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elaine Oct 30th, 2005 08:04 AM

Looking for dream cruise to the Mediterranean
I'm inquiring on behalf of some family, who are hoping to take a luxury cruise in the Med. next July. They've been planning and saving for a long time, and are fortunately able to spend whatever their dream will cost.

I will search here and at cruise message boards, but wanted to hear from fodorites. There isn't much in the archives here on the top luxury cruises.

They would like 7-12 days of cruising. If possible, they would like the cruise to include, or, start or end, in Venice, Athens, Greek islands, and Turkey. I think that Venice is the least priority of those because they have been there, (but were hoping to include it again). They want it to be as luxurious as possible but don't want to charter their own boat.

They are so far considering Crystal (the Symphony) and Seabourn, both for the itineraries and level of service. Crystal Symph. has 900+ passengers, I think Seabourn ships might be smaller? If anyone has any comments or suggestions or advice, it will be much appreciated. I am jealous as heck but will pass along the information.

connette Oct 30th, 2005 11:07 AM

While they are both luxury cruises, they are really not similar at all. Are you looking for a small atmosphere setting that is all-inclusive (liquor, tips) like Seabourn? Would you be o.k. with just french doors, no balcony? They have 200 passengers and are really more like being on a large yacht. Or would you prefer much more going on, more dining choices, more lectures and a balcony cabin? You do have to pay for liquor and tips. Both are wonderful, but Crystal is more to my liking as I get easily bored. While I enjoy visiting with other travelers, that is about all there is to do at night and on sea days on Seabourn. On Crystal, I can't even get everything squeezed in that I want to do. The lectures and enrichment classes really make it for us. They are also tops in shore excursions. They have many options you cannot find on other lines. Final decision if both sound good to you - might go to itinerary - if there is a difference. Also, look at the amount of hours in port. Sometimes they really cut you short and if you arrive late for any reason, you really miss out. Be sure and stay at least two days before and after the cruise. Otherwise you miss out on those ports and it makes all of the difference in the world on jet lag, etc.

elaine Oct 30th, 2005 02:59 PM

that is wonderful information, thank you. It hadn't occurred to me that a smaller ship can also mean fewer choices. They are going with two teenagers, seems like Crystal would be a better choice.

simpsonc510 Oct 31st, 2005 06:06 AM

Have they considered a cruise such as Wind Star? I think the teens might enjoy that one. I've not been on one, but my TA has, and she says they are really great. The ships look like the "tall ships" with their sails. I've seen on in Bora Bora and it looked fabulous! I would definitely like to try one sometime.

(my own experience cruising the Med was on Royal Carib and I would not say that it was luxe in any way, but it was pleasant)

andy Nov 1st, 2005 11:20 AM

Windstar cruises are NOT geared for kids. We did the Windsurf in the Med and it was FABULOUS..there were only 2 kids on the entire ship of 330 people. They were going nuts.

While Windstar ships have the windsurfing and water sports off the back of the ship, this is only while ship is IN PORT and on those days, you normally do your sightseeing.

If money is no object, go with Crystal!

elaine Nov 3rd, 2005 08:17 AM

I've suggested Crystal to them, now it's up to them

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