Italy cruise

Jun 10th, 2019, 11:51 AM
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Italy cruise

Has anyone taken a cruise to Italy. Looking for recommendations?
jhagerman64 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 01:38 PM
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You won't find many here who have gone to Italy via cruise. Check out the Cruise Forum, you'll probably have better luck there.
SusanP is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 01:54 PM
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Right. Most people here eschew cruise traveling. And please, whatever you do, don't cruise into Venice and support the ruination of that gorgeous city.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 10th, 2019, 02:52 PM
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We have taken some cruises over the years, a few in Europe, three were also transatlantic for a relaxing trip to and from the states. Not a bad way to get a quick view of a lot of places. We also found it a wonderful way to get an introduction to the Greek Islands that are most accessible by boat (ferries). The problem with Italy is that it is a large country, and there can be a lot of traveling from a port to places of interest. The port for Rome, for example, is an hour or so away. from the city. There is little to see in the ports themselves (Civitavecchia, Livorno, LaSpezia). Beyond that, besides history and sites, Italy’s charm is in its people, its food, and intangibles that require a slower appreciation than a tour bus, on a cruise ship schedule, can provide.

But if you think a cruise is for you, look for cruises that stop at ports that can provide shore excursions that might interest you. LaSpezia and Livorno ports can get you to Pisa, Florence, Lucca, Cinque Terre, and maybe something as simple as a country wine tour. Rome, despite the distance, is obvious, and is often the start or finish to a cruise for many. Naples opens the door to the Amalfi coast, Capri, Pompeii and, of course, Naples. I stand in solidarity with StCirq and the 5,000 protestors in Venice a couple days ago who want the cruise ships at least banned from the canals near the city.

As for which cruise line, that is another personal preference; of the mass market, more affordable ones, we much prefer Celebrity. As for booking, we have successfully booked a couple of cruises on a website, where travel agents bid for your trip. This worked well for us because cruise lines, in an effort to maintain a higher value for cruises (not easy when thy are all building more and bigger vessels), they use travel agents to quietly provide discounts that they try to stay away from. The latest gimmick to discount, without dropping prices, is to provide open bars (with ridiculous retail values as high as $50-60 per day per person), free wifi (that the public is tired of paying tons of money for), and free gratuities (at a time when the gratuity add-ons also are surging).
whitehall is online now  
Jun 10th, 2019, 06:22 PM
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You may as well go to Vegas and take a trip around the world by walking down the strip.

That would be more enjoyable and interesting than any cruise to Europe
AirBalloon is offline  
Jun 10th, 2019, 06:57 PM
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We have taken more than a dozen cruises and I must say that they are a very poor way to actually see much of many European countries. Italy is certainly not conducive to cruising. Many ports are too far from major cities of interest to be convenient. Time in port is simply not enough to see and experience much. There is no way to experience Italian culture in only a few hours off the ship, especially since you will be back on the ship in the evening when locals are out enjoying their cities, parks and restaurants. Your experience will be dining with fellow passengers and shipboard entertainment. That can be fun, but it is not seeing Italy, so I do not recommend it for that. What do you want to see and do in Italy?
Sassafrass is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 06:05 AM
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Wow. Really great information. Thank you so much.

How about a recommendation for a tour company. Would be coming from Iowa. Never been and in our mid 60ís. This would probably be our only trip to Italy. Really love scenery like Capri and the Amalfi coast. Rome and Venice I would like to see too. I just want to see it all. Maybe 10 days and a middle of the road $$$ or slightly above tour. Someday would like to see Switzerland as well. Love your input.
jhagerman64 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 06:08 AM
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Thankyou so much
jhagerman64 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 06:09 AM
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Great info. Thanks so much. Just posted request for a tour recommendation.
jhagerman64 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 07:01 AM
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Italy is so easy to do on your own. Most travelers on this forum travel independently not using tours. You will get lots of help here if you decide to travel on your own.
If you still want a tour company look at Odysseys Unlimited or Rick Steves.
Ten days is not enough for the itinerary you propose. So drop a place and/or add more time. You will love Italy!
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jun 11th, 2019, 08:57 AM
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You don't need a tour to see and enjoy Italy. It is best, and most economically, done using your own brain cells and research skills.

Ten days is a VERY short period of time. You will have to choose wisely to make the most of it, probably focusing on two venues, with maybe a daytrip or two. Italy is an entire country, with what could readily be described as 50 different countries within it, with different geographies, cultures, cuisines, languages, and politics. If you are mainly drawn to the south/Mediterranean, place your research focus on that part of the country. Rome is an entity in and of itself, as is Venice.

"Middle of the road $$$" means nothing, or rather means different things to different people. How many euros per night do you want to spend for accommodations? What is your total budget (in euros) per day, for everything?
StCirq is online now  
Jun 11th, 2019, 10:05 AM
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We visited most Italian ports with a Princess ship doing the Mediterranean itinerary: Naples, Catania, Messina, Livorno, Genova. We loved the excursions to Capri island, Sorrento and a local winery at the bottom of the mount Vesuvius.
katepcoss is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 04:35 PM
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I really have no idea. What is the dollar = to in euros.
jhagerman64 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2019, 05:58 PM
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On dollar is worth .88 euros. Or one euro is worth $1.13 as of today.
whitehall is online now  
Jun 12th, 2019, 01:50 AM
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Italy is an easy country to navigate around for such a short trip. You should understand that you won't see anything like a lot of places and need to limit your stay to maybe two places, three tops.

If you use a multi city airline booking, known as open jaw, you'll limit your "between places" travelling time. In your case maybe fly into Venice and return from Rome--train in between, or vice versa. This works especially well if your ten days includes travelling to and from home. You don't need a travel agent or tour company, tours mean early starts and a lot of looking at sights through coach windows, while many US travel agents have never been outside of the US and find hotels from lists. Often you'll find yourself way out of the city incurring lots of travel expense to get in and out.

You should only need a couple of hotels and they will be easy to find using or similar. You can sort them by location, standard and cost. Buy a couple of guidebooks, and you'll find that doing it yourself is immensely more rewarding.
Rubicund is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 06:17 AM
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With only ten days you are really limited to at most three places. The standard first trip would be Venice - Florence - Rome connected by train - use to learn about train travel in Europe. If you are not into a lot of art you could drop Florence, perhaps for Bologna or Milan or Naples, or for more time in Venice or Rome.

If you decide on a tour the Rick Steves ones are good - smallish groups, central hotels, excellent guides - but you need to be in good shape.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 12th, 2019, 07:37 AM
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Oh boy, how to help.
1) get a book, I suggest Rough Guide to Italy, only 1000 pages of details
2) flick through the pages looking at pictures, what do you like?
3) stick a marker in each photo you like and write the name on a post-it note
4) stick the post-it note on a map of Italy
5) look for easy flights to one of those places
6) note that Italian trains go just about everywhere, fast and to the centre of cities and cheap. I've been to Italy 12 times in my life including getting married there and only hired a car for 24 hours.
7) realise that while few Italians speak English, the majority of the people who you will meet do.

When you know where you want to go, come back with a list and we can help
Do not come for 10 days. Italy is one of the most beautiful places in the world, come for a month and you may want to come back.
bilboburgler is online now  
Jun 13th, 2019, 05:47 PM
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Thankyou again. What great information
and ideas.
jhagerman64 is offline  
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