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Old 01-19-2007, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Near Charlotte, NC
405 posts, read 1,148,081 times
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We are planning a European cruise sometime in 2007. The itinerary or length hasn't been decided yet. We could go Venice to Venice on a 12 day (my choice), or do a 14 day of eastern Europe. Or maybe an 8 or 10 day - we are wide open. Cost and cities visited will play a very important part in the decision process.

My question is - what months are the best for traveling in Europe?

We already know not to go in June or July when school is out (thanks Conde Nast!), but we don't know which month is the best between May, August or September.

I would really like to hear from someone who has gone on a European cruise. What month did you go? How was the weather? What did you like? What didn't you like? Which cruise line did you go with?

Thanks for helping me plan my vacation!
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:52 AM
 
889 posts, read 2,851,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyandMarried View Post
We are planning a European cruise sometime in 2007. The itinerary or length hasn't been decided yet. We could go Venice to Venice on a 12 day (my choice), or do a 14 day of eastern Europe. Or maybe an 8 or 10 day - we are wide open. Cost and cities visited will play a very important part in the decision process.

My question is - what months are the best for traveling in Europe?

We already know not to go in June or July when school is out (thanks Conde Nast!), but we don't know which month is the best between May, August or September.

I would really like to hear from someone who has gone on a European cruise. What month did you go? How was the weather? What did you like? What didn't you like? Which cruise line did you go with?

Thanks for helping me plan my vacation!
Well this is right up my ally
I just went on a Carnival cruise 12 day Med.Rome to Rome at the end of Sept. 2006.
I have vacationed several times prior in Italy and have always gone in Sept./Oct. Used to be years ago, crowds were thinner that part of the year but no more! But for the weather its a good time.
Carnival for the money was fine.Sure, i'd love to go on a much more elegant ship but i simply cant afford it.
Ours was the 12 day Naples,Barcelona,Taormina Sicily,Dubrovnik Croatia,Venice,Livorno and Cannes.We did a pre-cruise in Rome for 3 days. I have been several time already, my husband had not. I think for him what a lasting impression and nothing else compared throughout the rest of the trip for him. That was his favorite which is a good thing because i love that city!
Cannes and all that we did( a private tour for the day) was our second favorite. We did Nice,Monoco St.Paul de vince and Eze.
Sorry but least favorite was Venice.Not the same Venice i remembered back in the early 90's. It is unique,beautiful and full of history, dont get me wrong but SO CROWDED, to many touristy junk in stalls and dirtier than it has to be.Just be prepared and dont enter Venice on the St. Marks side. I think the pigeon **** just grossed us out to much!
I do know that Carnival is now doing a Med. one with a little different twist to include Greece.Thats my next stop someday!
I would research for whatever one you do, private tours VS.ship sponserd. By the time you get a group together, it comes out cheaper in the end. Also dont rely on them for pre- or post cruise hotel bookings etc. Half the fun is planning this on your own. To many people we talked to were so dissapointed that they had the cruise line book everything from plane tickets, trasportation to and from, pre-cruise hotels etc.
Have you checked out CruiseCritic.com?
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
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My mother and I took a European cruise some years ago - well, I guess it was a "Mediterranean" cruise, but we were still in Europe. We went on Orient Lines, which is a smaller semi-luxury line... nicer and smaller than the "big lines" (like Royal Caribbean, Princess, etc.), but not quite at the Crystal Cruise or Seaborne level. It had about 400 passengers, which was perfect for adults, couples and seniors... wouldn't recommend it for young families, but we thought it was perfect! Small enough to not feel overwhelmed or crowded, but it still had all the necessary amenities... except a casino, which kinda ticked us off.

The cruise we took was 10 days, and went from Istanbul to Kusadasi (Turkey), Malta, Santorini, Mykonos, Sorrento (Italy), and ended in Rome. We had a terrific time, and saw some really amazing sights! I posted a few pictures on another thread, but I can post them again if you'd like. We also spent a few extra days in Istanbul and Rome, which are both amazing cities that are worth visiting. Here's the website for that cruise line, which I would recommend highly: http://www.orientlines.com/ Oh, and we traveled in October, which was a nice time of year... the weather was very pleasant, except in Italy where it was still quite hot. I'd suggest May or September over August, just because most of Southern Europe is really hot in August... but it depends on which countries you'll be visiting, I guess.
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:29 AM
 
Location: on an island
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What a fun trip to research, HappyandMarried.

I've been on a cruise, but not in Europe. (Though I have indeed ferried overnight from Venice to Corfu, Greece.) I liked Venice. The thing to do in Venice is walk around and get lost.
A friend did a Eastern Europe cruise.
She went in September, and something to remember is that it can sometimes be rainier (and possibly even floody) then. That's what happened to them, and it did mess up their trip a little bit--but it certainly was not a complete wash-out (no pun intended).

I do think the shoulder season (May or September) is a good time to go.

I was in Dubrovnik late last June and the morning cruise crowds (many were Europeans) were insane--but we were staying in the old town there so by afternoon, all the cruise people were gone. It was hot but not unbearable, and we could go swimming at the beach. The Dalmatian coast is gorgeous. The Adriatic is such a beautiful color.

One thing to think about is the fact that even when Italy is hot, the coast might not be as bad as inland. However, I think you might really enjoy Eastern Europe. Would this cruise be coast or river? The coast of Montenegro is virtually the same as the Dalmatian as well as the terrain of Corfu, lovely green pinewoods and that azure water.

Gizmo your destinations sound enchanting. Santorini is one of the most breathtaking places I've ever seen, as is the Amalfi coast, and I still hope to *someday* see Malta and coastal Turkey.
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Old 01-20-2007, 04:57 PM
 
Location: In exile, plotting my coup
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I spent a summer traveling in Europe, by land not by sea (although a few ferry trips were scattered in there) and I would strongly recommend taking the trip in either May or September for crowd reasons. August is incredibly hot and a lot of cities (particularly in France) simply shut down for the month as many Europeans take off the entire month and head to the beaches for vacation meaning that oftentimes the cities that you dock at will be either popular local/tourist destinations packed with both tourists and millions of locals on their own vacations, or you'll disembark in a nearly empty city with stores shut down and full of your fellow tourists which is sort of an eerie feeling.

I was in Venice in early July and it was INSANELY crowded. Like Times Square at New Year's Eve crowded, almost everywhere I went.
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dullnboring View Post
I spent a summer traveling in Europe, by land not by sea (although a few ferry trips were scattered in there) and I would strongly recommend taking the trip in either May or September for crowd reasons. August is incredibly hot and a lot of cities (particularly in France) simply shut down for the month as many Europeans take off the entire month and head to the beaches for vacation meaning that oftentimes the cities that you dock at will be either popular local/tourist destinations packed with both tourists and millions of locals on their own vacations, or you'll disembark in a nearly empty city with stores shut down and full of your fellow tourists which is sort of an eerie feeling.

I was in Venice in early July and it was INSANELY crowded. Like Times Square at New Year's Eve crowded, almost everywhere I went.
Sorry but as far as crowds go,its in creept up into Sept and Oct. as well. Was just there and Rome and Venice were insane! I had been a few times before in that given month and it was not as bad as was this time. We were told by several people that live there that its busy untill NOV.now and gets quiet just for a few months after that.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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Default great idea

great way to see many cities and experience a lot of Europe very easily . Just went in Sept. on the Norwegian Jewel - very nice boat - day trip from Barcelona, up the coast of Italy , Sicily, Naples,Mt Etna, Amalfi, Rome and Florence then to the French Riviera for the last stop - Awesome trip - do it!
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Near Charlotte, NC
405 posts, read 1,148,081 times
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Thanks for all the input.

Here is what we all agreed upon for the cruise -

Barcelona, Spain; Provence(Marseilles),France; Nice,(Villefranche) France; Florence, Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Ajaccio, Corsica; Tangier, Morocco; Casablanca, Morocco; Valencia, Spain; Barcelona, Spain

Aboard the Celebrity Century. The Century was just refirbushed, so everything should be nice and new.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Bay Area, CA
29,038 posts, read 45,055,577 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyandMarried View Post
Thanks for all the input.

Here is what we all agreed upon for the cruise -

Barcelona, Spain; Provence(Marseilles),France; Nice,(Villefranche) France; Florence, Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Ajaccio, Corsica; Tangier, Morocco; Casablanca, Morocco; Valencia, Spain; Barcelona, Spain

Aboard the Celebrity Century. The Century was just refirbushed, so everything should be nice and new.
Wow, that sounds amazing!! I've always dreamed of visiting Morocco, so I'm a bit jealous on that one. Celebrity is a nice cruise line, especially on a newly refurbished ship, and I'm sure you'll have a great time!
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:17 AM
 
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Default Perfect

You will love that trip - have been on celebrity twice and they were very good. Great stops too. We were surprized how much we loved Villefranche - jump on the train (like 2 euro) to Monaco/Monte Carlo for a few hours (about 25 minutes by train) very cool. nice little beachside restaurant in Villefranche too.
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