European and Mediterranean Cruise Questions

When is the best time to cruise Europe?

The peak season for cruising Europe is from May to October when the weather is pleasant and the days are long. A European cruise during this time of year has many benefits, from blooming royal gardens and green, bustling parks, to street festivals and comfortable outdoor cafes. Although the crowds are larger, there is certainly a benefit to traveling Europe during these pleasant months. Remember that if you are going on a cruise in northern Europe, the days will be much longer; up to 20 hours in some parts of Scandinavia.

In the summer months you are sure to find artists perched on sidewalks, painting and drawing the remarkable scenery of Europe and perhaps even doing a few portraits of the tourists as well. Farmer's markets and other outdoor shopping venues are popular throughout Europe, and will give you an intimate view of the local culture. This time of year is perfect for Mediterranean cruises, when the weather is warm and the beaches are unbeatable.
The value season for European cruise vacations takes place in the early spring and the late fall. These are great times to travel to Europe for a number of reasons. Europe is a culturally diverse place, and there are festivals in different locations throughout the year. Traveling in the fall can have you celebrating in festivals like Oktoberfest or watching fireworks and Bonfires during Guy Fawkes Night in England. In the early spring you can be a part of the spectacular Carnivale of Venice, the city's artful and extravagant Mardi Gras celebration. These are just a few of the events you can catch on your cruise vacation in Europe. To make it even better, spring and fall are generally mild seasons, with beautiful days and cool, refreshing nights.

Do any small ships have Europe and the Mediterranean cruises?

Yes! Small cruise ships are an excellent way to experience Europe. A European river cruise from Destination Oceans will have you exploring the interior of the continent in a new and exciting way. Think of a Europe river cruise as a floating hotel that allows you to stop in quaint towns and bustling metropolitan cities, but you only have to unpack your bags and settle in once. Amadeus Waterways river cruises make this a vacation reality. The small ships are beautiful and comfortable, and the meals are something to write home about. You will be enjoying life as you float past fields of flowers, quiet villages, and the beautiful scenery of Europe. Cruise in a small ship for an intimate vacation that brings you right into the heart of Europe!

How long are European cruises?

European cruises usually last about 10-14 days, although they can be considerably shorter or longer. Because there is so much to see on a cruise in Europe, 10-14 days is a good choice for most travelers. Also, you should consider that Europe is a great distance away, so you should plan a bit of time to recover from jet lag. There is so much to see and do in Europe, make sure you plan your cruise vacation with enough time for the destinations you want to visit the most. Many people choose cruisetours in Europe, with an extended stay either before the cruise or afterwards. This allows for a more in-depth look at a city (or cities) of your choice. If you have lots of time, you may even choose to begin or end your vacation on a transatlantic voyage. Take into account your personal preferences when deciding how long you want to cruise in Europe. Make sure you will have ample time to enjoy all the sights at the top of your list, because when you get home you won't want to feel like you missed anything.

Is a stateroom with a balcony really worth it?

There are lots of things to consider when selecting the type of room you book while on your cruise vacation. Although you will be spending lots of time outside your cabin, taking in the activities on the ship and on shore excursions, you want to make sure you are comfortable in your cabin as well. A stateroom with a balcony will give you the luxury of a private, intimate view of some of the most beautiful scenery you can imagine. Whether you cruise the Mediterranean or the fjords of Norway, you will be able to enjoy the panorama of earth meeting sea from your own balcony. This allows for time away from the crowds, which can certainly be refreshing. Also, staterooms with balconies feel larger than other rooms, as they have floor to ceiling views of the expansive sea. If you are considering a stateroom with a balcony, but are worried if it is worth it or not, go for it! Your cruise vacation will be even more special and relaxing with this added benefit.

What will I see on my Europe or Mediterranean cruise?

It all depends on where you choose to take your cruise vacation. You will see very different things on a Mediterranean cruise of the Greek Isles than you will on a Danube River cruise or a European heartland cruise. If you decide to cruise through Europe's heartland, you will see the expansive Old World vineyards of France and Germany. You will pass through major cities like Frankfurt, and countless smaller villages and towns. Each day you will find yourself in a new part of the continent, with rolling hills or steep mountains, bustling metropolitan cities or medieval castles dotting the countryside.

Or, on a Danube River cruise, discover the enchanting, fairy tale cities of Prague, Regensburg, Vienna and Budapest. You will revel in the medieval architecture, the spires that seem to touch the sky, and the monuments to artists, war heroes, and musicians that fill the streets of these cities. As you pass through the cities and towns of Eastern Europe you will realize what a unique and interesting vantage point you have from your balcony above the river.

What should I wear on a Europe or Mediterranean cruise?

The first thing to do is look up the average temperature and weather for the location you will be cruising, at the time of year you will be on vacation. Of course, the packing list will be much different for a Mediterranean cruise in June than for a cruise of the Norwegian fjords in September. Take into account the activities you will want to take part in, and make sure to pack the specialized clothing you need. So, if you would like to spend some quality time soaking in the Mediterranean sun on the ship poolside and on the beaches of the Riviera, don't forget your swimming suit. Another item to remember is a light rain jacket, as there may be mist at sea, or light afternoon showers.

If you are hoping to tour some of the amazing churches and cathedrals in Europe, make sure to bring slacks for men, and skirts that pass the knees for women. Many religious sites also do not allow shirts that leave the shoulders exposed.

Pack light, comfortable clothing to wear in the days both on the ship and ashore. For night make sure to pack nicer attire for formal dinners and dances. It is a good idea to check with your cruise line to see if there are dress codes for dinner and other special occasions. You don't have to worry about luggage restrictions on your cruise, but always check to see what the weight and baggage policies on your airline entail. Often international flights allow more luggage than domestic ones, but if you have to make a connecting domestic flight, stick to the domestic policy.

Should I bring my kids?

Some cruises are more appropriate for children than others. However, there are many ships that have amazing, comprehensive programs to keep kids entertained and happy. So, if you want to go on a family cruise in Europe, you will be able to find plenty of cruise lines to suit you. Family cruises are an excellent vacation option because they provide opportunities for kids to have fun both with and without Mom and Dad. Also, many cruise lines offer babysitting services at night, so you can have a special dinner or date when you choose.

A family cruise vacation can be an exciting and educational experience for kids and parents alike. The kids can take part in daily activities, similar to a day camp, where they learn, explore, and play. There are plenty of opportunities to spend quality time as a family by playing sports, eating delicious meals together, and taking part in unforgettable shore excursions. Look into the available amenities for children when you are researching Europe cruise vacations. You will be sure to find a cruise line that is perfect for your entire family.

Can I bring my wheelchair?

It is advisable to bring your own wheelchair if you will need it for the entirety of the cruise. Most cruise ships have wheelchairs available to help passengers board and leave the ship, but they do not have those wheelchairs available for the entire cruise. Some cruise lines, like Holland America, allow passengers to rent a wheelchair for the duration of the cruise. If you would like to rent a wheelchair, please let a Destination Oceans cruise specialist know in advance.

How do I book my Europe or Mediterranean vacation? Can I book online?

Currently you cannot book a Europe or Mediterranean cruise online with Destination Oceans. A good way to go about selecting your cruise is to search our available packages and request a quote. For more in depth advice, give us a call and have a conversation with a certified cruise specialist. Our specialists will make booking your cruise fun and educational. You will learn how easy it is to customize your European cruise, making it the vacation you have always dreamed of. Destination Oceans strives to provide Your Vacation, Your Way. When you are ready to book a cruise to Europe or a Mediterranean cruise, we will be there to answer all of your questions and put together a cruise package that fits your needs. If you want an extended stay, the convenience of a rental car in port, or any other special arrangements, Destination Oceans will make it happen!

How do I arrange airfare to Europe?

You have a few options for booking your airfare to and from Europe. If you choose a cruise package, your airfare is included in the price. This is a good option because your transfers from the airport to the port and back will be pre-arranged. It is also convenient and soothing to know that your flight times will coordinate with the times you need to be at the port for boarding. It's always nice to have some peace of mind when you are traveling.

Another option is to book your own airfare. If you opt to do it yourself, there are some important guidelines to keep in mind. Make sure you know what time your cruise ship departs and leave plenty of time to transfer from the airport to the cruise port. Because you will be entering a different country, leave extra time for going through Customs. It is advisable to book your travel arrangements a day early, so that you can acclimate to the time change and feel less rushed when you arrive. You may even want to start out your vacation earlier than that, and have some time to explore your departure city for a while. Your Destination Oceans cruise specialist can help you with making arrangements for extended stays in Europe, and provide advice if you wish to book your own flights.

Can I extend my Europe or Mediterranean cruise vacation?

You most certainly can! In fact, it is a great idea to extend your Europe cruise, because when you travel all the way to Europe for vacation, you should get the most you possibly can out of it. By extending your vacation you will get the opportunity to have a more intimate experience with the city in which you begin or end your cruise. You may even choose to venture further afield and visit other European locales. Destination Oceans can help you create an extended cruise vacation that you will not soon forget. Book a rental car and a great hotel right through Destination Oceans. We will make it convenient and fun to customize your extended cruise vacation. Call a Destination Oceans certified cruise specialist today to discover how easy it is to have Your Vacation, your Way!

Do I need a passport?

U.S. citizens must have a passport to travel to Europe. Make sure that your passport is valid when you book your European cruise, because it customarily takes about six weeks to order a passport. They can be rush-ordered for a fee, but keep in mind that it is best to have your passport ordered well in advance of your cruise. After December 31, 2006 it is required for all U.S. citizens to carry a passport aboard any foreign flagged ship. Non U.S. citizens should contact the consulate or embassy of the country that originally issued their passport to determine current regulations. Check with your airline for more information. Learn more about new passport policies.