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Old 07-03-2008, 06:21 AM
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Hey everybody. I need some help. I think I have this right now and I am pretty sure I am posting in the right area.

Five of us are going on a west med cruise in Oct. From reading the comments posted here it looks like hiring a private guide for the shore excursions is the way to go. It sounds like you get what you want at a lesser price.

What we would really like to do is hire a guide in Rome, Livorno and Naples. I do not know if we will need one for the rest of the trip but these three places for sure.

If any body out there has any info regarding private guides like, who you really liked, prices, reliability, etc. please let me know.

Also my Dad was concerned that since these guides are not purchased through RCCL the ship will not wait in case something happens. Is that a valid concern?

It seems like a lot. But any information you can provide me with would be a great help. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:32 AM
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Also my Dad was concerned that since these guides are not purchased through RCCL the ship will not wait in case something happens. Is that a valid concern?
Yes, it is a valid concern although the private tour groups do a good job in getting passengers back in time. The problem would most likely be if something happened that was outside the vendor's control like a traffic jam, mechanical problems with your bus, etc. The ship doesn't know where you are so they aren't going to wait. Does it happen often? No. It really depends on your personal comfort level with dealing with private tour operators. For a person's first time in a new place I usually recommend they stick with the ship's tours. But if you are comfortable with it, go ahead with private tours.

Note that when asking for recommendations here, we often see tour operators show up and post messages claiming they are someone else and just used "this great tour guide" - which is really them. We have to delete those messages since they violate our Terms Of Service. But we have several highly experienced members here who know Europe and the tours better than anyone else. Hopefully they will respond to your questions.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:47 AM
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Jimmy1- In your post in the General Cruising section you asked about being able to Pompeii and Florence on your own. Read my review of our Freedom cruise and you will have your answer. Both of these are very easy to do on your own for about a quarter of the cost of the cruise line tour. Sorrento is doable too, as well as capri, but if you try to do them all you will be time limited. Read me review and then read the guide to train travel in Italy for details on how to get to these places. (Its the first post in this section of the forum). Then come back and ask addtional questions and we will help you out.
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