We will be taking a family (16-18 of us with grandkids) Mediterranean cruise next summer. Although we have been to Europe many times (leading student groups), we have always had a tour guide. When on our own we have TOTALLY relied on Rick's books. I notice he has a cruise book--latest version 2019. Is it still pretty up to date? Our ports are: Rome (Civitavecchia); Naples; Cagliari, Sardinia' Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Barcelona, Cannes, Florence (Livorno). Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I see the price is slashed for that book on his website. Maybe a new edition is coming out? I would call the office to check and see if a new edition will be available before buying the current one.
The RS website indicates that the timing of the next edition is TBD.
Are you starting in Rome or Barcelona? I didn't use the 2019 version, but the details for getting to the sites from the ports was very good when I used it. However I'd be a bit nervous relying on it without backup since so much has changed in 3 years.
I'd also verify my info below to make sure it's up to date, as it was 2014 when I did a similar route.
- If Barcelona is one of your stops and not where you're starting, there is a bus that will take you from the port to Las Ramblas for a very good price. Don't be fooled and get into the taxi line. When we got off the ship there was an extremely long line for taxis and just past it was a line for the bus with only 5 or 10 people in it. You buy a return ticket on board. The trip is about 20 minutes. I'm guessing people in the taxi line were waiting longer than that just to get a cab.
- Mallorca. The ship docks about a 20-30 minute walk from the tourist zone, or for that matter, anything worth seeing. There is a shuttle for about 10 Euros, but it is a pretty walk. You can also rent bikes, but with your large group that might be a challenge.
- Despite what Rick says in his book, I liked Cannes. There is an island just off the coast called Ile Sainte-Marguerite that has a Spanish Fort that the kids in your group may like. Also lots of walking trails for the kids to race around.
- Florence. I have yet to find a book or a website that adequately covers how to get from your ship to the cruise terminal entrance in Livorno. Supposedly there is a shuttle bus, but good luck getting that info from your ship as they try to sell you an excursion. This is the only Port I've ever been to that we bought the ship's excursion. But just the bus to Florence was about 110 Euros each. If you can figure out an alternate method to get from your ship to the train station, you can take a train to Florence or Pisa.