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Old 01-16-2013, 02:34 PM   #61
heatherbelle
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Hello. I am also known as Scarecrow on the Dibb. Bats has already posted some info from me.

Here's a link to a thread that I started over here, where I picked up loads of info for my own Med trip back in 2011. Sadly I won't be cruising with DCL this summer, but I may see some of you across the ocean, when I'm on the Sunshine. The info only includes previously visited Med ports not the new ones.

I am eagerly awaiting trip reports that include Venice, as I will be there on 07/28/13.

Enjoy. http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2868717

I can honestly say that all of the ports are easy to do on your own. Just bear in mind that you will not see as much as you would with either a ships tour or a private tour. If you want to see as much as possible then book private tours. There are a number of shared tours already set up for some of the Magic's sailings on the shared tours romeinlimo limo. http://www.romeinlimotoursharing.com/. This might be the way to go for some of you who want to do it all. My best trip was Capri. There are wonderful shoes for sale there that cost 300 euros. One day when I have won the lotto I will return to purchase those shoes.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:40 PM   #62
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Do you have any restaurant recs for London? My DD has allergies, and I've checked out all the menus already for London for our itinerary. Our intent is to go to pretty boring restaurants---Pizza Express, Prezzo, Wagamama since I can peruse menus ahead of time. I've eaten at these places before and its not terribly exciting. Any family friendly recommendations? Thanks.
I'm just starting to read this thread but wanted to say to that we were in London in 2010 pre-Baltic cruise. We ate at Pizza Express (one right across from our hotel) a couple of times but on our last day in London, we stopped in at a Spaghetti House which was really good - our early-teenage boys said they preferred the pizza at Spaghetti House to that of Pizza Express. In fact they said that they wished we'd found the Spaghetti House earlier in our trip.

Another place we ate was My Old Dutch Pancake House after reading recommendations here on DIS for it from other travelers. The "pancakes" are more like crepes or something else - you can get them like a pizza, too. My boys loved the milkshakes they got there.

We also had a couple of times where we just grabbed a sandwich and snacks and drinks from the Sainsbury (local grocery store) and found that was a good way to get kids fed. I will also say that my boys did NOT like the McD's that was across from the hotel - they said the ketchup and pickles were too different than home (and I was glad because that meant they would be willing to try non-McD's restaurants). DH and I also made sure to pop into a pub for fish and chips.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:57 PM   #63
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Hi Heather ... Thanks for the extra info!!!
Your other info was very popular .. Hence why I stole it!! Ha
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #64
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2Princessesintow--thanks for the stroller information. I've seen UppaBaby strollers but I've never thought much about it....I will try it out at the next BabiesRUs we go to and see if the strap will work out for us. Thanks!

Heatherbelle--thanks so much for the PAYG phone info! We've decided to get our phones at Tesco since they are everywhere. Great tip about using O2 over Virgin Mobile, and thanks for the link to your other thread. Will definitely be reading it for planning info.

--One question--Capri....we're skipping Capri during our Naples stop to do a private tour of Sorrento, Positano and Pompeii. Would you skip Sorrento or Positano to try to fit in Capri? I know you have to take a boat, etc. I'm not sure we'll have time. I've wanted to go to Positano ever since I've seen "Under the Tuscan Sun." That Marcello is very convincing.

Nzdisneymom---Will be Googling those restaurants you mentioned to see if the menus work out for us. Spaghetti House sounds great
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:30 PM   #65
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When will the rest of the excursions be up? Anyone have the scoop?
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:06 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
2Princessesintow--thanks for the stroller information. I've seen UppaBaby strollers but I've never thought much about it....I will try it out at the next BabiesRUs we go to and see if the strap will work out for us. Thanks!

Heatherbelle--thanks so much for the PAYG phone info! We've decided to get our phones at Tesco since they are everywhere. Great tip about using O2 over Virgin Mobile, and thanks for the link to your other thread. Will definitely be reading it for planning info.

--One question--Capri....we're skipping Capri during our Naples stop to do a private tour of Sorrento, Positano and Pompeii. Would you skip Sorrento or Positano to try to fit in Capri? I know you have to take a boat, etc. I'm not sure we'll have time. I've wanted to go to Positano ever since I've seen "Under the Tuscan Sun." That Marcello is very convincing.

Nzdisneymom---Will be Googling those restaurants you mentioned to see if the menus work out for us. Spaghetti House sounds great


I've never been to Positano nor have I seen Under the Tuscan Sun but I was in Capri & spent 2 nights in Sorrento on a Perillo tour. Capri is awesome! I'm so looking forward to showing it all to my family!
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:09 PM   #67
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I've never been to Positano nor have I seen Under the Tuscan Sun but I was in Capri & spent 2 nights in Sorrento on a Perillo tour. Capri is awesome! I'm so looking forward to showing it all to my family!
This is the scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wtKoXSbesmA
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:57 PM   #68
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First, thanks for the all the awesome info so far! A few notes then questions:

For Credit Cards - I would recomend either Capital One or Marriott Premiere Card by Chase, both offer no foriegn fees and Marriott just added the chip to their cards.

For atms/Euros:Definitely bring some Euro's with, when DH and I were in Florence 2 years ago his atm cards didn't work at a few places.

Now the questions... are we naieve to be planning to take DCL excursions? The last European Cruise we took was Holland America and they were fantastic and we did all their excursions. I've been to Monaco, Florence and Rome but mom has not and she is who I am traveling with so I want it to be easy for her. We are taking the June 1 sailing with some of you =) We are starting in London on our own as it will be my 3rd time there (Britain is hands down my favorite European Country), then doing the ABD pre cruise Barcelona, then sailing and ending with 36 hours in Dublin. As I'm doing other planning should I not plan to use DCL excursions? Let me know!! Its just us 2 adults =)
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:08 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by suzysharp View Post
First, thanks for the all the awesome info so far! A few notes then questions:

For Credit Cards - I would recomend either Capital One or Marriott Premiere Card by Chase, both offer no foriegn fees and Marriott just added the chip to their cards.

For atms/Euros:Definitely bring some Euro's with, when DH and I were in Florence 2 years ago his atm cards didn't work at a few places.

Now the questions... are we naieve to be planning to take DCL excursions? The last European Cruise we took was Holland America and they were fantastic and we did all their excursions. I've been to Monaco, Florence and Rome but mom has not and she is who I am traveling with so I want it to be easy for her. We are taking the June 1 sailing with some of you =) We are starting in London on our own as it will be my 3rd time there (Britain is hands down my favorite European Country), then doing the ABD pre cruise Barcelona, then sailing and ending with 36 hours in Dublin. As I'm doing other planning should I not plan to use DCL excursions? Let me know!! Its just us 2 adults =)
For 2 adults, it might be fine to do DCL excursions, and I think the DCL excursions MIGHT be better priced than in 2010. If you really want to make a good decision, look at what DCL is offering and the price, then price that out with a local tour company. You can find a local tour company online, and you can find the best tour companies by reading reviews at www.tripadvisor.com.

Here is an example from our 2010 Med cruise with DCL: My wife, myself, and my 12 and 10 year old daughters took a train from the port to Rome, visited the Forum, Colliseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and St. Peter's. Including all fares, tranportation, entrance fees, tickets, lunch, snacks and the whole enchilada, we spent $325 for the four of us. That same year, DCL offered a cruise called "Rome on Your Own" where they would bus you to Rome, kick you off the bus with a tour book, and bus you back to the ship that night. The cost was $299 per "adult," with "adult" starting at age 10. Because that "Rome on Your Own" tour did not include admission, subway, lunch or anything like that, we saved about $1000 by doing Rome truly "on our own."
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:24 PM   #70
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Now the questions... are we naieve to be planning to take DCL excursions? The last European Cruise we took was Holland America and they were fantastic and we did all their excursions. I've been to Monaco, Florence and Rome but mom has not and she is who I am traveling with so I want it to be easy for her. We are taking the June 1 sailing with some of you =) We are starting in London on our own as it will be my 3rd time there (Britain is hands down my favorite European Country), then doing the ABD pre cruise Barcelona, then sailing and ending with 36 hours in Dublin. As I'm doing other planning should I not plan to use DCL excursions? Let me know!! Its just us 2 adults =)
We have always taken DCL shore excursions and all but one in 10 cruises was great. The poor one we actually got a 50% refund on as we were not the only ones that issues with it. DCL shore excursions cost more than doing it yourself but there is a lot of research and security measures taken by DCL. When we did tasting in Mexico there were armed security at the site because there had been some minor issues in the area. DCL does not take chances with the guest which results in additional cost that DH and I prefer. Also they will hold the ship or get you to the next port at no cost. When we were in Rome we got back to the ship 1 hour past all aboard due to some ugly americans on our excursion. The ship was waiting and after we all boarded and the gang plank was up a taxi drove up. The ship left and the guests had to find their own way to the next port.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:54 PM   #71
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I don't think it's naive to do ship excursions - we do them most of the time, but as we become more experienced cruisers, we're willing to do some things on our own - but always build in extra time for the possibility of vehicle trouble, etc. We will do more on our own this time in the Med than we've ever done. We are doing Rome with RomeInLimo because the DCL excursions don't meet our requirements - we did the Jumping Back in to Eternal Rome one in 2007 and it was awesome for first timers to see and do a lot - but most of the other excursions also include elements that we've seen before and don't want to see again. So we have to do it on our own. While DCL offers a car service as an option, we are getting a better price by doing it through RIL than booking through DCL, but if we didn't have RIL with lots of great recommendations, then we might consider booking that through DCL. In fact, we are doing just that in Malta.

I think there is a lot of convenience in using ship excursions and that peace of mind is really nice to have. But there is a lot to be said for adventuring on your own, especially if what the cruiseline offers doesn't include what you want to do - or if you want to be free to do things at your own pace and not have to wait with 20 others. We try to be overly considerate of our fellow travelers while on ship excursions so that we aren't the family that everyone else is waiting on. Much of the time, our fellow excursioners are timely, polite, and enjoyable, but sometimes we have those that are obnoxious, rude, and late.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:56 PM   #72
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Do you have any restaurant recs for London? My DD has allergies, and I've checked out all the menus already for London for our itinerary. Our intent is to go to pretty boring restaurants---Pizza Express, Prezzo, Wagamama since I can peruse menus ahead of time. I've eaten at these places before and its not terribly exciting. Any family friendly recommendations? Thanks.
My oldest daughter goes to college in London . . . your kids would probably like Byrons, which has great burgers and milkshakes and lots of locations:

http://byronhamburgers.com/locations/
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #73
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I need help. We are a family of 5 going to Paris before Barcelona and I need to find a good priced, centrally located apartment that is close to the metro. We will be going to DLP for two days but we are planning in being in Paris at least 9 days.

Any suggestions? My TA isn't being much help. She just tells me to look at brochures.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:23 PM   #74
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I need help. We are a family of 5 going to Paris before Barcelona and I need to find a good priced, centrally located apartment that is close to the metro. We will be going to DLP for two days but we are planning in being in Paris at least 9 days.

Any suggestions? My TA isn't being much help. She just tells me to look at brochures.
I would recommend re-posting your question on the Disneyland Paris Forum - they should have some suggestions for you!!

Ignore me! I can see that you already have...!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:43 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzysharp View Post
First, thanks for the all the awesome info so far! A few notes then questions:

For Credit Cards - I would recomend either Capital One or Marriott Premiere Card by Chase, both offer no foriegn fees and Marriott just added the chip to their cards.

For atms/Euros:Definitely bring some Euro's with, when DH and I were in Florence 2 years ago his atm cards didn't work at a few places.

Now the questions... are we naieve to be planning to take DCL excursions? The last European Cruise we took was Holland America and they were fantastic and we did all their excursions. I've been to Monaco, Florence and Rome but mom has not and she is who I am traveling with so I want it to be easy for her. We are taking the June 1 sailing with some of you =) We are starting in London on our own as it will be my 3rd time there (Britain is hands down my favorite European Country), then doing the ABD pre cruise Barcelona, then sailing and ending with 36 hours in Dublin. As I'm doing other planning should I not plan to use DCL excursions? Let me know!! Its just us 2 adults =)
I think this is the difference. We are a family of 4 and my parents are coming. For us it's easier and more cost-efficient to do private tours than to be stuck with a large group. Also my parents can't walk long distances and even though they know they need to walk a good bit for these tours, we're trying to keep it to a minimum. The smaller vehicles that private tours use can get in closer than where large buses drop guests off.
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