How can you not fall in love with Venice? We arrived a day early and stayed in a boutique hotel (13 rooms) right behind the Bridge of Sighs and the Basilica. We strolled the square, ate lunch and dinner and collapsed from jet lag. We took the Alleleguna from the airport and also to the port the next day. Very easy and convenient. We bought the tickets in advance on the web. See the main square, the 3 islands(like Murano and Burano- you can take an Alleleguna for 3 hour tour and buy the tickets right at the water's edge on the extreme left when you face the city.) See the Doge's Palace, the Basilica, the shops around the square, etc.
We have been there 3 times and still have not scratched the surface. Wonderful city!
You do not need an excursion. The only advantage that I can see would be to avoid the long entrance lines to sights, (but then your time is not your own and you must move with a large group at someone else's pace and interests), but you can also buy tickets in advance online.
You dock in Port Said and drive for at least 3 hours to Giza in a long caravan of all the private guides and cruise buses together in line behind armed guards in jeeps, rifles in their arms.
Suddenly, behind apartment buildings, there are the pyramids! We had private guide from Ramses and he was terrific. It was over 120 degrees and he had the air-conditioned car picking us up and moving us all around the site. He had water for us and we really needed it!
Use sunscreen, a hat, and bring LOTS OF DOLLAR BILLS. You need to give a dollar to the child who pulls your camel,(DO take a ride! It is a HOOT!), to the woman who hands you toilet paper, etc. The word for tip is :BAKSHEESH and you will hear it often.
The Sphinx is unbelievable. There is just nothing like it. This was the most exciting site we have been to yet. Spend time there. The people on the ship's excursion were herded through very quickly and that was a shame.
We went to the Antiquities Museum and the King Tut exhibit and the Mummy Room. It was quite a memorable trip. We were going to the Bazaar but we were cutting it too close to the ship's leaving time so we skipped it. Cairo traffic is unbelievable: imagine three lanes that become five or six at any given moment, with no lights or stop signs, and people walking in front of speeding cars everywhere- and trucks with 6 men and young boys hanging onto the rear wall.
It took over 3 1/2 hours to return to the ship.
Warning: we brought sandwiches to eat in the car for this one port;we did not do an overnight. We met several people who did and got very very sick from the food.
We have been to Dubrovnik before. We got off the ship, got right onto a bus at the dock, and spent a lovely day strolling the walled city. You need Euros for the bus.
Have a lunch, a gelato (really great gelato there, shop, walk the wall for wonderful views and photos, stroll the ancient walled city and just enjoy. There are ship excursions to escort you around the city- you do not need it. You will be FINE on your own. You might see lacemaking, people in period costumes, and resting artwork.
We hired a private guide and driver with Ramses for a half day of the city. We was the new library (really a museum and quite a spectacular site), the palaces of Montazah and King Farouk, the Fort, and a mosque. We had wonderful drive along the Cornish to see the waterfront city and local sites. A wonderful and very full day.
The ship docks in Ashdod. We went to Old Jeruselum to spend the day and ended it with the Yad Veshem Museum. The city is fabulous. You are transported back in time.Touching the Wailing Wall was exciting and thrilling. Go see all the Quarters. This was a very special port.