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Home > Member Reviews > Newfoundseeker's Port Reviews of Naples, Gibraltar, Rome (Civitavecchia), Madeira (Funchal), Hamilton

Newfoundseeker's Port Reviews of Naples, Gibraltar, Rome (Civitavecchia), Madeira (Funchal), Hamilton
Pacific Princess cruise in December 2013
Member Name: Newfoundseeker
Cruise Date: December 2013
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Destination: Transatlantic
Member Review: Newfoundseeker's Pacific Princess Review
Naples
Royal Palace of Caserta Rating: 3.0 out of 5+

Our guide was informative, in fact, too informative. The best description was made by a fellow passenger whose quote is something like "I was looking for a 30,000 ft. tour and he was giving 2". the first 30 minutes at Pompeii was spent standing in place at the entrance. We were chaffing to get inside and see things first-hand. Showing and explaining good; lecturing without example not so much.

We also walked some of Naples close to the ship. Certainly the weakest port of call; it felt, even with and overwhelming police presence, completely unsafe. Pick pockets and snatch and grabs are the norm here. Vigilance was essential. Still, we made a couple of purchases from both shops and the open air Christmas markets. Don't think crime is only while walking as shipmates spoke of grabs attempted through cab windows and other passengers, having set a firm price with a cab driver for a tour, were told far from the ship that it was now four times the price to return to the ship and he expected a tip as well! You read about these kinds of things in other reviews and think, it won't happen to us (and we were lucky it didn't) but it was startling how many people related similar experiences while in Naples.




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Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar Rating: Not Rated

Best guide ever! British lady who gave great insight into past history of the rock and what life is like today living there. Apes are cute and mischievous and residents are rightly protective of them. The tunnel tour was informative and inspiring. We spent an extra day here due to high winds and we wish Princess would have arranged buses for us the next morning to tour the town.

Trapani: Is not listed as a choice but was universally praised by passengers. We toured the old walled city at the top of the mountain overlooking this beautiful city and were transported to another time and place. Great shopping and pastries await as does a peaceful way of life. I did have a scam played on me when getting a coffee but I got up the courage to go back on my own, and when confronted, the shop person finally admitted to his deed and made it right even apologizing.




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Rome (Civitavecchia)
Private Tour Rating: Not Rated

Vacation highlight: Fabulous Fabio who, not only instructed us how to safely operate a Segway, gave us a packed and informative tour of ancient Rome. It helped that he is an archeologist but his absolutely sunny demeanor and obvious pride in Rome is what made it so special. Worth every penny!




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Madeira (Funchal)
The Old Blandy Wine Lodge Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Fast tasting, rush in and out but good wine at an acceptable price sold with willing and knowledgeable staff. We left immediately after purchasing to walk the best Christmas market of the entire cruise!




Toboggan Rides Rating: 5.0 out of 5+

Would be excellent but our guide was abrupt and rather hostile at time. This is also the only tour I've ever been on where it was essential to keep track of the guide. She walked without regard to ability (we are fit and could easily keep up) but many were left to be picked up "on the way back". She would always as the obligatory, "Are there any questions. (note the period and not a question mark)" and would immediately say "Good" and turn away. One passenger said, " I don't think we are allowed any questions." which prompted a round of laughter. If it had not been for the caring interest by tour members, people would have been lost along the way and left alone on the bus. Very hard to understand. The content of the tour was fun and beautiful. The toboggan ride was a blast and we highly recommend.




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Hamilton
City Tour Rating: Not Rated

Nothing beats docking right on Front St. in Hamilton. We shopped and walked for the first hour and then, along with some fellow passengers, hired a taxi that took us on a 2 1/2 hour tour of half the island. We saw spectacular beaches, Gibbs Lighthouse and the Dockyard all while receiving an informative narration of past and present Bermuda. Beautiful and we will be back. I was last here over 20 years ago and a less formal feel is evident. I would also say that Port officials took far too long clearing our disembarkation and also allowing us to embark again. All this did was take away valuable time from their shopkeepers and potential revenue from their citizenry.




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