Archive for March, 2012
A Mediterranean cruise is the easiest and most affordable way to experience all the European highlights you have always dreamed of seeing. While backpacking and crisscrossing the continent by train was once a budget-friendly endeavour, Europe has changed since you missed out on that youthful rite of passage back in college. You are not a luxury seeker, but the days of lugging around a heavy rucksack and staying at hostels are long gone.
Today, you are only faced with two serious travel questions. First, do you take a cruise that highlights the eastern or western part of the Mediterranean? Second, what cruise port do you embark from? Eastern Mediterranean cruises generally focus on Venice, Greece, Croatia and Turkey. A western cruise will take you from Rome or Genoa to Nice, Monaco, Barcelona and Lisbon.
You have decided to embark from Civitavecchia, which is located 32 kilometres from Rome. You have determined that you want a cruise holiday that emphasizes Italy’s history, culture and cuisine. Sadly, a day trip to Venice is going to have to wait, as its Grand Canal only caters to eastern Mediterranean cruises.
Rome is jam-packed with attractions and bursting with centuries of history and culture. You have two days to see it all. Around every corner there are churches, museums, piazzas, fountains and outdoor tables where people are casually sipping espresso. There is no way to maintain a leisurely pace and hope to see everything. Unfortunately, a list of top ten highlights is no help. The entire city is a highlight. In the morning, your tour visits the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Castel Sant’ Angelo and the Pantheon. In the afternoon, you head to Vatican City, the Vatican City Museum and St. Peter’s. You stand in awe underneath Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, and then you study the Pieta, which is in the first nave of St. Peter’s. In the evening, you sit on the Spanish Steps and eat a gelato. Your feet hurt. Blisters are forming.
You realize it is not possible to see Rome in two days. The names and dates have begun to blur. You understand that you are going to have to re-evaluate how you manage your cruise excursions. The next city on the itinerary is Florence. The French Riviera is after that, and on the other side of the western Mediterranean is Barcelona and Lisbon. You have learned a vital lesson about cruising. It is important to pick your day trips wisely. An all-inclusive, grand tour of an ancient city is taxing on the feet and mind. It takes stamina and preparation. Perhaps choosing to see only a couple of attractions is a better idea.
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