Mickey on the Med

Is Europe ready for this? I’m not sure. But at least they will have more than a year’s warning. That’s right folks, Mickey Mouse is hitting the Mediterranean. Disney Cruises announced today that it will offer 10- and 11-night Mediterranean cruises on Disney Magic during the summer of 2007. Italian ports of call include: La Spezia (Florence), Civitavecchia (Rome), Naples and Olbia (Sardinia).

I may be making fun of Mickey (shame on me as I visited Disney World more times than I count while growing up) but Disney is only jumping on the Med cruise bandwagon. More and more cruise lines are offering Mediterranean sailings, even Carnival Cruises entered the market last year. And trust me, while visiting European ports, I have actually seen a few passengers far cheesier than Mr. Mouse.

Disney’s itineraries depart from Barcelona — also a trend for Med sailings. I believe Barcelona is only second to Miami in the amount of cruise traffic in and out of its port. Starting rates for the Disney itineraries range from $2,399 to $3,499, based on double occupancy.

Cruising can be a great way to see multiple European countries as well as explore Italy. If you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, consider Silversea. I sailed with them two summers ago (you can read about in the September/October 2003 issue of Dream of Italy) and it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.