Clarke - Answered a Question by finch (31 Jul 08 20:57)

I agree wth Gunson. We loved St. Raphael and enjoyed this port most of all. I would just wander round there and not bother with a tour though - the craft market was lovely. We wandered around Naples and the old town was pleasant. Wouldn't rush back though, mad traffic and a small child definitely meant having to be very assertive. We only got off at the port at Tunis and looked round the duty free as had heard bad reviews about souk trip etc., however, feedback on the Carthage/Sid Bou Said trip was more positive. Ajaccio was very pleasant as well. We did half day Pisa tour which was enjoyable also. Have a great time!

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Gunson - Answered a Question by finch (31 Jul 08 20:02)

Hi, St Raphael has a craft market on the Sunday, which I think is the day you stop and is a beautiful place. For Pisa from Livorno, leave ship and cross over pontoon bridge, turn left towards town. 20 minutes slow walk straight down main road to Livorno bus station. Go to a newsagent and buy a bus ticket BEFORE you get the bus (1.5e each - no charge for kids under 1m tall). Get on a bus to "Livorno Centrale" railway station (approx 12 minute ride). You will know when you arrive at the station because everyone gets off. Go inside building and buy tickets from one of the clerks (who understand simple english). approx 10e return, to Piza. Trains run direct to Florence (Firenze) and take about 1.5 hrs. Pisa is less than 15 minutes on the same train. Once you get to Pisa station take a Taxi from the rank outside the station to "Torre di Pisa" approx 7e (metered taxi) this will take you to within 100m of the tower. Ocean Village tell you trains can be unpredictable and they will leave you if you are late. This is scare tactics to try and get you to go on one of their trips. Italian Trains are the one of the best in Europe and run back to Livorno at least once an hour. Ajaccio is a lovely town to walk around and you could spend your time there enjoying the town. If you want to take some breathtaking scencery get on the road train which takes approx. 1.1/4 hours and you get to see the beautiful coastline (approx 12e) Naples is a good city for shopping which is suprisingly inexpensive, but the traffic is mad! The only road rules are there are no rules. We got used to walking behind Italians and crossing just behind them. Maps are available in the cruise terminal where you dock and it's a swift walk into the heart of the city, no need for transport. Pompeii is fantastic but you need good shoes! You can do this on your own and we were told by other cruisers that it was cheaper by taxi if there are 4 of you. Sorrento and Capri can be done on your own, but to take the hastle out if you wanted to go i would go on a OV trip. Tunis ??? in my opinion, get some sun on the ship, it's not worth the hassle. You will be bombarded by "lucky lucky men" who don't take no for an answer, and that was just in the cruise terminal. We went on the Souk trip for nearly £100 (2 adults 2 kids)the shops (and I use the term loosely) sell all the same tat and if you don't like to barter hard, don't bother. On this trip the "official OV2 guide" took us to his brothers perfume shop, locked us in, sat us on wood benches and we had to listen to him talk for 1/2 an hour in franglais (mostly unintellegable)about all the knock off perfume he produced. Most people bought something just to get out! Hope this helps.

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Mills - Answered a Question by finch (01 Aug 08 20:14)

Hi, We went on Ocean Village last summer in the med and an each occasion saved a fortune by sorting out our own excursions. simply do a little research on the places being visited before you leave, make a note of what appeals and then when you arrive at the port simply walk off the ship and there are always taxis around. In every case we paid approx. 15% of what a ship booked excursion would have cost. It is sometimes good to look at what excursions the ship are offering as ideas of where you might want to go - or alternatively not as everyone else will be there. If you fancy going to a quieter beach where maybe there wouldn't be taxis just waiting later on in the day, then we arranged for them to come back at a particular time and it worked fine. Hope this helps.

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Lawson - Answered a Question by finch (02 Aug 08 10:00)

If you want to visit Sorrento from Naples go by train. It,s cheap and fast and also stops at Pompeii. Well worth the money.

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simpson - Answered a Question by finch (02 Aug 08 10:06)

The last time we went to naples which was on the ocean village , myself and my husband just walked to the end of the dock and just to you right are the ferry terminals . We caught the the hi speed one to capri which are very quick and regular with all the times displayed . This was a lot cheaper than going on the organised tour and also you can come back when you want to . Just be careful when eating in Capri it is quite expensive as they charge for a chair , a table etc . Much better to buy from a shop and sit on a bench in the sea front and picnic .Hope this helps .

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Kane - Answered a Question by finch (02 Aug 08 12:17)

Hello,we have sailed O V 2 three times and other cruises, DO IT YOUR SELF, the prices for the ships excurtions are a rip off. If you go out off the ship get a taxi but first say to them what are you going to show me, when they tell you say OK thats fine now give me agood price. you will find you can go to the same places as the excurtion at half the price, we do this all the time and we save a LOT of money by doing it our self.

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Clarke - Answered a Question by finch (02 Aug 08 14:17)

Hi. Agree with Gunson. Tunis is a waste of time and we went twice on the 2 week cruise!! We did florence and Pisa 'on your own tour' with OV. 2 adults 2 kids. Chose this as there was a small risk we would get mixed up going from Pisa to Florence and my wife was worried!!. Our first time on a cruise. We were going to do Rome by train as it is very easy then take the up top tour bus to get our bearings (as in London) but 1 of us was ill that day so stayed onboard. Walked around St. Raphael and it was great. Would suggest doing your own thing as it is more flexible and far cheaper the OV.

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Wright - Answered a Question by finch (02 Aug 08 18:55)

Like most answers below, we were not really looking forward to Tunis, but signed up for the Bike Ride. I can recommend this very much. After a full day at Sea it was good to get some exercise and see a bit of the country. This ride is not difficult at all, with only one small hill to negotiate. The route we took followed the coast along to Sid Bou Said with a stop at Carthage on the way. I can also endorse the comments below regarding St. Raphael and Afaccio - very nice places to wander around at your own pace.

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Drysdale - Answered a Question by finch (03 Aug 08 08:06)

Recently returned from a Unable to run around much ourselves, we met many people who made their own way, finding the excursions expensive and not good value. Moored in Nice one Sunday, some found a local bus and travelled the coast road to Monte Carlo for 1 Euro, same back.Although those on the excursion enjoyed it and went in the Palace. Naples incl. a trip to Pompeii which, we were told, was mayhem. The people there were on strike and tourists were locked out for 2 hours, then there was some fighting. Also it was a steep walk to get there. Some took a train to Rome for 9 Euros which also included buses when there. Its a long way from the boat though. The excursions were 10 hours long.

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SAUNDERS - Answered a Question by finch (04 Aug 08 10:25)

Hi I sailed with Island cruises and went to some of the places you have named.We only took 1 tour and that was to Pompeii and well worth it other than that we made our own way. If you ask at the port to be directed to the tourist info centre they are very good at helping...we docked at Livorrno walked 10mins into centre went to TI they directed us to bus depot(5mins away) and told us what to ask for(also a timetable).15mins later we were on our way to Pisa. Cost 6 euros return. 25mins later arrived at Pisa bus station followed signs to Leaning tower ect, took about a 20mins interesting stroll to get there. Cost of Island tour £35 half day. My advise is to research the ports you will be visiting you can even get maps of most with TI marked on , the internet is a wonderful thing you can find loads of info about places.

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