Think Venice, Rome, Greece, and Spain. Think about the romantic adventures, epic ancient ruins, majestic buildings, irresistible delicacies, and all that dancing and merry-making. Just the thought of all those is enough to keep you thrilled, and these are exactly what a Mediterranean cruise can potentially offer.
Whether you are looking to frolic in sunny beaches, anticipating to see breathtaking sights, or are simply interested to experience a whole different culture, a cruise to the Mediterranean is a must. But, how do you really make the most of a cruise to the Mediterranean? Here are a few suggestions:
Pack for an adventure!
Mediterranean cruises are never boring. There are onboard festivities and extensive onshore excursions to get ready for. How do you pack for such a stretch of activity-filled days?
In terms of clothing, bring items you can layer. Think tank tops, light shirts, along with light jackets or cardigans. For bottoms, pile on the capris and pants too. Some sights on common Mediterranean tour itineraries like churches and museums have dress codes, so a shawl may prove helpful to have at all times. You’d also want to have a cocktail dress or two for those formal events on the ship
In terms of shoes, pack a pair that you’re most comfortable with when walking. With all the lovely sights the Mediterranean has to offer, you’re guaranteed to go through hours of walks, strolls, and perhaps a few uphill climbs.
The best time to take both Eastern and Western Mediterranean cruises is during the summer season. While the crowds may be thicker at this time of year, the weather is relatively more agreeable for most activities you’d want to experience at port.
In Barcelona, there are plenty of amazing architecture to see. There’s Pompeii to take you back in time to an ancient vibrant city. The Greek Isles promise to give you a glimpse of the fabled Golden Age with a visit of centuries-old structures like the Parthenon and the Acropolis.
Whether you choose to go gallivanting around the cities to see these sights, or prefer to enjoy the sand and sea in Mykonos or the Amalfi coast, bottled water will be your best friend. Temperature in the Mediterranean can literally reach dizzying heights in the summer, and you wouldn’t want to spend your time at port or even on the ship nauseous with dehydration.
Keep your schedule realistic
At this point, you already know just how much there is to see and experience with your cruise. If you want a more customized tour, you can plan and arrange for your preferred itineraries before going on the cruise. This way, you get to spend time in areas that you or your group really find interesting, instead of just going with what the cruise company has to offer.
Book in advance with your travel agent, and make sure that arrival, itineraries and departure details are in order. Doing this ahead of time will enable you to efficiently plan out your days, and ensure access in tourist attractions that tend to get crowded during peak seasons.
As much as you may want to visit every single destination at your port of call, it is important that you don’t schedule your days too tightly. Allow yourself to enjoy each attraction at a leisurely pace.
Do some advance reading
One of the best points of a Mediterranean cruise is its ability to take you down memory lane – centuries worth of memories that is. Enjoy your visit to famous tourist attractions more by doing some advance reading about them (at home, or on your cruise ship).
The knowledge you gain from those readings will make your on-land excursions explorations interesting, and will also help you with itinerary planning. Either this, or you can also hire a reliable and knowledgeable tour guide who can give you precious insights about the places you’re visiting.
Get your tastebuds ready!
Make sure you get your Mediterranean cruise full circle by trying out the local delicacies. Apart from leaving your memory bank with the most beautiful sights, this side of the world also offers up some of the planet’s most delicious dishes.
Don’t forget to try Italian pasta, have coffee in Venice, grab some gelato, or munch on some Moroccan salad. Whether you are headed East or West in the Mediterranean, there is sure to be a dish (or two) that’s definitely worth trying in each city!
Keep your tastebuds prepped by not consuming too much of one kind of food. Have some first-aid medicine like antacids ready, just in case they become necessary. Lastly, keep your mind (and mouth) open for exquisite flavors – remember, this is an authentic experience you won’t get to enjoy everyday!