Has anyone been to either the east or west Med. Having never been to Europe, I need advice on both, best travel time for price value and weather, and cruise line, although we prefer Celebrity....thanks
Surely sounds like you need the advice of a good local travel agent who should be able to help you with all your questions. Your questions, which are good, seem to require longer answers than one can effectively post on a board. Ernie
Here's a heretical point of view for a cruise board:
Assuming you mean your "Having never been to Europe" statement quite literally, and even though I am a cruise fan, I would suggest that a cruise might not be the best possible introduction to Europe. True, my wife and I are going on the Millie shortly in Europe, but we've been there a million times before, and seen much of it close up. Even so, we're spending significant days both pre and post cruise doing our own thing in Italy.
The cultures of Europe are deep and wonderful, and truly need to be absorbed rather than splashed. For that you need time to put your roots down in a place for a few days and get to know it. That's very rewarding.
As I say, I'm a cruise lover too, but I'd choose to begin my adventures in Europe in a different way.
I must agree with AR having just returned from the 9/9 Millennium Western Europe cruise. We too are 1st. time Europe travelers, love cruising & Celebrity so we thought this would offer the best overview, so we can return someday. Due to the late arrivals, traffic, limited time on tours, it really did cut our experiences short in the many major ports. We missed two ports due to no fault of the cruise line; Barcelona (fuel strike) and Florence (bad weather at sea/port). We will do a well planned land tour probably with Trafalgar, Brennen or Globus who seem to have a good reputation in Europe and I have been told are all associated. We will stick to the Caribbean for cruising and I am sure we will give Celebrity another chance. Also, we were told that if you do decide to cruise, choose a cruise line that has a continuous history of travel in Europe. I was surprised with Celebrity's association with RCCL, that communications, tours, etc. did not run more smoothly. The Legand of the Seas ran 3 tenders to Celebrity's 1 in Villefrance. There was no excuse for this inefficiency.
I second AR and Nanatravel. If you really want to see the Med, a cruise is not the best way. On the other hand, depending on your vacation needs and desires it might still be a perfect vacation.
I suggest you think about what you want from the trip. If a cruise is the number 1 priority, and you want more interesting ports that the Carribean, go for it. However, if your priority is to get a quick "feel" for Europe, and cruising is secondary, go for a land trip. If the latter is your preference, Italy is about as good as life gets in my book.
P.S. Having said all this, I'm cruising the Med in November. But then I want a relaxing cruise and after cruising the Med for a week I get seven sea days back to the states.