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Have been on this trip. If you want to go to Seville from cadiz it is best to go on an arranged excursion (not sure you could do it yourself as Seville is a long coach ride from Cadiz - well worth the trip though) otherwise in cadiz get the tourist bus around the place, you get a good overview and can get on and off bus if you wish. Barcelona is also excellent from the tourist bus and quite cheap. Monte carlo is walkable. You can get a taxi from the port in Gib and walk but it depends on what you want to see as usually you only get half a day here and perhaps an organised tour is better to see it all. We did Pisa and Florence in one day on an organised tour, a bit crowded and hectic at the places but it can be done. Buses took us into Palma and we did our own thing. A lot of people took the train into Rome from Citavecchia but we werent so brave so we had an organised tour but on one of the smaller minibuses, it suited us. The Sea Princess has anytime dining which is great so you can choose what time to suit you, for us 8.30 is too late but we used the anytime dining room about 7.15pm, the downside is you get different table companions every night but you do get to meet a lot of people. We enjoyed this trip hope you do.
A Nichols - Suffolk .
It depends how active/fit you feel. I can only comment on the places I've been to: Rome - you'll need to get a basic transfer from Civitavecchia (port) into the city. From there you can walk around the city on foot which is amazing but tiring - where sensible shoes & drink plenty of water! Barcelona - it's worth paying for a city tour here if you want to see a bit of everything - Sagrada Familia, Olympic Village, Las Ramblas, Park Guell, Newcamp etc.. - they're all quite spread out. From Livorno as far as I'm aware you have to choose between Florence or Pisa - you can't do both. If it helps, you get a glimpse of the leaning tower as you pass by Pisa to get to Florence! Gibraltar - if you just want to 'shop' then do it on your own. You can walk in from the port - it only takes 15mins or so.
Regarding dining time, it's all down to personal preference. You won't miss out on any shows whichever you choose.
You can walk through cadiz from the ship. lovely place with fab shops. Barcelona take the on and off tour bus. buy a ticket on the front of the Ramblas. You take a cab in sardinia to give you a couple of hours tour.pisa is nearer livorno than florence. uo can do palma by yourself. take 2nd sitting otherwise its a rush to get to dinner if y0u want to tou.
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.
I would do Barcelona, monte carlo, palma, gibraltaand alghero on my own just walking off. In Livorno I would take a taxi for the day and go to Pisa and Florence. The drivers can get closer to the sights than the coaches nd are always very helpful and well informed. If you can share with another couple it is much cheaper than a tour. Rome you can do the same way although last week we took the train only 9euros each, about 1 hour The metro in Rome is also excellent and comfortable. Cadiz is a lovely place without going to Seville which is also splendid! The new Anytime Dining on Princess is the best option.
I can tell you about the ports that I have visited if that will help
1. Cadiz. I would certainly not try to do Seville on my own, it’s a fair distance away and to get the most from it you really need to get on the net and study the city, plan what you would like to see and make sure that your travel arrangements leave you plenty of time to get back to the ship. Mess up on the latter and it would be very inconvenient. Cadiz is a super town with interesting churches narrow streetrs to explore, the camera obscura at the top of a tower in the town and some great cafes for a coffee and cognac at ridiculous prices.
2. Barcelona. Do this on your own for sure. Again plan it and visit Las Ramblas, The Gaudy houses and his cathedral (don’t go inside because you can really enjoy it all externally) . The gardens are also great to wander through. There is so much more to do there if you don’t fancy any of that.
3. Monte Carlo is a great place to wander around and feel rich in without spending much at all.
4. Livorno. A dreadful place so get out of it but do Pisa or Florence don’t try and do them both. The ship will probably lay on transport to both ( but they will charge) and then see all the sights and be sure of getting back in time. If you haven’t visited Florence I would certainly plump for this great city.
5. Civitavecchia Rome is a must but thousands of others will be there too. We went in by train from the port and had no hassle at all even getting a reduced price ticket. Again plan you sight-seeing and things will flow but watch out for the pickpockets and drink loads of water.
6. Alghero. I haven’t been there.
7. Both Palma and Gibraltar are best done either with shipmates or on your own they are great to wander around and you will be welcomed particularly in Gib. where the coffee and cognac is even cheaper than Spain
If you have the time the Net will provide you with maps and information and tips that will make investigating different ports so wonderful and the more you plan the less like a sheep you will be. Pal up with other cruisers and enjoy the experience.
As to 1st or 2nd. Sitting …..if you like to get the best seats at shows and you don’t mind eating early go for 1st. but you might be hurried out if you like to talk a bit over dinner and if you like it a little more laid back and like to have a lazy shower and pre dinner drink then pick second.
We always have second sitting because if you have been ashore or on excursions it is far too much of a rush to get ready for first sitting.
Cadiz is a lovely city to walk around and a perfect shoreline which stretches for miles. Seville would be too far away to do on your own. The ship moors right at the city's edge giving easy access to the old town.
Barcelona my recommendation would be to take the tourist buses ( a red one and a blue one) which are interchangeable as the city is so vast. They are good value as you can get on and off when you want to.
Monte Carlo - easy access along the coast by either bus or train. Could visit Menton one way or to Villefranche, Nice and Cannes in the other direction.
Livorno - two options. There is a port bus into the town where you can get a public bus to the train station to get the train to Pisa/Florence. We have done this on several occasions and have found it quite easy. If you would like to visit both Pisa and Florence I would recommend a taxi due to the time limit. It works out much cheaper than the excursion particularly if you can get a group of about six together. I think they charge the per person rate.
Civit..... get the port bus to the main gate then turn right and walk about 0.75 mile to the railway station which is on the left hand side of the road. The trains run regularly to Rome and the rail fare which is minimal also includes all metro and bus fares. We made the mistake earlier this year in going all the way to Termini but on talking to passengers on the way back it would have been much better and quicker if we had got off at St Petra which is virtually alongside St Peters. Both the metro and buses are clearly marked and most useful.
Sardinia - have only walked to the town
Palma - lovely walk to the city along the yachting club. There is also a shopping arcade quite near to the port for purchasing duty frees etc!
Gibraltar - easy to do on your own but there is a lot of building work going on between the port and the town. (building flats for East Europeans I'm told). Many dormobile vehicles available for tours to the rock, monkeys etc. Again it is so much per person.
Have a wonderful trip we are very fond of the Sea Princess and all the 'tours' can easily be done by yourselves.