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Old 02-23-2013, 05:18 PM   #1591
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
I posted this on the Med Cruise planning thread but thought it appropriate to post here as more of us will be booking our excursions starting on Friday.

I also wanted to see if a Platinum DISer might look up the departure time for the Monaco, Monte Carlo and Eze excursion for us - not the adults only one but the regular one.
8:30 am
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:46 PM   #1592
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monstro

8:30 am
Thanks ... Not too early so family will be happy.
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Old 02-23-2013, 06:44 PM   #1593
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Originally Posted by Lynn G
I have been trying to find out if the hiking trails in Cinque Terre (La Spezia) are open yet, info seems to say they are planning a Spring 2013 opening. Has anyone been able to find out more info on whether or not these trails will be open? Thanks for any input.
Rick Steves said at some point in some form (email?? FB??) that he was going to be going to Cinque Terre this year to look at and tell about the improvements. He usually starts traveling around...April?? I think....
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:44 PM   #1594
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Cinque Terre trails

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieDiva View Post
Rick Steves said at some point in some form (email?? FB??) that he was going to be going to Cinque Terre this year to look at and tell about the improvements. He usually starts traveling around...April?? I think....
Another source would be Rick Steves' travel help line - http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/

I've posted questions there for other trips and have received lots of good info.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:26 PM   #1595
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Bank and ATMs from Rick Steves' site: Helpful hints

I found all this information on Rick Steves' website. We found it helpful.

http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/h...nd-atm39s.html

BofA does indeed have a partner bank in Italy, in fact it is owned by the same partner bank in France. It was in effect this past December!

How to find a Bank of America ATM in Italy
With your internet connection go to BNL.IT. Then click on "BNL PRIORITY". On the next page click on "PRENDI UN APPUNTAMENTO". This will bring you to a series of three drop-down boxes where you enter your location by Regione, Provincia and Comune. Once you enter that info click on the "CERCA" button. There you will see all their branch locations in that locality. Simply click on the "BANCOMAT" tab at the top of the page to see all the ATM locations along with a map!

Any Italian bank atm will work. No fee from them. But your American bank will likely slap you with a flat fee for each withdrawal + 3% foreign transaction fee. So minimize your withdrawals to few large ones (Italian banks will allow at least 250 euros at the time). Use credit cards as much as you can for purchases, so that you don't have to withdraw too often. Most (if not all) credit cards will charge you a 3% foreign transaction fee, but their exchange rate is better than exchanging dollars in the various exchange bureaus.

Also memorize your PIN in numbers since Italian key pads at ATM have no letters.

Not too many EMV cards issued by US banks yet. Mostly for business international travelers.

Latest on EMV cards issued by US banks:
http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/top-c...-credit-cards/

Get as much money as you can at each transaction to minimize fees. If you are denied, just try a different amount. For example, I tried to get 500 euros at an ATM on my last trip (November 2012). This was well within my daily withdrawal amount for my bank and the transaction was denied. I put in a lower amount and eventually got 300 euros. most of the ATMs that I used limited you to 250 per withdrawal. You can do multiple transactions if you want more money than the 250 euros. My bank charges a flat fee per transaction rather than a percentage basis,so the daily withdrawal amount didn't matter.
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:55 PM   #1596
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
I'm also wondering if we'll be able to get a stamp in our passport for Monaco.
EDITED to ADD: It looks like it might be possible - reports are that the Tourist Information Office at the end of the gardens by the Casino can do it. Monaco is the second smallest country in the world; Vatican City is the smallest.
What a great idea! Thank you for this!
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:03 AM   #1597
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieDiva View Post
Rick Steves said at some point in some form (email?? FB??) that he was going to be going to Cinque Terre this year to look at and tell about the improvements. He usually starts traveling around...April?? I think....
Quote:
Originally Posted by 890537 View Post
Another source would be Rick Steves' travel help line - http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/

I've posted questions there for other trips and have received lots of good info.
Thanks to both of you for the info!
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:14 AM   #1598
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Originally Posted by CJCPixieDust View Post
Has anyone made their reservations on an iPad? I might not have access to a computer when my booking window opens and I'm feeling stressed about the iPad not working for reservations. Any advice or experience with this? Thanks!
I made all my reservations on an iPad. Got them all within 10 minutes. I don't think it's any different than using a regular computer.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:58 PM   #1599
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abayaflowers View Post
I found all this information on Rick Steves' website. We found it helpful.

BofA does indeed have a partner bank in Italy, in fact it is owned by the same partner bank in France. It was in effect this past December!

How to find a Bank of America ATM in Italy
With your internet connection go to BNL.IT. Then click on "BNL PRIORITY". On the next page click on "PRENDI UN APPUNTAMENTO". This will bring you to a series of three drop-down boxes where you enter your location by Regione, Provincia and Comune. Once you enter that info click on the "CERCA" button. There you will see all their branch locations in that locality. Simply click on the "BANCOMAT" tab at the top of the page to see all the ATM locations along with a map!

Bank of America has a link off their website where you can find locations of partner banks in any country. I've made fee-free withdrawals using my BoA ATM card in Australia, France, Canada, England, and at least one other country that I can't seem to think of offhand.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:20 PM   #1600
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Originally Posted by ImprovGal View Post
Which Mexican cooking excursion did you do? I've done the Mexican Cooking experience in Puerto Vallerta twice (different locations both times) and the Salsa and Salsa one in Cabo and most recently Cozumel. I've enjoyed them all and am so happy to hear that I shouldn't be in danger of having this Florence one cancelled due to lack of enrollment.
We did the Mexican Cooking in PV, nice little ranch in the hills. Enjoyed it, and had the girl from the excursion desk join us on the tour. Have to find those recipes and cook up some good salsa! I am keeping my fingers crossed for sure for the Tuscan cooking, DH keeps asking LOL!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:45 PM   #1601
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Originally Posted by NanNan View Post
We did the Mexican Cooking in PV, nice little ranch in the hills. Enjoyed it, and had the girl from the excursion desk join us on the tour. Have to find those recipes and cook up some good salsa! I am keeping my fingers crossed for sure for the Tuscan cooking, DH keeps asking LOL!
We have always enjoyed having Cast Members join us on excursions - it's a great opportunity to get acquainted and then when you see them onboard later in the cruise, they always seem to remember! I'm glad that they have the oppotunity to "work" as an escort for tours.

We get to book excursions on Friday night - cannot wait to get that going! I'm blogging about each port this week to help make the time go faster (hee hee). Today as I was doing Rome, I was looking in my photobucket and saw I only had some Colosseum pictures there from Rome - I guess that's where I stopped with the trip report in 2007. I was remembering how beautiful the mosaics are inside St. Peter's Basilica - I absolutely loved how intricate they were. And I remembered us tossing our coins in the Trevi Fountain so we could make another trip to Rome - yay! And the Pantheon was my favorite site we saw that day - our tour guide gave us a lot of information and that really made the time there so interesting.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:50 PM   #1602
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 890537 View Post
Another source would be Rick Steves' travel help line - http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/

I've posted questions there for other trips and have received lots of good info.
Great tip! Thankx so much!
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #1603
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
We have always enjoyed having Cast Members join us on excursions - it's a great opportunity to get acquainted and then when you see them onboard later in the cruise, they always seem to remember! I'm glad that they have the oppotunity to "work" as an escort for tours.

We get to book excursions on Friday night - cannot wait to get that going! I'm blogging about each port this week to help make the time go faster (hee hee). Today as I was doing Rome, I was looking in my photobucket and saw I only had some Colosseum pictures there from Rome - I guess that's where I stopped with the trip report in 2007. I was remembering how beautiful the mosaics are inside St. Peter's Basilica - I absolutely loved how intricate they were. And I remembered us tossing our coins in the Trevi Fountain so we could make another trip to Rome - yay! And the Pantheon was my favorite site we saw that day - our tour guide gave us a lot of information and that really made the time there so interesting.
One of my favorite activities on board is getting to know the cast members! They all have such amazing stories: where they are from, where they want to be, etc... And of course they are all so friendly.

Enjoy your booking Friday! I will wait two more weeks holding my breath. Checked out your blog, nice, very nice!
Marilyn

Last edited by NanNan; 02-25-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 02-26-2013, 06:36 AM   #1604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanNan View Post
One of my favorite activities on board is getting to know the cast members! They all have such amazing stories: where they are from, where they want to be, etc... And of course they are all so friendly.

Enjoy your booking Friday! I will wait two more weeks holding my breath. Checked out your blog, nice, very nice!
Marilyn
I agree. DH is a graphic designer and he hit it off on our B2B LA to Vancouver and on to Alaska cruise in 2011. We are originally from San Francisco so we gave them a map of the area (actually our FE gift) and pointed out the places to go. They were interested in shopping! The cast members is the reason why DBIL will now only sail on Disney. They had sailed on other lines (he is also very frugal) however after DSIS convinced him to go on the Baltic with us there has been no looking back. The Med is their second on DCL and their 4th and we have a family cruise booked for Dec so after that cruise they will be gold!
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:52 AM   #1605
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I have used my Ipad for reservations and it works ok. I needed to increase the page area where the check-off boxes are out. Depending on the service I have found my ipad to run a little slower than my pc. I would go into your reservation off your ipad before your reservation date.
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I made all my reservations on an iPad. Got them all within 10 minutes. I don't think it's any different than using a regular computer.
Thanks for the information and advice- much appreciated! I'm feeling more confident now and think I will go for it on the iPad.
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