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Home > Member Reviews > Pushkin's Port Reviews of Villefranche, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples

Pushkin's Port Reviews of Villefranche, Rome (Civitavecchia), Naples
Liberty of the Seas cruise in September 2011
Member Name: Pushkin
Cruise Date: September 2011
Embarkation: Barcelona
Destination: Western Mediterranean
Member Review: Pushkin's Liberty of the Seas Review
Villefranche
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We (6 of us) hired a private car/guide for this port, which proved to be an excellent decision. We had Ingrid from Kultours. She met us right off the ship with a van. We first went to Nice which had an open market going on. This was on a Monday, and I'm not sure if it operates every day. It was similar to an outdoor antique market in the US. Ingrid them walked us around Nice giving us some history and pointing out interesting historical sites. We then went to St. Paul de Vence which was amazing! It is a charming walled city with eateries and shopping. We then went to Monte Carlo/Monaco and just drove around while Ingrid spoke about the history and interesting tidbits about the royal family/grace kelly, etc. We then went to Eze, which is another small charming town. We came back to Villefranche and enjoyed a bottle of wine at a waterside cafe.

Toulon (actually dock at Le Seyne Sur le Mehr (sp?)); This is a port you can miss. The little port town is actually a 20 minute walk. It is cute, but not much to see. You can take a water taxi to Toulon (inexpensive). Do not try to walk to Toulon!!



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Rome (Civitavecchia)
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
For this port, the 6 of us hired a driver from Rome In Limo (Mauro). It is a long ride (approx 1-1/2 hrs) and Mauro provided alot of history on the area during the ride in. We first went to one of the Pope's basillicas (not sure which one), but it was beautiful. We then went to the Coliseum. We had prepurchased tickets and our driver somehow got us to the front of the line. We were there about 45 minutes. Our driver picked us up in front and then we drove around many of the sites in Rome. We were dropped off near Trevi Fountain for a short while (got gelato!), threw our coins in the fountain, and then drove to a few more sites. We had lunch at an outdoor cafe near the Vatican before our 2 p.m. tour of the Vatican (prepurchased tickets). We hired a Vatican guide (Maximo) for 100 E. This was well worth it! I had been to the Vatican once before without a guide and learned so much more this time. Also, having a guide seems to let you bypass many of the crowds. Maximo was very interesting and we had a lot of fun with him. You learn so much more with a guide -- it is well worth it. After the Vatican/St. Peters, it was back to the ship with most of us using the time to take a nap!


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Naples
Port Rating: 5+ out of 5+
We used Rome in Limo for this tour as well. It is actually very economical after learning the prices of the ship excursions. Our driver at this port was Giovanni. He picked us up at the port and went immediately to Pompei. We also hired a Pompei guide (the drivers cannot go into the actual sites such as the Vatican museums, the Coliseum, Pompei). Lucia was our guide in Pompei and she is highly recommended. Pompei is a very large attraction, but during our 2 hrs with Lucia we saw many of the highlights. Again, you learn many more details with a guide. Pompei is a must-see. We then drove through the mountains to Positano. This area is stunning. Comparable somewhat to Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We told Giovanni we would like to have lunch in a restaurant overlooking the sea and did he every deliver! Our lunch at this charming family-style Italian restaurant was a highlight of the entire cruise. The food, the wine, the music, the atmosphere was perfect. After out leisurely lunch we were driven to Sorrento to do a little shopping. Sorrento is also a charming town with many Lemoncello, gelato and leather goods stores. Then we were picked up by the driver for the 1-hr drive back to the ship. Giovanni played wonderful Italian music on the way back. A wonderful day!



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