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Old 06-30-2013, 05:40 PM   #781
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Originally Posted by Doingitagain View Post
Has anyone used Whats App using the ship's WIFI? We are hoping it works so we can text home without international fees. We aren't worried about on the ship, because we can text on the wave phones.

We are also planning to use Whats App and free WIFI in ports to text each other in case we get separated.
I have used Whats App to free text between USA and Europe but not on the ships as the Wi Fi is SLOW and EXPENSIVE! I would save the Whats Apping for port days unless there is a major reason you need to be in touch on sea days.

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Old 06-30-2013, 07:10 PM   #782
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Originally Posted by Doingitagain View Post
Has anyone used Whats App using the ship's WIFI? We are hoping it works so we can text home without international fees. We aren't worried about on the ship, because we can text on the wave phones.

We are also planning to use Whats App and free WIFI in ports to text each other in case we get separated.
Yes, we are going to use Whats App in the ports. We have a phone off policy for the ships as the cost of two teenagers thinking that they can text with their friends back home would be very dangerous.

Now having said that, NZDISNEYMOM is doing an amazing job of blogging her B2B cruises and I believe she has used the ship's wifi for some of her posts. The link to the blog is in her signature. Thank you, Cindy!

I wish that I had thought of B2B 12 night med cruises ...
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:43 AM   #783
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For all of you who've recently sailed, how far did you have to go after deplaning in BCN til you found an ATM (preferably with no fees)? I've heard of kiosks that charge high fees and offer poor exchange rates so I'd like to avoid those. I tried google-mapping banks near our hotel (Hispano 7 Suiza) and it's only showing the hotel, not banks nearby. I'd like to be able to tip our driver in Euros for our BCN to hotel transfers. Should I request a bank stop to our transfer company? or it's not that difficult?

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:51 AM   #784
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It was a 15 euros flat fee to the La Spezia train station. (Don't walk it, it's uphill!)
This is definitely group dependent, but take a look at the following map. It is exactly 1 mile (note this is from the tender dock, actual dock will be different), and in that mile it only climbs 60 feet. Thinking back I remember basically none of the incline other than a slight hill to get up to the station itself (it's situated above the road level). There are no required turns once you pass through the park with the big equestrian statue on your left, and on the way back there's lots of shopping and little restaurants if you have extra time.

It also might be time dependent, if you only have 5 min to make a train taxi it up, but a 20 min walk is certainly doable for most (and is free...).

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=S...=19&via=1&z=16
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:19 AM   #785
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Don't know if this was ever answered but the Shutters CD was $399 plus $75 if you wanted all the prints for the 12 night cruise. We just finished the Greek one.

A note about Villefranche tendering. We were one of the first off the ship, I think, and it was delayed by probably 15 minutes at the beginning. Our problem wasn't really getting to land, it was afterwards. The buses were having a extremely difficult time going up the hill in the tight turns because of all the cars parked on the side (tour guide said probably from all the drunks from Saturday night) and other buses trying to get down to the port area. This one impatient car driver behind us tried to squeeze past us and the bus in front (that was about to back into him) and he eventually fell back behind us again. It must have taken about 45 minutes to maneuver out of the tendering area.

We were on the Nice, Grasse and Saint Paul excursion. (By the way, my least favourite part was Grasse and the perfume factory...it was Sunday so nobody was working so we got, for the most part, a sell job on perfumes. If you're sensitive to odours, don't go here... LOL)
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:21 AM   #786
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We used What's App in Paris to stay connected in December. We also use it to stay in contact with family in South America. Its fantastic for both of those purposes. Just use your wifi connection when you are on land. You'll find lots of hotspots to use it.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:46 PM   #787
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Originally Posted by thndrmatt View Post
This is definitely group dependent, but take a look at the following map. It is exactly 1 mile (note this is from the tender dock, actual dock will be different), and in that mile it only climbs 60 feet. Thinking back I remember basically none of the incline other than a slight hill to get up to the station itself (it's situated above the road level). There are no required turns once you pass through the park with the big equestrian statue on your left, and on the way back there's lots of shopping and little restaurants if you have extra time.

It also might be time dependent, if you only have 5 min to make a train taxi it up, but a 20 min walk is certainly doable for most (and is free...).

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=S...=19&via=1&z=16
We walked back from the train station and it was great. (and my mom is in her mid-70s and moves slow)

REALLY cute town, got some GREAT Gelato on the walk back. All pedestrian. I highly recommend it!

(We took the boat to the Cinque Terra)
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:49 PM   #788
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Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post
For all of you who've recently sailed, how far did you have to go after deplaning in BCN til you found an ATM (preferably with no fees)? I've heard of kiosks that charge high fees and offer poor exchange rates so I'd like to avoid those. I tried google-mapping banks near our hotel (Hispano 7 Suiza) and it's only showing the hotel, not banks nearby. I'd like to be able to tip our driver in Euros for our BCN to hotel transfers. Should I request a bank stop to our transfer company? or it's not that difficult?

Thanks!
Here you go.. in the airport

http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/...69607399/#ATMs

I know Banco Popular and Santander don't charge any fees. Your bank may however.

If the ATM is affiliated with a bank I have never had it charge fees. The fees come on the US side of the transaction!
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:14 PM   #789
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We walked back from the train station and it was great. (and my mom is in her mid-70s and moves slow)

REALLY cute town, got some GREAT Gelato on the walk back. All pedestrian. I highly recommend it!

(We took the boat to the Cinque Terra)
Pretty sure you have already posted this...but can you tell me again about the boat? Where do you catch it? Which stops, etc? I recall it was 25e, right?

I am seriously considering taking the boat (even for the extra cost) so I can get pictures from the water...especially if it stops at the near towns first and the goes to the last one. Then a combo of hiking and train back to La Spezia so any insight you could provide would be helpful. I'm going solo on this stop as my guys are going to Pisa/Lucca.

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:27 PM   #790
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Originally Posted by drlaurafsu View Post
Pretty sure you have already posted this...but can you tell me again about the boat? Where do you catch it? Which stops, etc? I recall it was 25e, right?

I am seriously considering taking the boat (even for the extra cost) so I can get pictures from the water...especially if it stops at the near towns first and the goes to the last one. Then a combo of hiking and train back to La Spezia so any insight you could provide would be helpful. I'm going solo on this stop as my guys are going to Pisa/Lucca.

Thanks!
We tendered in LaSpezia, so if you don't you may have to look around, but..

If you tender there was a tourist boat just to the left of where you get off the tender. It's 25 Euros for an all day off and on pass. That's all they have on the sign. But if you ask you can buy a one way ticket It was 15 Euros each to Verranzo (town 4) (I know I spelled that wrong, but..) It stopped at the fort by the port (which you can't really see otherwise) and at two other villages on the way there and you can take it all the to the last town also.

It left at 9:15. (there are other departures I don't recall the time) It was GREAT, we loved it. The view from the water of the mountains and town was much more "breathtaking" and you can see how the towns are wedged in...

We took the train back stopping at two other towns before we hit La Spezia.

For us this worked well since we could have the view, but weren't stuck with the "boat" schedule for moving around.

We had planned to walk between towns 1 and 2, but the trail was still closed. Check the info on line as lots of the trails are still closed from the flooding last year. (My mom is not up to major hiking so 1 and 2 was our best bet as it's pretty easy according to the books!)
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:36 PM   #791
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Thanks for that info! It sounds like the perfect option for me.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:40 PM   #792
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Originally Posted by OrangeCountyCommuter View Post

. . . you can buy a one way ticket It was 15 Euros each to Verranzo (town 4) (I know I spelled that wrong, but..) It stopped at the fort by the port (which you can't really see otherwise) and at two other villages on the way there and you can take it all the to the last town also.
Vernazza is our favorite of the five villages. We stayed there a few nights on one of our trips through Italy.

For a tasty snack, be sure to try the fresh baked foccacia bread. Delicioso!

Woody
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:03 PM   #793
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post

Hi Cindy,

Do you remember seeing taxis along the port promenade? I didn't take the time to look myself and was hoping someone can comment. My parents (who are older) are considering doing the Med next year by themselves and they'd need to taxi to the train station rather than walk. Thanks!

BTW--- weren't you on back-to-back Med cruises this year?
Yes, we are b2bing now.. second half. A week to go.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:06 PM   #794
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Yes, we are b2bing now.. second half. A week to go.
How wonderful Really hope you do a TR when you get back. Have fun!
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:51 PM   #795
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I was kind of looking forward to tendering in La Spezia..how far does the ship dock from where it used to drop off tender passengers?
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