sarbetter asked in TravelCruise Travel · 1 decade ago

Anyone cruising the Mediterranean July 2007?

Advice to share for a first timer would be great! its 2 weeks long. thanks so much!!

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    We cruised the Med a couple years ago. First since this is your first cruise, let me tell you about cruising in general. When you arrive at the port to check in you (each passenger) will receive a key card which will serve as your room key, charge card for anything you buy on ship (i.e.,drinks, photos, souvenir) and its also your pass to get on and off ship in each port. When you first board the ship the security personnel will have you insert your key card into a scanner and then will take a photo of you that is included in the magnetic strip on the card. Each time you get off ship you will need this key card and many times also a photo ID (passport or driver's license).

    Each day of your cruise you will receive in your cabin a "newsletter" listing the time, place and particulars of everything happening for you on ship. There are generally activities like demonstrations of ice carvings, napkin folding and towel folding, and cooking demonstrations. There may be organized games and other activities around the pools. In the evenings there are generally shows, one show for those with an early dinner seating and another (same show) for those who eat late. There is always food available. Usually there is a place in ship where you can go get something. Or, you can always just pick up the phone in your cabin and order from the room service menu (food is free). If you want, you can order breakfast room service.

    All ships, except Disney, have a casino with slots and table games. Ships have movie theaters, generally small but nice, and you can also see movies in your room. They have ATM’s and a purser’s desk where you can cash a check or exchange currency if you need to. There is a tour and activities desk so you can schedule land tours and activities.

    Ships have free morning exercise programs, stretching and walking, etc, and on some you can pay for other things like Spinning. All cruise ships have gyms so you can go workout, usually any time from 6:00 AM to late at night. There is usually a walking/running track on one of the decks also. They call the gyms Spa because they do promote getting pampered with things like wraps and massages with aroma therapy. They will also generally have a beauty salon to do hair and nails.

    There are always pools. Some ships have more than one and the newer ships generally have an indoor pool as well as outdoor ones and all of these have hot tubs. There is generally a basketball court on the top deck, a place for scuffle board, and a mini-golf course. The newer Royal Caribbean ships have a rock climbing wall and the newest one has a pool for water surfing.

    There are places on ships to play cards and board games, and the cards and games are provided. If you want to just sit and read, there’s a library where you can bring your books or select one from the shelf. Ships have internet cafes and some offer WIFI if you bring your prefer to use your computer in your cabin (some ships offer notebooks for rent). There are cocktail lounges that feature a variety of music. Some have a piano bar with jazz. There is usually a disco that starts after 10:00 PM each night and last until everyone leave. On certain days ships will have special activities like a chocolate lovers buffet, or a midnight deck party .

    Some people worry about getting sea sick, but the ships being used these days have automated stabilizers which minimize the rocking. When we cruised the Med the water was smooth with hardly any motion. The larger ships cut through the water so easy that you don’t even feel like you are moving. When there is bad weather the cruise lines will steer around and away from it, sometimes changing the order of port stops. Also, the ships generally move overnight and dock in the mornings so you don’t feel much movement. Consequently, your chances of getting sea sick are minimal. There is generally less motion than on an airplane. If you do get sick, all ships have a doctor and they will dispense sea sick medicines. If you are prone to motion sickness, just get pills or a patch from your own doctor before you go, or go to a boating store and get a sea sickness bracelet.

    The dress on ship is casual all day until 6:00PM. So take swim wear, shorts, sandals, beach shoes, sun glasses and sun screen, lotions, a cap or big hat for the sun, a book if you are a reader, your music player, sneakers and clothes to workout in if you like to use the gym, your camera, and other personal toiletries.

    After 6:00 PM they request that you wear "sports casual" attire. That's attire that you would expect a person to wear in a business office, shirt with a collar, slacks, skirt, blouse, etc. You can still wear shorts and swim wear in the pools and spas but not in public areas like dining rooms and restaurants, show rooms, bars, casino, etc.

    Your cruise will likely have three formal nights when you can wear your best stuff and get pictures taken, and maybe meet the ship’s Captain. The formal nights are REQUESTED not required attire. But most people do dress up in a tux for men and a long dress (any color) for women. Some men just wear a suit and tie and some women wear a nice dress but not a gown. You will not be denied access to the dining room or anything else if you choose not to dress up. (we usually take off the formal stuff after dinner and pictures anyway).

    Its best to pack using soft-sided luggage because with space limited in your cabin it fits under the beds better if its not hard sided luggage. Take a small carry-on bag for the last night of the cruise. On the last evening you will be required to put your luggage outside your cabin by about 2:00 AM so that they can start taking it down to the lower deck for offloading the next morning. So you will need a small bag for your toiletries and and your clothes that you sleep in.

    On our Med ccruise we went to Villafranche m(Nice/Monte Carlo), Rome, Florence/Pisa, Naples, Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Ephesus, Turkey. My favorites were Rome to see the Vatican, Sistean Chapel and and the Coliseum; Pisa; Ephesus; the Parthenon in Athens, and Mykonos and Santorini. You don't really need to do a tour in Mykonos or Santorini, you can get off ship and explore on your own (that's what we did). The places to go in the other ports required a tour and some of the tours are very long. When you stop for Rome the port is an hour on the highway from Rome. So it can be very tiring to do tours each day. But if you are doing the Med seeing the histrical things is a must.

    Source(s): Experienced cruiser, been there.
  • 1 decade ago

    I just returned from a Disney Cruise in the Mediterranean. There was more than enough things to do/see during the whole trip that I really want to do another one to visit some of the other shore excursions and do a little more shopping.

    Shipboard activities are scheduled from the time you get up to well past midnight. Whether it's tours of the ship, shore excursions at ports of call, shows in the evening, lectures/seminars, etc during the day, the cruise ship is designed to keep you busy all day and all night long.

    I found the best tips came while I was on board the ship meeting different people (whether it was at lunch/dinner, sitting in the lounges, or doing the laundry) who had been on numerous cruises before. The people we ended up teaming with gave us great tips for shore excursions whether or not you signed up for one of the cruise line sponsored shore excursions (all-day, half-day, on your own), or literally just going it on your own.

    The cruise ship had live lectures/seminars (which were rebroadcast continuously on one of the TV channels) giving tips, maps, and options to visit each port of call and to shop.

    I did buy travel books at the local bookstore that I found were pretty much right on the mark. The tours we took, either on our own or with a tour agency, took us to see what we wanted.

    One word of caution....if you are going to take a tour, take one sponsored by the Cruise ship if they are not sold out already. If you are late returning to the ship while you're on a cruise tour, they'll wait for you.

  • 4 years ago

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