November Mediterranean Cruise

Sep 16th, 2016, 07:31 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 3
November Mediterranean Cruise

Hi to all savy cruisers. I'm a 68 yr. old first time cruiser heading to the Mediterranean on Oceania in November and in need of some help regarding what to pack and what would be the top things to see. Ports of call are Rome, Venice, Florence, Palermo, Monti Carlo, Kotor, Zadar, Marseilles, Nice, Port-Vendes, Barcelona. Although we will do some excursions, my friend and I would also like to strike out on our own. We would like to see as much as possible but not at the cost of enjoying each city. Don't want to be too frantic. Although I'm hoping for warm breezes and plenty of sunshine it's probably not going to happen. So I need some brand name clothing ideas (plus size), shoes and purse (can't use a backpack) ideas. Having never been dowdy in my life, I don't want to start now. However, I have to walk more than mile in my shoes so I need good suggestions. Any other ideas would be great too. Thank you so much.
sharkawa is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,723
Be prepared for uneven side walk surface such as cobble stone. A pair of comfortable and supportive shoe is a must. Go by comfort and not by fashion / appearance.

There are always a standard list of places you should visit (as in tourist traps). Identify what you like and what you don't care for can help narrow down suggestions. Example: historic, arts, natural scenery, culture, religion, buildings, ancient, modern etc.

Depending on region, you have anywhere from 33% (Barcelona) to 50%(Rome) chance of seeing some sort of light drizzle/rain, nothing heavy, just cloudy and a touch wet. The temperature around the Western Mediterranean would be around 65-70F during the day and maybe just a touch cooler (low end of 60F) at night. A light sweater, water proof wind jacket would be considered essential.

We have seen SNOW in Italy (northern part) in November. We were in Rome 3 years ago around late October and it dipped to 40F during the day. It is highly unusual but is possible, weather being weather. I wouldn't pack a winter jacket unless you are wearing one leaving home.

The water in Western Mediterranean tends to be more rough in the fall and winter, mostly due to winds and storms. Eastern Mediterranean tends to be warmer and the water more calm around the same time of the year. We hit 90F weather in October back in 2010 on an East Med cruise.

Some ports are easier to navigate on your own with hop on hop off buses but many ports in Europe are far away from the attractions. Example: The port for Venice is very close (minutes away), and the port (Civitavecchia) for Rome is very far (almost an hour).
Eschew is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 282
As a first time cruiser, I have to caution you about watching your time when you go off on your own, especially when your destination is a long distance from the port (for example, as eschew says, the port of of Civitavecchia for Rome). If you are late, the ship will not wait for you. I have been on several cruises where patrons were left behind and had to find their own way, at their own expense, to the next port to catch up with the ship. In one case on a Baltic cruise, a couple missed the ship at the port before St. Petersburg, Russia, which was a 2-day stop and the highlight of the cruise. In that situation, they had to skip Russia altogether and make their way to the following port to await the ship because they had no visa to visit Russia (if you are on a ship and take the ship's tour, a visa is not needed). The long and the short of it is that you can save a lot of money by researching and touring on your own, but you must be sure that you allow ample time to get back to the ship before it leaves the port.
burta is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 06:32 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 3
Thank you so much for replying. This is actually the first time I've posted a topic but have always been a fan of the Forum. Your info on weather, temps., etc., really narrowed it down for me. Looking at weather forecasts for November was driving me crazy. And thanks for the tip on rough seas. Guess I'll be packing the Dramamine!
sharkawa is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 10:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,723
Pick a cabin mid-ship lower deck will help with the motion. For cruise weather forecast, check this web page a week prior to departure. Unfortunately, they only provide forecast up to 8 days out so you will have to check back often. Once you are on board, the ship will provide daily forecast (for 1 day only) so accessing this page will gives you a heads up.
Eschew is offline  
Sep 16th, 2016, 11:10 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
We have taken 2 Oceania Med cruises in late October-early November.
Layers, comfortable walking shoes, and a hooded rain jacket were very useful.
We found Venice and Barcelona very easy to tour on our own. I read guidebooks to determine what most appealed to us.
Rome and Florence are considerable distances from the port.
On there are message boards for each port with lots of info about touring. On their Roll Call board, look for Oceania, your ship, your sailing date to find fellow passengers with whom you can share private tours.
abram is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 06:17 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2016
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Again, thanks for the tips. Will definitely be using the ships excursions for Rome and Florence. They're too from Port and I can't see myself paddling a rowboat behind the ship to catch up!
sharkawa is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
Shoes--Get comfortable walking shoes now so you have time to breal them in. I like black, lace-up or some Mary Jane styles which can super comfortable and don't look too dowdy, Easy Spirit has lots of choices. If they pinch now, they will pinch in Nov. Save dress shoes for the ship. No one will be looking at your shoes, I promise.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Sep 17th, 2016, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 282
One other thing regarding rough seas: On a ship recently, we picked up a concoction that worked almost instantly for my husband, who is very sensitive to motion. It was something called "Sailor's Secret". He tried other ginger formulations that work okay also (candy, mints, pills), but he said this was the best so far. It is available on Amazon and at their own website. You might get some to be prepared, just in case.
burta is offline  
Sep 18th, 2016, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Ginger works really good for motion sickness. The ancient Chinese seafarers used it for thousands of years. I have never heard of sailor's secret before and I just checked it out. Looks like it is a highly concentrated ginger pill.
Eschew is offline  
Oct 18th, 2016, 07:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 1
Believe I am on the same cruise. I'm in the same age ballpark, as well as size. I have used Travelsmith for clothing (not terribly stylish, but comfortable and quick drying, wrinkle free) in the past. This time, I purchased a RFID Crossbody handbag from them. They come in various sizes. I like Lands End for clothing - a good selection of plus size and some with great style. Nordstrom is my other go-to. Obviously, they are pricier; but the style and quality are there.
This close to the cruise, my lists have lists. How about you?
SNY is offline  
Oct 20th, 2016, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 167
We've been on 2 Oceania cruises and loved them. You didn't really ask about "dress code" on board, but thought you'd find it helpful to know there's a wide range. The buffet restaurant (which is excellent) is the most casual. People dress up a little more for the specialty restaurants but nice slacks with a nice top would be appropriate. A few go dressier than that (I didn't). As far as your ports, we did the Oceania excursion in Kotor Montenegro and the guide was very good. It's a charming old town, easy to get around in on your own, too. We did Sicily on our own, but I'd guess one of the tours (ship or private) would take you about 1 hr outside Palermo in Monreale. Very interesting cathedral there. Palermo itself is very walkable but you'd probably get a lot more out of it with a private guide. Barcelona: make sure you go to any of the Gaudi things. Venice is fun just to wander around in on your own and gawk. Enjoy.
sylvester is offline  

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