Before answering what are the best Mediterranean cruise lines question we should point out, that the Mediterranean cruise ship travel deals offer the best (as experiences, and cheapest as prices) European cruise vacation packages. Mediterranean Sea cruises have some of the highest price-per-value ratings, and are “absolutely best” for voyages involving love, romance and history – blended perfectly with the Mediterranean uniquely special itineraries connecting the picturesque Europe, the exotic Asia and the so mysterious Africa.
Cheap cruise ships to Mediterranean generally belong to mainstream lines (Carnival, RCL). Luxury Mediterranean cruises all-inclusive are operated by top luxury cruise lines (some with all-inclusive packages, like Silversea, Regent, Crystal). Last minute Mediterranean deals are readily available, due to the great number of vessels in the region during the summer months. Most of the Mediterranean lines belong to the families of Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean International.
Small Mediterranean cruises are usually operated year-round by the “dedicated” European lines (like Costa, MSC, Louis). Repositioning ships to Europe are the best option for a long and cheap exotic sailing on-board some of the best passenger ships in the world.
And what are the best cruise ships to the Mediterranean? In comparison to the best ships to Alaska, or the best Caribbean passenger ships, the Mediterranean Sea cruising offers the same Sun, on-board amenities and activities, but adds also the luxurious beaches of the French Riviera, the charm of Italy and Greece, the traditional local gourmet cuisines (with the top selections of French and Italian wines), the European sophisticated experiences with feature architecture, museums, markets, and all the glamour of the Mother continent.
Cheap short Mediterranean itineraries by cheap ships: MSC, Costa, Royal Caribbean. Average food and services (fixed dining), heavily crowded public spaces, “noisy”.
LUXURY Mediterranean experiences on-board luxury smaller ships: Azamara, Oceania, Regent, SeaDream, Silversea, Seabourn, Crystal. Discount Mediterranean luxury deals by the lines’ customer loyalty programs cards.
Best Mediterranean family packages by the best ships fro families with kids: Disney Magic, Carnival Magic, Norwegian Epic, all RCCL vessels. Family travel vacation deals with low fares, fixed dining (good food), decent service, scheduled activities, excelent mass-market entertainment.
The BEST Mediterranean Lines: Royal Caribbean (cheap, 10 ships), the “Magics” of Carnival and Disney (unique features), and Princess (5 ships) in the category of premier voyages. Follows the list of the major Mediterranean lines, in brackets – the year of the maiden voyage, and the ship’s capacity in passengers.
- Celebrity Cruises Mediterranean ships – iconic for food and service. Ships – Constellation (2002, 1,950), Eclipse (2010, 2,850), Equinox (2009, 2,850), Silhouette (2011, 2,850), and Solstice (2008, 2,850)
- Cunard features 2-class system on-board Queen Elizabeth (2010, 2,100), and Queen Victoria (2007, 2,000).
- Holland America Mediterranean ships – for traditional sailings with Ryndam (1994, SOE 2004, 1,260), Rotterdam (1997, SOE 2009, 1,400), Prinsendam (1988, SOE 2005, 740), Nieuw Amsterdam (2010, 2,100), Noordam (2006, 1,920), Eurodam (2008, 2,100) – SOE stands for “Signature of Excellence” upgrades program of the line.
- Costa – operated by all ships. Costa Mediterranean cruise by Allegra (1969, 1,070), Atlantica (2000, 2,100), Concordia (2006, 3,700), Deliziosa (2010, 2,830), Favolosa (2011, 3,780), Fortuna (2003, 2,720), Luminosa (2009, 2,260), Magica (2004, 2,720), Marina (1969, 760), Mediterranea (2003, 2,100), Pacifica (2009, 3,780), Romantica (1993, 1,360), and Serena (2007, 3,700).
- MSC – year-round sailings by all ships. MSC Med cruise deals for Armonia (2001, 2,090), Fantasia (2008, 1,300), Lirica (2002, 1,560), Magnifica (2010, 3,600), Melody (1982, 1,600), Musica (2006, 2,550), Opera (2004, 1,710), Orchestra (2007, 2,550), Poesia (2008, 3,600), Sinfonia (2002, 2,220), and Splendida (2009, 1,300).
- NCL Norwegian Cruise Lines Mediterranean ships – freestyle dining on-board Epic (2010, 4,100), and Jade (2006, 2,220).
- Princess Cruises Mediterranean ships – best value for price. The Princess ships in the Mediterranean: Grand (1998, 3,100), Ocean (1999, 830), Pacific (1999, 830), Ruby (2008, 3,080), and Star (2002, 2,590).
- Royal Caribbean Mediterranean ships – cheap, for families and young couples. The Royal Mediterranean ships: Adventure (2001, 3,800), Brilliance (2002, 2,500), Grandeur (1996, 2,440), Independence (2008, 3,370), Liberty (2007, 4,370), Mariner (2003, 3,800), Navigator (2002, 3,800), Splendour (1996, 2,070), Vision (1998, 2,420), Voyager (1999, 3,840).
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