European cruise tips and making the most of your Mediterranean Cruise Vacation PackagesCruising Europe is a relaxing and rewarding experience - even more so when you do a little planning before you go. The more you prepare for your journey abroad, the more time you'll be able to spend simply enjoying your vacation and discovering all of the wonders the Old World has to offer.
The Best Time to Cruise the Mediterranean
May to October is European cruising's peak season, chiefly because these months offer the most sun and blue sky. And the days last longer - Scandinavia can stay sunny for nearly 20 hours a day! Mild weather makes it easy to pack and travel light, and the attractions are easily accessible - the royal gardens are abloom in London, the sidewalk cafes come alive in Paris, and beaches from the French Riviera to the islands of Spain and Greece sizzle with beauty. Outdoor festivals and art shows also make the summer popular with travelers. And in August, the crowds will be a little smaller - because many Europeans go on vacation abroad.
Early spring and late fall are also popular with travelers. American holidays (like St. Patrick's Day) and European holidays (like Germany's famed Oktoberfest) draw many visitors in Europe's cooler months. From Ireland's emerald countryside to the sun-washed vineyards of Italy, the colorful changing of the seasons can be a magical time. Some vacationers prefer this period because there are smaller crowds - imagine having Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper all to yourself! And, of course, there are plenty of great deals at this time of year.
Types of European Cruises
- Transatlantic Cruises: Cross the Atlantic amidst all the comforts of a full-service floating resort, including endless dining options and world-class entertainment at sea. Transatlantic cruises usually embark from within the U.S. or the Caribbean, and then disembark in Europe (or vice versa), so you'll only need one-way airfare. Want to start your cruise vacation immediately? Embark from a U.S. port. Prefer to save the best for last? Cruise home from Europe. If you have time, nothing beats an extended roundtrip sailing from either side of the Atlantic.
Plenty of itineraries feature ports in Great Britain, Spain, and Portugal. But some sailings include unique ports like the Canary Islands and the islands of The Azores. Located halfway across the pond, both destinations are ruggedly beautiful and rich with culture. Many transatlantic cruises also drop anchor in the Caribbean for a day or two.
- Western Mediterranean Cruises: The towering Rock of Gibraltar welcomes you to the breathtaking gateway of the Mediterranean Sea. Here, along the western shores of the sea, you'll discover an array of eclectic cities. Popular hotspots include Barcelona, Ibiza, Cannes, and Monte Carlo. For a truly exotic adventure, choose an itinerary featuring south coast stops in Morocco and Tunisia.
- Eastern Mediterranean Cruises: Once the center of power for an empire that stretched across most of Europe, Rome is the unofficial cruising capital of the Mediterranean. More cruise ships embark and disembark from the city's terminal port in nearby Civitavecchia than from any other European location. Classic Eastern Mediterranean itinerary favorites include Venice, Naples, Athens, and the islands of Italy and Greece. Popular exotic ports include Istanbul and Cairo.
- Northern European Cruises: Year after year, spectacular coastal scenery and fascinating cities keep cruisers coming back to the waterways of Northern Europe. Traditional itineraries usually include stops in London (or two nearby terminals) and Dublin. Paris and Amsterdam, located just across the English Channel, are perennial crowd-pleasers. More exotic thrills await beyond the dramatic white cliffs of Dover and the European mainland. Don't miss the hot springs and glacier-capped volcanoes of Iceland, the Viking lore and fjords of Scandinavia, and the ornate czar palaces of St. Petersburg, Russia.
- European River Cruises: To experience a vacation that is truly unique, adventurous and enriching, embark on a voyage with Uniworld Grand River Cruises and Tours. As you sail the world's historic waterways, you'll enjoy an intimate look at exotic destinations, cruising past scenic countryside, cultural landmarks and bustling city life.
- European Land and Cruise Tours: A hotel stay in an exciting gateway city is the icing on the cake - it's the most relaxing way to kick-off or wrap-up your journey. Catch up on sleep and adjust to the change in time zones, or rise with the sun - step onto your hotel room's balcony, breathe in mouthwatering scents from a local bakery, and watch the neighborhood come alive. Overnight stays also afford you an opportunity to experience completely the legendary nightlife of vibrant gateway cities like London and Barcelona.
Double Onboard Credit:
Up To $1,500 To Spend Onboard †- Book Online or Call!Double Onboard Credit: Up To $1,500 To Spend Onboard † - Book Online or Call!Enjoy DOUBLE the onboard spending: use it to cover drinks, at your ship's spa, shops, and specialty restaurants, or apply it towards shore excursions! Simply book a qualifying voyage, then prior to departure, complete and submit the redemption form found on your invoice, and we'll credit up to $1,500 to your onboard account, which you can use while you're sailing. Please see our grid below for bonus amounts. Restrictions apply, see terms below for details. Amount is based on total price (which can be found on your invoice under "Total Price"), minus port charges & taxes. †
Total Price (minus port charges & taxes)Onboard Spending$0 - $1,250$50$1,251 - $2,250$100$2,251 - $3,000$150$3,001 - $3,500$200$3,501 - $4,000$250$4,001 - $4,500$300$4,501 - $5,000$400$5,001 - $7,500$600$7,501 - $10,000$800$10,000+$1,500Additional Terms & Conditions
"Onboard Spending" offer is valid for select Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean sailings departing on or before 12/31/2019. Onboard spending amount for cruise bookings may not exceed 10% of total value of cruise. Spending amount will be credited to your onboard account after our online redemption form, which may be accessed via the link that will be included with your invoice, has been submitted (form must be submitted no later than 21 days prior to departure or "Onboard Spending" offer will be forfeited). Spending amount is non-transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash; unused portions will expire if not redeemed on or before the final night of your sailing. Onboard credit will appear in a passenger's onboard account on the day of embarkation. Not valid for cancelled or rebooked cruises.
Double Cash Back:
Up To $2,000 Cash Back ‡- Book Online or Call!Double Cash Back: Up To $2,000 Cash Back ‡ - Book Online or Call!A unique opportunity to recoup select expenses that aren't included in your cruise fare – now at DOUBLE the cash value! Just book a qualifying voyage; once you've returned from that sailing, you'll be eligible to receive up to $2,000 cash back, which can be applied towards your onboard spending. Restrictions apply, see terms below for details. Amount is based on total price (which can be found on your invoice under "Total Price"), minus port charges & taxes. ‡
Total Price (minus port charges & taxes)Cash Back$0 - $750$50$751 - $1,500$100$1,501 - $2,250$150$2,251 - $3,000$200$3,001 - $3,500$250$3,501 - $4,000$300$4,001 - $4,500$400$4,501 - $5,000$600$5,001 - $7,500$800$7,501 - $10,000$1,200$10,000+$2,000Additional Terms & Conditions
"Cash Back" offer is per stateroom and is not reflected in our advertised prices; actual amount will vary based on your total price, minus port charges & taxes. "Cash Back" offer is valid for select sailings departing on or before 12/31/2019; excludes all Azamara, Celebrity, Oceania, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Silversea sailings. "Cash Back" amount for Carnival cruise bookings may not exceed 10% of total value of cruise. Customer must spend equivalent value onboard cruise to qualify for full value of Cash Back. OBC does not count as spending. Only out of pocket spending counts. Amount will be credited to card used for purchase 4 - 6 weeks after the online redemption form, found on your invoice, has been submitted (form must be submitted post-cruise and no later than 60 days from the date on which you return). Proof/folio submission, detailing your onboard spending, is also required. Proof/folio may be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, via fax at (978) 570-1992 (Attn: Onboard Spending Reimbursement), or via mail (Onboard Reimbursement Department, c/o World Travel Holdings, 100 Fordham Road, Building C, 2nd Floor, Wilmington, MA, 01887).
Book Now, Pay Later:
No Deposit Required- Book Online or CallBook Now, Pay Later: No Deposit Required - Book Online or CallPut your dream vacation on the calendar now, and pay for it later! When you book select 3+ night sailings, we'll waive the booking deposit for the first 5 staterooms on your reservation. In addition, choose to streamline payment even further by splitting your fare into easy monthly installments with 0% interest!
BOOK NOW - OFFER ENDS FRIDAY!Additional Terms & Conditions
Advanced Deposit offer is valid for new individual cruise reservations for sailings departing by 4/30/20. Offer is limited to sailings of 3 nights or longer booked at least 110 days prior to departure (or 140 days for Disney, 7-night or longer Norwegian sailings, and 15 night or longer MSC sailings); maximum $500 value and not valid on bookings requiring non-refundable deposits. Deposit must be paid 10 days prior to final payment due date; if changes are made benefit will become void and the cruise lines full deposit is required; changes resulting in a new cruise line booking are considered a cancellation, subject to cruise line’s cancellation policy, our $24.99 processing fee, and $100 cancel fee. Credit card used at time of booking will automatically be charged when the deposit remainder is due. Offer limited to 5 deposited cabins max. for 1 sailing. Offer is not applicable for redemption bookings. Additional restrictions apply.
Norwegian's Free at Sea:
Choose up to 5 Free Offers- Including Free Open Bar & More!Norwegian's Free at Sea: Choose up to 5 Free Offers - Including Free Open Bar & More!Be Free at Sea! For a limited time only, depending on your room type booked, you can get up to $2,700 in huge onboard extras!
Studio & Inside:
Choose 1 Offer
Oceanview & Balcony:
Choose 2 Offers
Haven & Suite:
Enjoy All 5 Offers
- Free Unlimited Open Bar
With our Free Open Bar offer, Guests 1 & 2 on your reservation get an Ultimate Beverage Package, including all you can drink spirits and cocktails, wines by the glass and draft beer, and juice or soda.
An $89 Per Person/Day Value
Excludes gratuities and service charges.
- Free Specialty Dining
Dine in style at sea with a Specialty Dining Package. Guests 1 & 2 on your reservation get up to 4 meals at specialty restaurants depending on cruise length. From ethnic flavors of Moderno Churrascaria to French fare at Le Bistro, and beyond, the choice is yours.
Up to a $168 Value
Excludes gratuities and service charges.
- Free Shore Excursions
Explore more at each port of call during your cruise with a free $50 shore excursion credit per port. Whether you're in the mood for dolphin encounters, cooking classes, or beyond, there's something to discover everywhere you go.
Free credit is applied per stateroom.
- Free Wi-Fi Package
With Free Wi-Fi offer, you get an Internet Package Time Plan of 250 minutes to use throughout your cruise, anywhere on the ship.
A $125 Value
Includes activation fee. Time plan is applied per stateroom.
- Kids, Friends & Family Sail Free
Invite your friends and family along for the cruise of a lifetime. With Free Extra Guests, your 3rd and 4th stateroom guests sail free on select sailings!
Don't miss your chance to combine these savings with additional limited-time offers for the most savings ever at sea! But hurry – these deals won't last!
BOOK NOW – ENDS 5/31!
Search Norwegian cruisesAdditional Terms & Conditions
Free at Sea offer is valid only for new individual bookings made between 5/18/18 and 5/31/18 by midnight Eastern Standard Time for any stateroom category aboard select Norwegian sailings; not all sailing dates may qualify. Valid for all guests in the stateroom. Offer is for New Individual FIT Reservations, New Group Delegates or FS bookings. Qualifying New Individual FIT reservations can be moved into an existing traditional or FS Group and count towards Tour Conductor Credits. Offer is combinable with existing group block rates. RQs are not applicable unless RQ reservation converted to OF or BK status within the promotional booking window. Promotion can not be held as group block. Singles paying 200% of voyage fare qualify. Guest cannot substitute or customize this offer. Government Taxes, Port Expenses & Fees, and discretionary onboard service charges are additional. Cancellation Fees also apply based on the Booking/Sailing date; therefore, Norwegian Cruise Line strongly recommends the purchase of Travel Protection on all bookings. Not applicable to Chartered Dates and Group Types: INCREG & INCLARGE Offer combinability with other promotional offers is subject to change at any time per Norwegian Cruise Line.
- Free Unlimited Open Bar
Up to $5,000 in Extras Like Phone, Wi-Fi & MoreDistinctive Voyages: Up to $5,000 in Extras Like Phone, Wi-Fi & MoreIntroducing Norwegian Distinctive Voyages! For an extremely limited time only, book your qualifying Norwegian cruise sailing with us, and you'll be eligible to receive ALL of the following:
- 120-Minute Phone Call Package – a $598.80 value
- 250-Minute Internet Package – a $128.95 value
- $50 Shore Excursion Credit per Port
- $100 Hotel Credit per Stateroom
- $200 Airfare Credit for Guests 1 & 2
Plus, combine it with your favorite Free at Sea deals, as well as Balcony Bonus cruise cash for an unbelievable value of up to $5,000 in onboard extras!
BOOK NOW – ENDS SOON!
Search Norwegian CruisesAdditional Terms & Conditions
Offer is valid only for new individual bookings made between 12/1/17 and 5/31/18 by midnight Eastern Standard Time for all staterooms aboard qualifying Norwegian Cruise Line Sailings. 120 Minute Phone call package will be applied to the first guest in the stateroom. Only valid on calls from ship to shore. 250 minute internet package will be applied to the first guest in the stateroom with one login per stateroom. Not available at Harvest Caye. $50 per port shore excursion credit has no monetary value and is non-refundable. If a port of call is missed, no refund or credit will be given. $200 airfare credit is valid only on guests 1 & 2. $100 air credit valid for one-way guests and guests 1 & 2 only. $100 hotel credit is per stateroom and will be automatically applied when hotel is booked through Norwegian Cruise Line. Not applicable on bundles or tours. Credit can be used pre- or post-cruise hotel, but not both. Hotel subject to availability. Offers are combinable with Free at Sea but not Dash Sale values. All air is credited when booked through Norwegian Cruise Line. Additional restrictions may apply. Call for details.
50% Off 2nd Guests + 25% Off Additional GuestsBOGO Sale: 50% Off 2nd Guests + 25% Off Additional GuestsThe Royal Caribbean BOGO deal is back! Book one guest aboard select sailings and get 50% off your second guest's fare. Plus, get 25% off fares for third and fourth guests.
And the best part? You can combine this offer with additional deals, like free fares for kids and more, for additional savings.
BOOK NOW – ENDS SOON
Search Royal Caribbean cruisesAdditional Terms & Conditions
Offer valid on select new, individual, and named group bookings made 5/1/18 – 5/31/18 and departing on or after 6/1/18. Offer includes 50% off cruise fare of second guest who must be booked in the same stateroom as a first guest who books at full fare ("BOGO"). Offer also includes 25% cruise fare savings for 3rd guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests. Offer is combinable with select promotions. Offer open to residents of U.S. or Canada. Offer are subject to availability and change without notice, capacity controlled, and may be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions apply.
Kids Sail for FreeLimited-Time Only: Kids Sail for FreeFor a limited time only, book your next cruise aboard select 2018 and 2019 sailings and kids sail FREE! There's no better way to see the world then from the deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, and now you can see it all for less. But don't delay - this offer won't last long.
ACT NOW – OFFER ENDS SOON
Search 4-night or longer Royal Caribbean cruisesAdditional Terms & Conditions
Offer valid on new, individual, and named group bookings made 5/1/18 – 5/31/18 on select 4-night or longer Europe, Bahamas, Bermuda, Hawaii, Canada, Coastal, and Caribbean sailings departing on or after 6/1/18. Guests 12 & Under Sail Free. Offer excludes President’s day sailings (Sailings between February 15 – 18, 2019), Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 16 – 30, 2019), Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 13 – 22, 2019), Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 17 – November 23, 2018) and Holiday sailings (Sailings between December 17, 2018 – January 1, 2019). Offer is combinable with select promotions. Offer open to residents of U.S. or Canada. Offer are subject to availability and change without notice, capacity controlled, and may be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions apply.
Summer Savings Double Up Sale:
1 Free Perk + Double SavingsSummer Savings Double Up Sale: 1 Free Perk + Double SavingsGet the most out of your cruise right now by getting 1 free onboard perk for the first 2 guests in a cabin. Or, all 4 perks when you book a suite.
Choices are as follows:
- Classic beverage package for 2 with beverage gratuities included, becomes a value of $110 per day, per stateroom
- Up to $400 to spend on board
- Unlimited Xcelerate High-Speed Internet Package for 2
- Free pre-paid gratuities for 2 – we'll pay your tips
PLUS, BONUS OFFER: Take advantage of double savings up to $400 per stateroom!
EVEN BETTER – SUMMER BONUS OFFER: Take advantage of double savings up to $800 per stateroom on summer Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean or Europe cruises.
Plus, 3rd/4th/5th guests receive 50% off fares.
HURRY - OFFER ENDS SOON
Search Celebrity cruisesAdditional Terms & Conditions
Cruise must be booked 5/3/18 – 5/30/18. Offer applies to select 4-night and longer cruises departing 6/2/18 – 4/30/19. Galapagos and certain other itineraries are excluded. Savings amounts are per person and based on stateroom category. Double Savings amounts are applicable to sailings departing 6/2/18 – 8/31/18 to Alaska, Bermuda, Caribbean or European destinations only. Savings applied to cruise fare at checkout. Offer applies to first two guests in the stateroom. 50% Off Savings: Savings applies to the cruise fare of the third and fourth passengers booked in a triple, quad, or family ocean view, veranda, concierge class or suite stateroom. 50% Off Savings offer component not applicable to Alaska Cruisetours or Celebrity Explorations. Free Perk Offer: Each of the first two guests in an ocean view through AquaClass stateroom are eligible to receive one complimentary amenity. Other amenities packages are available at an additional charge. Each of the first two guests in a Suite will receive four amenities (beverage package upgraded to Premium Package). Onboard credit is not redeemable for cash and expires on final night of the cruise. Offer applies to new individual bookings and to staterooms in non-contracted group bookings, is non-transferable, and not combinable with any other offer. Changes to booking may result in removal of Offer. Offers and prices are subject to availability, cancellation and change without notice at any time. ©2018 Celebrity Cruises. Ships' registry: Malta and Ecuador.
Book an eligible stateroom on any qualifying sailing and receive a free upgrade! In some cases, you'll be upgraded to a more desirable location aboard your ship. In other instances, you'll be upgraded to a stateroom with extra space and/or a better view. It's also possible that you might receive all of these benefits. Select your sailing date to see which upgrades are available.