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Chocolate Teapot

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  1. I had a tour in Palermo, which covered Monreale, Cefalu, and ended with a short drive through Palermo before returning to the ship. It was an excellent, personalised tour and I thought I saw far more than on a ship's tour. Silvano, the driver was very good and ensured we (there were only 3 of us) returned to the ship on time. I would always use Italy Tours if they could offer a tour in a particular port.
  2. I usually buy a fan, but then I normally cruise during the summer and it's necessary! Leather goods (bags, shoes, wallets and purses) If you are in Barcelona, there are a lot of Gaudi inspired souvenirs. Things like mugs or placemats with Sagrada Familia or the Parc Guell mosaic pattern on them.
  3. Not sure if this applies to all cruise lines, but on NCL Epic this year there were 2 shuttle buses. One went into the town centre, the other straight to the train station.
  4. There was a fleet of black and yellow taxis straight outside the arrivals when I flew into Barcelona in July. You may need to wait if you need a larger people carrier vehicle. The prices are fixed and attached to a small poster on the window.
  5. Bruges is always worth a visit. Ghent is more of a working city, but has similar architecture, and Brussels has the lovely Grand Place. There are regular train services connecting the 3.
  6. As I have mentioned on here before, public transport in Paris is very extensive, and www.ratp.fr provides advice, maps and itineraries. From Charles de Gaulle, the RER line B goes direct to the Gare du Nord. This area is full of hotels, restaurants and underground and bus lines.
  7. This website (with which I have no affiliation) has a helpful section on hotels in Barcelona, although the whole site is worth reading, especially the section on safety. https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/
  8. I was also on the Epic on 4th July, and would recommend if anyone is taking the EUR 5 shuttle bus just into town, make sure you have the correct money. It was chaotic as people tried to buy their tickets from the salespeople (who didn't have enough change). Also I noticed that when the shuttle bus dropped us off, there were some people advertising tour buses to Pisa and Lucca. I don't know what these tours were like, but it seemed to be possible just to get on without booking.
  9. And Eze is horribly steep, which in hot weather is not fun. The perfume factory will be Fragonnard, who happen to make all the perfumes I wear, but unless they have some new products, you don't need more than 20 minutes there*. There are free public toilets there though! *If you happen to be in Paris, the Fragonnard Museum by the Opera is much more interesting with a history of perfume and displays of unusual bottles.
  10. Not sure if this helps, but I did a similar excursion on NCL Epic and the itinerary was: Tender boat from ship to quayside Bus journey to Monaco (it is further than you might think) Tour of the casino in Monte Carlo and free time to admire the row of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins parked in front Walk from casino, past tyre marks in the road from the Formula 1 race, to the Palace and Old Town area Short walking tour of the Old Town, pointing out the landmarks Some free time (I think it was about 1-2 hours) before returning to the bus Bus back to Cannes and return tender boat to ship I think the excursions team will organise 1 tour group on the same tender boat, so they can be "herded" from the ship straight to the bus on the quayside.
  11. I used Italy Tours for a day trip from Naples to Pompeii, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. It was an excellent day, and Luca, the driver was terrific. We also had free time in Sorrento for lunch and stopped for photos (and fresh lemon slushies) overlooking Positano. I would certainly use them again.
  12. I used Barcelona Day Tours for a half-day tour with transfer to my ship. As usual, it was an excellent tour, full of interesting information, and I am happy to recommend them.
  13. Well, I spent my day in Leghorn and I had a very nice relaxing day. It was good to see an ordinary working town, as opposed to a tourist destination. The covered market hall was amazing, and the shopping streets are all covered arcades, so you are protected from the sun. There is a nice church in the centre and some original arcades from the 19th Century, as well as plenty of places to eat and drink.
  14. As the excursion I wanted to do from Livorno doesn't look like it will be going ahead, I have decided to spend the day in Leghorn, as British aristocrats during the Grand Tour used to call it. Has anyone else stayed in Livorno instead of going on excursions further afield? I know it doesn't have the sights of Florence, but there appear to be enough things to do for a relaxing day.
  15. This is quite an interesting article. https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/shopping/barcelona-clothes.html
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