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Spencer - Answered a Question by Davies (09 Feb 09 11:14)

Hello, We cruised with RCI on Independance of the seas in August 08, and we visited Vigo, Barcelona (overnight) Gibraltar and Portugal. We had a fabulous time, and are cruising with Independance in June 09 (again Med, but this time Italian Med). From previous cruises with RCI (3 in total) the excursions are well run, and organised, and the guides very knowledgeable, but obviously can work out expensive. I'm not sure where you are visiting, but certainly Gibraltar, Portugal and Vigo are easily done independantly as they dock close to the city. In Vigo, the ship docks immediately opposite the city (it's only about a couple of minutes walk and across the road). If you're worried about using public transport yourself, then in Gibraltar and Portugal there is a shuttle bus which runs from the ship into the city centres and back again (tickets for these can be booked at the Excursions desk on board), certainly Gibraltar is only a very small place, and the city centre of Lisbon is lovely, and I although I was with my hubby, I didn't feel uncomfortable in either place. I hope that this helps, but certainly from my point of view the RCI cruises we have done have all been fabulous. Can't wait for June.

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Kingston - Answered a Question by Davies (09 Feb 09 12:20)

We did the Brilliance Greek Isles cruise from Barcelona last August and booked excursions through RC at Floence/Pisa, Rome, Santorini, Athens and Naples. I must say that they were mainly transport type tours as opposed to full day guided tours but they were well run and where guided portions were included the guides were good. The busses were new and airconditioned and we felt perfectly safe at all times.

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Neil & Ida Down - Answered a Question by Davies (09 Feb 09 14:31)

I think the cruise you are talking about is from the 15th. June. Unlike Swan Hellenic you will have to pay for excursions times two. I think that your safety fears may be a little to strong and that some of the places you visit can be so easily done on your own. If you really feel that the only way that you will go ashore is with an official group then please ignore the rest. .....Cannes, take the tender ashore and walk the famous promenade, take coffee in a pavement cafe and people watch or go to the station and get a train to Monte Carlo and do the tourist thing there, so civilised with no threats or fears. ... Livorno, here it is advisable to get the ships shuttle bus to either Florence or Pisa. in Florence there is so much that you can do alone without the whole tribe going with you and it is so beautiful and easy to walk around, Pisa again is a doddle to do on your own but there is far less to do there........Civitavecchia, the train to Rome is a piece of cake, cheap and quick, and plan your route for the sites, if you go to "find a question" and look up Rome you will see a long piece I wrote about how to see most of the sites in a day. If the Vatican is your choice then do go on a tour because the priority treatment outweighs the cost. Always be aware of pickpockets in Rome as in Naples. Naples is a nasty area and again if you are nervous I would take a tour but I would recommend Herculaneum over all the rest including Pompeii. Sorrento is great as well. Venice, provides no problem for the casual tourist and doing it yourself is recommended. Dubrovnic is wonderful to walk around and the atmosphere of just being in the famous city is enough. Corfu, the taxis are almost as insistent as in Naples but there are sights to see all over the island, ships tours tend to be a little bland. And Barcelona if you have time is such a fabulous place. Very easy to get around with so much to do and see. To make the most of all of these places you really ought to do your research and also read up on this site and others the things that others have done. If you can involve your daughter in this research it will prove so much more interesting for her as well. Anyway whichever you choose you are going to a fantastic arae on one of the best ships in the world, so enjoy it. ......Neil.

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Morris - replied to Neil & Ida Down (25 Feb 09 22:41)

Hi.We have booked a 5 night med cruise with royal caribbean.This stops at cannes/monte carlo.Royal caribbean have told me that my two sons (age 5 and 3) cannot go on the monte carlo trip - age restriction of 18 years (the casino isnt included in the trip so dont know why an age restriction).Anyway when docked at cannes I get the little boat to shore. How far away is the train station and how long would it take to get to monte carlo? Ive never gone it alone and a bit weiry of not knowing whats what but as youve been there and done it your help with information will be very grateful. If I feel a bit scared of going alone (more panicy about getting back on time) is there much to do in cannes. I believe they have fantastic yachts, beach and buildings.Thank you for your help and I looking forward to hearing from you. Royal caribbean havent been very helpful.Di Morris.X.

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Davies - replied to Neil & Ida Down (09 Feb 09 15:01)

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me all this information. It has been most helpful. I shall certainly view what you have written about Rome as well. Caroline Davies.

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