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Anyway recommend some family mediterranean cruises for 2013?

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Jan 5th, 2013, 08:11 PM
  #1
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Anyway recommend some family mediterranean cruises for 2013?

Hi
My husband and I are planning on travelling to Europe over the summer( June-Aug) and I just can't see how I can fit everything in and also relax so now we are thinking of doing a cruise.

Anyone who can advise us on this as an option I would greatly appreciate it.

Many Thanks,
Claire
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Jan 5th, 2013, 08:51 PM
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Post this question on the cruise forum - several very experienced cruisers there. The cruise can be totally relaxing - swimming, all meals prepared, etc on the ship, or you can sight see every day - Greek Islands, etc. Your kids are a little young for the children's programs though. How will they fare in a small space on a ship?

You could also relax by slowing down and choosing bases for a week or more and doing day trips. No matter how fast or far you go, you can't see everything on one trip, so enjoy doing things and just being there as well as sight seeing.

Take your kids to play grounds. Let them meet other little kids. Rent or buy a little boat for them to sail on a garden pond in Paris. Perhaps do some camping - there are wonderful camp grounds in Europe.

Stay in an agriturismo with a pool and animals for the kids to help take care of. There are also some excellent zoos in Europe.

You didn't ask, so take it for what it is worth to you. I, myself, would not embark on an 8 week junket with two little kids that age. Routines like naps, meals, etc. are going to be so disrupted, I can't imagine them enjoying this one bit.
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Jan 5th, 2013, 09:11 PM
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Oh dear. It was bad enough on the ground - now a cruise? Yikes. What's wrong with campgrounds in Europe, which can be wonderful?
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Jan 5th, 2013, 09:44 PM
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"I just can't see how I can fit everything in and also relax..."

What are your family's interests and just how long are you going for? What is your budget (in euro). How old are your children? These answers will help Fodorites with your plan.

First you have to accept that you just can't fit everything in. There is so much to see and do. I think you're feeling overwhelmed by just how much you can cram in. Firstly, if I was in your situation I wouldn't take a cruise. For me cruising is just that. It's wonderful just to kick back on a ship in the middle of the ocean with everything done for you and so many activities on offer should you want to participate. However if you check the ship's Mediterranean itinerary you'll note that you're in a different port every day. Very rushed! And of course you can't just saunter off and on the ship. There can be lengthy delays because the ship carries large numbers of passengers or a tender boat is required or from the security screening when returning to the boat or waiting for a seat on the complimentary shuttle buses provided. To sum up, cruises are for the ship experience not as an expensive ferry service between destinations.

I'm not sure how long you want to go for. Is it 3 months i.e June - August? I would avoid August in Europe. Hot, crowded and expensive. If you can swap August for May that's a good start. Start with a list of what you and hubbie would love to do. Sassafrass has started with some suggestions for the kids. One thing I learnt as a parent is anything that will involve swimming will take care of the kids so the grownups can kick back on the sun lounges So I'm thinking Greek Islands as a definite inclusion. For eg. Paros. Check http://www.galatishotel.gr. Or closer to town we stayed at - http://www.sunsetview-paros.com. Or if you prefer a safe, kid friendly beach - http://www.hotelargo.com or save costs with an apartment - http://www.afroditi-studios.gr. And so on...

So the idea is to keep destinations to a minimum and allow plenty of time to immerse yourself in the place you're visiting. So your itinerary may include the Greek Islands, Italy, France and Spain.
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Jan 5th, 2013, 09:46 PM
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hahaha!!! I as thinking if we were on a boat it would slow things down! camp grounds isn't really our thing. I know it could be a lot of fun but before kids we would only stay at places that were ideal for shopping! hahaha!

My kids are incredible flexible and don't really need routine and "nap times" etc. If dinner is at 10pm then they eat at 10! call it crazy but it's just the way they are.

We would of waited till they were older but we just can't see how we would get the time off work again to be in this position and we decided we should live in the moment!

I'll post this over in the other forum and see what happens.

Thanks again for your honesty...I really do appreciate it!
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Jan 5th, 2013, 10:04 PM
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It seems you are framing relaxed/not relaxed in terms of the categories of travel. Does this really make sense? Isn't relaxed/not relaxed a consequence of match/mismatch between the amount of things to do vs. the available time? If I don't do anything, in which case, it really does not matter on a ship or on the ground, isn't it relaxed? But if want want to do shore visits, I would not do a cruise because it can be very rushed and not relaxing. Unless I take the shore excursion packages offered by the cruise company, I would have to get off the boat, make my way from the port to the destination, look around, then hurry back to the boat on time all in perhaps 9hrs or so window that I really don't have control. I have seen many frenetic cruisers trying get back to the boat on time. I wondered if that was what they meant by a relaxed cruise, I didn't want to have anything to do with it.
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Jan 6th, 2013, 05:10 AM
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Thank you all for your advice. I had no idea about cruises being like that. Tell me if we were to stay a week on one Greek island which one would be best?
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Jan 6th, 2013, 06:51 AM
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There are some experts on Greece on this board but some of them only look at posts tagged for Greece.

You should also give an explanation of your family, travel style, length of time when you post as not everyone looks to see if someone has posted these details before.

IMHO people who go on cruises do so for the cruise, not for seeing Europe except superficially.

You've already received lots of good information on traveling. If you want to relax, follow some of the advice.
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Jan 6th, 2013, 07:36 AM
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Taking a cruise is going to allow you to see much less of europe than traveling by land - since you spend the bulk of the time on the boat - and a substantial amount getting from the ports to the cities they "serve", which can be from 1 to 3 hours away from the port.

If you want to cruise that's fine - but do understand that what you will see in europe will be minimal - versus the same number of days on land.

If I wanted a combo of sightseeing and relaxing I would travel by land and just schedule a couple of days of down time in more relaxed places - such as the AC (Sorrento?) and perhaps a Tuscan hill town or one of the Greek islands.
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Jan 6th, 2013, 08:20 AM
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Yes i now understand and agree ... At present we have week booked in Paris, a week in lake como area a week in sorrento and we are considering one week on a family friendly island in Greece so I'll post a new topic and see what I get from there thanks again everyone!
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Jan 6th, 2013, 08:54 AM
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Perhaps you are unacquainted with campgrounds in Europe. They aren't anything like the ones, say, in National Parks and elsewhere in the USA. They are rated with stars, like hotels, and the 4- and 5-star ones often have cottages and B&B-like accommodations, as well as pools, play areas, and cafés/restaurants. Here is one, for example, down the road from my house in the Dordogne: http://www.lariviereleseyzies.com/

You don't need tents and equipment and such. They are inexpensive, usually well situated for sightseeing, and offer many amenities that a hotel or rental unit might not, including the opportunity to meet other families.

By the way, I should think the Dordogne would be an ideal destination for your crew. There's simply no end of fascinating things to do, especially for kids (compared to Lake Como, for example...which is fine, but if you're really thinking of what kids enjoy....)
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Jan 7th, 2013, 04:39 AM
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I love the look of that place but I couldn't see how you could stay there if you didn't have a motor home. We don't really know much about the camping side of things we didn't really even think it was an option but if there are b&b's that accommodate children then we will consider it

This really is an amazing site!!! I am finding it just sooo helpful!
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Jan 7th, 2013, 06:07 AM
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I wouldn't go to Europe and stay in a campground.

I wouldn't take a cruise either.

I'll confess to you that I haven't had the stomach to open up your other thread. When I saw the title, I felt so certain you were just going to be subjected to such an avalanche of sarcasm and bad advice -- and then be told you weren't willing to listen -- than I just steered clear of it. Hope I was wrong in my guessing.

If you enjoy working things out on a travel message board, let me suggest that you also post your thinking on the Frommer's travel message board for Europe, in the "General-Mulit-Country" forum. You'll get candid advice, minus the putdowns and posturings and lectures on parenting, and a lot more practical advice -- especially about trains, planes and cars -- for putting together a fun European family adventure. Flexibility isn't the Fodor's style, but I think you can find people who take that approach on Frommer's.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 06:18 AM
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Once again, only zeppole is allowed to have an opinion. Perhaps you should follow your own advice and take yourself off to the frommer's board. If you complain that "Flexibility isn't the Fodor's style" then why are you leading the march?
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Jan 7th, 2013, 06:19 AM
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Ooohhh thank you!!! It is slowly, very slowly coming together! We have just decided that we will lease a car and stay on the outskirts near train stations and train in whe we feel like it etc. we need the flexibility with our darlings! We are now thinking of cutting off Ireland and Greece ... Sadly but it'll just give us an excuse to go again thanks for your helpful advice!
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Jan 7th, 2013, 06:40 AM
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<>

You don't need a motorhome, or a tent, or any equipment. You rent one of their lovely and inexpensive apartments, or one of those little wooden fully equipped houses, for a week.
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Jan 7th, 2013, 07:34 AM
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Well now that we are leasing we will def look into it!!!
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