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My husband and I are wanting a cruise that includes Italy. What cruse line does the best job without being over the top expense? Do you have a favorite ship and why? Thanks in advance ❤️

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5 minutes ago, Adventurelover333 said:

My husband and I are wanting a cruise that includes Italy. What cruse line does the best job without being over the top expense? Do you have a favorite ship and why? Thanks in advance ❤️

 

Everyone has their own favorite cruise lines...and different criteria and standards...

That said, we've cruised on 9 different cruise lines...five different lines in Europe...Many in the Mediterranean and including multiple Italian ports.

 

For ME, for the best value for the money, I would go with Celebrity...In fact, we are doing that again this summer, taking back-to back cruises, Rome to Venice and Venice to Rome on Celebrity Infinity.

 

Our combined itinerary goes:

 

Sunday July 5                     CIVITAVECCHIA , ITALY                                  5:00 PM

Monday July 6                   MESSINA, SICILY, ITALY         12:00 PM     8:00 PM

Tuesday July 7                   VALLETTA, MALTA                   8:00 AM       6:00 PM

Wednesday July 8            AT SEA                                         

Thursday July 9                 KOTOR, MONTENEGRO         7:00 AM       5:00 PM

Friday July 10                     ZADAR, CROATIA                     11:00 AM     8:00 PM

Saturday July 11                RIJEKA, CROATIA                      8:00 AM       5:00 PM

Sunday July 12                   VENICE, ITALY                            6:45 AM

Monday July 13                 VENICE, ITALY                                                    5:00 PM

Tuesday July 14                 SPLIT, CROATIA                         9:00 AM       6:00 PM

Wednesday July 15         KOTOR, MONTENEGRO         8:00 AM       5:00 PM

Thursday July 16               CORFU , GREECE                       9:00 AM       6:00 PM

Friday July 17                     AT SEA                                         

Saturday July 18                NAPLES, ITALY                           7:00 AM       6:00 PM

Sunday July 19                   CIVITAVECCHIA , ITALY          5:15 AM

We are adding to this by flying into Milan and spending 9 nights pre-cruise in Italy and Switzerland and 2 nights post-cruise in Rome.

 

Why do I like Celebrity, aside from some great itineraries?

1)  Ships are less crowded than most other lines.  Check the number of passengers at capacity versus the gross tonnage of the ship (gross tonnage is a measure of volume or space, not of weight). This results in more spacious venues onboard--a showroom large enough to accommodate the passenger load, for example.

2)  The food is excellent, as is the service.

3)  Cabins are spacious--even the inside cabins have sitting areas.

4)  No formal nights--Some folks love those--and nothing prevents you from dressing up--but not having that requirement saves valuable space in your limited luggage, especially valuable with long foreign vacations.

5)  The prices are reasonable--especially if you book early enough and take into consideration the special deals offered.  We also love Oceania--but they tend to be a bit pricier.

 

Celebrity has three classes of ship in Europe--

The brand new Edge class--which right now are a bit pricier because of their being new...

The newer Solstice Class--passenger load of about 2,850...Beautiful and a definite favorite for me...

The older M-Class--a smallish 91,000 gross ton ships that carry only around 2,000 passengers... I think all will be refurbished and modernized by the end of the year--but even the older ones are in great shape...and a nice choice when visiting smaller ports since they don't overwhelm the ports like the larger ships.  The Infinity we'll be on is an example.

 

Good luck.

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I'd look at it in a different way:  look for itineraries that you like first, then at the ship. I'm not sure any ships do itineraries that are JUST Italy, so you will probably have some additional ports, either on the eastern side (Greece, Croatia) or Western (France, Spain).

 

Also, keep in mind that Italy really isn't best seen on a cruise. While Venice and Naples are pretty easy, Rome and Florence are each more than an hour away from their respective closest ports. 

 

And some of the best experiences in Italy are being there in the evenings, to eat at a local trattoria, enjoy the evening atmosphere when many of the 'daytripper' tourists have gone...

 

Have you considered a land trip, either on your own or via a tour?

 

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Somebody elses favorite ship or cruise line might not be YOUR favorite.

 

Of course, if budget is a factor, then that will rule out may upscale cruise lines or longer cruises.

 

Look at the itineraries.  What would you like to visit and see.

Some cruise itineraries have lessor known/visited ports, fewer or more sea days. Etc.  Smaller ships can visit Venice.  Are there a couple of ports that would be a must on your list that many itineraries might not visit?

List out the places you wish to visit, according to your priorities. (ex. Rome, Venice, Dubrovnik, etc.......)

Then, you can go here on Cruise Critic, or other main online cruise sellers, and do searches for your timeframe and each port.  Look at which ones visit the places you really want to see the most.

 

Due to itinerary, in Europe, we would probably choose a line other than the one we have sailed in the past.

 

After you do that, then look at the ships.  Is the ship large, small, new, old, what is the vibe onboard.

for Italy and Europe, I don't think that the onboard amenities and entertainment would be the biggest priority.

Edited by Wishing on a star

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Yes! It is a bit of a transfer between Rome and the cruise port.  But, many cruises might begin, or end, at Rome, which makes this less of a factor.  I don't think that anyone things a one-day cruise excursion from the ship, if it is just a stop during a cruise, would be enough.  It can be done.  But, I would not want that to be all I experience of Rome.

 

So, If there is something like that, like Rome or Athens, where you want to have more time,  look for itineraries that begin or end at that location.  Itinerary is the big factor!

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I'm not a cruise fan, but on the rare ocassion that I DO cruise, my choice is based on the itinerary not the ship or cruiseline.  I want to visit places that interest me, and provides enough time in port for planned activities.  Plus, I want to embark in a city where I'd like to explore for a few days pre-cruise.

If you're unsure of which itinerary to choose, I recommend Rick Steves book ' Mediterranean Cruise ports.   It will give you the basics of the popular sights and activities of every port. 

Have fun with your research and planning !

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We are going on our first Med Cruise this summer on RCCL.  We leave from Civi port outside of Rome and are flying in 2 1/2 days before to tour Rome.  It is 7 days where it is a day at sea the first day after we Board then we visit 3 cities in Spain - Valencia, Barcelona, and Palma de Majorca, then Nice, France, and La Spezia for Florence and Pisa.  After the cruise we are taking the train to Venice for a few days and then back to Rome for 1 last day before flying home.  Hope this gives you ideas.

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When you are comparing cruise lines pay careful attention to the amount of time in each port.  Some of the lines (Costa and MSC, in particular) have some very short port days, which really limits what you can do.

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We sail whichever ship takes us to the destinations that we want.

 

European cruises are port-intensive, and for those from your side of the Pond the destinations are more important than the ship. 

So I suggest you choose where you want to visit, and choose between ships that visit those places. 

 

Cruisemom is right about the limitations of exploration by cruise ship. For instance due to distance from port your time in Rome would be about 10am to 3.30pm, and Florence about the same.

But there's a way to achieve a bit more than just brief port-of-call visits without having to extend into a land trip............

Check out the Celebrity itinerary on Steve's post. A 15-day cruise Rome to Rome with an overnight in Venice.

I'll bet a dollar to a penny that's actually two back-to-back cruises ,and you could book Rome to Venice or Venice to Rome (am I right Steve?).

Similar one-way cruises with other cruise lines, or other one-way itineraries like Barcelona to Rome or vice-versa

So for instance  you can spend pre and post-cruise time in Rome (well worth 2+ full days) and Venice or Barcelona (2 days).

And you'll find way too many options for a port-of-call day in Naples which is just a simple two-hour road or train trip from Rome.

 

So for instance using open-jaw (aka multi-city) return air tickets, fly into Naples, 2 -3 days there, then 2 hours to Rome, say 3 days in Rome, cruise to Venice, two days there & fly back to the States from Venice. 

An economical mix of cruise & time ashore.

 

And Euro-cruiser has just beaten me to it - check ships' hours in port, especially the Italian lines. 

 

JB :classic_smile:

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On 1/26/2020 at 1:36 PM, John Bull said:

We sail whichever ship takes us to the destinations that we want.

 

European cruises are port-intensive, and for those from your side of the Pond the destinations are more important than the ship. 

So I suggest you choose where you want to visit, and choose between ships that visit those places. 

 

Cruisemom is right about the limitations of exploration by cruise ship. For instance due to distance from port your time in Rome would be about 10am to 3.30pm, and Florence about the same.

But there's a way to achieve a bit more than just brief port-of-call visits without having to extend into a land trip............

Check out the Celebrity itinerary on Steve's post. A 15-day cruise Rome to Rome with an overnight in Venice.

I'll bet a dollar to a penny that's actually two back-to-back cruises ,and you could book Rome to Venice or Venice to Rome (am I right Steve?).

Similar one-way cruises with other cruise lines, or other one-way itineraries like Barcelona to Rome or vice-versa

So for instance  you can spend pre and post-cruise time in Rome (well worth 2+ full days) and Venice or Barcelona (2 days).

And you'll find way too many options for a port-of-call day in Naples which is just a simple two-hour road or train trip from Rome.

 

So for instance using open-jaw (aka multi-city) return air tickets, fly into Naples, 2 -3 days there, then 2 hours to Rome, say 3 days in Rome, cruise to Venice, two days there & fly back to the States from Venice. 

An economical mix of cruise & time ashore.

 

And Euro-cruiser has just beaten me to it - check ships' hours in port, especially the Italian lines. 

 

JB :classic_smile:

I just got a notification that someone just reacted to this thread...So, I figured I'd reopen the discussion a bit...because, obviously, things have changed!!

 

Yes, JB, that WAS supposed to be two back-to-back cruises...and, of course, now, they are not going to happen...

We looked into "Lift-and-Shift" possibilities and, also unfortunately, the exact itineraries (with Zadar and Rijeka) aren't there for 2021...

But we DID end up doing a Lift-and-Shift...Now, in July 2021, we are doing a "sort of" back-to-back--on two different ships...

We are now on the July 10 Apex and the July 19 Infinity...So, we will end up with THIS itinerary:

 

Day 1, Sat, Jul 10, 2021  BARCELONA, SPAIN  Departs: 5:00PM

Day 2, Sun, Jul 11, 2021  VALENCIA, SPAIN 7:00AM to 9:00PM

Day 3, Mon, Jul 12, 2021  IBIZA, SPAIN   8:00AM to 10:00PM

Day 4, Tue, Jul 13, 2021  AT SEA

Day 5, Wed, Jul 14, 2021  NICE (VILLEFRANCHE), FRANCE  7:00AM to 8:30PM

Day 6, Thu, Jul 15, 2021  PROVENCE (MARSEILLE), FRANCE   7:00AM to 5:00PM

Day 7, Fri, Jul 16, 2021  FLORENCE/PISA (LASPEZIA)ITALY   7:00AM to 6:30PM

Day 8, Sat, Jul 17, 2021  ROME (CIVITAVECCHIA), ITALY  Arrival: 5:00AM –Hotel Rome

Day 9, Sun, July 18-- Hotel Rome

Day 10, Mon, Jul 19, 2021  ROME (CIVITAVECCHIA), ITALY   Departs: 5:00PM

Day 11, Tue, Jul 20, 2021  SICILY (MESSINA), ITALY   12:00PM to 8:00PM

Day 12, Wed, Jul 21, 2021  VALLETTA, MALTA   8:00AM to 6:00PM

Day 13, Thu, Jul 22, 2021  AT SEA

Day 14, Fri, Jul 23, 2021  KOTOR, MONTENEGRO   8:00AM to 5:00PM

Day 15, Sat, Jul 24, 2021  SPLIT, CROATIA   8:00AM to 5:00PM

Day 16, Sun, Jul 25, 2021  TRIESTE, ITALY   10:30AM to 8:00PM

Day 17, Mon, Jul 26, 2021  VENICE, ITALY  Arrival: 6:45AM

 

Essentially, we'll have a one-way cruise, starting in Barcelona and ending in Venice...We actually prefer that--and it will allow us to spend a few days in Barcelona pre-cruise and take a side trip up to Andorra and the Pyrenees...then, after the cruise, we can disembark in Venice, rent a car, drive up through the Alps to Switzerland, then fly home from Milan...

 

Though I'd prefer to stay onboard one ship and stay in the same cabin and not pack and unpack, this one will allow us to head into Rome for two nights between the two cruise legs...

 

This all works out quite nicely as there is a variety of ports with no repeat ports plus we can spend 3 or 4 nights in Barcelona, hire a guide for a day trip up to Andorra on one of those days, spend 2 nights getting a little more time than on a typical port stop in Rome and to take a multi-day driving tour from Venice to Milan--which is NOT a lot of driving time but a great way to enjoy two very different countries in a short time with not a lot of wasted travel time (We actually did a similar trip as a pre-cruise a few years back in the other direction--flying into Milan, spending a night there, then heading by rental car up to Lake Como, St. Moritz, Merano, Verona and Padua before turning the car in upon arrival in Venice and jumping on a ship).

 

This is a great way to see a lot of Europe, relax and enjoy a cruise, see several ports for just port days and spend a lot of time in others where you get to eat the local cuisine and absorb the local culture both day and night...

Edited by Bruin Steve

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