For the 50+ Traveler

Are you dreaming of a cruise to someplace that offers beautiful beaches, lots of historic sites, fine architecture, and tantalizing cuisine? Consider a Mediterranean cruise.

The Mediterranean offers classic landmarks and wonderful weather. There is something truly special about this body of water, which links Europe to Africa and Asia. The coastlines captivate with their timeless beauty, and the cities take your breath away.

On a Mediterranean cruise, you can enjoy stunning seascapes, architectural masterpieces, ancient history, and some of the world’s best art. There is something for everyone in this area.

Let’s look at a few of the reasons why you should put a Mediterranean cruise on your bucket list.

The MSC Preziosa cruise ship.
Robin Smith

1. They Offer Luxury For Less

A Mediterranean cruise will take you to some of the most historic and beautiful places in the entire world. You can visit the ancient ruins of Rome, the architectural wonders of Barcelona, or the incredible beaches of Santorini, along with dozens of other fascinating places.

On this sort of cruise, you really get your money’s worth. You get transportation to a variety of destinations, an elegant cabin, three meals per day, snacks, entertainment, and luxury facilities and service, all for one price. Depending on the type of cabin you select, you could end up paying less than $100 per day per person for everything.

Last year, we took a nine-night Mediterranean cruise with MSC. We visited Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, and Portugal and stopped at seven port cities. Our room, an internal cabin, cost $92 per person per night. Our friends paid $154 per person per night for a room with a balcony. It was a steal!

We will be taking a 12-night Mediterranean cruise with Royal Caribbean this coming October, and we’ll be paying $109 per day per person to visit five countries and nine cities, including Monte Carlo, Rome, Santorini, and Athens. We will travel in luxury and see many places on our bucket list for a fraction of what it would cost to stay in hotels and travel between cities.

A Mediterranean cruise is an affordable way to see many of the world’s top landmarks without spending your retirement savings.

2. They’re Less Stress

On a cruise, you can experience multiple countries in the Mediterranean without packing and unpacking over and over. Once you are on the ship, you unpack one time -- and then enjoy.

There are very few logistics to worry about on the ship. Most Mediterranean countries accept euros, which means you won’t need to constantly change currency. Destinations outside of the eurozone are usually happy to accept euros, too.

And unless you are into shopping, you won’t need to spend money when you’re on a ship-sponsored excursion.

When in another country, it is often stressful to try to communicate and read road signs and maps in a different language. On a Mediterranean cruise, you won’t have to worry about any of that.

You will spend your time dining on world-class cuisine, sipping cocktails or wine, attending theater shows, lounging around the pool, getting massages, or simply relaxing and reading up on your next port of call. While you are having fun, your ship will be carrying you to the next exciting new destination.

The bedroom on a Mediterranean cruise ship.
Robin Smith

3. They Maximize Sightseeing Time

Imagine waking up somewhere new and exciting every day. A Mediterranean cruise lets you visit multiple cities and countries without the hassle of regular transportation. You’re taken from place to place while you sleep at night or while you are having fun aboard the ship during the day.

The Mediterranean is ideal for port-intensive itineraries geared toward exploring the region.

On our last cruise, we visited six different ports and had three days at sea, so we felt like we got plenty of sightseeing time.

Sightseeing in Lisbon, Portugal.
Robin Smith

4. They Stop In Mesmerizing Cities

Everyone has a wish list of world-famous cities they want to see. On a Mediterranean cruise, you’ll be able to tick some of those cities off your bucket list. During your time at port, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the best attractions each destination has to offer.

Are any of these standout Mediterranean destinations on your list of must-sees? If so, consider a Mediterranean cruise.

  • Barcelona, with its mind-boggling Sagrada Familia and wonderful beaches
  • Monaco, a playground for the rich and famous with opulent palaces and delightful fountain parks
  • Gibraltar, with its military fortress upon the rock at the mouth of the Mediterranean
  • Venice, with its magical canals, islands, and gondolas
  • Pisa, with its famous tower and many stunning churches and palaces
  • Mykonos, with its ancient Greek ruins
  • Malaga, with its stunning Moorish architecture
  • Rome, home of the Vatican, the Colosseum, and the Pantheon
  • Dubrovnik, with its medieval fortress featured in Game of Thrones
Taking photos in Marseille, France.
Robin Smith

5. You’ll Snap Spectacular Photos

There is no end to the photo opportunities you’ll have on a Mediterranean cruise, both on the ship and at the different ports. You will find picturesque scenery everywhere you turn. But don’t just capture the grand scenes -- take photos of the little details that make your trip memorable. Some ships offer photography workshops for passengers.

6. They’re A Great Way To Experience The Local Culture

While the countries around the Mediterranean share certain traditions and customs, each country is unique. Part of the fun of cruising is visiting these destinations, meeting the locals, and experiencing a bit of their way of life. There’s a new learning opportunity at every port, complete with a new atmosphere, new people, and new food.

7. They Offer Outstanding Service And Amenities

The service and quality of amenities on most cruise ships are at the luxury level. The pools, the hot tubs, the views, the adult-only areas, the multicourse meals, the room service -- I could go on and on.

Architecture in Lisbon, Portugal.
Robin Smith

8. You’ll Make Friends From Around The World

It’s easy to make friends with people from all walks of life and all parts of the world when you’re on a cruise ship. You’ll meet all kinds of friendly folks at the art auction, around the pool, playing the slots, at dinner, and participating in the cruise ship’s many activities. If you enjoy getting to know new people, you will certainly be able to do so.

And if you go on the cruise ship’s excursions, you’ll have an opportunity to meet the locals as well.

When you’re ready for an evening to yourselves, you can easily have that, too. A cruise provides as much socializing as you desire.

9. You’ll Learn About Ancient History, Art, And Architecture

A trip around the Mediterranean is a must to learn about the many civilizations that have called Europe home. A Mediterranean cruise offers a fascinating glimpse into centuries of history and the origins of Western civilization.

In Athens, you’ll visit dozens of ancient ruins and learn about the city’s contributions to art, architecture, politics, theater, and philosophy. In Genoa, you’ll walk the streets where Christopher Columbus once walked, and in Rome, you'll see artwork by masters like Michelangelo and Raphael.

Sampling Mediterranean cuisines.
Robin Smith

10. You’ll Savor A Variety Of Flavors

On a Mediterranean cruise, you’ll get to try lots of unique cuisine. Most ships prepare authentic dishes that allow you to taste the flavors of the cultural hot spots you’ll be visiting. When we visited Morocco, several Moroccan dishes were on the dinner menu. When we visited Spain, Spanish dishes were on the menu.

Aside from being a treat for the taste buds, the Mediterranean diet is incredibly healthy. You can expect plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables -- and don’t forget the sprinkles of olive oil!

The pool on a Mediterranean cruise ship.
Robin Smith

11. You’ll Spend Time On Some Of Europe’s Best Beaches

Last but not least, a Mediterranean cruise will take you to some of Europe's most exclusive coastal destinations. The French Riviera offers lots of glitz and glamour as you rub shoulders with the rich and famous in Saint-Tropez or go star-spotting in Monte Carlo.

The Mediterranean boasts some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches, too. Chances are your ship will stop at a few of them.

A Mediterranean cruise is truly a bucket-list trip, and it’s something everyone should experience at least once.