Hop on Hop Off Buses

Dec 6th, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Hop on Hop Off Buses

Hi all, would appreciate some advice. Friend and I in our 70s doing an MSC cruise in Feb 2015 around full Mediterranean, have found in past that the tours offered by ship are very expensive and not always available in english. I noted when travelling with this company in North Europe that Hop on Hop off buses met ship as it arrived in port and I have noted that there are a number of these buses available in most of the places we will be berthing. I have also read some of the comments by members on these buses and would be grateful if you would give some feed back. Unfortunately we are no longer up to great walking around and this, or if some other suggestions are offered, may be the best way to go. And also if anyone knows if these buses as in other parts of europe meet the ship.. Thanks in advance, LalLal
LalLal is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 01:57 AM
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I took the MSC Splendida to various ports & did not see
any Hop on buses..what ports will you be visiting?
Rhea58 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 02:39 PM
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Genoa,Barcelona,Casablanca,Santa Cruz,Funchal,Civitavecchia (Rome), Katakolon,Heraklion, Haifa, Piraeus. Quite extensive and I would not think all would be covered by these buses. LalLal
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Dec 7th, 2014, 07:32 PM
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hope you do not mind my kind of hi-jacking the thread here, but hate to start another when I have just one question specifically for Rhea58.
Rhea, did you enjoy MSC Splendida? Any cons to that cruise line? I like some of their itineraries, but had concerns about having a language problem and not meeting people we could converse with. Thanks.
Sassafrass is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 08:56 PM
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Hi Sassafras, I will also answer your query re language etc. Yes this line does cater mainly to europeans and not a great deal of english speakers, but what I did when traveling with them last time was to request a dining table for 8 of english speakers and at least had a very pleasant experience with that. The rest of the time in the bistro eating, it is mainly german, french, italian, russian, etc. and as mentioned in my opening many of the tours were in those languages. However that ship was travelling North europe and scandinavia. LalLal
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Dec 8th, 2014, 02:55 AM
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LalLal: My cruise ports were different. Only one was Barcelona where we had to tender in & don't remember a Hop on bus there.

As whether I liked the Splendida: Yes and No. Language
was a big problem - I could not participate in the daytime
activities w/the language barrier. My balcony stateroom was
fine & I was seated with an Australian family for dinner so that was ok. I thought the food was terrible...more like ersatz Italian.

Other problem was the amount of children who had free rein as the Italians love their kids and would crowd together in hallways & generally let them run loose.

I am told that when MSC does their Carib runs there is a totally different atmosphere but cannot vouch for that myself.
Rhea58 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 01:08 PM
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Thanks Rhea, language is a problem and certainly at times was difficult, but I put it down to part of the experience. Thanks re Barcelona, I wondered about having to use a tender, we only did that once on my earlier cruise and I did not see the buses at every port, guess that may not what will happen on our cruise. I thought of taxis but am worried they may be too expensive to use in the bigger cities at least.I did strike children last time as well but not too bad. The reason I have chosen February is because being still part of winter there may not be too many. The thing with MSC is it is very cheap, the cabins are comfortable, I found the food ok. But you do have to payfor everything else, even water bottles. However, this means you only pay for what you use and are not subsidising what others may indulge in.
LalLal is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 06:37 PM
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I know only one - Bergen, Norway, the HOHO bus is right there, on the pier.

As for water, bring your own bottle(s) and refill for free on the ship.
Dayenu is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 06:44 PM
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Thanks Deyenu, perhaps that is where I saw it, altho I did think there was another, may be wrong. No good taking your own bottle. The bags are xrayed on and off each port and anything they don't like such as drinks etc. they confiscate. LalLal
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Dec 9th, 2014, 03:43 AM
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I always bring an empty water bottle & it has never been conviscated. Also my own coffee travel mug since I am

I also do my own excursions. In Civitavecchia you can take
the train into Rome; Heraklion see the ruins, and also a
train into Athens from Piraeus. Have not been to the other ports.

Only time I had to take the MSC excursion was Barcelona as we only had a few hours in port & wanted to see La Sagrada & of course Guell park. Guide spoke mostly German & then English so felt I got short shift
Rhea58 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2014, 11:30 AM
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There are hop on busses in most of the ports you will visit. I have listed their websites. Do go to Cruise Critic and get more info there on these ports and what to see and do.

Santa Cruz:

There is a hop on bus in Santa Cruz (Tenerife). We docked there a couple of years ago and I was looking for some non-ship tours. We took a taxi tour up to top of Mt. Teide w/ stops along the way. We stopped at a seaside town and had lunch, did some shopping, etc. It was a lovely day there and one of our favorite places to visit.



Casablanca: there is a hop on bus here as well. Here is a tour company with tours in Casablanca.



The hop on bus in Rome is not recommended by others due to the road construction in Rome. Here is a Trip Advisor post a couple of days ago about the ho ho busses there.


there is no tour needed as Heraklion is pedestrianed and small.



If you are cruising in February, you need to map out an itinerary for you and your friend if you don't want to do ship's tours.

Good luck. Enjoy your cruise.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 9th, 2014, 06:15 PM
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I can't thank you all enough. The info provided will make out trip that much more enjoyable and less stressful. I am from Aussie, and live in the country Central West of Sydney, about 300 ks inland very beautiful and past the Blue Mtns. If you are ever travelling this way, a bed will be available. LalLal
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Dec 11th, 2014, 01:25 PM
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Hi lUV 2, could I ask you when you did your taxi tour, can you remember how much it cost? and were there two of you only and how long was the trip? Your tour sounded lovely. LalLal
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Dec 12th, 2014, 03:19 PM
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Hi LalLal, we did an all day taxi tour when we docked in Tenerife. We just got off the ship and were walking towards the main street and there were lots of taxi drivers standing there asking us if we wanted to do a tour. We were there in Dec. so the prices were a lot less than in high tourist season. I just kept saying no to most of the guides we walked by until we came to the taxi driver we booked. His English was perfect, his car was clean and our tour was one of the best we've taken anywhere. I am trying to find the taxi company he worked for and if I do I will let you know. The drive up Mt. Teide was simply amazing and one that I would highly recommend to anyone. The scenery was beyond spectacular! We had 3 of us and it was 8 hr. day. Here is the name of a tour company I found:

I don't know anything about them so can't give you a recommendation.

Here is a tour company that people have booked. I have a friend that booked them and she was satisfied with the tour. They usually take groups in their minibusses.

You could email them and ask them if they have any organized tours for the date you will be in Tenerife and whether you could join the group. I am sure that they could add 2 people if they already have others booked for the tour.

Here is another tour company that some people have booked. The wine tour was popular and perhaps something you might enjoy.


Here is another company that does tours:

You could contact the above companies and ask about the tours and get prices.

Let me know if I can help you further.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2014, 03:30 PM
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just found this:

"If you want to do cruise / shore excursions while in Santa Cruz check out Tenerife Sunshine, you can speak to them online at www.tenerifesunshine.com they are a well respected company having been on the island about 15 years and recommended by many Tenerife forum members, myself included."

Recommendations are excellent for Oditen and Felix the tour guide. This is who I would recommend and book if I were going back. I would ask about prices for 2 of you and maybe you can hook up w/ a couple of others wanting to tour. Don't wait too long to book as there are not that many tour guides in Tenerife and you won't be able to get anyone.

Let me know how you make out.

Luv2travel15 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2014, 03:07 PM
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Again thank you so much, I will have a look at the companies mentioned by you.
LalLal is offline  
Dec 18th, 2014, 05:08 AM
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Hi Lal, just one more comment - my 1st comment about tenerifesunshine.com company is not mine but one I found while googling for info and those comments are of the poster. I do not know anyone that has used this company but worth checking out as there are not that many tour companies in Tenerife.

Keep us posted how you make out.
Luv2travel15 is offline  

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