Carnival Dream Western Mediterranean Cruise
Europe - Western Mediterranean
This was our first European cruise. I was concerned about the time restrictions in port and not being able to see everything that I wanted to see. This was not the case. Carnival did an excellent job in organizing, facilitating, and managing the shore excursion process. I don't think I could have seen this much on my own. We also had an excellent tour guide in Florence, Italy by the name of Paul Costa. If you take the all day Florence cruise, try to get him.
This was also a new ship for the Carnival line. It was a pretty typical Carnival ship, just a bit bigger and had an awesome SPA. We had purchased a SPA membership for the week, which made for a relaxing end of day activity. The wait staff was outstanding and the food was excellent! The only thing I didn't like was the coffee. Every day we would get off the ship in search of coffee. I don't know what is up with that.
Carnival is repositioning the ship to Galveston, TX and replacing it with the Carnival Breeze that More
will remain in Europe.
The was our second Carnival cruise and I really have to applaud them on this one. This was one of our best vacations ever. Carnival really has their act together! Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
This port is a jewel in the Meditterranean! Make sure that you spend a couple of days, either before or after, to visit the beautiful city.
Florence is a beautiful city rich in history in art. It is all about the tour guide in this port. Our guide, Paul Costa, was a transplant from New York. We really got lucky. If you book the add day tour, try to get him or just book directly through him at www.tuscantourguide.com.
Any trip to Italy should include a visit to Florence. Words and pictures just don't do it justice.
Going up to the old Cathedral is definitely worth it. Don't get caught taking the little blue tourist train. That will take forever. Either take the public bus or a cab. Some people walked, but it is an uphill climb. The view from the top is exquisite. A shuttle bus from the ship to the port is all you need. You can do the rest on your own.
There is also an excellent Tunisian restaurant right the the harbor area. I would not stray too far from that area, the rest of the city is nothing special.
At this port, we took the trip to Nice, France and Eze. Eze was okay, a bit touristie. Nice was really nice. I would recommend just going to Nice and walking around on your own.
At this stop, we took the trip to Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii. This was definitely worth the money. However, be aware that Vesuvius has a steep and long climb. I would not recommend this for people with walking problems. We made it just about up to the top, and due to time restrictions, we went had to go back down. We did get to see the big creator that fell on Pompeii. The weather was nice, so that helped the climb.
Pompeii was fascinating. You could spend hours looking at all of the marvel of this ancient society. We had a really good tour guide on this as well.
A must have is the Pizza! This was like no other Pizza that I have ever had. Instead of getting in line at the Hotel Victoria at the Pompeii site, we went across the street to a family run pizza parlour. Was an awesome journey for my taste buds!!
This is a beautiful island off of Spain. The coffee is wonderful and the streets are clean. There is an old Cathedral that is a must see. It is one of the most beautiful one that we saw on this trip. A shuttle bus from the ship to the town is all you need.
You can walk around town and shop for the famus Majorca pearls and have a bite to eat. Be aware of the characters standing outside the Cathedral and the port. The will take their picture with you and want money.
Rome is a big city, and rather far from the port. You really need the entire day. Even with that, you can see everything.
We saw the Coliseum, the Vatican, and the Trevi fountain. It was a good comprehensive tour that left us wanting to go back for more.