Constellation 10/24/03

Oct 3rd, 2003, 03:09 PM
  #1  
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Constellation 10/24/03

Doing a 15-night cruise from Barcelona to San Juan leaving on 10/24/03. Have cruised the Caribbean many times, but this is our first time in Europe. Any pros/cons to seeing the sights on our own as opposed to ship's tours? Thanks in advance.
BarbK is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 05:34 PM
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What European ports will you be visiting? Maybe some on this forum can give you some specific advice.

I've lived in Europe and sailed all over the Mediterranean, so I kinda/sorta know the "ropes" and would never take a cruise ship's tour. Besides that, they are very expensive.

Are you adventurous? Do a little research on the ports you are visiting, look at what tours the cruise ship is offering, and figure out what you would like to do/see. You could probably to it yourself using taxi/train/local transportation.
Budman is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 06:09 PM
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We will spend one day in each of the following:
Villefranche (Nice), France,
Malaga, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Lisbon, Portugal
Funchal (Madeira), Portugal

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
BarbK is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2003, 08:07 PM
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If you go to cruisecritic.com, click on Boards near top, then on Celebrity under Rollcalls....scroll down to Constellation, October 24, 2003 then click on page 15.
Click on begood2me and then on
Cruise Critic Board Participants List.
You will see every kind of info you can imagine. There are 120 people signed up for the Celebrity-Cruise Critic Party. If you care to join us write or our originator David:
[email protected]
Bobbie737 is offline  
Oct 4th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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Barb, in Villefrance, the train station is within walking distance to the the tender landing. You can either take the train to Cannes or Nice, or North to Monte Carlo/Monaco, which we did. Walk up the hill to Monaco, watch the changing of the guard, visit the palace, have lunch, go to the Casino in Monte Carlo, and walk around the seaport.

Malaga is a huge beach resort, but late October will be off season. I would find out what the ship tours offer and try to do something on your own.

In Lisbon, you can walk around the town, visit shops, have lunch, do some shopping, visit churches & museums. We hooked up with another couple and some British ladies who had been to Lisbon before, and we took the train to a little fishing village to the south of the city, had lunch and strolled the streets.

Do some "winging it" and you will have a great time. Cruise ships pull in for such a short time, it is difficult to get anything more than a flavor of the city. We didn't want to run around and cram things in and be hurried. Take it leisurely, have lunch, and enjoy yourselves.
Budman is offline  
Oct 4th, 2003, 07:35 AM
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High Barb!Agree, recommend doing it on your own. It is cheaper this way as opposed to ships itineraries, alot cheaper in fact, you can get off when you what to, not when the tour starts, etc. We did a Med cruise last year and found lots of cabs waiting at the dock available for tours, or you can use public transportation if you wish. In Rome alone we saved $310.00 for the 3 of us by getting a cab as opposed to what the ship (RC) offered. And you can return when you want to, not when the tour is finished. Do a little research before you go and check out the major attractions or just look at the ships port tours and get it from there. Bon voyage!
jacketwatch is offline  
Oct 4th, 2003, 08:15 AM
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Barb, here's a thought when you are in Malaga. Rent a car and drive down to Gibraltar for the day. Gibraltar has a lot of WWII history, Michael's Caverns, and the famous apes. Great views to Africa, especially on a clear day.

If you do this, remember that it is easy to get onto Gibraltar with a U.S. Passport, but departing, you could experience long lines as the Spanish are looking for contraband and tax free items coming back into the country from Gibraltar. Just leave yourself an extra hour of so.

Cadiz is a small fishing village. Two options I would recommend -- Rent a car and head for a day trip to Seville which is about 60 or so miles away, or, take the bus/taxi to a nice quaint village of El Puerto de Santa Maria. Another fishing village with a lot of charm. I would recommend this.

Oh, you can get some great pictures of the city of Lisbon as you enter or depart the port.
Budman is offline  
Oct 4th, 2003, 05:15 PM
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Budman, your ideas and experiences have been so helpful to us. Thank you so much for all of your recommendations.

Jacketwatch, it's amazing how much you saved by doing your own tour! We like the idea of coming and going when we are ready rather than being on a rigid schedule.

Bobbie, I will go to cruise critic.com. Maybe we'll talk there! Thanks for the idea.

Sintra in Portugal comes highly recommended to us. Has anyone been there?

Also in Portugal, we'd like to do the Basket Sledge Ride down the mountain. Sounds like fun.

Any other ideas that you or any others may come up with will be welcome. Thanks everyone.
BarbK is offline  
Oct 5th, 2003, 06:02 AM
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Hi Barb! FYI the tour offered from RC was $170.0 pp X 3= $510.00. The cab was $200.00. We saved about $150.00 in Livorno and all in all about $825.00 for all our stops. Bon voyage! Larry
jacketwatch is offline  
Oct 5th, 2003, 09:03 AM
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BarbK--

Sintra is a beautiful hilly town outside of Lisbon...You will either need a car of your own or a cabbie as a tour guide...

Just keep in mind that if you are late and the ship leaves, you are on your own to get to the next port... For that reason, If I were doing my own excursions in Europe, I would remember to bring my passport off the cruise ship==as a just in case scenerio....
andy is offline  

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