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Cruising the Mediterranean - why so little info?


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We will be cruising on Windstar (Barcelona to Lisbon) this October, and other than what is offered on the cruiseline's website, I've been finding very little other information about day trips at the ports we'll be at.


If you have been to any of these ports, what would you recommend?


Palma de Mallorca






Thanks for you help!!!

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There is a lot of info re your ports on this board...just go back and cull through the different threads.Also,you can Google these ports for info as well.I will say one thing that I have posted before,and I know there was a lot written on it as well, do not go to Tangier's without a guide or go with a grup..this is one port not to do on your own.

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I posted this question specifically because I was unable to find much useful information on this Board, and I didn't really want to buy more guide books.


For example, I did a search on Tangiers on all of the Boards in Cruise Critic. I got 14 hits, includuing my own post, and virtually none of them gave me any ideas of what to do other than "Don't do it on your own" (don't do what?) and what to purchase while visiting. In fact, quite a few of the hits were not really about actually visiting Tangiers at all (one of them dealt with someone's complaint about the TSA!). I don't consider that "a lot" of information.


Yes, I can do a search on Google, MSN, AOL and any number of other search engines. And I can sift through a lot of marketing information that was written by people who want to sell me hotel nights or extended trips, but what I was specifically asking for was personal recommendations from other cruisers about what they did in port.

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I can help with Palma.


We have been several times and do the following.


We walk out of the terminal and take one of the cabs that are always waiting by the door. We then take the cab to the Bastio (castle). we then walk around the town, great shops and cafes. We then catch the scenic train from the side of the station. Not the main railway, but completly different. Then we walk back to the place we were dropped off at to catch a cab back to the ship.


Palma is a great place for shopping, and there are lots of great beaches around if you want to sunbathe.


There is a great map here.




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Ok...I can help you with Malaga although I have never been there on a cruise ship I have spent time in the area. I would suggest if the ship offer's it or do by private driver a trip to Granada and the Alhambra Palace.You leave Malaga and drive over the mountains so you get to see abit of that part of the country.If you do not want to do a day trip you can use the local bus and go to Mijas or Rhonda which are old towns that sit high up.Or you could do a city tour of Malaga.Shopping in the area is quite good for Llardo,leather good and silver jewelry.

As far as Tangiers goes, the reason I said to go with a group or a private guide is that you do get to see some of the sights w/o being constantly hasseled,and they will tell you the local customs(like not taking picutes of the locals w/o asking them as it is not something they like)(also, it is asfer to be with a gruop to tour they area).Also, it is easy to get lost there.If you want to buy leather or rugs this is really not the place IMHO,but yiu will see a lot of stores there.There are all kinds of items and I have the feeling it has changed a bit since I was last there.You will get out away from the casbah before you hit that part if you are on a bus tour and see some of the homes etc. then do a walking tour inside the walled city.

I have not been to Ibizia,but a friend was there last year and just wandered on her own w/o doing a tour so I can't help you there.

If you go to Cadiz this is really the place to shop for leather..prices are cheaper than Barcelona on a lot of things.You can also do Cadiz on your own by taking the city walking tour where you follow the lines on the street and you get a flovor of the city.

Hope this helps.

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Try posting questions or doing a search on Fodors travel talk. Just don't mention that the info is for a cruise. The posters there will tell you to go to cruisecritic! I get the best info and advice on the Europe forum . Good luck.

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MGC, please appreciate that not only are you traveling on a ship that few on Cruise Critic sail, but you are also traveling on an itinerary that is unique when it comes to "Mediterranean cruises." Of all the cruisers who have been to the five ports you named--which number is very small compared to the numbers of cruisers who have been to, e.g., Barcelona, Rome and Venice--what are the odds they will be following this thread right now and respond?


May I suggest you increase the odds by pitching your query with the exact place names? By asking, "Cruising the Med -- why so little info?" you aren't grabbing the right folks. I almost ignored the post until it got under my skin and I had to look--what do you mean, there is so little info on Med cruising?!! But now having read your question, I understand it.


Also, I assume you've posted in the Windstar section, and I agree with zwho, you should check out Fodors, as well as Frommers, Lonely Planet, Rick Steves' graffiti board, etc. For these places, you will find more info from land travelers than cruisers.


Good luck! Sounds like a lovely cruise trip.

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Have not been to the others but can tell you a bit about Palma de Mallorca. From the ship it is an easy walk to the center of town. Very picturesque views on the way. Great place to buy Mallorca pearls. Also there is public transportation(bus) to the many beaches on the island and if you take a cab the rates are reasonable. Good luck.

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Here is some info I found for Portmao,Portugal,and Ibiza,Spain



Portimao, Portugal


The city of Portimao with its beach resort Praia da Rocha, are the best known places of an Algarve region unique for its diversity. Located on the estuary of the Arade River, Portimao has made its living from fishing since pre-Romans times. Today a sprawling port and a major sardine-canning center, the town is also a base for the construction industries generated by the tourist boom.


Although summer is the busiest time of the year, the mild climate of the Algarve and many sunny winter days attract multinational tourists in all seasons, coming here to visit historical sites, playing golf, strolling along the river boulevard or exploring the many shopping opportunities. Stunning rock formations and warm seawaters make the beaches particularly alluring. The most beautiful on the entire coast is Praia da Rocha, the first one of several Algarve resort developments. Its wide expanse of sand is framed by jagged ea cliffs and the walls of an old fort that once protected the mouth of the Arade River. From Portimao, explorations can be made along the coast all the way to Cape St. Vincent, Europe’s most westerly point, and inland to Lagos and Silves, once the residence and capital of the Moorish kings.



The Balearic Islands lie scattered in the western Mediterranean off the southeast coast of Spain. Regular ferry service connects the principal islands of the archipelago with the mainland.



Through history, the three main islands, Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca, were the object of invasion by outside powers. Moorish forces arrived during the 8th century and established their hold until the disintegration of the Caliphate of Cordoba. James I of Aragon gained control over these specks of land in 1229, only to see them integrated into the independent kingdom of Mallorca in 1276. Later they were returned to the Aragonese crown. Today, invasions occur daily at airports and yacht harbors around the islands. The alluring mild climate attracts scores of northern Europeans who grow weary of cloudy days and cold temperatures. They come here to enjoy the sunshine and the beaches; at night they fill the clubs until the early morning hours. The name Ibiza has become synonymous with pleasure seeking. As your ship pulls into the port of Eivissa (also known as Ibiza Town), you will have a fine view of the impressive fortifications. An easy stroll along the cobbled streets takes you to the lively downtown area of shops and restaurants. D’Alt Vila, the old town dominates the port and seafront. With its historic buildings and stately mansions, D'Alt Vila is the very heart of Eivissa. Step inside the cool recesses of the 13th-century Cathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Nieves (Our Lady of the Snows) or visit the Archaeological Museum, where the island’s history is well represented. As the sun arcs overhead, pause in an outdoor café for a glass of chilled Ibizan sangria.

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Still here -- and I do appreciate the info you've been giving me.


Here's a question for all of you:


I know that it is not uncommon in the Caribbean to rent a car for the day and tour an island on your own. Is that possible / practical for these ports? (So far, I haven't found a company that does one-day rentals for a couple of them, but I haven't had a lot of chance to look, for pretty much the same reason that I haven't had a chance to respond). The necessity for an international driver's licence and manual transmission are not show-stoppers, I can handle both.


Alternately, if I were to hire a cab for a tour, what would be a normal going rate (for two to four people)?

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