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Old 01-25-2013, 01:36 PM   #781
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O. M. G. - possibly thinking of cancelling this cruise. That is HOT HOT HOT plus a few extra HOT's! Thanks for the info!
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Don't cancel because of the temp! There r lots if ways to combat it. Besides my husband had never been in heat higher than 24 C (75 F) and he survived and wants to go back!

I checked the weather network for the averages for July:

Barcelona. High 27C (81F). Low 19C (66F)
Rome. High 31C(88F). Low 17C (62F)
Athens. High 32C (90C). Low 22C (72F)

Hope this helps!
I absolutely agree - DON"T CANCEL! Ofcourse you expect the Mediterranean in July to be hot, but we've done the Med before and honestly, I think it's hotter on Long Island in the summer than we were in Italy! And I hate heat! I was able to walk around Pompeii in full sun with a little fan and manage just fine. This is a trip of a lifetime, with so many ways to cool off, don't let it stop you from having the time of your life.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #782
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I absolutely agree - DON"T CANCEL! Of course you expect the Mediterranean in July to be hot, but we've done the Med before and honestly, I think it's hotter on Long Island in the summer than we were in Italy! And I hate heat! I was able to walk around Pompeii in full sun with a little fan and manage just fine. This is a trip of a lifetime, with so many ways to cool off, don't let it stop you from having the time of your life.
Just my 2 cents.
Thank you! I really appreciate your words of wisdom! I think I'll just try to limit the doses of sun and hopefully that will be okay! I managed in St. Petersburg when it was 102 degrees...not well, but I did it! It's just not fun to feel so lethargic and hope that you can make it back to the ship without passing out!
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:27 PM   #783
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Help on Greece port...

Would you spend the entire day in Athens or some of the day and the head out to Poseidons temple? Kids love him.

Ps, when we cruised the med in 07, I wore a light jacket a few days. The weather is unpredictable. The week before, the weather was out of control hot.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:38 PM   #784
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deleted - question was already asked and answered

Last edited by JimmyJackJunior; 01-25-2013 at 02:50 PM. Reason: Question already asked
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:12 PM   #785
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Must be your neighbors! Room 2586!!!!
You will be my mother's neighbours. She called that room because it has a trunk.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:38 PM   #786
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We are close to nailing down excursions

Villefrenche - we are going to do it on our own go to the beach, the hill, enjoy Bastille Day and maybe go up to the Roman Ruins.

La Spezzia - We are going to do on our own, the four of us are going to go to Lucca and then Pisa. My mother is going to go to Cinque Terre because she has seen the others. She is going to take the Boat tour with Disney.

Rome - we have hired a private guide to do the Colliseum, Forum, Palantine Hill, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Cristina Giannicchi is her name and she was recommended in Rick Steves Med book.

Athens - everything we want to do is so tightly packed we are going to do it on our own. We are going to do the Acropolis and a couple of other sites around there. If we do the Acropolis quickly enough we may go to the National Archeological museum.

Kusadasi - we will do a tour. I think we will book with Ekol. Tour 2, Ephasus and Artemis Temple looks really reasonable.

Mykonos - we are going to play it by ear. If we have not had enough of archeological we make take a ferry out to Denos, if not the Beach.

Malta - the only tour we are taking through Disney. Going to do the historical scavenger hunt. Interested in the Playmobile tour mentioned earlier for the afternoon as well.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:04 PM   #787
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We are close to nailing down excursions

Villefrenche - we are going to do it on our own go to the beach, the hill, enjoy Bastille Day and maybe go up to the Roman Ruins.

La Spezzia - We are going to do on our own, the four of us are going to go to Lucca and then Pisa. My mother is going to go to Cinque Terre because she has seen the others. She is going to take the Boat tour with Disney.

Rome - we have hired a private guide to do the Colliseum, Forum, Palantine Hill, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Cristina Giannicchi is her name and she was recommended in Rick Steves Med book.

Athens - everything we want to do is so tightly packed we are going to do it on our own. We are going to do the Acropolis and a couple of other sites around there. If we do the Acropolis quickly enough we may go to the National Archeological museum.

Kusadasi - we will do a tour. I think we will book with Ekol. Tour 2, Ephasus and Artemis Temple looks really reasonable.

Mykonos - we are going to play it by ear. If we have not had enough of archeological we make take a ferry out to Denos, if not the Beach.

Malta - the only tour we are taking through Disney. Going to do the historical scavenger hunt. Interested in the Playmobile tour mentioned earlier for the afternoon as well.
How are you planning to get down to Athens? Train or cab?
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:25 PM   #788
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Help on Greece port...


Ps, when we cruised the med in 07, I wore a light jacket a few days. The weather is unpredictable. The week before, the weather was out of control hot.
That's good to know... I mean that there is a chance... regardless of how small, that maybe just maybe it won't be suffocatingly hot!
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:38 PM   #789
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How are you planning to get down to Athens? Train or cab?
The currently on strike Metro train.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:24 PM   #790
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I was looking at tripadvisor for Ekol tours and was really worried about the complaints about unscheduled side trips to carpet and other vendors. Thinking of going with Best Ephesus tours. It is about twice as expensive but this is a once in a lifetimet thing. Would anyone else be interested in doing this? The price for 14 people is 330 Euros vs 290 for five people. Even if we got to ten people the price would be very reasonable.

Last edited by JimmyJackJunior; 01-25-2013 at 05:26 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:43 PM   #791
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I was looking at tripadvisor for Ekol tours and was really worried about the complaints about unscheduled side trips to carpet and other vendors. Thinking of going with Best Ephesus tours. It is about twice as expensive but this is a once in a lifetimet thing. Would anyone else be interested in doing this? The price for 14 people is 330 Euros vs 290 for five people. Even if we got to ten people the price would be very reasonable.
We booked with Ekol and the trip to the carpet vendor and the lunch was mention when booking the trip. I think you just have to be right out-front with them if not interested. They seemed really nice talking to them. There are some really good reviews of them as well.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:17 PM   #792
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We booked and they told us without the carpet trip the tour would be $50 more per person.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:22 PM   #793
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We booked with Ekol and the trip to the carpet vendor and the lunch was mention when booking the trip. I think you just have to be right out-front with them if not interested. They seemed really nice talking to them. There are some really good reviews of them as well.
I have to agree. Just be upfront with whomever you choose.

No matter who you choose for your Turkish tour beware they all like to take you to a carpet store/factory or a pottery factory or leather facility.

This is extremely common practice in Turkey and many other countries (Morocco, Thailand, Egypt, etc). The key is to know up front what you want to do - visit, buy or refuse. And then let your agency know in advance. The bigger/reputable agencies will almost always agree to avoid the stops if you ask. Especially these guides are contractors paid by the tour so they know if they disappoint the customer then the tip will show it and complaints means they won't be booked again. The guides obviously would like you to go because if you buy they make extra money on the side from the seller.

I have been to many many many of these stops in Turkey and other places. And I can tell you that I have never bought a carpet. The experience is an interesting one and probably one that you will talk about after your trip. If you do go try to enjoy the experience....enjoy the Turkish coffee...and remember they try hard to sell you a carpet but if you have made up your mind just be firm.

I have to admit. I am looking forward to Turkey. Especially the bargaining and haggling in the bazaar and the very forward ways of some sellers. It brings out a whole new side of me. Don't be off-put by it just be aware of it in advance. I have gotten some great souvenirs from Turkey (at a great price) that we still use in our house. My advice would be to ask you guide for some going rates of some of the popular items so you have an idea of what the going price is before you head in shopping.

What I am I doing this time round? Well if my guide suggests a stop I plan on going even though I have been before. Mostly because my kids have never experienced it and I think they will get a big kick out of it and maybe even learn something. And no - I have no plans on buying a carpet.

All that being said, the Turkish hard sell is definitely not for everyone.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:36 AM   #794
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Meet and Greet Thoughts

Although we've got lots of time to plan, I wanted to start gathering everyone's thoughts about our meet and greet. On past cruises, the group had the meet and greet the first afternoon after boarding and it's rushed and many people don't make it. I'm thinking of perhaps a couple of meets during the cruise instead. What is your preference (or add another idea):

a) Meet and greet after boarding before party - boarding afternoon

b) Meet and greet on the first sea day


c) Meet and greet after boarding plus one of the sea days

d) select a few different activities to meet at (adults, with kids, activiity etc)

e) 3+ meet and greets to go to all or select from
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:21 PM   #795
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Booked into he Aura Apartments like a couple of my fellow Canadians for July 12,25 and 26.
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