Port Tours Mediterranean



Sailing on Brilliance of the Seas Aug 18th for a 12 day Mediterranean cruise. Any recommendations on port tours? Use the ships offerings? Hire private guides at port? If you know good guides we can contact ahead of time, it would be most appreiated. Barcelona (3 days post cruise & one day pre cruise), Villefranche, Monte Carlo/Cannes, Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Naples, Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Civitavecchia (Rome). The two of us are looking to book private tours with others on ship.

Post Edited (06-10-04 18:57)


My comments:
Barcelona: With three days, you don't need a guide...Buy the AAA Spiral Guide-Barcelona...make sure you visit the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Batllo (there's a 10 euro charge for a walkman type devce that guides you through a tour), Casa Mila (entry is 7 euro...includes a tour of a decorated apartment as well as the Gaudi Museum on the top floor and entrance to the roof), stroll on Las Ramblas (That AAA Spiral Guide takes you virtually building by building, block by block), wander into the Barrio Gottic and visit the old cathedral...All of this can be easily accesed on foot or by public bus if you're staying anywhere near the Placa Catalunya...

Villefranche, Monte Carlo/Cannes: Here you may want a private guide...the ship tours have to pick and choose amongst the sites...I recommend Eze and St. Paul de Vence...Monte Carlo/Monaco only if you've never been before...

Livorno (Florence/Pisa): Again, best with a private guide because he might get you closer to the center of Florence than the buses are allowed...and maybe save you a little time to sidetrack to San Gimignano, Volterra or Lucca...the ship tours do only Florence, Florence/Pisa or San Gimignano/Volterra...Of course, if you've been to Florence before and don't need to again (like us), the ship's excursion to San Gim and Volterra was absolutely one of the best we had--small group, great lunch in the wine cellar of a small winery...

Naples: We did the ship's 10 hour Capri, Sorrento and Pompei excursion and found it to be excellent...Somehow (too long to explain why here...basically, it's logistics and not being tied to returning to a car after boats to and from Capri) they can get you to all three spots with a decent amount of time in each--(something the private drivers can't do)...Whatever you do, DO NOT MISS Pompei--it is the most remarkable and overwhelming archaeological site in the world...

Venice: We did it on our own (mostly because our Celebrity Millennium cruise started here)...again, it's fairly easy...we bought the AAA Spiral Guide-Venice--which was invaluable for the maps and detailed walking routes...Two highlights for me: The Doge's Palace and the Synagogue tour in the Ghetto...other than that, it's a matter of wandering around on foot, just soaking it in...that and a Vaporetti ride down the Grand Canal...

Dubrovnik: We took a tour (Cavtat and Dubrovnik), found it largely unnecessary...this is one town best suited to wander on your own...

Corfu: Take the half day shore excursion to the Achilleon Palace...it's cheap enough and gets you the palace plus an overview of the island outside of the main city...Upon your return, just spend the afternoon on your own wandering the old city...

Civitavecchia (Rome): A number of ways to do Rome, none of them easy...It's pretty far from the port and there's far too much to see than can be done in one day...We took the "Walk in Renaissance Rome" shore excursion and it was the best bargain on the ship...there were only 11 passengers and two guides and it was very personalized...and it covers my favorite sites in Rome--the Piazza Navona and the Trevi--plus the Pantheon and a very personalized tour of the Vatican...You could get a private guide here...but you're not seeing much more than we got on this tour...

Good luck...


Tried to find your review but could not -- feel free to send it to me direct if you still can. Open to all suggestions. Thanks


Another vote for DriveAmalfi (driveamalfi@hotmail.com)from Livorno,Civitavecchia and Naples


You might like to read my review of our cruise on Splendour of the Seas last month. Just check the review board and put in the name of the ship.



Thank you,thankyou, for a wonderful day out along the Amalfi coast.
We had a very special day out thanks to our driver/guide Aldo who made it
truly memorable.

I found him on www.aldotaxi.net


we were thinking of going to the mediterranean in sept. or october. My question is do you have enough time in the ports to see things, and how expensive are the tours. we were thinking of going to spain, portagul, canary islands...any information would help


We just returned from the Carnival Freedom and I would HIGHLY recommend the following tour guide with either Mercedes Sedan or MiniBus:

Monia @ www.limoinitaly.com

We used their tour in Rome and Florence , but they also do tours in Naples. We were lucky to do Florence with them because we skipped all the lines while our friends that did a tour on their own ran short on time because some of the lines in Florence were long and they couldn't get in.

The tour in Rome was well worth the price of $450 euro for 2 adults. This was a little cheaper than the $700 US dollars the ship was charging us and the best rate i found among all the other touring companies in Rome. Our driver picked us up right outside the ship with a sign with our last name on it. He explained the history of all the sites we saw and kept us on schedule to beat the crowds are certain venues. He used walkie talkies to help us manage our time and for him to meet us as soon as we exited the sites and on to the next site. Worked out great! We saw everything we wanted to and then some. We wished we would have used them in Naples too.

P.S. You can email Monia from her web site and she usually replies within one day. All you have to do is email her to make a reservation. No money upfront and they take US dollars, travelers checks and Euros.

Good Luck!
Ted and Eolise


We had a wonderful experience with www.sorrentotopcar.com on June
2006 and encourage other travelers to use your excellent
services. When we arrived in Naples on the Carnival Liberty, your
driver, Giuseppe, was waiting for us at the dock. We had hired your
service for a tour of Pompeii and then the Amalfi coastline.
Giuseppe explained that, because it was Sunday and many residents of
Naples would be going to the beach, it was advisable for us to tour
the Amalfi coastal towns first and then go to Pompeii. He was SO
right, the traffic was starting to get heavy even in early Sunday
morning--it would have been a huge mistake to have gone to Pompeii
first--we may not have made it to the Amalfi coast if we had gone to
Pompeii first. Guiseppe took us beautiful overlooks along the Amalfi
coast, several gorgeous villages for shopping and sight-seeing and a
fabulous (and reasonably-priced) restaurant in Ravello. The Mercedes
mini-van was very comfortable for our family of five (2 adults and 3
teenagers). Guiseppe was very knowledgeable about the area and
answered all of our questions. In the afternoon, Guiseppe took us to
Pompeii and waited while we toured. After Pompeii, Guiseppe
delivered us back to the ship on time. There is no way that we could
have seen as much on our own--and the ship excursions were more
expensive AND not nearly as interesting!! Our experience on Amalfi
coast and Pompeii was one of the highlights of our vacation. Thank
you so much for fabulous service, and a special thank you to