Any advice about the best (or worst ) shore excursions for Barcelona, Gibraltar, Casablanca, Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo, and Le Havre ports of call would be much appreciated.
We are on the 5/7 Royal Princess, Rome-London. For example, we're docked at Le Havre from 7:00 to 19:00. With at least 2 hours travel each way, is an excursion into Paris worth it given the limited time, or would we be better off choosing a slower paced excursion that involves less "commute" time? I'm cruising with two seniors in tow.
Barcelona...do the double decker buses. You will see everything for not much money. If you like to shop, follow the instructions in the PortReviews.com Barcelona page to hit the major shopping areas in Barcelona.
Gibralter...easy to do on your own. Everything is within easy walking distance. Be sure to take the tramway to the top of the rock.
Casablanca...I have never had a good experience here doing it on my own. The taxi drivers have a set agenda no matter what you tell them. I would suggest doing a ship's shore excursion here.
Cadiz...Cadiz is great on its own and unless you are driven to see Seville (if you only have one day in Cadiz) I would spend the day in Cadiz. Again see the Cadiz Port Review at PortReviews.com.
Lisbon...Easy to do on your own. Take a taxi to the entrance of the older section (about 2 miles south of the ship)and then explore from there. See the Lisbon review at PortReviews.com.
Le Havre...I If you have not been to Paris, I would suggest that you make the trek. However, do some homework and plan you limited time to see what is of interest to you personally. You can walk most of Paris in a few hours if you plan your route and time accordingly. If you have been to Paris before, then just hit your favorite area and have a long and lingering lunch.
WE were on the Golden Princess and did almost the same cruise last September. Most of the places you mention can be seen on your own, or you can take a "hop-on-hop-off" bus tour in Barcelona and Cadiz. We took a Princess tour to Santiago de Compostella from Vigo, and one of their half day tours in Casablanca, which were both excellent. They usually have a shuttle bus from the pier into each city which is what we did in Lisbon, then walked around on our own. As for Paris, I wouldn't go there for only a few hours. We did the Giverny and Rouen Princess tour which we enjoyed very much. This was a great cruise! Enjoy!