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Megtheblackbelt

Best First RC European Cruise To Take?

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Hola. I recently relocated from Tampa, Florida to Barcelona, Spain for my job. I live roughly a 20 minute drive from the BCN cruise port. My husband and I want to book our first European cruise - ideally with RC - but I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the options. When I lived in Florida, European cruises seemed like such a far-away, unreachable, complex ordeal. Now that I live here permanently - where the heck do I start? Go North? Norway? Play it safe by porting out of BCN and do a Western Med? Greek Isles? 

 

It’s a silly problem to have, but having so many options at my disposal - all of which sound enthralling considering we have only ever been to France, Germany, and Spain - is intimidating. We have extremely flexible jobs with a great amount of time off, so dates are completely open and any cruises under 14 days are feasible.

 

What RC cruise would you pick for your first European adventure? We want to make it a memorable one. 

 

 

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A back to back on Rhapsody of the Seas from Venice would be a great start.

 

Then tag on a couple of days pre or post cruise in Venice.

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Since you have never seen much of the Med, I would recommend a cruise out of Barcelona. European ports can really wear you out because there is so much sightseeing to do at each stop. Personally, we prefer longer cruises and private tours. Large ship tours at old historic sites can be rough.

 

Whatever you pick, it will be amazing. Have a blast!

Edited by Heymarco

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Easiest is definitely a western med out of Barcelona.  Easy cruise terminal (getting on/off the ship and getting to/from the terminal via taxi) and good port options.  We're doing a Greek Isles cruise in a few months and are greatly looking forward to it.  Venice is supposed to be one of the best sail in/out cities with spectacular views, although I've not (yet) done it.

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Newbie here, but have done 2 Western Med cruises out of RCL on Voyager class ships.  Can’t really go wrong there.  
 

In fact I met a lovely family from Galicia (born and raised in Spain) who told me the wanted to explore Europe (their own backyard) in this way because they just liked the cruise experience!  

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My first European cruise was a 14 day Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruise on the Vision. It was a great itinerary with stops in France, Italy, Greece and Malta. It was a great way to see a small part of these countries.


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7 hours ago, bobmacliberty said:

Easiest is definitely a western med out of Barcelona.  Easy cruise terminal (getting on/off the ship and getting to/from the terminal via taxi) and good port options.  We're doing a Greek Isles cruise in a few months and are greatly looking forward to it.  Venice is supposed to be one of the best sail in/out cities with spectacular views, although I've not (yet) done it.

I’m sure you will absolutely love the sail away need to get on deck early to nab a good spot for sail away.

 

Just at the front of the ship to the left hand side is a great position as you will cruise past many sites including St Marks on that side about 20 to 30 minutes after departure.

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If you are looking to see Rome, I would cruise out of Civitavecchia (port for Rome) as day trip to Rome from this port is just too much. We did it (Barcelona - Marseilles, Villafranche, Livorno(Pisa/Florence),Civitavecchia , Naples - day at sea - Barcelona)   , but we hired private driver www.driverinrome.com who picked us up.. and we had very nicely scheduled day trip. Small van brought us to every POI, but we were dead tired by the end of that day... at the age of 31! 🙂 So if I was to visit Western Med again, I would sail out of Civitavecchia and spend several day in Rome prior to cruise.

I would also take a longer than 7 day cruise and have 1 sea day in between of all sightseeing to take a breath and rest.

 

We also had amazing 7 days cruise out of Venice on NCL Star

Venice - Dubrovnik, Croatia - Kotor, Montenegro - Katakolon, Greece - Athens,Greece - Split, Croatia - Venice

 

Edited by Tatka

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Wow, living 20 minutes from the Barcelona port, the world is your oyster!!!   Do them all if you have so much flexibility in terms of time off.  We wish we were in your shoes.  We have to add the cost of international flights.  You are so fortunate and have it made in the shade.  To save yourself money, you can do any cruise Barcelona to Barcelona return as well.  We have done, Easterns (Including Israel, Egypt), Westerns, Baltics (our favourite!),  British Isles, numerous times from either Barcelona, Venice, Copenhagen, Southhampton, Rome and Amsterdam.  All itineraries are great.  Decide what you want to see. Decide on the size of ship, flashy or sedate and as I say you are right there at a port or a quick airplane ride away to the other ports of embarkation (not an 8 hour transatlantic flight as we are).  Again, wish I were in your shoes. 

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