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Tina - Answered a Question by wray (30 May 07 03:19)

We will be on Spirit cruise with you. Have been on ship's excursion to Pompeii and as its so busy there seemed easier to do it that way and be able to relax knowing that we'd be able to return to ship on time. As expected guide was v informative and we moved around Pompeii at a brisk speed despite it being in torrential rain in September 2006. Will taxis definetly return for you ? (that's our worry and have heard of people being stranded during sudden strikes in places) can anyone help and offer reassurance.

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moss - Answered a Question by wray (30 May 07 20:53)

Use the website - google - to find tour operators in the cities you wish to visit and send them an email asking them what they would charge to meet you at the ship and take you round. just remember that for rome its quite a way from citiavechia the port - at least 1 hour. from naples pompei isnt too far.. Alternatively you can take your chances with a tax.

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Simmons - Answered a Question by wray (31 May 07 12:23)

Hi, Unlike UK ports, where it is illegal to tout for taxi business, ALL of the Mediterranean ports have loads of taxis, in most cases alongside the ship when she arrives. I must stress that only on Mediterranean cruises can you be sure that there will always be plenty of willing local taxi drivers offering any trip you require and in most cases they will offer extras that the shops excursions do not. For instance: on a recent call in Livorno Italy the ship offered seperate trips to Pisa and Florence, making it impossible to do them both in one day (even though in distance they are quite close). As we had teamed up with a couple on the ship who also wanted to see both places I decided to skip booking what the ship offered and try to negotiate with a taxi driver a bespoke trip tailor-made for us. As soon as passengers were allowed of the ship in Livorno I walked down the gangplank and was approached by a few of the waiting taxi drivers. All of them were simpatico to what I wanted and said that anything was possible - for a fraction of the cost of the price for 4 people to Florence we got to go to Pisa in the morning and Florence in the afternoon and in an air-conditioned luxury minibus. An extra bonus was that only private vehicles are allowed in the centre of Florence, coaches have to drop their passengers over a mile from the sights - we on the other hand had a private limo to get in and out of and could see many more things than the excursion trippers - plus, he took us to the square that overlooks the city, before bringing us back to the ship well in time for sailing time. This is possible in all of the ports, including the Canary Islands, Morocco, Tunisia and even Libya now. My advice is..when cruising in the Med - forget what the cruise ship says and do your own thing in the ports. You will have a much better day and can do whatever you want to do and see. Cruise lines get parranoid about getting back to the ship in time.

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