Yes, that seems like a long time from now, more than a year, but I am starting look for something to do with my Iberia Airlines future flight travel voucher I have to use before June 30, 2021. I am looking now at Crystal Cruises that I enjoyed back in 2013 on a cruise to the Mediterranean from Rome, Italy to Istanbul, Turkey with a friend. I will write a blog about that trip back then soon, as I continue to build the content for this new blog website about my travels from Mexico at www.travelingfrommexico.com
Now looking at Crystal Cruises, because I realize since my credit cards are all in pesos and the value of the Mexican Peso has declined by about 25% these last few months, I can get cruises a lot cheaper than by paying in USD on NCL. Something to consider when you pay for things in foreign currencies! Looking at the months of May or June 2021 with Crystal provides me with about 10 options about half are in the Mediterranean and the other half are in the northern Baltic ports. Since I have been around those areas a few times like in 2017 cruise from Barcelona, Spain and 2019 Iceland Cruise; I have to consider the ports of call carefully. At this point in my travels I do not mind some repeats, but not too many. I see that there are good options from Rome to Venice, Italy or Rome to Rome that could probably work. They are including places in Croatia and Montenegro which would be new for my world travels, so I will consider those options first.
A nice feature from Crystal Cruises is that the prices are automatically converted into pesos because of my IP address vs. NCL I would have to use their Mexico based website for pesos prices. The first option is a cruise called the Best of Western Mediterranean for 10 nights starting in Barcelona, Spain and ending in Venice, Italy. It consists 11 ports of call featuring Provence, France; Florence/Pisa, Italy; Rome, Italy; Naples, Italy; Taranto, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Zatar, Croatia; and Venice, Italy. It provides me with only 4 new ports of call and June 4th embarkation for the cost of about $100,000 pesos.
2nd option to consider is 10 Nights Italy, Croatia, & Montenegro cruise that leaves and returns from Rome, Italy. This is probably going to provide me with the best airfare options, but unfortunately I cannot even look on Iberia since they do not have flights more than a year out on their website. It sails to 8 ports of call featuring Corfu, Greece; Split, Croatia; Trieste, Italy; Koper, Slovenia; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; and Naples, Italy. It provides me with 6 new ports of call, also with June 4th departure for the cost of about $114,000 pesos. It is also on one of their newest ship Celebrity Edge, so that is always a good treat!
My final option to consider is a longer cruise for 13 nights, Best of Western Mediterranean departing from Barcelona, Spain to Venice, Italy. I would also see 6 new ports while I added 3 nights. This cruise has the ports of call Provence, France; Monte Carlo, Monaco; Florence/Pisa, Italy; Rome, Italy; Naples, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Split, Croatia; and Koper, Slovenia. Since this starts in Barcelona, I would probably get the best deal on the airfares. An interesting feature on this cruise is the first night starting in Barcelona is actually an overnight in Barcelona, so you do not sail until 5pm on the 2nd day of the cruise. It departs on May 4th, which is a bit earlier in the year that I would prefer to go, and costs the most at $135,350 pesos. However, it is in the upgraded Concierge Cabin Class, possibly making it a bit more special.
Deposits with Crystal Cruises are about 5000 to 6000 pesos and are fully refundable until about 90 days before or when the final payment is due, so I will probably go ahead and book something after a little more research. To be honest with you, it is not too early to consider next summer as I usually find my best prices far in advance and most cruise lines offer guaranteed pricing, so even if their fare goes down, they will rebook you a the new lower price. The only time I cannot get a free re-book is after final payment as been made, however, I have had them upgrade my cabin or give me on board cruise credit for tours or other expenses.
I like the Rick Steves travel books and had the one from my first Mediterranean cruise, so I will read this again regarding the ports of calls and make my decision soon! I wiill update you as I book my next adventure!
Stay Safe Stay Well!