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Having second thoughts about a Mediterranean cruise end of Oct/first of Nov

Having second thoughts about a Mediterranean cruise end of Oct/first of Nov

Jan 13th, 2014, 01:48 PM
  #1  
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Having second thoughts about a Mediterranean cruise end of Oct/first of Nov

I just put a deposit to hold a cabin for an Ocean Princess two week cruise beginning in Athens on Oct 26 and ending in Venice on Nov 9th. Our friends are already booked and when I found out there were less than 5 balcony cabins left I decided to hold a cabin with a refundable deposit.

Now I am having second thoughts about cruising so late in the year. Daylight saving time ends on Oct 26, the day the cruise starts, so we will have sunsets at about 5:30pm. I've looked at several sites showing historical weather data for the Greek Islands but I can't really get a sense of what to expect. While I don't mind cool I'm not thrilled with rain when most of the sights we want to see are outdoors.

Since the cruise is almost sold out I'm thinking there are many people who think this is a good time to cruise the Eastern Mediterranean I would appreciate any personal experiences you've had or opinions about cruising the Greek Islands in the late fall. Thanks, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jan 13th, 2014, 02:10 PM
  #2  
 
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We've done several late fall Med cruises and loved them. What ports do u visit?

We visited Istanbul and Ephesus mid Nov. and it was really lovely, weather was mild. The thing I really like is that there are less crowds that time of year and you can see more in the ports. I would still consider keeping the booking. If I can assist you in any of your ports please let me know. Also go to www.cruisecritic.com and go to the Roll Call for your cruise and see who else is cruising and what might be planned for tours, etc.

Good luck.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2014, 02:51 PM
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Check out how late they cruise this route, or is it year-around? This may answer your question.
Dayenu is offline  
Jan 13th, 2014, 03:02 PM
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luv2, we will not be visiting Istanbul but we are going to Ephesus. I appreciate your comments. The ports are Crete, Kusadasi, Santorini, Argostoli, Itea, Tunis, Malta Dubrovnik plus Rome and Naples. I would love to hear any recommendations you have for the cruise. It's our first time visiting this region.


I do use cruise critic but I thought the opinions there might be rather biased since the roll call would be people already booked on the cruise. I didn't want to seem like I was questioning their judgement Thanks again, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jan 13th, 2014, 04:02 PM
  #5  
 
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Cruise critic is a great spot since the folks there are dedicated cruisers and have lots to offer. We cruised last Med route with Oceania a couple of years ago from BCN to LIS. Weather was warm, sunny and no rain. Not beach weather but just fine. Your routing is pretty southerly except maybe for Dubtov. so you would probably be ok. In Ephesus do not miss the terrance houses, some tours both ship and others do not include them. If you want a recc. for an Ephesus tour try "Hello Ephesus". Ships tours tend to be more expensive and we only did the Tunis and a Morroco one. Glad we did as the guides kept the touts away and there were lots..Other ports we arranged our own, did some with cruise critic folks or just wandered on our own..
amer_can is offline  
Jan 14th, 2014, 12:59 AM
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The list of ports are great. The weather maybe cool at night on some places but you wouldn't be ashore anyway. We did a Med Cruise in early October a few years back and we prefer it over the summer (July/August) cruises. Much smaller crowd, especially at places such as Ephesus.

Don't remember much about the detailed weather except it was cool at night in Rome. The cruise ended in Rome and we stayed a few extra days. Temperature maybe 55-65F? We had light wind breaker type of jackets on and it was fine, but we saw locals wearing much heavier jackets. Don't recall rain at all through the trip, but weather being weather and will be unpredictable.

Ocean Princess is a smaller ship. We were on the Pacific Princess which is the same size, 680 passengers only. You will find the entertainment weaker than the mega ships but you will love the library and the attention / service you will get form the staff. A lot of wood all over the place, it is not your typical Princess Mega ship with the grand piazza etc. When we booked on that ship DW worried about the size but in the end, it was one of the more memorable ships that we were on. Both were originally R Class vessels from Renaissance Cruises. There were 8 of them in all and both Azamara ships are R class, and Oceania operates two R class as well. Of course, both Azamara and Oceania cruises are considered more "luxury" cruise lines.

Another benefit of the small ships (and the time of year) is that you won't be fighting with the crowd. We have been through Ephesus a couple times and the later date was much better. Less crowd, more time to stroll and visit. Make sure the Terrace houses is part of your excursion in Ephesus. It is an extra charge venue within the Ephesus ruins.

We also enjoyed Dubrovnik very much, obviously the old Medieval town, and Cavtat nearby. We ended up spending quite a bit of time in Cavtat before returning to the ship.

We stayed at Venice last summer after the cruise for a few extra days as well. We stayed outside of Venice near the airport on the country side and took the bus daily going into Venice. You might want to consider it instead of staying at a hotel inside Venice.

I wouldn't cancel if I were you, especially if you get a good deal. You will enjoy the ship and the ports.

I have posted trip report on both East Med cruise here. You find them by going to the profile and look under trip reports posted.
Eschew is offline  
Jan 14th, 2014, 02:27 PM
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We've cruised that region twice in Oct/Nov and its perfect then. It's not hot nor crowded. I say go! For us that's the best time.
jacketwatch is offline  
Jan 14th, 2014, 07:03 PM
  #8  
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Thank you for the positive comments. It's good to hear from people who have been on this size of ship and have visited at the same time of year. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jan 14th, 2014, 08:36 PM
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We've done 2 Med cruises on Oceania in late Oct-early Nov. Venice was cool and rainy, and we didn't need shorts anywhere, but it most places we were comfortable in cotton slacks and shirts. I'd take that weather over the heat of August anytime.
abram is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 04:46 AM
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We cruise the Med area in April and Oct to avoid crowds, enjoy better weather and overall better experience. We will do a 18 Med cruise on Norwegian Jade Oct 25 to Nov 12-Rome, Venice, Dubrovnik, Split, Naples, Tunis, Monaco, Sicily. Have you looked at www.shorebee.com for great info?
jan47ete is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 05:30 AM
  #11  
 
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"luv2, we will not be visiting Istanbul but we are going to Ephesus. I appreciate your comments. The ports are Crete, Kusadasi, Santorini, Argostoli, Itea, Tunis, Malta Dubrovnik plus Rome and Naples. I would love to hear any recommendations you have for the cruise. It's our first time visiting this region."

You have received some nice comments/recommendations from others that have done Med cruise the time you would be going. I say go and enjoy the cruise, the weather will be beautiful, not too hot, not crowded, more positives than negatives!

We have been to Santorini and absolutely loved it there. Stunning scenery on the funicular ride to the top. Wouldn't recommend the donkey rides as others have said it's fun but the donkeys are "messy". LOL We took a tour of the island but you can easily do it on your own. I can find the name of the tour guide. I organized the tour myself and had 15 people from the Roll Call sign it. We had a lovely day. We went to a winery and the views were outstanding.

We also visited Oia (pronounced Ia) and the views there are stunning as well. You can take the local bus there as well.

Dubrovnik - have not been there but the walk along the wall is nice to do. Here is a website for you:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/95

http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/desti.../dubrovnik.htm

ROME: my all-time favorite place to visit. We did a tour of Vatican first time we were there and I had a private tour guide (www.angeltoursrome.com) plan our visit. It's about a 1.5 hr. from Civitavecchia port into Rome and traffic can be horrendous. You can take the train or find a private transport to share w/ other shipmates. I can give you names of private tour guides/drivers if you like. So much to see in the short day in Rome. I would suggest Vatican/St. Peter's Basilica; Colosseum, and perhaps a couple of other attractions, time permitting. Don't forget to try some gelato, to die for.

Naples - my friend's favorite port. We did a tour here as well. I can get info for you if you like. We visited Pompeii our first visit to Naples. Again, much to do and see in Naples. Known for it's pizza.

Perhaps others can advise on the other ports. I would be very happy to assist you in your planning as I have lots of info saved and I like to do research. I definitely would not cancel the cruise if you got a good price!! Go and you will be completely hooked on Europe as my husband and I are.

May
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 05:34 AM
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One other comment - I use Cruise Critic to plan my cruises, wealth of info there from others. Get private tour guides, Roll Call info on sharing tours, etc. The purpose of the Roll Calls is to share information, find out who else is cruising w/ you, tour sharing, etc. You will become good friends w/ your shipmates before you board the ship. Sign up for the "Meet and Mingle" get together which is usually organized by someone and info posted on CC. Yes, of course, you will be both positives and negatives about the ship, cruising, etc. but take it all w/ a grain of salt and soak up all that info. Your brain will go on overload!
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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Re Donkey rides in Santorini. Below is a paragraph from my old TR ....

"Last stop was Fira, the capital. There are 3 ways to go to Skala, where the tender will take you back to the ship. You can walk down the 800 steps (20 minutes) or take the donkey ride. We walked down the path for about a minute for the view and headed back up to Fira. We also decided against the donkey ride and took the third option down, which is the cable car. As a rained a bit earlier on, the pathway was wet and slippery and brown. The brown stuff is from the donkeys as donkeys are not toilet trained. The brown stuff got mushy after the animal and people stepped on it. Some people had walked up the steps from Skala. Definitely not recommended for people not in good physical shape."

And this was Dayenu's replied ...
"The brown stuff is from the donkeys as donkeys are not toilet trained. The brown stuff got mushy after the animal and people stepped on it." so this is what I should expect in Santorini? We're going!

Go have some fun!
Eschew is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Eschew, OMG, dying laughing! Luv it. I thought I'd be a bit more tactful but u and Dayenu tell it like it is. We had a friend on the ship decide to walk down and when we had dinner that night we asked her how the donkey walk was and she laughed and said "never again". LOL

DeborahAnn, I think it's settled then, u gotta go on that cruise so u can see the "donkey walk". LOL
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2014, 10:45 PM
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Luv2travel15: We have been to Santorini a couple times as it is on most eastern Mediterranean itinerary. The passage above was from my 2010 Holyland Trip Report, on the Pacific Princess in October. The weather was very comfortable. Kusadasi, Santorini, Rome and Sorrento (Naples) were covered in this TR. The link is here: http://www.fodors.com/community/crui...in-october.cfm

The second time we were in Santorini was last August and we did the volcanic hike in the morning. The temperature was unbearable. 90F+ and humid. We took the cable car up to Fira from Skala and came back down the same way. The cost of the cable car is 4 euros per person each way.

Kusadasi, Santorini, Dubrovnik, Rome and Naples werer covered on this Trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/crui...rrek-isles.cfm

BTW, my posts have tons of typos as the fingers wouldn't do what the brain told them to do. Sometimes, the typos have hilarious comedic results, always good for a laugh.
Eschew is offline  
Jan 16th, 2014, 10:07 AM
  #16  
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Thanks for the links and for the helpful comments Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jan 27th, 2014, 10:28 AM
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We departed Athens on 24 Oct. last year and had beautiful weather for two weeks. only 1 day of rain, and that was really just an afternoon shower in Venice. Go for it.
boom_boom is offline  
Jan 28th, 2014, 01:19 PM
  #18  
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Thanks boom boom, I certainly hope we will be as fortunate as you regarding weather. Do you remember if losing the daylight saving time made a difference in your port excursion plans? Thanks for the positive encouragement. Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 04:51 AM
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We went toward the end of October in 2010. The weather was cooler in many places, for sure. We were not able to get into Dubrovnik due to the weather and rough seas. Our last port was Venice. I had looked to forward to Venice but the streets were flooded, had to wear boots, it was cold damp and foggy for the few days we were there. Venice due to weather was the a disappointment to me.

I loved Rome my favorite place EVER!!! it just captured my heart--We did the other greek Islands and we did the Almalfi Coast which was great. Also Turkey. It was a memorable vacation and I will never forget. The prices were lower and of course due to the dampness or cooler temps that is why you will need a coat for sure. I hope this helps. I would go and take my chances. I also highly recommend "roll call" on cruise critic. You will find many repeat visitors who are seeking to put together tours of people they know and have used previously. We did that and saved a lot of money.
diann24 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2014, 01:22 AM
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I sure hope you hung onto those reservations. People talk about the prime time being June thru August when there are more festivals and activities, but it is darn hot.

I do not like baking when I am on a tour, so I prefer to wait until later in the year. You are hitting about the end of the ideal time window, but it should be very nice.

You might get a little rain, but I doubt anything that will annoy you. The benefit of the cooler weather far outweighs the potential for a touch of rain. Unless you enjoy sunburns and blistered feet from hot stone streets.
PaulLanders is offline  

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