Well, Personally I have a bias against Monte Carlo (shared by my wife) in that we prefer to be almost anywhere else in the region. However, I will not let that taint my recommendation. My suggestion would be to just "play it by ear." Monte Carlo and Nice are connected by an excellent train line (takes less than 30 min) which is basically a commuter line...so you do not need to worry about any reservations. So, do "your thing" in Monte Carlo and if you get bored or want a change of scenery just grab a taxi (or walk) to the train station and go to Nice or to other places (such as Eze) that might satisfy the moment. We have traveled independently on land and sea in Europe for a long time and have learned to do homework so that we know our possible options, but not to over plan our days. Many times the best days are when you good things happen spontaneously and you go with the flow.
Thought you would never ask (smile). There are some who really like Monte Carlo, so perhaps we are just wrong. But, for us it really has little to offer other than to say "we went to Monte Carlo." The Palace is actually quite interesting, but only worthy of 1 or 2 hours. The changing of the guard is nothing special although its popular. For shopping, the good stores are of Rodeo Drive quality (some do have door bells) and out of my price range. The touristy stores are just touristy stores. As to the Casino, the thought of paying an admission fee to see part of an old casino (they should pay me for the money I leave in Casinos) is nutz. We have spent hours walking around Monte Carlo, and never found the charm of the place. Probably our biggest problem is that Monte Carlo is in a region that has so many fantastic places that we hate to waste the time in that city. My wife would tell you that if we spent a month in the South of France (we have done this) we would not go to Monte Carlo one time unless we were just passing through on our way to or from Italy. Now that I aired my awful opinion, you probably will love the place.
I would add that I would love to be in Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix!
I certainly was thinking like you that there isn't much to do in MC because I was planning to go somewhere else. You didn't mention the oceanographic museum. I thought that might be interesting or is it a tourist trap?
Our ship comes in villefranche. (tendered) Would you recommend taking a taxi to Monaco or the train? Would you know how long ride it is? I know you don't love the area but we want to show our daughters where we honeymooned!!!
Hi Carol, I don't know if you have already found this information, but look up the Tom Ogg posting a little earlier on this thread it has really detailed information about getting from Villefranche to Monaco, as well as lots of other information.
Cruiser, Regarding your queston about using a taxi from the port to Monte Carlo I would offer the following. Taxis in France are quite expensive. I do not know the actual taxi fare, but I assume its much more than most want to pay. So, what to do? When you get off the tender, if there are any taxis why don't you simply ask the driver how much it costs to go to Monte Carlo. If the price is too high, than you can walk to the train station and simply take the next train. Keep in mind that the Monte Carlo train station is not in the major tourist part of town, so once you get to Monte Carlo (on the train) you will need to either take a taxi or use the local buses to get to many of the best tourist sites (such as the Royal Palace). We have done it by walking, but than we do normally walk 10 - 15 miles a day for exercise. As to the length of the ride, depending on traffic and where you go in Monte Carlo figure on about 20 min. If you ask the taxi driver to take you up to the middle corniche (better view) it might stretch to a half hour. If you decide to go to the middle corniche and stop in Eze (a great little village) than who knows? By the way, although I am no fan of Monte Carlo as a choce for a one-day port of call, its a great honeymoon place. After all, we were married in Las Vegas (tacky tacky)..but that has zero class when compared to Monte Carlo (smile).
Thank you for the info. I think we will not want to walk that amount of miles!!! Since the train does not come in near where we would want to be we will just take a taxi from the port. My husband and I have been to Las Vegas many times and had a great time. Many wedding chapels