We are taking a transatlantic cruise originating in Civitavecchia and ending in Ft. Lauderdale. One of the difficult aspects of this cruise is that the itinerary is heavily front loaded with ports and back end loaded with sea days. That creates a scenario where we will have just boarded the ship on Monday, with excursion opportunities on Tuesday to two of Italy’s most exciting cities, Pisa and Florence.
Most ships offer all day long excursions to one or both cities, lasting up to 9 hours. Cruisers have choices of exploring these cities with a guide or on their own. Some tours even included guided museum tours.
If you are trying to maximize your sight seeing opportunities with your relaxation opportunities, choosing excursions can be a difficult task. For our family, we have 4 nights in Rome planned prior to our cruise, so a day of maximized sight seeing might not be best for our first full day on the cruise. Our family tour guide during our stay in Rome will be my husband who has visited Rome about 8 times on busines trips. He plans to guide us to the most important sites in Rome during our 4 days. We plan to see the Colosseum, Forum, Palantine Hill, Hadrian’s Market and a look at the Circus Maximus for one day. On another day we plan to see the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. The third day we plan to spend at the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo. We will be staying right in the heart of Rome, so there will be lots of walking involved in this touring schedule. On our 4th day we will take a hired car to the port.
Once we board the ship we should have some time to relax, but the evening will probably be spent unpacking and settling in. In order to pace ourselves we have elected to just take a 3 1/2 hour tour out of Livorno to the City of Pisa. There we will see one the word’s most remarkable sites, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, as well as the Field of Dreams with its beautiful cathedral and baptistery. Since I was a child, I have been long facinated with the mystique of the leaning towner, from its faulty beginnings, to Galileo physics demonstrations, to the 20th century re-engineering of the tower to preserve it’s lean while keeping it from toppling.
For a family of 4, the ship’s tour seems to be the most economical way to visit the site. Celebrity offers this excursion at $66 per adult, and $44 per child. Private tours for the same itinerary run closer to about $400. We plan to pre-book the ship’s tour so that we can be sure to reserve a spot on the excursion to Pisa.
We are pretty sure that many of our readers have traveled to Pisa or Florence and we invite you to share your experience in these two remarkable cities with us at cruise talk. We will be sure to write a review of the excursion upon our return from the trip.