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How developed do you like your ports?


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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Over the past decade the port at Piraeus has become increasingly easy to navigate and DIY to Athens. Once upon a time you had to walk about 30-35 minutes to the metro station and get on the (above ground) metro line to Athens. Then they added a bus to the metro, which was still somewhat infrequent. Then they added an express bus from the port (stops at both piers) right into Athens, with a couple of stops. 

 

Also, Piraeus isn't that far from Athens. A regular taxi isn't prohibitively expensive. It takes about 25-30 minutes, whereas Livorno is more like 90 minutes.

 

 

That's good to hear.  I think we have been to Piraeus within the last 10 years, but we had a tour arranged and were picked up at the port, so easy enough.  We didn't try to do it ourselves there, though we do at some ports.  

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13 hours ago, ontheweb said:

On our very first cruise while in Livorno, I managed to get us on the train going the wrong way.😢 DW figured it out, and we did get back. We managed to get to Pisa, but not Florence where we wanted to go. We did not get to Florence until 10 years later on another cruise.

 

BTW, the port for Athens is Piraeus.

Thank you!  I just could not come up with the name at the time I was writing!

 

We have definitely had our adventures using various trains, buses, etc. from ports to places of interest.  Luckily, they all turned out ok eventually.  It's a good thing most people are so friendly and helpful to obviously lost, clueless cruisers.

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3 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Agreed -I’ve stopped there several times (obviously not seeing every area), and found it probably the safest-appearing port ever.

 

11 hours ago, wowzz said:

Virtually every city in the world has one or two dodgy areas, but I'm amazed you found any in Funchal. You must have really walked a long way from the port terminal to find anywhere remotely "iffy" !

 

I was attempting to follow a map provided by HAL's shore excursion department.  Those maps are not known to be of the National Geographic quality.  And, that one wasn't!  

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21 minutes ago, Nebr.cruiser said:

Thank you!  I just could not come up with the name at the time I was writing!

 

We have definitely had our adventures using various trains, buses, etc. from ports to places of interest.  Luckily, they all turned out ok eventually.  It's a good thing most people are so friendly and helpful to obviously lost, clueless cruisers.

You're welcome.

 

My excuse in Livorno was that all the signs were in Italian. Actually, it was DW's fault. We were on the cruise to celebrate our 25th anniversary, and she obviously knew me a long time including that I have a terrible sense of direction. She had a feeling we were going the wrong way, but did not say anything. And missing Florence was especially bad for us because she was and still is an art teacher.

 

Ten years later we took a cruise with a similar itinerary and made sure we got to Florence by taking the cruise lines Florence on Your Own excursion.

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We will again be in Piraeus in July (have been to this port at least 10 times) and if we get a nice day (not too hot) we might trek into Athens.  Getting from Piraeus to Athens (on your own) is not very difficult.  One can just take the regional X80 Express Bus (there is a bus stop on the main road outside the two main ports).  Another option is to walk around the huge harbor to the train Station and just hop on the train/subway (Green Line) and you will be in Athens in about 20 minutes having spend a couple of Euros.  Another option is to simply join with a few others and grab a taxi at the port (but negotiate the fare in advance).  And there is also another regular local bus line (I think it might be the #040 bus which takes a bit longer to get into Athens but is somewhat cheaper (might be about 1.5 Euros).

 

Really did smile about taking the train the wrong way from Livorno.  That cannot happen in Pireaus since it is the end of the line (for the Green Line) so all the train/subways only go one-way (towards Athens).  Of course you could get on a return subway going the wrong way and head out to a nice suburb of Athens...the opposite direction from the port :).

 

Just one caution about Piraeus.  There are 2 separate cruise port areas with one being about 1/2 of a mile longer if hiking to the train station.  That further port used to have a free shuttle bus running to the other port (sometimes called Port A) from which walking is a better options.  It is hard to get lost since you just walk along the harbor (the train station is on the opposite side from the cruise ports).

 

Hank

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Just now, Hlitner said:

We will again be in Piraeus in July (have been to this port at least 10 times) and if we get a nice day (not too hot) we might trek into Athens.  Getting from Piraeus to Athens (on your own) is not very difficult.  One can just take the regional X80 Express Bus (there is a bus stop on the main road outside the two main ports).  Another option is to walk around the huge harbor to the train Station and just hop on the train/subway (Green Line) and you will be in Athens in about 20 minutes having spend a couple of Euros.  Another option is to simply join with a few others and grab a taxi at the port (but negotiate the fare in advance).  And there is also another regular local bus line (I think it might be the #040 bus which takes a bit longer to get into Athens but is somewhat cheaper (might be about 1.5 Euros).

 

Really did smile about taking the train the wrong way from Livorno.  That cannot happen in Pireaus since it is the end of the line (for the Green Line) so all the train/subways only go one-way (towards Athens).  Of course you could get on a return subway going the wrong way and head out to a nice suburb of Athens...the opposite direction from the port :).

 

Just one caution about Piraeus.  There are 2 separate cruise port areas with one being about 1/2 of a mile longer if hiking to the train station.  That further port used to have a free shuttle bus running to the other port (sometimes called Port A) from which walking is a better options.  It is hard to get lost since you just walk along the harbor (the train station is on the opposite side from the cruise ports).   There is also a local bus #843 that runs along the harbor and can take you from near the ports to the train terminal, but you would need to buy a bus ticket at a shop or kiosk before you boarded the bus.

 

Hank

 

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9 hours ago, Hlitner said:

 

Really did smile about taking the train the wrong way from Livorno.  

Being the person who took the train the wrong way from Livorno, believe me it did NOT make me smile.😢 The cruise was for our 25th anniversary, and I thought I had blown 25 years of marriage. Luckily, she is a saint.

 

Ten years later, I insisted we basically duplicate that cruise. Though we were much more experienced we made sure not to miss Florence by taking the ship's Florence on Your Own excursion with DW booking timed tickets for the major museums online in advance. It was the summer (as she is a teacher), and a very hot one. The air conditioned bus was a blessing, especially compared to Rome which we did on our own from the ship. On the train back, it was packed. It was already much too hot on that train before a fight broke out. After Florence DW wistfully said we should have also done the cruise line's Rome on your own.

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I’m a huge public transportation geek. One of my favorite things to do in port is go somewhere by public transportation - be it train, bus or ferry. But  Livorno -> Florence is a PITA. My hats off to those who do it. Take the cruise excursion if you want to go to Florence. Better yet, rent a car and explore one or more of the amazing small towns in the region instead of going to Florence which is nowhere near Livorno!

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1 hour ago, zekekelso said:

I’m a huge public transportation geek. One of my favorite things to do in port is go somewhere by public transportation - be it train, bus or ferry. But  Livorno -> Florence is a PITA. My hats off to those who do it. Take the cruise excursion if you want to go to Florence. Better yet, rent a car and explore one or more of the amazing small towns in the region instead of going to Florence which is nowhere near Livorno!

 

But as an FYI, you get more time in Florence if you take the train instead of the cruise ship transport....

 

I've been to the region a number of times so it's not so important to me, but if Florence is really high on someone's bucket list, there are cruises that overnight in Livorno, as well as some that depart quite late (e.g., 9 or 10pm).

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3 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

But as an FYI, you get more time in Florence if you take the train instead of the cruise ship transport....

 

I've been to the region a number of times so it's not so important to me, but if Florence is really high on someone's bucket list, there are cruises that overnight in Livorno, as well as some that depart quite late (e.g., 9 or 10pm).

Good point - the travel time from and to Livorno means that there is just a painfully frustrating too few hours in Florence on a regular port call.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/27/2021 at 12:59 PM, cruisemom42 said:

For me, I like big, real (meaning occasionally gritty and not too Disneyfied) European cities, and archaeological sites. Infrastructure is a plus. Diamonds International and Margaritavilles are a minus.

Same here. Infrastructure (especially clean, safe & dependable local public transportation) is a huge plus for me in Europe.

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Posted (edited)

It depends upon what “developed” means — if it’s developments over the centuries, as in Malta or Rhodes, or millennia as in Athens - I like lots of development.  If you mean more recent “enhancements”, Like Diamonds International, Senor Frog’s, etc - less is a whole lot more.

Edited by navybankerteacher
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