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Home > Member Reviews > Katie Starlight's Port Reviews of Barcelona, Florence (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Marseille, Naples, Istanbul

Katie Starlight's Port Reviews of Barcelona, Florence (Livorno), Rome (Civitavecchia), Marseille, Naples, Istanbul
Norwegian Spirit cruise in September 2012
Member Name: Katie Starlight
Cruise Date: September 2012
Embarkation: Barcelona
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Member Review: Katie Starlight's Norwegian Spirit Review
Barcelona
City Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Barcelona Day Tours gave us a great tour. Jody dropped us off at the sites after explaining them to us and stayed with the van and luggage. I would definitely recommend them.


Montjuic/Olympic Stadium Rating: Not Rated
This was a stop that Barcelona Day Tours took us too. We went inside and it is quite impressive.


Private Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We flew into Barcelona a day early and was picked up by Barcelona Day Tours. They gave us a great half day tour and then dropped us at our hotel. Check in was in the afternoon so this was great. Jody spoke excellent English and provided a great tour and some political insight and a lot of interesting history. We really enjoyed it but were a little jet lagged. We really like the Park Guell and the Sagrada Familia to name but two sights. We stayed in Hotel LLeo and they had a free breakfast and WiFi. It was near Las Rambalas and that was a great walk of many interesting shops.


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Florence (Livorno)
City Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We booked an independently through Shoreexcursionsinitaly.net and were very happy with them. We wanted to pamper our mom and thought we would see more with a private van tour. They were great. We saw the beautiful Cathedral and the Ponte Vecchio and shopped at the Leather Market. We did a lot of shopping at the leather market.


San Gimignano Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We booked an independently through Shoreexcursionsinitaly.net and were very happy with them. We wanted to pamper our mom and thought we would see more with a private van tour. They were great. We loved Florence and the David. The David is a must see for us and it was worth the stop. Carlo was able to have us walk right in - no waiting in line. They reserved our tickets in advance and we paid for them. Then after shopping we stopped for lunch at Casa Emma and had a 4 course meal with a different wine at each serving. It was simply fabulous and a great view of the Tuscany region from our outdoor table. Next San Gimignano - a walled medeval city. Lots of shops and history in a fabulous location. We all enjoyed it. If you take the tour and would rather have extra time at San Gimignano skip lunch and grab a gelato there. The ride back was filled with beautiful scenery. All a great day.


Statue of David Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We loved Florence and the David. The David is a must see for us and it was worth the stop. Carlo was able to have us walk right in - no waiting in line. They reserved our tickets in advance and we paid for them. We were told you can't always get right in but we did. A turn to the right and you see David at the end of the hall. Fabulous.


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Rome (Civitavecchia)
City Tour Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We again booked through Shoreexcursionsinitaly.net. Massimo picked us up at the ship and drove us to Rome. It was a Saturday and we luckily did not experience any traffic. Massimo spoke excellent English and provided interesting stories and history throughout the day. Very helpful.

Rome - so wonderful. We really got to see so much. We went into the Coloseum - breathtaking, The Spanish Steps, The Panthenon, The Circus Maximus, Nero's Palace, St.Peter's & the Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel. A hilltop view of the city that buses cannot get too. We had lunch at a little inexpensive restaurant with wonderful food. Because we booked three tours we had a free Vatican museum tour guide. She was good also. So much to see, you really need more than one day. But It was a great shore excursion. Take an extra battery and storage card for your camera you will need it on this trip.


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Marseille
Port Rating: Not Rated
The ship docked at Toulon. We did not go to Marseille. Toulon was quite a beautiful harbor. There is a little train that you can take from the ship to the city. We went to a flea market there that is open until 12 noon or 1pm or so. The beaches were beautiful. We did not go to the Naval museum but did go by it. I hadn't known about the ships being sunk there during the war by France and her allies - very sad.

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Naples
Amalfi Coast Rating: 5+ out of 5+
So beautiful We loved Sorrento and Positano. Carlo brought us to Bagni Delfino for lunch. Right on the water overlooking Naples Bay. Nice people, great food, what a view. unforgettable. The drive along the coast is so fabulous. Carlo from Shoreexcursionsinitaly.net stopped where we could so we could take photos. It was another great tour.


Pompeii Walking Tour Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
This was our last tour with Shoreexcursionsinitaly.net. Again we were not dissapointed. The tour was Pompeii and Positano Sorrento.

Pompeii so interesting and impressive with Mt. Vesuvius in the background. You can join a tour or hire headphones. We wandered around on our own with Rick Steves guide. It was very hot in the afternoon.


Positano Walking Tour Rating: Not Rated
So Beautiful - my favorite stop. We bough lots of lemon items. It is quite a walk down to the beach but so worth. The little shops are excellent. We bought lemon pastries - so delicious. A great spot and when I win the lottery I am moving there.


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Istanbul
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
We toured around on our own here. Everyone we met was nice. We took the metro or trolley and saw the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, The cisterns, and the Grand Bazaar. Another great port. We bought lots at the bazaar and bargained after we got the hang of of it. Everyone tries to bring you to a rug store but we firmly said no and walked on.

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Athens (Piraeus)
Acropolis Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
It is a must see. The Acropolis is Fabulous


The Plaka Walking Tour Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
The Acropolis is Fabulous. It winds up the hill so it is gradual. My mom is in her late 70's and did it just fine. We got to stop at the Olympic Stadium also and took some funny picture there of us being goofy and pretending to throw discus. The Plaka shopping district is filled with little shops and we also enjoyed a lunch nearby. The guide recommended the lunch and it was quite good. We then wandered the Plakka on our own. I thought that our guide walked a little too fast while we were in the city and some people had a problem keeping up. Be sure to read the description for activity level.


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Izmir
Church of St. John Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
The church where St John is buried is mostly just pillars now. The tour was very interesting.


House of Virgin Mary Rating: Not Rated
The house of the Virgin Mary is quite moving. I did feel a little rushed but there were several buses there. My sister and niece actually went back through and took their time. Bring a Water bottle to fill with holy water. We pinned a prayer to the wish wall too. The tour guide was quite interesting. Some people were annoyed that they had to stop at the Leather factory but I liked the show. Expensive though but very beautiful clothing.


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