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Going on a Cruise to Europe or the Canaries ask me a question and I will try to help

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Suggestions for Geema:

Dublin: Works well with hop on/hop off. Guinness experience was quite enjoyable. Trip into Wicklow Mountains might be an option if you don't fancy the city.

Cobh: Titanic Experience was quite interesting. Kinsale might be another option. I didn't enjoy Cork much.

Waterford: Waterford itself is a nice town to explore. If you're into handcrafts you could visit Waterford Crystal. Kilkenny is a nice town and Kilkenny castle is another option. Depending on your time in port it might also be possible to do a trip into the Wicklow Mountains.

Suggestions for StevenM:

Marseille: Personally, I don't like the town very much. I'd recommend an excursion to Avignon if you're in port for some time. It should take 1,5 to 2 hours by bus per trip but it's really worth it - and you get to see a bit of Provence on the way. Avignon itself is a gorgeous old town in part bordered by the river Rhone with an ancient town wall, numerous beautiful churches, the popes palace... If you're pressed for time, Aix-en-Provence is also quite nice with an old town, cathedral and especially Cours Mirabeau.

Palma de Mallorca: Works quite well with hop on/hop off. I've also heard good things about the train ride to Soller.

LaSpezia: Cinque Terre is a must-see. Pisa is overrated in my opinion, I do like Florence and especially Lucca but it's quite far from LaSpezia.

Barcelona: Hop on/hop off is nice to get a good look around town. If you're interested in Gaudi's works be sure to book every ticket in advance with designated time slots - otherwise you won't be able to visit much. This is especially relevant for Parc Güell and Casa Batllo - not sure for Sagrada Familia though.

Never been to Naples. We were in Civitavecchia last week on AIDAperla but didn't bother with the 2 hour (by coach) or 1 hour (by train) trip to Rome - from Germany it's no hassle to fly to Rome for a few days so we'll try this in the future.

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1 minute ago, Neaxan said:

Barcelona: Hop on/hop off is nice to get a good look around town. If you're interested in Gaudi's works be sure to book every ticket in advance with designated time slots - otherwise you won't be able to visit much. This is especially relevant for Parc Güell and Casa Batllo - not sure for Sagrada Familia though.

Parc Guell is just a park, no admission required.  Sagrada Familia, buying tickets in advance is HIGHLY recommended.  Lines can be SUPER long.

Pic #1: Parc Guell.  Pic #2: Inside the Sagrada Familia

Park Güell.jpg

1170909_10101174270005346_936997523_n.jpg

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40 minutes ago, BrianAlt said:

Parc Guell is just a park, no admission required.

That's what I thought too, unfortunately this has changed. You can still visit parts of the parc free of charge, but for the so-called Monumental Zone (main entrance, terrace, all the parts containing mosaics) you need a ticket (access regulations started in 2013). I had no idea this was the case and when we got to the main entrance at around 2 pm (we started on entrance C and walked around the free part of the parc first) we weren't willing to wait for a 6 pm admission - the only time slot still available that day. From what I gathered afterwards they only admit 400 people at a time to Monumental Zone and they're really strict with admission times - if you're more than 30 minutes late you cannot enter the Zone any more.

Another word of wisdom: if you do hop on/hop off be aware that the walk from the stop to Parc Guell is quite far and steeply uphill. Alternatives are taking a taxi or bus or taking the metro (green line L3, station Vallcarca). We did the latter and while you still have some uphill walking to get to entrance C, the most part is by excalator through Baixada de la Glória. The escalators are quite a sight being outdoors and offering nice views.

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7 minutes ago, Neaxan said:

That's what I thought too, unfortunately this has changed. You can still visit parts of the parc free of charge, but for the so-called Monumental Zone (main entrance, terrace, all the parts containing mosaics) you need a ticket (access regulations started in 2013). I had no idea this was the case and when we got to the main entrance at around 2 pm (we started on entrance C and walked around the free part of the parc first) we weren't willing to wait for a 6 pm admission - the only time slot still available that day. From what I gathered afterwards they only admit 400 people at a time to Monumental Zone and they're really strict with admission times - if you're more than 30 minutes late you cannot enter the Zone any more.

Good information!  Thanks.  We will be back there next year.

Quote

Another word of wisdom: if you do hop on/hop off be aware that the walk from the stop to Parc Guell is quite far and steeply uphill. Alternatives are taking a taxi or bus or taking the metro (green line L3, station Vallcarca). We did the latter and while you still have some uphill walking to get to entrance C, the most part is by excalator through Baixada de la Glória. The escalators are quite a sight being outdoors and offering nice views.

That walk is CRAZY!  Especially in the summer.  Whew!

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On ‎10‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 10:14 AM, DocLC said:

Dublin is very easy to do on your own and is very walkable. What's important, though, is to prepare tickets in advance. We did this for the Book of Kell's, the prison (which often sells out), and Guinness. 

For Cobh, we booked with eCoach and went to Blarney Castle and Kinsale. 

Suggestions on how to prepare tickets in advance? This is the first time we have been to these cities. Thanks!

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12 hours ago, Geema said:

Suggestions on how to prepare tickets in advance? This is the first time we have been to these cities. Thanks!

Just Google the sights you want to see and go to their official website. You'll see an option to buy tickets and print them at home. 

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Sorry i know this is old post but i have not much for european advice. we are travelling in December but we do wish to visit Pompeii and Rome which are on our stops finding prices with RC expensive for excursions can you offer any advice 

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8 hours ago, Bjclarke said:

Sorry i know this is old post but i have not much for european advice. we are travelling in December but we do wish to visit Pompeii and Rome which are on our stops finding prices with RC expensive for excursions can you offer any advice 

We set sail in 2 weeks and I've spent months and months planning our tours. We booked with a company called Joe Banana Limo/Italy Tour Sharing for our tours of Rome and Pompeii/Amalfi. Visit their site and you can book a tour for as many people as you like. The per person rate goes down, the more people you book.

If you find your "Roll Call" on the Cruise Critic website, you can recruit people to join your tour. We found this much cheaper than the ship's excursions and there are only 8 people in our tour groups. Many people on our Roll Call booked tours this way. At one point there was a spreadsheet with all the tours listed and web links (someone was very organized)! Now I've made "friends" with several of my fellow cruisers and we have a number of meet and greets set up. 

I can certainly share our experiences when we return!

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Thank you very much for that. I've been try to get my head around why there doesn't seem to be a board/forum for people to chat before embarking for a cruise they're taking. Rome and Pompeii are on our itinerary I would love to hear how you get on. So with the limo company do you get time to explore and get information about places you see on way through city? 

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2 hours ago, Bjclarke said:

Thank you very much for that. I've been try to get my head around why there doesn't seem to be a board/forum for people to chat before embarking for a cruise they're taking. Rome and Pompeii are on our itinerary I would love to hear how you get on. So with the limo company do you get time to explore and get information about places you see on way through city? 

The full tour descriptions are on their website. You can browse through their options to see what suits you. Rome is about 1.5hrs away from the port and there's so much to see. The tour we'll be joining visits the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps with a driver and a guided tour of the Vatican museums and St. Peter's Basilica. I'm not expecting any free time for exploring with a hectic day like that. 

Our tour to Pompeii leaves from the port of Solerno. We have 2.5hrs guided tour of Pompeii, a stop in Positano and then Amalfi. This will likely be another busy day. 

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First advice I can give you is make a list of what are the most important things for you to and make sure to save some time to enjoy the beautiful ship. I only say this because we booked excursions in every single port and I felt like we left no time to explore the ship and there is so much to see, there were things I found to do on the ship that I didn't know till the last day which was our sea day. 

For the excursions we ended up booking through the cruise line only because it was our first time to Europe and we wanted to be sure to make it back to the ship with plenty of time. If I go back I will use "Rome in a Limo" I researched them before going on the trip, they had great reviews and I saw their cars in all the ports through Italy. Also if you wanted to visit the Vatican I recommend booking a tour that includes a Vatican guide, they are incredibly knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. 

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