Cruises are the ultimate exercise in worry-free travel… that is, until you stop at a port of call and find yourself in need of plans for an entire day in a city you have no idea what to do in. What are the options? You could buy a separate guide book for every port of call: an expensive and heavy solution. You could hire one of the taxi drivers or guides hanging out at the port: like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. You could just start wandering, and almost guarantee that you’ll miss out on the best things in the city. Or, you could use NileGuide to create a multi-day, multi-city itinerary. Call me biased, but this sounds like an excellent solution!
This past fall, I booked a 7-day Mediterranean cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. And while Norwegian took care of all my planning with regards to lodging and food (and pampering, tanning, swimming…), I used NileGuide to plan my time on land. Here are some of the ways NileGuide helped!
Barcelona – the cruise embarked and disembarked from Barcelona, so I spent a few extra days there. I found our Barcelona Local Expert’s ‘First Time in Barcelona‘ guide incredibly helpful. I got my fill of tapas, Gotico, and Gaudi before getting onto the ship.
Florence/ Pisa – the first stop of the week was Livorno, a short train ride from Florence and Pisa. I knew that between all the museum-going and picture-taking I wanted to do in Florence, I’d have no room for Pisa. But one cannot live on art and architecture alone, so a quick search for off the beaten path markets found the perfect place for a foodie and wino like me to stuff her face: Mercato Sant’Ambrogio.
Rome – Day three dropped us off in Citavecchia. Another ride on the train, a walk across the city, and I was standing in the Colosseum. Thankfully, by looking at things that were near the Colosseum, NileGuide helped me find great pizza, a spot to grab Chianti made mere miles away, and more photo ops.
Naples – On the stop in Naples, I had strict orders from a friend to hop on the ferry and retrieve perfume from Capri. But even with this mission I had all afternoon in Naples, and again relied upon a Local Expert’s expertise to guide me through my first time in the city: ‘Your First Time in Naples‘ helped me plan a very efficient itinerary, and showed me that I definitely need to visit this frenetic city again.
The rest of the cruise – Cruising the Mediterranean lets you see a lot of Europe in a short period of time. Personally, it helped me decide where I want to plan longer trips in the future… and those ‘days at sea’ were some of the most relaxing days of my life.
Thinking about planning a Mediterranean cruise? I’d suggest checking out Norwegian Cruise Lines. And if you’re in the mood for a pampering, book a Suite or Villa (it comes with butler and concierge service!) before April 1 and get $300 to spend on board.