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Old 03-10-2011, 09:27 AM   #61
Orsino
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We went to Cinque Terre from La Spezia when we went on the Disney Magic in 2007. I think it is a great choice as it is close to La Spezia so you don't waste time on a bus.

If I recall correctly, I downloaded the train schedule to Cinque Terre from somewhere on the internet. A little Google will give you some very useful information about the trains.

I believe you Tender at La Spezia. This was a point of consternation for me as tendering can take up time and I knew exactly which train I wanted to take to Cinque Terre. We wound up with a bit of an "amazing race" moment as my husband and I ran to the train station to buy tickets ahead of the rest of my family who walked briskly to meet up with us. I bought single tickets for most adults, but one "Family Cinque Terre Card" for my sister and her family. We made it on the train just in time.

The train ride itself was crowded but beautiful. Surprisingly, the locals were more amused than annoyed at all the tourists.

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Old 06-11-2011, 01:36 PM   #62
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Any experiences from 2011 cruisers, I have read a handful of review of the DCL trip. I would like and prefer to be able to DIY this one and do it for cheaper than the $585 DCL cost. We are a family of 5 with 3 boys aged 5 to 9, how long can we expect to stand in queue for tickets. trains etc. Getting on a DCL trip with the boat collecting and dropping from and to the Magic is a definite Pro for DCL, but cost is a major Con. Pros and Cons for both for recent cruisers would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:13 PM   #63
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:59 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAZPRINCESS View Post
Any experiences from 2011 cruisers, I have read a handful of review of the DCL trip. I would like and prefer to be able to DIY this one and do it for cheaper than the $585 DCL cost. We are a family of 5 with 3 boys aged 5 to 9, how long can we expect to stand in queue for tickets. trains etc. Getting on a DCL trip with the boat collecting and dropping from and to the Magic is a definite Pro for DCL, but cost is a major Con. Pros and Cons for both for recent cruisers would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Took us about 20 min to walk to Le Spezia Centrale.
Took easily another 20 min standing in line for train tickets and Cinque Terre tickets, but it was the weekend so that may be unusual. The trains were always around 10 min late, so at the stations we generally waited 15-20 min. Again, hopefully this was due to it being the weekend
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:05 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by KAZPRINCESS View Post
Any experiences from 2011 cruisers, I have read a handful of review of the DCL trip. I would like and prefer to be able to DIY this one and do it for cheaper than the $585 DCL cost. We are a family of 5 with 3 boys aged 5 to 9, how long can we expect to stand in queue for tickets. trains etc. Getting on a DCL trip with the boat collecting and dropping from and to the Magic is a definite Pro for DCL, but cost is a major Con. Pros and Cons for both for recent cruisers would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Took us about 20 min to walk to Le Spezia Centrale.
Took easily another 20 min standing in line for train tickets and Cinque Terre tickets, but it was the weekend so that may be unusual. The trains were always around 10 min late, so at the stations we generally waited 15-20 min. Again, hopefully this was due to it being the weekend
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:02 PM   #66
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We took the train and the schedules were all messed up and we ended up waiting about an hour. We took the boat back and I would highly recommend taking the boat. It was a very pleasant ride and a great way to see all of the towns from the water. This port was our favorite.

Another tip -- In Vernazza, there is a wonderful place to eat at the top of the town called Pirata delle Cinque Terre. It is run by two brothers from Sicily and the food is incredible. The fruit slushes and the panacotta were the best that I have ever had.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:30 PM   #67
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We took the train and the schedules were all messed up and we ended up waiting about an hour. We took the boat back and I would highly recommend taking the boat. It was a very pleasant ride and a great way to see all of the towns from the water. This port was our favorite.

Another tip -- In Vernazza, there is a wonderful place to eat at the top of the town called Pirata delle Cinque Terre. It is run by two brothers from Sicily and the food is incredible. The fruit slushes and the panacotta were the best that I have ever had.
We plan to only go to Vernazza after making a really quick trip into Pisa first thing in the morning. I want to be to Vernazza for lunch. Anyway, I'm wondering if we took the boat back to the ship, where does it drop you off? Is it near where you tender back? Thanks!

I actually read (maybe in Rick Steve's book) about that restaurant. We'll try to check it out.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:31 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by mickymania View Post
We took the train and the schedules were all messed up and we ended up waiting about an hour. We took the boat back and I would highly recommend taking the boat. It was a very pleasant ride and a great way to see all of the towns from the water. This port was our favorite.

Another tip -- In Vernazza, there is a wonderful place to eat at the top of the town called Pirata delle Cinque Terre. It is run by two brothers from Sicily and the food is incredible. The fruit slushes and the panacotta were the best that I have ever had.
thanks for the tip about the boat and the restaurant.

re: boat... i was thinking of taking the boat, hopping on and off as needed... maybe taking the train back -- we are definitely going there to relax. any tips about how to do that most economically???
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:46 PM   #69
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We plan to only go to Vernazza after making a really quick trip into Pisa first thing in the morning. I want to be to Vernazza for lunch. Anyway, I'm wondering if we took the boat back to the ship, where does it drop you off? Is it near where you tender back? Thanks!

I actually read (maybe in Rick Steve's book) about that restaurant. We'll try to check it out.
You take the boat from Monterosso/Vernazza to the Port of Italy and transfer to a boat that will drop you off right where you tender. It took about 75 minutes but was very simple. The boat left Monterosso at 5:00 and we were back on the ship by 6:30.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:50 PM   #70
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thanks for the tip about the boat and the restaurant.

re: boat... i was thinking of taking the boat, hopping on and off as needed... maybe taking the train back -- we are definitely going there to relax. any tips about how to do that most economically???
The train was definately cheaper than the boat. We paid a few euro each for the train to the first town, did the walk between the two towns and then took a boat to Vernazza. The boat that returned to the ship was 15 euro each but I believe that there is a pass for the boats that makes the trip a little cheaper. I also heard that if the weather is poor that the boat does not run so it is best to not purchase any boat transfers ahead of time. Hope that helps.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:58 PM   #71
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i found this link about the boat to Cinque Terre if anyone needs info on schedule/prices.

http://s4.computernopanic.com/USER_C..._pdf_eng_7.pdf

or this page
http://www.navigazionegolfodeipoeti....o.asp?lang=eng
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:35 AM   #72
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We were on June 8th trip and did Cinque Terre on our ow (with our 3 yr old!). About a 20 min walk to the station but very simple to find with a map. Purchased a day pass for 10 Euro per adult allowing unlimited train journeys and walks between La Spezia and the furthest town, Monterosso. We actually only managed 3 of the little towns. Monterosso first as it was the furthest. This was my favourite (although the most expensive so dont eat here!). There was a beach and play park scattered along the promenade so my little girl was kept amused here. Stayed for about an hour and halfthen took train to Manarolo and walked lovers path to Riomaggiore. the lovers path is the easiest one and was totally flat if you have a pushchair or mobility problem.

It is totally doable on your own and very cheap. We were pleased we chose this over Pisa and for what we did, I don't feel now that it needed any forward planning or reading a book about the area. If you are child free then there is so much more to see here and we would have hiked some of the trickier walks!
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:30 PM   #73
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Can someone please post me a link for the train schedule?

Anymore tips, I can't believe next week I leave, and we will be the last cruise(non chartered) to stop in La Spezia this year.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:39 AM   #74
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Here you go.
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

You will have to enter the details of the stations yourself to get the times.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:00 PM   #75
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We just did this (DIY) on 20th July. It really is very simple, you should have no worries about doing this with plenty of time. I never felt that we were rushing, or risking missing the ship!!!

We had our six year old with us too, so gives you an idea of the walking capability!!

We got off the ship around 10.00ish by tender and walked up to the train station. We have been in La Spezia a few times now having been to Pisa on the train twice!. The station is about a 15 minute walk - easy walk, through the pedestrianised shopping street, our difficulty is getting dd past the toy shops! There is a little road train that takes you there too for 5 euros, which waits near the quay where the tenders come in, but we walked there in the same time it took!

At the station, we went to the right as you go in and there was a Cinque Terre office, no queue, we bought three tickets 10 euros each adult, child reduced not sure how much. They spoke English, gave us a little timetable, with the times of the trains in all the towns (she had crossed out a couple that applied to weekends, which saved us having to look at the little codes by some times, as to what wasn't running on what days).

The train was waiting on the platform, not crowded, easily got a seat and took under half an hour to Vernazza. I wasn't keen to see Monterossa, thinking it may be too touristy and I didn't think we would have time to see them all (we would, they are really very small and you could easily spend just half an hour or so and move on - depending on trains out). I believe that some trains don't stop at all the towns, but we didn't experience this, the boards on the platforms are pretty easy to follow and there are lots of people to ask. The platforms were busy, but we always got a seat. We checked times of the trains out when we arrived and planned our stop around that, to avoid waiting too long on the station. Our dd gets bored easily!

Vernazza was a great stop and we had a coffee, a paddle, a wander, took some great photos and walked up to a cafe at the edge of the water for a great view. It may be worth taking some swim things, although the beaches are tiny, our dd would have liked to have gone a bit further in than just to her shorts. The water is crystal clear and very inviting.

Back to the station, next stop we go off was Manarola, this was really pretty too, more restaurants are here, but we went into one and were waiting over 15 minutes before they even came to us, so we walked out. We found, half way down the street on the left, a little takeaway pizza/sandwich place, just a few benches outside and had some pizza and olive bread, sitting in the sun. It was cooked to order and was fantastic. Would recommend this as a quick, delicious alternative to spending hours in a restaurant! Our dd loved this little picnic too.

We then walked the Via dell Amore, which is accessed near the train station, to Riomaggiore. It took about 15 minutes, great views. The path is paved and easy with a pushchair (stroller), if you have one, all fenced and safe for children to run along! We had a wander around Riomaggiore, bought some fresh fruit, washed it in the fountain and sat in the sun. We looked in a few shops - it is very steep! We then got the train back to La Spezia, which took all of 10 minutes at the most and walked through the town, doing a bit of shopping, finally going in the toy shops (no buying only looking!!)

It was an easy day and cost us around 50 euros with coffees, ice creams pizza and tickets. Obviously if we had had a restaurant lunch it would have been more, but I would suggest getting a sandwich and fruit and sitting on the (very small) beaches or quaysides.

We do all the stops on our own (I hate following large groups in coaches!), and this certainly was one of the most simple ones.

Hope this helps.

Kate
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