Mediterranean Cruise Pros and Cons

This summer, Drew and I went on a 10-night Mediterranean cruise where we visited Greece, Malta, and Italy. Each of us had only been on short Caribbean cruises many years ago, so a 10-day Mediterranean cruise was something entirely different for us.

We didn’t initially plan to take a Mediterranean cruise this year or to travel around Europe this summer, but Norwegian Cruise Line had a pretty good deal, so we jumped at the opportunity. Our cruise was scheduled for July 20th through July 30.

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Oia, Santorini, Greece

To stay on budget, we selected an interior cabin as the only time we planned to spend in the room was to sleep and shower. We did not upgrade our meals and found the standard food options to be diverse and delicious–we were never disappointed. Additionally, we did not purchase drinks on the ship–we stuck with water and juice, but splurged on alcohol, soda, and tasty treats while at ports. Lastly, we researched every destination beforehand and made our own plans without having to purchase expensive excursions through the cruise line

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Athens, Greece

Below are the stops and the length of time we were at each port:

Day 1 – Ship departs Civitavecchia (Rome), ITA – 5 p.m.
Day 2 – Ship at sea
Day 3 – Mykonos, GRC – 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Day 4 – Piraeus (Athens), GRC – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Day 5 – Rhodes, GRC – 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Day 6 – Santorini, GRC – 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Day 7- Chania, GRC – 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Day 8 – Valletta, MLT – 1 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Day 9 – Messina, ITA – 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Day 10 – Naples/Pompeii, ITA – 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Day 11- Ships arrives in Civitavecchia (Rome), ITA – 6 a.m.

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Chania, Greece

Pros:

  • Cruises allow you to maximize your vacation time–we were able to visit 5 destinations in Greece, 3 cities in Rome, and we got to spend a day in Malta all in 11 days/10 nights. That would be a very rigorous travel schedule if you weren’t on a cruise. It was great to see so many beautiful places!
  • We were able to island hop through Greece with ease. Visiting multiple islands quickly can be challenging and expensive, but going via cruise made it simple and hassle-free.
  • For solo travelers, cruises can be one of the safest options. You can relax on board, participate in group excursions, and the ship monitors when you leave and return to the ship, so someone will notice if you’re missing.

Cons:

  • Some of the ports were far away from attractions we were interested in seeing or not very tourist-friendly.
  • Our time was tight in each location due to the time it took to disembark the ship and return to the ship, limiting what we could see and do. It was a bit of a tease to visit these amazing places, but not get to really experience and explore the place.
  • Since your meals are already paid for and provided on the ship, we missed out on opportunities to try local cuisine.
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Rome, Italy

Overall, we enjoyed our time on the cruise and we are glad that we did it. A cruise made sense for us to see Greece and Malta, but I don’t think cruises will be a preferred method of travel moving forward. When we travel, we want to don’t want to be confined by time or to small locales–we like to wander and see as much as we can.

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Mykonos, Greece

If you have any questions about a Mediterranean cruise, please reach out–I’d love to share more about our experience. Safe travels!

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