We are back from our cruise and we had a great time! It took us a few days to get used to the cruise lifestyle (ie 1000’s of people at all times, lots of kids running around, and figuring out the schedules of the gym, restaurants, etc) but once we did we really enjoyed it. We departed from Barcelona so we flew down a few days early to check it out. It was amazing! We didn’t have a set agenda there so we could just relax and take it all in without feeling rushed. We spent some time figuring out the city on foot and got in some great beach time!
Our cruise went from Barcelona to Naples with a day at sea in between. That worked out really well for us because it gave us a day to relax before we got to Italy. Our Italy itinerary was jam packed- our travel itinerary was a 13 page word document that I created so we could make sure we had all the info we needed with minimal use of the internet. (I should note – we didn’t use any of the boats excursions since they were expensive, but we did find ways to get to all of the cities from the ports by train it just took more research). Once in Naples we took the train south to Pompeii. Pompeii was on our „must see“ list but we weren’t super interested in Naples itself so it worked out really well.
The second stop was Rome, this was our busiest day. We had a pretty long list of „must sees“ here and the train ride from the port into Rome was about an hour. We ended up skipping the Trevi Fountain because it is under construction and we had to cut something to make it back in time. We were on the last shuttle from the train back to the boat at the end of the day, but the long day was definitely worth it! We did a guided tour of the Roman Forum and Colosseum, our tour guide was an archaeologist who does tours on the side and she was amazing. The tour also allowed us to skip the line into the Colosseum (which was probably an hour wait) so that saved us a lot of time. (We found the tour on Viator in case anyone is looking for good tour sites.) We bought some souvenirs here too, we found a great artisan market while we were walking around where we met an artist and bought one of his oil on canvas paintings. I also found a beautiful handmade leather purse in a small shop (which helped us to alter our travel plans for the next day).
Stop number 3 was in Livorno, about 20 minutes (by train) to Pisa. You could also continue on the train for another hour to Florence. We initially planned to go into Florence to visit a very well know leather market (not as necessary after finding the purse in Rome), but after the long day in Rome plus the sweltering heat (at least 90 degrees every day + direct sunlight) we changed our minds and decided to just check out Pisa and then make our way back to the boat for the rest of the afternoon.
The last 2 stops were Cannes, France and then Palma de Mallorca, Spain. We spent the day in Cannes at the beach which was walkable from the port, but unfortunately there were no celebrity sightings. We didn’t get into Mallorca until 2 pm the last day and had to be back on the boat by 6 so we made the executive decision to just stay on the boat that day and relax by the pool.
Overall we had a great vacation, but it will probably be a while before we want to go on another cruise. It was definitely a good way to see a lot of places in a short period of time and much easier to plan since I didn’t have to figure out hotels for each night or transportation between each city, but it did make for a much busier vacation. We would really like to go back to Rome at some point because there was so much else to see and Venice is another Italian city we want to see while we’re here but a day in each of the others seemed like enough time for us.
If anyone is traveling to any of those cities or contemplating a similar cruise and wants to see our travel itinerary let me know, I am happy to share!