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I would recommend taking organised trips, althought they cost a bit it works out cheaper in the long run and you dont miss any of the important sights. Enjoy your cruise.
I also disagree. The trips offered by the ship are invariably very expensive and ionclude a huge amount for the reps themselves and the ship in general. It is much more fun and much cheaper to take you own trips in most ports of call, although there is always the odd exception where is it more difficult to arrange your own trips. It is often cheaper ti hire a taxi than take the ship trips, especially if you can find another couple to share the cost. Just make sure you get back to the ship in plenty of time!
Have been on both trips, visit Rome,Pisa, Monte Carlo/Monaco, on the tours, Naples is very busy and hectic, so my advice is take one of the tours.
Messina is fab, go to the clock before 12, its a site to behold.
Toulon is lovely,Barca? my fav city, have a look at the taxi tours they are reasonable for a group of 4/5.
On the whole enjoy the experience.
Depending on where your cruise is going we recently went on the Island Escape and did our own thing in all of the ports visited which worked out a lot cheaper and we did not feel we had missed any of the sights.
We have found the trips to be very expensive, and depending on which ports you will dock at, we found it much better to please ourselves.
have cruised on the island escape in 2006,2007 i would strongly advise 1. book your trips on the boat.2 Be very selective on which trips you go on some are great some are not so good.3. If you have children they can be tiring the coach journey there and back can be longer than the time at the place you visit.4. A number of the trips you can organise yourself very easily research the trip on the internet prior to going on your holiday (this is what i did)5. i found all the trips very expensive even more so if you have children.6. The good thing going on an organised trip the boat will wait for the coach party but will not wait for persons who have undertaken a trip themselves.7 I think this is very important at all the ports of call you can walk into the local town or the port will put a shuttle bus to the local town they do not tell you this prior to docking they want has many people to book the trips as possible hope this helps.
Naples is in fact one of the very easiest places to organise your own trip, since you do niot even have to leave the port area to pick up boats to Sorrento and Capri. Sorrento and Pompeii are also readily reached by train.
Have just come back from two weeks around the med on the island escape and it was wonderful , we did a lovely trip to the isle of capri and we also did a lovely trip to Rome and visited the many sites. its our sixth time on the island escape and it never fails to satisfy jacky Morecamb.
depends where you are going; if you are going to Citevcheia then you can get a train direct from there to Rome which in 2005 was 8 euros each and enabled us to have 5 hours in Rome; this was far cheaper than on the organised tours. definatly better for us but depends if you are happy going to Rome on your own etc. The station is about 15 mins walk from the cruise terminal. Hope this is of us.