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Seaview Western Med Excursions Help

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Hello, I will be cruising the Seaview this summer with my grandmother. She won this cruise for free, and wants to use it as her opportunity to visit Europe, as she only been once, Rome in the 90s. We will be spending 3 days in Paris and 4 days in Barcelona pre-cruise, and those days are mostly planned, but I am struggling to find activities in each port. This is my first time cruising the Med, and I am struggling with a few of the ports specifically, as I know what we would want to do, just not how to do it and get the best value for money. We are treating this like her last trip to Europe. She is not up for terribly extraneous things, I should also add. She is very into cooking and wine. I personally love viewpoints and history. I should also add that we have $400 in OBC and plan on using it mostly for excursions once we get onboard, but we still want to know in advance what would be good for us to see. If something is worth seeing that MSC doesn't offer, offers infrequently, or offers at a ridiculous price, we'd rather go on our own or with a separate company.

Anyway, Our ideas so far are as follows:

Marseille: No clue to be honest. I've been recommended the Vieux Fort but I haven't heard much else. Suggestions?

Genoa: She really wants to go to Portofino, but I have heard that it's a massive and expensive tourist attraction, many other nearby villages are much better to visit. Can anyone concur? Any suggestions for tour companies or how to do it alone?

Naples: Conflicted again. No large interest in Pompeii, but Capri and Sorrento are nice. Are either worth visiting on our shortened stop though? Should we splurge on Genoa to a small fishing town and do something relating to food here?

Messina: Looking at an MSC excursion to Taormina and to a beach. I absolutely love Sicily so I have a long list of possible things we could do.

Malta: I want to do so much here. I want to see the old town, but Comino Island and Gozo look beautiful. Any good tour recommendations or companies?

Again, we do have the OBC so booking through MSC could be the best option. However, we cannot book until we step onboard. So, I want to have a few plans in the event that all of the good excursions are sold out. We get all of the money back that we do not use.

Thank you in advance to anyone who helps, we are very confused since cruising Europe is new for the both of us, I appreciate the help!! Happy cruising! :) Edited by OceansOfTravels

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We did the same ports last year on MSC Meraviglia!

We chose to do MSC shore excursions because we had children with us and we were a group of 8 so just for convenience

Marseille: Unimpressed... We got the MSC shuttle to the town and walked around. Wish we booked a tour instead.

Genoa: I really wanted to go to Portofino. So we booked MSC tour to Portofino, small boat, alittle crowded did not know how we were going to fit 300PAX on the boat... but we all got a seat and didn't feel cramped onboard. Seeing the coast line and genoa from the water was beautiful and Portofino was just as pretty as the pictures. There wasn't a lot of time allocated in the town but atleast we got to see what all the hype was about.. take some photos, have a coffee (you spend more time getting there/back in the boat) but it was definitely worth it to see IMO

Naples: We embarked here so we got to do some exploring pre cruise however organise a private tour to Sorrento as Its closer, or if you have more time in port definitely go to positano or amalfi

Messina: "Looking at an MSC excursion to Taormina and to a beach." we did this tour via MSC and I don't recommend it!! Felt really rushed through Taormina its so beautiful that we didn't get enough time to really enjoy it (quick coffee that's it) back onto the bus again only to arrive at a beach where the staff were extremely rude, we were "allocated" sunbeds (furthest from the water) it turned out overcast and not pleasant weather so sitting on a beach waiting 3 hours for time to pass wasn't that appealing. Couldn't walk around because we had kids with us that were tired and not in the mood for walking - they wernt allowed to have sunbeds to themselves had to share, that was annoying - so the weather/kids might have turned us off.. but I probably would of just stayed in town longer

Malta: Needless to say after Messina we dumped the kids in kids club....we walked off the ship and around the town, such a gorgeous place, was really impressed and happy just to explore the town on our own.

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Thank you so much for your input. Looks like we will have to find a good tour for Marseilles, and Genoa should be spent in Portofino. Did you book Portofino through the cruise line or through a private vendor?

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