Discussion in 'Europe' started by Lady Jag, May 17, 2004.
And why? :? :? :? :? :? :? :? :? :?
I am not speaking from experience because our cruise is not until July. However, the excursions for Italy look fabulous. We will be in port for 5 days in Italy. I am looking forward to Pompeii, Rome and Venice.
If you are going to Naples, skip Naples entirely and go to the Isle of Capri. I think it is the most beautiful island Ive ever been too, (not having been to the greek islands though).
London---the double decker tour bus is great!
Paris--Versailles is beautiful
Amsterdam---just tour the city center--there is so much to see
Barcelona---city center for sure, and the beach is beautiful
In Amsterdam, is it easy to get around on your own or is a cruise tour better? Would we be able to take a canal tour and go to the Rijkmuseum on our own easily?
Hi assuming your ship docks near the rail station, the answer is yes!
We've been to the Baltic and top the Mediterranean in the past three years and love so many of the ports...
But...the question was "Shore Excursions", so rather than "ports", I'll address it as I read it (There are ports we love but were disappointed by the particular shore excursions we took or where we did not take a shore excursion and ports that were not my favorite but where we went on great shore excursions)...
Here's my European Top 5 Shore Excursions:
1. Rome: A Walk in Renaissance Rome...Only 11 passengers on the tour with two guides...not really that much walking at all...Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona and more, then lunch, then the Vatican in the afternnon...
2. Livorno: Tuscan Countryside (San Gimignano and Volterra)...Only 19 of us...charming villages, great lunch at a winery, no crowds...
3. Naples: Capri, Sorrento and Pompei...Yes, they DID fit it all into one 10-hour day...Capri was beautiful, Pompei incredible and the guide was great and informative...The logistics worked like clockwork and we didn't feel rushed at all...
4. St. Petersburg: Peterhof and Yusopov...(Well, we acrtually took it as two half day tours, but Celebrity offers it as one full day tour)...Two absolutely delightful and picturesqu palaces plus you get all that incredible history on the Romanovs and Rasputin...
5. Stockholm: Vasa Museum...We took it as a part of a larger Stockholm excursion, but the Vasa stands out...the 1628 flagship of the Swedish Navy, sunk on its maiden voyage, recovered from the sea bottom in the 1960s...in almost perfect condition...not to be missed!
Hi again, Edward! :wave It docks at Rotterdam. Is that close? Thanks! :thumb
I think Ive been to Amsterdam like 4 times or something, all traveling with friends (not cruising, but backpacking). So I think it's a really easy city to get around in by yourself. The riverboat rides are expensive, but you board right in front of the Central Station. The museum campus is a short ride on their trolley, which can be a little more confusing because they don't speak any English and they have no point of reference for you to use to determine when to get off. The Anne Frank house is a 15 minute walk I believe from the city center, as is the Heinekeen beer tour.
Thanks for the e-mail, Edward. Thanks also to everyone who's answered this post. I've enjoyed reading everyone's experiences and information. Looks like we might just 'wing it' in Amsterdam on our own! Thanks again! :thumb
Re: the earlier one about Naples. It's ok to skip it and go to Capri--after all it's a big, busy city!-- but if you don't have perfect weather, consider going to the National Archeological Museum in Naples. It is absolutely fabulous...it has the amazing artifacts, mosaics, etc from Pompeii, plus tons of other wonderful stuff...a real history of the peninsula! It's easy to get to by subway (if that's your preference--I'm sure taxis are more convenient!). We did not arrive by ship, so I don't know the logistics of arriving from the port.
My favorite excursion was Ephesus! We booked a half day tour from a local company called Byzance and still had time to shop and make it back to the ship for a late lunch.
We enjoyed the photo opportunities here as well as shopping. We heard some complaints from people who paid for tours here... but then there are always some unhappy campers everywhere! I found Byzance ( http://more.at/Byzance )very courteous, professional, and very quick to respond to my emails. There are many wonderful reviews about this company. They were first class and the guides were helpful, informative and very flexible. It was something we enjoyed so much (a feast for the eyes, ears and senses). Could not have been more pleased from the services. They took us to many spots and treated us like treasured friends. We highly recommend them to everyone (really reasonable).
Any vote for Helsinki ? :lol
Looking forward to Ephesus. I will be there in 2 weeks.
Thank you very much for the local tour contact.
I have already contacted with them. They are incredibly prompt.
it's a toss up between Celebrity's excursions of visiting the Hermitage and Peterhof in St. Petersburg, Russia (on a Baltic Capitals cruise which also included Amsterdam, NL Ã¢â‚¬â€œ no shore excursion/embarkation; Oslo, Norway Ã¢â‚¬â€œ on own; Stockholm, Sweden Ã¢â‚¬â€œ on own... Vasa museum was awesome; Helsinki, Finland Ã¢â‚¬â€œ on own; Gydnia, Poland Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Gadansk town; Warnemude, Germany - Berlin; and Copenhagen, Denmark Ã¢â‚¬â€œ on own) and Princess's excursion from Flaam to Vik Ã¢â‚¬â€œ train from Flaam to Voss with Bus from Voss to Vik, Norway (on their Norwegian Fjords cruise which also included the ports of Geiranger Fjord, Norway Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Mt. Dalsnibba; Trondheim Ã¢â‚¬â€œ on own; Honingsvaag Ã¢â‚¬â€œ North Cape; Tromso Ã¢â‚¬â€œ on own; and Bergen Ã¢â‚¬â€œ on own).
Just got back from a Baltic cruise and I have to say that the walking tour of Helsinki was one of the highlights of the trip. Helsinki followed St. Petersburg on the cruise and all we could think was how clean and fresh Helsinki was and how much all of the people smiled. You are lucky to live in such a beautiful city.