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Old 02-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jdb in AZ View Post
DH was really worried about language barriers til I pointed out that Americans are the only ones who don't speak a 2nd language.
Or 3rd or 4th.....

Good guidebook series is the Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door. Always get the most recent guidebook no matter what you choose to get.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:12 PM   #17
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I agree with one poster, Caribbean islands scare me more.

People are friendly and just about everyone speaks English even though I think they appreciate you trying to speak theirs.

One of my fav memories from our 2007 Med cruise happened in Monaco. We were a bit lost (don't ask me why, it's very easy to get around) but we ran into a gentleman who couldn't speak any English. He kept asking us something, but we didn't have a clue either. He got very frustrated and walked off. He quickly came back and used hand gestures for shaking and throwing dice and another one for what assumed was a crown., ok. We got it. We wanted to go to the Palace, he pointed the way Very nice of him to even try.

People are the same all over. You are more likely to run into someone nice than scary.

It's easy to use their transportation and the Euro isn't different than our money scheme. It'll be an eye opening experience and one you'll never forget.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:25 PM   #18
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I agree that Europe can seem intimidating at first, but in reality it's not. Most people you encounter at tourist attraction will speak English (and several other languages, probably). I've done on my own tours in Greece, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and England with few problems. Get good guidebooks with good maps and you can do a lot on your own. Or, if you're still not sure, you can book a ship's tour, or even do a private tour if you don't like giant group tours. Just plan out what you're going to do ahead of time so when you get there you can relax and have fun
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:39 PM   #19
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Smile Rick Steeves guide books

Just wanted to add that Rick Steeves books are awesome - easy to read and he covers everything!

We did a Disney cruise in Europe in the spring of 2010. I was definitely a little intimidated as well but it was great. We had two kids - ages 10 months and 7 years old at the time. We did not do any organized excursions with the ship - I just researched the ports one by one. We found it very easy to use public transportation and if we needed directions, people were more than willing to help us. Go for it!! You will love it!
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:41 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by LeslieG View Post
I'm waiting for the 2014 schedule to come out to see what DCL is offering in Europe, but I'm a little intimidated about going. Money conversion, different languages, foreign cultures. I'm not a fan of big organized tours, so I'd rather not go that route in the ports. Help!
Intimidated? YES! Great thread..I'm reading every post
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:15 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by LeslieG View Post
I'm waiting for the 2014 schedule to come out to see what DCL is offering in Europe, but I'm a little intimidated about going. Money conversion, different languages, foreign cultures. I'm not a fan of big organized tours, so I'd rather not go that route in the ports. Help!
Yes, I am finding it terribly intimidating!

(Sorry, just a little joke, being European myself I just couldn't resist.)

But seriously - I think you should go for it. There are so many beautiful places and sights to see, lots of things that are exciting but not really scary at all, and it is true: very many of us speak English well enough for you to make yourself understood.

Also, I think that if you are a bit apprehensive about traveling in Europe, there is no better way to do it than a DCL cruise. You don't have to worry about how to get from place to place, you have all the comforts of a Disney cruise ship, and when you venture out in the ports, it is up to you whether you want to go the "safe" route of using DCL-organized port excursions, or go on your own.
In that respect, though, I have to admit that me and husband, even though we are Europeans ourselves, went with all DCL-organized excursions on our Mediterranean cruise since we did not really want to be bothered with all the planning at that time. While obviously we were in larger groups, we still had a great time and enjoyed ourselves. Next time around, we will probably venture out on our own.

Anyway, whatever you do - I wish you a great time in Europe!
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:47 AM   #22
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Come on over!! I'm American but live in Germany (DH is military) and we've travelled all over Europe both with cruises, and just on our own. I would say if you are uncomfortable navigating on your own, maybe the organized tours would be in your best interest. Another option is private tours, or pick up walking tours. The people on these boards are AMAZING at helping others to plan their vacation out. Most places that are touristy have many English speakers, everyone is so kind, and most menus (transport, restuarant, tour guide forms) have English options. It's really beautiful here, you don't want to miss it!
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