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Peregrina651

Live from the Western Mediterranean

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AGREED!!! We rode the 100 bus into Nice on New Year's Day. It is a cloudless day We had no real plan when we set out for the day because the Chagall Museum of closed and that was what we really wanted to see in Nice. So, we got off the bus and just started walking along the waterfront in the direction of the Old Town. There were a lot of people with the same idea.

 

 

Can you tell me where the nearest bus stop for Bus 100 is to the port area...or do we need to go up to the casino area ?

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Did anyone do Lucca on your own or Scenic Lucca and Pisa tour? It looks like Lucca and Pisa you spend more time in Lucca and have a guide. We went to Pisa last year and once is enough I think.

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Did anyone do Lucca on your own or Scenic Lucca and Pisa tour? It looks like Lucca and Pisa you spend more time in Lucca and have a guide. We went to Pisa last year and once is enough I think.

 

We took the free/inclusive Pisa. And then the following day, we took the non-free/not included Lucca excursion.

 

Pisa tour was nice but it was quite rushed. However, it was a nice day, so that helped. We have relatively little time to ourselves to take pictures - and with such a large crowd of visitors around, it would be difficult to take pictures of the tower and church buildings without getting pictures of the heads of tourists in them.

 

As for Lucca, it was not a nice day - cold and wet. What was more, the tour guide had flu or bad cold or whatever, and she could not speak properly (she sounded and looked a bit like death warmed up, poor lady) but just coughing frequently. We were so worried to get her cold/flu/whatever. She dropped us in Lucca but she did not tell us to visit the Duomo di San Martino, which fortunately the guide book advised us to go to. The museum which was the birth place of Verdi was quite interesting, I must say - and at least, it was dry , warm and cosy! If you need to use the bathroom, they are free and very clean as well (If you use the public toilets, there is a small charge).

 

There was supposed to be a walk around wall, a bit like in Dubrovnik, but as it was such a cold and wet day, we did not go. My travelling partner said, if it it was a nice day, Lucca would have been nice. For me, I was not impressed with the town and would never want to go visit that place again in a hurry. Could not see what was so "scenic" about Lucca. I did *not* think that was one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, and would not recommend anyone to go there. It is a waste of time . At least, that is my opinion.

Edited by Gnoelj

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Lucca is a lovely place in the sunshine. It has a nice ambience, interesting shops, great churches, and of course the lovely walks or bike rides on the walls. On that day we actually stayed onboard as it was so grim outside. I had planned to reacquaint myself with Livorno,but we actually did that after our included Pisa tour in the sunshine on the day before.

I think you must have been very wet and cold as I think you will find it was Puccini that was born in Lucca. Verdi from Northern Italy near Cremona.

I think you may be in the minority with most liking Lucca. However I like St Tropez whereas others don't. If you are in the area again then try a tour with the lovely Paolo from Unforgettabletuscany.com. We have toured with him on several occasions. Last June we took a small party of cruise critic friends to Pisa, as one person hadn't seen it, then to a lovely Villa Torrigiani (our group were the only ones there) then on to Lucca. We had a lovely day.

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Can you tell me where the nearest bus stop for Bus 100 is to the port area...or do we need to go up to the casino area ?

 

Place des Armes

 

The nice ladies at the info desk in the building that we had to pass thru to get on and off the ship showed it to us on the map. About a 20 minute walk from ship.

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Did anyone do Lucca on your own or Scenic Lucca and Pisa tour? It looks like Lucca and Pisa you spend more time in Lucca and have a guide. We went to Pisa last year and once is enough I think.

 

We did the Lucca on you own and loved it. Yes, it was cold and raining but we dressed appropriately and carried an umbrella --and we did some advanced planning so we knew what we wanted to see. We wondered down to the Verdi house but did not go in. No patience that day for a house tour. Our loss. We also checked out a couple of the churches and did a lot of window shopping.

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Lucca is a lovely place in the sunshine. It has a nice ambience, interesting shops, great churches, and of course the lovely walks or bike rides on the walls. On that day we actually stayed onboard as it was so grim outside. I had planned to reacquaint myself with Livorno,but we actually did that after our included Pisa tour in the sunshine on the day before.

I think you must have been very wet and cold as I think you will find it was Puccini that was born in Lucca. Verdi from Northern Italy near Cremona.

I think you may be in the minority with most liking Lucca. However I like St Tropez whereas others don't. If you are in the area again then try a tour with the lovely Paolo from Unforgettabletuscany.com. We have toured with him on several occasions. Last June we took a small party of cruise critic friends to Pisa, as one person hadn't seen it, then to a lovely Villa Torrigiani (our group were the only ones there) then on to Lucca. We had a lovely day.

 

 

Sorry, it was Puccini, not Verdi. You are right. Just revealed what a philistine I am about opera composers! Embarrassed Gulp!!!

 

You are probably right if you are saying different people have different views of different places and towns. For example, some folks did not like Port Grimaud during our stop at St. Tropez, but I loved it. It was so beautiful and yet it was one place where we did not have to jostle around with hundreds and thousands of other visitors - it felt so calm and relaxing. Talking photos of the lovely houses along the side of the canals, was really quite a pleasant experience.

 

Reading back what I said about Lucca, guess the Lucca Tourist Board will not invite me to give a speech on how lovely their town is now!!!! (Another gulp! ) Oh well.....

Edited by Gnoelj

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Place des Armes

 

The nice ladies at the info desk in the building that we had to pass thru to get on and off the ship showed it to us on the map. About a 20 minute walk from ship.

 

 

 

Thank you for that info.

 

Re Lucca... As we had been to Florence before ,....a coupe of years ago we joined some other folks and did a tour to Lucca, spent about an hour and a half there, then on to Viareggio and Forte Del Marme (where I believe Andrea Boccelli now lives... or close by).....both very fashionable Italian summer resorts. All the places were lovely and it was easily doable in the day. Only trouble is you really need others to join you and as I have discovered Viking RollCalls don't seem as active as the other cruise lines we have been with....maybe partly due to Viking including some tours.

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Place des Armes

 

The nice ladies at the info desk in the building that we had to pass thru to get on and off the ship showed it to us on the map. About a 20 minute walk from ship.

 

I wanted to do this sooner but mostly since I have gotten home I have been sleeping and fighting a sinus infection.

 

In two parts, here is how to talk from the ship to the Place des Armes where the 100 bus will pick you up. (The drop off point is slightly different because of one way streets). The route is marked with yellow highlighter and red arrows and this is more or less the route that we walked. It is not the most direct route but it is very walkable and not very steep--and it includes steps.

 

Map 1:

enhance

 

 

 

enhance

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We had an italian adventure! Yesterday we were docked in Livorno and went on the included Pisa tour. At the end of the tour we told our guide we were going off on our own and with that we walked to the train station. It's an easy walk. Once there, we took the 48 minute non-stop train ride to Florence. Cost was about 8.60€. Our daughter lives and works in Florence so we stayed the night with her. (Yes the Star was docked overnight in Livorno so no worries!). We took the train back the following morning. It was a leisurely 45 minute stroll from the Livorno train station (cappuccino break in the middle of course) to the Viking shuttle stop near Piazza Grande. Then back to the ship!

 

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we had an italian adventure! Yesterday we were docked in livorno and went on the included pisa tour. At the end of the tour we told our guide we were going off on our own and with that we walked to the train station. It's an easy walk. Once there, we took the 48 minute non-stop train ride to florence. Cost was about 8.60€. Our daughter lives and works in florence so we stayed the night with her. (yes the star was docked overnight in livorno so no worries!). We took the train back the following morning. It was a leisurely 45 minute stroll from the livorno train station (cappuccino break in the middle of course) to the viking shuttle stop near piazza grande. Then back to the ship!

 

Sent from my sm-g955u using forums mobile app

 

sweeett!!!!

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I wanted to do this sooner but mostly since I have gotten home I have been sleeping and fighting a sinus infection.

 

In two parts, here is how to talk from the ship to the Place des Armes where the 100 bus will pick you up. (The drop off point is slightly different because of one way streets). The route is marked with yellow highlighter and red arrows and this is more or less the route that we walked. It is not the most direct route but it is very walkable and not very steep--and it includes steps.

 

Map 1:

enhance

 

 

 

enhance

 

Perfect. Thank you very much for taking the time to do that. We have been to Monaco. Few times but never done the bus but I now know where the stop is.

I hope you are feeling better again, not nice being unwell when on holiday.

Joyce

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Perfect. Thank you very much for taking the time to do that. We have been to Monaco. Few times but never done the bus but I now know where the stop is.

I hope you are feeling better again, not nice being unwell when on holiday.

Joyce

 

NOT!! And we leave again in 10 days:(:p. I have been to my GP and given more drugs and now I am just waiting for them to work. Meantime, lots of napping--and coughing.

 

But it was always my plan to do the maps to show everyone where to go for the bus. One picture is worth a thousand words!

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NOT!! And we leave again in 10 days:(:p. I have been to my GP and given more drugs and now I am just waiting for them to work. Meantime, lots of napping--and coughing.

 

But it was always my plan to do the maps to show everyone where to go for the bus. One picture is worth a thousand words!

 

Somewhere nice I hope. Hopefully the drugs will kick in fast as you will be great.

 

You are right, a pic explains something even the thickest can understand...where words might confuse !! LOL

Not telling you which category I fall in !!!!

Thank you again..very much appreciated.

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LIVORNO:

 

These comments are aimed at the adventurous among us.

 

For our first day in Livorno, we took the train to Florence. We had tickets for the Uffizzi and a shopping list (wallet at the leather school behind Sta. Croce, some earrings on the Ponte Vecchio and some very expensive limoncello filled chocolates for my daughter, who had lived just around the corner from the chocolatier plus a visit to the leather market just off Piazza della Republica). We covered a lot of ground in Florence (which was really very crowded since Europe was on Christmas vacation).

 

To buy the train tickets, I wrote out on a 3x5 card what I wanted-- round trip, direct to Florence. IMHO, it is worth waiting for the direct train just to avoid having to change trains somewhere along the line. Schedules are available on Trenitalia. Don't forget to validate your train tickets before boarding the train. When you are looking for the train on the arr/dep board, make sure it says direct (which looks enough like the English that you will recognize it).

 

But what I really want to talk about are the taxi cabs. To get to the train station, we took the shuttle-bus to the drop off point and a cab to the train station. Cabs were waiting for us just across the street from where the bus dropped us. At the drop off point, we joined forces with a threesome to share the cab. The cost would be 25€ for the ride. Once underway, the cab driver said that for 250€ for the day, we would drive us all to Florence and back for the day (or to wherever we wanted to go). The threesome took him up on the offer. We never saw them again, so I was unable to follow up with them to see how their day went.

 

On the way home, we took a cab all the way back to the ship rather than to the shuttle; it was the same price and they took us right to the dock. We joined up with another foursome from the cruise, who we met while waiting for the cab. Again, the charge was 25€, which we split with the foursome. Many of the cabs are minivans that seat 6 or 7, so it is worth sharing a cab to the train station.

 

For those who are interested, the name of the chocolatier is Migone and it is located close to the Duomo on Via dei Calzaiuoli, 87R,.

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Thank you for continuing to post your port experiences. Hope you are feeling better and ready for your next trip! :)

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Re: Livorno. We walked the distance between the shuttle drop-off point and the train station and it was about a half-hour / 45 minute walk. I wasn't paying too much attention to the actual time because we stopped to look at churches, forts, cafes, etc. along the way but it really wasn't a huge hike. Just to let the avid walkers know it's certainly doable.

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Hope you are feeling better and ready for your next trip! :)

 

Thanks for the well wishes. Five days until we leave and I am not ready--and I don't mean the packing, which isn't done either. Hoping a few more days of resting and taking it easy will do the trick.

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Question for those who have already done this cruise. We are considering this one for Sept or October this year. One of us has some difficulty walking and another has lower stamina. Are the excursions mainly walking and is this prohibitive for someone with mobility issues. He refuses to use a cane though it would help! Thanks for any insights. :confused:

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Question for those who have already done this cruise. We are considering this one for Sept or October this year. One of us has some difficulty walking and another has lower stamina. Are the excursions mainly walking and is this prohibitive for someone with mobility issues. He refuses to use a cane though it would help! Thanks for any insights. :confused:

 

What are your exact ports?

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Question for those who have already done this cruise. We are considering this one for Sept or October this year. One of us has some difficulty walking and another has lower stamina. Are the excursions mainly walking and is this prohibitive for someone with mobility issues. He refuses to use a cane though it would help! Thanks for any insights. :confused:

 

Since this is an established itinerary, descriptions of the shore excursions are already available for you to read. However, how to find them is one of the better kept secrets. ;)

 

Go to the itinerary page for the cruise that you are considering. I'm going to give you a link to one of the two week cruises simply because it contains all of the Western Med ports. So, go here and then scroll down the page until you get to the Day-by-Day section. Each day is actually a link to more information about the port. You can start with with any day you want. Click on the day you want to read about and it will take you to a new page. Across the top, you will see links that will help you navigate from one page to the next or take you back to the overview. Scroll down to read descriptions of the shore excursions. Not all of the shorex shown will be available on all sail dates but it will give you an idea of what to expect. This will work for whichever itinerary you want to learn more about.

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Does anyone know if there are Bill W. (AA) meetings on Viking ocean cruises?

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"King's Day" (Feast of the Epiphany) is tomorrow--Jan 6. Marks the beginning of Mardi Gras and King Cake season in New Orleans. Yum!!

 

 

 

We are looking forward to our Barcelona to Rome cruise in July. We'd love to have any reviews of the included tours. The included tours on our river cruise were wonderful but we need to decide if we will do optional or book other independent tours. Thanks for any input you all might have.

 

 

 

In Barcelona we did the half day tour to Montserrat. It was an excellent excursion. Take the first one of the morning. The Abbey gets very crowded as the day goes on. We practically had it all to ourselves for the first hour. In Monaco we did the included tour and then the gardens of Monaco tour. We went all over the principality. The Exotic Garden is high up,and offers some fabulous photo opportunities. In Livorno we did A Day in Tuscany Tour. We went to San Gimignano and then to a farm for an authentic lunch. We saw such beautiful countryside.

 

 

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