Cruise Ratings
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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
Tip: if you're going to wake up early once during your cruise, do it here!Arriving in Palermo is magical; the slow sunrise illuminating the Etna volcano (far off to the left) and then slowly coloring the mountains over Palermo is ... Read More
Tip: if you're going to wake up early once during your cruise, do it here!Arriving in Palermo is magical; the slow sunrise illuminating the Etna volcano (far off to the left) and then slowly coloring the mountains over Palermo is breathtaking. Meanwhile, the city is already in a buzz, with honking cars inching their ways up and down the main arteries. As soon as the sun rose over the horizon, a single church bell started to ring - not just the ordinary 'bim - bam', but the Ave Maria. You do not have to be a religious person to be touched by it; and it - over the background noice of honking traffic - set the tone of the day.Again, we went out on our own with the help of a city map. Splendid corruption; marvellous marble palaces, slowly decaying and split up in small apartments are everywhere around town. A few sights are really worthwile; the Teatro Massimo, the 'Fountain of Shame', the cathedral, all were picture-perfect. Taking a wrong turn here and there, we ended up on the market, which is something we always enjoy, fresh fish, meat, fruit and vegetables everywhere - and a guy carrying a half pig carcass on his back- unwrapped. We also walked up to the Catacombe dei Cappucini, where Palermos bourgeousie and clergy were interred in the 19th century. A stronger 'memento mori' is not possible. Not for the weak-stomached, though. And again, the term splendid corruption comes to mind; with all these people 'buried' in their sundays' finest; their bodies given over to the decay of nearly 2 centuries.Further, Palermo is an Italian city, full of stylish shops and finely dressed people. A fascinating city. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
You can walk in straight form the ship, on a sunday many of the shops are shut but I found an interesting market to walk around and the cathedral is pretty spectacular but don't bother with the Norman Palace, you cant take pictures ... Read More
You can walk in straight form the ship, on a sunday many of the shops are shut but I found an interesting market to walk around and the cathedral is pretty spectacular but don't bother with the Norman Palace, you cant take pictures and if you are used to historic European buildings this will be a let down. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
The port was actually Messina, but it's not listed on the drop down menu. We took a cab to Tourmina about 20 minutes away. Most shops are closed in Messina on a Sunday. You have to go to Tourmina to do anything. Lots of shops, a ... Read More
The port was actually Messina, but it's not listed on the drop down menu. We took a cab to Tourmina about 20 minutes away. Most shops are closed in Messina on a Sunday. You have to go to Tourmina to do anything. Lots of shops, a beach, and a view of Mt. Etna. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Walked extensively to points & routes recommended by the Excursion Director. Could also get free wifi at a restaurant very near the dock.Took a cab to the Hotel Grand, about a mile from the city center. Very nice setting for lunch, but ... Read More
Walked extensively to points & routes recommended by the Excursion Director. Could also get free wifi at a restaurant very near the dock.Took a cab to the Hotel Grand, about a mile from the city center. Very nice setting for lunch, but expensive (24 euros for a club sandwich & fries).The Verdi Opera House was impressive, but couldn't get in for a tour (an employee said "Tomorrow"). Read Less
Sail Date: August 2013
MSC Cruises needs to drop this port from the itinerary. This city is ugly, dirty and very poor! I took a city tour and they made us go thru the flea market, which is in a ghetto where people are so poor and dirty that they live in tin ... Read More
MSC Cruises needs to drop this port from the itinerary. This city is ugly, dirty and very poor! I took a city tour and they made us go thru the flea market, which is in a ghetto where people are so poor and dirty that they live in tin houses! Unbelievable! Nothing exciting to see there. It would be better to stop in Salerno with a tour to Amalfi/Capri, or in Cefalu and tour the roman ruins. Please drop Palermo! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
Did both the red and blue Hop on/off bus. Good way to see the old and newer parts of this very busy city. Do it early because it get hot in the Summer and traffic is crazy by mid-day.
Did both the red and blue Hop on/off bus. Good way to see the old and newer parts of this very busy city. Do it early because it get hot in the Summer and traffic is crazy by mid-day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
Palermo was an excellent port. Plenty to do. We used the red bus for a hop on hop off tour and it was excellent. Only problem item was the city was dirty and it appeared the garbage had not been picked up for a couple of weeks.
Palermo was an excellent port. Plenty to do. We used the red bus for a hop on hop off tour and it was excellent. Only problem item was the city was dirty and it appeared the garbage had not been picked up for a couple of weeks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2013
I walked from the ship to a nature reserve and this was north of the port and about an hours walk. I continued my walk past beautiful cacti and eventually had a great view of the town and my ship in the distance. The time ashore was from ... Read More
I walked from the ship to a nature reserve and this was north of the port and about an hours walk. I continued my walk past beautiful cacti and eventually had a great view of the town and my ship in the distance. The time ashore was from about 10am till 5pm so plenty to explore. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
We walked of the ship directly into the city centre. We used the hoho bus which gives you the opportunity to see the city in a relaxing way. After that we did some shopping. Palermo has great shops. From affordable to luxurious. For ... Read More
We walked of the ship directly into the city centre. We used the hoho bus which gives you the opportunity to see the city in a relaxing way. After that we did some shopping. Palermo has great shops. From affordable to luxurious. For lunch we stoppen at a small restaurant and had a lovely Italian lunch. For us Palermo is a city we will definitely visit again, it is lovely. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2013
A short stroll from the ship took us right into the town, and we had a gentle stroll for about an hour before re-joining the ship.
A short stroll from the ship took us right into the town, and we had a gentle stroll for about an hour before re-joining the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2012
Ship docked at Messina (Messina was not in list provided to select as port): Easy to walk to the various sites (such as Christo Re, Neptune Fountain, Piazza Duomo), watched the Bell Tower at the Duomo perform at noon (lion roars, rooster ... Read More
Ship docked at Messina (Messina was not in list provided to select as port): Easy to walk to the various sites (such as Christo Re, Neptune Fountain, Piazza Duomo), watched the Bell Tower at the Duomo perform at noon (lion roars, rooster crows, bell chimes, statues move to "Ave Maria"). Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
Scary city, the atmosphere was so dark. Garbage everywhere. Locals were frowning all the time. This is not a pleasant city to walk through. We were blessed with sunny skies throughout our travel except for this port. Let me tell you things ... Read More
Scary city, the atmosphere was so dark. Garbage everywhere. Locals were frowning all the time. This is not a pleasant city to walk through. We were blessed with sunny skies throughout our travel except for this port. Let me tell you things look even worse with rainy skies. One happy thought, the Hugo Boss store had 50% off everything so Happy Shopping at least? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2012
We did not like Palermo as much as Geneo, would give it 2 1/2 stars. The city seemed more hectic, lots of traffic, and lots of walking. We did walk to Palazzo dei Normanni, much of it was closed. The Capella Palatina inside was ... Read More
We did not like Palermo as much as Geneo, would give it 2 1/2 stars. The city seemed more hectic, lots of traffic, and lots of walking. We did walk to Palazzo dei Normanni, much of it was closed. The Capella Palatina inside was gorgeous. Overall it was not worth the money or walk. Restaurants seemed more difficult to find, we couldn't even find a Gelato shop on the walk back to the ship. We did have to take our daughter to an orthodontist there to repair her braces. The ship helped us with arrangements. MSC's service in this situation was outstanding, as was the Doctors. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
Walked in town center. Aggressive sellers and horse taxies, lots of horse shit in streets, whole town smelled horse.
Walked in town center. Aggressive sellers and horse taxies, lots of horse shit in streets, whole town smelled horse. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
Jump in a taxi and go to Mondello beach, dont take taxi from port, they charge anything between 60-80 euros, go on main street and stop a cab, 17euros !
Jump in a taxi and go to Mondello beach, dont take taxi from port, they charge anything between 60-80 euros, go on main street and stop a cab, 17euros ! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2012
The port was actually Trapani, on the extreme north-west tip of Sicily. We docked right next to the front street in Trapani and litearlly walked off the ship, through a gate and onto the pavement. Very easy! We wanted to visit Erice ... Read More
The port was actually Trapani, on the extreme north-west tip of Sicily. We docked right next to the front street in Trapani and litearlly walked off the ship, through a gate and onto the pavement. Very easy! We wanted to visit Erice without paying for the official tour. Erice is a beuatiful mediaeval town on top of the hill behind Trapani. There is a cable car from the east end of Trapani (5km from the port) which takes you to Erice. We walked off the ship to the nearest bus stop (on sea side of road). Any bus takes you to the bus station. A ticket is 1.40 euros and can be used to make a second journey within 90mins. Buy your ticket as you board the bus. At the bus station, transfer to Service 23 (the 21 might do too) using the same ticket and ask the driver for the 'Stazione Funivia' (Cable Car Station). Get off the bus and walk left then turn right and you'll see the cable car station. A return cable car ticket is 6.50euros. Erice is beautiful -- plenty of places to eat, drink and buy souvenirs too. When you return, go back to the same bus stop for Service 23. It will take a tour round the north end of town, along the coast and bring you very close to the port (a bit to the east though). We just got off and walked to the ship instead of going back to the bus station for a connection. If all connections work well, you can leave the ship, take buses and cable car and be in Erice within the hour. Coming back, I would give yourself 1.5 hours just to be safe. Alternatively, just get a taxi to/from the cable car station. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
again a short walk from the boat leads to an area where you can catch a horse drawn carriage around the town or a tourist bus which does the same
again a short walk from the boat leads to an area where you can catch a horse drawn carriage around the town or a tourist bus which does the same Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
We spent about 3 hours walking around Palermo window shopping(Fridge magnets)and returned to the ship which is just a short walk away
We spent about 3 hours walking around Palermo window shopping(Fridge magnets)and returned to the ship which is just a short walk away Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Not much to see here. Busier & dirtier than Naples. We took the little road train for 8 euros each, but the way it's designed means that you don't really get to see much above first floor level. There was nothing that we ... Read More
Not much to see here. Busier & dirtier than Naples. We took the little road train for 8 euros each, but the way it's designed means that you don't really get to see much above first floor level. There was nothing that we whizzed past during the 50 minute ride that we felt deserved a second look, anyway. The city didn't tempt us to walk around. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Capital of Sicily - be prepared to negotiate for anything if you don't take a tour. Took a 1 hr horse and carriage tour of the city for 50 Euros.
Capital of Sicily - be prepared to negotiate for anything if you don't take a tour. Took a 1 hr horse and carriage tour of the city for 50 Euros. Read Less

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