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Mediterranean cruise

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Feb 13th, 2013, 04:46 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Mediterranean cruise

We are leaving on a honeymoon cruise in May 2013. We will be sailing from Venice to Barcelona with stops in Dubrovnik, Athens, Izmir, Messina, Naples, Rome, Florence, Marseilles and Barcelona. How can we make the most of 12 hour stops in these incredible cities? I am getting overwhelmed trying to prepare lists of not to be missed sites. Any suggestions from Mediterranean cruisers are welcomed and will be appreciated.
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Feb 13th, 2013, 08:05 PM
  #2
 
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I presume you will be traveling on Carnival Legend? First,these 12hrs are not fully usable. Consider Rome, for example. The port is at Civitavecchia. And it is advertised to be 7am-9pm = 14hrs. But how much of time are really available in Rome? From 14hrs, subtract time to get off the boat and time to get on the boat before departures. Once you are off the boat, you need to travel to Rome. That is 1hr by taxi each way or 75min each way by train. So you are left with perhaps 10-11hrs at best out of advertised a 14hr stop? I think the first thing you should do is to look at "Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports." While many people don't agree with what he thinks are not to be missed, he gives an idea of what can be done. If you don't want to be running from one place to another in this small window, you will have to limit the scope of what can be realistically done at each stop.
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Feb 13th, 2013, 08:33 PM
  #3
 
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If you haven't already checked out cruisecritic.com, that would be my next stop if I were you. We're doing a cruise this summer combined with some land time in Italy and for most of my port research, I have gotten some great ideas over there. You can find forums for your ports of call, cruise line and a roll call for your sailing date.

Also, as recommended the Rick Steves books are a great resource as well.

For us, we have decided to do private tours in most of our ports rather than ship excursions or going off on our own. Mainly because we're a group of six, 2 kids, my husband and myself and my parents, and we want a guide to keep everyone engaged. That's our hope anyway!

Your cruise sounds great! We'll be visiting some of the same ports, and I am so looking forward to it!
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Feb 13th, 2013, 08:52 PM
  #4
 
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Post question on the cruise forum where there many very experienced cruisers. Many have done every stop you are going to make. They can tell you the options, how to do them most efficiently, and what makes the most sense logistically.

Do buy at least one good guide book that covers your ports of call.

Join cruiscritic.com for lots of info and to join the roll call for your ship. Many people connect there and form their own small tour groups or share drivers or taxis, etc.

Greg is correct about Rome being some distance from the port. So is Florence. You will need to plan for travel from those ports as well as sights you want to see.

Type in any of the cities in the "search the forum" at the top of the page and you will likely find info from people who did one day itineraries in your cities.
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Feb 14th, 2013, 08:11 AM
  #5
 
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>>>Greg is correct about Rome being some distance from the port. So is Florence. You will need to plan for travel from those ports as well as sights you want to see.<<<

While Naples port is right in Naples, it's a long trek (1-2 hours) to other things you might be thinking about seeing in the area (Amalfi coast, Capri, Pompeii, etc.)
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Feb 14th, 2013, 08:48 AM
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The port for Florence is Livorno; you can get to Florence by rail on your own but you have to get to the rail station and a taxi is your best choice there; those ships often dock way out in what seems like the middle of nowhere.

In many of these places your actual "choice" is going to be between doing it on your own or using one of the ship's excursions. Yes, they are more expensive than doing it on your own but sometimes their convenience over actually doing it on your own turns out to be worth it.

I agree with looking at the CruiseCritic site for ideas about ports and what to see/do within a reasonable period of time.
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Mar 9th, 2013, 01:36 PM
  #7
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Thanks everyone. I have been scoping things out on Cruise Critic and I have purchased Rick Steve's Mediterranean Cruise Ports book both on a digital version and in the paper copy. I think he is phenomenal. I realize that this is a "highlights" trip to the Mediterranean and we will not be able to see and do everything. I had a severe injury to both my hand and foot and felt unable to drag my luggage from hotel to hotel. We are planning on using the Legend as a floating hotel so that we do not have to pack and unpack. I would have preferred a land based tour of Italy, but I am so grateful to have this opportunity to cruise to these amazing ports.
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Mar 9th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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You will find cruising is a great answer to "one night stands"!! Although you only get a peek of the ports and surroundings you will , no doubt, start planning the next trip to see more..Ships tours usually run fairly high and it is possible to get private ones cheaper..Ask on Cr. CR. if anyone has a tour set up or is interested in doing so for your particular cruise. We have set up a couple and went on a couple more set up by someone else. our only ship tours were in Morrocco and Tunisia and we were not sorry at all because of the hassles from camel ride and souvenier touts which were handled by the tour guard who accompanied the tour guide.
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