A Mediterranean Cruise: Luxury versus Affordable

Cruising was, not so long ago, a holiday reserved only for the wealthy. It was certainly not the annual trip that many of us see it as today. Ships were smaller floating vessels with a maximum passenger capacity of about 2,000 passengers, with most ships being a lot smaller than that. Today, the newest ships coming out of the dockyards are more likely to carry over 6,000 passengers.

Dining was an opulent affair with most nights being classed as ‘formal’ and each passenger seated at the same table for the duration of the cruise. Today ‘freedom dining’ is the order of the day, although many ships still offer the option of ‘set dining’, at the same table each evening. There are now only one or two ‘formal evenings’ and even then, the dress code is very relaxed; some dining rooms even going as far as allowing men in ‘formal shorts’ to access the restaurants rather than just the very casual ‘buffet option’.

Choice of Cruise Ship

There are many cruises departing each day from all over the World. You may be surprised to find as many as four or five cruise liners docked alongside you!

Here we have chosen two cruise options: one a great value choice, the second a luxurious choice with all the opulence it entails. We have chosen high season dates, and, of course, there are hundreds of deals available out of season at great prices.

Affordable Mediterranean Cruise

For this option we have not chosen the cheapest cruise but one we feel is good value, with interesting ports of call and only 1 day at sea. The ship is Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, carrying over 6,000 passengers. It is one of the largest ships in the world and has many facilities to keep you occupied.

She sails on the 1st September from Barcelona and returns there on the 8th September. The total cost is £994pp (at publication date) based on two sharing a cabin. Included in this price are two nights stay in Barcelona from 8th-10th September. Flights are from London Stansted but there are many other options available. This price is for a balcony cabin, but an inside or outside cabin would be available at a lower price.

Luxury Mediterranean Cruise

Silversea is the choice for this option, sailing on the Silver Whisper. This is a small ultra-luxury ship and their motto “when perfection isn’t enough” sums it up well! The capacity is 388 guests with almost as many crew! There will be white gloved staff to welcome you onboard (a thing of the past on most ships). You will be offered open seated fine dining with the culinary excellence you would expect at this level. All suites are ocean view with butler service, and many have a private veranda.

The ship sails on 7th July from Monte Carlo docking in Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy on 14th July. You will visit a new port each day with no sea days. A veranda suite is £4,539 (at publication date) and includes fine wines, champagnes, spirits, beer, bottled water, specialty coffees and soft drinks. Gratuities are also included, as are business class flights.

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Cruise Ship

If you have not cruised previously there are a few things you may wish to consider. When choosing your cruise, the itinerary can be important as can the number of sea days rather than days in port. The size of the ship, and therefore number of passengers, may also be something you would want to think about carefully. The larger ships can take some time to navigate around, and whilst many people love them others prefer a more intimate ship where you are likely to see the same person more than once during the cruise! If set dining with the same passengers each night does not float your boat, then choose a cruise with ‘freedom dining’.

Finally, after making your choice, book your Airport Parking with our secure site, sooner rather than later for the best deal available.

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