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Old 07-05-2013, 10:31 AM   #16
abayaflowers
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Originally Posted by Stimpy View Post
So sorry to hear about the magnets & your neighbors stuff being stolen!! That really stinks

Thanks for mentioning about the smoking. I also have asthma which isn't bad but it is aggravated by smoke. I hardly worry about it anymore around here since smoking in public places isn't that common anymore. Great reminder!
Yes, it was challenging. Please remember to bring your inhalers and allergy medicine.
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:00 AM   #17
abayaflowers
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More Things to Remember to Pack while traveling in Europe

Medication: Wow! I did not realize that I would have a severe allergic reaction to the laundry detergent used for the linens and towels; and the recycled water on the ship. So, pack cortizone & antibiotics for, just in case, a sinus infection which I came down with on the last two days of the 12-night cruise.

Wipes - unscented - to clean your shoes when you return from excursion, wipe your hands when eating out the delicious foods, cleaning seats on a train in Italy, etc. Yes, I am a germ-a-phobe.

Compact extension cord - it's very compact. square for several USB extensions. Extension cords are confiscated on the ship.

More t-shirts and tank tops - it was so hot and humid. YUCK! I didn't like spending over 2 hours each time I needed to do laundry. Rather pay for the extra luggage weight.

Scent-free detergent - $2 a box to purchase on-board detergent.

Unlocked international phone or international plan with data.

Need a pillow - I was not fond of the feather pillows. Need a firm one.

More pjs - again hated to waste my time on laundry when I could be enjoying a show, playing bingo, or singing karaoke.

More chewable dramamine - there were a couple of days on the ship where the boat was rocking. The day at Sea before we were scheduled to Disembark in Barcelona (June 26th), I was so sea sick. I barely could even pack. I took Dramamine and it was ok.

Download more movies for the DDs on the iPad and other portable device for the 11 hr. non-stop flight from UK to SFO & the 22 travel time from Los Gatos, CA to BCN. Wow! We made it!

More dresses and or skirts. I felt underdressed especially at dinner. There much more adults than children on this cruise.

Bigger shampoo, leave-in-conditioner bottles - the small travel size ran out 1/2 way in the cruise.

Hair-dryer - the bathroom dryer was not working too well for me and I have short hair.

Lamisil - really!
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Old 07-06-2013, 10:18 AM   #18
Cousin Orville
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I'm enjoying reading your trip report. Thanks for posting. Sorry to hear about your magnets being stolen. I know how frustrating that is.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:11 AM   #19
abayaflowers
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Wave Phones

So, I thought that this would be a great tool. It was, but DH and I were so paranoid about losing them.

It came to a point when I would ask where the wave phones were everytime DDs walked in.

So, here is what I wrote down in my journal so that the DDs can use it without trying to find the 2" x 3" tip sheet left on dresser.

If you need to call another wave phone:
1. Pick up the wave phone.
2. Press OK.
3. Press OK again.
4. Press the top left button. I will try to upload the pic later on.
5. Enter the SR # with either a 1 or 2. This references which Wave Phone the person is holding.
6. Then, press the green button to call.
7. Press the red button to end the call or hang up.

To dial a SR, enter 41 then the SR# and the corresponding wave phone #:

e.g. 4155092

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #20
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Monday, June 17th, 2013 - La Spezia

This was our most exciting DIY port. We had some type of idea of what we wanted to do and visit: Cinque Terre. I knew that we needed to purchase train tickets.

We ran into a wonderful Florida family. We miss them already!

We took the tender into town.

Here are specific directions:

Once you leave the tender boat, turn left onto the stone path/road/walkway. There will be vendors setting upon the right of this road.

You will continue walking until the path ends, turn right (cross-over 2 - busy streets - Viale Italia).

Continue walking North-West onto Via Armado Diaz. The carousel and park will be on your right.

You will cross Via Domenico Chiodo. Via Armado Diaz will turn into Via Del Prione that will take you into the little shopping area.

Via Del Prione will become Via Fiume (take the right fork in the road).

Continue take the right-fork in the road. Via Fiume will become Piazzale del Stazione.

Go to the window and ask to purchase Cinque Terre cards. If you have children, purchase the children's tickets. They will need to know the ages of the children.

Then, look to the monitor or schedule to find out which track you will need to get.

The fast train to Monterosso was packed. I am assuming the slow train is not as packed, because it stops at every town.

We took our time in getting to the train station, because we took a lot of pics.

It will normally take 10-15 mins. without pics along the way to get to the train station (La Spezia C. Stazione).

This was one of our favorite excursions.

Again, I felt that we were on Amazing Races show without the cameras.

DDs loved the towns.

I will try to go into more detail with each town.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:04 PM   #21
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I'm sad your magnets got stolen!!

My parents had the SPH on our Med cruise, and although I liked the layout and cheaper window, I really disliked where the location was. Deck 5 was always crowded and we had talked about whether our FE would be stolen if we had chosen that room. Now I will know to avoid it. They also had a housekeeping cart outside their room all the time and it was just unpleasant.

Anyway -- that's cool that you guys did DIY. Thanks for the La Spezia directions. I'm bookmarking that for the future. We missed Cinque Terre this time but it's on my "list."

BTW, we also got colds & sinus infections after we left the ship. There was something going around on the ship in early June (when I was there) and I read a TR that said it started on the EBTA.

Eczema -- my youngest suffers from this, and it was REALLY bad during the cruise (all over her face). I didn't stop to think whether it was the water. It calmed down the 2nd day after she got home. How interesting! We also brought Aquaphor for her so that helped alot.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:25 PM   #22
drlaurafsu
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Hmmm....glad I tossed a z-pack in with our meds. Thinking about taking DS's cream for his eczema now too. Definitely don't want to be sick on our vacation!
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:20 PM   #23
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Monday, June 17th, 2013 - La Spezia - Monterrosso Al Mare, Vernazza, and Corniglio

Continuation of our Cinque Terre stops:

Monterrosso al Mare: Remember the train was packed until this stop.
Squished like sardines.
This is where the beach is. Sand! Beautiful blue water. It was tap water-cold.
Bring your bathing suits, sunscreens and towels.
Once you get off the train, take a moment to view where you are.
Turn right towards the stairs. These stairs will immediately lead you to the beach.
Its truly beautiful.
We made sure that our family and the other wonderful family knew when to meet up for the next train stop.
The Cinque Terre Card is good round-trip on the way back. Remember to validate your ticket and write your name on the back of the card.
It is a 50 Euros fine if you do not have it validated.
The town was so cute!
We turned right from the stairs and towards the end of the town. I wanted to eat the fresh focaccia bread which was raved about on many of the research that I did on Cinque Terre. I was so bummed that I forgot to purchase some bread and pasta for the way back.
The café that we visited was named: Bar Focacceria Antonio Enotea. You will see the yellow awning on the right before the church and the playground on the left. Have a seat!
Enjoy the delicious Focaccia bread homemade by the little old lady and her daughter. Theres WIFI but the code was SOOO LONG!
This place was not cheap.
So, my plan was to eat food at every stop. Walk off the extra calories and also sweat it off if possible.
We had a two espressos, 4 pieces of Focaccia bread and waters.
I could have sat there all day!
Well, onto more fun.
Restrooms: around the corner to the right and behind the church. No paper towels. Just wash. Remember to SIT and Squat! :
My DDs were not having any part of this. DD10 just refused to go all day by the way.
We continued down the road. The DDs played on the playground for 10 mins. Then, walked over to the end of the dock and we took pics.
There to the right of the dock, we saw a stone of a thinking man. I dont know whenit was built recently or been there forever.
Theres cute little places to stay. I knew that we didnt have much time so we turned around and walked back to the other end of town.
I found a spot to sit and reapply sunscreen. It was starting to get hot and humid.
My DD10 decided to eat gelato.

DH and DD13 decided to ditch their socks and shoes and waded into the ocean.

The speedo scene was killing me.
DD10 & DD13 kept asking why the men were wearing their underpants in public
I told them, because they are too poor to buy nice surfboards shorts like in California.
That kind helped them get over the abundant speedos on the older, not-so-fit men.
They waded in the water like they have never been in an Ocean before.
Haha!
DD10 thought that this was hilarious! She kept saying, but we have Santa Cruz 20 mins. Away from our home. Its the Pacific Ocean. Whats the difference! An ocean is an ocean.
Anyways, they wrapped it up and tried to get the sand off their feet. To dry them was no problem.

After all this, we headed back up to the train station for our wonderful Florida family partners.
They were awesome!
We finally got onto the train and off to Vernazza.

Vernazza was DHs favorite.
Again, we exited the train and turned right. We turned left towards the stairs.
You will go through a tunnel and walk through town.
Its small.
Very cute!
Lots of places to purchase fresh bread, olives, pizza, lunch, water, etc.
They loved the fact that everyone in town loved our family. Not just our family, but families in general.
They were more patient with us and especially the children.
We found at the end was a dock for the boats to come. We stayed there until we found several benches in the sun in front of a church.
DH decided be like the locals and unbutton his shirt and sat down.
It reminded me of the 70s. As he sat there on the bench, I took a pic with the entrance to the church as the background.
Then, I sent it to his mom. I thought that this was funny, because she is Catholic (so is my family), but REALLY conservative. I found it funny! DH was dying.
So, we continued to reapply sunscreen and it was getting hotter and more humid.
Suddenly, DD10 starts jumping up and down.
She screams that a bird just pooped on her. Luckily, I had wipes. It got into her hair, part of her forehead, down her shirt. She was SO upset!
Beware of the birds. They are like seagulls.
Then, DH and DD13 decided to climb the rocky tower. I gave them 15 mins. hike up and down it.
When we finally met them and their legs were burning.
Remember, this DIY excursion was not for the faint hearted or unprepared hikers.
DH is like an Amazing Race on his own.
So, I have been walking 3 hours everyday for the past year with our 72 lbs. Chocolate lab in the windy Santa Cruz Mountains of California. It did not prepare me for the heat and humidity of the Cinque Terre mountains.
We ran into some 60 and 70 year old women hikers when we were in Monterrosso. They took the trail and always met them in the towns that we stopped via Train.
They were amazing and put us to shame everytime we bumped into them.
So, we walked back up through the tunnel and then turned right onto the stairs leading to the train platforms.
Note: You will always feel a cool wind before you feel the train coming. Its a quick way to cool down before the next stop.

Corniglio was the most interesting stop. By this time, it was EXTREMELY hot and humid. Beautiful train station. Remember, that the trains have sporadic schedule here. So, dont miss the scheduled train or you will be staying 1 ½ longer at this town.
Once you exit the train, you will exit the train and head to the right. The train car which we were on, the doors didn't open. So, I quickly moved to the next car, and made DD10 exit first. She didn't want to be left without me. So, she didn't exit.
Now that I look back on it, I am glad that she didn't.

Here's where another Amazing Race moment happened. DH looked up at the top of Corniglio. There are a bunch of switchback stone stairs. He said, "Let's Go!" REALLY!
I looked at our Florida family DH and said, "I will not hike up those stairs." The Florida DW said that if your DD13 and DD10 can do it, I can do it, too.
I just shook my head. So, FL DH and I walked at a slow pace until we got to the 2nd set of switchback stair underneath the trees and said good-bye to my DH, FL DW, and the DDs.
I said, "Good Luck! And Be Careful!"

They did it. They climbed all the way to the top and back down. My DDs were racing down the stairs. Really! I could just see the Emergency Room visit in Italy if they have one.
By this time, I was getting worried about our favorite Florida family partners. They were so nice! I thought that FL DW was going to have heat stroke so I fanned her a bit. DD10 was also turning a shade of pink.

So, we purchased cold water bottles and put it under her armpits to cool her off quickly. We had to wait for the scheduled train. I am so glad that we didnt miss it.

It was miserably hot and humid by this time.

More to come on Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Last edited by abayaflowers; 07-06-2013 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:27 PM   #24
abayaflowers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
I'm sad your magnets got stolen!!

My parents had the SPH on our Med cruise, and although I liked the layout and cheaper window, I really disliked where the location was. Deck 5 was always crowded and we had talked about whether our FE would be stolen if we had chosen that room. Now I will know to avoid it. They also had a housekeeping cart outside their room all the time and it was just unpleasant.
Yes, I didn't like Deck 5. Too much foot traffic and now that you mentioned it, the cart was always outside our room. I felt like I was in a restaurant table stuck next to the bathroom. haha!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
Anyway -- that's cool that you guys did DIY. Thanks for the La Spezia directions. I'm bookmarking that for the future. We missed Cinque Terre this time but it's on my "list."
Yes, this was fun! Especially with our new Florida family friends. They were so nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
BTW, we also got colds & sinus infections after we left the ship. There was something going around on the ship in early June (when I was there) and I read a TR that said it started on the EBTA.
I knew that I got it from the ship. I started getting this sore throat on semi-formal night after Malta. I told DH that I am getting sick. Sure enough... DH, DD13, and I are all on antibiotics and recovering from it. Yuck!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post
Eczema -- my youngest suffers from this, and it was REALLY bad during the cruise (all over her face). I didn't stop to think whether it was the water. It calmed down the 2nd day after she got home. How interesting! We also brought Aquaphor for her so that helped alot.

Can't wait to read more!
I am so glad that your youngest is better. I am just happy to be not suffering from Eczema. The DR crew members were getting worried about me. I just told them I was allergic to the recycled water and the detergent that they used to wash the linens and towels. They totally understood.

Our FL DH mentioned this to me while we were in Cinque Terre. I never thought about it.

One thing... I know that this is gross, but many people including my husband asked if I saw the brown gunk coming out the the tap water.

eWWWW! I couldn't know get that mental pic out of my head.

Did you or know anyone who encountered this, too?
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:29 PM   #25
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Hmmm....glad I tossed a z-pack in with our meds. Thinking about taking DS's cream for his eczema now too. Definitely don't want to be sick on our vacation!
Yes, take it with you. It was a challenge just trying to get lanacort in La Spezia. Found it, but was no good. Vaseline was the only thing that prevented the dyshidrotic eczema from getting any worse.

Also, z-pack is key! I am taking it - it's my 4th day.
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Old 07-06-2013, 01:30 PM   #26
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I'm enjoying reading your trip report. Thanks for posting. Sorry to hear about your magnets being stolen. I know how frustrating that is.
Thank you! I was crushed to see the DDs looked crushed. It made me angry. Why on a Disney Cruise...Really!
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:19 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drlaurafsu View Post
Hmmm....glad I tossed a z-pack in with our meds. Thinking about taking DS's cream for his eczema now too. Definitely don't want to be sick on our vacation!
Quote:
Originally Posted by abayaflowers View Post
Yes, take it with you. It was a challenge just trying to get lanacort in La Spezia. Found it, but was no good. Vaseline was the only thing that prevented the dyshidrotic eczema from getting any worse.

Also, z-pack is key! I am taking it - it's my 4th day.
I agree. We packed a Cortaid and Neosporin Ointment w/the Aquaphor and those really helped out. When she flared badly we did the Aquaphor. If her skin started breaking/cracking, we'd apply a little bit of the Neosporin Ointment and it would calm it down. It took alot to keep the eczema under control. Her skin breaking was the biggest issue. So many germs on the ship....and I didn't want her to get an infection (she's a baby, so she touches everything and is always touching her face). Anyway, I'd bring it all.

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Thank you! I was crushed to see the DDs looked crushed. It made me angry. Why on a Disney Cruise...Really!
Completely agree
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Old 07-06-2013, 03:30 PM   #28
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Without doing the "extra" hiking, could people who are more mobility impaired do Cinque Terre on their own? Just curious to see if this is really do-able for us. Your description of the locations sound lovely.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:01 PM   #29
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Without doing the "extra" hiking, could people who are more mobility impaired do Cinque Terre on their own? Just curious to see if this is really do-able for us. Your description of the locations sound lovely.
I would recommend catching the Cinque Terre Boat. I noticed that at every town, there were mobility challenged visitors. The tour guides were so kind to them and very patient.

I heard that they are abundant at the La Spezia Port. I would recommend taking this especially for young children.
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Old 07-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #30
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I would recommend catching the Cinque Terre Boat. I noticed that at every town, there were mobility challenged visitors. The tour guides were so kind to them and very patient.

I heard that they are abundant at the La Spezia Port. I would recommend taking this especially for young children.
Thanks, that's a good suggestion.
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