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Nice or Eze?

We will be on a cruise next summer and dock at Cannes. Trying to decide between two shore excursions.

Choice 1:
- 75 min bus ride to Nice
- 60 min free time in Nice
- 45 min bus ride to Monaco
- Monaco walking tour
- 90 min free time in Monaco for lunch
- drive on Grand Prix
- 60 min free time around Casino
- 75 min ride to Cannes

Choice 2:
- 75 min bus ride to Monaco
- 60 min free time in Monaco
- drive on Grand Prix
- 45 min free time around casino
- 30 min bus ride to Eze
- lunch included
- 60 min tour of Eze
- 75 min bus ride to Cannes

To my knowledge, there is not a shore excursion that goes to both Eze and Nice. Husband wants to do Monaco/Monte Carlo. We will be with 8 and 11-yo children, hence taking the excursion and not fooling with our own transportation.

Thanks for advice!

Posted by acraven
Washington DC
8304 posts

The first option seems like a particularly undesirable one to me, since it only goes to places you can easily reach by train, and generally faster:

Cannes-Nice: 32 to 45 minutes (vs. 75 minutes by bus)
Nice-Monaco: 19 to 23 minutes (vs. 45 minutes by bus)
Monaco-Cannes: 55 to 68 minutes (vs. 75 minutes by bus)

I must admit that the TERs sometimes ran late, so there are no guarantees, but if you did this yourself you would be able to choose what you want to do at each stop and how much time you want to spend doing it. You'd be free to do something that might especially appeal to your children.

Eze requires a bus in any case, so I guess taking a shore excursion that includes Eze makes more sense to me.

Posted by Brad
Belmont Bay, VA
9949 posts

Eze is hard to get to from the sea. If you're going to get there, a cruise excursion is probably the way to do it.

If you want to see Monaco/Monte Carlo, there's no need to take an excursion, simply taxi or walk to the train station and take the local train. The train ride isn't short but It's faster than a bus.

The walk up to the Palace is fairly steep, I suppose there are taxi options for that. After the Palace you can walk down the hill to gardens and the aquarium then walk, or taxi, back to the train. The casino didn't interest me. I'm not sure what else a tour would show you?

Once back on the train, you will go through Nice on the way to Cannes. You can gauge your time to see if you have time to get off and walk around a little before continuing on to Cannes. There are three stations in Nice, you will want Nice Ville, it's probably 12-15 blocks from the ocean.

Posted by Wray
New England
1556 posts

Eze is one of my favorite places ever, anywhere. Monaco was just about my least favorite. Nice is nice. I can only comment that Eze was an easy public bus ride from Nice. Cannes to Nice...no experience with that. No one but you can decide which you would prefer to see. Non ship tour would be more enjoyable, but then I'd also worry constantly about missing the ship.

Posted by avirosemail
northern CA
724 posts

I agree with the comments above, but want to further emphasize that maximizing your time enjoying the excursion means minimizing your time in transit, so why not take the local train as mentioned above to Antibes instead? You'll have time to really enjoy the sights, no matter what each person in the party is interested in -- beach, check; shopping, check; history, check; art, check; lifestyles of the rich and famous, check. Depending on how it back-of-the-envelopes for a party of four, you might even just take a taxi. Make a lunch reservation at one of the RS recommendations, stroll the Picasso museum and the market row, peek in to some churches, and still have time to do the beach promenade and heckle the petanque players.

With either excursion choice you'll only have time to trod the very beaten path of the main squares and the immediate offshoots -- you won't get out of the cruise-excursion bubble at all. Take a shorter ride to Antibes (or Juan-les-Pins) and you can see what travelers do.

Posted by fredandkell OP
Atlanta, GA
109 posts

Thanks for the replies thus far! I totally agree that traveling on our own is great - when it's just the adults. :) Given the temperament of the kids we'll be with, we are sticking with a ship excursion this time (e.g. Disney bubble bus to and from). With that parameter, I'm trying to decide either Nice or Eze. I don't care about Monaco but husband wants to do it.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
10678 posts

Well you know yournkods best , mine would ( and did ) much prefer time on a train instead of a bus , buses get stuck in traffic and you can't get up and walk around on a bus .

Posted by Gooster
Nice, France & San Francisco
152 posts

Given the short amount of time, I'd take the Eze trip. You can see Eze (a small place) in such a short visit but Nice will be nothing more than extra bus time to see only a fraction of the city. I'm guessing they drop you down into the Old Town and you'd be dashing around trying to get in as much as possible -- you really need more time there. Hopefully the bus trip will take part of the route closer to the sea.

Posted by hwinokur
7 posts

I am planning a trip with my 9 & 5 year olds. I had strongly considered the same Disney cruise, but ended up deciding against it. It looks like fun, though. I have been to Nice, Cannes and Monaco, and didn't love any of them. This trip, will be staying in Antibes and visiting Èze. The views look amazing. For a short day trip, I'd vote for Èze over Nice.

Posted by morvegil
Houston, TX
137 posts

Nice is the best...or nice. Eze is amazing but I wouldnt want to stay over night. Monaco is eurotrash Las Vegas IMO.

Posted by Nigel
Northamptonshire, England
18380 posts

Monaco is eurotrash Las Vegas

What does that mean?

Posted by Nigel
Northamptonshire, England
18380 posts

The in the tour you mentioned "drive on grand prix".

Be aware that the Formula 1 route goes in reverse through the tunnel relative to the direction your bus can go.

Also the traffic in Monaco is not particularly slow but you won't go around the track - actually normal roads for all but about 5 days a year - very fast, and unless you know the race fairly well it is unlikely to look much like a racing course.

I have walked most of the track, except through the tunnel, but then I am a bit of a Formula 1 nut and know the route inch by inch.

Posted by thune
34 posts

We docked in Cannes and took a train into Nice. It was a really nice day and very easy to do on our own with the help of RS. Riding the train was a much more organized and punctual experience compared to our previous three days in Italy (nearly missed our ship in Rome due to unexplained train delays). I don't think having kids with you should deter you from venturing out on your own. They would probably love a day at the beach. Nice was our last port, and it was very relaxing compared to all the sightseeing we had done prior. We walked around the markets, did the self-guided tour, and then had lunch and swam at a beach club.

Posted by shawn
Michigan
279 posts

Monaco is really hilly. There's a pretty good hop off/on bus tour to see the sights, such as they are. You'll need to wear something nice/decent to get into the Casino. We got turned away as my husband wore teva sandals (but at least he wore a collared shirt).

We stayed in Nice. We enjoyed going to the beach, walking along the promenade, going to the Market, and the Place Massena.

Both tour options seem a bit rushed, especially with kids. Someone earlier suggested just enjoying Cannes or Antibes...I'd second that motion.

Posted by Mary
Sunnyside, New York, United States
358 posts

I find excursions to be very expensive and you spend the majority of the time waiting, when you could be seeing the sights.