Best ports to visit in Mediterranean for first timers

We are planning a Mediterranean cruise for my daughters 15th birthday in September of 2022. Trying to plan way in advance to get the best deals and start paying for it a little at a time. But not sure which ports to visit. I love the idea of France, Italy and Spain, but not sure exactly what ports. I also love the idea of Greece but I don’t believe we can mix these in and that it’s either Eastern vs Western. Any suggestions on cruise lines, destinations, etc. Also is it a good idea to maybe do 7 day cruise and then stay at a hotel for a few days in an area we would like to have more time to explore? Need advice and don’t even know where to start. Thank in advance!

Tags: Europe - Mediterranean

7 Answers

Welcome to the wonderful world of cruising! We have not yet sailed in Europe, so I will be following the answers you get!


I’ve cruised from Barcelona east to Monaco and then back to Lisbon, and from Venice down the Croatian coast and up the boot to Rome. As important as the ports is the time of year. Peak summer in the Mediterranean was very hot, September should be better. Check also times of day in port. Being in port mid-day along France and Spain meant hitting the period when shops are closed in the afternoon. I’ve been to Greece, but not on a cruise, which was not optimal. Cruising is the best way to see Greece by far. Partly because I haven’t been, I would also consider Turkey. For first time cruising with a 15 year old, I think the Venice to Rome itinerary would probably be best, especially if you can swing a day or two extra in either city.

I have similar situation. I will be celebrating my 75th in two years and would like to do a Mediterranean cruise. Any advice as to east or west , which cruise line and where is a good place to stay in Rome. Thanks in advance.

Here is what we did on my favorite cruise aboard Grandeur Of The Seas (Royal Caribbean)

Three days prior to the cruise:

Flew to ROME and spent time there seeing the sights!

Embarked on the cruise (7 days) and visited:

GREECE: Athens and Santorini

TURKEY: Ephasis

Then flew back to ROME before catching a flight to LONDON and spent three days in LONDON before heading home.

Thank you for your comments. Rome and London sounds like a dream trip.

Last July I booked a 10 day cruise to the Med. When Greece opens their borders to US citizens then I'll be going this July on Regent 7Seas Mariner. It starts in Piraeus, Athens then ends in Venice.

Here is the itinerary:

I am looking forward to it (should it not be cancelled), and this will be the first time I've been to Europe.

I've been to the Caribbean, but that doesn't really count as international travel to me.

The only country I entered where I needed my passport was The Cayman Islands.


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