Family Cruise: The Best Way to See Italy for the First Time
In May 2023, our family took a dream trip to Europe, with Italy as our main destination. Royal Caribbean provided a top-notch experience as we toured Venice, Sicily, Rome and Florence, among other destinations. The staff worked diligently to make sure our experience was one to remember and I would highly recommend it!
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Where to stay
Royal Caribbean Wonder of the Seas
Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas is a marvel of cruise luxury, setting sail with an array of thrilling activities, world-class entertainment and innovative amenities. As the largest cruise ship globally, it offers an unparalleled seafaring experience, combining comfort and excitement on a grand scale.
Splendid Venice - Starhotels Collezione
A luxury hotel in Venice near St. Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace with a breathtaking rooftop and well-appointed suites overlooking the canal.
Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
Locanda La Corte
Where Venetian charm meets culinary excellence in an intimate setting.
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A cruise is definitely one of the best ways to experience Italy for the first time. It provides a unique way to explore numerous cities in just one week. Waking up early to take in the arrival into the beautiful ports and the sunrise was a highlight each day. Excursions can be planned through Royal Caribbean, so you are sure to get back on the ship in time for departure. They offer a wide range of experiences for varying physical abilities and individual preferences. We really felt we were able to get a nice taste of each city in a day. We chose fast-paced tours to see as much as possible, but it was well worth the effort, and there also was a day at sea to rest.
We arrived a couple of days early to tour Venice. The beautiful sights included a boat tour to Murano’s world famous glass factory, the colorful village of Burano, and endless strolling along the streets of Venice, not to mention the delectable potato pizza I’m still dreaming about! After setting sail, we enjoyed stunning views of the coastal city, Taormina, in Sicily, and long drives through Tuscany on our optional excursions. The cruise also provided us with the opportunity to visit the major sites of Rome, Pisa, and Florence on just a seven night cruise!
As budget-minded travelers with teens, we chose to eat the included hearty breakfast buffet each day on the ship, and enjoy scrumptious Italian street food with copious amounts of gelato while exploring each city. Calories do not count on vacation! Who can refuse an authentic Italian gelato for only a couple of US dollars? Personally, I love to know which foods are unique to a region and scope them out carefully , which I'm also happy to do for my clients. Arancini, pizza, cannoli, oh, the food list is long in Italy! When we came back to the ship we filled up again on the delicious buffet that was awaiting us. Lots of walking requires lots of eating and I was amazed at how prepared they were to serve such a large group when we returned to the ship each day!
The only problem with touring Italy this way is that it just makes one want to come back and experience it again, but is that really even a problem? We can’t wait to come back for a multiple day tour of Tuscany or an indepth look at Rome. Then there’s Sicily to experience again. One just can’t get enough of this gorgeous country. If you want a great overview, I highly recommend a cruise as one of the best ways to experience Italy.
Need to Know
Royal Caribbean’s Mediterranean cruise is a phenomenal experience. There's plenty of family friendly amenities, and it offers a variety of room options for varying budgets. The destinations and opportunities offered were truly remarkable!
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