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Old 06-14-2013, 12:24 PM   #616
slg
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We're booked on this excursion too. I had an awful excursion...my first with DCL... in San Juan and I complained and the refunded me half the money. I was very excited for this excursion so I'm expecting that they will have sorted things out before my cruise July 10.

When we went to the Baltic, one of our tour guides in St. Petersberg said that DCL was fanatic about training guides in their country and very strict compared to the other cruise lines.

I'm sure that this will be addressed or the tour will be cancelled. This has happened before.
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Old 06-14-2013, 12:31 PM   #617
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108

The guide did not really guide anyone. She simply accompanied the driver to each point and then stated where the meeting point was. It was actually a hindrance to have her as a guide since she wouldn't let people stop for bathroom breaks, etc. The entire thing was bizarre. She also gave everyone the wrong meeting point and so that's why people missed the bus. When we showed up 5 min late (I had found the bus, then ran back to find my husband to tell him the correct meeting point), she looked surprised and started recounting the people on the bus. When she realized 3 ppl were missing, she out loud "I guess 3 ppl decided not to continue the tour." She told everyone to meet on parking level -2 instead of -1, where the bus was parked.

She refused to give kids in the tour bottles of water, b/c she decided that they must not have paid for the tour. Several of us had to explain that kids do pay, etc.

People were repeatedly scolded and shushed by this guide for various random things, such as asking questions. She also shamed people for being
late and was not accommodating. Her behavior was appalling and very un-Disney. We tipped the driver for helping us w/ the strollers all day. I noticed that no one tipped her and the next day found out that many people complained about Monaco/Monte Carlo/Eze tour.

Site wise--the sites were incredibly boring. Monaco is small and the palace took about 15 min to walk through. The plaza was cute, but there weren't too many places to eat. Monte Carlo--- the bus couldn't drop us off at the Casino, and so the group walked up a very very steep hill in the rain. Then the entire group waited around until the pick up time and walked down. EZE--it was pouring at this point and 75% of our bus stayed on the bus. I walked to Eze with 2 other families and explored. Eze would have been my favorite stop and I wished we came here earlier rather than having 1.5 hours at Monaco for no reason at all.
Sorry for your experience, but thank you for sharing.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:06 PM   #618
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
Hi guys! We are back. I will eventually do a trip summary (not a full report) simply due to time constraints, but here is some of our relevant info:

Our itinerary: London (3 nts), Barcelona pre cruise (3 nts), DCL Med Cruise, Paris (4 nts).

Embarkation: We deliberately went late and got to the Port at 2pm. Poolside by 3pm.

Disembarkation: Easy. No customs or immigration. We ate in the room, had time to go up at 7:45 am to Deck 10 for last minute pics. Walked off the ship at 8:10 am and was curbside by 8:25 am.

Stroller situation: As I noted in my original post which started this thread, transporting my kids was a major concern. My 3 YO ended up walking almost everywhere where a stroller wasn't practical. My infant was Ergo'ed. We brought 2 cheap Target $15 umbrella strollers which were very useful and thrown away at the end of the trip.

Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze: HORRIBLE port excursion through DCL. Really really bad. Some people on our bus got left behind and the guide almost left us as well. So many people complained that next day DCL sent out DCL guides
to monitor.

Portofino, Santa Margherita: A wonderful surprise. DCL excursion.

Florence, Pisa: My family members did this DCL adult only excursion. Someone in their group was almost robbed in Florence. A group of women walked up to a lady in group and tried to rip her neck wallet off her neck. Everyone screamed, a tussel ensued and the women ran away.

Rome-- we put together our own day by booking transfers and a Vatican museum tour through Walks of Italy. We booked the UndergroundTour with the Colosseum and cabbed to the Vatican ourselves. Walks of Italy was excellent. They were great w/reservation modifications and their guides/driver were awesome. We left Rome at 4:40 pm and got back at 5:50 pm. When we were leaving we saw DCL groups barely meeting up to leave, so we felt comfortable with the time we had going back.

**One thing about Walks of Italy, the stated 10% cancellation fee and "no modification" policy in case the cruise ship missed the port gave me some hesitation with the company. If you decide to book with them, clarify the policy with the owner and see what they will do in case the ship misses the port.

Since my dad and I couldn't walk much, opted instead for the Scavi tour rather than the Vatican tour. Go to the Vatican website for more details. It was simply amazing.

Pompeii, Positano---while the sites were great, the tour company "See Amalfi Coast" was a MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT. They are #1 on TA. Well, they suck. Our driver didn't show up on time, he was incredibly sleazy, and he took us to a tourist trap restaurant to make commission, thereby cutting our Positano time to 1 hr and we had to skip Sorrento. Expensive and disappointing. I tipped him anyway (bad habit), but would not recommend them to anyone. Please avoid

Barcelona-- mixed feelings about Barcelona Day Tours. We paid 343 Euro for a 1/2 day Montserrat tour. Well it rained and basically we got 20 minutes at Parc Guell and we went to a Tapas restaurant afterwards. I'm going to email them and see if they will apply a courtesy discount of some sort. I paid in advance. The driver was nice, though.

DCL related-- character lines were incredibly long compared to what we were used to. Food was very average but our dining team was amazing. Loved them. The new navigator format sucks since the schedule is only an insert and they sometimes were missing. They also did not state all activities. Our cabin was DIRTY DIRTY upon check in (brown smears toilet seat, door jam, sheets were dirty). Rectified at 2am in the morning. Whole thing was a hassle.

Overall-- this was a trip of a lifetime for us. Our group included extended family members who do not travel with us often and we all appreciated the journey together. There are moments, as you are sitting there, which you knew were incredible and you'd remember for a lifetime. The trip itself was physically exhausting (especially b/c we had 1 early pregnant lady, me post-surgery, my dad pre-surgery, and 2 small kids]). Despite all our obstacles it was simply an amazing and wonderful trip. I loved every minute.
Thank you for sharing. I love your pictures.
I'm so sorry to hear so many negatives about your trip. I did buy 2 Rick Steve's silk neck wallets and put some extra stitches where the string meets the wallet. May I ask, was the neck wallet tucked inside her blouse or was she wearing it outside like a purse? Regardless, it's awful that so much of this stuff happens. I'm only asking because I'm curious just how bold these thieves are. If all they could see was a tiny bit of string, compared to say a fanny pack, it really takes brass ones. I wonder if I should get a money belt also.

I would mention your Positano issues on TripAdvisor. So many people rely on that website for the real truth. I certainly have more than once for our Med cruise.

We're booked on the Nice & Monaco DCL excursion. I hope it's not boring.

Sounds like you had a lot of rain. I'm glad to hear there were plenty of good times too.
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Old 06-14-2013, 10:08 PM   #619
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Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post
Thank you for sharing. I love your pictures.
I'm so sorry to hear so many negatives about your trip. I did buy 2 Rick Steve's silk neck wallets and put some extra stitches where the string meets the wallet. May I ask, was the neck wallet tucked inside her blouse or was she wearing it outside like a purse? Regardless, it's awful that so much of this stuff happens. I'm only asking because I'm curious just how bold these thieves are. If all they could see was a tiny bit of string, compared to say a fanny pack, it really takes brass ones. I wonder if I should get a money belt also.

I would mention your Positano issues on TripAdvisor. So many people rely on that website for the real truth. I certainly have more than once for our Med cruise.

We're booked on the Nice & Monaco DCL excursion. I hope it's not boring.

Sounds like you had a lot of rain. I'm glad to hear there were plenty of good times too.
I was wondering about the neck wallet as well as I have the same one.
makes sense if you are wearing it outside your clothes that it would be fair game for theft, but I was thinking as long as I kept it tucked in my shirt I'd be ok...now also thinking maybe better to go with something else

And I also rely on Tripadvisor for my trip planning and would hope that you add your experience for Positano to make the record clear for others
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:44 AM   #620
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Originally Posted by slg View Post
We're booked on this excursion too. I had an awful excursion...my first with DCL... in San Juan and I complained and the refunded me half the money. I was very excited for this excursion so I'm expecting that they will have sorted things out before my cruise July 10.
When I gave my impressions of the Monaco/Monte Carlo/Eze tour to the DCL Port Adventures guide during our Portofino tour, I specifically told her that we weren't seeking compensation. Honestly, with our cabin cleanliness issues I didn't want to be "that lady" who complained at guest services all the time (not that you are, but you know what I mean). I was also eager to move on, so to speak.

I made very detailed notes on the comment card, including our group number, etc. Hopefully that tour (and that guide) will be addressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post
Thank you for sharing. I love your pictures.
I'm so sorry to hear so many negatives about your trip. I did buy 2 Rick Steve's silk neck wallets and put some extra stitches where the string meets the wallet. May I ask, was the neck wallet tucked inside her blouse or was she wearing it outside like a purse? Regardless, it's awful that so much of this stuff happens. I'm only asking because I'm curious just how bold these thieves are. If all they could see was a tiny bit of string, compared to say a fanny pack, it really takes brass ones. I wonder if I should get a money belt also.

I would mention your Positano issues on TripAdvisor. So many people rely on that website for the real truth. I certainly have more than once for our Med cruise.

We're booked on the Nice & Monaco DCL excursion. I hope it's not boring.

Sounds like you had a lot of rain. I'm glad to hear there were plenty of good times too.
You know what's funny? Our trip was so overwhelmingly positive that I didn't even notice until I typed up that short summary that there were so many negatives as to the DCL portion of our trip. Our trip logistically could have gone wrong in so many ways, but it didn't (only minor flight delays, no major hotel issues, lots of free hotel upgrades, found great food, met great people, no huge lines, etc). We did London, Barcelona and Paris before and after the Med cruise. Every single day was memorable and great.

I guess the issue is expectations. I had expected that by Day 7 of my trip that once I got onboard the Disney ship I could kick back and relax. Checking in to find a very dirty cabin was disappointing. Disney handled this very strangely by making us wait until 2am before they called a supervisor to double-check our complaints. He physically came in to look at the sheets when all I had done at 11:30 p.m. was call for new sheets. I found out from our host the next day that he had the day off, did not do our room, but he admitted that he never double-checked the quality of the room. I guess that was the reason for the hoop-la. I did not ask for, and did not receive compensation.

Neck wallet--- I honestly don't know. My brother (walking at the head of the group) told me that he saw a group of women holding up rectangular cardboards walking towards them. He and my sis-in-law made eye contact, walked around them. My brother told my mom (65YO) to be careful, and my mom and my frail aunt walked around them as well. The women walked up to an elderly lady in the back of the DCL group, stopped her and grabbed at her neck wallet. The women holding the cardboard rectangles held them up to block others to see what they were doing (ie robbing people). People in the DCL group started yelling at the thieves, and those closest to the lady held on to her so that she wouldn't fall. The DCL guide ran to the back and there was a further tussle, then the thieves ran away. My brother said that the lady would have been badly injured if those closest to her had not held on to prevent her from falling.

According to my brother, it was obvious they were targeting older people. As for brazen--yes. They tried to rip it right off her neck. I don't know if it was hanging out or in, but what does it matter? If it was visible, even through clothing, it was fair game. A child pickpocket tried to lift a small Canon camera out of my dad's pant pocket (visible through the pant pocket) but it was too heavy to lift. My dad said he put the camera there for just a few minutes in order to switch hands to do something else.

Speaking of pickpockets---I saw many people attempting (badly) to do the sign-my-petition trick. They hold a ratty cardboard with a paper on it and a pen. Walk up to you and try to distract you by asking you to sign. Most of the time they walk away if you walk around them. In Paris, my 3YO decided to run away from me to my aunt during one of these incidents. The thief locked eyes on my aunt (who is 4'10) as my kid ran to her. I turned around and screamed bloody murder ("Robbery Robbery") and the thief ran away before putting hands on my child or my aunt. This was day 13 or so of my trip, and frankly, I was getting sick of pickpockets.

In Barcelona--the pickpockets are obvious. They try to dress like tourists but fail. So if you see a sad attempt at American hip hop gear, a VERY visible neckwallet, and pointless meandering with no bottles of water, no heavy backpack, no sweaty faces, then you are looking at a pickpocket pretending to fit in. On the metro, they will also sit or stand next to you even when there are other open seats/spaces. When this happened to us (which was daily), we simply walked away.

Gear--- I personally don't like neck wallets b/c of the possibility of getting injured if someone tries to take it off you. Same with waist wallets. Easy enough to reach up your shirt and cut. If they cut you, well, that's worse.
My husband used the leg wallet the whole time. He loved it, and it was easy and less obvious than a leg wallet or a waist pouch. On our travel days it was big enough to fit 4 passports.

http://www.amazon.com/Pacsafe-Luggag...ef=pd_sim_a_17

My aunt who likes to carry her Passport and CC at all times had a reversible zippered vest on, and she wore the zippered pocket on the inside.

Carrying cash-- unless it was a travel day (flights, etc.,) I never carried more than 100Euro cash. If I did, I safety pinned it to me and I never carried a purse. We had TONS of baby gear, but I bought a $10 clear backpack and put all that stuff in there (diapers, bottles, wipes). I never once had a pickpocket even go near that backpack. You could see the diapers from a mile away.

Our family members never carried anything of value (other than DSLRs, which we only brought out on certain days since they were heavy). We avoided pickpockets b/c it was physically unpleasant to have them touch you when you walked by.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsScooby View Post
And I also rely on Tripadvisor for my trip planning and would hope that you add your experience for Positano to make the record clear for others
Great suggestion, thanks. I also found that company on TA. FWIW, they asked for positive reviews after the trip. I guess most people don't like to write negative ones.

OVERALL--- I understand that the June 1 Med was the 1st Med cruise DCL had done in a while and they picked up alot of "new" employees for this cruise. I guess they are still working out the kinks both w/CMs and vendors. So I hope my summary does not come off as negative, as we really did have a great time. I highlighted issues specific to the Disney portion of our trip since this is "Disboards." When I have the time, I will do a more complete write up separately. I have lots of tips actually, but I'm so jetlagged that it's not all coming together at the moment. Feel free to ask questions.

Last edited by lilpooh108; 06-15-2013 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:09 AM   #621
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
Hi guys! We are back. I will eventually do a trip summary (not a full report) simply due to time constraints, but here is some of our relevant info:

Our itinerary: London (3 nts), Barcelona pre cruise (3 nts), DCL Med Cruise, Paris (4 nts).

Embarkation: We deliberately went late and got to the Port at 2pm. Poolside by 3pm.

Disembarkation: Easy. No customs or immigration. We ate in the room, had time to go up at 7:45 am to Deck 10 for last minute pics. Walked off the ship at 8:10 am and was curbside by 8:25 am.

Stroller situation: As I noted in my original post which started this thread, transporting my kids was a major concern. My 3 YO ended up walking almost everywhere where a stroller wasn't practical. My infant was Ergo'ed. We brought 2 cheap Target $15 umbrella strollers which were very useful and thrown away at the end of the trip.

Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze: HORRIBLE port excursion through DCL. Really really bad. Some people on our bus got left behind and the guide almost left us as well. So many people complained that next day DCL sent out DCL guides
to monitor.

Portofino, Santa Margherita: A wonderful surprise. DCL excursion.

Florence, Pisa: My family members did this DCL adult only excursion. Someone in their group was almost robbed in Florence. A group of women walked up to a lady in group and tried to rip her neck wallet off her neck. Everyone screamed, a tussel ensued and the women ran away.

Rome-- we put together our own day by booking transfers and a Vatican museum tour through Walks of Italy. We booked the UndergroundTour with the Colosseum and cabbed to the Vatican ourselves. Walks of Italy was excellent. They were great w/reservation modifications and their guides/driver were awesome. We left Rome at 4:40 pm and got back at 5:50 pm. When we were leaving we saw DCL groups barely meeting up to leave, so we felt comfortable with the time we had going back.

**One thing about Walks of Italy, the stated 10% cancellation fee and "no modification" policy in case the cruise ship missed the port gave me some hesitation with the company. If you decide to book with them, clarify the policy with the owner and see what they will do in case the ship misses the port.

Since my dad and I couldn't walk much, opted instead for the Scavi tour rather than the Vatican tour. Go to the Vatican website for more details. It was simply amazing.

Pompeii, Positano---while the sites were great, the tour company "See Amalfi Coast" was a MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT. They are #1 on TA. Well, they suck. Our driver didn't show up on time, he was incredibly sleazy, and he took us to a tourist trap restaurant to make commission, thereby cutting our Positano time to 1 hr and we had to skip Sorrento. Expensive and disappointing. I tipped him anyway (bad habit), but would not recommend them to anyone. Please avoid

Barcelona-- mixed feelings about Barcelona Day Tours. We paid 343 Euro for a 1/2 day Montserrat tour. Well it rained and basically we got 20 minutes at Parc Guell and we went to a Tapas restaurant afterwards. I'm going to email them and see if they will apply a courtesy discount of some sort. I paid in advance. The driver was nice, though.

DCL related-- character lines were incredibly long compared to what we were used to. Food was very average but our dining team was amazing. Loved them. The new navigator format sucks since the schedule is only an insert and they sometimes were missing. They also did not state all activities. Our cabin was DIRTY DIRTY upon check in (brown smears toilet seat, door jam, sheets were dirty). Rectified at 2am in the morning. Whole thing was a hassle.

Overall-- this was a trip of a lifetime for us. Our group included extended family members who do not travel with us often and we all appreciated the journey together. There are moments, as you are sitting there, which you knew were incredible and you'd remember for a lifetime. The trip itself was physically exhausting (especially b/c we had 1 early pregnant lady, me post-surgery, my dad pre-surgery, and 2 small kids]). Despite all our obstacles it was simply an amazing and wonderful trip. I loved every minute.

I had subscribed to this thread a long time ago and I am glad to read that overall it was the Trip of a Lifetime and only with a few hiccups which of course I was disappointed for you when I read them.

I am with you on the Navigators - my husband would complain about it every night LOL he never got over the new format for the same reasons as you state!

Your mini report confirms my fears about DCL excursions but sounds like the Portofino one was good so I may try that one next time We avoided this time round because we just found them sooo expensive.

We did Cinque Terre on our own that day and bar the long wait for tenders at La Spezia it would have gone totally according to plan but we still had a great day and including lunch, 2 taxi rides, train journeys we paid for 4 people the same price Disney were charging for 1 person!

Monaco/Monte Carlo we also did on our own and bar the rain at the end of the day and the mad dash walk from the bus back to the tender at Villefranche we really enjoyed walking around the Principality!

I was however a bit surprised to read your review on See Amalfi Coast only because we used them on the same day and had the most wonderful time but with a couple of changes. What a shame they were not consistent for you and very frustrating for you indeed.

We must have lucked out as we had a driver and a tour guide plus we paid for another tour guide at Pompeii which was well worth the money. They picked us up at 8am and we were at Pompeii for opening.

Originally the company wanted to take us to La Tagliata overlooking Positano but it wasn't my sort of place so we requested that they take us to Ristorante Constantino - which yes was full of tourists but the view was amazing - we didn't want the prix fixe menu which they were trying to push onto us but we know what we like and we wanted the a la carte so our lunch took a little longer but it was actually cheaper than the prix fixe and we had wine and bottled water too.

Because we had chosen to linger over lunch our Driver was concerned about time and getting us back to Naples because I wanted us to be back at 5pm even though the all aboard time was 5.30pm (OCD). This meant they gave us the option to go down to the lovely less busy Positano or go to Sorrento - Sorrento was a must do for us.

I then came up with another plan as we were concerned about traffic on the way back to the city. We only wanted about 50 minutes in Sorrento (in that time I managed to do some damage on the credit card and buy gelato - it's very touristy and I am sure Positano would have been less crazy but I needed that pin in Sorrento LOL). When we got back to Naples we still had tour time and so our driver dropped us off and waited for us whilst we walked around Naples for a little bit - this worked out well and given how we felt DCL were running the place down a bit (dangerous, traffic etc) honestly everything that DCL were telling us they could have said about NYC and London and I really thought there was a lot of scaremongering - After walking around Naples we found it to be a beautiful city with a lot of culture and we were grateful to See Amalfi for keeping us on track and being so flexible.

I just wanted to put that out there because I think Trip Advisor puts See Amalfi Coast as #1 for a reason but of course I appreciate that there are companies out there that I have used that I too thought were not worthy of their accolade only to hear that others had a wonderful experience.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:22 AM   #622
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I had subscribed to this thread a long time ago and I am glad to read that overall it was the Trip of a Lifetime and only with a few hiccups which of course I was disappointed for you when I read them.

I am with you on the Navigators - my husband would complain about it every night LOL he never got over the new format for the same reasons as you state!

Your mini report confirms my fears about DCL excursions but sounds like the Portofino one was good so I may try that one next time We avoided this time round because we just found them sooo expensive.

We did Cinque Terre on our own that day and bar the long wait for tenders at La Spezia it would have gone totally according to plan but we still had a great day and including lunch, 2 taxi rides, train journeys we paid for 4 people the same price Disney were charging for 1 person!

Monaco/Monte Carlo we also did on our own and bar the rain at the end of the day and the mad dash walk from the bus back to the tender at Villefranche we really enjoyed walking around the Principality!

I was however a bit surprised to read your review on See Amalfi Coast only because we used them on the same day and had the most wonderful time but with a couple of changes. What a shame they were not consistent for you and very frustrating for you indeed.

We must have lucked out as we had a driver and a tour guide plus we paid for another tour guide at Pompeii which was well worth the money. They picked us up at 8am and we were at Pompeii for opening.

Originally the company wanted to take us to La Tagliata overlooking Positano but it wasn't my sort of place so we requested that they take us to Ristorante Constantino - which yes was full of tourists but the view was amazing - we didn't want the prix fixe menu which they were trying to push onto us but we know what we like and we wanted the a la carte so our lunch took a little longer but it was actually cheaper than the prix fixe and we had wine and bottled water too.

Because we had chosen to linger over lunch our Driver was concerned about time and getting us back to Naples because I wanted us to be back at 5pm even though the all aboard time was 5.30pm (OCD). This meant they gave us the option to go down to the lovely less busy Positano or go to Sorrento - Sorrento was a must do for us.

I then came up with another plan as we were concerned about traffic on the way back to the city. We only wanted about 50 minutes in Sorrento (in that time I managed to do some damage on the credit card and buy gelato - it's very touristy and I am sure Positano would have been less crazy but I needed that pin in Sorrento LOL). When we got back to Naples we still had tour time and so our driver dropped us off and waited for us whilst we walked around Naples for a little bit - this worked out well and given how we felt DCL were running the place down a bit (dangerous, traffic etc) honestly everything that DCL were telling us they could have said about NYC and London and I really thought there was a lot of scaremongering - After walking around Naples we found it to be a beautiful city with a lot of culture and we were grateful to See Amalfi for keeping us on track and being so flexible.

I just wanted to put that out there because I think Trip Advisor puts See Amalfi Coast as #1 for a reason but of course I appreciate that there are companies out there that I have used that I too thought were not worthy of their accolade only to hear that others had a wonderful experience.
I'm glad to hear you had a great time That's so nice that you got to do Cinque Terre on your own. We'd considered it but w/2 little kids and my post-surgery issues, we gave up that plan. Portofino was incredibly beautiful and we had a really wonderful time.

Regarding See Amalfi Coast, these were my issues with them-- they stated specifically that we'd do both Sorrento & Positano (both via email and when I started the tour).

We did not linger at lunch (ordered pizza, no alcohol, in and out w/in reasonable time), and I was told no Sorrento after lunch. Since our driver got a commission (and a free lunch) for taking us to the restaurant, I felt that it was deceptive to take us there only to announce after lunch that we were out of time. I specifically asked our driver whether we would have time for both Positano and Sorrento before lunch. He said yes. If he had said no, we would have skipped a sit-down meal.

When we got into Positano, there were plenty of cafes/lounges/restaurants where we could have eaten on our own. I guess See Amalfi Coast didn't want to pay for 2 hours of parking instead of 1.

We decided on a "private" tour to avoid tourist trap restaurants and commissioned purchases, etc. If I didn't mind these types of places, I'd just go for a cheaper group tour company like Viator.

We also paid for a guide at Pompeii. Probably just a matter of preference, but in the end we felt like we didn't need her since we'd all read up on it and felt bad when she waited around while we took pictures or when my daughter took a 30 minute potty break. She has number 2'ed at all the famous archaeological sites in the world.

Last edited by lilpooh108; 06-15-2013 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 06-15-2013, 04:54 AM   #623
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We were also on 1st June sailing and had a wonderful time. Spent 2 days before and after in Barcelona, I travelled with my 64 yo mum who is having difficulty walking and my 8 yo dd.

As I've previously said I had the talk with de several times before our trip about the importance of her not stopping unless I've agreed it and not to take anything from anyone. As I was travelling with 2 people both of which fall into the vulnerable target group I made sure we stuck together and simply gave a firm no to anyone that approached us whilst carrying on walking. I didn't use anything fancy, I believe it's best to blend in and not have any tourist gear where possible. I used a good quality heavy leather across body handbag, carried passports, cash and a camera.

We did all of the major sites in Barcelona, we stayed on Paral Lel, I found this area perfect to get around we decided to not do any tours or the hoho and simply used cabs, they were all good value and we did exactly what we wanted when we wanted to.

Villefranche - took the train to Monaco super easy, we walked through town so avoided all the steps up to the train station. Cost around 15¬ for 3 people return and the train only took 20 mins tops.

Stayed onboard for Pisa to enjoy the quiet ship

Rome - we arranged a tour with Rudys Touring Service, what an incredible day. We had a fantastic charismatic driver. He picked us up at 8am and took us everywhere we wished to go. We spent a couple of hours in the colosseum, our driver was also a qualified badged tour guide for all museums so took us to the front of every line and gave us a superb tour. We walked past all the dcl tours waiting in groups to get in. We did authentic little back street pizza restaurant, gelato and coffee at various points throughout the day. We were never rushed and it was good value.

Naples - I found the town pretty run down so we just had a quick look around then did the DCL Hidden Treasures of the Herculaneum, this was the perfect tour for us, half day was just right.

We had an incredible trip, just remember when using trip advisor people that number one isn't always the best and it represents sometimes quantity not quality
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:54 AM   #624
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Rome - we arranged a tour with Rudys Touring Service, what an incredible day. We had a fantastic charismatic driver. He picked us up at 8am and took us everywhere we wished to go. We spent a couple of hours in the colosseum, our driver was also a qualified badged tour guide for all museums so took us to the front of every line and gave us a superb tour. We walked past all the dcl tours waiting in groups to get in. We did authentic little back street pizza restaurant, gelato and coffee at various points throughout the day. We were never rushed and it was good value.

Thank you for the tip I've just emailed Rudy for cost. He has great reviews.
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Old 06-15-2013, 05:59 AM   #625
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Originally Posted by Fifitrixabellee View Post
Rome - we arranged a tour with Rudys Touring Service, what an incredible day. We had a fantastic charismatic driver. He picked us up at 8am and took us everywhere we wished to go. We spent a couple of hours in the colosseum, our driver was also a qualified badged tour guide for all museums so took us to the front of every line and gave us a superb tour. We walked past all the dcl tours waiting in groups to get in. We did authentic little back street pizza restaurant, gelato and coffee at various points throughout the day. We were never rushed and it was good value.

Thank you for the tip I've just emailed Rudy for cost. He has great reviews.
Rudy was really good through the whole process, our driver was Daniel and he was fantastic.
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:06 AM   #626
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Thank you for posting your review! I'm on the next cruise on the 27th and am a bit nervous. We bought some pacsafe purses which I'm sure look very touristy, but hopefully they work and people don't target us. As for the ship, hopefully we don't have the same room situation as you did! We're a family of germaphobes so a dirty room wouldn't go over well. Any other insight about your vacation would be appreciated! Just trying to make this trip of a lifetime as perfect as possible
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:09 AM   #627
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I debated about the pacsafe purse too. On one hand, it says " I'm a tourist" but on the other hand it says "don't even mess with me"
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Old 06-15-2013, 11:12 AM   #628
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I debated about the pacsafe purse too. On one hand, it says " I'm a tourist" but on the other hand it says "don't even mess with me"
I have a big camera, so I needed a bag anyway. At least with a pacsafe there are the safety features and the picpockets will hopefully try to pick an easier target.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:06 PM   #629
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I posted a trip report with my notes....

But, I find the "pacsafe purse protection' thing just hysterical. That company has made a fortune off of "scare tactics" I spent 2.5 weeks in Europe this trip without the "safe for a purse" and...no problems. (Depsite the fact that my 75 year old mother tends to carry her purse like Michael Vick carries a football!) I also never really felt the "threat" that others do, but then having traveled a lot, I don't the 'stories' on message boards create some of the fear I see on here. I have seen several posters who say they plan not to talk to strangers... had we done that we would still be wandering around the port in Naples thanks to Cruise Director Peter's absolutely horrid directions LOL! I just say no to beggars, etc and move on... (And lots of the petition girls are NOT pickpockets, they are con artists, there's a difference. They will tell you that now that you have signed you have agreed to make a donation and badger you for it. But of course that happens here, I get calls all the time from some local Veteran's Association trying to guilt me into giving to them when 90% of what they make lines the manager's pocket!)

And of course if they had picked my wallet out of my purse they had.... 40 or 50 Euros max. Hardly the end of the World. My money belt has the good stuff. And unlike the US you generally aren't mugged so that works! And as for someone hurting me by cutting it off... REALLY? First unless you are rummaging around in it how are they going to know it's there.. And in ALL my travels and reading of message boards... never heard of this one actually happening LOL! Let's not sit around thinking of ways to scare ourselves (the PacSafe people can do that for us!)

My view of Pacsafe is the thief thinks "she must have something she wants to protect" There's nothing about it that says "don't mess with me" I think it creates a false sense of security. (When you set it on the ground by your cafe table then it can and will be stolen, saw that happen in Paris once... woman actually said "but it's a PacSafe" LOL!)

My camera was on my body with a cross body strap (Honestly how does a "purse" protect the camera unless you never take it out of the purse? The risk is when you are using it and folks can see it, so unless you plan not to use it I don't see the "purse" as the "solution"? And standing there dragging it in and out of the purse is probably just as risky as anything else. that's when your purse is open etc... I actually picked up a woman's wallet in Naples and handed it back to her after it fell out of her purse when she pulled out her camera!)

Actually Europe is a heck of a lot safer then the US. You won't be shot for refusing to hand over your purse....

We did not do any DCL excursions. Had a great time in Naples, Nice, Cinque Terra and a good time in Rome. I put my thoughts in my trip summary over on that board.

My room was prefect and my service was OUTSTANDING! Restored my faith in DCL after my "Dream" (or Nightmare) cruise a while back.

I did want to point out a couple of things on debarkation.

1. If you are flying Delta home that day you can check your bags at the port.
2. If you shopped too much they have a shipping service affiliated with UPS at the port waiting to take your stuff.
3. That same shipping service will either hold your luggage or deliver it to the BCN airport on the same day if you have a late flight and want to tour without your luggage!

Last edited by OrangeCountyCommuter; 06-15-2013 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:40 PM   #630
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My money belt has the good stuff. And unlike the US you generally aren't mugged so that works! And as for someone hurting me by cutting it off... REALLY? First unless you are rummaging around in it how are they going to know it's there.. And in ALL my travels and reading of message boards... never heard of this one actually happening LOL! Let's not sit around thinking of ways to scare ourselves (the PacSafe people can do that for us!)
I'm very thin, my money is very clearly visible through my clothing even with layers on. I felt more comfortable putting our important things in my husband's leg wallet. I carried nothing at all.

Regarding whether a person would get robbed--it's all to do with a bit of luck, knowledge and circumstance, right?

I'm sure the older lady who almost got robbed during the Florence/Pisa excursion never thought she'd ACTUALLY get robbed when she left for this trip.

In my opinion, people need to do what they are comfortable with. If buying a Pacsafe purse increases a DIS'er's enjoyment of their trip, why mock them?

FWIW, this was my 6th trip to Europe. Safety wise, I treated it as if it were my 1st trip to Europe. My valuables were NOT my money or my passports. It was my family. And if anyone had gotten hurt by being knocked over by a thief/pickpocket, that would have been more heartbreaking than losing a few Euros which my travel insurance would have easily covered.
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