I have tenatively booked a Grand Mediterranean Cruise in Sept. that includes Barcelona, Italy and Greece, with 3 days post cruise in Rome. Am a little concerned that I will "miss out" on Italy by cruising since most ports are just for one day. Any advice as to whether a land tour is a better option than crusing. Seems like the time is too short to really get the feel of the country.
Alaska was on my bucket list and is somewhere I have always wanted to go and spend time. Knowing I would want to go back, I felt it was cheaper to do 'more' there and all at once instead of going back again (more airfare).
I still have other places on my list. Australia is next and I'm already looking at those cruise tours.
My advice is to search around and see what's available.
We did the Alaska cruise and land tour this past August and it was just fabulous. I think you really need the land portion to get the real exposure to Alaska. You will be happy with that choice. Princess does offer a land option with their cruise but it is terribly expensive. I just don't want to miss out on really seeing Italy and am a little leary about the cruise giving us enough time to do so.
Thanks for your response.
I did an 20 day Med cruise last year and loved it. I was hesitant at first because I wasn't sure if a cruise was the best way to see Europe but I really enjoyed myself and found it was an excellent way to see a lot different places with the idea that I may go back some time and spend more time there. My favorite was Santorini followed by southern Italy.
If you have the budget and time, land tour of Italy any time. I have been fortunate enough to have visited Italy 19 times in 30 years and there are too many gems in Italy that cannot be accessed easily by a cruise. Italy's rail system is fantastic
I did a land trip to Europe in the 80's before the internet, and booked all hotels and trains myself -- geesh, how did we ever do that? And I have done two med cruises. To me, it all depends on how much you are squishing in to what amount of time. You are doing a post cruise stay in Rome -- great idea, as that city cannot be done in a day figuring in the train ride from the port. Three days is adequate -- one alone just for the Vatican.
On a cruise, we did the Amalfi coast and Pompei in one day. We did Sicily in a day excursion. We did Florence in a day excursion. We did Venice in a day and 1/2, pre cruise. For me, that was fine -- I just want to breathe in the atmosphere more than anything else. I did have to choose between Florence and Pisa, but I saw Pisa in the distance from the bus.
Now, if you want to hang out in the countryside rather than do the major cities, a land trip affords you more opportunity for that. Train rides will give you the scenery. I have found, for me personally, organized land tours have too much of something someone else wants me to do/see -- I am either going to cruise, or take a self planned/directed land vacation, but not an organized land bus/tour.
Just an added thought -- I really hate schlepping luggage, and on that trip in the 80's, I hauled an excessive amount of luggage clear across Paris because we couldn't get a cab. I saw ALOT of that city, but I was also much younger. I like unpacking once and having a "home" base from which to head out, and at the end of a long day of sightseeing, I don't want to have to figure out where to find a decent restaurant, or hail a cab, or worry about walking in a neighborhood after dark, so cruising works for me.
Thanks so much. You really helped solidify my decision. We will cruise and stay the additional days in Rome. I basically seem to think the way you do!
I will throw in my 2 cents. We stayed in Rome a couple of days then took the train to Venice. It was very easy to do and I'm glad we did. We took a Eurostar train, 2nd class seats, with a flex fare. It was much cheaper and more comfortable then flying. Termini is the station in Rome and Santa Lucia is the station in Venice. We found a great budget hotel in Venice a short walk from the train station so our bags weren't an issue. Remember no cars in Venice, which is what I loved about it. It's a nice city to walk around in. Here is a link to the Italian train system. http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD
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