I recently went on a Caribbean cruise, but 6 months prior to that I went on a Mediterranean cruise. I was asked about the differences in these two types of cruises, so I thought I would share my contrasting experiences.
In most Caribbean port stops, you are docking with some beautiful scenery. You are either looking towards the land at some lush tropical greenery, looking down into the bluest of waters or maybe a beach not too far from where you dock.
In a Mediterranean port, most of the time, the ports are industrious from what I saw in Spain, France, Italy and Greece. I hardly took any pictures of these ports, except when I was sailing back into the sea.
Depending on the length of your Caribbean cruise, you should have at least 2 sea days or more to relax on the ship and check out the activities that the ship provides. Your time in port or the excursion that you are on won’t be all day long, so you have time to explore the ship on those days as well.
On a Mediterranean cruise, you may have only 1 sea day like I did, and there is a possibility that you might not have a sea day at all. I was on a brand new ship for this Mediterranean cruise and I felt I didn’t get to know the lay out of the ship as well as I might have if I was cruising in the Caribbean.
In the Caribbean, a typical excursion for me is a snorkel excursion, a planned beach day, or a tour around the island. Most of the time you don’t have to wake up early to get off the ship, except if you want to be greeted by a beautiful sunrise.
In the Mediterranean, you need to carefully plan your excursions. Most likely you are going to take a day tour, like in Rome, and the city might be about an hour away from port; your guides will greet you at your ship, so no need to worry about how you are getting to the city. These tours are ALL day, with the exception of choosing a beach day if that’s available. The ship will dock in the morning and you may have to be up early to meet your tour guide, but the ship is also docked until the evening to make sure you are back on the ship in time.
In the Caribbean you may come across some rougher waters, but then it might be smooth sailing. Also, a lot of the time you won’t see land.
When I traveled on the Mediterranean I rarely felt that I was on the ship, it was smooth the whole time. I could also see land the whole time, with the exception of our 1 sea day, because the ports/countries are close to each other.
That’s my take on cruising in the Caribbean vs. the Mediterranean. I love both for different reasons. It’s great to be in a more relaxed pace in the Caribbean, but the Mediterranean is great to be able to see many different countries and decide if you want to go back and visit one of them on a land trip. I’m sure I will have many more experiences in the future. I have a bucket list of cruises I want to go on!