We have been back from our Carnival Freedom cruise of the Western Med for 1 week. And what a great trip it was. We arrived in Rome 2 days early and stayed at Residenza Cellini near Termini Station. I have nothing but good things to say about it. The staff is extremely helpful and pleasant. They arranged transportation for us from the airport to the hotel and then from the hotel to Civitavecchia on sunday. Highly recommended!!
During our 2 days in Rome, we walked everywhere. We did take the HOHO bus for our transportation. It was very helpful to use to get our bearings and dropped us at all the best locations.
When we arrived at the port on sunday, it was the easiest embarkation ever. We dropped off our luggage, checked in and were on the boat and having a drink and lunch within 15 minutes.
As for the ship, it is a typical Carnival ship. The colors are bright and fun. The food was good. We did eat in the Sun King Supper club on our anniversary More
and had the most amazing meal. Definitely worth the extra money to enjoy such a good meal.
Now on to ports: Naples - We decided to take the train to Pompeii on our own. It is extremely easy except for dodging traffic due to construction on the road right outside the port. The train station is less than 1 mile away from the entrance to the port.
Dubrovnik - In reading previous reviews on this port, I knew I was going to love it. I just didn't know how much. It is by far my favorite on this trip. We took the ships transport to the walled city, walked the wall and wandered within. Definitely walk the whole wall because the end is the most amazing views with the Adriatic Sea in the background. We did find the little spot on the outside of the wall to swim. It was perfect.
Venice - What can I say. They say get to the highest point on the ship and watch sail in, but I say get to the front most portion of the ship and watch it. Absolutely breathtaking. Vaperetto is really easy to use but it is also easy to walk. Couldn't go to Venice without taking a Gondola ride. We did it in the evening and it was beautiful.
Messina - Our roll call queen mum organized a bus to take us to Taormina. It was great. My husband and I then hiked up to Castemola. Don't let anyone tell you it is a 20 minute walk, more like 2 hours. Take a cab! But it is a beautiful little town with a few restaurants and a couple of tourists shops.
Barcelona - Took the ships transfer and walked the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas. Found the best open market just off the beaten path. They had the best fruit and fresh fruit juice. You could smell the freshness around the corner. Monaco - Ok we took some time off today and went to the beach. There is one free beach in Monaco and it was about a 20 minute walk from the ship. It was so relaxing and fun. Walked back by the Casino.
Livorno - We did another CC organized excursion to Florence and Pisa. Florence is a beautiful city. I wish we had more time to spend wandering around but we did head to Accademia and see the David and then hung out, had a great lunch at a cute Trattoria.
Disembarkation was just as easy as getting on the ship. Our number was called and went were of the ship with our luggage in 10 minutes. I had arranged for Romecabs to transfer us from the port to our post cruise hotel - Hilton Rome Airport. Romecabs was there before our arranged time and waited for the last of our group with no pressure. They were great.