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Old 07-15-2008, 10:06 PM
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It is our first time in Europe, my husband, 12 yr old, and myself. Does anyone have suggestions for Messina, Livorno, and/or Cannes. We have a private driver already for Naples. We plan to go to Duge's Palace in Venice and walk and take the water taxis. We do not want to take Carnival tour. ANy suggestios for places to eat, that will not cost a fortune?>
thanks for your help.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:08 AM
 
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First time trips to Europe are usually pretty easy to plan. Its even made easier with a 12 year old since that's a prefect age for travel. In Messina, you will probably just want to visit the town of Taormino (about 1 hour from Messina) and you can easily do that on a tour. If you are a bit more adventuress, its possible to take the train and than get a taxi or bus up to Taormina. Venice is great for walking, and you might want to consider that those water buses (Vaporettos) cost 6 Euros per person (or you can by a 24, 48, or 72 hour pass). As to eating in Venice, I assume you are just talking about lunch. When you are walking around the city, its fun to glance at the menus of the cafes (they are all posted). Generally, the best deals in cafes will be their daily "tourist menus" that are often posted on a chalkboard... Of course Pizza or pasta is always a good option, but check prices. Keep in mind that in Italy, many restaurants and cafes add a cover charge (coperto) which is usually 2 or 3 Euros. This is normal (you are not being ripped off) and the amount of that charge must be on the menu (usually on the bottom). Many places will also add a service charge (usually 10 - 12%) which is in lieu of a tip. So, if you do decide to tip, just leave a little extra change.
As to Cannes, you can save some money and do this on your own. You can walk through town from the tender pier. If you get tired of Cannes (most do) than just take the train to Nice or Monte Carlo (these trains run quite often). Another option is to go swimming in Cannes since they have a sandy beach located a short walk from the tender pier.

Hank
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:14 AM
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shonny1-

If no one has welcomed you to Cruise Chat yet, then let me be the first!

We just did the Freedom cruise only ours was the Eastern Med run and not the one you are taking. BUT, I can say with all certainy that you are not going to find a place to eat that is not going to cost a small fortune. The Euro exchange rate hurts. We paid the equivalent of $72 for a pizza, a beer and a salad plate in Rome. A cup of gelati was $10. You just have to accept it I guess. We tired to do as much of our eating on the ship as possible, but you almost have to take part in the local food experiences while you there.

Livorno is easy to do on your own. You can take the train to Pisa or Florence and spend a fraction of what the ship's tours cost to see the same things. Take the port shuttle bus out of the port to the center market area, then take the #1 bus to the train station. From there you can get to Pisa or Florence (or both if you want). Its easy. You can also take a taxi out of the port to the train station, but they will rip you off (20 euro for a car load to the station). See the Europe section for the "how to's of train travel in Italy". You can print that out and take it with you for a great guide.

Have a great time!
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