Cruising the Scenic Mediterranean: The Trip of a Lifetime!

By Sherry Jefferson, Cruise Consultant, The Cruise Web.

In September of last year, I had the pleasure of taking a cruise in the beautiful Mediterranean!  This trip was filled with extraordinary beauty and surprising history, so much so, that I had to share it with you!  This fabulous Eastern Mediterranean itinerary included the ports of Naples and Messina in Italy, the Greek Islands of Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini, Piraeus, Greece (the port for Athens), and Kusadasi, Turkey.

The Cruise began in Civitevecchia, the closest port to Rome, Italy.  If you have never been to Rome, I highly recommend you do not miss the spectacular history and culture that awaits you there!  From the Colosseum to Vatican City, there is so much to see and experience in Rome.  If you can allow the time, a few days in Rome, either before or after the cruise, is a must.

The first port of call on the cruise was Messina, Italy.  We had selected a wine tour through the cruise line which took us to the base of Mt. Etna.  The winery itself was a former baronial estate with spectacular view of the lands below.  In a shaded area outside we were treated to aperitifs and wine.  Then came lunch!  Lunch was served in a regal, stone-encased room and included several courses and wine pairings.  It was such a beautiful scene; like something from The Godfather!  The lunch itself was well worth the cost of the tour.

In Naples, Italy, we took a day long excursion to the coast.  The drive along the coast is simply breath-taking!  We passed through the famous little towns of Positano and Amalfi.  For a few hours you can pretend to be a jet setter. These are the little towns that celebrities frequent and you read about in magazines!  This tour ended with a trip to Pompei, a truly incredible experience.  One has to marvel at the fact that an advanced civilization once thrived there! Italy

Rhodes was a mixture of old and new – with an entire ancient city walled inside a modern one.  Here, we walked around the old city and then hopped on a local tram which made for an easy tour of all the old and new areas.  I had to marvel at how simple it was to tour in Europe as public transportation is so easily accessible.  Mykonos was well navigated on foot.  The narrow alleyways lined with shops and restaurants made for an entertaining afternoon of shopping and absorbing the local culture.

The next morning we awoke to the view of Santorini which was absolutely gorgeous!  I felt like I was  looking at a postcard while viewing the whitewashed buildings sitting high above the black volcanic rock.  The view from above was just as spectacular.  Here, we contracted a friendly local tour operator who drove us all around the island.  We ended the day with some relaxing time at Black Beach.  There the sand was a unique shade of black as it was formed from the surrounding volcanic rocks.  What a day!

The next stop was Kusadasi, Turkey.  Kusadasi is a very modern city with many local shops famous for their rugs and leathers.  Here, we decided to take a tour of Ephesus which is known as the best preserved classical city of the Eastern Mediterranean.  In Ephesus you could envision the life lead by the ancients.  The same can be said for many of the ports.  With each, you are reminded of the history that lies there, and of the people who once walked the same paths we walk now.  I was simply caught by the awe of it all!

Athens, Greece is a large, modern city.  Yet again, the opportunity for history is available for the taking. Here we selected a tour offered through the cruise line.  The highlight of this tour was the Acropolis!  Once again, I was awed by the antiquity that surrounded us.

All in all, this was one of the best trips, if not THE best, that I have ever taken!  The ability to see so many beautiful places and so much history in one trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  And a cruise is by far the best way to see so much!  We did not have to worry about packing, unpacking and packing again!  Nor did we miss the trouble of dragging our luggage from place to place or worrying about where to sleep or eat.  The familiarity and hospitality offered by the cruise ship was a welcome luxury.  My only complaint … the trip wasn’t long enough!  However, I do have over 500 pictures to remind me of this special trip and help me relive a most excellent adventure!

Sherry Jefferson
Cruise Consultant
The Cruise Web, Inc.
1-800-377-9383, ext. 307
sherryj@cruiseweb.com

17 comments

1 Carmel { 03.25.09 at 7:00 pm }

Thanks Sherry, I was looking at doing a cruise that takes you to all
the places you have talked about you have convinced me to do it.
Carmel

2 Eva Sher { 03.25.09 at 8:10 pm }

Dear Sherry,
After reading a beautiful article you wrote we can not wait to see all these magic places in October .
Thanks so much for an impressive service , guidance and help we received from you . Because of you we keep coming back to Cruiseweb to book our vacations.
We wish you and your company long healthy business life.
Thank you many times,

Eva and Irwin Sher

3 drairevielm { 04.04.09 at 10:23 am }

Great site this cruiseweb.com and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor.

4 Ann Sullivan { 04.14.09 at 12:40 pm }

We too took a cruise last Sept. starting in Barcelona and ending in Venice. We are in our golden years and did 10 tours from Nice/Eza, Monti Carlo, Rome, Sicly ending in Venice. It was indeed the trip of a life time. . each stop was filled with history, excitement and friendly people. We are blessed to have taken this trip. Ann and Doug

5 IndyMo { 04.19.09 at 12:35 pm }

Sounds fine, but I’m still a bit “put-out” at the major line’s seeming refusal to include more than one or two of the Med. islands on their itineraries. I would like to visit Crete, Malta, Sardinia + 1 or 2 of the Greek isles, and SKIP North Africa and Turkey, but so far, it’s not to be!

6 The Cruise Web Team { 04.19.09 at 8:13 pm }

Thank you for contacting us, IndyMo. Your personal cruise consultant will contact you shortly to discuss the Mediterranean cruise options.

7 Janet Simcic { 07.07.09 at 11:14 am }

Do you have any suggestions for Athens apart from the ship’s tour? A restaurant or 5 star hotel? We have seen the Acropolis and wish to take the opportunity to just relax while in Athens. Thanks

8 Marlene Cargin { 02.19.10 at 1:31 pm }

Love your site, looking for something different though Italy/Croatia would be nice. We are also in our golden years, and are planning to do a lot of traveling, as we have been to Greece & Turkey (Kusadasi) never to Croatia, would be a bonus.

9 Mark Garza { 02.19.10 at 3:13 pm }

That really sounds like a great vacation! I will contact you shortly to discus your ideas.

10 cherie malona { 02.24.10 at 10:51 pm }

Want all my friends/family to go on the trip with me 12 to 25 people at least. We live in CT. We need a trip that will cost about $1000 per person. We are willing to stay and do what we is available. Please include air/cruise — We will take a plane from anywhere.

11 snowgirl { 09.19.10 at 11:21 pm }

leaving for eastern meditteranean cruise in october, how hot will it be on board, and on land? Rome, Greece, Turkey, Egypt?

Thanks!

12 Kathy { 10.30.10 at 3:43 am }

We are considering doing the eastern meditteranean cruise next year but are wondering what the cost of the tours from the cruise ship are. From Sherry Jefferson’s article it would appear that it would not be necessary to do organised tours at every port, however, it would be nice to know what is on offer and the cost of same.

13 susan { 05.24.12 at 2:53 pm }

we took a med cruise on oceania’s marina last may. it was the most beautiful, inspiring and enjoyable vacation i’ve ever taken. every port was better than the one before. can’t choose a favorite.

14 d2times { 09.19.12 at 2:54 pm }

U don’t mention Venice but the picture was taken at the Bridge of Sighs???

15 Sherry { 09.19.12 at 3:55 pm }

Thanks for reading my blog. I didn’t get to Venice on that trip but I will be going there in about three weeks time. I’m doing another Mediterranean on Crystal that leaves from Athen’s and ends in Venice. I will be staying a few days extra there and will be sure to visit the Bridge of Sighs as well as other popular and not so known places.

16 Lorraine { 10.24.12 at 6:36 pm }

Can we make bookings on this sight for a mediteranean cruise that takes you to Turkey, Greece, Italy Croatia and Egypt as we live in New Zealand.

17 Janie Monier { 10.26.12 at 1:00 pm }

Hi Lorraine! My name is Janie and I am your cruise consultant here at The Cruise Web. I certainly look forward to helping you plan your Mediterranean adventure. I will reach out to you to get more details about your cruise plans, or feel free to contact me at 1-240-487-0155 ext. 287 or janiem@cruiseweb.com.

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