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Home > Member Reviews > magdalenclarity's Port Reviews of Sorrento, Taormina (Messina), Venice, Dubrovnik, Florence (Livorno)

magdalenclarity's Port Reviews of Sorrento, Taormina (Messina), Venice, Dubrovnik, Florence (Livorno)
Azamara Quest cruise in October 2010
Member Name: magdalenclarity
Cruise Date: October 2010
Embarkation: Civitavecchia
Destination: Western Mediterranean
Member Review: magdalenclarity's Azamara Quest Review
Sorrento
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
I have given this port a high rating not due to the city itself, but the fact that an overnight made it possible to enjoy going further afield. We were able to share a taxi down to Positano and take a boat back without being rushed. The boat runs every few hours but check the schedule at the dock when you first arrive. I highly recommend do-it-yourselfers to not attempt the bus to Positano on a Sunday as buses run only once an hour and there are large line-ups. If you do end up in line and have need of a washroom, the only one nearby is inside the train station across the street from the bus stop. However, it can be accessed by buying a 1.2 euro ticket to the first stop. Many other passengers raved about Pompeii (which we visited last summer) and Capri.



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Taormina (Messina)
Port Rating: 5.0 out of 5+
Absolutely beautiful, would make an excellent honeymoon location. A very quaint but increasingly touristy Italian city. Do not miss relaxing in the public gardens downhill from the roman ruins. The views are just as good as from the ruins and are free! Take the cable car for a bit of extra adventure.


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Venice
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Venice is unbeatable but the tourist hoards are almost unbearable during the day. Nighttime is the best time to experience the true charm of this city. Download Rick Steves' walking tours to an MP3 before leaving home to be provided with a great free orientation. If St Mark's Square is flooded when you arrive, come back in a few hours, it might be bone dry - we were surprised at the change. Also, the cathedral has a very short line up about one hour before closing, wander the alleys until then, any guidebook will provide whatever you need to know.



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Dubrovnik
Port Rating: 3.0 out of 5+
The only thing worth seeing is the old walled town. It was extensively damaged during the war but has been almost entirely refurbished. It might have its charms, but we found it incredibly expensive. I would not go out of my way to visit this port.



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Florence (Livorno)
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
Forget Florence - this port should be labelled Livorno. We had visited Florence on our pre-cruise week in Tuscany and found it highly over rated. Yes the galleries are top-notch, but outside of the Cathedral you might as well have been in Frankfurt. Instead, take the time to visit Sienna, Volterra, Pisa, Lucca or the Cinque Terra. Buses and trains are easily accessible in Livorno and relatively inexpensive. The Cinque Terra is a 2.5 hour train ride but well worth the time. One of the sites you'll pass shows the mountain quarries and their marble stacked around the train station.



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