With an impressive array of ports packed with history, culture and natural beauty, a Mediterranean cruise is a convenient way to experience some of the best of Europe with a minimum of fuss. Here are my top tips for a Mediterranean cruise for first time visitors and experienced cruisers.
Mediterranean cruise excursion tips
You will likely be in port almost every day on a Mediterranean cruise which means you’ll have the chance to experience many wonderful destinations. This makes it temping to lock in shore excursions and activities at every port before you leave home. However, trust me, you will need a break along the way. Schedule some ‘must do’ activities or tours then allow some flexibility in the rest of your schedule so you can enjoy some much needed down time. It’s often the low-key ‘let’s just stroll around town’ port days which end up being a trip highlight. You don’t want to wind up coming home feeling exhausted after your ‘relaxing’ cruise holiday.
Mediterranean cruise port tips
Don’t panic! I’m not saying you need to get up early every day. However, it’s worth setting your alarm occasionally so you don’t miss unique sights like an early morning view of Stromboli volcano or the beauty of sailing into Santorini at sunrise. If you are travelling on a large ship and tendering at a Mediterranean port, getting up early really pays off as you can be one of the first off the ship and avoid the crowds which build as the day goes on.
Mix it up in the Med
Even if you absolutely love architecture, you will quickly get tired of it if you concentrate on nothing but historic buildings and ancient forts at every port you visit. Instead, create some variety in your touring plans. For example, you could visit Ephesus one day and explore a vineyard at the next port. Mixing it up helps to avoid ‘port fatigue’ and makes each shore day more enjoyable.
Mediterranean cruise packing tips
Mediterranean ports tend to be quite chic which means you might not feel comfortable strolling around town in joggers and baggy shorts. Pack outfits that are stylish yet comfortable and, most importantly, wear good walking shoes. Think dark jeans or tailored shorts for guys paired with a polo shirt and, for ladies, Capri pants and a blouse or a pretty sundress with comfy flats.
Mediterranean safety tips
Wherever there are lots of tourists, there will likely be scammers and pickpockets too. While there’s no need to be fearful, there’s also no need to be foolish. Don’t walk around carrying loads of cash and always keep an eye on your valuables. Even better, don’t bring anything like expensive jewellery along in the first place and you’ll feel much more relaxed in port.
Disclosure: The writer did this cruise as a guest of Celebrity Cruises.
If you are looking for some fun things to do before or after your cruise, some of our favourite Rome tours include exploring Rome in a vintage Fiat 500, a food tour of Trastevere, and seeing the Colosseum including our tips to make your visit even better.