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Packing Tips for a Spring or Fall Mediterranean Cruise + Why Shoulder Season Can Be the Best Time to Travel There

Think Mediterranean and you likely picture long, relaxing days by a warm, breezy beach or sun-dappled town. You might even be aware of the epic heat waves parts of the Mediterranean are known for in summer, and figure you’ll be all set with not much more than a swimsuit, shorts and t-shirts, and a sundress or two. Before you zip up that suitcase; however, keep in mind packing for a Mediterranean cruise gets a bit more complicated if traveling during shoulder season (i.e. late spring or early fall…generally a month or two before and after the busy summer season when kids are out of school and when the masses are taking advantage of hot weather).

Luckily, the Mediterranean is an excellent place to travel to during shoulder season as the weather stays moderately pleasant, but there are still a few things to remember while packing for a Mediterranean cruise during the shoulder season.

It’s going to be a bit colder than you think.

Sure, you may be expecting some autumn-like breezes, but they may be even colder than you expect once the sun goes down due to being by the sea since that tends to drop the chill factor. Expect the breeze to be even stronger when out at sea sailing between ports. So, while you won’t need that down parka, you probably will want a windbreaker and a warm cardigan to throw on. You want to make sure you can comfortably enjoy time hanging out at the Lawn Club or other outdoor spaces on board. A light rain jacket or poncho is also wise to pack as the Mediterranean does get rain, particularly in the spring months.

You’ll still want that swimsuit.

It may be cooler than the summer months, but chance are you’ll still have some marvelously warm days in port. So bring that swimsuit and enjoy some of the gorgeous Mediterranean beaches – just remember to also stick in a long-sleeve shirt in your daypack in case it gets a bit cooler before you’re back to the ship. On the ship, you’ll also want some pool attire since even on a particularly breeze day you can still enjoy lounging by the pool — this is because the pools are often situated on Celebrity ships so they’re protected from any strong winds meaning you can simply relax on a chair or float in the pool and bask in the hot Mediterranean sun.

Don’t forget two important things.

Sunglasses and sunscreen. It might not be the peak of summer sunshine, but you’ll still be experiencing a lot of it. Make sure you’re covered and protected by the sun by packing some sunscreen (and don’t worry – if you forget, you can get some at one of the shops on board your cruise ship). You also don’t want to be squinting at famous sights and monuments so bring a pair of sunglasses or a hat with a brim, too.

Why should you travel during shoulder season?

You may be wondering why it’s worth it to travel during shoulder season if you have to remember these extra things to pack. Here are two big reasons:

  • It’s way less crowded. Ok, you’re not going to be the only tourist at the Colosseum in Rome or walking around Oia, Santorini (and far from being the only one), but you’ll be surrounded by a fraction of the people you would be during the summer months. Once summer vacation time ends, the hordes and hordes of tourists disappear from the major sites, meaning you can enjoy the sights without having to push your way through crowds or needing to wait 10 minutes for your turn in a prime picture-taking spot.
  • It can get hot in the summer in Europe. We’re talking into the triple digits, particularly towards the end of July and during the month of August. That might be great if you’re just planning to lounge by a beach or pool, but if you’re hoping to walk around the quaint towns and visit the historic sites the Mediterranean is known for, you’re going to find that the heat is quite exhausting. Travel in the spring or fall months and increase your odds of avoiding 90+ degree temperatures in the Mediterranean.

Are you ready to take a shoulder season cruise? There are still some last minute Mediterranean itineraries for this fall (often with great last minute deals!), or you can start planning ahead and book your spring Mediterranean cruise and get your top pick for itinerary and stateroom type and location on board.

To book your perfect Mediterranean Celebrity cruise, visit Celebrity Cruises or speak with your local travel agent.

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