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Old 02-15-2009, 11:39 AM
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We are considering the Ruby Princess TA from Venice to Fort Lauderdale in October. If we do it, we will be trying to do the ports cheaply, many on our own rather than tours. In which of the following ports is it possibile to get easily into the main area, and then maybe do a hop on, hop off bus or someone else you can suggest. The ports I am specifically asking about are Rome(Civitavecchia), Marseille(Provence), Barcelona, Lisbon and Ponta Delgado. Any advice you can give me will be much appreciated.
Ellie
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:39 AM
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We are considering the Ruby Princess TA from Venice to Fort Lauderdale in October. If we do it, we will be trying to do the ports cheaply, many on our own rather than tours. In which of the following ports is it possibile to get easily into the main area, and then maybe do a hop on, hop off bus or someone else you can suggest. The ports I am specifically asking about are Rome(Civitavecchia), Marseille(Provence), Barcelona, Lisbon and Ponta Delgado. Any advice you can give me will be much appreciated.
Ellie
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:45 AM
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Ponta Delgada is the capitol of the Acores. It's located on the island sao miguel and it's the biggest town in the archipelago. The island is green and cand remind one about Ireland.

It's very nice just to walk around in the town, but if you want to get around, it's fairly easy to hop on a bus or even rent a taxi to see some of the beautiful scenery.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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The answer to your question really depends on your personal spirit of adventure and comfort traveling on your own in foreign lands. I cannot comment on Ponta Delgado (never been there) but all of your other ports can be done on your own at relatively low cost. From Civitavecchia you can take the free shuttle bus to the port entrance, walk 4 blocks to the train station, and buy a 9 Euro BIRG ticket which gets you round trip train to Rome and all day use of Rome's metro and buses. As to Marseille, there are plenty of options depending on whether you want to stay in town, take a train to a place like Aix en Provence, or perhaps rent a car and drive yourself to various places in nearby Provence. Barcelona and Lisbon can easily be done on your own with the help of a decent guide book.

Hank
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:58 AM
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Thanks both of you for your helpful information. Hank, one more question, if we took a train to Aix en Provence, could you tell me how we would get from the port to the train? Also, when you get off the train are you in walking distance of all I would want to see there?
Ellie
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:19 AM
 
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Your ship will dock in the commercial port area of Marseille, which is more than a mile outside of town. They will provide some kind of shuttle service into town (either free or for a few dollars) which will drop you near the Old Port. From there, its only a few blocks to the train station. I will confess that we have never taken a train to Aix since we generally rent a car whenever we are in France. But I will do some checking (when I get a chance) and let you know about the Aix station (I know they have two different stations in that area). However, keep in mind that even if a station is not within easy walking distance, there are always local buses. In France you will always find an Information booth at train stations, and they always have somebody that speaks some English and can give you lots of local info on buses and attractions. Aix is a relatively compact city..so once you are near the center you can pretty much walk everywhere. My wife would say her favorite place is any decent cafe

Hank
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:43 AM
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In Ponta Delgado we simply walked from the ship and wandered around the town. Nice place, nothing too exciting but after seven days at sea we were happy to be on land.
In Barcelona there was a shuttle from the ship into the square with the statue of Columbus at the base of the main street. We used the hop-on hop-off bus. There are 3 routes, one covers the main parts of the city, but a separate one goes to the sacra familia, the unfinished catherdral started by Gaudi over 100 years ago. It is the main tourist attraction. The gothic cathedral and area are another great place to walk around.
In Lisbon, there is a shuttle that takes you from the port into the city. From there we walked around the area a little and then climbed through the old section of the city up to the castle. There is also a great train service that runs through the city where you can get to other sites like the navigator's monument or the monastary.
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:13 AM
 
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Just a funny related story about the shuttle in Barcelona. We like to walk and will often make the 30 min stroll from the port to the Ramblas. Last year we had friends who decided to wait (and pay $5) for the shuttle bus which had a pretty long line just outside the port building. Meanwhile, we did our walk, got to the Ramblas, sat down for some coffee and waited for our friends. About 20 min later our friends finally arrived having waited over 45 min to get on the shuttle bus from the port. The thing is that they could have even taken a taxi (if they had 4 to a taxi) for less money than that shuttle.
 
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