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Old 02-22-2011, 09:37 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 07:22 PM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:21 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, 11:11 AM   #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, 11:11 AM   #4
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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, 11:32 AM   #5
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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 12:27 PM. Reason: Husband set me straight. LOL
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Old 02-22-2011, 11:35 AM   #6
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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, 11:56 AM   #7
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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, 12:19 PM   #8
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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
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, 12:19 PM   #9
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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, 12:21 PM   #10
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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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Old 02-22-2011, 12:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga9497 View Post
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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DCL 2014 Greek Isles (in progress) and 2011 Med trip reports and WDW info: http://thefairygodblogger.blogspot.c...1_archive.html

DCL: 2014 Greek Isles out of Venice, 2011 Med out of Barcelona, 2009 4-night Wonder.
WDW: 2014 Jan., 2012 Oct., 2011 Oct., 2010 Oct., 2009 Dec., 2008 Oct., 2008 May, 2006 Oct., 1997 April, 1996 April, 1993 Feb., 1992 Feb., 1980s various trips, 1977 First trip.
DL California: July 2012
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:04 PM   #12
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updated first post with more information
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:31 PM   #13
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Thanks for putting this thread together
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This thread is a great "one stop shop" for information.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:41 PM   #15
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In short we LOVED it. Parents with a 2 year old. I couldn't find a (good) answer for this before my cruise so i'll make some recommendations on doing ports yourself. In general I do not recommend the disney tours based upon cost, the time you have to get up to do it, etc. I'm also not a huge museum lover beyond just seeing the highlights (mona lisa yes, all the other stuff not so much) so if you're like me you may find this helpful.

You'll notice that I hired drivers and boy was that great compared to getting in a bus at 7am. We still beat the tours to the destinations in most cases and usually strolled out around 9 or 10. Plus keep in mind that I paid for the entire car and not individually so this might make sense for families.

Last, one good thing about the buses is that if they break down the ship will wait (probably) they will not on a private tour so build in some time for a "just in case" emergency. Also consider taking your passports because if you get left in port - you'll spend a day or two at the embassy getting a copy before you can even attempt to catch up to the ship. (this happened to others on our cruise - bars are fun!).

1) Malta - just get off the boat and their are a million tour options from hop on hop off to taxi's to horse drawn carriage. You can do Malta much cheaper than the Disney option. Also, the horse carriage price is negotiable. Maybe take the taxi to the center of town, and then go from there whether it is to walk around (great), horse carriage (fun), or the ample hop on hop off buses. (10 bucks taxi to top of hill, 40 euro for horse carriage tour and back)

2) Tunisia - I'm from So Cal so Tunisia reminded me of Tiajuana but I had lots of fun. Lots of people did not like it because they couldn't handle the bargaining culture. We got a taxi for 60ish euro's I think. That was for the Medina (the big shopping area) and Sidou Said (the blue city). I loved both, my wife hated the medina (she's from Europe and wasn't comfortable with the bargaining) but we both loved the blue city.

3) Naples - I got a car and driver here while most took buses. For a family of three the cost was comparable. 350 euro. Full day -wherever we wanted to go, whatever we wanted to do. We did the Amalfi coast and the Pompeii. We had a Mercedes van all to ourselves. Despite leaving later than the Disney bus we beat them to the destinations by about 30 minutes and could do what we wanted. We use tour of italy com and they were great. I'd recommend doing your own meal (and be firm here) rather than their family restaurant (it was good enough but I would have enjoyed something else more).

4) Rome - we took the train into town. It was easy. about 20 euros total for all 3 of us compared to over 300 on the disney tour - which was on the same train.

5) Florence - we hired a driver at the port for 300 euro (or was it 250?) anways cheaper than the Disney bus which was 2 hours late due to breakdowns.

6) Corsica - we were going to stay on the boat because we were so tired. AWESOME deli meats and cheese in a small market right outside the ship. The most pleasant suprise of our trip. One of the best and cheapest meals of deli meat, little pizza, fresh bread and cheese. IT WAS GOOOD. So no cost, just walking. The tours from what I hear were OK but we had fun with several hunderd yards of port.

7) Monaco - our only Disney tour. It was OK but I wish we did our own thing. We did the EZE with wine and cheese tasting. It was fun enough but I think I could have gotten a taxi for less.

The Disney Euro cruise is AMAZING - they are offering 7, 10 and 11 day cruises. I'd recommend either the 7 or 11. You miss a day at sea on the 10 day and boy did that day of rest help. Keep in mind in Italy there are some major travel times to get to where you want to go (anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours). Happy to answer any questions....
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