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Old 02-22-2011, 10:37 AM   #1
Joan1
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Med ports on your own - 2011

I have been searching for information on doing ports on your own on the Med cruises. I have found some but had to read through A LOT of posts and information to get a bit of information. Scrolling though hundreds of posts is way too time consuming and I just don't have hours to spend each day to read through them

Can we start a new thread for the MED cruises this year. If anyone wants to post information with suggestions on how to see a port on your own, links to private tour operators, drivers, trains, where to purchase tickets ahead of time, etc

I think it will make it easier for others just planning
***********************

I will start with one that we are going to use.
purchasing tickets for the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel ahead of time to avoid the lines

Rome
http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/...action=booking

Great article on how to use the train in Civitavecchia
http://www.roninrome.com/%20transpor...-for-the-day-2

youtube video on taking the train from Civitavecchia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoGQc..._order&list=UL

youtube video on using public transportation in Rome
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7FZF..._order&list=UL

Youtube video Rome in a day
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAxOy..._order&list=UL


********************

I found an old post from 2007 with a lot of useful information. I haven't checked every link to see if all still work
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1184080

********************

Villefranche
Found this tour company that has some interesting options
http://www.nizzatravel.com/index.php...urs&Srub=Tours

Here is another
http://traveltourprestige.com/#tours-a_la_carte

Informative article about using the bus in Nice
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g1...portation.html

The walk from the ship to the main part where buses and trains are is a steep walk. There are buses, at a cost, that will take you to the top if you feel you can't handle the steep hill

How to use the public transportation
http://www.lignesdazur.com/presentation/?rub_code=1


Villefranche information taken from the villefranche thread. Thought it would be helpful to have it together

http://www.trainstouristiquesdenice....-en-photos.php

http://www.eportreviews.com/Europe/V...che_France.htm

http://www.frenchrivieracruiseclub.c...franche-2.html

*****************

Cinque Terre
If you are a family of four, 2 adults, 2 or more children, look into purchasing the family travel card for the day instead of individually as it will save you money
From their website the one day card with trains is 8.5 euros each but a family card is 23 euros
http://www.parconazionale5terre.it/u...rreTrenoOK.pdf

http://www.cinqueterre.com/eng/infor...card/#comprare

The walk from the ship to the train can be a long one if you have any mobility issues, you may want to consider taking a cab to save you walking time


General information on using trains
http://ftroute.com/ItalianTrains.htm

Last edited by Joan1; 04-21-2011 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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Cinque Terra is beautiful and very easy to do on your own in La Spezia. Just walk to the train station (the locals will guide you) and buy your ticket for all day trails and train. I believe it was 9 euro pp.

When in Corsica if you want a beach day, walk to the second beach, don't stop at the first one you see. The second one is much nicer, just bring some towels from the ship and enjoy a free and beautiful beach day.

The ferry in Naples is in walking distance to the ship and it is only about 8 euro each way to Sorrento or Capri. Gorgeous places to just walk around.

In Civitavecchia (sp?) take the train to Rome on your own and save 90 euro.

These were our favorite that we will be doing again.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:11 PM   #3
MadHatterMom2
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makaylee - I just noticed that we're on the same cruise - June 18 Med. I am seriously thinking about doing Rome on our own, but am a little intimidated by the layout of the city itself. We did the Baltic cruise last year and did all the ports on our own, except for St. Petersburg. However, Rome seems so spread out. Plus, I guess it's about 1-1/2 hours from the port? Anyway, would appreciate your thoughts.

We'd like to see the Coliseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps. Believe it or not, we don't really plan on seeing Vatican City.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHatterMom2 View Post
makaylee - I just noticed that we're on the same cruise - June 18 Med. I am seriously thinking about doing Rome on our own, but am a little intimidated by the layout of the city itself. We did the Baltic cruise last year and did all the ports on our own, except for St. Petersburg. However, Rome seems so spread out. Plus, I guess it's about 1-1/2 hours from the port? Anyway, would appreciate your thoughts.

We'd like to see the Coliseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps. Believe it or not, we don't really plan on seeing Vatican City.
We have done a separate vacation to Rome before, so we actually stayed on the ship on our last cruise. We will be getting off this time to see the Spanish Steps that we missed and maybe Trevi fountain again.

I talked to my Dh and he says that all of those are doable in one day, but he is not sure where the Spanish Steps are though. The others are close to one another. So my advice I guess would be to take the train in as soon as you can get off the ship, then take a taxi from place to place depending on traffic, it might be quicker to walk, most places aren't more than a mile apart. It should still come out way cheaper than paying DCL. Oh and to save time buy any tickets online before you go.

Hope I could help you some.
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Last edited by makaylee; 02-22-2011 at 01:27 PM. Reason: Husband set me straight. LOL
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makaylee View Post
We have done a separate vacation to Rome before, so we actually stayed on the ship on our last cruise. We will be getting off this time to see the Spanish Steps that we missed and maybe Trevi fountain again.

I talked to my Dh and he says that all of those are doable in one day, but he is not sure where the Spanish Steps are though. The others are close to one another. So my advice I guess would be to take the train in as soon as you can get off the ship, then take a taxi from place to place depending on traffic, it might be quicker to walk, most places aren't more than a mile apart. It should still come out way cheaper than paying DCL. Oh and to save time buy any tickets online before you go.

Hope I could help you some.
Walking around Rome is VERY doable for an able bodied adult. If you're planning on pushing a stroller around, though, you might want to give some thought about picking and choosing the important stops. You should also keep in mind that the city isn't exactly flat, so be prepared for some uphill walking here and there.

Another thing to think about is that all the ports are really close to each other and the time printed for disembarkation might not really be the time you can get off the ship. Generally, we found that if we woke up early and the ship was docked, they would let us off. This came in handy for Rome because we got off the ship about an hour before the posted time and were able to catch the early train into the city.

As for the Spanish steps. Do a search for "spagna, rome, italy" on google maps. That's the metro station underneath the steps.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:11 AM   #6
Scoobydoo76
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Mostly Walking Tour Of Rome On Your Own

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadHatterMom2 View Post
makaylee - I just noticed that we're on the same cruise - June 18 Med. I am seriously thinking about doing Rome on our own, but am a little intimidated by the layout of the city itself. We did the Baltic cruise last year and did all the ports on our own, except for St. Petersburg. However, Rome seems so spread out. Plus, I guess it's about 1-1/2 hours from the port? Anyway, would appreciate your thoughts.

We'd like to see the Coliseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain and Spanish Steps. Believe it or not, we don't really plan on seeing Vatican City.
MadHatterMom2,

Our family did the same thing on the Baltic’s Cruise last summer. We hired a guide for the 2 days in St. Petersburg and did the rest of the ports on our own. We were on the July 6th cruise.

What gave us the confidence to do the ports on our own was our day in Rome from our 2007 Med. Cruise. Disney did not offer an excursion that covered all the sites that our family wanted to see, so I started planning and planning and planning . We did the entire day on our own, and save our family of four hundreds of dollars.

Even though you do not plan on seeing Vatican City, I would still get off the train at the Roma S. Pietro station. From here you can get a quick glimpse of the Vatican or by-pass it on the way to Castel Sant'Angelo (Angels and Demons movie w/ Tom Hanks) about an 8 min. walk. If you go to Google Maps, you can plan a walking tour. After Castel Sant'Angelo we went to Fountain of the Four Rivers (11 min.), The Pantheon (7 min), The Trevi Fountain (9 min), The Spanish Steps (8 min), Victor Emmanuel Monument (take taxi or walk about 17 min.), The Forum (start behind the VE Monument), The Colosseum (at the end of the Forum), The Arch of Constantine (1 min.), Circus Maximus (6 min) followed by the Circo Massimo Metro Station (2 min). From the Circo Massimo Metro station you can get a metro back to Roma S. Pietro or to Termini to take the main train back to Civitavecchia. If you walked the entire way it is about 5 miles from the Vatican to the Circo Massimo Metro Station. The Train ticket from Civitavecchia allows you to ride the metro free for the rest of the day. Unfortunately the metro stops are not exactly near all the major sites. I believe you need to catch a taxi from a designated taxi stand.

If you were brave enough to do the Baltic Ports, you can certainly handle Rome. We did all the above sites and included a tour of the Vatican (St. Peters and the Sistine Chapel) and an inside visit to the Colloseum. We were exhausted, but we saw everything that we wanted to. and

I have some more info about the train. If you want you can private message me about it.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:26 AM   #7
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This is a great thread! We are going on a 7 night cruise in August and are planning to do a few of the places on our own.

We visited Malta last year for a holiday, and I think if you were visiting there on your cruise it would be very easy to do by yourself, particularly if you just want to visit Valetta, as it is not much of a walk from the port to the town centre.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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Maybe a moderator can make it a sticky so it will always be on the first page?

I am hoping others will chime in with information on where they found train schedules, bus schedules or just winged it when they got to each port.
If they took guide books with them or just read up before hand.

I know the links about are great but they are all for private guides and some of us are looking to just be able to go off on our own
I plan on doing a lot of reading this weekend over on cruise critic. Hopefully that will also help me to figure the logistics out
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:11 PM   #9
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Thank you - We will be in Corsica on a Sunday and I would think that most places would be closed so beach day may be it
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Thank you - We will be in Corsica on a Sunday and I would think that most places would be closed so beach day may be it
We were they on Sunday last year also. I didn't notice anything being closed (cafes etc) We just wanted a beach day regardless and Corsica is perfect for that. Can't wait to go again! Oh and the crepes at the cafe on the corner across from the ship are amazing! And I consider myself quite the crepe connoisseur.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by makaylee View Post
...
The ferry in Naples is in walking distance to the ship and it is only about 8 euro each way to Sorrento or Capri. Gorgeous places to just walk around...
Great thread!

I have a Naples question. If we went to Pompeii in the morning and then headed to Capri after lunch would you suggest heading back to the ship to catch the fairy or elsewhere to catch the hydrofoil? I need to see a map I think to see where the port is compared to Pompeii etc. I am in the very early tentative planning stages.

Come on July Military rate
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:19 PM   #12
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Great thread!

I have a Naples question. If we went to Pompeii in the morning and then headed to Capri after lunch would you suggest heading back to the ship to catch the fairy or elsewhere to catch the hydrofoil? I need to see a map I think to see where the port is compared to Pompeii etc. I am in the very early tentative planning stages.

Come on July Military rate
I would go right from Pompeii to Capri. You won't have time to go back to the ship. Even if you do have time you are going at least an hour out of your way

About the military discount. Keep in mind that it can no longer be applied to existing reservations. It MUST be booked as a new reservation. If you are inside penalty period it may not be worth it to cancel and rebook. They have been enforcing this since January 1, 2011
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:30 PM   #13
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I would go right from Pompeii to Capri. You won't have time to go back to the ship. Even if you do have time you are going at least an hour out of your way

About the military discount. Keep in mind that it can no longer be applied to existing reservations. It MUST be booked as a new reservation. If you are inside penalty period it may not be worth it to cancel and rebook. They have been enforcing this since January 1, 2011
Thank you for the info. And we are not going to book unless the rate comes out. Hence the "tentative" planning I have high hopes though IF last year is any indication.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bibbidibobbidibecky View Post
Great thread!

I have a Naples question. If we went to Pompeii in the morning and then headed to Capri after lunch would you suggest heading back to the ship to catch the fairy or elsewhere to catch the hydrofoil? I need to see a map I think to see where the port is compared to Pompeii etc. I am in the very early tentative planning stages.

Come on July Military rate
Sorry I'm not really sure, I didn't go to Pompeii. My Dh had already been there and I didn't want to drag him back. I don't now how much quicker a hydrafoil is, but our boat was quite fast. To save time I wouldjust get on the closest boat to Capri you can find.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:21 PM   #15
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Posted this on a different thread, but it has some great links that might help!

We did almost every port on our own, so you could check out my trip report. Also, I have lots of info on my website. (In my sig) Other great websites for this info are http://www.mediterranean-cruise-port...com/index.html and http://www.heinbloed-on-tour.de/
Malta and Ajaccio are the easiest ports to do on your own. Pretty much just walk off the boat.
The Cinque Terre is easy to do from La Spezia (we didn't do it, but our dinner mates did and loved it) We did Florence on Your Own, which is just a bus dropping you off and picking you up in Florence and it was PERFECT for our purposes.
I still think Rome is not to be missed, and the train ride there is so easy that I would do it, even if it was just to walk around and enjoy the city.
Naples is a great city with many amazing things to see right in the city, but isn't for everyone. You could take a cab or bus to the train station and go to Sorrento if Naples doesn't appeal.
Villefranche is beautiful, and is a very easy jumping off point to Nice, Monaco or Eze. We went to Nice and Eze during our Villefranche day without any trouble, but it does require a little research. (Again, on my website)
I hope this helps, and feel free to PM me with any specific questions. Congrats on your cruise! You will have a blast.
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