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Old May 26th, 2006, 08:45 PM
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Default advice on europe

We just returned from Alaska, cruising with Princess. This is our second cruise with Princess . I have cruised 5 times with Carnival. We have never been to Europe. I could use any ideas on cruiseline or iteniary to Europe . We are going to travel Nov 2007 or Jan. 2008.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Selection for ships in Europe will be very limited in Nov. Most of the major cruise lines have or are repositioning their ships to the Caribbean by that point.

Jan would be quite cool as far as weather, and your choices would be limited to European cruise lines.

If you look at Oct. that's a great time to cruise in Europe. Summer crowds are gone, and weather will likely be excellent.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 07:09 PM
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ohio cruisers,

We just returned from Alaska, cruising with Princess. This is our second cruise with Princess . I have cruised 5 times with Carnival. We have never been to Europe. I could use any ideas on cruiseline or iteniary to Europe . We are going to travel Nov 2007 or Jan. 2008.

The major cruise lines generally move ships from the Caribbean to Europe in late April or early May. A few ships move from the Baltic region to Canada & New England in late August or early September and return to the Caribbean from there in late October or early November; the rest go to the Mediterranean in September if operating elsewhere in Europe and they all return to the Caribbean in October, November, and December. In particular, I know that both Princess and Celebrity still have two or three ships in the Mediterranean in early November. None of the major lines have ships in the Mediterranean in January.

Incidentally, Celebrity offers some very unusual itineraries in November, with MV Galaxy operating cruises that call at several ports in the Black Sea, in addition to the more standard Mediterranean itineraries.

Have a great cruise, whatever you decide!

Norm.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 03:53 PM
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Default Europe

I had had no idea. I guess we will have to move our dates back to May. That is normally when we vacation anyway. Ohio Cruisers
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Old May 29th, 2006, 09:39 PM
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Ohio Cruisers,

I had had no idea. I guess we will have to move our dates back to May. That is normally when we vacation anyway.

May is generally a very good time to go to the Mediterranean or to western Europe. It's probably a tad cool for a cruise in the Baltic. October or November would be a better time to go to the Mediterranean, though -- especially if you are going to Venice, where the Piazza San Marco tends to be flooded in May.

I should also forewarn you that cruises in Europe have a very different character than cruises to the Caribbean, the Mexican Riviera, or Alaska. Nearly all of the ports of call are so rich in attractions that shore excursions tend to leave the ship soon after arrival (8:00 to 8:30 AM) and return to the ship right before first sitting (5:30 to 6:00 PM) with lunch at a local restaurant included. The shore excursions are the only way to see the ports of call. The major attractions typically have two-hour lines, so you will spend half the day waiting in line if you try to see the sights on your own. Tour groups have pre-arranged times, so they bypass the lines and go right in when they arrive at the attractions. Also, budget about $125 per person per port of call for shore excursions.

Again, have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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Ohio Cruisers, have you thought of a Med + a trans-Atlantic cruise? We did one last Nov on the Grand (17 days). It was a little cool and some rain, but NO tourists. All the sites were easily done without 3 ships in port.

Rome to Galviston.

Just before this crusise there was one from Venice to Greece and then to Rome.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 05:31 AM
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Default Europe

I see this trip is going to take lots of planning and lots of advise. Being we have never been to Europe, I wouldn't feel good about taking excursions that weren't booked on board. Ohio Cruisers
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Old June 1st, 2006, 01:40 AM
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ohio cruisers,

I see this trip is going to take lots of planning and lots of advise.

Don't get stressed up about booking a cruise to Europe. It's no more difficult than booking a cruise to the Caribbean or to Alaska. Your cruise line and your travel agent will provide "one stop shopping" for whatever you need, though it's certainly reasonable to book your own flights if you are a member of a frequent flyer program.

Realistically, there is absolutely no way that you will see all of Europe in one cruise. You might want to consider whether there is some part of Europe that might mean more to you than another, perhaps because of some tie (ancestry, etc.) or other attraction (favorite cuisine, etc.). If so, you might want to start your European adventures with a cruise that calls in that country or region. If not, just jump in wherever you find a good deal on the cruise and the air fare.

I do have one additional recommendation. Nearly all flights from North America to Europe operate as "red eye" (overnight) flights, leaving the United States in the evening and arriving in Europe in the morning thanks to the duration of the flight and the change in time zone. Coming from Ohio, you would do well to book flights to Europe from either Cincinnati or Cleveland if possible rather than connecting through Boston, New York, Newark, or Philadelphia. The additional time in flight is time to sleep during what promises to be a very short night. It's amazing how much difference the extra hour or two in flight actually makes when you land.

Being we have never been to Europe, I wouldn't feel good about taking excursions that weren't booked on board.

That's perfectly reasonable. The major cruise lines check out the tour operators for you, so you can be fairly confident that you are in good hands if you book your excursions aboard. The same is true of both hotel packages booked through your cruise line and tours booked through your cruise line's hopitality desk at the hotels. Thus, you can book them with complete confidence.

Have a great cruise, whatever you decide!

Norm.
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Old June 1st, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Best time to go is May, June, Sept or Oct ... less crowds, not too hot ...you may find some cruiselines in Nov but most have already done the repositioning to North America.

Fly in a day or more prior to the cruise so you are rested up & relaxed.

Lots of people do their own tours but it is your vacation so do what is comfortable for you.
We do ship's tours and some on our own depending on the port.

Most of all Enjoy the cruise.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 05:48 PM
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Celebrity has some very exciting itineraries for Europe next year and I woldn'lt hesiitate to book.. Find an itinerary that has ports that are of interet.. Rome, Barcelona, Nice or Morocco, Greece, etc.. and pick a ship... May sounds like a great time.. We did the trans0Atlantic on the Century in October and had the most gorgeous weather in all the prtts.. I would definetely go in the fall or before trourist season in the summer.. May sounds great
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Old June 4th, 2006, 06:12 PM
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By all means get a cruise catalogue from Princess, Celebrity and Holland America (or the line of your choice) for ALL their European cruises, including the Scandinavian capitols (Baltic) and take some time to study it. That's the only way to make an informed decision. Get shore excursion booklets if you can. (I know you can see Holland's online.) Get the facts, talk it over, then make the choice. Choosing and anticipation are half the fun
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Old June 5th, 2006, 12:46 PM
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Main thing is don't try to "do it all." We have crossed the pond a few times and are still adding to our repitoire. In November we are doing an "Egypt & Aegean" itinerary on the "Golden Princess." We got a great deal by booking early and since you are able to book outside the summer window, you should be able to also.
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Old June 8th, 2006, 10:07 PM
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Don't stress and enjoy the planning portion! Get brochures from various cruise lines, also there are some excellent books available on cruising Europe and the Med. I'm online alot planning for my bigger cruises but I still use travel books, too.

Don't be afraid to ask questions, everyone is glad to help. I like reading the posts because I learn new things and I've traveled in Europe!

Enjoy!
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Old July 11th, 2006, 07:35 PM
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Default Med. - My two cents worth

We've cruised in the Med. several times (sort of got started by accident ).

We've been to Europe in August, September and May. If at all possible, I'd look for something in May or late September/October. Anytime the students are in school.

May beats the crowds. In July, August and early Sept. it is pretty warm and many things you'll want to see will NOT have a/c - petty complaint, I know, but I'll always remember the Vatican Museum in August - and I'll never do THAT again. And most of Europe goes on vacation in August hence the crowds.

And Venice - what a dream of a city - totally took us by surprise! We've been to Venice in May twice and not experienced flooding - not even rain. In fact, we were concerned our first trip that we'd be disappointed with the city as we'd heard that it "smelled"......not true in May. Beautiful weather, beautiful city - not to be missed. And oh, so romantic!

You'll enjoy Europe - no matter when you visit.....but one trip won't do it.....you'll be planning your return before you finish the first cruise!

Enjoy.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Default Europe Advise

Thanks so much for the info. Lots of information that I hadn't received.
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Old July 15th, 2006, 08:36 AM
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Lat Octobrer we cruised Celebrity Century t/a and had magnificent weather in all the ports...aobut seventies..Three of the Celebrity ships that are doing incredible itineraries next year in their t/a are leaving the beginning of Deccember.. Carnival is doing a crossing in October, but for me the ship is too big...and I'm so tempted to go to the new cruise prs in Morocco and the Canary Islands.. Both places have just been written up iin travl magazines this month.. Haven't checked if they are doing their itineraries in the spring.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 08:08 AM
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Hi Ohio Cruisers,
My wife and I just started the search for our 15th Anniversary cruise to Europe next November as well! We are trying to cruise over Thanksgiving and are finding the pickings are slim during that week. We sail RCCL almost exclusively. We've never been to Europe before so like you, don't even know where to start looking or where to go first!

Can anyone say from different departure ports where it is cheapest to fly into?
Is there a cruise line "leader" that does it best in Europe?

Thanks!

Nick & Marjie

FYI: we're in northeast Ohio...Rootstown to be exact
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Old July 21st, 2006, 08:18 AM
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We did our 50th last October on the Celebrity Century..and looking at itineraries Celebrity seems to have a great selection.. We cruised trans-atlantic and embarked from Barcelona in October. The weather at in the ports was absolutely delightful. I think there is new Carnival leaving Rome that is great for trans/atlantic... One thing is for sure.. I would not cruise during the summer in Europe... Now, maybe the experts can tell me what to expect if we do another trans-atlantic the beginning of December...when the itineraries look even better.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Nick & Marjie,

My wife and I just started the search for our 15th Anniversary cruise to Europe next November as well! We are trying to cruise over Thanksgiving and are finding the pickings are slim during that week. We sail RCCL almost exclusively. We've never been to Europe before so like you, don't even know where to start looking or where to go first!

November is the end of the European season, and many of the ships will have returned to North America or the Caribbean, but there are a few ships that remain in the Mediterranean until December now.

Can anyone say from different departure ports where it is cheapest to fly into?

It all depends how early you book and how full the flights are. Sometimes you can save big $$$ by flying a day or two earlier.

Is there a cruise line "leader" that does it best in Europe?

Stick to the major lines marketed in North America.

The "premium" lines (Celebrity, Holland America, and Princess) have a much larger European presence than the "mainstream" lines (Carnical, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean), but even they are down to one or two ships by Thanksgiving.

JTOL, you might want to look into a transatlantic cruise at that time of year, especially if cost is a consideration. These cruises generally have a few ports of call in Europe before the actual crossing, then they take a southerly route to the Caribbean region so you have beautiful weather during the crossing. They also tend to be very inexpensive, and you are paying transatlantic air fare only one way.

Norm.
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