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Old 02-25-2011, 01:09 PM   #46
woody73
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Beware of pickpockets

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Originally Posted by K8T View Post

Naples, cabs will be out in force . . .

The walk to the train station isn't a good one, it is a very busy road . . .

From the train station you can go down to the line that takes you to Pompeii, or Herculaneum. Herculanum is great, smaller than Pompeii, much easier to understand and less busy.
Kate offers good detailed information about Naples and nearby sites.

One thing I would add: beware of pickpockets.

We've been to Naples twice. The first time, we went to Pompeii. The second time we went to Herculaneum. Both were DIY.

On our first visit, I watched a pickpocket team in action on the Circumvesuvia train. (I saw adults give hand signals to teens as to whom to target.) One third of the city is unemployed, and many see rich tourists as easy targets.

Last year, on our second trip, we walked to the Napoli Circumvesuvia train station, then spent the day at Herculaneum and Sorrento. That evening at dinner our tablemates said they were pickpocketed just outside the port terminal, as they were waiting to cross the street. We later learned that others had wallets and cameras stolen that day as well.

Rick Steves "Italy" guidebook has excellent information on getting around Naples and visiting Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento, Capri and other places on you own. He offers excellent "theft alert" advice specific to Naples.

Woody

Last edited by woody73; 02-25-2011 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:36 PM   #47
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I think K8T is confusing Mallorca with the Canary Islands. The beaches are not black volcanic sand, they are normal golden sand!
Yes I am!!!!! Opps!!! Sorry folks, it was late last night and I was getting muddled with the Canaries!!!! Honestly - I should learn not to post after 10.00pm

Trouble is, a lot of the stops tend to merge into one when you have done a few cruises and one hot island is like another!!!

However,the Cathedral is amazing, the town great to stroll around and Magaluf is probably best avoided!!!!
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:41 PM   #48
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[QUOTE=Anal Annie;40080568]Having been to Hawaii several times I'm OK with black sand beaches...it seems the volcanic rock clarifies the water & makes it crystal clear - perhaps we could find someplace to snorkel too?! Last time we went to Hawaii we spent 3 nights on the Big Island and took a helicopter ride over the active volcano, Kilauea which was simply AMAZING.



ANYWAY, that was a different trip and I think nothing could compare to seeing a live volcano... But I will be checking DCL's website every day for updates on Mallorca!!


That photo is amazing, if you have seen something like this, you will be disappointed with Vesuvius, you are lucky to see a little trickle of steam coming up!!!
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:40 PM   #49
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What they like to do (pickpockets) is get a couple of kids around you all of them begging and lightly pulling at you for money and then one little hand sneaks in and grabs your wallet. You'll see these packs coming usually but I like the neck safe wallet. I also put a few dollars/euro in my front pocket for easy access and as a "throwaway" target for thieves.

I have other not so politically correct advice so I won't post it here. But if your spidey senses are going off - get out of the situation and don't be afraid to do what it takes to do so.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:57 PM   #50
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:37 PM   #51
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Several DIY posts from 2010 Med cruise

Thought I would list the DIY excursion posts that I made from our May 26, 2010 Med cruise. Some include the same info, only in more detail. We are hoping for some great fares for the June 29th Med cruise - hoping a great military rate comes out! We would do the Med cruise again in a heartbeat! It was our best trip to date!
Hope it helps with planning!

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...6&postcount=22

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...8&postcount=19

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...86&postcount=2

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...8&postcount=26

http://www.disboards.com/showpost.ph...78&postcount=9
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:33 PM   #52
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Great link!
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:09 AM   #53
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Just giving this a bump. Lots of great info
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:15 AM   #54
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Med with little cruisers

Hi, we're really looking forward to our first DCL cruise in the Med in August and we have DS6 and DD4. I was wondering for those of you who cruised last year with kids a similar age how did they cope in the ports? Did they enjoy the excursions or were they bored? What sort of excursions did you do or recommend?

The ports that concern me most are Naples & Rome.

I would really appreciate some feedback.

Thanks

Kelly
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:27 PM   #55
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Just to continue on what we did....

Citiavecchia A lot has been said about this port and yes it really is very easy to get the train to Rome. Lots of people do it, including crew members and to be honest it is almost like a DCL breakaway excursion for non conformists!!!

The shuttle bus takes you from where the ship berths to the start of the little town. It is a fair walk if you have to walk it from the ship - I wouldn't attempt it! From the bus stop, a 5 minute walk, again, our 6 year old manages this fine. You may get asked to buy train tickets from small stalls, I have never done this and am not sure how valid these tickets would be..it would save you a wait at the ticket office - as I said, lots of people from the ship will be doing this!!!, but I don't think I would risk it.

The walk is past some shops a Macdonalds and some market stalls. There are also a few kiddie roundabouts, but these aren't open until later.

At the station you need to get a BIRG ticket, I think they automatically sell tourists them anyway and then put it in the yellow (on the wall), stamping machine, which validates it for that days travel.

The trains are clearly marked on boards and on the platform signs, they also arrive early and wait for around 5 mins before moving off, this threw us a bit as we didn't think it could be our train, as we are so used to trains being late. It was only when it got to the time our train was due to go and it was still there, we realised it was actually going to Rome, even though the board said it was! There are a few stops along the way and you will get to San Pietro before the Termini. If you want the Vatican, get off at San Pietro, you then come out the station and look to your left, you will see the top of the Vatican in the distance, (5/10 minutes at the most).

If you want the Colleseum, stay on the train for another 10 mins and get off at the Termini, this is a huge station, more like an airport and the line to Citiavecchia is right at the end of the station, so allow time when going back.

You can use the Metro with your ticket and it is very simple, not having many lines. The Colleseum is two or three stops. Having said this, the general stops aren't great for tourist attractions, so jump on a bus, this is good if you know the direction you want to go, as you can jump off a bit further down the road.

We have walked (with a pushchair and 3 year old), from St Peters, through Rome, to the Colleseum via the main attractions, Piazza Navona, Panthenon, Trevi Fountain, Forum etc., and it is doable. I don't think our 6 year old would manage it though. The Vatican is interesting, but I don't think we would take our dd in just yet. After a while, you do tend to 'zone out' of what you are seeing. The Sistine Chapel is beautiful (look in the table mirrors to view the ceiling) and the Swiss Guard in their 'funny clothes' are amusing to kids. The square outside has fountains and pigeons to either feed or chase into the air. This time we did Colleseum, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, but didn't walk to the Vatican.

You must however if you want to miss the queues book tickets on line. We haven't done the Vatican yet on line, but have the Colleseum, it gives you two days to use the tickets, they are not timed and you just turn up on the correct day, walk past the lines of people queuing, to the front and straight in.

La Spezia We have only been to Pisa from here, otherwise done an organised 'Florence on your own', tour three times, but not with our dd. Mainly due to the time spent in a Coach and personally, I don't think our dd would appreciate the architecture and stuff in Florence. Thus we went to Pisa last time.

The train station is a walk of about 10/15 minutes through the town (lovely shopping area!), our dd struggled a bit, but only because we were rushing to get a train. On the way back she was fine, as we took it steady. There is a little white train (rather like a tourist train) that runs along the road, from where the boats come in and passes the train station, although we were just getting to the station at the same time as the little train, so it must take the scenic route!. The little train was 5 or 9 euros. A taxi to the main train station was about 15 euros.

To get to Pisa is easy, straight line, no changes. Again lots of people were doing this, the queue for tickets was long and we would have missed our train, but some people we had been chatting to on board were buying theirs and we asked them to get some for us. What we didn't realise is that they were all on one ticket!!! (we arranged to meet up with them on the way back!). Be aware of this if your group may split up.

In Pisa, you come out the station and it is a 20 minute walk, through the town to the tower. There is a bus that takes you directly there. Buy tickets at a newsagents, not on the bus.

Prebook your tickets for the climb. These are timed but I can't remember at what intervals (hourly?) I don't know what happens if you are late for your slot.

Be aware that children under 8 are not supposed to climb - It does say this on the website, we asked someone with children who had been up and they said no one asked their childrens ages. I think you could get away with it if they were say 7, our dd was only 5 at the time, so it was pushing it a bit to pass her off as a 7 year old, but if you had a big child!!!!........

Apart from the Tower - which our dd loved seeing, even though she couldn't climb it, there isn't much else to do in Pisa, except shopping, but even that isn't stunning! There is the Baptistry (a sort of church), next to the tower, which is beautiful and there are a lot of market stalls, selling what we call tourist tat!

There are large grassed areas, for children to run around. We got some bread cheese etc. and had a little picnic. It is fun to watch the people trying to get their photos of 'holding the tower up'.

We walked down to the tower this time, our dd managed fine - stopping in a few shops on the way, and we caught the bus back.

To get to the bus, walk with the tower behind you, baptistry on your right, past the stalls to the large gateway/wall at the bottom and out onto the road. There is a newsagent stall that will sell you a ticket for the bus back to the station for a few euros. Validate it in the machine on the bus. Lots and lots of people were doing this too, so there was safety in numbers!

It was a stress free easy trip on our own. Ideal for our dd.

Will post our experiences for Ajaccio and Villefranche next time.
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Last edited by K8T; 02-27-2011 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:49 PM   #56
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Trevi Fountain in Rome

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We have walked (with a pushchair and 3 year old), from St Peters, through Rome, to the Colleseum via the main attractions, Piazza Navona, Panthenon, Trevi Fountain, Forum etc., and it is doable.
Be sure to bring some coins. If you toss a coin into Trevi Fountain, it will ensure a return to Rome.

Woody
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:10 PM   #57
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Just to continue on what we did....

La Spezia The train station is a walk of about 10/15 minutes through the town (lovely shopping area!),

It was a stress free easy trip on our own.
Hi K8T Thank you for all the great tips; and I'am doing something very simmilar to what you did for La Spezia. I do have a question regardin the port it self. You mentioned it is good for shopping but if you could please tell me if it's nice to spend all afternoon; just chiling out (DW and DD shopping, Me in a Cafe zipping wine/coffee)

We are not going to Florence becouse our cruise (Aug 20th) goes to La Spezia on a monday and that's the day all "important" museums will be closed so it's not worth it to spend 5 1/2 hours on a bus.

We plan to go to Pisa and after stay in La Spezia until we need to get back to The Magic..

Thanxs.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:18 AM   #58
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Hi K8T Thank you for all the great tips; and I'am doing something very simmilar to what you did for La Spezia. I do have a question regardin the port it self. You mentioned it is good for shopping but if you could please tell me if it's nice to spend all afternoon; just chiling out (DW and DD shopping, Me in a Cafe zipping wine/coffee)

We are not going to Florence becouse our cruise (Aug 20th) goes to La Spezia on a monday and that's the day all "important" museums will be closed so it's not worth it to spend 5 1/2 hours on a bus.

We plan to go to Pisa and after stay in La Spezia until we need to get back to The Magic..

Thanxs.

Hi, glad to help out. The port isn't really a port as you think of it, more of a seaside town, with a long seafront - without a beach that I could see - and lots of yachts moored up.

The Magic moors in the bay and you tender into the quayside beside some beautiful yachts.

The town is a short walk down to the left - alongside the marina and then over the road on your right. It is rather like a tree lined boulevard and there is a sort of park area running down it too. I also saw a merry go round at that time and some childrens play equipment - not sure if the merry go round will be there next time. Once you walk into the town, it is a pedestrianised.

The town has good shops, some modern and some traditional, I would have no problems spending an afternoon there wandering around, having a coffee and watching the world go by, I was sorry we didn't have enough time on our return to wander about more, although it is Italy, it felt more like South of France!!! It isn't really 'quaint' though - at least not to us, but we have lots of 'quaint' in the UK"!

I will try and post some photos of the seafront, if I can find them.

Kate

Sea front Boulvard, town is to the left.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #59
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What about strollers in Europe? We have a Graco double stroller (front and back, not side by side) that I usually bring on trips where there is a lot of walking...like Europe. It gives us somewhere to put all our stuff, gives my girls a break and shade and keeps two of them contained in crowds

I have been to Italy before I had kids so I know it can get crowded and lots of cobblestone etc. so what did most of you with kids do as far as strollers go?

TIA!
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:06 PM   #60
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We have always taken our stroller wherever we have been with no problems. You tend to get large uneven flagstones in Rome rather than cobbles. But the strollers cope. We went to Herculaneum with one and up th Acropolis in Athens. Most difficult place was Venice as we had to lift it over the bridges as they had steps.

It had been on numerous hop on/off buses and on a gondola. I really miss that stroller
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