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Mediterranean Cruise June/08: Where to Start??

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Jan 14th, 2008, 11:21 PM
  #1
wow
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Mediterranean Cruise June/08: Where to Start??

Hi, Everybody! Trying to plan our first Mediterranean cruise & don't know where to start. Which upscale ship/cruise line wld be best for Mom & Dad & our 20 year old son? We love history, beaches, restaurants, exploring. Looking for a ship that has private balconies for quiet time reading.
Thinking of going early/mid June, 2008. Very interested in Italy & Greece.
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Jan 15th, 2008, 08:06 AM
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We took one in May a few years back(Crystal) that started in Rome (the port near there), ended in Athens and stopped at a couple ports in Italy, one in Turkey (my favorite), a couple Greek Islands (Santorini and Mykonos) and then to Athens. Had the balcony (LOVED it). It was a really nice itinerary....
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Jan 15th, 2008, 08:14 AM
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Sadly, you are going to be a little limited in your choices for June starting now. The best cabins on the most popular ships are often booked early.

I think you should spend some time on cruisecritic.com, narrow your choices and then get in touch with a cruise specialist travel agent.

Cruises from Athens or Istanbul would seem to meet your requirements. Oceania Cruises has one ship (Nautica, I think) in that area in the summer. These ships are known for their on board libraries.

BTW, everyone remembers sun screen but many seem to forget the absolute necessity of broad brimmed hats. If you don't bring them with you, they are substantially cheaper on shore than on the ship.
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Jan 17th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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For upscale with great cabins and balconies and also extended port times, Regent is my first choice.

Next would be HAL.
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Jan 17th, 2008, 01:58 PM
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We did a HAL cruise last summer and were very impressed with the size of their balconies. When we pulled into ports along side other ships, we noticed that our balcony was twice the size of other ships. (Which leads me to wonder if their cabins are larger as well). We had a wonderful time each evening with our fellow cruise mates sipping wine on our veranda (that we brought on board) with snacks from the buffet. There was plenty of room for 4-6 people to relax. I would highly recommend booking at least one suite cabin with an outside balcony. We thought the HAL product was top notch all the way around.

You might want to take a look at this article about where to find the best cruise prices: http://www.wickedgoodtraveltips.com/?p=253
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Jan 18th, 2008, 06:22 PM
  #6
wow
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Thanks for the feedback. Checking to see if we can get a rez on Regent or HAL. Any other suggestions for Italy & Greece in early/mid June, 2008?
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Jan 18th, 2008, 10:17 PM
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Last June we went from Barcelona to Venice via south of france, italy, athens, santorini, croatia on Celebrity. It was very nice.
This year we are going on Celebrity again in May from Rome to some greek isles, on to Istanbul.
I know there are some balcony cabins available on our May 19th sailing.
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Jan 21st, 2008, 11:16 PM
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In late May/early June last year we did Barcelona to Athens on Priness Lines with France (St. Tropez), Italy, Greece, and Turkey along the way. The weather was wonderful except for one day. What you might like is the variety on that particular cruise.

A couple of tips for first time cruisers:

1. Be sure to get in to your port of embarkation at least a day ahead of time (two is better). Not only does it give you time to see that particular city, but you relieve yourself of the stress of missing the boat. I remember one trip where our flight was delayed, and others on board the flight were in an absolute panic because they had planned to arrive the same day of embarkation, but were in danger of missing their boat altogether.

2. The tours offered by Princess are always good, as are the lunches included on many of their tours. But they are also very expensive. You need to decide ahead of time which ports you might be able to explore on your own with a little research, and which ports you need to go see on an organized tour to get the most out of your short time there. For example, if Rome is not near your port of embarkation, you should probably schedule a tour in order to see as much as possible in the few hours you will be there. I think it is one of those big, grand cities that are otherwise difficult to take in in a day (too far from the port, too large, and too complex). On the other hand, you might like exploring the small island of Santorini on your own. A mix of self-guided and organized tours makes cruising a little more economical.
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Jan 22nd, 2008, 06:56 AM
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If you plan on seeing St. Peters in Rome be aware that proper attire is required. So despite the warm weather no shorts or sleeveless tops will be allowed. Our first cruise ever was the med. and we actually did all the touring on our own. We did some research to determine what we wanted to see it each port, grabbed a cab and went. All was fine and we paid much less $$ and were on our own time as well. Just a thought. Cheers, Larry
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Jan 22nd, 2008, 10:01 AM
  #10
wow
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Thanks for the tips. Still looking....
Hoping for an early-mid June/08 departure. Greek Isles/Italy/Croatia. Private balcony.
Any more suggestions/comments?
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Jan 22nd, 2008, 12:05 PM
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yes, don't wait too much longer as prices will likely increase and the better cabins/ships be booked up.
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:45 PM
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HAL has the Roman Empire, 10 day, round trip from Rome leaving on June 8th -- Dubrovnik, Corfu. Santorini, Ephesus, etc. We were on it last year and through it was a great trip and HAL is excellent line. The year before, we were on the Med loop with son, dinlaw, and other son (21). Didn't have much time for quiet reading.
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 03:52 PM
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Opps -- just realized that you want something in June of 2008 and I thought you want to leave on June 8th.
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 10:51 PM
  #14
wow
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fmpden: That's great! We want to leave early/mid June/08 so June 8th/08
wld be perfect.
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Jan 24th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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HAL does alternating ten day loops out of Rome. Two years ago we did the Med and the Greek Isle this past year. You could also combine it into a great 20 day cruise. Could not have been more pleased. That was our sixth and seventh European cruise. We are hooked.
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Mar 18th, 2008, 07:22 AM
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We are taking a cruise June 20 out of Rome; 10 days on Celebrity Galaxy...we stop at Sicily,athens,rhoades,mykonos,santorini,kusadasi,c apri,back to rome...we have always loved Celebrity.
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