I posted this a week ago, but I haven't heard back and I can't seem to find my original post, so I thought I'd repost to see if I had any luck.
We are a family of 4 going on the European Cruise (Carnival Freedom) leaving in May. We heard a great way to get the most bang for your buck is to find another group to share the costs of the private excursions (ie cabs, etc). If anyone is interested, please email me at email@example.com. Hope to hear from you soon!
Just wanted to reply joojoo so you wouldn't think I was ignoring your post. Did the Mexican Riviera this year, the Caribbean next and then Alaska. After that will be Europe. So can't go this time, I'm sure there is someone out there that will be ready. Have fun....
1998 Holiday CATALINA-MEXICO
2000 Viking Serenade CATALINA- MEXICO
2002 Fantasy BAHAMAS
2004 Esctasy CATALINA-MEXIC0
2005 NCL SAN FRANCISCO
2006 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2007 Pride MEXICAN RIVIERA
2008 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2008 Destiny SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN
2009 Liberty EASTERN CARIBBEAN
2010 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2011 Paradise CATALINA-MEXICO
2012 Crown Princess EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
We'll be on the Voyager of the Seas at the end of May going to Nice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sicily.
From reading the reviews it appears that you have the right idea in trying to organize your own tours. We'll probably do the same although I have nightmares about getting stuck in a traffic jam and missing the ship.
February 1998 - HAL Westerdam E. Caribbean
January 2000 - Carnival Ecstasy - Mexican Riviera
February 2002 - Costa Atlantica - W. Caribbean
February 2004 - Grand Princess - W. Caribbean
March 2007 - RCI Voyager of the Seas - E. Caribbean
May 2007 - RCI Voyager of the Seas - Western Mediterranean (Mrs. E. & daughter only - I had a medical emergency)
October 2007 - RCI Adventure of the Seas - Southern Caribbean
Our cruise is leaving on May 25th (Fri) in Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy on a 12day cruise. Then going to Naples, Croatia, Venice, Messina, Sisily, Barcelona, Cannes, Livorno and heading back to Rome on a Wednesday. Sailing on the Carnival Freedom. If anyone is interested in sharing the costs of excursions, please please let me know asap. We are a family of four looking for another group or couple to share costs. Otherwise, we need to register with Carnival themselves...
Or if anyone has any good tips on excursions or "insider" can't miss places, please feel free to let me know!
joojoo, the ship will have a bulletin board in the guest relations area. You might try posting a note there asking if anyone is interested in forming a small group.
Another way is to simply get off the ship and go over to where the independent taxis are. Other like minded people will be headed over there also, so you can work up a group with them.This last approach, however, precludes you from booking a ship tour!
Forming an extemporaeous group like this works well in the Caribbeann, but did not work for us in Europe.
We just got back from Europe two weeks ago, but only put into Lisbon, and four ports in Spain. None of those ports had taxis or tour operators with minibuses or SUVs. The only taxis were the standard sedan types that would only sit four people - three in back and one in front.
I don't know if the same holds true for other European ports.If it does, then forming a larger group will not benefit you.
What we wound up doing in Portugal and Spain was taking city tours on those double decker-open top tour buses. They cost (depending on the city) between 9 and 12 euros each and the fare is good for 24 hours. You can hop on one bus and hop off to sight see and then hop on the next one that comes along. For us this worked well because it was our first time in any of those ports and we wanted to see the city.
As an aside, we tried in several ports to see what a taxi tour would cost and were spectaculary unsuccessful in negotiating anything lower than their "fixed" rate - which was thirty euros per person. This was actually more than the ship was charging for a city tour.
If the double decker bus idea appeals to you, you might want to check the net to see if the cities you are visiting have the double decker tour buses.
One other note - in big cities like Lisbon, one tour route cannot cover the whole city so they have a choice of tours. You can buy a ticket for one tour route or you can buy (for a higher price, of course) a combination ticket that covers several different tour routes.
The bus approach, obviously, works well if all you want is a city tour, but if you want to see something outside of the port you will probably have to hire a taxi or take the ship's tour.
Anyway, that was our experience. Perhaps someone who has visited the other ports will have more information.
joojoo: Try this review on cruise critic.com from Bekah, she gives a very good detail of some of the same ports. She did a similar itinerary in March. //boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=510053&page=32
We are already set with our private excursions but one of the ones we are using is capritime.com for the Naples port: Amalfi coast,Sorrento,Positano and private boat ride around Capri and Blue Grotto. They have a 1-800# @ website and Rebecca may have others taking their tours that still need someone to share. Good luck.