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jo lou

MARELLA DISCOVERY 2 - HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MED 15/06/19

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We are visiting Marina Di Carrara, a stop for Florence and Pisa, both of which we have visited before, and don't wish to revisit.  Any recommendations from anyone that has visited this port on what to do locally?  We are also stopping at St Raphael which is a tender stop.  When dropped off, is it far from St Raphael itself, ie walking distance?  Would appreciate any responses if you have previously visited or may have been on a similar cruise.  

Many thanks   ☺️☺️

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Lucca is a beautiful little walled town well worth visiting.   Not sure if there is an excursion or a train from Marina Di Carrara but may be worth looking into.

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15 hours ago, dronnygirl said:

Lucca is a beautiful little walled town well worth visiting.   Not sure if there is an excursion or a train from Marina Di Carrara but may be worth looking into.

Agree we hired bicycles there and rode round the city walls. Lovely. 

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We were there just recently. Had also visited Florence, Pisa, Lucca in the past.

 

I think there may have been a port shuttle into Carrara itself but didn't pay much attention as we booked a shorex. Heard that people who stayed in town didn't think much of it.

 

Our shorex was to Santa Margherita and Portofino. Both really beautiful. Can recommend this. Look at pics and TripA info online. You will want to go!

 

Bus to S.M., free time, ferry to Portofino, free time, ferry back to S.M. then bus to the ship. Only downsides for us were that we had a poor guide, also thought that we could have had more time in S.M. and less in Portofino, but I think they were working around ferry timings.

 

In St Raphael we tendered right into the centre at Quai Amiral Nomy next to the superyachts alongside one side of the Jardin Bonaparte (actually the roof of a car park)  Tourist info  and the Basilica across the road, promenade, beach, marinas etc just steps away.

 

Frejus is an inland town almost joined on to St. R.  We took the public bus there in the morning, explored the lovely historic area, and returned by a different bus which dropped us almost at the tender point. Afternoon in St. R. Had a great day. Two totally different experiences.

 

You can read about Frejus and see photos of the historic centre on TripA. The buses terminate at the bus station, and the historic centre is across the roundabout, less than five minutes walk. You can see the cathedral spire from the bus station. Walk towards it.

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Many thanks for your responses.  Edinburgher ... your shorex to Santa Margherita and Portofino, was DIY or a ship trip?

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As above, a shorex.

 

MdC is a gateway port rather than a destination port. It is north of Livorno which is also a gateway port, but has DIY options for travel elsewhere and some sights in town. We have been there several times. Some gateway ports are OK, some are not.  MdC doesn't offer much at all in town.

 

Being north of Livorno meant that for the first time we could consider Portofino and SM from MdC as it is closer to where we wanted to go. It is the only time we have seen this option so didn't want to lose the opportunity in case we never return.

 

We prefer to DIY where possible but the DIY travel options meant it wasn't doable. We even looked at only doing SM but even that was a challenge. La Spezia was about the best we could DIY. Wanting both Portofino and SM we booked the shorex. Two coaches did the trip. It was lovely. The ferry crossing was short and scenic with views of both Portofino and SM from the sea.

 

There are useful websites such as rome2rio which give you travel options, timings and costs for each. Simply enter start and finish points. And check local trains etc.

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Many thanks ... just another query!  I've looked on line at the excursions provided by the ship and there doesn't appear to be anything similar to your shorex.  If it is available once on board, can you recall roughly how long the trip was and cost.  We, like you, normally do DIY but on this occasion probably not!!

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Hi we are on Discovery 2 departing 27th july  and have prebooked .....Portofino and Santa Margherita on your own. It's 7.5 hours in duration. I had a hunt around the internet but couldn't get any better idea on doing it independently.

 

St Raphael we will do as a mooch about but it'll be what we call a lazy day.

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It was £46pp booked over the internet before we left.

 

Onboard there will probably be a £2pp extra charge as that is the usual way they do things.

 

Marella remove all shorex several days before departure date, after that they are bookable onboard. If a shorex is selling very well they will sometimes not allow any more internet bookings as they always hold some places back for onboard booking. They indicate that on the shorex list next to the excursion.

 

On ours, the DIY Rome by private train from Civi was still showing, but marked as being fully booked for internet bookings, although it could be booked once onboard. It must have been popular.

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Having also done Pisa (on one cruise) and Florence (another cruise), this year in August on Discovery 2 we were looking for something different to see and do.

We found this excursion (provided by Marella) 

THE CANALS OF LIVORNO cover image
A series of canals weave their way through the streets of Livorno, earning it the nickname ‘Little Venice’. There’s even a waterway underneath one of the town’s largest squares, which you’ll pass through during a guided boat ride today. The Fortezza Nuova is another one of the town’s monuments you’ll catch a glimpse of. This 16th-century fortress hides a landscaped garden within its chunky walls. Once you’re back on dry land, you’ll have around an hour’s free time to explore the Mercato Centrale, a bustling food market housed in a grand Neoclassical building. Then, the final part of the tour takes you on a scenic drive along Livorno’s coastline. This includes a photo stop at the Mascagni Terrace, a beautiful black-and-white checkerboard piazza that sits right on the seafront.
£36 per Adult

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Can also recommend a visit to the Santuario Montenero for the stunning views (but only on a clear day)

So easy. Bus #2 to the square below, go up on the little funicular railway.

 

We bought a Livorno Card but that was a few years ago. Gave us unlimited bus rides and free or reduced entry to some museums and a discount on the boat trips.

 

Go to Tripadvisor Livorno for ideas.

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17 hours ago, SausPud said:

Having also done Pisa (on one cruise) and Florence (another cruise), this year in August on Discovery 2 we were looking for something different to see and do.

We found this excursion (provided by Marella) 

THE CANALS OF LIVORNO cover image
A series of canals weave their way through the streets of Livorno, earning it the nickname ‘Little Venice’. There’s even a waterway underneath one of the town’s largest squares, which you’ll pass through during a guided boat ride today. The Fortezza Nuova is another one of the town’s monuments you’ll catch a glimpse of. This 16th-century fortress hides a landscaped garden within its chunky walls. Once you’re back on dry land, you’ll have around an hour’s free time to explore the Mercato Centrale, a bustling food market housed in a grand Neoclassical building. Then, the final part of the tour takes you on a scenic drive along Livorno’s coastline. This includes a photo stop at the Mascagni Terrace, a beautiful black-and-white checkerboard piazza that sits right on the seafront.
£36 per Adult

Last November we were on a NCL cruise.  We don’t get excited by guided tours and like wandering around on our own.  We chose to have a lie in and take the shuttle to town.  We walked around and quite liked Livorno.  Nice buildings.  We walked through the mentioned big square which has the waterway below.  We did not see any boat tours, maybe too late in the year.  It was also 1st November which is a Bank Holiday.  That may be why it was rather quiet.  We walked to the Mascagni Terrace.  It was all in all a pleasant day.  HAving stopped at Livorno several times I was curious to see it and I am glad I did.   In no way does it match up to Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Cinque Terre and San Gimignano - other places I have visited from Livorno.  

 

The £36 is not a bad price for what they are offering.  Just sort of warning that there will be no ‘wow factor’ - and if you don’t mind walking (we will walk 20,000 steps in a day when on holiday) you can occupy yourself in Livorno.  

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Many thanks for all your responses.  We're off on Saturday to hopefully some better weather 😎😎 than we are having here!!

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Hi Jo lou, i am about to do same cruise on the 13 july, any tips on trips you did on your own rather than the on board trips, anything on what you done i would be grateful, thx Steve

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On 6/12/2019 at 4:19 AM, ollienbertsmum said:

Last November we were on a NCL cruise.  We don’t get excited by guided tours and like wandering around on our own.  We chose to have a lie in and take the shuttle to town.  We walked around and quite liked Livorno.  Nice buildings.  We walked through the mentioned big square which has the waterway below.  We did not see any boat tours, maybe too late in the year.  It was also 1st November which is a Bank Holiday.  That may be why it was rather quiet.  We walked to the Mascagni Terrace.  It was all in all a pleasant day.  HAving stopped at Livorno several times I was curious to see it and I am glad I did.   In no way does it match up to Florence, Pisa, Lucca, Cinque Terre and San Gimignano - other places I have visited from Livorno.  

 

The £36 is not a bad price for what they are offering.  Just sort of warning that there will be no ‘wow factor’ - and if you don’t mind walking (we will walk 20,000 steps in a day when on holiday) you can occupy yourself in Livorno.  

 

Thanks alot for your advice and opinions. Having been to the port plenty of times before and done the usual trips to Pisa and Florence etc, we thought visiting Livorno could be a nice change and something different to do. We aren't into walking loads, so this works for us.

This is what is great about cruising, a choice for everyone. 

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On 7/3/2019 at 10:39 AM, SausPud said:

 

Thanks alot for your advice and opinions. Having been to the port plenty of times before and done the usual trips to Pisa and Florence etc, we thought visiting Livorno could be a nice change and something different to do. We aren't into walking loads, so this works for us.

This is what is great about cruising, a choice for everyone. 

 

If you have visited the more exciting trips in the area then I am sure that you will enjoy seeing Livorno. 

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