A Mediterranean cruise is a dream itinerary for many cruise passengers. From exploring the Colosseum to sunbathing on the French Riviera to the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik, there are many unique adventures awaiting visitors to the Mediterranean.

With the right planning, a Mediterranean cruise can suit low, modest and high-end budgets alike. From inside cabins on Royal Caribbean’s smaller ships to suites on the newest and largest ships, there are plenty of options for planning a Mediterranean cruise, whatever your budget.

Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” for a Mediterranean cruise, as the cost can vary widely in terms of cruise fares, shore excursions, onboard expenses and time of year. which you are browsing. If you’re planning a Mediterranean cruise, this guide should help you decide how to fit this fantastic part of the world into your budget and vacation style.

Prices for cruises in the Mediterranean by boat

Royal Caribbean sends its oldest and newest cruise ships to the Mediterranean during the summer months, giving guests the choice of a traditional cruise experience or a ship packed with the most unique and latest activities and amenities. from the cruise line.

Unsurprisingly, Royal Caribbean’s newer ships are priced higher than its older ships in the Mediterranean. The difference in cost of sailing on a larger ship compared to a smaller ship can be significantly more expensive or only slightly more expensive.

Let’s look at some examples to see how the ship you choose for a European cruise can affect your cruise fare.

Let’s first compare an 8-night Greek Islands cruise aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas (Vision-class ship) and the Odyssey of the Seas (Quantum-class ship). The price shown is the total price for two adults in a ocean view cabin on a cruise in September, taxes and fees included:

  • Rhapsody of the Seas: $1658.28 ($207 per night)
  • Odyssey of the seas: $2998.14 ($374 per night)

Then let’s compare a 7-night Western Mediterranean on Brilliance of the Seas (Radiance-class ship) and Symphony of the Seas (Oasis-class ship). The price shown is the total price for two adults in a balcony cabin on a cruise in June, taxes and fees included:

  • The shine of the seas: $2254.54 ($322 per night)
  • Symphony of the Seas: $3796.34 ($542 per night)

Although a smaller ship is offered at a lower price, it’s never a good idea to choose a cruise based on price alone. Reviewing the amenities, dining options, cabin categories, and activities on board each ship can help you decide which size ship is right for you.

Mediterranean cruise rates per month

Just like the ship you book, the month of your Mediterranean cruise can impact the overall cost of your cruise. In fact, a cruise in May can cost several hundred dollars less per person than a cruise in July or August.

Shoulder season in the Mediterranean is in the months of April, May, September and October, and this is when you tend to see the lowest cruise fares. As the school year is still in session, there is less demand for Mediterranean cruises, leading to lower prices.

High season, on the other hand, is during the summer months: June, July and August. Although early June may see lower prices due to the fact that summer travel in Europe is just beginning, expect the highest fares in July and August. At this time of year, demand is highest and ships are likely to be near capacity.

Let’s see how much the price of a cruise can vary depending on the month you sail. Let’s first compare the difference between a 7-night Western Mediterranean cruise on Symphony of the Seas in mid-April and mid-July.

The price shown is the total cost for two adults in one cabin with sea view balcony:

  • Leaving April 16: $2999.48 ($428 per night)
  • Leaving July 16: $4338.40 ($620 per night)

However, such a price difference is not always the case. Then let’s compare the difference between an 8-night Western Mediterranean cruise on Vision of the Seas in mid-May and mid-July.

The price shown is the total cost for two adults in one interior cabin:

  • Leaving May 13: $1634.90 ($233 per night)
  • Leaving July 8: $1729.80 ($247 per night)

As you can see, the price difference between spring and summer can be drastic or slightly different. A more drastic price difference will be seen on the most popular ships, such as Oasis and Quantum class ships, while a smaller price difference will be seen on older ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet.

Is the route important?

Mediterranean cruises generally fall into two categories: Western Mediterranean (Spain, France and Italy) and Eastern Mediterranean (Greece, Adriatic and countries like Cyprus and Israel). You won’t see a noticeable difference in the price of cruises from one region of the Mediterranean to another.

That being said, Eastern Mediterranean countries such as Croatia, Montenegro and Turkey tend to be cheaper destinations to visit, which can influence the price of shore excursions as well as the cost of things like local guides, taxis, food, souvenirs, etc.

Mediterranean shore excursion prices

Remembering budget for shore excursions is important on a Mediterranean cruise. Those used to sailing the Caribbean may not give too much thought to planning shore excursions, where choosing what to do can be as simple as choosing one beach over another.

In the Mediterranean, however, it’s good to have an idea of ​​what you’d like to do in each port and book excursions accordingly. Many Mediterranean ports are easy to explore on your own, saving you money in the long run, but many cruisers prefer the safety and ease of an organized shore excursion.

Here are some ideas for Royal Caribbean excursions with their prices (these prices are subject to change depending on the navigation and the time of year):

  • Unmissable Rome with the Vatican, Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica: $279.00/adult or child
  • Barcelona city sights: $53.75/adult, $44.75/child
  • Monaco Hop-On Hop-Off Bus from Nice: $119.0/adult, $89.00/child
  • Best of Mykonos Full Day Adventure: $148.99/adult, $103.99/child
  • Mykonos walking tour: $35.99/adult, $17.99/child
  • Catamaran Sailing in the Bay of Kotor and Beach Stay: $121.99/adult or child
  • Wine Tasting at Plantaze Vineyards (Kotor): $188.99/adult or child
  • Dalmatian Coastline and Village Life (Split): $117.99/adult, $92.99/child

Some excursions only offer transport to and from certain destinations far from where the cruise ships dock. For example, cruise ships to Rome stop in Civitavecchia, about 40 minutes from Rome by high-speed train.

Therefore, Royal Caribbean offers tours that provide transportation to and from cities while giving you several hours of free time upon arrival. The “Explore Rome” excursion, for example, offers round-trip transport to Rome from Civitavecchia for $69.95/adult or $54.75/child.

Of course, you don’t have to book excursions and can instead determine activities and transport yourself. Alternatively, you can find shore excursions with tour operators outside of Royal Caribbean, which may be cheaper and offer a greater choice of tours.

Personal preferences and expenses on board

Aside from choosing a ship, an itinerary and booking shore excursions, the total cost of your cruise will ultimately depend on your preferences. From the type of cabin you book to extras like specialty meal and beverage packages, the total cost of a cruise vacation can vary significantly from person to person, even if they paid the same base cruise fare.

Here are some examples of what you can pay extra on your Mediterranean cruise:

  • Beverage packages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic packages) or payment for drinks per unit
  • Specialty meals
  • Activities on board
  • Tips
  • Thermal treatments
  • Wireless

For a more in-depth look at additional costs not included on a Royal Caribbean cruise, see our article on the top 30 additional cruise costs that are not included.

It’s possible to cruise the Mediterranean on a budget or splurge for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No matter which cabin you book, which ship you choose or what activities you do in port, you are guaranteed to have a memorable vacation in one of the most beautiful and historic regions in the world.