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Mediterranean cruise and travel tips: What to pack and where to go

Author: Kendall Hayes

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Mediterranean cruises are a popular staple within the cruise industry because of all the stunning region has to offer. This is what you need to know ahead of your holiday.

Mediterranean cruises from the UK are the most popular among British holidaymakers thanks to this gorgeous part of the world offering a little bit of everything.

There are beautiful blue waters, sunshine, major cities, small villages, ruins, famous museums, amazing cuisine, colourful cultures and much more.

The excitement of all the vast Mediterranean has to offer can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to planning a cruise holiday.

To successfully thrive on the right Mediterranean cruise for you, follow these tips, from what to pack for the Med to where to go.

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What to wear on a Mediterranean cruise?

Since the Mediterranean contains so many different countries, cultures and climates it can be difficult to know what to wear.

It is most common to go on a Mediterranean cruise during the months of July and August at the height of summer when the weather is at its hottest.

Due to the heat during peak season, it is necessary to bring multiple swimming costumes and trunks, sandals, sunglasses and a sun hat as they will be a staple during your time away.

In July, the average temperature in Rome, a popular Mediterranean cruise destination, is 25 degrees Celsius.

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If your itinerary includes more active excursions and lots of exploring, make sure to pack comfortable sneakers or hiking shoes.

Whether it’s just wandering around the cobblestone streets of many European cities or hiking a trail, trainers are a must.

Each cruise is different and there could be lots of elegant events planned or more casual events depending on your cruise line of choice, so your outfits will differ based on your itinerary. Be sure to check ahead what you'll need!

Make sure to bring at least one trendy, elegant outfit to blend in with the Mediterranean vibe surrounding you.

A jumpsuit, dress, or skirt for women or blazer and cotton trousers for men will work perfectly in making you fit right in.

Mediterranean cruise: Make sure to pack comfortable shoes and clothes you won’t be too hot in. Credit: Shutterstock

What is the best cruise ship for the Mediterranean?

There are several great options for the best cruise ship for a Mediterranean cruise.

According to U.S. News’ rankings of 2020, Seabourn Cruise Line is the #1 best cruise line in the Mediterranean.

Seabourn's five ships welcome 458 or 600 guests depending on the ship and they offer luxurious amenities, multiple dining options (both fine and casual) and a variety of excursions both on and off the ship. However, there are no activities or services available for children.

The runner up for this ranking was Crystal Cruises, which offers a mostly all-inclusive Mediterranean cruise that is also children friendly.

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Other family-friendly cruise lines include Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise Line.

Royal Caribbean is extremely family-friendly with its own Adventure Ocean kids club, cabins to fit a whole family plus kid-friendly restaurants.

Or if cruisers are more interested in extreme luxury in dining, entertainment and cabins, and want to look somewhere other than Seabourn, guests may opt for a cruise on a small ship/all-suite line such as Silversea Cruises.

Cruisers who want more of an active experience and do not enjoy getting all glammed up may go for Windstar Cruises, which offers a motorised sailing yacht that is very popular for a younger group.

Mediterranean cruise: There are ports in Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey and beyond. Credit: Shutterstock

Where do Mediterranean cruises go?

The Mediterranean region consists of 21 different European, Asian and African countries, so these types of cruises have many different port options such as Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey and beyond.

Since European countries are near each other, it is possible to visit Mediterranean cruise ports in five or six nations in just one week.

It’s worth noting, however, that cruises that hit many different countries are pricey so cruisers should probably narrow down the area they would like to see.

For first time cruisers, the Mediterranean has been voted the most popular cruise destination.

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Because there are so many places within the Mediterranean, first-time cruisers should choose itineraries that feature the big-hitter cities such as Rome, Barcelona, Seville, Nice and Florence.

The Western Mediterranean is the place to go with a family when children are involved compared to the quieter, less touristy Eastern Mediterranean.

On the other hand, natives of the Mediterranean cruise should focus on itineraries that look at more obscure Mediterranean cities such as Siena, Valencia and Avignon.

Additionally, islands such as Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica are great for more avid Mediterranean travellers.

Ports that are lesser-known, but still worth the visit are Mahón in Menorca and Valencia in Spain.

Mediterranean Cruise: At night, Europeans like to dress up so make sure to go for a smart-casual look. Credit: Shutterstock

What to pack for a Mediterranean cruise?

For Mediterranean cruises during the peak season, the main articles of clothing cruisers will wear are all the summer basics: cover-ups, shorts, t-shirts, swimwear, blazers and dresses.

For the months of September and October, the weather is not cold, but a bit chillier so it may be wise to pack an umbrella, a light jacket, jeans, scarves or pashminas, and a few light sweaters.

Remember, layers are key when packing for the off-season!

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If you want to avoid looking like a tourist, there are several things to pack to look more like a local.

During the day, why not opt for such staples as linen trousers, cotton sundresses, t-shirts, cotton trousers, espadrilles, straw hats and leather sandals.

At night, Europeans like to dress up so make sure to go for a smart-casual look.

To document your cruise, make sure to bring a camera and phone chargers/adapters so that all your memories can be saved forever.

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