Ugly Hedgehog® - Photography Forum
Med Cruise in Sept
If you want to reply, then register here. Registration is free and your account is created instantly, so you can post right away.
Page: 1 2 next>>
Jun 17, 2018 16:07:56   #
charlienow
 
My wife and I are taking a Med Cruise on Holland America from Barcelona to Venice with stops in between. We want to take some side trips but don’t want to break the bank by taking one in every port.

I know some ports will have good stuff to see not far from the ship while others will be quite some distance from the ship.

Here are the ports
Barcelona. Going 2 days early
Marseille, France
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Livorno, Italy
Rome
Naples, Italy
Taormina, Italy
Kermit’s, Greece
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Motor, Montenegro
Venice,Italy

Have any of you taken this cruise or have been to these cities? If so any suggestions for side trips or things to do in the port of call

| Reply
Jun 17, 2018 19:28:03   #
Stardust (a regular here)
 
I can only "help" with three cities (although I have been to Barcelona & Marseille but that was back in the late 60's when stationed with Army in Germany so would hate to recommend anything based on 50 year old history). Naples is more of an industrial city with not a lot to see from when we visited there, and not the safest city to visit (especially after dark) from what we have been told although we had no problems. The cruise terminals are right in the heart of the city so after some googling (top 10 things to see in "xxxx") you find something to visit, should be able to take a taxi right from the port to it. The city is fairly compact. The cruise terminals in Venice are on the west side of the city and you can catch a water taxi or water bus nearby that will take you up the Canal Grande to wherever you wish to get off. For a start my suggestion would be the San Marco Plaza (you will have to get off the closest you can). There are churches, museums, dungeons, gondolas, etc for great photo ops, then just walk wherever you wish. Look at a good map of Venice and you can see where & what you want to do, whether a gondola ride or the wonderful churches, etc. Again googling "top ten" should give you good ideas. Been there twice and pretty well covered everything on my list. Always good to take guided tours but if pressed for funds by this point it is a city you can do on your own with a good map and some Internet research.

Rome, I have never gone by ship but have been there three times. That actually will be your hardest city of the three because I believe the port is 25-30 miles from downtown Rome, and there is sooooo much to see (combined three visits I have been there approx. 10 days and still haven't done & seen everything on my list). So, obviously worth the side trip but you are going to have to pick & chose between even top items like the Vatican (St Peter's, Sistine Chapel, etc), the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, etc. Be aware normally very long lines at Vatican & Colosseum. This may be a place to book a guided tour, covering as many items of interest you can pack in during your limited time there.

Hope this helps some - feel free to PM me if any specific questions about Italy - I have traveled it extensively.

| Reply
Jun 17, 2018 19:31:06   #
Stardust (a regular here)
 
..

| Reply
Jun 17, 2018 19:36:51   #
Stardust (a regular here)
 
Stardust wrote:
..
Sorry don't know what happened here. Went to do an edit on original post, must have hit something. (Fat fingers on a small cell phone)

| Reply
Jun 17, 2018 19:37:33   #
charlienow
 
Stardust wrote:
I can only "help" with three cities (although I have been to Barcelona & Marseille but that was back in the late 60's when stationed with Army in Germany so would hate to recommend anything based on 50 year old history). Naples is more of an industrial city with not a lot to see from when we visited there, and not the safest city to visit (especially after dark) from what we have been told although we had no problems. The cruise terminals are right in the heart of the city so after some googling (top 10 things to see in "xxxx") you find something to visit, should be able to take a taxi right from the port to it. The city is fairly compact. The cruise terminals in Venice are on the west side of the city and you can catch a water taxi or water bus nearby that will take you up the Canal Grande to wherever you wish to get off. For a start my suggestion would be the San Marco Plaza (you will have to get off the closest you can). There are churches, museums, dungeons, gondolas, etc for great photo ops, then just walk wherever you wish. Look at a good map of Venice and you can see where & what you want to do, whether a gondola ride or the wonderful churches, etc. Again googling "top ten" should give you good ideas. Been there twice and pretty well covered everything on my list. Always good to take guided tours but if pressed for funds by this point it is a city you can do on your own with a good map and some Internet research.

Rome, I have never gone by ship but have been there three times. That actually will be your hardest city of the three because I believe the port is 25-30 miles from downtown Rome, and there is sooooo much to see (combined three visits I have been there approx. 10 days and still haven't done & seen everything on my list). So, obviously worth the side trip but you are going to have to pick & chose between even top items like the Vatican (St Peter's, Sistine Chapel, etc), the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, etc. Be aware normally very long lines at Vatican & Colosseum. This may be a place to book a guided tour, covering as many items of interest you can pack in during your limited time there.

Hope this helps some - feel free to PM me if any specific questions about Italy - I have traveled it extensively.
I can only "help" with three cities (alt... (show quote)


Very helpful. Thanks. We were in Rome last year. We plan on taking a country side excursion to see something other than the city. Didn't realize how far the port is from the city.

| Reply
Jun 17, 2018 20:40:51   #
Stardust (a regular here)
 
charlienow wrote:
Very helpful. Thanks. We were in Rome last year. We plan on taking a country side excursion to see something other than the city. Didn't realize how far the port is from the city.
Actually, dependent on port, you could even be further from Rome. If docking at Civitaecchia, which is the main port, you are over 50 miles from the city. We were going to visit Rome two years ago, then take cruise around the boot, making Eastern Med stops, with final at Istanbul, departing from Civitaecchia. There was no cheap way to get from Rome to port except train, which I don't care to do with full luggage. (Cruise line cancelled itinerary before we booked so ended up taking a trip from Istanbul, did Greek isles, ended in Athens).

And, sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees. You realize when at Naples, you are less than a half hour away from Pompeii, driving by Mt Vesuvius, which is well worth the visit. My tunnel vision was concentrating on Naples and the little to see there.

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 06:17:32   #
Picture Taker (a regular here)
 
My only advice is get camera straps with cable in them. They can't be cut by thieves. (H&H has them about $30.00)

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 06:55:14   #
sueyeisert
 
Speak to your travel agent or the shipping line and get a tour book to see what you’re interested in seeing.
You’re spending a lot of money for a cruise and traveling far. See as much as you can.

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 09:07:26   #
rcoover
 
The best Rome attractions are so crowded you should definitely take a tour to see the Vatican and other top sites. Then you can simply see other things with remaining time.

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 09:10:57   #
rcoover
 
To see the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona you have to go with a tour and you should book that as soon as you can. They fill up.

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 09:39:44   #
insman1132
 
You will have a wonderful trip, Charlie. I envy you! One of the things over the years that we changed about cruising is to NOT take any of their tours! Expensive and hit only the popular tourist spots who are always loaded with other tours and tourists. What we have learned to do is to get off the ship at a port and go to the taxi stand. Find a driver who speaks good English and ask how much he would charge to take us on a tour of the city/island/area, etc. and does he recommend a 1/2 day or full day tour. Invariably the price has been less than buying two tour tickets on the ship would have been. We emphasize that while we want to see the sites a tour bus would take us to, we also want to see what he would recommend we see!! Have never been disappointed.

Have a Great trip!!

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 09:40:34   #
zaidy
 
charlienow wrote:
My wife and I are taking a Med Cruise on Holland America from Barcelona to Venice with stops in between. We want to take some side trips but don’t want to break the bank by taking one in every port..

You don't need to take an excursion in every port on a Mediterranean cruise.
In Monte Carlo visit the Oceanographic Museum (it's close to the port) and take a local bus to the Exotic Garden (hundreds of cactus and excellent views).
In Livorno you can take a bus to the train station and buy a ticket to Pisa or Florence.
In Dubrovnik take a bus to the city center and enjoy walking on city walls (lots of photo opportunities).
In Venice there was a small train from the port to the city. Plus, buy yourself a pass on local boats, which are the only transportation means in Venice.
Do some researches and enjoy your trip.

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 09:48:21   #
dennis2146 (a regular here)
 
You do not mention if this is your first cruise or not. My wife and I have done two Mediterranean cruises on the Holland America ship, Eurodam. It took us a while to realize the excursions offered by the ship, while usually nice, are expensive. You are also limited to what you can see and do. We checked on line prior to our last cruise and discovered there are numerous travel opportunities where local guides will pick you up at the ship, take you to the same points of interest as the ship but possibly at more convenient times, when it is least crowded. It is certainly worth going online to check. Most are reputable but check reviews. We never had any problems at all.

When we went to Rome on the ship sponsored tour my one desire was to visit the Colliseum. The closest I got was driving past as there simply was not enough time due to having to be at The Vatican. Ship excursions are often centered on taking passengers to leather shops, jewelry stores or carpet manufacturing shops while enroute to the tour destination. It varies depending on the city. These are enjoyable but the guide receives a kick back from these shops. It also means passengers do not spend as much time as desired at the tourist site. My suggestion is to look at the ship excursion offerings but also do some homework on the Internet looking for better value.

Barcelona is a wonderful city. Check out La Sagrada Familia (I believe you can purchase tickets online) and the Las Ramblas shopping area. You might wish for more than two days.

Dennis

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 09:54:03   #
charlienow
 
Awesome idea. That will be on the to do list.

insman1132 wrote:
You will have a wonderful trip, Charlie. I envy you! One of the things over the years that we changed about cruising is to NOT take any of their tours! Expensive and hit only the popular tourist spots who are always loaded with other tours and tourists. What we have learned to do is to get off the ship at a port and go to the taxi stand. Find a driver who speaks good English and ask how much he would charge to take us on a tour of the city/island/area, etc. and does he recommend a 1/2 day or full day tour. Invariably the price has been less than buying two tour tickets on the ship would have been. We emphasize that while we want to see the sites a tour bus would take us to, we also want to see what he would recommend we see!! Have never been disappointed.

Have a Great trip!!
You will have a wonderful trip, Charlie. I envy y... (show quote)

| Reply
Jun 18, 2018 10:43:52   #
Blaster34 (a regular here)
 
charlienow wrote:
My wife and I are taking a Med Cruise on Holland America from Barcelona to Venice with stops in between. We want to take some side trips but don’t want to break the bank by taking one in every port.

I know some ports will have good stuff to see not far from the ship while others will be quite some distance from the ship.

Here are the ports
Barcelona. Going 2 days early
Marseille, France
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Livorno, Italy
Rome
Naples, Italy
Taormina, Italy
Kermit’s, Greece
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Motor, Montenegro
Venice,Italy

Have any of you taken this cruise or have been to these cities? If so any suggestions for side trips or things to do in the port of call
My wife and I are taking a Med Cruise on Holland A... (show quote)



Been to all except Kermit's & Motor, Montenegro. My recommendation, for what's its worth, after Barcelona...


Barcelona, since you'll have a few days there, I personally think the Barri Gotic (Gothic Section) is the best place to stay & eat. Underground is fast and convenient.
Monte Carlo, just because of the name and there's a lot to see
Livorno, the Tower of Pizza and other sites
Rome of course, but its a good distance from the port and more than one day is really needed to do it justice. However you might get a great trip to the Vatican or some other historical site if you think you won't ever get back to Rome.
Dubrovnik, an absolute, absolute must and really close.

As for the others, read all the information you can and decide what you really want to see and if there's something you really need to see. As for Taormina, its located on the hillside and not sure where the boat will port but other than views of the Med, not too much there other than a lovely city. It is close to Mt Etna, that in itself is awesome. Marseilles by all acounts is the most dangerous and crime ridden port in the Western Med.

Enjoy, we've done many re-positioning cruises to Barcelona and other cities all on HH, loved every one of them.

| Reply
Page: 1 2 next>>
If you want to reply, then register here. Registration is free and your account is created instantly, so you can post right away.
UglyHedgehog.com - Forum
Copyright 2011-2019 Ugly Hedgehog, Inc.