Various posts have dealt with the pros and the cons of port stopovers. We have always felt that they are a good idea for many ports where one is unable to get a feel of the local culture and/or cuisine within the time limits allowed.
We were pleased to receive a brochure from Oceania for a cruise (and this but an example) “Istanbul to Rome”. While you embark on the first day, you do not sail until the evening of the following day, giving one time to see the city without the need for pre cruise hotel. Similarly, the stopover in Livorno, which enables one to see Florence/Pisa. By arriving in a morning and not sailing until the evening of the following day, there is now ample time to see both Florence and Pisa, which are considerable, distances away. And finally Civitavecchia (Rome), where one arrives first thing in the morning but only disembarks the following morning allowing a full day and evening in Rome.
We think this is a great cruise itinerary and hope to see more port stopovers like it.
I agree with you. We are headed out to Barcelona in a couple of weeks, and spending 4 nights there as a pre-cruise to our Transatlantic. It would be wonderful to be able to stay on the Constellation even two nights before setting sail. With the price of 4 and 5-star hotels in Europe, it would certainly help!
I am curious if you gentlemen have sailed on Oceania before? I am interested in trying them out. We would like to sail on a smaller ship, and have considered the Azmara line too.
Yes, we have sailed with Oceania on two occasions, once from Buenos Aires around the Horn to Valparaiso Chile and again up the Amazon River to Manaus Brazil returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Both were wonderful cruises and we thoroughly enjoyed the smaller ships. Interesting enough and unplanned, we just happened to share both journeys with a couple of guys from California. It was fun picking up where we left off on the previous cruise. They too are sold on Oceania. That is not to say we will not sail the larger ships for we are booked for the Asia/Orient cruise in April aboard the Diamond Princess. But there is a something special and more intimate about the smaller ships.