Only a bit over 2 months till we leave on our HAL cruise of the
Mediterranean. We sail from Barcelona to Venice. I need to seriously think
about what clothes to take. What to wear on ship isn't too much of a concern
beacause we've done it before (two 7-day cruises to the Caribbean) but this
is our first visit to Europe ever. What's best for touring the port cities
in July? We are a middle-aged couple with 14 and 18 year old daughters. Like
most teens, they wear shorts and jeans everywhere, but I'm not sure if
that's appropriate in European cities. (We are aware of restrictions when
visiting cathedrals, etc.). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. By
the way, anyone on the July 20 sailing of the Rotterdam VI? Thanks, Helen
We are cruising the Grand Med in June. I have thoroughly enjoyed scouring the internet, message boards and cruise reviews over the last 10 months and have come up with the following:
In Istanbul, Venice and Florence (or anywhere you will visit cathedral or mosque) you should consider dresses or shirt and blouse (knees & shoulders covered), men should wear pants (light cotton khakis) in those ports. Everywhere else MODEST shorts are OK. Another reason for dresses in Turkey, Greence, the Balkans and occasionally in Italy or France, you'll encounter Eastern or Turkish-style toilets --especially in bars, cafes, and modest restaurants. These flat ceramic fixtures are recessed into the floor.
We will be taking a night time tour in Istanbul and our guide advised us that shorts and/or tennis shoes were not recommended at night.
Also, came across the following when researching security: Avoid becoming a prime target for thieves. Choose your travel wardrobe carefully, eliminating bright colors and fancy jewelry. The smart traveler wants to remain as inconspicuous as possible.
I have copied some other information to word documents that I would be glad to attach to an e-mail to you. If you would like this info - just e-mail & let me know.
Europe (including Turkey) is generally more formal than the United States. As Julie noted, "conservative" is the key -- but the climate also is very warm, so you won't want heavy clothing.
Much of Europe's art is in churches, so you probably will be visiting a church or two on most of your tours. In Istanbul, your tour probably also will incude a mosque.
>> For ladies, a knee-length dress that covers the shoulders would be acceptable almost anywhere, as would a leotard and a wrap skirt. Some churches also require women to cover their heads, so bring a kerchief in your handbag for this purpose if you are not wearing a hat. The mosques seem to provide full-length wrap skirts that you can use to cover your knees during the visit if they deem your dress too short.
>> For gentlemen, a shirt with a collar (golf shirt or polo shirt) and dress slacks are acceptable for sightseeing just about anywhere.
It's best to wear standard (dress style) shoes rather than sneakers.
A few places, like the casino in Monte Carlo, do require dressier attire. Information on dress requirements for such attractions will be readily available either in the tour description or aboard ship.
Jeans and shorts are inappropriate for such USA cities as NYC, less you live there, and most inappropriate for Europe. So is the baseball cap and the tee-shirts that say "GO YANKEES (or whatever your team is)". Anyway, I suspect that you would roast in jeans in the Med in July -- the sand was so hot in Oct one did not walk on the beach (there were special pavers for walking paths between chairs).
Re the dresses or skirts -- I have never taken any. Several pairs of black, or navy, and beige linen or silk slacks will take you everywhere. And that includes churches in Florence, Venice & Rome; and actually we were not asked to cover our heads even in the Vatican. Just avoid sleevless tops with plunging necklines. A sweater or light jacket that will work as a rain-repellant too. Only what jewelry you are will to let go ..
For your husband: as previously posted, light cotton khakis or dark Dockers with collared shirt -- either a solid color knit or even a white short-sleeve cotton (but tie and jacket are not necessary) -- work well.
Most important:the hidden money belt.. Next Most important: good shoes. Remember the streets will most likely be cobblestones, and often not cemented down. My husband has a problem ankle and the best support for it is in a shoe that looks more sneaker than dress -- it has never caused us to be mugged or pick-pocketed. Actually the minute you speak you tell everyone "American". That's why the #1 Most Important above.
I would add a hat (straw) since even in Oct the sun in Ronda was so strong I bought a straw one there. In July your Med sun could be quite strong. Actually, buying one there might both answer the need and give you a trip memory.
Had another thought -- does the cruise ship take your luggage from the exit airport all the way to the ship & reverse that on the way home? If not, or if you want to verify that your luggage did make it there, or if you are doing your own air...
Don't know about Barcelona, but the custom lines in Madrid were long. And, as in any European airport, you don't want to let go of your luggage at any point for any reason.
We'll be getting off in Barcelona when you are getting on! We went to the Med. last summer with our two boys (20 yr. old and 9 yr. old). You're right, they have to dress up a bit for tours. In Rome for sure if you are going to the Vatican...I wore sun dresses and carried coordinating shawls to put on only when neccessary (it was HOT!). I got great cotton-poly zip off pants for my hubby and boys. Pants for the cathedrals and cool shorts for outdoors all in one! (Target, of all places has nice ones!). Have a great time! Sorry we'll miss you!