August is when many Europeans are on holiday. My wife and I celebrated our 30th with a Grand Mediterranean cruise on the brand new Grand Princess. (by the way, congratulations!)
It was just an extrodinary experience with one not-so-small exception: It was very crowded everywhere we went--and mostly with Europeans. My wife and I are very easy going, low-key people and we have learned to enjoy ourselves in any situation; but given the chance to do it again, I would not go in July or August. My advice would be to go as late as you possibly can--late September or even push it into October if at all possible. It was also quite warm and I think the the weather would be more agreeable in late Sept.-Oct..
I would definitely agree with the last poster. Given a choice between Aug and Sept, it would be no contest! September has many advantages and virtually no negatives. It would get you out of the prime summer tourist season, avoid the crazy European holiday month of August, give you access to lower airfares, lower cruise fares, and also make it a lot easier to get hotel reservations (in case you want to spend some extra time in Europe).
Many thanks for your thoughts. I had considered many of the possibilities that you mentioned, starting with the crowded sites. One of my friends said that she was on Brilliance of the Seas in August (her 35th anniversary), and she was quite upset with all of the Europeans with small kids running around the ship. My last three cruises were all after school started just to avoid that possibility.
My husband's concern is the weather. I personally think the weather might be better in September. . . .less of a chance of unbearable heat and humidity.
avoid the month August for a cruise in the Mediterranean Sea. The ships are overcrowded with kids. And italian kids are (like their parents) the reverse of calm. We prefer the late September. The weather is smooth, the sun is not so hot - and it is a little bit cheaper.
Have a nice cruise
Hello mooneydiva, and thank you.
The most recent information I have is that Princess is charging
$15 for half a day in the Sanctuary. The article (from Cruise Travel magazine) said it was so successful they needed a way to limit access. But there are plenty of quiet sheltered areas so there is no need to pay extra for this.
The Grand Mediterranean cruise on Emerald Princess would be just a magnificent choice; a new ship with just enough cruises logged to get the kinks out (we were on Grand Princess' second cruise and a lot of the crew seemed as awestruck and unsure as we were); and a really marvelous itinerary. I have no words to describe the thrill of sailing into Venice and Istanbul.
I see the other posters agree: late September is best. My choice would be Sept. 26; the crowds would be gone and the weather should have moderated. I see the itinerary is reverse (Barcelona to Venice) but I suggest that is better--you end on such a high note (not that there is anything wrong with Barcelona).
Two more suggestions, then I'll shut up!
Do yourselves a favor and book a balcony cabin or mini-suite; there are so many beautiful ports on this trip; and nothing compares to the thrill of watching from your own private balcony. Second, if you sail Venice to Barcelona, book a port (left side) cabin; if you sail Barcelona to Venice book a starboard (right side) cabin; then you will be on the correct side to see St. Mark's square as you pass--a thrill you will never forget.
Have a wonderful trip, and let us know what you decide.
So many thanks for all of your wonderful comments and suggestions.
I'm going to pass your emails to my husband so he can see that I'm not joking about the crowds and kids and such in August. It is not that I don't like kids, believe me! However, I own a store and see how parents do NOT watch their kids. One reason we waited over 10 years between cruises was because there were a bunch of kids on the Tropicale, and they were far from calm, to use Uwe's description (which I like a lot!!).
Re: a balcony cabin. . .We had one on AOS and I'm stuck. I know I could probably survive in any cabin, but I like having my own quiet place.
As I mentioned in my other post, the only other consideration is whether or not to do a land tour, also.
I see in the brochure that the land tour available with the Grand Mediterranean is "Under the Tuscan Sun".
If you would allow me to make another observation, one of the few frustations of our cruise was having only one day to see Florence and Pisa; and much of that day was spent on a bus from Livorno. The cruisetour gives you ample time in Florence and Northern Italy, which is just stunningly beautiful; then on the cruise portion you can focus on Pisa.
I'm getting excited just writing this to you, and may, in fact, be planning MY OWN next trip!