Treasures of the Med-Northbound September 26

Arriving in Malta a day early. Looking forward to this beautiful trip. We have been on numerous river cruises and a small ship cruise of the Baltics with Tauck. Great trips. Question, has anyone taken this trip? My concern is seasickness.


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    We just returned from the Northbound trip and I'll answer your question and add other things we found out about this trip.

    Seasickness - We never experienced any seas rough enough for seasickness. Weather was calm and only one day of rain. Not saying it is not worth considering, we brought Bonine just to be prepared, but never used any.

    Air travel - Tauck booked our air travel and it was not the best experience, but partly our fault. They said they could get flight from our small local airport which we thought was great rather than a two hour trip to larger airport. Bad choice! The flight consisted of flying into Atlanta, then Paris, then to Malta. Flying economy is like flying in a sardine can and when we arrived in Paris, we ended up having to go through security 3 different times just to get to the next gate. When we arrive in Malta, none of our party of 3 had any of our checked baggage. Thankfully, we arrived a day early. The Tauck reps at the airport assisted with our missing bag claims with the airline, and then I called Tauck on the provided phone number. They recommended reporting to our Tour Directors (Ali and AJ), both were amazing for the whole trip. Our luggage was tracked down and we had it by 8pm the next day.

    Flying out from Nice at the end of the trip was also not fun. It is a self service airport in which you have to print your own boarding pass and luggage tags from a kiosk. Having never done it before, I tried to get assistance from airport person. She turned her back and walked away. After figuring it out (sorta) we were finally on the plane, however, our bags were only checked to Paris. We had to claim our bags, then recheck the bags for the next flight, which we ended up missing (there was an unaccompanied bag that caused the area to be closed while authorities secured it). I went to customer service and found out our previous check through had been cancelled and that is why the bags were only checked through to Paris. There was only one flight left for the day to get back to USA so we rebooked to New York and ended spending the night before continueing on the next day.

    The Ship - You will probably not get the sailing experience if that is what you are looking for. We motored the whole time. This is because the winds are generally either too calm or from the wrong direction to power the ship to the next destination in a timely fashion. However, if the winds WERE strong enough, the seas would also be rougher and more likely a seasick issue.

    Storage - There is limited storage in the cabins (typical for small ships). However, if your suitcase is limited to 9-10" thick, then it will slide under the bed (tightly). I only partially unpacked mine and rotated cloths periodically and had enough storage. The hang-up space has about 10 hangers. I took half and gave wife other half. I was able to hang up 1 sports coat and 4 slacks with 4 shirts draped over the pants. There is also a retractable clothesline in the shower so we rinsed somethings and hung up to dry at night.

    Bed - I had read some reports that the beds were uncomfortable. They tend to be on the firm side but not overly hard in my opinion. It certainly was not as comfortable as my sleep number bed at home but was not uncomfortable enough to prevent sleep. There was also a rolled up and bagged comforter under the bed that we could have used as extra cushion, but didn't need it.

    Food/Beverage - Breakfast and Lunch were good with buffet choices. Dinner was OK with menu choices except two time when meals were pre-selected. Beer and wine were complementary with meals. Some wines were good, others were just OK. Some spirits are complimentary but things like Single Malt Scotch were of the Premium level and required additional fee. They also provide a "Beverage Package" if you choose to purchase.

    Excursions - You will ride a Zodiac all but maybe two times to and from port. Bring ziplock bag(s) for cameras or other electronics that you don't want to get wet. A couple times, the splash from the bow got some of us (mainly on the pants) wet.

    We traveled with my 89 yo father-in-law who had become slightly mobility impaired from the time we planned trip about 1.5 years ago. His issue was slight imbalance and weakened knees. There were about 4 of the excursions (Taurmina amphitheater, steep streets of Amalfi and Positano, Bonifacio, and Monte Carlo ) that he could not make the walk (too steep and long) so he would sit in a comfortable spot and wait for the group to return.

    The Tour Directors were amazing and a great team. They would go out of their way to help accommodate our needs and some times went over and above what we requested.

    All in all, a great trip. If you have any specific questions, I'll be glad to answer. - sinbad
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    We just returned from the Southbound. Weather was beautiful for most of it-drizzly when we left dock and then the very last night around 7 we started rocking. It was pretty rough and those prone to sea sickness fled the dining room. My husband went to our cabin and I went to the ship Dr., and got a seasick pill for him. Dr. said he had given out to 4 others at that time. I carried on-walking cautiously!!!

    The captain put up the sails several times for us. Put us on zodiacs so we could photo it.

    If you got travel insurance be aware that a claim is only valid for the tour dates. We flew into Nice and stayed in Monte Carlo a total of 4 nights. I left an important medication at home and started having affects on the 2nd day there. The 3rd day our tour started and I got some information on getting a dr. to our room. So it should all be covered.

    It was the best trip we have ever been on! we upgraded at the New Orleans airport, so travel was perfect. No problems or hiccups there.

    Have a wonderful time.
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    Thanks for answering my question concerning seasickness. I have a prescription for the patches which I will wear. We have done the small ship to the Baltic’s. I wore the patches then and was fine. Happy you all had a grand time. Leaving Monday.
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    chick192 wrote:
    Arriving in Malta a day early. Looking forward to this beautiful trip. We have been on numerous river cruises and a small ship cruise of the Baltics with Tauck. Great trips. Question, has anyone taken this trip? My concern is seasickness.

    Are you taking a carry-on along with a large bag? I'm confused about this. Can anyone who has been on this trip answer this? Thanks.

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