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Old 02-22-2011, 05:43 PM   #16
lexlaw69
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Malta - the better deal on the horse carriage (which was an awesome way to see the town) was to just pick one up around town rather than at the initial pickup spot.

Tunisia - no more Tunisia port - so sad. It was an awesome opportunity to visit an Arabic African country.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:40 AM   #17
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This thread cannot die!

Very very helpful info here. Especially for those of us with small children looking to do it on our own.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan1 View Post
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

Romehttp://<br /> http://biglietteriamu...action=booking


**Updating Feb 22, 2011**
I found an old post from 2007 with a lot of useful information. I haven't checked every link to see if it still works, won't get to that until later this week. Thought others would get some use out of this. I did remove the ports that do not apply to the 2011 sailings


http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1184080

Europe 2007: Private Guides / Drivers / Tours
________________________________________
Many veteran Mediterranean cruisers assert that their experiences have been enhanced via the use of private tour guides at several ports.

Potential advantages include:
• customized itineraries
• see exactly what you want
• leave once you've seen enough
• luxury Mercedes mini-vans
• access to ancient & narrow inner-city streets, off-limits to large buses
• not touring with lots of other people's children (...sorry!)
• no waiting for stragglers to return to the bus
• opportunity to bypass lines at popular attractions (w/ licensed guides)
While such tours may appear to be costly at 450 - 660 Euro/day, that fee covers an entire party of 6 - 8 passengers; thus, the cost per person is competitive with that of the cattle calls.

While I claim no first-hand expertise, I have spent many hours perusing the Boards at several cruise forums (e.g. – www.cruisecritic.com) to compile this list of recommended firms & guides at Disney Cruise Lines’ 2007 European ports of call, in rough order of the frequency & enthusiasm of endorsements:

Barcelona
www.pepitotours.com/private-tours-barcelona.html Jose Soler
http://wwguides.com/forums/member.php?u=243
www.gobarcelona.com/
• BCNtour-taxi Armando Panedas
(34) 60-419-756 armandopanedas@vodafone.es
www.barcelonatourguides.com/ Patrick
http://www.taxiinternacional.com/en...ternacional.htm Angie

Palermo, Sicily
www.easytoursicilia.it/indexe.htm Sylvano Lunetta
www.sicily-tour.com/ Stephen Davies
www.sicilylife.com/Tours.htm
• Don’t miss the Capuchin Catacombs:http://www.palermoweb.com/sottopale...cappuccini1.htm

Naples (Pompeii)
http://driveamalfi.com/ Salvatore Lucibello, Adriano, Roberto
www.drivesorrento.com/ Nello Russo
www.seesorrento.com/chi_sono_eng.html Marcello Maresca, Eugiene, Marco
www.aptours.it/Site/default.asp?Lang=EN Alberto
www.francescomarrapese.com/excursions.htm Francesco
www.pleasantravel.com/index.htm Mariano Fiorentino
www.jackthedriver.com/ Jack, Lorenzo Bianco
www.benvenutolimos.com/ Giovanni
http://www.sorrentocardrivers.com/S...ult.asp?Lang=EN Raffael
www.cuomonet.it/ Renato
http://aldotaxi.net/ Aldo
www.driverinrome.com …but avoid Guiliana
http://tourofitaly.com/
www.hiddenitalytours.com/ Mariano Fiorentino


Civitavecchia (Rome)
http://www.drivinguide.com/shore_excursions.htm Paolo Apolloni
www.limoinrome.com/home.htm Claudio Caponera , Fabrizio
www.driverinrome.com/ Daniele Melaragno, Remo (his father), Pepe, Manny
http://romeinlimo.com/ Duman & Carlo
www.romelimousineservice.com/ Max Leotta
www.romecabs.com/ Stefano Costantini
www.romeconnection.com/ Marco
• Don’t miss the Scavi Tour (Vatican necropolis):http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/i...0040112_en.html

La Spezia (Florence / Pisa)
www.florencetour.com/ Paola Migliorni
www.abcwine.it/off%20shore.htm Carla Giomi
www.tuscanyinmypocket.com/ Guido
• Marcello Grandini Marcello.tourguide@tiscali.it
www.papillonservice.com/ Lisa, Roberto
www.tuscanybytaxi.it/ Ricardo
www.sunflower-tours.com/services.htm Giovanni Sirabella
www.limoinrome.com/home.htm Claudio
• Giovanni Bassi - architect & urban historian G.bossi@dada.it
• Alessandro Cammilli alecamma@hotmail.com
• Pauline Priore paulinep@tin.it
• Pre-book tickets to Ufizi and Academia Galleria:www.florenceart.it/
Dial 011 (U.S. international access code) 39 (Italy's country code) 055-294-883 during the hours of 8:30 AM -6:30 PM M-F & 8:30-12:00 Sat. Florence time.
• Pre-book to Leaning Tower of Pisa (available 45 – 16 days in advance): www.opapisa.it/boxoffice/index.jsp

Villefranche (Monte Carlo / Cannes / Nice)
www.revelation-tours.com/cruise.html Michel LeGrand, Isoline
www.dream-tours.com/layout.php?page=106&lang=us Alain, Frederic, Jean Marc
www.azur-guides-interpretes.com/ Sylvie DiCristo
www.riviera-prestige-tours.com/ Eva Devemy



TIA for any information that others provide.
I can keep the first post updated with all the information so that it will be easier for others so that they don't have to read through pages and pages of threads. Well I hope this becomes a thread with many pages
Great job on putting toguether all this info Joan1, and to everyone else that has given great tips.

Thank you.

We are booked on the Aug 20th, 2011 Med Cruise and I will mention this thread there so lots of cruisers can come and check it out.


Happy Cruise Planning.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:11 AM   #19
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, 10:26 AM   #20
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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, 11:31 AM   #21
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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 02-23-2011, 11:46 AM   #22
Scoobydoo76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan1 View Post
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
A quick way to find a bus, metro or train is to go to Google Maps. Start by entering in your desired city and country. If you have a possible site like the Colosseum you can even type that in. Then just zoom in. Usually the bus, metro or train stops show up. You can then click on their icon and a web site usually comes up. You can also click on directions and choose the train or bus icon if applicable. I may not be clear, but if you go to the site and mess around I'm sure you will figure it out.
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:00 PM   #23
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Thank you for doing this - we are on the 7/9/11 cruise and our roll call hasn't had much movement. We arrive in Barcelona on 7/6 and plan to do the HOHO buses. We are a family of five and I have planned to do three ROmeinlimo tours (Rome, Pisa/Lucca, and Pompeii/Sorrento). Florence is too far and I don't want to be on such a tour schedule at so many ports. We have a car for 6 but may be willing to upgrade to an 8 seater van to save money. My family has not gone to these places and I feel it is worth the money to make it as easy as possible. To do each port on our own may stress my DH out.

Malta - tours seem cheaper there but have not done anything. Is it really worth going to the BLue Grotto? Is Valleta enough?

Palermo - thought of doing another tour because the catacombs sound great - my kids would love it. But hitting some beaches for a bit may be a hit as well. I know my kids may think that being in the med means more swimming - but it really doesn't.

Pisa/Lucca- are there olive oil factories or anything like that where we could stop and see how things are made? (smoked ham factory). Also thought of stopping at a beach on the way back - any ideas on this?

The trip cost can really add up with the private tours - but am nervous about doing it on our own as my husband is not at his most fit!
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #24
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We did a lot of tours through Disney, but we did Malta on our own. It was very easy to get around and the people were helpful. We visited St. John's Co-Cathedral and it was beautiful. We also walked around and visited the shops, especially the filigree shop... I wish I'd bought more there Then we had lunch at a little cafe near the port that was very yummy.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:29 PM   #25
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions, very good information
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:31 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoobydoo76 View Post
A quick way to find a bus, metro or train is to go to Google Maps. Start by entering in your desired city and country. If you have a possible site like the Colosseum you can even type that in. Then just zoom in. Usually the bus, metro or train stops show up. You can then click on their icon and a web site usually comes up. You can also click on directions and choose the train or bus icon if applicable. I may not be clear, but if you go to the site and mess around I'm sure you will figure it out.
Thank you
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:01 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Joan1 View Post
Villefranche (Monte Carlo / Cannes / Nice)
www.revelation-tours.com/cruise.html Michel LeGrand, Isoline
Just wanted to give this one a big thumbs up. We did a Med cruise last summer (RCCL not Disney) and did a tour with Michel during our stop in Villefranche. It was a definite highlight of our entire vacation. He is fabulous - gracious, entertaining, informative. I think my kids learned more on that tour than in an entire year of Euro history class!! He did stops at the market/beach in Nice, Eze, St.Paul de Vence and Monte Carlo, but he can customize the tour to meet your interests. It was such a wonderful day.

Also, something that I highly recommend in Barcelona is Edgar Torras with
Barcelona Segway Glides (www.barcelonasegwayglides.com) So much fun!!! I didn't tell my kids (teens) that we were doing this, and they were blown away. It was a fantastic way to see Barcelona -- we went all over the city and the waterfront. Edgar is charming and hilarious, and an excellent guide.

So jealous of those that are doing the Med with Disney -- it will be the experience of a lifetime!
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:18 PM   #28
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Updated first post with this information that my TA sent me

Great article with photos on using the trains in Civitavecchia
http://www.roninrome.com/%20transpor...-for-the-day-2

Last edited by Joan1; 02-23-2011 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:45 PM   #29
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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 02-24-2011, 03:27 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joan1 View Post
Updated first post with this information that my TA sent me

Great article with photos on using the trains in Civitavecchia
http://www.roninrome.com/%20transpor...-for-the-day-2
Thanks so much for the info, this was the one place we didn't get off the ship last time and now I know exactly how.
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