Will be in Naples in September and noticed RCCL's shore excursion to Capri does not include the Blue Grotto. Can anyone tell me how to see the Blue Grotto, obtaining tickets, cost, time constraints (how much time needed), schedules, weather conditions, sea level. Any suggestions are appreciated.
If you must go than I can help. The place is a true tourist trap, but I guess many do enjoy the experience. First, I suggest you do not book a tour to Capri. Simply walk from your ship over to the nearby ferry terminal (just go towards your left as you exit the cruise ship port) and you will be at the ferry terminal within 10 min (you can see it from the ship). Buy a ticket on the next hydrfoil/jet boat to Capri (these are the same boats used by the tours) and enjoy your 50 min ride out to Capri. When you arrive, make sure you check the return schedules to Naples (you want to go to the Molo Beverello Ferry terminal) and buy that return ticket. Than, right on the same pier where you arrive in Capri, you will see kiosks selling Blue Grotto excursions. They put you in a boat (they generally hold 20 - 40 passengers) and will take you out to the Blue Grotto. Once you arrive, you will be transferred into a small rowed boat (about 8 per boat) and taken into the Grotto (assuming that the water level is low enough to allow the trip). The boat rower will than beg for tips which is addition to the high price you have already paid for the experience (it used to be about $40 per person). Once you return to the marina (the place where you arrive at Capri is called Marina Grande) and you can than take the funicular up the hill and enjoy Capri Town or other places on the island. It's an easy place to do on your own, English is widely spoken, and we love the island (but have no love of the Blue Grotto). For us, the best excursion on Capri is to take the bus from Capri Town up to Anacapri and than take the chair lift (only 7 Euros) up to the top of Mt Solara. The view is breathtaking...although the chair lift is not good if you are afraid of heights.
Now that is a darn good question and tough for us to answer. The reason is that we simply love that entire region of Italy and have spent significant time staying in Praiano which is about 5 miles east of Positano right along the Amalfi coast. The problem with a port day in Naples is that it forces you to make choices since you cannot do it all in a day or even a week. Positano is a "cute" town with a spectacular view and a neat atmosphere. Capri is a gorgeous island with a spectacular view and a neat atmosphere. So, assuming you have done all your "homework" here is my take on the subject. If you take an Amalfi coast tour on a bus, you do not even get to go into Positano since buses are not permitted on the single road that snakes through the city. They drive the Amalfi Drive, give you great views, you get to see Positano from above, etc etc. Its a good tour for those with walking problems. To get to places like Positano on your own is somewhat difficult because of its location (but it can be done). However, getting to Capri on your own (we think a tour is a waste of money) is very easy since the hydrofoil/jetboat terminal is only a short walk from the ship. So, if you are limiting your choices between the Amalfi drive and Capri, and you like to walk around, than Capri gets my vote. However, we could muddy up the waters with all the other options such as Pompeii, Herculanium, Ischia, Sorrento, etc etc. Ain't life grand?
Hi Hank, you have us sold, hands-down, on Capri. We will definitely do it "on our own" now with all that invaluable info you provided, thank you. It certainly is difficult to choose a few (or even less) of many wonderful options at each port.
With that said, would love any suggestions you (or anyone else out there) may have on the following ports:
Cannes (considering ship's excursion of Monte Carlo and Grand Casino)
Venice (day-and-a-half, sort of, from 1pm to following day at 4pm -- is there a curfew at night?)
We have planned a private tour of Rome and will do Florence on our own. Thanks again!
Hi, just visited Capri and the blue grotto doing our Solstice Cruise in May 09.
Want to share some pictures, there you see also how to book the ferry and where to book cards for the blue grotto.
dieter Capri 2009
Thanks to you, we no longer have to visualize the how, where and what to do, etc., when we step off the ship and head to Capri. Your pictures say it all and we are grateful for your response. You sure captured the true beauty of the Blue Grotto, lovely shots. Hope we're lucky enough to have just as favorable conditions.
We initially considered the Solstice sailing but timing was off. I'm sure it was a beautiful ship. Would love to see more photos of the ship and other ports you visited as well as ideas and suggestions. Thank you again for sharing your wonderful photos!
Hi Cindy , you are absolutly right, the new Flagship from Celebrity the CB Solstice is a fantastic ship, it was our best cruise and we did QM2 in a suite before. I am very lucky you are interested in some of our pics and i am proud to share it with you an all shiplovers who are interested. If you have any special questions do not hesitate to ask. Here you find some pics of the ship and also from our tom cats. I am always updating the Picasa web albums. Have a nice day
dieter Dieter Ship Album
Sorry for the delay. So many wonderful pictures!!! Haven't had time to look at all but, WOW!!!, the Solstice is a gorgeous ship and certainly first class by the looks of it.
Have to take my time with the other pics. So much beauty in this world to see!!!! Thank you again.
PS: Do you know how it works when you are docked overnight at a port? Is there a curfew to get back on the ship? In other words, can you party all night and not show up until the next day as long as you get back before the ship leaves for the next port? We are in Venice overnight and don't want to rush back to the ship if we don't have to.