But sometimes the cruise line doesn't offer shore excursions that meet your interests, or perhaps, like in our case, you've been to the port before and have already seen and done what they offer. What then? Or perhaps you're more adventurous than we were in the beginning and want to plan your own time in port.
- Barcelona - we'll be here 1 1/2 days pre-cruise and another day post-cruise.
- Venice - we will port here overnight, so we plan to do the first afternoon and evening on our own and then take a ship-sponsored excursion on the day we leave.
- Cinque Terre - the cruiseline offers an excursion that is very much what we want to do, but we can explore this area on our own for so much less money, so we are opting to do this one on our own and save our excursion funds for another port.
- Villefranche-sur-Mer - we stop here twice; the first visit we plan to use a ship-sponsored tour to visit Monaco, Monte Carlo and Eze.
- Mykonos - we will be here after two busy days in Athens and Ephesus, so a nice quiet day in Mykonos sounds about right.
- Valletta, Malta - we will be here twice as well; the first time we plan to hire a driver and guide arranged through the cruiseline, but we get to decide what we want to see and do during the time we're out.
- Dubrovnik - this port seems like it will a wonderful place to explore on our own, but because we like to learn some things about what we're seeing, we are in contact already with someone to arrange a guided tour.
The more we travel, the more experienced we become in finding our way around new places, figuring out what we want to see and do before we get there, and making sure we're back on time! As we get closer to departure, we'll share more details about each port. And if you've ever been to any of these ports and have ideas or suggestions for what we should do, please leave them in the comments. We look forward to hearing from you.