Mediterrean Port Excursions - Recommendations

babyruth

for the first time in forever
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
If you have kids- Gladiator school in Rome. We toured the coliseum first and then headed to Gladiator school. My kids loved it. We didn’t go to Florence as it was a lot of time spent traveling. We to the train to one of the Cinque decTerre villages and went on Angelo’s boat tour tour. Awesome day. Beautiful way to see the 5 villages and the kids loved the swim breaks.
I must find out about this gladiator school! Do you have a link?
 

Kellycanada

Mouseketeer
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
I must find out about this gladiator school! Do you have a link?
I will look for it. We went in 2014! We used Rome in Limo and they toured us around for most of the day and then took us to Gladiator school.
 
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  • babyruth

    for the first time in forever
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2008
    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.
    We are going to Lucca! We are supposed to meet up with family that lives there it's where my husband's family is from. I will definitely check out the possibility of renting bikes! Do you think they have seats for little ones on the back? My 5yo is tiny. She would definitely make a toddler seat weight limit.
     

    babyruth

    for the first time in forever
    Joined
    Jan 24, 2008
    I bought the Med Cruise Ports book. The audio tours sound pretty good too. You can save the ones that you like. They're free.
    I just booked last week, but I can't book until April 8. All I've done for a week now is plan!!
    The tour meets in the port, so hopefully it's not too far. It starts at 11:45, so there should be time to find it.
    So your open booking date is different because of when you made your deposit? (are we on the same cruise, leaving barcelona on 6/8?) seriously considering that same genoa food tour we might be on the same one!
     

    melty

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 11, 2014
    Has anyone found a nonDCL tour for Eze that they did or comes recommended? We are currently scheduled on the Dl Monte Carlo, Monaco and Eze tour. I really just want to see Eze.
     
  • JARNJ3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 9, 2008
    Booked all my tours through Disney! I am a worrywort & want to be guaranteed to return on time.

    We are scheduled on this tour: Nice and Monaco (V25) - which also goes to Eze. In fact, I think we eat lunch there.
     

    fredandkell

    I'd rather be cruising
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2013
    Has anyone found a nonDCL tour for Eze that they did or comes recommended? We are currently scheduled on the Dl Monte Carlo, Monaco and Eze tour. I really just want to see Eze.
    I really did not like that tour. See my signature for a full description. (Don’t want to rain on your parade, sorry! Just trying to save you from a crappy day.)
     

    melty

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 11, 2014
    I really did not like that tour. See my signature for a full description. (Don’t want to rain on your parade, sorry! Just trying to save you from a crappy day.)
    I can’t see signatures. Any chance you can link it for me? I’m open to all perspectives so I appreciate the feedback.
     

    Mango7100

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2019
    We have not done these ports on a cruise but have traveled quite a bit through the regions. Eze and St Paul de Venice are both great. Eze is very easy to do on your own by bus. We stayed a week in Nice—they had buses almost every hour from Nice and the ride from Nice to Eze was beautiful, right along the coast. I assume the schedule from Cannes would be similar. buses are nice and crazy cheap—I think it was 2 euro each way per person (10 years ago). The you can enjoy the village without the rush of a formal tour. I remember seeing all the tour bus groups where they had 60-90 min to see the village. We had a leisurely lunch outside and then just explored all the tiny streets.
     
  • snaps244

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2016
    Just back from the 10-night Mediterranean cruise, with a DCL Port Adventure in each port. Yes, we're exhausted, but the trip was amazing! There's no Advisor-like place for reviews on this site (unless I've completely missed it, which is a possibility), so I thought I'd throw a few up here. FYI, it was hot (hottest heat wave in decades the week prior, and we felt the after-effects for sure). 90F+ every day and fairly humid. Make sure you bring a water bottle, and the handheld fans we purchased practically paid for themselves. We also had kids with us (most days) so with one exception, we did all-ages tours.


    Naples, Italy - NP31 - Pompeii Half Day: Fantastic tour, and well worth it. Very informative, a lot of history, and you really get a feel for how large and bustling Pompeii was. We were surprised by how accessible everything was (in the sense that they allowed you to touch everything that wasn't roped off), and how much actually survived. I was told that the adults-only tour takes you into different areas (namely the brothel district) and we did not get to see the ancient graffiti I was hoping for (but that's okay!)

    Civitavecchia, Italy - CV01 - Rome On Your Own: On the 90 minute bus ride into Rome, they gave us a great overview of what we would/could see. Dropped us off near the Vatican/St Peter's Square with maps, and gave us free reign as advertised. We taxi'ed over to the Colosseum and walked our way back to the meeting point over the next 6 hours for the bus ride back. Very long day, but we liked the knowledge that the ship wouldn't leave without us since we got back and ran to (early-seating) dinner.

    Ajassico, Corsica - AJ23 - A Sweet Walking Tour: We wanted a tour that the kids would especially like. Unfortunately this was not it. Ajaccio is very small, so our walking tour was about a mile altogether. We tasted local nougat and local "nutella" in the market square right out of the pier, and were given an opportunity to purchase. There was a nice tour of the town, but it was heavily focused on Napoleon - to the point that our guide "secured a reservation" for a Napoleon-costumed man to take pictures with us. Unfortunately the entire tour group did not seem overly interested. We would have liked more information on the actual history of the town, rather than a photo op with a(n unusually tall) Napoleon. We were taken to a candy shop where we would "create a Mickey Mouse head at a candy workshop". This consisted of standard Haribo candies (like licorice pinwheels, gummy lips, and sugar-coated marshmallows) that we stuck to a plastic figure that vaguely resembled Mickey. It was disappointing and the majority of these were thrown away in the bin outside the shop. Overall I would not recommend this tour.

    Livorno, Italy - LV20 - Pisa - Climb The Tower: Great tour of Miracle Square, the tower, and the Duomo, all of which we had ample time to visit. We did not visit the baptistery (our tickets didn't seem to include that) but that was fine - the church and the tower were the big draws for this tour. Plenty of time to hike up and down, and to souvenir shop if desired. One note on this one - the DCL page does not mention that backpacks are not permitted - we got this info while on the bus en route to Pisa. Very small purses and small camera bags are allowed at Security's discretion, but it was suggested to leave our water & packs on the locked bus. Also note that closed-toed shoes are required for this tour.

    Genoa, Milan - GN05 - Discover Genoa Walking Tour: We were pleasantly surprised by this tour. A great overview of the city's history, a climb up St Lawrence Cathedral's bell tower for a city view, several old merchants shops (including Cavo confectioneries for sweets, another place that sold the best Genovese Pesto I've ever had, and some vegetable + fried chickpea "street food". We ducked into several old palazzos to get a feel for the architecture and design, and got to go into a museum to get a little more history. Would recommend this tour for sure, but be prepared to put on some mileage.

    Villefranche, France - V34 - Monaco, Monte Carlo, and Eze (Adults Only): We gave the kids a break and got to see 3 new-to-me cities on this full-day tour. Monaco was beautiful and clean, with enough time to tour Prince Albert's palace and stop for a bite to eat. Monte Carlo was opulent, and while we got into the lobby of the casino (free of charge), we left, walked through a park, and ended up relaxing at the Cafe du Paris and watching sports cars drive by for the better part of an hour. Then we got to the highlight (for us) - the medieval village of Eze in the mountains. We would have liked a better overview of the history on this one from our tour guide, but it was absolutely beautiful (but jam-packed with tourists, us included). Loved this stop, and would love to spend the night here someday. Glad I got to see the first two cities, but Eze was the goal on this tour.

    Marseilles, France - MS02 - Marseilles City Tour: Our guide was great, and gave us a lot of interesting info as we drove up to Notre Dame De La Garde, the church that overlooks Marseille (the oldest city in France). Beautiful 360-degree panoramas where you can see everything, including the Chateau d'If (where Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo was wrongfully imprisoned). We were dropped off near the market for an hour of shopping. We got a few souvenirs, then wandered the streets for a bit since there were no major landmarks nearby. Shopping isn't exactly our thing, but we got enough sightseeing in to make it worthwhile for our family.
     
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2017
    Our favorite excursion ever, and the kids were in high school at the time, so not little, was hiking Mt. Vesuvius. The morning included a tour of Pompeii, then we had a delicious, four or five course family style outdoor meal at a vineyard on Vesuvius, and then we hiked. There's nothing quite like staring down into the belly of the volcano. With that said, we live near the wine country in CA, so for me it was interesting to learn about the thriving wine industry on Vesuvius given the very different soil conditions, and we like to hike.

    Villefranche is beautiful! We took a bus tour that included Nice and Monoco. The opulence there is unlike anywhere else. Just get out and see it...bus, taxi, whatever.

    Florence over Pisa....yes. Climb the Duomo if you can. Go see the David.

    Rome...we took a tour that hit the highlights and took a tour of the Vatican. It was insanely busy as there were six cruise ships in port that day. However, the Vatican is unlike any place on Earth.

    Disney vs. non-Disney booking is only a concern if your tour runs late...Disney won't wait for you if you're on someone else's tour, but I don't think I've ever heard of someone on one of our cruises getting left behind.
     
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