Going on Med. cruise with Carnival June 08. Excur. questions
Hope you can help. We are leaving on a 12 day Western Mediterrean Cruise in June of 2008. Can't wait!! We want to plan excursions on our own and wanted to know whether the ship is docked or anchored at each port.
We have been told that to go to Pisa from the Livinoro port a private tour is a good choice as well as using train.
Do you have a list of all the ports of call? If so, we can probably give you the info on most.
You mention Livorno for Pisa (also Florence & Lucca), be warned, most ships will offer a combined tour to Florence AND Pisa, but nearly everyone we know who has done this felt that they were too rushed to appreciate either city.
If you decide to use the train in this port, then plan ahead. The ship moors up in the docks quite a way from Livorno & shuttle you to the centre, where you can either catch a bus to the railway station (catch bus 1 direction "Stazione"). Make sure buy your ticket from the machine before getting on the bus, it is a lot cheaper. You can walk out to the station, but it is a good couple of miles.
If you decide to take the train to Florence, look for the name Firenze, you may have to change at Pisa.
For Monaco/Monte Carlo from Cannes, it is much easier as trains run regularly along the coast. For Cannes the ship will be at anchor & run a tender service.
Anyway, let us know what ports you have & see if we can help.
Alan & Katrina
Last Cruise: P&O Oriana October 2015
Next: Queen Victoria January 2016
Okay here goes, we don't start off too well, as we were supposed to visit Naples this year (it's just before 22:00 UK time) on Sea Princess, but the cruise got cancelled after she suffered some problems with her propulsion units.
But can advise that the ship moors pretty much in the centre, and that we had looked at going to Vesuvius & Ercolano (Herculaneum) by local train. There have also been some excellent reports on a local tour guide company, so may use them when we eventually get there.
For Dubrovnik, we've always ended up moored a few miles away & had to use the shuttle bus to get to the city. However whilst there, we've also noticed other ships at anchor just outside the small fishing harbour & tendering in. So can't make any promises. The city itself has more than enough for the first time visitor to fill the day, especially if you follow the story of the recent wars there - bullet & shell holes still mar the buildings. If you don't mind steep steps & narrow walkways, then to walk the walls & towers is a must. The local council do charge for this, but it was only a few dollars & a great way to see the city - search something like google for sample pics. But note, the wall is very uneven, with no rope for support & high up, so if you suffer from vertigo, then you may want to think twice.
For Venice, please check that the ship is going to moor up there, as some go to a town called Trieste which is 80 miles away & with no easy public transport link. Hopefully you will be moored up 'out the back' of Venice near the railway station. We suggest that you buy a 1 or 2 day Vaporetto (water bus) pass which allows you to hop on & off the buses & see all of the area, from St. Marks, to the Lido, to Murano & Burano. The Vaporetto website is http://www.actv.it/english/navigazio...iffe_vaporetto
and has all the routes, timetables, and TouristCard special prices.
Messina is another place that we've yet to get to, we've cruised past it a few times, but not stopped there.
Barcelona will have you moored up & shuttled into the bottom of Las Ramblas - the main pedestrian street - HOLD ON TIGHT TO YOUR VALUABLES !!!. If there is a long queue for the shuttle bus, it is easy to walk into the city, & you get some good shots of the ship from the bridge as you go. basically walk over the bridge, then turn right & keep the water to your right. You will pass the ferry entrance, and the inner port (where some smaller ships moor up). Keep walking for about another 5 minutes & you'll have the status of Columbus on your left - this is just across the road from Las Ramblas. From here you can either explore on foot, or take one of two hop-on, Hop-off buses (red line & blue line) which loop around the city. You buy a ticket for the day for either route of a combined one if you prefer. There are so many things to see in Barcelona, that I would suggest taking a ship tour, or at least booking a taxi who can take you to all the main places. We've been there 7 or 8 times now & still haven't seen everything.
For Cannes, you will anchor out & tender into the small harbour, where the beach is within easy strolling distance, or make your way a few streets inland to the rail station for the regular train service. if you go for the beach option, remember to look out for celebrities, especially if you visit within a few weeks of the Cannes Film Festival.
Livorno, as per my original reply, the train is possible from here if you are ready to grab the first shuttle, have your Euro's ready for the bus ticket & happy to explore. The bus ticket MUST be bought from the vending machines - should be 1 Euro, and the ticket must be put in the machine on board for a date/time stamp. Each ticket lasts 1 hour from the time you frank it. I'm pretty certain that it is still bus #1, but the locals are very helpful. You can get a bus to Pisa, but it stops everywhere & takes a couple of hours. The train is only a short run. Also, I was serious about Florence & Pisa being too much to do in one day, but as you are travelling all the way over for this voyage, you may feel it is worth the effort - it may also help you sleep better on the flight home. If you are "all toured out" by this time, Livorno is an interesting town to wander around, but you will probably be back on the ship within a couple of hours.
Anyway, I hope this overview gives you some ideas. If you would like any more specific details, then please let us know. I have tried to balance giving you as much info as I can whilst keeping the reply to a sensible/readable length.
Alan & Katrina.
PS it's now 22:30 - 1:30 left of 2007 in the UK.
Last Cruise: P&O Oriana October 2015
Next: Queen Victoria January 2016
Unless you are very experienced cruisers or fully aware of these places or ports...dont do it, always take the ship option.
Advice number one... Forgetting popular opinion, Europe is not a theme park. as there are bad people here too, be in a group or in control.
Advice number two, think about number one again.
Europe is what it is,,and different in many ways to what you think it is, me I stay there so I can comment.
Again its not a theme park and I totally hate "we dock in Rome", no you dont, as its at leat 40 miles away from a very commercial dock. Same thing with Florence or Pisa, they are miles away and if you are not on your toes, dangerous.
Do it under control provided by the ship, because if you are late having gone out on your own, they sail, your dumped on the jetty when your "personal" tour guide turns up late,,how bad would that be?
Have a great time , we did the Med cruise last june sailing from UK.
It was very hot 80 -90 degrees, and Rome especially was very tiring covering alot of places in one day on a organised tour, but we did get to see the inside of the Vatican - St peters Basilica, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain plus a 3 course lunch all in one day !
Sadly we didn't get to Cannes, as there were 'choppy waters' so the tenders couldn't be lowered, so we ancoured off Antibes for the day - I was looking forward to going to Monte Carlo and had booked a trip, but these things happen - tour money is refunded if this happens, but no compo for missed port.