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Old 03-14-2011, 03:15 PM   #106
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:58 AM   #107
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I feel I am beating a dead horse - but the La Spezia stop is just driving me crazy. It is the day of Ds's 12th birthday and have actually booked a Romeinlimo tour to go to Pisa/Lucca. Thought climbing the tower that day would be cool. But trip is getting expensive and we have 3 tours reserved. Since I am uncomfortable doing Palermo on our own and would rather spend the money there on a private tour, I thought of cancelling the Pisa/Lucca tour and doing something ourselves. Do not think Florence is worth doing in one day - I hve been there and it is better done when one is based in Florence on a ground trip. WE are a family of 5 ( teen daughters).

This thread has been so informative and helpful. So your comments on this would be welcome. My thoughts now:
-do we do Cinque Terre on our own? DH is not at his fittest at the moment - will the walking really be that bad? If we leave the ship at 9 ish, is there enough time to calmly see everything and get back to La SPezia around 3, so we have time to look around there?
-What if it rains??
-It seems that Pisa is something that can be done at another time, but Cinque Terre is not a place as readily accessible.
-Would you know of a cool(unusual) place to eat and celebrate his birthday in one of the towns? I honestly have not done research on this area as I really did not consider it.
-Will my kids enjoy this area vs Pisa/Lucca?
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:08 AM   #108
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Why are you uncomfortable about doing Palermo on your own? We are planning to do so. It appears that we will dock right in the city and then you just need a map and your feet to walk around and see the place. Read up beforehand what there is to see, then just wander and eat an ice-cream!

We are planning on doing Cinque Terre by train. You don't have to walk between any of the villages if you don't want to - just get on and off the train at the different stops and take a look. I have bought the Rick Steves guidebook to help here.

Why not show your children pictures of the Cinque Terre and of Pisa/Lucca and ask them which they would prefer. At least if they have chosen, they can't moan!
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:39 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emma2 View Post
I feel I am beating a dead horse - but the La Spezia stop is just driving me crazy. It is the day of Ds's 12th birthday and have actually booked a Romeinlimo tour to go to Pisa/Lucca. Thought climbing the tower that day would be cool. But trip is getting expensive and we have 3 tours reserved. Since I am uncomfortable doing Palermo on our own and would rather spend the money there on a private tour, I thought of cancelling the Pisa/Lucca tour and doing something ourselves. Do not think Florence is worth doing in one day - I hve been there and it is better done when one is based in Florence on a ground trip. WE are a family of 5 ( teen daughters).

This thread has been so informative and helpful. So your comments on this would be welcome. My thoughts now:
-do we do Cinque Terre on our own? DH is not at his fittest at the moment - will the walking really be that bad? If we leave the ship at 9 ish, is there enough time to calmly see everything and get back to La SPezia around 3, so we have time to look around there?
-What if it rains??
-It seems that Pisa is something that can be done at another time, but Cinque Terre is not a place as readily accessible.
-Would you know of a cool(unusual) place to eat and celebrate his birthday in one of the towns? I honestly have not done research on this area as I really did not consider it.
-Will my kids enjoy this area vs Pisa/Lucca?
We had the same concerns about La Spezia.

The first one is that we will be visiting this port on a monday making top museums from Florence closed. We are in on the Aug 20th 7 night cruise.

The second one is the riding time; some excursions take up to 5 hours of bus driving round trip (Heavy traffic not included). Too much bus for me.

So we decided to do Pisa (and climb the tower) in the morning and then just hang out at La Spezia for the afternoon. Maybe rent some scooters or those two wheels stand up riding things (sorry don't know the name) and enjoy the town. I have read that it's quite nice with very good restaurants.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:49 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by emma2 View Post
I feel I am beating a dead horse - but the La Spezia stop is just driving me crazy. It is the day of Ds's 12th birthday and have actually booked a Romeinlimo tour to go to Pisa/Lucca. Thought climbing the tower that day would be cool. But trip is getting expensive and we have 3 tours reserved. Since I am uncomfortable doing Palermo on our own and would rather spend the money there on a private tour, I thought of cancelling the Pisa/Lucca tour and doing something ourselves. Do not think Florence is worth doing in one day - I hve been there and it is better done when one is based in Florence on a ground trip. WE are a family of 5 ( teen daughters).

This thread has been so informative and helpful. So your comments on this would be welcome. My thoughts now:
-do we do Cinque Terre on our own? DH is not at his fittest at the moment - will the walking really be that bad? If we leave the ship at 9 ish, is there enough time to calmly see everything and get back to La SPezia around 3, so we have time to look around there?
-What if it rains??
-It seems that Pisa is something that can be done at another time, but Cinque Terre is not a place as readily accessible.
-Would you know of a cool(unusual) place to eat and celebrate his birthday in one of the towns? I honestly have not done research on this area as I really did not consider it.
-Will my kids enjoy this area vs Pisa/Lucca?
To be honest as beautiful as Lucca is there really isn't much to do there except visit some churches and maybe have a nice lunch somewhere.

I would take the train from La Spezia to Pisa on your own, much less expensive than the tour. You can spend 2-3 hours there and then come back and spend time in La Spezia

The same with Cinque Terre. I would do a search on each town and see what you think will appeal to your family

I have been to Palermo a few times and have no issues going off on my own. Just look at your surroundings and be careful with your things like you would anywhere else during your cruise.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:52 AM   #111
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Thanks for the feedback. I haven't talked to my children yet as they do not know about the trip. I want to be absolutely sure I do not have to cancel for any reason. Once April 10th passes, then it will be a done deal.
-good to know that trains can be used for all of Cinque Terre.

As for Palermo - I want to do the catacombs with them and maybe hit a beach towards the end - which is why I thought a private tour would get us to see more.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:20 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by emma2 View Post
I feel I am beating a dead horse - but the La Spezia stop is just driving me crazy. It is the day of Ds's 12th birthday and have actually booked a Romeinlimo tour to go to Pisa/Lucca. Thought climbing the tower that day would be cool. But trip is getting expensive and we have 3 tours reserved. Since I am uncomfortable doing Palermo on our own and would rather spend the money there on a private tour, I thought of cancelling the Pisa/Lucca tour and doing something ourselves. Do not think Florence is worth doing in one day - I hve been there and it is better done when one is based in Florence on a ground trip. WE are a family of 5 ( teen daughters).

This thread has been so informative and helpful. So your comments on this would be welcome. My thoughts now:
-do we do Cinque Terre on our own? DH is not at his fittest at the moment - will the walking really be that bad? If we leave the ship at 9 ish, is there enough time to calmly see everything and get back to La SPezia around 3, so we have time to look around there?
-What if it rains??
-It seems that Pisa is something that can be done at another time, but Cinque Terre is not a place as readily accessible.
-Would you know of a cool(unusual) place to eat and celebrate his birthday in one of the towns? I honestly have not done research on this area as I really did not consider it.
-Will my kids enjoy this area vs Pisa/Lucca?
What other tours are you taking? I find that many people unnecessarily take tours from the port in Rome. Rome is very easy to do and cheap if you do it on your own. You could also save some big bucks if you just meet your tour guide in Rome versus paying for the pickup at the port.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:21 PM   #113
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Even if you used taxis in Palermo to get you to the catacombs and the beach, it would surely be a lot cheaper than a private tour. I think your youngsters might enjoy it better without a guide. They tend to go on at too much length which gets boring for teenagers!
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:31 PM   #114
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Red face

We are taking private tours for Rome( plus a Vatican tour guide) and Pompeii/Sorrento - both with Rome in Limo. I know it will be espensive, but it is honestly for piece of mind ( and no stress). I am ok finding my way and doing a lot, but my DH will have issues especially with heat /crowds. I thought these ports were worth it for the reasons I noted. But based on the feedback above, I think Cinque Terre would be good - can we take a ferry to the furtherest point so we can see the view?

But after April 10th , I will get my kids input. They may choose Pisa. Will let you all know.

As for Palermo, I need to do more research.

What are your views on Villefranche? I thought of taking the train to Monaco for the morning (is the car museum easily doable, worth it?)and then spending the rest of the day in Villefranche- maybe hit the beach. Or is Eze a better choice? I don't want to feel rushed.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:40 PM   #115
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Rome in a Day for Cruisers/

Thought this might be helpful for those planning for Rome. The Ron in Rome blog is full of helpful info about Rome - very detailed with lots of pictures. This recent entry is for cruisers.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:52 PM   #116
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I am trying to decide between a few different itineraries. Which is the better port Palma, Mallocra or Nice/Villefrance? Thanks!
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:51 PM   #117
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I am trying to decide between a few different itineraries. Which is the better port Palma, Mallocra or Nice/Villefrance? Thanks!
Not quite sure what you are asking. Palma and Villefranche are both on all of the 7 night cruises beginning with August 6. There is no need to choose between between them as they're both ports of call on the 8/6, 8/13, 8/20 and 8/27 cruises. The only other 7 night cruise that is different is the first one on 7/30 which stops at Cannes rather than Villefranche. Are you maybe trying to ask which is better between Cannes & Villefranche??
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:00 PM   #118
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Not quite sure what you are asking. Palma and Villefranche are both on all of the 7 night cruises beginning with August 6. There is no need to choose between between them as they're both ports of call on the 8/6, 8/13, 8/20 and 8/27 cruises. The only other 7 night cruise that is different is the first one on 7/30 which stops at Cannes rather than Villefranche. Are you maybe trying to ask which is better between Cannes & Villefranche??
You're right, my question isn't at all clear. That's what I get for posting at work!

Let me try again.

We are considering one of the August cruises that goes to both but we are not completely sure August will be ok with our work schedules. I was looking at itineraries on other cruise lines for September and it doesn't seem that they go to both Palma and Villefranche. So I guess my question is which one is better if we have to choose or are both great and we should try to get August to work?
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:50 PM   #119
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We are taking private tours for Rome( plus a Vatican tour guide) and Pompeii/Sorrento - both with Rome in Limo. I know it will be espensive, but it is honestly for piece of mind ( and no stress). I am ok finding my way and doing a lot, but my DH will have issues especially with heat /crowds. I thought these ports were worth it for the reasons I noted. But based on the feedback above, I think Cinque Terre would be good - can we take a ferry to the furtherest point so we can see the view?

But after April 10th , I will get my kids input. They may choose Pisa. Will let you all know.

As for Palermo, I need to do more research.

What are your views on Villefranche? I thought of taking the train to Monaco for the morning (is the car museum easily doable, worth it?)and then spending the rest of the day in Villefranche- maybe hit the beach. Or is Eze a better choice? I don't want to feel rushed.
I would look into taking the bus to Monaco or a taxi when you get off the ship. The train doesn't leave you in town itself and you will have somewhat of a walk. The bus will stop right in the center and different stops throughout the city

If your husband cannot handle steep inclines and a lot of steps don't even consider Eze. I would love to go to Eze but I don't think my DH would be able to handle all the steps and hills right now. If he is better by the time we travel we may look into it again. If your children are girls they may be interested in the perfume factory that is in town in Nice. Not as large and the one in Grasse but still worthwile

If everyone is into cars then the cars museum is worth it. If not then it may not be. Another consideration is Nice the walk around town is a little more flat.

For Palermo the beach is at least a 30 minutes drive away. If you want to see things around town you may not have time to get to the beach. If you do go on your own make sure you set a price with the driver BEFORE you get in the car. The Disney excursions are not badly priced for this location. This is coming from someone that normally doesn't do excursions that the cruise line offers.

For Rome look how much a tour guide from the vatican themselves would cost. It wouldn't be a private guide, I think the max is 20 people that they can have with one person, but it may be less than what it is costing you separately. Look also into RomeWalks and see what they are charging. Keep in mind that even in Rome with a guide most of the sights are pedestrian only zones and cars are not allowed in. Make sure whatever company you go with has the permit to get as close as possible to the sights when letting you out of the car to explore
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:54 PM   #120
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You're right, my question isn't at all clear. That's what I get for posting at work!

Let me try again.

We are considering one of the August cruises that goes to both but we are not completely sure August will be ok with our work schedules. I was looking at itineraries on other cruise lines for September and it doesn't seem that they go to both Palma and Villefranche. So I guess my question is which one is better if we have to choose or are both great and we should try to get August to work?
August is major vacation time for all of Europe I would check to make sure that whatever you are most interested in seeing will be open during the dates you would be visiting
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