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12 Day Grand Mediterranean Review on the Norwegian Spirit


nolatravelgirl
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Part 19

 

We again piled in the van and Nikki drove us within a block of the Duomo. I seem to recall only having about 30 minutes for pictures and a bit of wandering. I really wanted to go inside but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time for that.

 

 

You guessed it, back in the van we go! Nicki again got us within a block of the entrance to the Accademia. She illegally parked the van and we handed her our ticket vouchers where she popped into a shop and magically came out with our tickets. She showed us which line to join and said she would meet us back at the van at the appointed time. I don’t recall how much time we had, but the museum was smaller than I was expecting.

 

I didn’t check if there were audio guides to rent but I was in luck I had downloaded the Rick Steves Audio Europe guide. This was a huge help. Several of the tracks were walking tours of the major attractions. The Accademia was one of those tracks and I popped in my earbuds and proceeded to listen to the details rather than having to keep reading all the plaques. The track was only 20 minutes so it didn’t cover everything it did cover the major.

 

 

Our time was drawing to an end so we had one last ride in the van. It was pretty quiet in the van and many of us dozed on the way back. With RIL you need to pay cash at the end and so I mentioned to everyone while we were at the Accademia to make sure they had cash available so we didn’t have a problem when back at the port.

 

Overall I thought RIL with my corresponding Rick Steve’s guide was a good way to see Florence/Pisa in a timely fashion. I liked being dropped near the attractions. I did feel like I was in visual information overload by the end of the day. RIL lets you see more attractions, but it may just all be “too much” for one day. The ship’s tours take in fewer attractions but you will likely get to spend more time at those attractions. RIL is great for seeing it “all” in a day but you are just scratching the surface.

 

Nola do you think it is worth it to book the private guide for the Florence/Pisa excursion? I see they don't go into those 2 attractions.

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Really enjoyed your Med review. I always enjoy reading everybody's experiences, especially Mediterranean cruises.

 

Some of the ports, I did last year and some of the other ports like Greece and Turkey, hope to do next year. Did Rome, Florence, Naples, Barcelona, and Venice last year and it was fun seeing some of the sights that I visited and seeing it from your perspective. Did Rome in Limo for Naples and Florence and thought they were great. I definitely want to get back to Barcelona and do that food tour along with seeing some of the sights that I missed. That tour looks like a lot of fun.

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The Marques wine is one of my favorites!

 

I didn't think the wine was anything remarkable. It retails for $13 USD for the full bottle. My point in my post was the fact that a half bottle (approx two glasses), one large sangria and an appetizer was 60 Euros.

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Doing this cruise in August, a great and insightful review that has given me plenty of ideas, sadly the Turkish part of this cruise has been dropped. Thanks for what must have been a mighty task putting the review together..

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Doing this cruise in August, a great and insightful review that has given me plenty of ideas, sadly the Turkish part of this cruise has been dropped. Thanks for what must have been a mighty task putting the review together..
This review took way longer than I ever imagined to put together. CC only allows 6 photos per post which makes it an even more daunting task. Overall I am glad I wrote it since it allowed me to relive my vacation over in my mind. :D

 

It is too bad that they dropped the Turkish stops as Ephesus was spectacular and while I have been Istanbul several times there is always something interesting see! I should go look up the replacement stops to see if they are places I have seen before.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are just back from our cruise and I wanted to thank you for your review and tips. I really think it helped us have a very, very successful amazing trip.

 

I think we had HIB for our Rome driver but I can't figure our how to upload the picture!

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We are just back from our cruise and I wanted to thank you for your review and tips. I really think it helped us have a very, very successful amazing trip.

 

I think we had HIB for our Rome driver but I can't figure our how to upload the picture!

 

Any tips / suggestions for Livorno? Still trying to figure out if I want to take a taxi to the train station and do Pisa / Lucca on our own, or get a driver. Did you happen to notice if NCL offered a shuttle bus to the train station (and how much was it) and if there were many taxis when you exit the ship?

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  • 2 months later...
Part 14

 

Port: Toulon, France

Day 2 – Freestyle Daily

 

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Today we docked in Toulon, France at 8:00am which seemed super early as I had not yet fully adjusted to the time change. We had found out about a private Provence Wine Tour from our Cruise Critic Roll Call. We booked directly with the company and were glad we booked this one early as it is run by a small company and they were sold out for the day. Our guide/driver was the owner of the company. She was telling us that she only had 4 guides and each tour holds 8 people.

 

We all packed into Mercedes minivan. Two people had to sit on the bench seat with the driver. We were on our way and the guide gave us some history of the Bandol wine region. We turned onto a fairly rustic road and I knew that we were definitely not going somewhere that the big tour companies would even be able to get to. We stopped at the picturesque Chateau de Pibarnon

 

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Do you recall the name of the company you booked the wine tour with?

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  • 1 month later...

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