We are doing our first Mediteranean cruise next year and as of now - we have two booked - because we can't decide which we would prefer. I'm curious for those who have done either (or maybe both) what the opinions are...
Both are nice itineraries. The first (Legend of the Seas) is a smaller ship (still very nice.) We did similar cruise in '07. Would do it again. The have substituted Corfu for Cyprus.
The second (Brilliance of the Seas) is also a nice itinerary. Includes Cyprus (which I did not particularly enjoy as we were there on a Sunday and everything was closed.)
For a first time Med cruiser I'd have to recommend the 1st cruise. Kusadasi is something that you really want to see. Mykonos, and the sidetrip to Delos, is really great.
Comparing the departure ports; Barcelona is quicker, easier from the airport to port. Rome, further from the port, but a must see with 1-3 days pre/post cruise highly recommended. Whatever cruise you choose, arrive at least the day before the cruise leaves.
WOW! That last post made me sit up in my chair. I guess that after about 40 years of international travel, more than 18 cruises in Europe (and some of these were very long cruises) and thousands of miles of self-drive trips in Europe, we still love Med cruises. We think its a great way for someone to get an introduction to Europe at reasonable prices.
As to the two cruise itineraries (we have been to all of those ports..some many times) I would have to agree with ftroute (that's normal) that the 1st cruise would be a better choice. I cannot get too excited about Tunisia and Cyprus for an inexperienced European traveler. I also like the Rome departure (although it is a pain getting from the city or airport to the port) and would strongly urge the Connollys to "bite the bullet" and plan a few pre-cruise days in Rome.
I would also urge you to bring any specific question to the "European" board here in the ports section where both ftroute and I (as well as others) enjoy giving out port advice (for better or worse).
Having beena MED sailor on the staff of COMSIXTHFLT, I have been to all ports on both initeraries (I think). What ports will you be visiting in Egypt and Turkey? Regardless which cruise you finally decide on, I'm confident you will find your experience enjoyable and a memorable one.
You will probably be tendered (anchored out)during your visit to Tunis, Tunisia because the approaches are shallow. The water taxi ride takes about 25 minutes.
Mykinos, Rhodes and Corfu all in the same initerary - Wow! I hope that you will have an opportunity to leave one of those ports late in the evening. The atmosphere around the harbor in the early evening is something you don't want to miss. Pack plenty of sunscreen, the Med is beautiful but the UV's are attrocious.
There is plenty to see and do on both cruises. I would not be surprised to learn that you decide to make a second Med Cruise after you've been on one.
The water in the Ionian Sea(between Naples and Athens)below the Adriatic is the roughest water you will encounter in the Med. However, with today's stabilized cruise ships, you will hardly notice it.
Enjoy your cruise - take lots and lots of pictures.
go for it if you have never been cruising the whole experience is fascinating from the beginning, I did med last year and it was a first time cruise, we really enjoyed it, we didnt always do the ships tours etc just browsed at the port, we're heading for western caribbean this year so it will be interesting to see the difference
ps ive been to kusadasi and its great - brillinat for jewellery, handbags, and clothes!