We chose this cruise to be able to explore the cities in the Mediterranean with our family. Our primary goal was to visit a variety of places with the ease of a cruise for transportation. Unfortunately, for every city, the ship was in port with 2-3 other large ships. Also, due to the size of the ships, you have to port well outside the primary city of interest. Everyone is trying to get on a train or tour at the same time and these smaller Mediterranean destinations don’t have the infrastructure to handle it.
Also, due to the timing of the stops and time needed to board the ship, it really is impossible to visit places outside the cruise excursions. We thought since we were familiar with a couple of the stops, we wouldn’t need an excursion, but the time allowed of the port day didn’t allow for that.
Even the excursions we did take were not wonderful. We went on a full day to Florence Uffizi Gallery and Pisa. We saw Pisa, but were rushed through the Uffizi to spend an hour in a gold shop with a sales pitch.
We had time to visit the Sagrada Familia Basílica and walk down the main boulevard.
This port is very far away from Florence and so much of your time is spent on a bus.
We arrived late and so our time went in port was 4 pm to midnight. This wasn’t helpful to allow sightseeing, but there really is not much to do there.
This port requires a tender disembarkation and then a train ride to Nice or Monaco. By the time this happens, it’s really time to get back on the ship. Also something to note is that Monaco doesn’t allow cabs.. people who were aware of this took a taxi and paid the driver to wait to take them back.