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Sorry cant answer your question regarding Rome. We did the walk around Rome trip which was very good, but did not include the vatican. As for Tunis do not let one day of your holiday pass by because of the opinions of narrow minded people. Tunisia is a beautiful country and the people are very friendly. As a family of four the organised trips can be very expensive but you can EASILY do your own thing here. Look at the action ashore booklet for inspiration then you can tailor-make you own excursion. There are plenty of taxis waiting to take you where you want to go at the quay side. Haggle for a good fixed price, they will wait for you bringing you back into the port . For an example of pricing we paid 60euros for a trip to the medina, sidi bou said and carthage. If you wanted a beach visit gammarth and la marsa are both very close, but I beleive the latter is mainly used by locals. Dont be put off by any negativitiy, experience it for yourself, it is a safe friendley port.
We have been on an organised tour to Rome but with the Island Star, and really enjoyed it. We had a tour guide throughout who was on the Coach at the Quay where we docked, she pointed out all the important bits on the way and around the tour, we still had some free time to shop, a meal was also included at lunchtime. I should imagine most cruise ships follow the same theme. We still had to queue up to enter but the queues were walking as opposed to stationary. The Vatican City is approximately 1 hour from the port of Civitavechia if thats where you will dock and being unsure of where we were going we took the organised trip. My only dissappointment was we could not view The Vatican and St Peters Basilica on the same trip as both places take awhile to tour along with Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon etc. I missed out on the Cistine Chapel this was on another trip and I am still hankering to go back and do this part.Hope this helps, we have not been to tunis so I am unable to offer advice about this trip.Have a lovely time you lucky things.
Dont know about the rome trip as we did it ourselves but tunis is a dump, i'd have an extra day onboard if i were you !
Arkley! - This is supposed to be about giving good advice - yours is anything but!
I have seen this mentality expressed elsewhere and it really shows the travellers from the armchair tourists.
The cruise is a mediterranean one - it takes in one port in Africa - your advice is stay on board! - Rubbish!
No doubt you'd also sit by the pool for the whole holiday if you could. Why bother with a cruise at all, stay at home - I've heard some good reports about Doncaster - but others say it's a dump though.
If someone asks for advice about visiting a port - "stay on board" is not an acceptable answer.
Tunis is worth seeing. You only get 5 hours in port but you can still get to see a little of the country. Homer has given some good advice. You may never get the opportunity to visit this country again so don't be one of the miserable people - like Arkley - who stay on board. EXPLORE AND ENJOY.
I did Best of Rome from OV1. Great trip - fast track with guide through entrance to Vatican, Cistine Chapel etc. Trevi fountain and coliseum. Lunch was included - a welcome break after a hot day hoofing around the most amazing sights - no pressure because we were escorted by the guide who told us all about Italy, sights, customs etc during the hour long trip to Rome from the port - go for it and enjoy, it was fantastic!
We also did the Sidi Bou Said and Carthage trip, visiting local historical monuments and a tourist market. The people were very friendly. It might not be the best trip option for your children's ages but if you've never been to Tunis its worth getting off the ship to have a look around. The port itself is quite commercial so you would need to get a taxi but I recall there was a nice beach etc near by if you didn't want to do the organised trips.