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Home > Member Reviews > AndyCdn's Port Reviews of Barcelona, Nice, Florence (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia)

AndyCdn's Port Reviews of Barcelona, Nice, Florence (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia)
Celebrity Solstice cruise in September 2011
Member Name: AndyCdn
Cruise Date: September 2011
Embarkation: Barcelona
Destination: Western Mediterranean
Member Review: AndyCdn's Celebrity Solstice Review
Barcelona
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
We landed in Barcelona from a red-eye from Canada, and were very happy to be met by Celebrity staff who coordinated our luggage transfer and took us to the pier for immediate boarding. Thank you!!

So, no experience of Barcelona except for a well-run airport, with standards matching any major international city.

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Nice
Port Rating: Not Rated
In keeping with our commitment to avoid costly on-board shore excursion offers, we alighted in Ville Franche and climbed the slope to a local bus stop, where we purchased transit to Nice for next to nothing. We studied the map on the bus for the route home we would take at the end of the day.

We arrived at Place Messina (look this up, it's central to Nice and gorgeous, and Messina is a big name in this area) and walked down through the market to the beach, where Rosy changed into her swimsuit and had an obligatory dip in the Mediterranean. They call it a pebble beach. The pebbles are about the size of a fist, and hard to walk on. It's a topless beach, too. Still, I held up a towel behind which Rosy changed...

We made sure to look through the stalls in the Nice market, seeking especially sea salt and flavoured salts which are unique to Nice. We stopped for lunch at a tiny 8-seat resto for a pain baignat, a baguette stuffed with the ingredients of a salade nicoise and doused with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The staff were at the end of their shift and playing crazy giggly while we ate and drank, much to our pleasure.

Night after night, we were so happy to come home to our ship, our cabin, and our canapes at 5 pm and a time to relax befor dinner at 7:30 or so. We chose the option allowing unassigned dinner, which led to us meeting different people every night. Wonderful!!

PS: Rosy decided she could live in Ville Franche, if pressed.

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Florence (Livorno)
Port Rating: 2.0 out of 5+
We took local transit to Florence an then walked, not interested in Pisa. Shoulder-toshoulder tourists even in this time, line-ups everywhere. Our best time was when we escaped the crowds by going to the Pitti Palace, a massive Medici combination of gardens, buildings and interiors. I bought a beautiful leather man-bag on the street and we shared gelato in a crowded stand-up spot before we headed back to the ship. We missed all the spots you're supposed to see in Firenze, except for the outside. My personal feeling is that Florence is an inside place and I'll have to have a special opportunity for that in order to really appreciate the city.

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Rome (Civitavecchia)
Port Rating: 0.0 out of 5+
Loved Rome, and if this site offers the opportunity to write more, I will do so. For now, I am too tired.

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