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Home > Member Reviews > B4cruise's Port Reviews of Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence (Livorno), Capri, Santorini, Kusadasi, Corfu

B4cruise's Port Reviews of Rome (Civitavecchia), Florence (Livorno), Capri, Santorini, Kusadasi, Corfu
Ruby Princess cruise in June 2010
Member Name: B4cruise
Cruise Date: June 2010
Embarkation: Civitavecchia
Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
Member Review: B4cruise's Ruby Princess Review
Rome (Civitavecchia)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Stayed one night at Residence Candia: They did just fine. We weren't looking for luxory in a hotel since we didn't plan to be there much. We picked that hotel because of reasonable price and its location to the Vatican which we planned to go at 9 am the next day... (remember jet lag!)

Taxi from airport to Hotel: at that time the price for the taxi was same price as train... Economic times may have been hard with the slow economy in 2010. In hind site it is the way to go... we were in no mood for problems on a train/subway after the long flight. Just do the cab thing.

We crashed at the hotel and then struck out around 3 pm. Asked the hotel lady of a local place to eat lunch where locals go... she told us of a place.... a little bar type was just perfect!

We did the Double Bus thing to get us around for a bit... we where still tired. That worked for us...took us to key sites and allowed us to soak it all in.

Trevi Fountain in the Evening! Trevi was one of my all time favorites of the who trip... however going in the night made it just amazing. Can't describe it...just go at night if you can.

Collosium: Great. My son definately wanted to see it. We didn't get to go inside because of the lines...wish we did. We walked around it and some of the ruins but wish we had gone inside.... we also tried to return at night... to see it lit up.... subway station was shut down! ugh.

Pantheon: Really, really cool building.

Vatican/Cistean: naturally is a must. whatever you do get tickets on line! You don't want to wait in those hedious lines! It was a great time. By placing this early in the AM it worked nicely to get us to Civitiveccia to Embark the Cruise later that day.

In hind site: Rome is naturally a tremendous place. If you haven't been there certainly go. Be aware though, that if you are going to Venice and Florence they have similaritiest or Rome. Venice is now my #2 city...second only to Paris!

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Florence (Livorno)
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
I skipped talking about Monte Carlo... we made that our "crash" day because of Rome, jet lag and what not. Besides we had been to Monte Carlo before. The four of us took a stroll up the hillside... found a little cliff beach to swim in and took up the views... it was great. (one funny note. The world Cup was going on.... Can there be anything better than Cruising out of Monte Carlo, watching the game out on the pool side on a GIGANTIC TV (Yes, Princess I love this idea!!), see the American team win ... as you are viewing the incredible, incredible views of the Monte Carlo coast line. This is what makes cruising the only way to go...ah sometimes life works!

Ok back to Florence and Pisa. I didn't plan anything because we had a big day ahead of us on the follwoing day. My son wasn't impressed so he said "we are going to Florence".... so we jumped on the train and went to Florence with our Cruise ship Map in hand. I would say this day was the worst day of our trip because we planned nothing ...and nothing worked. Ugh. The train ..had no AC so it was hot and felt long! We wandered around...saw the amazing church there.... I loved that..however due to Rome, the other three had zero interest in building and churches... we wandered around but not one was happy. They wanted to find an "open air market"... well they never found it. We got a taxi and jumped back on the train. To salvage the trip I said "let's try to hit Pisa. They reluctantly agreed.

Then it was my turn to mess up. There are hardly ANY taxis in Pisa. You can't walk from the train station to the tower. I didn't want to wait the long taxi line so I thought "let's do like we did in Rome...we will pick up a taxi as we walk..." Big mistake. There were zero. I couldn't believe it. After walking around we gave up and hoped back on the train and went home.... NEVER seeing the tower. It pays to plan!

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Naples/Capri was to be our big day. I booked a private tour of the Amalfi Coast. It was just tremendous! YOu don't want to miss this! We used the recommended Pleasant Travel company, . We had Mariano Fiorentino! Quite the gentleman! And my wife says "Very handsome!"

Let me try to explain why this is the only way to go. First, you are picked up right off the boat. Not only did we have a Mariano who was in a three piece suit! We had the driver also! In a great, great vehicle. Such luxory! There is no comparison to going on a silly cruise ship tour. Virtually same price ..if not cheaper... so you got to go with this.

These Pleasant Travel team know how to do a trip! Since their vehicles are small, compared to a bus, they travel up through the mountains... it is just amazing. There are small towns they take you to that you cannot get to by a commercial bus...These small towns up in the mountains are quiet, gorgeous, historical, picturesque... we can only hope to go back. Naturally during this private tour Mariano was giving us the full history and stories of everywhere we want.... He would leave us a lone at each town for perhaps 30 minutes so we could walk around....all the time keeping a careful eye on us. The tours are also flexible.... he asked what we wanted to do for lunch.... he suggested visiting an Italian, real life farm for lunch. It was just great... a very different feel than the normal tourist stuff. Half way through the day, our nephew wanted to go see problem...they dropped us off ...and we met them a few hours later.... Pompei was good and interesting... I am not sure I would say it is a "must see"...the neatest thing about Pompei where the recovered ash/bodies....

Please, Please do at least one guided tour on the cruise. Naturally I am biased and feel we got the best one... there were things that we never would have seen if it wasn't for this great tour of the Amalfi Coast

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Gotta do the cliff diving and donkey ride!

Santorini.... what a great, great day. First the donkey ride up the cliffs was just something that you must do. Even my conservative wife did it and she was glad she did. The boys and I couldn't stop laughing. I was shooting the video camera on the descent up. YOu don't want to miss this.

Naturally walking through the towns are just tremendous too. But that has been said many times before. Oia was great too..we did that near the end of the day.

Another thing that was just great. We took a bus to Black beach. There along the far side are these cliffs that they native kids jump. So naturally I and the two boys went over to check it out. We had such fun! The cliffs are not that tough to jump.... there were 12 year old girls jumping! They were scared but they did it!

Santorini is a place you do not want to miss.

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Port Rating: 4.0 out of 5+
Kusadasi (Ephesus) Turkey: Lessons Learned

I was really torn whether or not to have booked a tour on this day. The reviews of Ephesus speak for themselves... having said this keep in mind that we had a full day just prior with Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast..... It is all about what you can handle. For two teenage boys and my wife, I made the decision to lay low....which was likely right for them. Would I have preferred to go on another private tour? You bet.

This cruise is about pacing yourself..... so be very careful about how many excursions you do.... On this day, the wife and the boys crashed till about noon. We then went in out into the town and bought the majority of our gifts and souvenirs. Turkey is a great place to buy things... we had no problems spending our money!!

ONE KEY, KEY THING; We made the MISTAKE of going to the MAC machine to get some money... since we where in all the previous ports we thought nothing of it... we assumed Euros!! Oops! Not so! We got stuck with a lot of money from Turkey... and if you don't use the money in Turkey you will be kind of stuck.... Don't make the mistake we that did and assume Euros....

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Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
I got one thing to say about Corfu: La Grotta Beach Bar

You don't want to miss this place. It is a Beach Bar built into the "cliffs" which is cool enough. However it has its own little blue "Lagoon" paradise-- Greak style! Naturally pictures don't do justice but here is one The two teenagers and I has such fun! Cliff jumping, swimming, music, diving board, exploring.... This place was just amazing. Easily the highlight of our day!

Oh. I forgot. We rented a vehicle. We drove all around but by then we had already seen countless Greek islands on our what can we say? The Beach Bar just too, too cool.

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