Mediterranean cruise

Jun 16th, 2010, 07:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Mediterranean cruise

We are doing a 14 day cruise to celebrate our 10th aniv. This is our second cruise, on the first one we booked all the tours from the cruise but by the eight day we were so tired of them, thery were so long and it seem that other passengers seem to have the same kind of fun, for this cruise we dont know for which cities we do need tours and which ones are not necesary? We will be spending about 12 hrs in each city. It starts in Barcelona which we will be arriving a day earlier.
Provence (Marseille)
Montecarlo, Monaco
Cinque Terre(La Spezia)
Florence,Pizza (Livorno)
MityleneIstanbul,which we are staying an extra day
Do all this cities accept euros?
Patito1964 is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 10:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,319
You can do some advance planning with google and the tour brochure to cherry pick the best tours for you.

All accept €uro except Turkey.

mpprh is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,312
First, you can go on and under the community message board, join the roll call for your ship. There you can get together with other people going on your cruise and perhaps join them on excursions they are doing themselves. Lots of people get together and rent a car or guide for the day on their own.

We've taken only two cruises also and did not do any of the ship's tours. With a little research we were able to do pretty much what we wanted on our own. My opinion is somewhat biased because I like just wandering and I much prefer to concentrate on the things I most want to see. Also, I've been to some of these cities and they feel so familiar, it is hard to think how it would be if it was my first time there and I had only one day. That is especially true for Rome and Florence, so I will start with those anyway.

Rome is pretty big, but the major sights (except for the Vatican) are close and it is a wonderful city for walking. So, I probably would plan a walking tour for myself if I were you. With only one day, I wouldn't try to figure out the bus system, but the subway is easy and I would use a taxi if necessary.

Florence is concentrated and super easy to walk. Plan and do it yourself. Get museum tickets ahead.

Barcelona, you definitely do not need a tour - very easy to do what you want on your own. I personally do not like the hop-on-hop-off bus. I prefer to spend all the time I want in one or two places rather than just driving by lots of things. We had been to Barcelona before, so for the day on the cruise, we used a taxi so we could see all the things I wanted to visit in one day. We took the taxi to the most distant point, then walked to other places, and a taxi to the ship.

Provence: really depends on what you want to do. Many people just visit Marseille. You can also take a bus to Arles or Aix en Provence for the day. You can take a shuttle from your ship to the harbor area of Marseille. It is about a five or six block walk to the bus stop area. Very easy to do and you don't need a tour. I fell in love with Aix en Provence and would go again in a heartbeat. You could also go to Avignon, but that is further and I can't give information about doing that. You could also take a tour and see more of the small towns in the area.

Cinque Terre: just take the train and take some walks.

Amalfi Coast: Where are you actually docking? Are you planning on going to Pompeii or Capri, etc.? Decide what you want to do, then figure out how to do it. You can hire a driver, take a ferry, or take a train, depending on your day, but you can do it yourself.
Sassafrass is offline  
Jun 16th, 2010, 11:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 337
you can rent cars... plan train trips... pick what you want to see.
I wanted to drive the Amalfi coast, so I rented a car in Naples right at the pier and drove.
Monaco is small and has easy to use public buses.
Have fun!
DougP is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 12:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Thanks everybody all of you gave me good ideas to consider, I also thought we don't need a tour guide in Barcelona or in any of the Greek islands, but I think for Rome being that big we do need one. In Amalfi we are docking in Positano, what really surprise me is that in Montecarlo is going to be the longest day 15 hrs. and being that small, just makes me wonder how come, they didn't switch that for a bigger city?
I put Mitylene,Greece together with Istanbul,Turkey my mistake. Any more suggestions are very welcome! Thanks.
Patito1964 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 03:42 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 11
Hi 1964 -- your trip sounds great. We did a shorter cruise, just the French and Italian riveria portion, last year. Monte Carlo was our only 2 day stop on our cruise --- maybe they believe people want to gamble at the Grand Casino and it doesn't open fully til evening. But you will easily walk Monaco/Monte Carlo - no tour needed if you just want to see the palace (the rock) and Monte Carlo. We toured Monaco then the next day visited Eze by taking the local bus, which was fun and easy. We also took the train from LaSpezia to the CT and back and that worked fine - I would suggest a cab to the train station. In Livorno we took a short bus ride to the train station and took the train to Florence. In Rome perhaps it would be worth the tour if they are visiting the major sights since your time is short. But we saved hundreds of dollars traveling on our own versus the cruise line excursions and we made our own itinerary. Yes, it takes some planning, but I read trip reports here, gathered info and it worked out great. Enjoy your trip!
snapdragon703 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2010, 03:46 PM
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Monte Carlo probably charges a much lower docking fee.
lincasanova is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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Posts: 2,598
Have you checked the cruise critic site? You can read posts by people who have taken your cruise and see what they did for excursions. There are plenty of recommendations for ports.

Our family took a Med cruise with a similar itinerary a couple of years ago and had many of the same ports. We were a group of seven, so it was cost effective for us to hire a van and driver rather than take the cruise's excursion. And we could set the itinerary and the pace. In Santorini my son rented a van and we drove across the island and spent the afternoon at a wonderful beach that a long row of cafes.

We hired Fabrizio See: to pick up the group at the dock and drive to Rome and back -- everyone enjoyed Fab. and the tour.

You can arrange your own tours in Monaco and Marseille, which I love. You can get a taxi to the Old Port and wander around, shop, eat or take a ferry out to Chateau d'If. Marseille. You could probably arrange a tour of Ephesus when in Kusadasi.

All cities take euros. I was surprised in Turkey to see prices in Turkish lira, euros and U.S. dollars. However, if you're going to be there a couple of days, you might want to get some lira at an ATM.

Have fun, it looks like an interesting cruise.
Luisah is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 7
Does anybody knows where is the best place to go for tapas? we want to go ffrom bar to bar but I heard that at L'exaimple they are more likely microwaved? so should we try Barrio Gotico?
Also is it worth to visit the lavender fields in Provence or stay on Marseilles?
Patito1964 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2010, 09:22 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,201
We used Giovanni from for a day along the Amalfi coast, and it was wonderful. We stopped in Amalfi, Positano, Ravello, and Sorrento.

We also found Rhodes, Mykonos, and Barcelona very easy to tour on our own. We especially loved the Gaudi sites in Barcelona.
abram is offline  

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