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By Beardyboy
I am wondering if anyone has been on the cruise from Alicante which takes you around the Med. I know they are departing during October and early November. We are booked to go on the November 4th one and I was wondering if anyone has come back with information re shore excursions. I am about to book the three excursions which include Sardinia, Rome and Florence/Pisa and am keen to know if they are recommended. Also, as we are gong in early November, I could use advice on the type of clothes to take with us!
Hopefully, someone will be able to offer suggestions.
Best wishes,
By Beardyboy
Where on earth did the post from STROLLING MINSTRAL go to? The information given was second to none. I cannot believe that it has been removed. Please, someone, explain what happened to it please.
By Adey
I read the post from strolling minstral, it was one of the most informative and helpful posts I've seen on this site for a very long time.

So what the hell was wrong with it :roll:
Apologies. I went to edit it to add a bit about embarkation at Alicante but hit the delete bit by mistake. Then clicked the are you sure bit (blame Amstel)
Not been removed, my error.
If you have any specific questions I'll be glad to re-do it.
By Beardyboy
Please recommend a time to go on board the cruise liner. We plan to be there at about 11am but how long will the whole process take?
Thank you again for your post. I was able to click back and took photographs of the post and am now able to reread it when I feel the need to whet my appetite about our forth coming trip.
Please send it again as it will be perfect for all the forum readers who may in the past have thought about going on a cruise. The fact that we join the ship in Alicante and return to the same port is a massive plus. Apart from the fact that it has to be the cheapest all inclusive holiday anyone could dream of and as you said, it takes you to visit some wonderful cities. Cheers.
Getting on at Alicante is pretty painless. Yes, there are big queues but there are at least 8 or 9 checking in desks. It took us less than 20 minutes to get through but they pushed us the through the "priority" line as the OH uses a stick. Others were on very quickly.
The cabins weren't ready until 12.00 noon anyway but the buffet and bars are open.
Malaga. There are little trains which charge 5 euro return to shuttle you back and forth. It doesn't go all the way to the town but drops you off at the port shopping area which has a huge open air market. It's just a short walk to the town but I think most things would be closed as you get there on a Sunday. The port area is open throughout.
Sardinia. You don't get there until about 3 so at 3'30 by the time you get off. The local town also has a shuttle but you have to pre book that on the ship as you will have to wait until 5 before you can buy one on the pier. You have to be back on board by 6;30.
Rome. You can get a shuttle to the train station at Civitavecchia but the ship does a reasonably priced "do it yourself" bus trip for 23 euro. Works out as cheap as the shuttle and train. It says you get 8 hours but with 3 hour return travel the time goes pretty quickly. Most tours are in Spanish with just a brief explanation in English. The hop on/hop off bus in Rome is 19 euro and picks you and drops you off where the bus stops and leaves from back to the ship. Commentary on the bus is in English as well.
You get there on a Wednesday which is the day the Pope comes out and blesses the crowd so lunchtime at St Peter's basilica is rather crowded. We did see a figure in white waving and getting huge cheers so assume it was him but we were so far back we couldn't actually see. Huge queues at the Vatican so if you want to go there, book in advance.
Florence. A couple of hours from Livorno to Florence which is a must if you haven't been there before. There is a shuttle (payable on the pier) at 3 euro to Livorno return (as many times as you like) plus taxis and minibuses which will do a cheaper trip than the ship to Florence and Pisa but the ship does a "do as you please" trip.
We'd been to Florence a couple of times so just took the shuttle to Livorno which was a lovely town. Very Italian (obviously) with a couple of old forts and a castle. Beautiful, Roman style arched shopping precinct and a big open air market. Plenty of places for lunch (capuccino was 1.50 and large pasta dish at between 4 to 7 euro). Also got a kilo of fresh parmesan to bring back at 12.90 a kilo (various prices depending on how long it had been aged).
Malaga just worth getting the shuttle to the end of the port.
Sardinia, expensive trips from the ship for a very short time. The local town really hasn't got that much but worth an hour or two look round.
Civitavechhia, trip to Rome a must but just the do it yourself bus and the tourist bus in Rome.
Livorno. Florence a must, Pisa very good and you can get a trip that does both but is expensive. Florence is quite a bit of walking but my OH would find it hard to keep up with the organised trip so doing it yourself (as we've done before) is the way to go.
You get dropped off near Piazza Santa Croce which is right in the middle. If you want to go to the Uffizzi gallery, be prepared to wait up to an hour as they let groups of people in when a lot have come out. Again, book in advance if you want to do that.
Getting off at Alicante. They will call you when your luggage has reached the dock so listen for the announcements. There is quite a queue there and they let about 8 to 10 people through at a time to collect the luggage so be prepared to wait up to 40 minutes to actually get it. (Unless you just barge little old ladies out of the way like the Spanish seem to do).
By Beardyboy
Superb information..exactly what I wanted, so thank you very much for taking the time to replicate it!
Having absorbed all this info. I must say that I am beginning to get excited and am looking forward to the experience. What is the policy for tipping? I presume that is not included . I upgraded to get a balcony cabin so expect that the tipping rate will be higher. I gather that you travelled with friends that to be recommended or is it easier to travel as a couple? I often think that it may be easier to get chatting with other passengers when travelling as a couple but having never had travelling companions on a cruise,I cannot say whether I am right or wrong.
Many thanks again.
I will keep you updated upon my return!
I hope the other couple have a jolly time on their trip departing on 28th.
You will be charged (I think) 72 euro each on your credit card for tips. No other tipping is necessary and I didn't see anyone tip any extra in the bars or restaurants.
As I mentioned in the previous post, everything is included but you can pay an extra 70 euro each for the week to take the upgrade drinks package. That way you get better quality wines (the table wines weren't very good, to be honest but the cava and sangria were fine), premium brand spirits, cans of soft drinks instead of the mixer or out of a big bottle one and a bigger selection of beers instead of just Mahou draft. If you don't take the ugrade, you can pay a little extra for each drink such as Dos Equis, Corona beer, Warsteiner and Heineken for 2 euro.
This link will show you what brands are included and what you pay extra for:

You don't pay those extras if you have purchased the upgrade drink package for 10 euro a day.
However, bottled water is not included in the upgrade package.
This is not a 5 star cruise ship with big show entertainment, rock climbing walls or golf. I would put it on a par with a Thomson ship but treat it like a bus that takes you to nice places and gives you food and drink and you'll be fine. It was better than we expected and, although old, was very clean and spacious.
Just remember, it's mainly Spanish and they are the noisiest and most talkative people on the planet. They travel in large groups and all talk, loudly, at the same time.
Fun, though.
By cameron
We are travelling with Marina Travel on this ship on 28th. boarding at Alicante. They have organised our trips to two places on Sardinia, Full day in Rome, Pisa and Florence all for a total of 160 euros per person. The tips are 72 euros per person but every cruise I have been on we have left extra for our room boy as they get paid very little. I am the only person out of 4 of us that have cruised before so booked a short fun cruise to start with so they can decide if they like it.
By torrytel
Just picked this thread up!! If your ship goes to Livorno, there will probably be a bus which will take you from the ship to Livorno town. Where the bus stops, cross the road to a little travel shop, and you can buy tickets for a bus trip to Pisa for about 15euro return. The bus trip starts in the same place. At Pisa, this bus will stop in a massive car/bus park, and it's quite a walk to the Tower, but worth it. Alternatively there is a tourist train which will take you to the Tower area. Don't expect to be on your own, it will probably be heaving with humanity!! You walk through a craft/tourist market on the way to the Tower. The ubiquitous MacDonalds is at the Tower gates.
At Malaga near where the buses drop you off, there is a big ferris wheel, quite cheap, (take proof of age, cheaper!!) giving views over town and port area.
By Beardyboy
Great information....this proof of age, is it to prove that I am over 18 or could you be suggesting that I am a senior citizen? You would be correct of course and the idea of getting a reduction is a good one!
We really want to go to both Florence and Pisa so any advice would be welcomed.
By mariac
Wonderful,information, we are going on this cruise on the 28 , I've been to most of the places before but booked the 89€ excurtions from Vivalia travel as some of our group of 12 will be on their first cruise.
I am wondering how long we have in Rome .?
Also the Picasso museum in Malaga is free on the last Sunday of the month so I will be heading there. The walk from the ship into Malaga is a pleasant walk about half an hour with lots of places to shop !!!!
If you don't go to Rome , cittivecia? Is a nice town to wander around museum near the port and market a bit further up the Main Street. Good shopping there too.
Beardy boy we might see you onboard we will be the noisy Irish crowd we will give the Spanish a run for there money.
By the way I've been on this ship before and I loved it , not all mod cons but clean and friendly and the food was great , it called

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By libragirl*
Thank you for all the information. We are doing this cruise on 11th November . I have never been on a Cruise ( or wanted to) but it is the OH big birthday this year and he wanted to do it .
I am really looking forward to it now and all the information is much appreciated.
I was told by our travel agent that the charge for tips which is charged at the end of the cruise is optional and you can choose not to pay it. You can tip individual staff instead of paying at the end if you want to.
Is the ship easy to find in the port?
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