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Regal Princess; shore excursion; Mediterranean

Regal Princess; shore excursion; Mediterranean

Old Mar 26th, 2022, 05:38 PM
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Regal Princess; shore excursion; Mediterranean

What options, and is it possible, to get into town without booking a shore excursion through the cruise line?

Thank you
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 06:41 PM
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Which ports?
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 06:56 PM
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Regal does several different cruises with different itineraries in the Med. Some ports are easy, just walk off the ship, some you take a taxi, some you need an excursion, some are easy to do on your own, some not. You have to tell us which itinerary and which ports. Are any still requiring ship excursions? I do not know.
Are you considering a cruise or have one already booked? I have been to many ports in the Med, as have many other cruisers here, so tell us which ports. We can be more specific.
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 07:03 PM
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We have taken a Greek Island cruise, a Med cruise that included Turkey and Israel, a cruise from Spain to France and Italy, and never once taken a ship’s excursion, so unless a ship’s excursion is required due to Covid, you can always do it on your own.
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 08:00 PM
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Regal Princess; shore excursion; Mediterranean-err21alg.jpg
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 09:46 PM
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You ask "is it possible, to get into town without booking a shore excursion through the cruise line" which sounds like you are asking about a specific (one) town . . . then provide a map with fourteen ports of call. Which one(s) are you curious about??
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 10:10 PM
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This is a first time cruise and we are wondering if, in general, someone can get to the center of town without booking shore excursions through a cruise line at one or more of the ports listed in the map.
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Old Mar 27th, 2022, 04:43 AM
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The situation is different for each port. You need a specific, not general, answer for each. Suggest you read this (bearing in mind it was researched pre-Covid):

https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/...n-cruise-ports

You should probably also sign up for the roll call for your cruise at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/20-roll-calls/
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Old Mar 27th, 2022, 06:07 AM
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Your comments are VERY helpful, thank you!
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Old Mar 29th, 2022, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
We have taken a Greek Island cruise, a Med cruise that included Turkey and Israel, a cruise from Spain to France and Italy, and never once taken a ship’s excursion, so unless a ship’s excursion is required due to Covid, you can always do it on your own.
Agreed. Unless a ships tour is required due to covid precautions you can do just about every port on your own and save money too.

Usually private tour operators will be in every port trying to get business from passengers. Sometimes the ship offers free shuttles to get to a central depot where you can book find them. You can also google for private tours in the ports you will stop in and make an arrangement ahead of time. We have done all this many times.

Just do a little research first. A guide book for the highlights in those ports is a good idea or simple search on the net.

Really nice cruise BTW,

Bon Voyage!
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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 10:25 AM
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Gulf cart rentals?

Does anyone know if gulf cart rentals are available at any of these ports?
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Old Apr 25th, 2022, 05:00 PM
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Many cities and islands do have them or something similar. Some offer tours using a cart. You will have to check each city. For example, Santorini offers buggies, ATVs and scooters. Rome has several choices, including brand new, six passenger golf carts for rent by the hour or for four or six hour time periods. They require an international drivers license, which you can get at AAA. Many places a cart might be useless (too hilly or lots of steps), unnecessary because things are so close together you would not actually use it to get anywhere or impossible like Pompeii with streets constructed of large stones and boulders.

Some ports are not even close to the city you will likely want to tour. You will take a bus, train, taxi or shuttle to get there. Example: Florence and Rome are both around an hour’s drive from the port. Other ports are right in a city, such as Naples and Istanbul, but the sights you want to see are still not right near the port, so you take a tour or shuttle or use a taxi to get to the sites. Just as examples: You can always tour Naples, but if you want to tour Pompeii, you can take a ship’s tour, a local tour, or catch the train to the entrance of Pompeii, which is easy to tour on your own. In Istanbul, you could take a tour or grab a taxi to the areas you wish to visit. Many things (parts of Istanbul and central Florence) are within a block or two of each other, so you would just walk from one to the other. Buy tickets in advance. You walk right off the ship in Kusadasi but you will probably want to see Ephesus. The tourist office is nearby, but you can find taxis, vans and drivers all waiting around to take people. You can also pre-book a tour. So, you see, you will rarely want a cart right at the port. You have to research each place a little bit, decide what you wish to see in just one day and how best to do it. Then you will know where you might want a cart and can see what is available. Even if carts are available in Naples, you would not want one if you were going to Pompeii, etc.

Have you joined cruisecritic.com or The Facebook group for your cruise or ship? If not, it is very helpful to do so. There will be many people putting groups together to do small group tours. It is almost always cheaper and nicer than the bus tours from the ship.
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Old Apr 29th, 2022, 09:33 PM
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We are actually booked on this cruise in September. For us it’s a nostalgia cruise, we’ve sailed in to most of the ports before. Over the years we’ve taken ships excursions, group tours, private tours, and just wandered.

You really need to decide what you want to see. For example, in Kusadasi you can walk to the bazaar, but if you want to see Ephesus, you’ll need a tour of some sort. If you want to see Rome and Florence, they are an hour from port and you need to arrange transportation in advance. Last time we were in Naples and in Kotor, there were a lot of drivers selling their services as you walked off the pier, but it was a madhouse. In Mykonos it was easy to walk to town and enjoy the atmosphere. Some ports are in the town and some are in restricted industrial ports. We actually prefer some ships excursions if the sight we want to see is complicated to get to - we’re taking one to Milan to see the Last Supper.

On one trip we met a couple who had researched and arranged to be met with bikes at some of the stops, and they spent the day bike touring. You might be able to do the same with golf carts but it will require research. You can’t count on there being tour or transportation options waiting at the pier.

I recommend you do a lot of reading, and join your roll call on cruisecritic.
Good luck! Hope you enjoy a wonderful cruise!
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 01:13 PM
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We have a challenge that limits mobility these days, Parkinson's. We are grateful for Fodorites help, the help of the cruise line and airline. We want to share our experience with you.

At every port we took our time getting off the ship. When available we rode hop on hop off buses all the way and did not get off unless mentioned. Each port was magical.

Naples; we walked off the ship, across the street, actually wondered for about a half hour. Realized on the return that we would definitely take hop on/hop off bus
Crete; rode hop on hop off; got off at one stop, had coffee, walked a couple blocks then back on hop on hop off bus
Santorini; took water shuttle from ship to port; walked short coastal town; walked on beach; had coffee and took in beautiful Greece
Kusadasi; stayed on ship
Istanbul; rode hop on hop. Market looked colorful, dense and interesting but was too much for us
Mykonos; Took water shuttle to port; Short line to take cable car up into city, we took it, walked around a bit, sat and people watched. Cute city. Line to go down cable car was huge, I waited in line while husband with Parkinson's waited in shade.
Athens; rode hop on hop off. We had to take bus to Acropolis then switch buses for entire route. Same in reverse for way back to shop.
Kotor; took water shuttle from ship to port; caught hop on hop off bus, was a nice introduction to a cute town; we did not walk the streets but are sorry to have missed it
Messina; ticket included two hop on hop off bus routes, we took both, one along the coast and one through the city
Naples; ticket included two hop on hop off bus routes, we took both, one along the coast and one through the city. what a beautiful place. we had been to Naples fifteen years ago and on this day we were introduced to things we had not seen before. The Amalfi Coast will have to wait for another time.
Barcelona; ticket included two hop on hop off bus routes - we only took ONE - the route we took did not include Gaudi Parc. We are thankful to have visited Barcelona on our own many years ago
Gibraltar; took a short shuttle taxi ride into town; then we took a TAXI TOUR with Charlie, Gibraltar Official Tours, Charlie Baglietto, Licensed Guide. The tour was FANTASTIC, reasonable, very informative and we cannot recommend it enough.
Marseille; ship shuttle into town; we took local choo choo train tour of city, beautiful place. Choo Choo Train tour took us to Cathedral, we got out and walked a bit, then back on train to city center and shuttle back to bus.
Genoa; we had to walk from ship to city, we asked taxi driver how far to hop on hop off bus, he said 1K. took hop on hop off bus tour of city.
Livorno; we stayed on ship and are grateful to have visited Florence twice on our own before. Pisa will have to wait for another time.
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 03:26 PM
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It sounds as if you had a very nice time, so it worked for you.
Personally, I detest HOHO busses, but can understand why you would use them.
Had you shared the mobility issue in your original post, I think advice more related to your specific needs would have been offered. I know there are tours, guides and taxis that can and will accommodate those needs.
Glad you had a good trip anyway. Hope the cruise was good as well. Regal is a pretty ship. Did you enjoy it?
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 04:50 PM
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we had a GREAT time on the Regal Princess, the staff was fantastic.


Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
It sounds as if you had a very nice time, so it worked for you.
Personally, I detest HOHO busses, but can understand why you would use them.
Had you shared the mobility issue in your original post, I think advice more related to your specific needs would have been offered. I know there are tours, guides and taxis that can and will accommodate those needs.
Glad you had a good trip anyway. Hope the cruise was good as well. Regal is a pretty ship. Did you enjoy it?
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Old Jun 28th, 2022, 05:03 PM
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Sounds like you managed well.
​well. We're the HOHOs booked through the cruise line?

I have used HOHO buses in Mexico and South America, they usually worked well for me to get an overview of big cities. I like the perspective from the top deck and the narration.

I like bus/van tours less for routes that visit a collection of scattered sites since there's usually too much shopping and a long lunch break. But for someone with limited mobility they work, since you can stay on as needed. A friend I cruised with through Panama Canal used them and it worked for her. At some ports she stayed on the ship and that worked too.
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 11:43 AM
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We purchased all HOHO tickets at door of bus or from company representatives selling tickets by HOHO bus stop

We purchased taxi tour directly from driver

Last edited by donnae_b; Jun 29th, 2022 at 11:46 AM.
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Old Jun 29th, 2022, 01:35 PM
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Thanks donnae_b.
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