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Caribbean vs. Med cruise

Discussion in 'Europe' started by jeb2006, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. jeb2006

    jeb2006 Guest

    My wife and I have been on two Caribbean cruises.
    We are planning on taking another cruise this summer and are considering a Western Mediterranean cruise.
    Can anyone tell me if a Mediterranean cruise is similar to Caribbean cruise?
    I would like to know if flying across the Atlantic is worth it (it is not if it's like a Caribbean cruise). :cool:
     
  2. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    Jeb,

    Cruising in the Med has a lot in common with Caribbean cruising.Ship activities, meals, entertainment, etc
    are all about the same. The Med is also very calm, like the Caribbean usually is.

    Where there are significant differences invovles the ports. In nearly every Caribbean port, English is widely
    spoken, dollars accepted, and the port you are visiting is a relatively small thrid world city on a lush, underdeveloped
    island. In the Med, on the other hand, you may be visiting Barcelona or Rome -- major metorpolitan areas approaching
    8 million in population. You can't begin to see it in an 8 hour cruise ship stop. Many cab drivers, waiters in
    restaurants, etc do not speak English, nor are there always even English language menus. Only Euros are accepted,
    rather than dollars. Sometimes (Rome and Florence come to mind), the cruise ship terminal is a two hour drive
    from the city center you are visiting, so your day will be very, very long. Excursions in these cities are expensive
    since they include transportation to the city and back, as well as lunch.

    Another huge differnece for us, is the time and money it takes to get to a European cruise, versus the Caribbean.
    We live on the East coast of the US and can get to Fort Lauderdale, Miami, or San Juan to begin a Caribbean cruise
    with a three hour flight that costs $400 or less. To get to Venice for our last Med cruise, we left home at 4:00 PM,
    and arrived in Venice at 2:00 PM the following day, having flown all night to Europe. The cost was equally out of
    proportion.

    We have done both types of cruises and enjoyed them both, but for very different reasons. Particularly if you have not
    been to Europe previously, a cruise would be a great way to introduce yourself to it.

    Ted
     
  3. sgshells

    sgshells Guest

    Jeb,
    I would agree with Ted that the actual cruising part and the ship experience itself is relatively the same. To answer your question about whether or not it is worth flying across the Atlantic-ABSOLUTELY. There is much more involved in the process, longer flights, more planning, money and language issues. It is also a much more expensive trip. However, if you enjoy travel and experiencing new cultures and seeing things you've read about in books your whole life and you can afford it then GO!! There's no comparison to the types of things you'll see in the Med that you won't see in the Caribbean except for maybe the Mayan ruins. We went on our first Med cruise last year and we are going back again this year. It's true there is just way too much to see in one day at each port but if you can be happy knowing that you saw at least something new or if you're like me and like to check travel icons off your list, then you'll have a great time. We saw Pompeii, the Coliseum, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Vatican City, Tuscany, Monaco, the French Riviera, etc, etc...all in one trip! Put it this way, I have always cruised the Carib in the past until last summer when we took this first Med cruise. Just got back from a cruise to Mexico which was nice given the cold weather but....it was a little lack-luster and I found myself longing for the European experience we'd had last year. Just plan ahead and book some private driver/tours to make the most of the time in port, especially for stops like Rome or Florence. Enjoy!
    Sgshells
     

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