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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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Default mediterranean cruise

We are going on a 5 day cruise around med visiting rome, florence, cannes, barcelona, has anybody taken up indenpendant tours after getting off the ship as royal carribean tours are very expensive , we have been on 6 cruises as we have been able to arrange our own, just wanted to know if anybody has experienced these ports
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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Hello Kempo,

You are quite correct, RCCL's excursions are very expensive in Europe.

Barcelona: -

The port is just outside of the city and is reasonable for taxis to get you into the centre. We found Barca to be very expensive. It is very easy to navigate yourself around the city.

Rome: -

Civittavechia is the port for Rome and is a good distance away. There are lots of Limousine services to get you to Rome and they will do the whole tourist bit. There were lots of cars/buses etc waiting when we docked and they were all pre-booked.
We decided to have a bit of an adventure and went on the train! The cost was 9 Euro's return. There is a complimentary bus from the ship to the dock gates, and then a 10 min walk to the train station. Once in Rome we jumped on the open top bus and done most of the big sites, Vatican, Colluseum Trevie Fountain etc. The fare on the bus was 19 euro's and you can hop on and off to your hearts content.
The only word of warning would be, don't leave it until the last train to get you back. We got the 08-41hrs train to Roma Termini which took 1hr 15mins. It is a very quick visit (no matter how you do it) so be prepared just to see the highlights and return. The trains returning are at 08 & 38mins past the hour.
TIP: - DO NOT LEAVE IT UNTIL THE LAST AVAILABLE TRAIN TO RETURN TO THE SHIP! THIS TRAIN IS OFTEN CANCELLED! GET THE 14-38 TO BE SAFE!!!

Sorry I can't help with the others.

Mark
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Old March 19th, 2008, 01:57 PM
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Kempo,

My husband and I have been to these ports. In Cannes, we just got off the ship and spent the day walking around. It is a beautiful place.

We rode the train to Florence and saw all the sights on our own. We had a map that I copied at the library that showed all the main tourist attractions. We walked all over Florence and had a great time.

We also rode the train into Rome. I also had a map of Rome showing all the main attractions. We got off the train at Roma S. Pietro which is only two blocks or so from the Vatican. We walked most of the day, but also caught two buses for short distances. We saved the Colosseum for last and caught the train at Termini station to go back to the port. (We had purchased a B.I.R.G pass which allowed us to ride any of the trains and buses while we were in Rome.)

In Barcelona we made the mistake of taking a tour from the ship. We spent 3 and a half hours at La Sagrada Familia which was way too long. On our next trip to Barcelona, we will go out on our own. We see much more when we do that.

Do some research before you go. Make copies of maps out of tourist quide books. We were able to see so much more because of the time I spent researching each city.

Have a wonderful time, and tell us all about it when you get back!!!

Libragirl (from Texas)
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Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:20 AM
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Took the train into Rome, also. To get in all the sights is next to impossible, but some have done it -- heck, I lose time just trying to figure out the maps! This was our second trip, and once again, the Cistine Chapel was closed because of a holy day, so we skipped the Vatican, having seen it before, and decided to just revisit a couple of favorite places like Trevi fountain, and the Spanish steps -- walking distance from the train station.

In Florence, we took the ship's bus into the city -- not very expensive, and good narration along the route, see Pisa in the distance. They drop and collect you in a central location, and on the way back, took us to the hills above the city for a lovely perspective. If you want to see the real David (not the statue in the square), you should research and go on line and get tickets before you leave, otherwise you will spend most of your day standing in line waiting to get in.

In Barcelona, cab into town, walk up Las Ramblas to the PLaza Catalunya and then do the hop on hop off bus -- catch it about a block off the plaza, in front of the Gaudy buildings. The Sagrada Familia and the Gaudy park are the main attractions to hop off and enjoy, but you get a nice tour of the town, as well.
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