we plan on doing this in Naples, Dubrovnik, Venice and Cannes
In Naples, it is very easy to go to Pompeji and/or ercolano/Herculaneum for your own. Please take the FIND button for different threads. Dubrovnik: you do not need an organized tour. Venice: it is very simple to visite city. The cruise terminal is just near the Piazzale Roma. From there you can take the vaporetto line 1 (uno) for the Canal Grande.
Here is a link to the cruise harbour: http://europeforvisitors.com/venice/...e-terminal.htm
Angelcruiser, both companies are great and you will not only save money, but you will see ten times more than you would on a ship's excursion. Depending on how many are in your group, I would suggest Denrus. We used them on our last trip and loved the experience. Make sure you know what you want to see when you book with them and then take control when you first meet your driver and guide. You will have a great time.
In fact, Nancy Norris and I are on the Century in about 12 days and are going to explore St. Petersburg through the eyes of Stanj who lives in St. Pertersburg and has shared valuable information about his city on Cruise-Chat.com. I am so excited to visit Russia with Stanj that I cannot stand it.
I am sure we will have lots to share when we get back.
Is it possible to find tour operators or cabs for hire at each port or is it best to do so prior to leaving for the cruise.ie. Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Barcelona, Messina??
Greetings to a fellow San Diegan. In Livorno I would take the train to Florence, just do your own thing and then take the train back to Pisa and negotiate for a taxi to take you to the leaning tower and back to the port. This will be a lot more efficient use of your time than spending a bunch of money to sit in traffic trying to get into Florence. Since old Florence is primarily pedestrian streets, having a car is not really a benefit.
In Barcelona, I would use the double decker tour buses to get oriented and then hit the areas that you are interested in seeing in detail. To me, Barcelona means excellent dining, shopping and people watching. The sights are excellent, but secondary to the city itself. As a San Diegan, you will fall in serious love with Barcelona....it is like San Diego on steroids (don't miss spending a few hours on the beach). It is one of our favorite places to visit.
I just posted about our experience in Messina in another thread. Here, either take a ship's tour or hire a taxi to take you where you want to go. While Taormina is great, we had a fantastic day just staying in Messina. The shopping is reasonable when compared to all of the other stops in the Med (at least that was what the ladies in our group believed.)
Tom, Awesome review on Train to Nice on your own. This is exactly what we gonna do in Nice next month. Also, you have mentioned in your port Review on Palma de Mallorca that walking back from town to cruise ship along the water front is worthy to do. How long does it take to walk back?
We are 2 couples sailing the Med in September. After reading Tom's review, we have decided to do all the ports on our own. I have 2 questions : In Florence, would it be better to take a taxi from Livorno to Florence and come back by train ? What would be the approximate cost for a cab ? Also, we don't have any plans yet for corfu. Any suggestions anyone ? Thanks
Tom, We will be going to London and then on the Princess for a British Isles cruise in September. What do you recommend for transportation from the airport to Southampton? My father will be with us and it is difficult for him to walk any distance.. so hiring a car would be the best, but I don't know who to use. Look forward to your comments and suggestions for the ports too.
thank you, if anyone else has any ideas.. let me know too.