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Old September 24th, 2004, 01:51 PM
Elimres
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Default European excursions necessary?

I am going on the Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas on Oct. 9. I am unsure of how to get around at these ports:

Marseille, France
Villefranche (Nice), France
Livorno(Florence/Pisa),Italy
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Naples, Italy

Do I need excursions to get into town? Can I take a cab for a reasonable price? When are the excursions necessary?? We're trying to stay on budget and the excursions are $$. We are good at getting around Europe on our own, but if a cab is as much as a tour maybe it's worth it. Just wanted to check in ahead of time to get an idea...

Any help would be so appreciated!!
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Old September 24th, 2004, 04:12 PM
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Default Re: European excursions necessary?

Marseille, France
I've yet to be to the port in Marseille, so cant be of any help.

Villefranche (Nice), France
Villefranche is a nice town, but to get to Nice or Monacco you'd need a taxi or private our... or ship's exursion.


Livorno(Florence/Pisa),Italy

Livorno to Pisa or Florence is some distance. You could arrange your own transportation, or take the train. The cruise line will offer a Florence on your own excursion, where they supply you transportation to and from, but your on your own the rest of the time.
Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy
Once again, it's quite a distance from the port to Rome... and once again you can get a Rome On Your Own excursion from the cruise line. They'll get you to and from, but your time there is your own, and you cover only the sites you choose.
There is decent train service to Rome as well, if you want to do it independantly.

Naples, Italy
If you want to stay in the city, it can be done on your own. Or there are ferries at the pier to head to Capri on your own.
For trips to Pompeii or Sorrento you'd need a shore excursion, or private guides.

Because of distances involved European excursions are expensive. We've found if we can find a couple of people to share, it's easy to arrange for private cars and guides, and we get much better results because we're not limited to the generally slow speed of larger organized excursions.

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Old September 26th, 2004, 10:02 AM
FodorsPeter
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Default Re: European excursions necessary?

Do everything on your own.

Villefrance - train south to Nice or north to Eze and Monte Carlo. Train station an easy walk from the tender pier.

Livorno - train to Florence with an optional stop at Pisa. Be off the ship at or a little before seven am and taxi to train station. Buy round trip to Florence and you can get off and back on for no charge in Pisa.

Civitaveechia - train to Rome. If you want ancient Rome (coleseum, Pantheon, etc.) go to last stop - Termini; if the Vatican area, get off at St. Pietro. Don't try to do both - not enough time.

Naples - three options. Pompeii, Amalfi coast and Capri. Trains or hydrofoils all easily accessed.

Total cost of four ports for two people about $250 including lunch. Using the excursions without guide about $500, with guide $1000.

Don't forget that on you own equals not only economical, but flexible.

Peter
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Old September 26th, 2004, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: European excursions necessary?

The biggest problem with doing tours on your own is that you are truely on your own. Possible language problems, possibility of missing the ship (which you do not want to do), possibility of getting a bad tour or getting ripped off as you have no way of being compensated. The farther away from the ship you go, the more chances you take and the more difficulties you are likely to encounter. For the comfort factor alone you may well want to stay with the ships tours.
Jim

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