Crowded Mediterranean Cruise Lanes

Want to cruise the Mediterranean? Well, that is easier said than done. Not that it takes much to book a cruise. These days there are plenty of options. Most people still prefer to seek the services of their travel agent, particularly if they need an air/cruise package, or wish to do further touring before or after their cruise. Booking online is also an option, as there is just so much product available that the really difficult chore about Mediterranean cruising is finding the cruise which interests you most.

This isn’t because of poor choice. Rather, it is the opposite. There is almost too much choice. As ships improve their food, accommodation and entertainment facilities, and as larger and more efficient ships have the same impact on cruising as larger and more efficient aircraft have had on aviation, cruising is actually becoming better value than it once was. Cruise ships are now more comfortable, than they were, and provide a greater range of on board choice of dining and activities, so customers are flocking to enjoy a cruise, especially around the Mediterranean.

Cruising the Mediterranean, and the Adriatic and Aegean, which often form part of a Mediterranean cruise, has some distinct advantages over cruises of, say, the Caribbean.

One of those advantages if a much larger choice of ports to visit, shorter distances and times at sea, a greater variety of shore-based activities and, because ships have more opportunities to re-stock their provisions, there is generally a greater variety of cuisines available on Mediterranean cruises, and fresher, local produce is more readily available.

A cursory look for a cruise revealed to me that there are 26 cruise companies offering a choice of well over one thousand cruises. Ships depart from 33 ports in and around the Mediterranean. That is just the number of departure points, but these ships visit many dozens of ports that are located all over the Mediterranean Sea, including North Africa.

You can decide to sail on a behemoth which carries thousands of passengers, or choose a vessel which caters for less than 100. Generally speaking, though, size determines cost, with the larger ships generally offering better value than the smaller ships, and they certainly offer more amenities. Then again, one of the great things about cruising is that each passenger can decide on their own level of participation in onboard activities, apart from the compulsory emergency drill, of course.

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