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Old 08-02-2006, 04:43 PM   #1
MV_Photon
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Podunk, NC
Posts: 128

Europe 2007: Private Guides / Drivers / Tours

Many veteran Mediterranean cruisers assert that their experiences have been enhanced via the use of private tour guides at several ports.

Potential advantages include:
  • customized itineraries
  • see exactly what you want
  • leave once you've seen enough
  • luxury Mercedes mini-vans
  • access to ancient & narrow inner-city streets, off-limits to large buses
  • not touring with lots of other people's children (...sorry!)
  • no waiting for stragglers to return to the bus
  • opportunity to bypass lines at popular attractions (w/ licensed guides)
While such tours may appear to be costly at 450 - 660 Euro/day, that fee covers an entire party of 6 - 8 passengers; thus, the cost per person is competitive with that of the cattle calls.

While I claim no first-hand expertise, I have spent many hours perusing the Boards at several cruise forums (e.g. – www.cruisecritic.com) to compile this list of recommended firms & guides at Disney Cruise Lines’ 2007 European ports of call, in rough order of the frequency & enthusiasm of endorsements:

Barcelona
Palermo, Sicily

Naples (Pompeii)
Olbia, Sardinia



Civitavecchia (Rome)

La Spezia (Florence / Pisa)

Marseilles Villefranche (Monte Carlo / Cannes / Nice)
P.S.- The more renowned guides are often booked up months or more ahead of time. More than a year in advance, we have already reserved our guides (the top on each list) for the 28 July 2007 11-day cruise.

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Last edited by MV_Photon; 08-02-2006 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 08-02-2006, 07:13 PM   #2
MV_Photon
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Podunk, NC
Posts: 128

Hi, Anna --

Yes, I posted on the 7/28/07 Cruise Meet thread when we booked on "opening day." Included a photo of our Secret Verandah stateroom.

Most of the Guides whom I have contacted were professional and efficient in confirming our reservations so far in advance. Only one requested a Credit Card number to hold the reservation.

There certainly doesn't appear to be a plethora options for Sardinia. Hopefully, I'll be able to find a good fishing charter there......

One port where the bus tour operators do have something of an advantage: Naples. By taking two hydrofoils (Naples -->Capri, then Capri --> Sorrento) and then a second bus from Sorrento, it is possible to tour both Capri and Pompeii in one day.


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Old 08-02-2006, 07:37 PM   #3
OurDogCisco
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: 2,905 miles away from WDW
Posts: 3,953

Wow, what great information... I'll definitely be studying it tonight.

Are you taking your children on the tours with you? I'm bringing my children unfortunately (just kidding). These tours sound like they would be much better than a bus tour.

Thanks,
Tina
__________________

I've eaten at 75 out of 247 restaurants at Walt Disney World (30%)
I've eaten at 30 out of 87 quick service/counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World (34%)
I've eaten at 30 out of 73 table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World (41%)
I've eaten at 7 out of 18 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World (39%)
I've eaten at 1 out of 3 dinner show restaurants at Walt Disney World (33%)




Here's my list!

THEME PARKS
  • ANIMAL KINGDOM PARK
    • Flame Tree BBQ
    • Pizzafari
    • Rainforest Cafe
    • Restaurantosaurus
    • Tusker House
    • Yak & Yeti Counter Service
    • Yak & Yeti
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • '50s Prime Time Cafe
    • ABC Commissary
    • Backlot Express
    • Brown Derby
    • Catalina Eddie's
    • Fairfax Fare
    • Feel the Force VIP Package (Fireworks Dessert Party)
    • Hollywood & Vine
    • Mama Melrose's
    • Min & Bill's Dockside Diner
    • Rosie's All-American Cafe
    • Sci-Fi Dine-In
    • Starring Rolls Cafe
    • Studio Catering Company
    • Toluca Legs Turkey Company
    • Toy Story Pizza Planet
  • Epcot
    • Coral Reef (Living Seas)
    • Electric Umbrella
    • Fountainview (Starbucks)
    • Garden Grill (The Land)
    • Sunshine Seasons (The Land)
    • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway)
    • Biergarten (Germany)
    • Boulangerie Patisserie (France)
    • Chefs de France (France)
    • Fife & Drum (American Adventure)
    • Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party
    • Katsura Grill (Japan)
    • Kringla Bakeri og Cafe (Norway)
    • La Cantina de San Angel (Mexico)
    • La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico)
    • Le Cellier (Canada)
    • Liberty Inn (American Adventure)
    • Lotus Blossom Cafe (China)
    • Monsieur Paul (France)
    • Nine Dragons (China)
    • Odyssey
    • Restaurant Marrakesh (Morocco)
    • Rose and Crown (United Kingdom)
    • San Angel Inn (Mexico)
    • Sommerfest (Germany)
    • Spice Road (Morocco)
    • Tangierine Cafe (Morocco)
    • Teppan Edo (Japan)
    • Tokyo Dining (Japan)
    • Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar (Italy)
    • Tutto Italia (Italy)
    • Via Napoli (Italy)
    • Yorkshire County Fish Shop (United Kingdom)
  • Epcot Food & Wine Festival
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Belgium
    • Brewer's Collection
    • Canada
    • Caribbean Islands
    • Cheese
    • China
    • Craft Beers
    • Desserts & Champagne
    • Florida
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hawaii
    • Hops & Barley
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Mexico
    • Morocco
    • New Zealand
    • Poland
    • Party for the Senses
    • Scandinavia
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • South Korea
    • Terra
  • Epcot Food & Garden Festival
    • Buttercup Cottage
    • Fleur De lys
    • Florida Fresh
    • Hanami
    • Intermissions Cafe
    • Jardin De Fiestas
    • Lotus House
    • Pineapple Promenade
    • Primavera Kitchen
    • The Smokehouse
    • Taste of Marrakesh
    • Urban Farm Eats
  • Magic Kingdom
    • Be Our Guest Lunch (Fantasyland)
    • Be Our Guest Dinner (Fantasyland)
    • Casey's Corner (Main Street USA)
    • Cinderella's Royal Table (Fantasyland)
    • Columbia Harbour House (Liberty Square)
    • Cosmic Ray's (Tomorrowland)
    • The Crystal Palace (Adventureland)
    • Diamond Horseshoe Review (Frontierland)
    • The Friar's Nook (Fantasyland)
    • Gaston's Tavern (Fantasyland)
    • Golden Oak Outpost (Frontierland)
    • Liberty Tree Tavern (Liberty Square)
    • The Lunching Pad (Tomorrowland)
    • Main Street Bakery (Starbucks)
    • Pecos Bill's (Frontierland)
    • Pinnochio Village Haus (Fantasyland)
    • The Plaza Restaurant (Main Street USA)
    • Sleepy Hollow
    • Tomorrowland Terrace (Tomorrowland)
    • Tomorrowland Terrace Wishes Dessert Party (Tomorrowland)
    • Tony's Town Square (Main Street USA)
    • Tortuga Tavern (Adventureland)
    • Frontierland Turkey Leg Cart
Water Parks
  • Blizzard Beach
    • Avalunch
    • The Cooling Hut
    • Lottawatta Lodge
    • The Warming Hut
  • Typhoon Lagoon
    • Leaning Palms
    • Lowtide Lou's
    • Surf Doggies
    • Typhoon Tilly's
    • Bodie's All American
    • Earl of Sandwich
    • Fulton's Crab House
    • Ghirardelli's
    • Marketplace Snacks
    • Pollo Campero
    • Rainforest Cafe
    • Starbucks
    • T-Rex
    • Wolfgang Puck Express
  • Pleasure Island
    • Cooke's of Dublin
    • Paradiso 37
    • Planet Hollywood
    • Portobello
    • Raglan Road
  • West Side
    • AMC 24 Pleasure Island Dining
    • Bongo's Cuban Cafe
    • Crossroads at House of Blues
    • Crossroads at House of Blues Sunday Brunch
    • Foodquest
    • Splitsville
    • Smokehouse at House of Blues
    • Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe
    • The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe
    • Wolfgang Puck Express
  • West Side Food Trucks
    • Fantasy Fare truck
    • Namaste Cafe truck
    • Superstar Catering truck
    • World Showcase of Flavors truck
Wide World of Sports
    • ESPN Grill
Resorts
  • All Star Movies
    • World Premiere
  • All Star Music
    • Intermission
  • All Star Sports
    • End Zone
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
    • Boma Flavors of Africa
    • Jiko: The Cooking Place
    • The Mara
    • Sanaa
  • Art of Animation
    • Landscapes of Flavors
  • Beach Club
    • Beach Club Marketplace
    • Beaches and Cream
    • Cape May Cafe
    • Hurricane Hanna's
  • Boardwalk
    • Big River Grille & Brewing Works
    • Boardwalk Bakery
    • Boardwalk Pizza Window
    • ESPN Club
    • Flying Fish
    • Kouzzina
  • Caribbean Beach
    • Old Port Royale
    • Shutters
  • Contemporary
    • California Grill
    • Chef Mickey's
    • Contempo Cafe
    • The Wave
    • Top of the World Lounge
  • Coronado Springs
    • Cafe Rix
    • Laguna Bar
    • Maya Grill
    • Pepper Market
    • Siesta's
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin
    • Cabana Bar and Beach Club
    • The Fountain
    • Fresh Mediterranean Market
    • Picabu Buffeteria
    • Shula's Steakhouse
    • Todd English's bluezoo
  • Fort Wilderness
    • Crockett's Tavern
    • Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review
    • Meadows Snack Bar
    • Mickey's Backyard BBQ
    • Trail's End Restaurant
  • Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
    • 1900 Park Fare
    • Citrico's
    • Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea
    • Gasparilla Island Grill
    • Grand Floridian Cafe
    • Mizner's Lounge
    • My Disney Girl's Perfectly Princess Tea
    • Narcoossee's
    • Pool Bar
    • Victoria and Albert's
  • Old Key West
    • Goods to Go
    • Olivia's
    • Turtle Shack
  • Polynesian
    • Captain Cook's Snack Company
    • Kona Cafe
    • Kona Island Sushi Counter
    • 'Ohana
    • Spirit of Aloha Polynesian Luau
    • TambuLounge
  • Pop Century
    • Everything Pop
  • Port Orleans
    • Boatwright's
    • Riverside Mill Food Court
    • Sassagoula Flotworks & Food Factory
  • Saratoga Springs
    • Artist's Palette
    • Grandstand Pool Bar
    • Paddock Pool Grill
    • Turf Club
  • Shades of Green
    • Garden Gallery
    • Evergreen's
    • Mangino's Bistro
  • Walt Disney World Swan
    • Garden Grove Cafe
    • Il Mulino New York Trattoria
    • Kimonos Sushi Bar
    • Splash Grill
  • Vero Beach
    • Bleachers Bar and Grill
    • Green Cabin Room
    • Shutters
    • Sonya's
  • Wilderness Lodge
    • Artist Point
    • Roaring Fork
    • Territory Lounge
    • Whispering Canyon
  • Yacht Club
    • Captain's Grille
    • Crew's Cup Lounge
    • Yachtsman Steakhouse
The DVC/Timeshare Advantage
    • Cooked a quick in-room meal
    • Cooked a full sit-down meal in the villa
    • Cooked a meal using a resort BBQ grill


Bonus Points
  • Benihana's
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:33 AM   #4
MV_Photon
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Podunk, NC
Posts: 128

Hi, Tina --

Yes, we'll have DS11 & DS10 on the tours with us.

In Rome, we'll probably skip the Sistine Chapel due to the crowds, heat, and long security lines. Instead, we'll go to:

Basilica of St. Peter
  • Michelangelo's Pieta
  • dome/cupola designed by Michaelangelo
  • several Bernini masterpieces
  • largest church in Christianity (5.7 acres)


St. Peter's in Chains
  • Michelangelo's Moses
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Old 08-06-2006, 06:53 PM   #5
OurDogCisco
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: 2,905 miles away from WDW
Posts: 3,953

Wow, those pictures look amazing... I can't wait to see Europe.

I had another question because your pros got me to thinking.... Anyways, my kids will be 6 and 9 1/2 years old at the time of our cruise. Do you think private tour companies want to deal with children as young as mine? Yours are a bit older. Anyways, I might be leaning towards the DCL tours just because there would be other kids on the tour for my kids to talk to? I can see that being a plus for my kids.
__________________

I've eaten at 75 out of 247 restaurants at Walt Disney World (30%)
I've eaten at 30 out of 87 quick service/counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World (34%)
I've eaten at 30 out of 73 table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World (41%)
I've eaten at 7 out of 18 signature restaurants at Walt Disney World (39%)
I've eaten at 1 out of 3 dinner show restaurants at Walt Disney World (33%)




Here's my list!

THEME PARKS
  • ANIMAL KINGDOM PARK
    • Flame Tree BBQ
    • Pizzafari
    • Rainforest Cafe
    • Restaurantosaurus
    • Tusker House
    • Yak & Yeti Counter Service
    • Yak & Yeti
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios
    • '50s Prime Time Cafe
    • ABC Commissary
    • Backlot Express
    • Brown Derby
    • Catalina Eddie's
    • Fairfax Fare
    • Feel the Force VIP Package (Fireworks Dessert Party)
    • Hollywood & Vine
    • Mama Melrose's
    • Min & Bill's Dockside Diner
    • Rosie's All-American Cafe
    • Sci-Fi Dine-In
    • Starring Rolls Cafe
    • Studio Catering Company
    • Toluca Legs Turkey Company
    • Toy Story Pizza Planet
  • Epcot
    • Coral Reef (Living Seas)
    • Electric Umbrella
    • Fountainview (Starbucks)
    • Garden Grill (The Land)
    • Sunshine Seasons (The Land)
    • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway)
    • Biergarten (Germany)
    • Boulangerie Patisserie (France)
    • Chefs de France (France)
    • Fife & Drum (American Adventure)
    • Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party
    • Katsura Grill (Japan)
    • Kringla Bakeri og Cafe (Norway)
    • La Cantina de San Angel (Mexico)
    • La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico)
    • Le Cellier (Canada)
    • Liberty Inn (American Adventure)
    • Lotus Blossom Cafe (China)
    • Monsieur Paul (France)
    • Nine Dragons (China)
    • Odyssey
    • Restaurant Marrakesh (Morocco)
    • Rose and Crown (United Kingdom)
    • San Angel Inn (Mexico)
    • Sommerfest (Germany)
    • Spice Road (Morocco)
    • Tangierine Cafe (Morocco)
    • Teppan Edo (Japan)
    • Tokyo Dining (Japan)
    • Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar (Italy)
    • Tutto Italia (Italy)
    • Via Napoli (Italy)
    • Yorkshire County Fish Shop (United Kingdom)
  • Epcot Food & Wine Festival
    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Belgium
    • Brewer's Collection
    • Canada
    • Caribbean Islands
    • Cheese
    • China
    • Craft Beers
    • Desserts & Champagne
    • Florida
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hawaii
    • Hops & Barley
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Mexico
    • Morocco
    • New Zealand
    • Poland
    • Party for the Senses
    • Scandinavia
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • South Korea
    • Terra
  • Epcot Food & Garden Festival
    • Buttercup Cottage
    • Fleur De lys
    • Florida Fresh
    • Hanami
    • Intermissions Cafe
    • Jardin De Fiestas
    • Lotus House
    • Pineapple Promenade
    • Primavera Kitchen
    • The Smokehouse
    • Taste of Marrakesh
    • Urban Farm Eats
  • Magic Kingdom
    • Be Our Guest Lunch (Fantasyland)
    • Be Our Guest Dinner (Fantasyland)
    • Casey's Corner (Main Street USA)
    • Cinderella's Royal Table (Fantasyland)
    • Columbia Harbour House (Liberty Square)
    • Cosmic Ray's (Tomorrowland)
    • The Crystal Palace (Adventureland)
    • Diamond Horseshoe Review (Frontierland)
    • The Friar's Nook (Fantasyland)
    • Gaston's Tavern (Fantasyland)
    • Golden Oak Outpost (Frontierland)
    • Liberty Tree Tavern (Liberty Square)
    • The Lunching Pad (Tomorrowland)
    • Main Street Bakery (Starbucks)
    • Pecos Bill's (Frontierland)
    • Pinnochio Village Haus (Fantasyland)
    • The Plaza Restaurant (Main Street USA)
    • Sleepy Hollow
    • Tomorrowland Terrace (Tomorrowland)
    • Tomorrowland Terrace Wishes Dessert Party (Tomorrowland)
    • Tony's Town Square (Main Street USA)
    • Tortuga Tavern (Adventureland)
    • Frontierland Turkey Leg Cart
Water Parks
  • Blizzard Beach
    • Avalunch
    • The Cooling Hut
    • Lottawatta Lodge
    • The Warming Hut
  • Typhoon Lagoon
    • Leaning Palms
    • Lowtide Lou's
    • Surf Doggies
    • Typhoon Tilly's
    • Bodie's All American
    • Earl of Sandwich
    • Fulton's Crab House
    • Ghirardelli's
    • Marketplace Snacks
    • Pollo Campero
    • Rainforest Cafe
    • Starbucks
    • T-Rex
    • Wolfgang Puck Express
  • Pleasure Island
    • Cooke's of Dublin
    • Paradiso 37
    • Planet Hollywood
    • Portobello
    • Raglan Road
  • West Side
    • AMC 24 Pleasure Island Dining
    • Bongo's Cuban Cafe
    • Crossroads at House of Blues
    • Crossroads at House of Blues Sunday Brunch
    • Foodquest
    • Splitsville
    • Smokehouse at House of Blues
    • Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe
    • The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck Grand Cafe
    • Wolfgang Puck Express
  • West Side Food Trucks
    • Fantasy Fare truck
    • Namaste Cafe truck
    • Superstar Catering truck
    • World Showcase of Flavors truck
Wide World of Sports
    • ESPN Grill
Resorts
  • All Star Movies
    • World Premiere
  • All Star Music
    • Intermission
  • All Star Sports
    • End Zone
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
    • Boma Flavors of Africa
    • Jiko: The Cooking Place
    • The Mara
    • Sanaa
  • Art of Animation
    • Landscapes of Flavors
  • Beach Club
    • Beach Club Marketplace
    • Beaches and Cream
    • Cape May Cafe
    • Hurricane Hanna's
  • Boardwalk
    • Big River Grille & Brewing Works
    • Boardwalk Bakery
    • Boardwalk Pizza Window
    • ESPN Club
    • Flying Fish
    • Kouzzina
  • Caribbean Beach
    • Old Port Royale
    • Shutters
  • Contemporary
    • California Grill
    • Chef Mickey's
    • Contempo Cafe
    • The Wave
    • Top of the World Lounge
  • Coronado Springs
    • Cafe Rix
    • Laguna Bar
    • Maya Grill
    • Pepper Market
    • Siesta's
  • Walt Disney World Dolphin
    • Cabana Bar and Beach Club
    • The Fountain
    • Fresh Mediterranean Market
    • Picabu Buffeteria
    • Shula's Steakhouse
    • Todd English's bluezoo
  • Fort Wilderness
    • Crockett's Tavern
    • Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review
    • Meadows Snack Bar
    • Mickey's Backyard BBQ
    • Trail's End Restaurant
  • Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
    • 1900 Park Fare
    • Citrico's
    • Garden View Lounge Afternoon Tea
    • Gasparilla Island Grill
    • Grand Floridian Cafe
    • Mizner's Lounge
    • My Disney Girl's Perfectly Princess Tea
    • Narcoossee's
    • Pool Bar
    • Victoria and Albert's
  • Old Key West
    • Goods to Go
    • Olivia's
    • Turtle Shack
  • Polynesian
    • Captain Cook's Snack Company
    • Kona Cafe
    • Kona Island Sushi Counter
    • 'Ohana
    • Spirit of Aloha Polynesian Luau
    • TambuLounge
  • Pop Century
    • Everything Pop
  • Port Orleans
    • Boatwright's
    • Riverside Mill Food Court
    • Sassagoula Flotworks & Food Factory
  • Saratoga Springs
    • Artist's Palette
    • Grandstand Pool Bar
    • Paddock Pool Grill
    • Turf Club
  • Shades of Green
    • Garden Gallery
    • Evergreen's
    • Mangino's Bistro
  • Walt Disney World Swan
    • Garden Grove Cafe
    • Il Mulino New York Trattoria
    • Kimonos Sushi Bar
    • Splash Grill
  • Vero Beach
    • Bleachers Bar and Grill
    • Green Cabin Room
    • Shutters
    • Sonya's
  • Wilderness Lodge
    • Artist Point
    • Roaring Fork
    • Territory Lounge
    • Whispering Canyon
  • Yacht Club
    • Captain's Grille
    • Crew's Cup Lounge
    • Yachtsman Steakhouse
The DVC/Timeshare Advantage
    • Cooked a quick in-room meal
    • Cooked a full sit-down meal in the villa
    • Cooked a meal using a resort BBQ grill


Bonus Points
  • Benihana's
OurDogCisco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2006, 09:03 PM   #6
ga9497
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,550

Quote:
Originally Posted by MV_Photon
Hi, Tina --

Yes, we'll have DS11 & DS10 on the tours with us.

In Rome, we'll probably skip the Sistine Chapel due to the crowds, heat, and long security lines. Instead, we'll go to:

Basilica of St. Peter
  • Michelangelo's Pieta
  • dome/cupola designed by Michaelangelo
  • several Bernini masterpieces
  • largest church in Christianity (5.7 acres)


St. Peter's in Chains
  • Michelangelo's Moses
The Pieta is amazing, I have seen it twice in person
Now the Moses statue is even better and the church it is in is tucked in a dead end street and most people don't even know it is there but you can get closer to it since it isn't behind protective glass. This statue really makes you aware of Michealangelo's talent. Take some coins as you can put them into the box next to the statue for more light
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Old 08-07-2006, 10:42 PM   #7
Whiskers
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 209

Quote:
Originally Posted by MV_Photon
Many veteran Mediterranean cruisers assert that their experiences have been enhanced via the use of private tour guides at several ports.

Potential advantages include:
  • customized itineraries
  • see exactly what you want
  • leave once you've seen enough
  • luxury Mercedes mini-vans
  • access to ancient & narrow inner-city streets, off-limits to large buses
  • not touring with lots of other people's children (...sorry!)
  • no waiting for stragglers to return to the bus
  • opportunity to bypass lines at popular attractions (w/ licensed guides)
While such tours may appear to be costly at 450 - 660 Euro/day, that fee covers an entire party of 6 - 8 passengers; thus, the cost per person is competitive with that of the cattle calls.

While I claim no first-hand expertise, I have spent many hours perusing the Boards at several cruise forums (e.g. – www.cruisecritic.com) to compile this list of recommended firms & guides at Disney Cruise Lines’ 2007 European ports of call, in rough order of the frequency & enthusiasm of endorsements:

Barcelona
Palermo, Sicily

Naples (Pompeii)
Olbia, Sardinia



Civitavecchia (Rome)

La Spezia (Florence / Pisa)

Marseilles Villefranche (Monte Carlo / Cannes / Nice)
P.S.- The more renowned guides are often booked up months or more ahead of time. More than a year in advance, we have already reserved our guides (the top on each list) for the 28 July 2007 11-day cruise.

Thanks for so much great information! I have contacted Jose Soler about a tour in Barcelona. He sounded very professional in his reply and his itinerary looks great. He is needing a deposit through Paypal to complete booking the tour. Did you have to do that with any of the tours you have booked? I have never used Paypal - what happens if there is a problem once we get to Barcelona? I tried to find info about his tours on other boards with no luck just to make sure others have had good experiences with his tour. Would you be able to let me know where you found his website and info? (You could PM me too)
Thanks very much
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:34 AM   #8
UMTerp
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,493

Wow! Thanks for the great info! We will be a group of 4. Do you know if any of the tour operators will group you with other groups to get a better rate? Do you think this is something we should arrange through our meet thread?

Thanks again!

UMTerp
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:56 AM   #9
cjsmith
We can head over there together after the DIS meet!
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Naples, Florida USA
Posts: 1,696

On thing I will tell you from our experience cruising through Europe last summer with our kids is that it's great to have all these plans for the ports but in reality you just won't get to see everything that you have on your list.

Also, make sure to take some time and enjoy the food in each of the ports. My kids have such fond memories have having Belgian waffles in Belgium and also for having a bucket of mussels for lunch in a square outside in Brugges while watching all that was going on. Yes, it took time away from seeing the sites but this is one of the fondest memories of the port.

Your kids will get more tired than you probably realize. Walking in Europe is very different that here as there may be cobblestone roads and such. Make sure and get great walking shoes and realize that it's a lot more tiring than say doing a Caribbean port.

It can be HOT and I mean HOT during the summer months. On one of our trips to Italy at the end of June it was 109 in Florence and 99 in Rome! They do not have central AC like we do here and it slowed us down quite a bit. Make sure and take some bottled water with you when you leave the ship and drink throughout the day just like you would in the Caribbean.

In can take longer than advertised to reach some of the cities when you are at a port that is far from the actual city you want to see. For instance, we docked in Rotterdam but took a ship's excursion to Amsterdam. Princess said it would take one hour to drive by bus when in reality it was more like and hour and a half due to traffic. Disney is new to these ports and will make some simple mistakes like this. If you're doing the port on your own, make sure you leave extra time to get back to the ship so you get left behind!

Cruisecritic is indeed a wonderful site to get great information on the various ports. Use the wealth of information there as many of the posters have lots of experience in these ports.

Have fun everyone.
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Old 08-09-2006, 04:14 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=cjsmith]Cruisecritic is indeed a wonderful site to get great information on the various ports. Use the wealth of information there as many of the posters have lots of experience in these ports.QUOTE]

Hi

I agreed with you that I have reading in Cruisecritic as it seem helpful and give me some idea. Yes, it is wonderful to have information on the various ports. Someone took photos of two ports show on map, that is useful well.

But I wrote my question on 'The Med Thread All Sailings - Mediterranean' but no reply back yet.

Perhaps it still early yet. I have to be patience until next year.

But i still looking at Cruisecritic to give me any ideas.

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Old 08-10-2006, 12:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjsmith
. . . Walking in Europe is very different that here as there may be cobblestone roads and such. . .
This is especially true at Pompeii, where the cobblestones are very large and uneven. In March, we saw several people get injured.

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Old 08-28-2006, 08:29 PM   #12
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MV Photon - Just wanted to say thanks for all of your research and posting of the drivers/tour guides. We are on the June 16th sailing and I have all of our tours booked. My DH and I will be celebrating our 10yr anniversary in Rome. How romantic! LOL. Thanks again for all of your hard work.
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Old 08-28-2006, 09:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by UMTerp
Wow! Thanks for the great info! We will be a group of 4. Do you know if any of the tour operators will group you with other groups to get a better rate? Do you think this is something we should arrange through our meet thread?

Thanks again!

UMTerp
UMTerp,

If they don't, I'm sure you could find plenty of people here to help reduce the cost (me being one of them). I am booked for the July 28, 11 day. Not quite sure if I will bring the kids on those excursions. Probably force them to do Rome and Naples (PIZZA!), and let them decide for themselves on the others.
I have read that the private tours are worth it, and thanks to MV Photon, we got alot of choices.
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Old 08-29-2006, 05:02 AM   #14
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I just want to say thanks for the great info!

I am also on the 28/07/07
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Old 04-13-2007, 12:12 PM   #15
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