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Looking for Information on Excursions

mikedm

New Member
#1
Hi All,

Wife and I are scheduled on the Carnival Sea Breeze next Sept for a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise with the following itinerary:

Barcelona, Spain
Monaco
Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Naples, Italy
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy
Messina (Sicily), Italy
Barcelona, Spain

Wife has bad knees, so climbing or any rough leg activity is out. Anyone have any recommendations for excursions while visiting these ports? Have been looking at the excursions listed on Carnival for this cruise and we are open to suggestions and recommendations from prior Mediterranean Cruisers. Our cruising background is Eastern, Western & Southern Caribbean and an Alaskan Cruise.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Mike & Gail
 

mikedm

New Member
#2
Can't find the proper link for editing my own thread, so here are the corrections; I named the wrong ship and my thread should read as follows:

Hi All,

Wife and I are scheduled on the Carnival Sunshine next Sept for a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise with the following itinerary:

Barcelona, Spain
Monaco
Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Naples, Italy
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Venice, Italy
Venice, Italy
Messina (Sicily), Italy
Barcelona, Spain

Wife has bad knees, so climbing or any rough leg activity is out. Anyone have any recommendations for excursions while visiting these ports? Have been looking at the excursions listed on Carnival for this cruise and we are open to suggestions and recommendations from prior Mediterranean Cruisers. Our cruising background is Eastern, Western & Southern Caribbean and an Alaskan Cruise.

Thanks for any help in advance.

Mike & Gail
Read more at http://www.cruise-addicts.com/forums/f13/looking-information-excursions-198622/#IBIDg8xjch3Wx4g0.99
 

Funnel

Sweden Unleased - Special Contributor
#3
Hi Mike and Gail, welcome to Cruise @ddicts!

You have choosen a great itinerary!
After those 4 first port of calls you will need a sea day to relax! Cruises in the Med are port intensive and also in many ports you need full day excursions as there is so much to see and some of the sites are far away from the port.

I have only cruised RCI in the Med so I'm not familiar with Carnival's excursions and I have never used independent excursion companies (but I think there are some good ones out there - probably some other C@'s can give you some help there).

I have only been to 4 of your ports; Livorno, Civitavecchia, Neples and Venice (but that was during a land vacation).
I was going to take a train from Villefranche (where we docked) to Monaco but there was a train strike so I couldn't get to Monaco (that is not uncommon).

Just some thoughts of 3 of the port of calls.

Livorno
I would recommend a full day excursion to Florence. There is so much to see. The central area is not too big so it should not be too hard to walk around (it's rather flat). Maybe it's good to have a guided tour if it is the first time you are there.
If you choose to go to Pisa instead a half day excursion would be enough, according to me. The thing to see there is the field of Miracles with the leaning tower. I don't think there is so much more to see in Pisa. Don't count on climbing the tower with bad knees though (I don't think there is an elevator... :whistle:).
Some excursions includes both Pisa and Florence.

Civitavecchia
Here the obvious choise is to go to Rome if you have not been there before. The last two times I have been there I did a "Rome on your own by train" tour. I took a hop-on-hop-off bus once in Rome to get around to various historical sites. Many of the historical sites in Rome are not too far from each other, but it will still be a lot of walking.
If it's your first time maybe a guided bus tour is a better option.

Naples
Lots to choose from here - a city tour in Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi coast... you name it!
Once I did a short bus tour in Naples and another time I just walked around (interesting traffic - you have to watch out... :biggrin:) but would like to go to the Amalfi coast next time. That is a full day excursion. Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius includes a lot of walking so that may not be your best option.
Then there is Capri - a very nice small island. There are hydrofoils from the port in Naples, just a couple of 100 yards from where the ship docks (if Carnival docks at the same pier as RCI). In Capri there are buses or a tram that takes you up to the more interesting sites. Again a guided tour may be your best option if it's your first time there.

A comment about Florence and Rome - even if it is rather flat it can be tiring to walk around for full days.

Sorry that I don't have any knowledge about independent excursions, but hopefully some other C@'s can help you there!

Wait, I almost forgot Barcelona! :duh:
I hope you will have a coupe of days there before or after the cruise. I think it's a very nice city with lot to see. Not as much history as in Italy, but much design and art. There is the Picasso museum and the Miro museum. Also the church Sagrada Familia and all other interesting Gaudi-buildings. There is also the park Güell (designed by Gaudi).
Not to forget - La Rambla with all street performers, flower stands and (expensive and touristic) outdoor restaurants.
I also like the magic fountain which has a music and light show every Friday and Saturday evening.
I usually take a hop-on-hop-off bus to get around as it is quite some distance to go there. Another option is the metro, which makes it easy to get around the city but you will not see anything down there and it can be rather crowded.

Have a nice cruise!

/Erik