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Hi we just got back last week florence/pisa well worth the money none of us are really fit just normal but it does get very hot and its a long day. we booked a trip down to the beach in toulon it cost us £90 but when you get of the boat in toulon there is a lovely little land train that takes you there for a fraction of the cost. we went to the noucamp in barcelona we got a taxi there for 11euros so we found all in all that most of the time you can do it yourself so much cheaper than island cruises .hope that helped.
We did this trip in July - It really dependes on what you want to see and how much you want to research yourself where to go. From Messina we went to Mt Etna and Taormina - that was a full day and Mt Etna would be difficult on your own. In Naples we did Sorrento and Pompeii - Pompeii I am told would be quite easy and cheaper on your own but we were more concerned with ensuring we got back to the boat in time (it will wait for you if on an Island Cruises excursion). Pompeii does involve a lot of walking, but mainly flat. As heaven says, Florence and Pisa is a tiring day with a lot of walking. The organised trip did again give peace of mind that we would not miss the boat - there were hold-ups on the Motorway. In Toulon, if you just want to see the town, the ship is in walking distance, but you may want to do a trip if you want to go along the Riviera to St Tropez etc. In Barcelona we did a morning trip to ensure we saw the main sights, but again the ship was within walking distance and we walked into town in the afternoon. It would be easy to do yourself if you know where you want to go. We are not fit, but found all the walking ok - it could be difficult though if you have walking difficulties.
Hi. I have been on several med cruises when Island had the Sun Bird. Initially did a lot of trips but this was restrictive, rushed and expensive. Have since learned that most ports have transport to centre of town and in most destinations there are Hop On and Off Tours which are much the best way to see most places of interest - and there is plenty of time to go back to sights that interest you. HOWEVER, for places like Pisa you might want to either share a taxi to the tower (which is very commercialised but worth seeing once) or take an excursion to this specifically - not done Florence as 2 hours away and I dont feel that despereate to go. Dont forget most places like Naples,. and Barcelona are lovely to walk around - do your homework via the internet first to see where you would like to go. In BARCELONA be very careful - there is a lot of pickpockeeting and I got my purse snatched from a zipped bag without feeling a thing BE WARNED!! I would say that unless you are very bad with your mobility - or very anxious about getting lost (which its hard to do unless you go way out of town) try to do at least some ports by yourselves. The excursions rarely give much time to wander around and are very fast paced usually. But do beware that the ship will leave without you so ALWAYS leave pleanty of time to get back on board. You will have a great time enjoy!!