or plan to as we like the big ship experience so much.

On any cruise ship you can do anything you want in the way of ship board activities. The only mandatory thing is the life boat drill.

I don't know of any big cruise ship that stops in Belgium and the only one I know that stops in Germany are some, not all of the Baltic sea cruises. However the Baltic is a great cruise and if you go in the summer you experience white nights as you are so far north it does not really get dark. The stops are amazing especially the usual two day stop in St. Petersburg. That is worth seeing believe me.

Other European options are the Med and the holy land. Either are great and we've done he Med twice and the holy land too. You can't go wrong really.

In short the stops on these big cruise line itineraries are port intensive which means there is a lot to see and do. However if you are in your 30's you will be fine. And I'll bet it won't be your last cruise either.

So look at itineraries and ships. The ship itself can make a big difference. The newer ones are packed with cool features and amenities. Maybe you can look at some then get back to us and get more help then as well.

Cheers, Larry. .
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Apr 27th, 2017, 07:33 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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This is kind of a hot button item. You will responses who hate cruises, thinks they are terrible ideas but they have never been on one.

I view European ocean cruising kind of like a travel smorgasbord. You have limited time in port so always used that time to scout out the city with assumption we will be back to tomorrow. Often took a hop on and off bus if available. Checked location of trains, TIs and other services with some light sightseeing much like you would do on your first day in a new city. Make some notes and enjoyed the city. We always make the assumption we will be back.

We treat cruises as a floating hotel. Get nearly the cheapest room - food and entertainment is same regardless of room type. We do enjoy the evening dinners with the other guests and often find that a high percentage of the guests are European. We have had some great conversations over the years. For us cruises has always been a fairly inexpensive and convenient way to see a lot of Europe quickly. What for deals.



When we first cruises we were similar to you.
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Apr 27th, 2017, 09:14 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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We have done both River Cruises and large ship cruises and like both. On the River Cruises you visit a lot of small and large cities on the varies rivers and you always see land. It is very relaxing. The large ship cruises that we have done have been in the Mediterranean and we also saw small cities and large cities, but more large cities. There are more activities at night on the large ships so if that is what you are looking for, I would go that route. We have cruised on Uniworld ships, Avalon ships and Oceania Ships. Enjoyed them all but liked Avalon the least.
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