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tommycruiser

Any ideas for my med cruise

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Everyone has a great variety of advice, here, and it's true to figure out what your interests are. As for me, the one tip in Europe is that I wouldn't necessarily feel like I had to use the cruise offered excursions in every port. I had been to Europe many times, so I wasn't afraid to figure things out on my own. But, if you haven't been, that may not be your comfort zone.

One thing I do recall from our Med Cruise was that it was easy to catch a train at Villefranche Sur Mer to get you to Nice or Canne or wherever. On that particular trip, we took the train to Nice. We walked down to the water (beach) area through the streets of Nice and stopped at some fabulous little shops along the way. Of particular note was a bakery with the yummiest treats! (I know what you are thinking - just what a cruise pax needs)!! But, French bakeries are the best on the planet. Anyway, I also got some fabulous earrings at a cute little boutique. Once at waters edge, we had cocktails at a beachside spot. We then took a cab back to the train station, as it was uphill to get back. Getting a cab back was tricky though. We cued up at a hotel. We got a little pissy attitude from the hotel employee who knew we were not guests. Leave yourself plenty of time for cabbing back - as that is the hardest part.

In order to get to Rome, we also took the train from the Civitavecchia port. Once in Rome, we taxied to a hotel where some friends happened to be staying at Piazza Navona. There's a lot to see in Roma, probably can't do it all in the measly timeframe you get on a cruise ship. Pick what is most important to you and use a cruise package if you feel more comfortable with that. We padded in a lot of extra time for our train ride back to the ship.

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:cool2: Hello TC. :smile: My suggestion is to do the excursions on your own. Its much less $$$ and you are on your own time. In Livorno you can get a cab and see both Pisa and Florence. I agree about Civitavecchia too. Again we rented a cab and spent the time in Rome see the sights such as the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, the Sistene Chapel, Vatican Museum and others. If you wish to enters St. Peters you must be properly dressed, i.e. no shorsts, etc. In Naples do see Pompei. It is a definite highlight. In barcelona there are bus tours from a main square in the Ramblas. You can cover the sights in two days basically. You simply get on, get off where you please, stay as long as you wish and catch the next shuttle which runs regularly. Also see the barri Gothic Cathedral there as well and Gaudis Guell Park. You can also take a cable car ride high above the city. In Villefranche there is a village, Eze I think that looks like something preserved fro medevial days. I saw it on the Travel Channel and it looks really neat.

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:cool2: Let me add one more thing about the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Its not finished yet. And its been under construction for, oh about 90 yrs. or so. :biggrin: The original design is Gaudis but after he died I think there was a significant delay in finishing the work because there was doubt about HOW it would be finished. It seems there was quite a debate among artists and architects about how it would be completed. I think that was resolved finally and when we were there 5 yrs. ago it still wasn;t finished. AFAIK it still isn't. Joey and David were there most reecently but I assume its till not yet finished. Joey is this correct? :cool2:

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Good morning everyone

Thanks for all the ideas and advice I printed a lot of it and we will use it to help our decisions. Not sure which way we will go on tours as far as through the ship or not we've never been to europe so are a little aprehensive towards going out on our own but will definitely look into it.

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Hi Tommycruiser:

We have been to most of your ports and are in the process as I type this of selecting our shore excursions for our Legend of the Seas cruise next month.

In Lovorno, IMHO Florence wins hands down. However, since we have already been there, this time we are taking a tour of Tuscany.

In Naples the last time we did Isle of Capri, this time we are off to Pompei and Sorrento for the day.

We will visit Rome precruise again, so not really a shore excursion.

Have a great trip, but then I know you will.

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Hi Tommy,

We've done all of these ports a few times (except Palermo). Dependant upon what you like doing in port, would depend upon your choice of excursion. But I second Jacketwatch's suggestion of doing the ports on your own WITHOUT A DOUBT!!

In Livorno and Civitavecchia we used a driver/guide by the name of Claudio of Limoinrome.com ... he is amazing, such a gentleman and will do and go whereever you'd like. In Livorno we have done both Florence/Pisa and also Tuscany. It would really be hard for me to make a determination which one was better, both excursions are outstanding.

I will say this about Naples..... please don't miss the Amalfi Coast!! It is totally septacular. Probably the highlight of Italy for us. We've been there twice and would love to stay a week or more and explore. The last cruise (last October) we did the Amalfi coast and then Pompeii - that is a great excursion and can be done with many private tour guides.

Barcelona....you've had a lot of good information given to you already, what I would like to add is definitely get there a day or 2 (if possible) before the cruise (or after if you're going the other way). You absolutely can't see all that there is to see in just one day.... we love Barcelona. You must go to La Boqueria (the market) on Las Ramblas - it's awesome.

Enjoy - we love Europe!

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Tommy,

Sorry forgot to mention.... in Villefranche - although Villefranche itself is great, we fell in love with St. Paul de Vence and Eze. We also did Monaco, Cannes and Nice and quite honestly wouldn't want to really go back to any of them, but St. Paul de Vence is gorgeous, Eze is stunning and one of the best Pizza's we have had in any country in the world we had on the sea front in Villefranche (with a good bottle of wine of course)!

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:cool2: When we were in Naples we hired a wonderful, gregarious cabbie named Ernie. I asked him to take us to a nice place for lunch, a sort of place off the tourist path where the locals go. So Ernie did just that. He took us to a TRUCK STOP! Now tell me if a ships tour will do THAT! Yet another reason to do it on your own. :biggrin::biggrin: Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get. :biggrin::cool2:

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