Barcelona is wondeful....don't miss the Gaudi attractions....Segrada Familia, Guell Park especially. We also went to see the Magic Fountain at night. It does not run every night of the week so check the schedules....BEAUTIFUL! We took the funicular to Montjuic and loved the views of the city and the fort at the top of the mountain. Be sure to see the Gothic quarter of the city and Las Ramblas. Try to spend time just walking in some of the lovely squares to soak up the feel of Barcelona. Auriello and Michael will give you are wonderful tour of Barcelona. We also used the Hop on Hop Off Tour to get around town and we used the Metro too....very safe and runs on schedule. We loved our time in Barcelona...don't miss it!
To putertutor, THANK YOU!!! I used your advice, just got back from the NCL Gem Barcelona Western Med cruise. Following your advice mostly, the trip was amazing. Unfortunately I see the Barcelona advice too late, we had our cab driver take us around before we embarked but didn't get to see all of what we wanted in Barcelona. However, in Malta took the North tour on the open air double decker bus - awesome and inexpensive, 50 euro for 2 adults and 2 kids. While you could get off the bus and get the next one, we were earlier than the schedule and it made me nervous we might never catch another bus... wished I had taken the South tour to Blue Grotto but for the hours we were in port nothing else on the tour was open. Guess I'll have to go back! In Naples we did the flavors of Pompeii and Sorrento tour, it was different from yours but excellent. First Pompeii and our tour guide was so passionate about the history it made it great. Lunch was also great at the olive/lemon farm. Sorrento and the Amalfi coast were definitely my favorite of the trip. In Rome we hired Fabrizio, he is a riot! We loved him and definitely recommend him. The weather did not hold up in Rome but he got us to the Vatican by the time the rain downpoured and so we were inside for the worst of it. In Florence we had Maurizio, seems Paolo must have already had another tour, who was great. I would definitely recommend him and in addition to the general Florence/Pisa tour, have him take you to at least one winery, it should not be missed in Florence. In Villefrance we did another ship tour, the Nice and View from Eze. I think our bus driver should have stopped more or at least slowed down for pictures. Eze is amazing but this was our least favorite tour. I think this cruise itinerary was perfect, highly recommended to all!!!
Thanks for writing to remind me of wonderful memories of our crusie on the Gem in September! Glad you had a good time....I hope you make it back to Malta. I felt the same way....too little time for such a wonderful place. We had a tour at the French Riviera from a private tour operator named Jerome from the Nice area. (www.rivierapremiumtour.com) He was aware of our limited time in that area and put together a very nice overview of the area. We went on a drive along the coast road with stops for photos. We went to Monaco with a stop at the Royal Palace and overlook. Then on for a quick stop at the casinos. We went to the the mountain top village of Eze, which was wonderful, and then on to Nice. He drove us along the beach area and then through the town with a stop at the markets in the old town. Wonderful fruits, vegetables, pastries, flowers, etc. Great tour! Highly recommended!
Please refrain from posting "tour guide" and taxi driver contact information in the public forum. While I'm sure most of the time its normal members trying to provide helpful advise, sometimes it is the tour companies themselves trying to get free advertising. This is not allowed.