My family, ages 2 - 76 (every stage in between!), will all be traveling to the following ports: Messina, Naples, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Cannes and Barcelona. I've read a lot about Rome/Civitavecchia and Livorno/Pisa/Florence, but not the other ports. We know having the kids will be a challenge, but due to a wedding we are in the area and are just trying to make the most of it. We will most likely have the opportunity to leave the kids with my grandmother onboard in port once or twice, but we aren't sure when. So with that in mind, what can anyone recommend that we do in these cities? Any guidance and help is most appreciated!
The kids are 2 and 4 and some teenaged cousins 14 and 16. I'm more concerned about the 2 and 4 year old since they are my responsibility and the older ones are old enough to handle themselves everywhere. I hope that Rome is the one port we get to leave the little kids with my grandmother. I don't think she can take all the walking that is necessary there.
I think that I would be very inclined to cruise line organized excursions. Probably would be easier to keep track of the younger ones.
In Livorno, take cab to station and train to Florence (Firenze SM). Most major attractions are a very easy walk. Some sidewalks are cobblestone though. Most of historic Florence is on level ground.
Watch Naples as some areas can be dicey. We are going to be there but are going to Capri. Pompeii is a lot of walking over uneven and not too level ground.
Where in NC are you?
Radiance of the Seas - Nov 2006
Legend of the Seas - Jun 2007
Costa Fortuna - Mar 2008
Legend of the Seas - Oct 2008
Celebrity Constellation - July 2009
MSC Orchestra - Jan 2009
Navigator of the Seas - March 2009
MSC Poesia - November 2009
Jewel of the Seas - June 2010
We lived in Europe for 10 years with our 3 children and since they have grown we have cruised to all your ports and some numerous times. My suggestion for the 2 and 4 year old is a couple of folding strollers. It will be very congested and this way you have a good hold on them and they can take a nap if need be.
We normlly do not take organized tours, but venture off on our own. Barcelona will be very fun for the little children. The port has a shuttle to the bottom of La Rambles but you can walk it. La Rambles is a pedestrian mile with lots of activities for the kids to look at. (Rick Steves has good overviews of these cities). Barcelona also has a hop on hop off bus which I have heard is good.
Cannes is another very easy city to navigate. You will probably tender in and the French alway has a TI to help you at the port. Along their waterfront there are parks and nice walking. The train station is only about 6 blocks away, and we took the train to Antibes (15minutes).
In Messina we went to Taormina and this city would also be easy with little children. Very beautiful and a nice park.
You have a lot of options in Naples. Pompeii might be difficult with the strollers or little children. If you go, do it first thing before the crowds get there. As far as I know, there is not much to do in Naples so some of your choices are the ruins, Capri or Sorrento. Sorrento is another beautiful city to walk around and on the Circumveccia train line. I have not been to Capri but hear it is lovely.
There is lots of info on this site and others.
I enjoy reaseaching these places before we visit, and maybe this is something the teenagers could help with.