Oceania Riviera 10 day cruise

Old Aug 18th, 2023, 01:02 PM
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Oceania Riviera 10 day cruise

Good afternoon everyone, well what we hope are going to be four fantastic days in Madrid and Barcelona, we will now be sailing on the Oceania Riviera for 10 days from Barcelona to Rome. Ports of call are Valencia, Alicante, Ibiza, Mallorca, Marseille, St.Tropez, Monte Carlo, Portofino, Livorno, and Rome...(I listed the ports because there are a number of cruises from Barcelona to Rome with completely different ports of call)

What we were hoping to get is your advise on the land excursions offered on this sailing that are "must do" excursions. Or, the "don't bother" land excursions on this sailing. In fact, I believe there are three ports where there are no land excursions offered at all such as Ibiza, St. Tropez, and Portofino. The ports that have excursions have about fifteen different excursions and some sound like complete rip offs or extremely over priced.
So, in an effort to bypass the "We fooled you" excursion, we were hoping to hear from some people who have taken excursions on this sailing and highly recommend them as being well worth the money in these ports of call.
I can't begin to tell everyone how awesome the members of this forum were for us with recommendation for dinning and lodging in Madrid and Barcelona. Two cities that have never been to but are now extremely excited to visit. We are very grateful to them...

Any help or advise with these land excursions would be greatly appreciated.

Peterh
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Old Aug 18th, 2023, 02:23 PM
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Peterh,
I think the Moderators will soon move this thread to the Cruise forum, but I've taken a glance of the Alicante excursions offered. While I haven't been on the Oceania, I do know Alicante, having studied there and traveled there recently.

I think there is none for Alicante that's a "must do", since it's a lovely, compact city you can just explore on your own--
  • walk the lovely palm tree lined Esplanada,
  • walk up to the Central Market (Mercado de Abastos) for a tour around, hopefully not on a Monday, when the fishmongers aren't there. At Alfonso X el Sabio 10 (closes at 2:30),
  • walk down the avenue running along the beach to take the elevator up to the Santa Barbara castle for great views--elevator entrance Is kind of hidden but directly across from Postiguet Beach,
  • have a glass of local wine (Enrique Mendoza Chardonnay) and a tapa at Taberna del Gourmet, the city's best tapas/wine bar. There are two, but the one we most like is on San Fernando.
  • have a fab rice dish in the upstairs dining room at NOU MANOLIN (make reservations--it's the city's most popular gourmet dining venue)

Alicante Tourist Info
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Old Aug 18th, 2023, 04:09 PM
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We have been on Oceania Cruises and loved them! We, too bristled at the costs of some of the shore excursions due to the cost and length. Also, we are old and grumpy and don't want to deal with people on a large bus who can't get back on time.
At many places we stopped in Croatia and Greece, (but pre-Covid) there were drivers in their black Mercedes and their registration cards in a cordoned off area near the ship's exit ramp. They offered a private tour, total customizable, but with recommendations. That was perfect! Enjoy
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Old Aug 18th, 2023, 08:50 PM
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I see many Fodorites recommend Cruise Critic for all things cruises. Perhaps there is something there that gives the nitty gritty over which excursions are not worth it?

In the end, though, no one call tell you what is a "must see" other than you. Maybe research each port of call to see what grabs your attention and then see if there are excursions that accommodate them.
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Old Aug 19th, 2023, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Travel_Nerd
I see many Fodorites recommend Cruise Critic for all things cruises. Perhaps there is something there that gives the nitty gritty over which excursions are not worth it?.
Cruise Critic has a Roll Call for the different sailings where you connect with others on your particular cruise and share/get information on dos and doníts, private tours, etc.
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Old Aug 19th, 2023, 05:41 AM
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Moved to Cruises forum
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Old Aug 19th, 2023, 05:47 AM
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This was written pre-Covid but may still be useful:

https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/...n-cruise-ports
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Old Aug 19th, 2023, 06:52 AM
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Yes, do check in to Cruise Critic if you haven't already.

Do whatever you can to avoid group tours and bring (and wear) your masks in the ships public spaces and on shuttles, airports, etc. Be prepared to catch COVID with the new variants circulating, this is also a bad year for norovirus. You will be surrounded by coughing, sneezing inconsiderate/entitled passengers and reportedly Oceania is lax about any enforcement of hand washing.

Check your insurance cover, chances are it doesn't include cruise ship sickbay which can be shockingly expensive.

That said, enjoy your cruise!
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Old Aug 19th, 2023, 09:40 AM
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Portofino is in a beautiful setting but it is all upscale shopping and dining(i.e, Gucci, etc), we left after an hour. However you can go to Santa Margherita Ligure, the next town, or Camogli, adjacent. They would be much better choices to spend your time. We have stayed in Santa Margherita Ligure twice for a week at a time, and have had very nice experiences.
St-Tropez is fun to walk around, beautiful broad sandy beaches
nearby.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Aug 19th, 2023 at 09:47 AM.
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Old Aug 19th, 2023, 09:47 AM
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Monte Carlo/ Monaco: Visit the historic, Royal section up the hill, the Cathedral where Princess Grace and Prince Rainier were married and are entombed, and the Palace tour is interesting. A half a day is enough there. If given more time, find a spot for lunch.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Aug 19th, 2023 at 09:50 AM.
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