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Old 01-14-2013, 12:52 PM   #46
DL1957
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
This is great. Was there a fee to change currency? Was the rate pretty good or no?
No fee and rate was in line with the exchange rate for that day and they exchange it back at the rate you purchased it at.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:01 PM   #47
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Just 2 comments here for the kids....

Heat and Bathrooms:

Weather may be fine, but be prepared for brutal heat. In June 2007 it was well over 100 in Pompeii and people were hopping from shadow to shadow. Not everyplace is air conditioned (including some areas of the Vatican). Unless you want to pack 2 or 3 outfits a day (and pay for the extra luggage on the flight), plan on changing clothes at/after dinner. Then wear the same thing that night on the next day's tour. As the trip progresses, the late nights, early mornings and "get going to see everything" days will wear you out. The heat makes that worse.

and

If you run across a free bathroom, use it!
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:02 PM   #48
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ETA: we all use Whatsapp .. It's great! You can also get free pay as you go sim cards here .. If anyone would like me to look up more info about them for use in Europe, just pm me.
Actually, we're looking into this. My plan is to stop at the Virgin Mobile store during our London portion and pick up the 2 cheapest PAYG phones. I tried buying them online but it won't let me purchase 2 at a time and I don't wanna pay for shipping twice.

Do you know if Virgin Mobile has "fair" rates outside the UK in the rest of Europe on the PAYG plan?
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:45 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108

Actually, we're looking into this. My plan is to stop at the Virgin Mobile store during our London portion and pick up the 2 cheapest PAYG phones. I tried buying them online but it won't let me purchase 2 at a time and I don't wanna pay for shipping twice.

Do you know if Virgin Mobile has "fair" rates outside the UK in the rest of Europe on the PAYG plan?
I'll have a look this week for you.
Perhaps ill look up all,of our biggest mobile suppliers and post it all up here.
Could always post 2 phones to me here in England and I'll post to you ... Actually, you don't know me .. Stupid offer!!! Ha.
I'll come back with some mobile prices ok.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:13 PM   #50
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:38 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bats View Post
I'll have a look this week for you.
Perhaps ill look up all,of our biggest mobile suppliers and post it all up here.
Could always post 2 phones to me here in England and I'll post to you ... Actually, you don't know me .. Stupid offer!!! Ha.
I'll come back with some mobile prices ok.
Thanks! You're awesome. Don't worry about mailing the phone, we totally don't mind stopping at a store for them. I've looked up Virgin Mobile prices for Europe rates but I have no reference point for the "norm" and so I can't tell if it's a good idea or not.

Any other companies in the UK that does PAYG that is easy to get a phone from?

It seems the Virgin Mobile stores are easy to find.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:43 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108

Thanks! You're awesome. I've looked up Virgin Mobile prices for Europe rates but I have no reference point for the "norm" and so I can't tell if it's a good idea or not.

Any other companies in the UK that does PAYG that is easy to get a phone from?

It seems the Virgin Mobile stores are easy to find.
The most common networks here are:

O2 (our network)
Vodaphone
Virgin
Tesco (like Walmart) .. In fact, check this one out first as tesco are renowned for cheap prices.
Three (mainly used for data as network not strong for calls
Orange

I'll have a look at our rates this week as Mick and I both get good deals with O2 so we can do a comparison.

Don't forget that if you have a tri or quad band phone, you shouldn't need a new phone here .. Just a sim card. It's what we do in the US.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:47 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bats View Post
The most common networks here are:

O2 (our network)
Vodaphone
Virgin
Tesco (like Walmart) .. In fact, check this one out first as tesco are renowned for cheap prices.
Three (mainly used for data as network not strong for calls
Orange

I'll have a look at our rates this week as Mick and I both get good deals with O2 so we can do a comparison.

Don't forget that if you have a tri or quad band phone, you shouldn't need a new phone here .. Just a sim card. It's what we do in the US.
Is Tesco any good for the rest of Europe?

My idea was to get a new cheapie phone so that we don't have to bring our Triband phone. If we lose the cheapie phone, oh well. My Triband phone is actually kinda pricey. We're leaving the iphones at home.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:58 AM   #54
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Bump! More planning tips please!
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:17 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by tajz90 View Post
Best credit card is Capital One Venture, Visa. They charge no foreign transaction fees.
I've heard that even though they don't charge a specific fee, their exchange rates are worse than other cards that do charge a fee.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bats View Post
Great info, but please let me make it very clear ... Europe is not the mugging capital of the world so please don't be overly worried about having things stolen.
It's the same in ALL big cities that have tourists .. new York, Orlando, London, LA ... All the same I'm afraid so just be careful, don't flash cash and diamond rings around (like you would!!!) and keep your bags with you.

We have lots of ATMs in Europe, but you may want to get some Euros beforehand, or change some on the ship .. I believe the rate is a fair one.

I think I've already mentioned the company we used in Italy, but it's worth putting it again so you can get quotes from them too ... Www.yourtourinitaly.com. I can't recommend them enough .. They organised a tour guide for us, advance tickets, all their drivers spoke perfect English, they were polite, good drivers, informative and just generally excellent!! The owner is called Aldo and its his sister who responds to the emails.... Not sure they'll remember me but we had 42 people on a Rome trip last year .. If you do email, tell them I sent you (maybe I'll get a free holiday to Italy)!!!

We're on the 4 night 6th August and the 7 night 10th August .. A little back to back in the Med!!!

Joa

ETA: we all use Whatsapp .. It's great! You can also get free pay as you go sim cards here .. If anyone would like me to look up more info about them for use in Europe, just pm me.

Here in Philadelphia, they're not that slick. They just shoot you & take your wallet.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:29 AM   #56
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I've heard that even though they don't charge a specific fee, their exchange rates are worse than other cards that do charge a fee.
.
We have used the Venture Travel card twice and the prices are good.
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:49 AM   #57
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[QUOTE=Four Swampers;47181349]I posted this before, but it seemed appropriate to this thread.

I want to go to the Med with your family...please?
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:09 AM   #58
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[QUOTE=love280mickey;47207523]
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Originally Posted by Four Swampers View Post
I posted this before, but it seemed appropriate to this thread.

I want to go to the Med with your family...please?
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #59
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We were in the Med summer of 2011. I researched strollers forever as my then very small (35lb) 5 year old loved to be carried but I didn't want to carry her through Europe. I got toe Uppababy G-Lux stroller and it was great. I'd recommend it for your 3yo and have the baby in a carrier. I think a double stroller would be a hassle in some places. The Uppababy is super light but I felt easier to push than an umbrella stroller on cobbled streets. It has a shoulder strap and when we got to stairs or other places were the stroller didn't work we just folded it up and thru it over my shoulder. I was able to take it on one flight as a carry on and it came in very handy with a sleepy kid on an overnight flight.

I saw a question on Pompeii. We used See Sorrento, Marcello Maresca was great. My youngest (DD5) stayed in the kids club that day but I know that's a hot subject for some here. But knowing my daughter and having been on another DCL cruise prior, I knew that it would be a better choice for our family.

Good luck! You'll have an amazing vacation.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
Actually, we're looking into this. My plan is to stop at the Virgin Mobile store during our London portion and pick up the 2 cheapest PAYG phones. I tried buying them online but it won't let me purchase 2 at a time and I don't wanna pay for shipping twice.

Do you know if Virgin Mobile has "fair" rates outside the UK in the rest of Europe on the PAYG plan?
On my last Med cruise I had a Pay as you go SIM card from O2 and I spent around £5.00 in total, including calls within Europe, FB and I had free texts anyway as it was part of my pay as you go package. If that helps.

The minimum top up with O2 is £10. When I was in the US though, I used around £25 mostly spent on a couple of phone calls and lots of FB time. We also used Skype a lot too, which of course is free.
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