European Vacation, Part Cuatro: Capri and Travel Tips

OK, this is finally it.  My last Europe post.

It kinda makes me sad, because that means the trip is officially behind me!

But that’s OK … you never know when another adventure is going to be around the corner! Winking smile

So, let’s talk about the island of Capri.


And let’s talk about how it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life!


While on the cruise, our last excursion stop was in Naples, Italy.  But I had heard that there wasn’t much to see in Naples.  So instead, we took a water “taxi” over to the island of Capri.


When we first got over there, we decided to grab a bite to eat before exploring.


So we split a margarita pizza.  Best. pizza. ever.

We then started walking up a path that would lead us to downtown Capri.


This path felt never ending.


It was a super hot day, and we were walking up a large incline, with the sun beating down on us.

I felt like I was walking directly on the sun.


But I knew that the views at the top would be worth becoming sweaty pigs for.


And I was right.


The pictures truly don’t do it justice, but it was absolutely breathtaking.


(I , however, was not so breathtaking.  Talk about a hot mess! Disappointed smile)


After taking a few minutes to cool off enough to look presentable, we made a beeline towards a gelato shop.


I got a mixture of tiramisu and Nutella gelato.  The tiramisu was good, but the Nutella kicked its butt. Winking smile


We spent about another hour just strolling around and doing a whole lot of nothing.


We eventually starting retracing our steps back down that dreaded path.  Fortunately, going down wasn’t nearly as difficult as going up!

At the bottom of the hill, we decided a refreshing drink was in order.


Brandon got a margarita with fresh strawberries, while I chose one with fresh watermelon.


It was hands-down the best margarita I’ve ever had in my life! 

Finally, before getting back on the boat taxi, we decided to check out the local beach.


When I first heard there was a public beach on the island, I was bummed that I hadn’t thought to bring our bathing suits.

But when I saw that the entire beach was filled with rocks instead of sand, I sort of lost the desire to lay out. Winking smile


Well that was the last of my Europe pictures!

Several of you have mentioned that you might be interested in going on a similar cruise.  So I wanted to share just a few things that I learned through the process!

1. Bring several pairs of comfortable shoes.

You will be walking a lot.  And even the most comfortable pair of shoes can cause blisters after a full day of walking.  So bring a couple of different pairs, so that your shoes don’t rub in the same place on multiple days!

2. Along those same lines, bring band-aids!

Enough said.

3. Bring a copy of your passport with you.

Then on the days when you’re off the boat, bring the copy with you in your purse, and leave your original passport in the safe in your room.  You wouldn’t want to risk losing your passport, but you never know when you might need some proof of identification!

4. Bring a water bottle from home (preferably with a filter in it).

If you go on a cruise during the summer, it will be hot.  Sometimes very hot.  And finding free water in the different cities can be tricky.  So we would often fill up our water bottles in the morning on the ship, and then there was usually at least one other occasion during the day when we could fill them up for free!  I just couldn’t wrap my mind around spending $5 a day on water bottles!

5. Make sure you bring enough Euros (but not too many!).

We had originally assumed that we would use our credit card at most of the restaurants while we were traveling around.  However, we often decided to split a meal, because we weren’t super hungry.  And the restaurants wouldn’t accept credit cards unless our bill was over 10 Euros.  So we ended up using more cash than we had expected.  You also have to consider that you might have to pay for taxis, trains, or other means of transportation.  We brought 150 Euros (the equivalent of about $200) with us, and we barely had enough.  But on the flip side, you don’t want a bunch of leftover Euros at the end of the trip, because then you’ll have to pay a fee to get them transferred back over to dollars.  So just try to think things through before you go, and bring an amount that makes sense to you!

6. Don’t be too quick to book all of your excursions through the ship.

This is probably my biggest piece of advice.  The ship obviously wants to make money, so they want you to book excursions through them.  And many of the cities you want to visit are not the cities where you port.  For example, you’ll port in Ville Franche, but there’s not a lot there.  So you have to find a way to get to Monaco or wherever else you might want to go.  So you might assume that you have to book an excursion through the boat, because how else will you get to the city??

But what the people on the boat often fail to tell you is that there are plenty of other ways to get to the city, and most of the other options cost a lot less.  For example, we took a train to Monaco.  And we took a water bus to Toulon.  Both of these options were incredibly reasonably priced.

Also with the excursions, you might not get as much “free time” to explore.  You’ll be on their time frame.  If you’re someone who wants to see absolutely everything in a city, then booking an excursion through the boat might be the way to go.  Otherwise, just do your own thing.  It’s much more relaxing that way. Winking smile


Question for ya …

Do you have a piece of travel advice to share?

Which gelato would you have preferred: tiramisu, Nutella, or strawberry (that’s the flavor Brandon chose)?

Which margarita flavor would you have chosen: strawberry or watermelon?  Or do you have an even better idea for a flavor??

What are you up to this weekend?

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Posted on by notsodomesticated Posted in Food, Travel

32 Responses to European Vacation, Part Cuatro: Capri and Travel Tips

  1. Jen Saltzman

    Amen to comfy shoes and plenty of them! Great pics and what fun to live through your adventures via your blog. Thanks Kristen! :)

    • notsodomesticated

      Aww thanks, Jen!! I miss you!!

  2. Jen Saltzman

    Oh and nutella ice cream fo sho and strawberry margarita with rum instead of tequila :)

  3. Marni

    Having completed a Mediterranean cruise last year, I agree with all of your comments but I have a cautionary note for the last one. We ended up booking excursions for most of our ports (some of which were not the same as yours) due to logistics and out of our risk averse mentality. It is true that finding your own transportation is generally cheaper, and it may give you more time. However, with Carnival (and most likely other cruise lines as well) if you did your own thing rather than doing an excursion through the ship, and if anything happened (accident, train strike – which we learned was VERY common – etc.) the ship had no obligation to wait for you and would likely leave if you were more than a little late. If your ship-sponsored excursion had any problems, the ship would have to wait no matter what. We were sometimes able to balance out the risk by giving ourselves a two-hour cushion to get back to the ship, but this was not always possible due to the length of time in port. In addition,the cost savings was sometimes nullified by the difficulty of getting to public transportation – walking for a mile, attempting to a take a bus or a cab to the train station, etc., so we opted to save ourselves the hassle at times. Just some things for your readers to think about if they are planning this type of vacation.

    • notsodomesticated

      Very true. The part about needing to be back on the boat by a certain time is definitely true and something to think about. But for us, we knew that we would be back in plenty of time, because we wanted some time to hang out by the pool before dinner! ;) But if we were wanting to see lots of tourist attractions, then it would have been better to do the cruise excursions!

  4. Jessie

    Absolutely breathtaking. Sorry this last recap made you feel like the trip is officially over :( I’m telling you, you and your hubs should meet us in Santorini :) lol.

    Thank you so much for reminding me about bandaids. i would NEVER of thought to bring any. Pure genius!
    Jessie recently posted..What do you love FridayMy Profile

  5. Alyssa @ fit and fun in third

    Capri looks beautiful! I was bummed we didn’t get to go there. I totally agree with all your tips, but especially about the tours. My in-laws actually booked all of the tours for us, and although some of them were good… I was really sick of them by the end of the cruise. I just wanted to take my time and see what I wanted to see, not be forced into seeing what the tour guide thought we should!
    Alyssa @ fit and fun in third recently posted..Cruise Recap: Ephesus, TurkeyMy Profile

  6. Kat

    Love all these tips girl. Not that I will never need to use them since Im afraid of flying and all…but maybe one day :)
    Kat recently posted..My Week of Medical TestsMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      I don’t think I knew you were afraid of flying! That’s a bummer!

  7. Nicole J

    Yummy gelato! We went to Europe this summer too and Italy was my favorite. I’d take the nutella over the other favors but my absolute fav was pistachio! So good! As for the margaritas…I’d like the strawberry but my favorite margarita actually came from Epcot at Walt Disney World- it was jalapeño and delicious!! Your pictures are amazing!!

    • notsodomesticated

      I had a jalepeno margarita not too long ago … and I agree, it was pretty amazing!

  8. Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries

    Again, beautiful photos! I know what you mean about more adventures! ;) Hehe.

    Love you!
    Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..My Healthy Living TimelineMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated


  9. Yellow Haired Girl

    I loved Capri when I went :) such a beautiful place! I feel like I need gelato, like, right now.

  10. Cinnamon @ eatpraytri

    Ummm Nutella gelato would be pretty much the only thing I would eat if I had access to it I think. Watermelon margarita would be my #1 choice as well. I’m having trouble understanding why anyone would pick anything different? ;-) I’m kinda sad your trip pictures are over as well!
    This weekend, we have a goal to pack 5-7 boxes. FUN!
    Cinnamon @ eatpraytri recently posted..So here’s the deal…My Profile

  11. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy

    Great travel tips! And very cute dress! It looks like it’s very pretty there!
    Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy recently posted..Friday ThingsMy Profile

  12. Jenny

    Capri looks beautiful (as did the rest of the stops)! I love the pizza in Italy – I could eat it every day.

    From my traveling experiences, I’ve always been told to wear a purse that zips close and/or the strap is across your front to avoid pickpocketers (& never backpacks!) Comfy shoes are a must as well!

    I would have to go with strawberry on the gelato, especially in the heat…fruity flavors always seem more refreshing.

    Have a great weekend!

    • notsodomesticated

      Great tips, Jenny. I always kept my purse close to my chest. I didn’t want to be paranoid, but still careful!

  13. amy @ fearless homemaker

    awesome pics! looks like such a fabulous time. =)
    amy @ fearless homemaker recently posted..chocolate chip cookies {the new york times recipe}My Profile

  14. Sloane @ Life Food and Beer

    I did a semester abroad in Italy a few years ago. You can find boat tours around Capri island that will show you the different Grottos around the island. And you get to cruise around looking at the multi-million dollar yachts.
    Sloane @ Life Food and Beer recently posted..The Wedding PartyMy Profile

    • notsodomesticated

      Great tip, Sloane! Our friends on the cruise did one of those boat tours, and they loved it!

  15. Lindsey

    Hey Kristen! We met at Shannon’s shower. Had so much fun checking out your blog! Your pictures are great, I’m so jealous! :)

    • notsodomesticated

      Hey Lindsey!!! I’m so glad that you found me (I’m shocked you actually remembered the blog name … you have a much better memory than me haha!). Can’t wait to check out your blog!

  16. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy

    that looks like so much fun! and that margarita! so yummy!
    Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy recently posted..Pesto Zucchini Pasta Pile Up! GF, V, BED, SCD!My Profile

  17. Pamela

    Hey Kristen! I’m so glad your trip was just so wonderful! I am so glad you guys were adventurous and ventured out on your own. Jeremy and I were travel escorts for a tour bus company for a little while when we lived in Germany, and it was so sad that a lot of people were too scared to venture out and explore on their own. They really did miss out. The good part is a few of them would just tag along with us and end up finding out it wasn’t as intimidating as they thought! :) So that would be one of my tips: be adventurous..expect to not find the same things as back home- and revel in it! As far as tourist traps, if there are not a LOT of locals there, beware..especially when it comes to food. There is too much delicious local food to have to suffer through mediocre dishes- go to the tapas bars, and bistros that are packed with people..even if it means coughing through a bit of smoke-filled air (The Spanish love to puff their cigarettes in tapas bars). I agree with you on the excursions, the prices get better the further you get away from the cruise ship! Also, travelers checks work great if you need to carry a lot of money, this way you can cash in an amount each day. God forbid you get robbed, you only lose the amount for that day and have insurance on the rest of your money at any american express bank. Also- money belts work amazing.. especially if you’re sleeping in overnight trains, etc. As for gelatto, Nutella was always one of my favorties, I also liked Bacci (Jermey’s was always Straciatella). Interesting that your favorite margarita was in Europe!.. haha.. since it’s Mexican. lol.. I would totally go for your watermelon one, it looked amazing! And to Jen’s comment above, the food nerd in me has to tell you: a strawberry margarita, with rum instead, would be considered a strawberry daiquiri.

    • notsodomesticated

      Great tips, my friend!! Love you!!

  18. Crista

    Nutella Gelato?!?!? YUM!!!

    Great photos…
    Crista recently posted..Green City MarketMy Profile

  19. natalie @ southern fit foodie

    Ahhh what an amazing trip! I would definitely have chosen the watermelon margarita and the nutella gelato! :)
    natalie @ southern fit foodie recently feet hurtMy Profile

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