Neil and Ida Down - Answered a Question by bates (08 Jul 08 19:24)

Most if not all the ports can better be covered on your own and be so much cheaper. I would suggest, however, that you do as much preparation before you go so that you have a really good idea of what you would like to see, where you would like to go and how you are going to accomplish this. It's not hard but takes time. ..... Neil.

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Guy - Answered a Question by bates (09 Jul 08 13:09)

If you're just wanting to visit the port where your ship is docked then I agree with Neil & Ida, but I would have reservations if you're wanting to travel, say to Rome from Civvitavechia (sp?). If you're on an excusion from the ship and you get held up the ship will wait for you, or if not, then it's their responsibility to get you back on board. If you're on your own and get held up they'll not wait, and believe me it does happen.

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Neil and Ida Down - replied to Guy (09 Jul 08 15:12)

Sorry to disagree but we seldom do the ship's tours for several reasons and have never been even close to missing the ship. Civitavecchia is a prime example of DIY: Go to the local station catch the inexpensive train to Rome, invariably smack on time, plan a route to see the sights or even get one of the open top buses and hop on and off and come back on the train for a fraction of the cost of an excursion. The essential thing is to plan but it is so easy then. My apologies for contradicting the Guys but there are thousands of others who do what we do. The main users of tours and I say this without prejudice, are folks from the States who are far more cautious, in the main, than Europeans. regards Neil.

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Tate - replied to Neil and Ida Down (12 Sep 08 20:26)

Is it possible for Neil & Ida to expand on their report re Civitavecchia to Rome. Me, my wife and 2 sons ( 13 ) are going on the 15th of October and need up to date info, ie costs, stations, times. Thanks Bernard.

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Neil and Ida Down - replied to Tate (13 Sep 08 20:52)

Hi Bernard... Ida and I have just got back from a cruise on Explorer of the Seas with an add-on so I apologise if you have been waiting. Rome from Civitavecchia…… Get the free shuttle t o the dock gates then walk up to the railway station, about 15 minutes away, and get a ticket for Termini Station in Rome. This should cost about €9 each but remember to validate it in the machine on the station platform, this ticket is good for the Metro as well and possibly the buses but I’m not sure about them. At the Termini Station go onto the Metro (Linea A) and go to Piazza di Spagna, Spanish Steps and the Fontana della Barcaccia. ( Great ice cream here) Then walk down Via di Condotti, you can look but don’t buy unless you have loads of money. Half way down turn left and go to the Trevi Fountains. This is somewhere you cannot miss and the atmosphere and sight of the place is fantastic. Remember that most of the water from all the fountains in Rome comes straight from the mountains and is cool and drinkable. Go back to the west and over the Via di Condotti again and onto the Pantheon and go inside, it is a magnificent building inside and just marvel at how they managed to build it with that enormous hole in the roof. Carry on to the west into the Piazza Navona with its superb fountains and statues and churches but if you are hungry at this stage don’t eat in the Piazza Navona as it is very expensive but go out of the north corner of the square bear slightly left and go up the main street to Café Jazz. Best value for money we found in Rome. Now walk or catch a bus to the Piazza Venezia (These buses are normally very full so watch your pockets as the thieves are renown in this area.) to see the “typewriter” or Wedding Cake” or the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument. Go to the right hand side of that and walk up into Capitaline hill. No only does this square offer some of the best views of ancient Rome but it holds beautiful statues. From the far side you will be able to see Tragan’s Monument and Market and Forum and also the Roman Forum and feel the history of the palce and the Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino), and then further the Coliseum. You can walk to the Coliseum though the Forum, it’s free, or go round via the road. Then if you are still up for it you can go into the Coliseum, well worth it in my opinion. Across the road to the north is a Metro station will will take you back to Termini Station. On a hot day it could be hard work but in October it should be a breeze. I have not included Vatican City as you really need a day for that and it is better to do it with a tour (off the net) and then you can skip the queues (even in October). I would suggest that you visit the tourist web sties for Rome and print off a street map and a map of the Metro. All of this tour with the exception of the Coliseum, food and ice cream can be done for €9 each is that good or what? I hope this helps….. Neil Down .

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Tate - replied to Neil and Ida Down (20 Sep 08 19:50)

Thanks N & I, that info is great. One more thing ! We arrive at Palma early morning, what's the best way to get to the ship for mid afternoon ? B.

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Neil Down - replied to Tate (21 Sep 08 15:57)

Can't really help you on that one Bernard mainly because my one and only visit on a ship was as a stop suring the cruise. I would suggest that you pose this question as a fresh query as no one reads these answers after one week has past. regards... Neil .

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mccormack - Answered a Question by bates (18 Jul 08 10:07)

The only place I would reccomend you take an organised trip would be Tunisia. Unless you are familiar with the culture it can be rather intimidating particulary in the medina where the hard sell can be very difficult. Also as you are only there for a morning an organised trip means you get to see the most possible. Finally on the Tapas and Togas leg many of the ports you dock in are very ugly eg Civitavechia, Barcelona, Genoa and tunisia so you do need to travel some distance away from the ship to reach nicer places. The exception is Cannes where you are anchored in the beautiful bay and get to the lovely town centre and beach by tender boat- so for us there was no need to venture any further.

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