Mediterrean Port Excursions - Recommendations

JARNJ3

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
What are some of your favorite port excursions?
Best value for the buck?
Best once in a lifetime experience?

Looking for some recommendations for a newbie :) I have ways to go (June 2019), but love doing research!
 
  • Figment_Fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2008
    Looking forward to the answers. We went on a Med cruise in 2013. We will be on both the June 8 and June 14 cruise. Always grateful for more information.
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    I haven't sailed with Disney in the Med, but have twice on other lines. While you're in Rome you should book a tour of the Coliseum that takes you underground. I'm planning to book this for my upcoming trip. Booking ahead of time will get you around the long line to get in.

    If debating between Florence or Pisa I would do Florence. There is so much to see there and a full day wouldn't even cover it. I wasn't wowed by Pisa. You get the picture holding up the tower and that's about it. Pompeii in Naples is really nice to see. I'm not sure what ports you are going to, but know a lot of the cities are actually far from the port, Rome and Florence especially.
     

    TestingH2O

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2014
    Are you only interested in DCL excursions or are you open to private vendors. We used almost exclusively private vendors this summer and had wonderful experiences.
     
  • remlap

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 3, 2008
    1: Go buy the Rick Steve's Med Cruse book
    2: Travel by train into the cities
    3: Book your must dos ahead of time (Colosseum, David, etc)
    4: Look at train schedules, and see when the last train that can get you back to the ship is. Plan to take the prior train BEFORE it back to the ship. (this is Italy, safety train is a good thing)
    5: Have a great time knowing you'll be seeing the same things your tables mates are, but at a fraction of the cost
     

    scgustafson

    DIS Veteran/DCL Platinum
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2014
    What are some of your favorite port excursions?
    Best value for the buck?
    Best once in a lifetime experience?

    Looking for some recommendations for a newbie :) I have ways to go (June 2019), but love doing research!
    Our favorite Med Port Adventure is Timeless Pompeii and the Flavor of Sorrento. We did this on our 12-night Barcelona to Venice in 2014 and on our 7-night Rome to Barcelona this June.
     

    aggiedog

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2012
    Consider non-DCL tours. Much cheaper and/or much more for your dollar, smaller, more customizable. TripAdvisor is your friend. I usually spend time finding out what's available, contact different providers, and go with the one that seems to be the most responsive to what we want.

    CruiseCritic has loads of info, particularly if you want to completely DIY it. Look under their Ports of Call section.

    For Civi, I'd go into Rome - you can take the train, I bet DCL will provide a bus that will drop you off and pick up up, but you tour on your own, or find a small group or private tour (Joe Bananas, Rome in Limo, and others are reliable and have lots of experience with making sure you get back to the ship on time.) You can NOT do it all in a day. Decide what's important. The Colleseum? The Vatican?

    I did not love Florence, but really liked Lucca, which is a couple towns further inland from Pisa, on the way to Florence. Very nice old walled city, with a wide park at the top of the wall. You can rent bikes from the train station and ride around the top of the wall, stop and have a stroll down the narrow streets, have a cappuccino.

    Marseille is kind of boring, IMHO. Find a tour that goes into Provence or Avignon.

    My family loves food tours. Some of our best tours were walking around, tasting street market food, learning about the culture. I can't give you an specifics for these ports though, sorry.
     

    JARNJ3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2008
    Thanks everyone for the ideas - keep 'em coming.

    I only know one tour so far that I absolutely want to do - sail by the Amalfi Coast & tour Pompeii.

    The rest - I have no clue! :)
     
  • fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    Well, I didn't have any of the same ports as you on my recent Med cruise, but I will say I wish I had listened to everyone on this board and skipped Monte Carlo and Monaco. Both were very "meh," hot, and crowded. Really enjoyed Pisa on our own (Tower, Baptistery, and Cathedral).
     

    anricat

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 20, 2014
    For me, I usually start by looking at what Disney offers. We usually don't book with them, but it gives a nice overview of options available in each port. Then I'll look at the top things to do in Trip Advisor for each place. I then followup by reading trip reports here in the DIS for fellow cruisers to see what they liked on their adventures.

    We did the Barcelona -> Rome this summer and had a great time. We were mostly happy with most of our excursions. I'm not sure which ports you're going to, but here are the ones we went to and if I would recommend:

    Marseille - private all day tour with Be A Guest Tours which was AMAZING. Probably our favorite day of the trip. We went all over Provence and had a great time.
    Villefranche-Sur-Mer (Nice) - On our own we explored Nice (took a city bus). I might have preferred Eze I think so I would recommend an excursion that goes there.
    Genoa - We had a private half day walking tour booked on Tours by Locals. We had a nice time and it was good to explore with a private, local guide. We criss-crossed with a lot of Disney groups that day. I would recommend it.
    Livorno - We use Tuscany Bus to go to Florence and Pisa. It was a very long day. I would recommend only one or the other city. Tuscany Bus was fine.
    Naples - We had a private tour with Pompeiin to go to Pompeii and Herculaneum with a wine-tasting lunch. The tour was great, but it was very hot and after awhile, a little long at Pompeii. It's great to see Pompeii but honesty, we preferred Herculaneum. If I had it to do over, I would only go there and choose something else for the afternoon.

    If you want lots more details about everything, my trip report is here: https://www.disboards.com/threads/a-european-adventure-barcelona-to-rome-repositioning-cruise-plus-extra-fun-in-london-and-geneva.3690803/
     

    GPaLarry

    Have earned one ear!
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2016
    Before you go, read the last two Dan Brown books, ORIGIN and INFERNO. The first takes place in Barcelona, part of which is in the Familia Sagrada and other Gaudi structures. The second takes place in Florence, all over that city. It will make those places come alive. If you leave from or return to Barcelona, spend a few days seeing that city (watch for pickpockets). The DCL Med. cruise is port-intensive with long days via mouse excursions, which we did. Tell your servers if you are eating early that you might be a bit late, so they can adjust. We packed a lot of sights into each excursion, so were tired, but what great memories!! We did a B2B with a WBTA to recover. We also endorse Rick Steves books for great info to help you choose your itinerary. Pisa, we felt, was a long drive for very little with loads of vendors in the way...spend more time in Florence. Also, we were diverted from Monte Carlo (tendering port water too rough) to Marcelles...took the Avignon and winery excursion...awesome. Enjoy!!
     

    WaywardMemphian

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2017
    I haven't sailed with Disney in the Med, but have twice on other lines. While you're in Rome you should book a tour of the Coliseum that takes you underground. I'm planning to book this for my upcoming trip. Booking ahead of time will get you around the long line to get in.

    If debating between Florence or Pisa I would do Florence. There is so much to see there and a full day wouldn't even cover it. I wasn't wowed by Pisa. You get the picture holding up the tower and that's about it. Pompeii in Naples is really nice to see. I'm not sure what ports you are going to, but know a lot of the cities are actually far from the port, Rome and Florence especially.
    Eyes set on a at night tour. Has anyone seen the projection map thing at the Forum.

    The one at the neon sign museum in Vegas is killer.
     

    cheermom2four

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 24, 2015
    With 6 of us (all adults except a 6 year old) in Barcelona we did it alone. Very easy city to get around. In Livorno, we hired our own driver as we wanted to go to florence and Pisa and then the driver took us other places. In Rome, we did the a DCL excursion just because of the distance (Imperial & Renaissance Rome with St Peter's Basilica). We loved this DCL excursion and it wasnt really expensive in my opinion compared to a lot of the other tours they provide. In Naples we did our own to Pompeii (loved!) and then walked around Naples (toured some royal palace) and ate at L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele (awesome pizza and cheap - approx $5 USD per person max). In Villefranche, unfortunately we were planning on doing our own and getting tickets to ride the train after we got off the tender to take to Monte Carlo and do the HoHo bus (also brought cash for that). Unfortunately we couldnt tender and went to Marseille instead and honestly I wished I had stayed on the ship that day. The ship did offer free shuttles to some place and dropped us off there and then also picked us up but because we hadnt researched this place and the possibility of not tendering, we were unprepared.
     

    WaywardMemphian

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 23, 2017
    Well, I didn't have any of the same ports as you on my recent Med cruise, but I will say I wish I had listened to everyone on this board and skipped Monte Carlo and Monaco. Both were very "meh," hot, and crowded. Really enjoyed Pisa on our own (Tower, Baptistery, and Cathedral).
    I'd rather do Eze
    What is that? I've never heard of it but it sounds cool
    Vegas

    rome
     

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