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Old 01-30-2012, 01:50 PM   #181
mindelmouse
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For our 2010 med cruise we got into town a day before. We booked our own hotel (Porta Marina) which was much much cheaper than Disney's and since we were only there one night it didn't really make all that much difference where we stayed. In staying after the cruise (if we do), I'd like to stay in a more central location to see more of Barcelona, that I didn't see the first time. We'll see what Kim finds

For transfers from the airports, I booked a 4 hour tour of Barcelona with a tour company I found on trip advisor and we and two other families on our flight (we met here on the DISboards) (we arrived at 9 am) shared the van and the tour. It was pretty inexpensive for all 10 of us and we had plenty of room for us and our luggage. After the tour they dropped us all off at our respective hotels, and we were able to check in. The only issue is that we were really tired, so once checked into the hotel, we basically slept. We had the hotel get us a taxi for the next day and we went to the ship. It worked out great.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:13 PM   #182
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Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
When we cruised the Med in 2007, here are some things we learned (I like the idea of sharing those tidbits - it's a good reminder for me and I'm already learning things from y'all):
1 - fly in more than one day early. Our flight was delayed arriving so we lost most of the day we had planned to "sight see" in Barcelona - so we pretty much didn't get to see our departure port. Plus we were exhausted. We now go 2 - 3 days early.
2 - check return flight times before deciding if you want to fly home the day you get off the ship or wait til the next day. When we did Alaska this summer, we flew home the day we got off the ship which meant we didn't get back to ATL until 3 AM after flight delays in Dallas. If we had waited until the next day, we could have gotten an early morning flight and been back to ATL at a reasonable hour. If there's just one flight option, then that decides for us.
3 - take non-stop / direct flights when possible, minimizing the risk of your bags being lost in transit.
4 - back some of each person's clothing in each bag so no one person will be without anything to wear
5 - plan on your hotel room not being ready when you arrive. Place your valuables in a bag that you can keep with you safely so you can check your bags with the bellman at the hotel and still go out to see the city. If you're prepared that way, then your room will likely be ready - if you aren't, then you'll not have a room til 4 p.m.
6 - Dining on board is more relaxed on the European cruises, especially on long port days. They are happy for you to come directly from your shore excursion to dinner as long as you stop and wash your hands first. On both the 2007 Med and 2010 Baltic, we had occasion that we went straight to the dining room for dinner after boarding (with a restroom stop to wash first). We like the longer cruises and enjoy having our wait staff with us for so many days. We like main dining because that gives us opportunity to digest before crashing for the night - or in the case of nights where the sun doesn't go down until so very late, we don't feel bad about having a late night snack because we've had an earlier dinner!
7 - We mostly do our shore excursions through DCL, especially any that involve going a distance from the port. When choosing among them, we figure out what things we want to do most - for example, did we want to SEE the Colloseum or did we want to GO INSIDE? Did we want to look at the Leaning Tower in Pisa, or did we want to CLIMB TO THE TOP? That's how we decide.
We've done the Med with Mickey in 2007 and 2011, and the Baltic in 2010.
I would definitely agree not to fly from the States directly to Barcelona. You need at least one day to aclimate to the time change. We've never stayed in Barcelona prior to the cruise. We've flown to France or UK for a few days. It's easy to get a flight out of their in the AM, get a cab at the BCN airport and go straight to the dock. (maximum number of people/ cab is 4. There is a surcharge of 1 Euro/bag)

We've done most of the ports on our own. For example it's super easy to catch the train into Rome, for less than 1/4 the price. If anyone needs the links or wants to follow us into Rome they can. Last year we did Lucca and Pisa, also very easy to do. We did do Florence with DCL in 2007, we missed the window to book "the David" tickets. Also it's a very long train ride to Florence with connections, so that trip I would suggest to use Disney.

Another thing I've found helpful is to watch the different travel shows on the cities for a quick overview. Each one is usally pretty different. Only the Nice episode with Samantha Brown and Rick Steves had the same "Socca Lady" - definitely worth a stop in the marketplace (Cours Saleya), very tasty.

Lastly to keep organized I created a blog www.worldofmouse.com . With booking these cruises so far out, I would do research on the port and then lose the paperwork. This way it's nice to have a central location for all your trip ideas/plans.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:14 PM   #183
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So, I saved all my navigator's from our first Meditteranean Cruise in 2007 and noticed a notable time difference for the Rome Port. In 2007, the port times was 7:30 to 9:30 pm and for 2013 it is 7:15 to 6:30. So 14 hours versus 11 hours. I don't know but we were kinda of hoping to do this port on our own since we've been there before. Those 3 hours would be nice for extra travel delays. Does this make anyone nervous especially since this port is further away from Rome.

The other difference was Villefranche which they shortened but I can see why as it is earlier in the cruise. I remember last time they had Casino excursions for this night.

Tina
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:28 PM   #184
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Wow! Lots of people have done the Med cruises before! We were on the April/May 11 night Med in 2010. It was amazing. We did every port on our own and saved a ton as well as had a great time. We even did Tunisia on our own and I never felt uncomfortable. Sidi Bou Said was so beautiful, I'm kind of sad (although I understand) we're not going back.

I certainly don't have anything against DCL's excursions, we were just trying to save money.

I've got a trip report around here somewhere if anyone's interested. I reread it last night just for the memories and to get even more excited!

Right now we have 5 cabins of family and friends. That could easily go up or down as the time gets closer.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:30 PM   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OurDogCisco View Post
So, I saved all my navigator's from our first Meditteranean Cruise in 2007 and noticed a notable time difference for the Rome Port. In 2007, the port times was 7:30 to 9:30 pm and for 2013 it is 7:15 to 6:30. So 14 hours versus 11 hours. I don't know but we were kinda of hoping to do this port on our own since we've been there before. Those 3 hours would be nice for extra travel delays. Does this make anyone nervous especially since this port is further away from Rome.

The other difference was Villefranche which they shortened but I can see why as it is earlier in the cruise. I remember last time they had Casino excursions for this night.

Tina
On our med cruise in 2010, we were in Civiitavecchia from 8 am until 8:45 pm and in Villefranche from 7:30 a. m. to 7 pm.
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:44 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by OurDogCisco View Post
So, I saved all my navigator's from our first Meditteranean Cruise in 2007 and noticed a notable time difference for the Rome Port. In 2007, the port times was 7:30 to 9:30 pm and for 2013 it is 7:15 to 6:30. So 14 hours versus 11 hours. I don't know but we were kinda of hoping to do this port on our own since we've been there before. Those 3 hours would be nice for extra travel delays. Does this make anyone nervous especially since this port is further away from Rome.

The other difference was Villefranche which they shortened but I can see why as it is earlier in the cruise. I remember last time they had Casino excursions for this night.

Tina
I'll have to look up our 2011 Rome port times. All aboard was somewhere between 6:30 and 9:30. I know we took the 18:07 Eurostar in Rome that brought us back to the port at 18:48.

Right now I found a 16:58 that gets back at 18:05
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Old 01-30-2012, 03:48 PM   #187
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I have added your thread to the cruise meet list

Have a great cruise!
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:06 PM   #188
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I'll have to look up our 2011 Rome port times. All aboard was somewhere between 6:30 and 9:30. I know we took the 18:07 Eurostar in Rome that brought us back to the port at 18:48.

Right now I found a 16:58 that gets back at 18:05
I didn't realize the Eurostar was so fast. So, the one you took got you back in 41 minutes but the current one 1 hour 7 minutes. I probably wouldn't want to take the last train just incase we got lost looking for the train so, we'd want to take the 2nd to last train to get us back in time. Is that what you do? Where do you find the train schedule? Thanks for your help.

Tina
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:11 PM   #189
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Lessons learned from our Med cruise 2011:

1- My 2 DD's (5 & 9) and I arrived four days before the cruise. We all had plenty of time to adjust to the time change (we're on the west coast). We also had a good time touring BCN before the cruise. We took a great cooking class too. I think we'll do that again. DH, due to work, came in the night before. Fortuneatley he adjusts very easily to time changes. I really enjoyed BCN.

2- We like the early dinner seating. With early morning tours we couldn't keep the girls up that late for dinner. We were mostly on time for dinner. I think there was only one night that we were late (everyone was late) and they did a great job of taking care of us. Especially in 2013 with Rome sail away so early, we will definitely stay with early seating. When we sail out of FL we like the late seating since we don't have to get up so early and tour all day.

3- We did almost all private tours and for the most part had great experiences. My DD (5) can be a handful so I didn't want to get stuck on a DCL bus and have her be miserable. We prefer having a small group and being able to see a lot in a day. The two DCL excursions I was on had a lot of people on them, too many for my taste. They were good experiences but they would have been better with fewer people.

4- The Pack-It system is the only way to go! There was a lot of discussion on the boards last spring about packing. I used the pack-it for our whole family, it kept us organized and me sane.

5- Try to plan a pre or post trip since you're already in Europe! Thankfully it dawned on me before I made the flight arrangements.... since you're already there, if you can take some additional time hit a few cities before or after the cruise. I think I'll do this pre cruise in 2013. We hit Paris and London on the way home and my DD's were ready to go home by the last day.

6- I booked air through BA using points and cash. This worked well for us and we really enjoyed the aircraft and service of BA. This time I've booked the cruise more than a year out so I'm hoping I can book all points when that booking window opens.

I'm sure I'll think of more..... lots of repeat med cruises means we all must have had a great time on our previous trips!
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:43 PM   #190
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OK, I made a list of all the DISers who have posted who seem like they are booked - if I've left someone off, let me know and I'll add you to this post, or if I've put someone on who has not booked or since cancelled, let me know that, too, and I'll edit here.

IIIpath had offered to start a FE google spreadsheet - I think that's great idea (but have no idea how to do something like that).

By no means do I want to be the "keeper of the list" but thought I'd get it started so someone else could pick it up - after all, we're already on Page 13!

armyferret
4boons (Bill), DW, DD (19)
Yensidfan, DW, DD (25), DS (22)
Scott H and Lynn G
Deb_in_IA
MJGirl, DD
BluegrassBelles
maleficent1959, DH, DS (9), DS (13)
mehaul
seaulater, DD (21)
NAG, DW, DS (22), DS (19), DD (12)
TammyAlphabet, DD
TDC_Nala
caniac27, DH, DD (11)
Kmc33 (Kim), DH, DS (14)
jmatias
disneyfan888, DH, DNephew
speakupjc (Dance), George, Catherine (10)
danfromca
Disneyfalcon
justhat
adedward
mr.tom.morrow (Brian), Marsha, DS (2)
haddybaby
nzdisnemom (Cindy D.), DH (Gary), DS (17), DS (15)
acourtwdw2 (Amanda), DSister (Annette)
BobandLee
JOANNEL (Joanne), DH (Roger), DS (27), DS (24) + 2 DGFs
ImprovGal
canadakath (Kath), DH, DS (9), DS (6)
Monstro (Jeff)
Steffy, DGD (16)
pxlbarrel, DBrother
USUKMama (Sophia), DH, DS (12), DS (9), DD (6)
gotomu212, DH, DS (5), Mom
2PrincesseInTow, DH, DD (11), DD (7), DM, DSD
MinnieDiva (Kim), DH (Sean), DD (10), Dad
Meum (Marianne), DH
Cali_Tracy, DH, DD (19), DD (11),
jmatias, DH, DS (15), DS (14), DD (8)
Dayub (Deb), DH (Alex), DD (15)
haddybaby, DH, DS (4), DS (9), DS (11), Mom, Dad
Neriberi, DH, DD (4)
mindelmouse (Mindy), DH (Jim), DS (12), DD (12)
keenercam, DH
IIIpath (Lynda), DH (Scott)
moneyhappy, DH
Lynderella (Lynn), DH, DD (12), DS (10)
DL1957 (Sue), DH (Paul); DSIS (ME), DBIL (Dusty), Friends (Pam and Bill) and Margaret
maleficent_fan51 - Chet and Fern
makaylee
TexasMouseFan, DD (14), DD (11)
abayaflowers, DH, DD (13), DD (10)
OurDogCisco, DH, DD (15), DD (12)
Tozzie
htmlkid - DH, DW, DD (12)
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:50 PM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2PrincesseInTow View Post
Lessons learned from our Med cruise 2011:

2- We like the early dinner seating. With early morning tours we couldn't keep the girls up that late for dinner.
That's true - and one thing we learned is that we should not book too many all-day excursions that require super-early departure times or we'll wear the kids out. My philosophy the first time was go out early each day and then come back and relax - but what happened was when we did get back, the boys wanted to go do all the fun cruise-ship things (that darned excellent youth activity program kept them running around all evening), so the boys just wanted to sleep after a few days. I'll never forget on the train to Rome, Nathan was sleeping soundly and Peter Pan came into our car and crowed like a rooster and woke him up. It was priceless. Nathan can't stand Peter Pan now because of that!

Quote:
4- The Pack-It system is the only way to go! There was a lot of discussion on the boards last spring about packing. I used the pack-it for our whole family, it kept us organized and me sane.
What is the Pack It system?

Quote:

5- Try to plan a pre or post trip since you're already in Europe! Thankfully it dawned on me before I made the flight arrangements.... since you're already there, if you can take some additional time hit a few cities before or after the cruise. I think I'll do this pre cruise in 2013. We hit Paris and London on the way home and my DD's were ready to go home by the last day.
We learned this with our first trip - since you're already paying for airfare, stay longer! We spent five days in London when we did the Baltic (still not long enough but all we could afford) and this time, DH convinced me to check on booking this one after we booked the Venice one with the whole "we're already going to be paying for air fare so let's just do both" argument.

I checked flights from ATL to BCN and found that there is one non-stop each day so that's our target whether we book on our own or through DCL. I have a price-point that I'll use once DCL offers air add-on and if it meets that price-point, we'll do the no-hassle DCL version (it's not failed us yet). However, DVC and my TA have both told me it might be impossible for us to do DCL air because this cruise is DVC and our next is not. So I called DCL air today and asked them about it - they have to research it and will call me back tomorrow. That might also make my decision.
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Girlfriends Trip ~ February 25 - 27 ~ Grand Floridian
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:27 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by OurDogCisco View Post
I didn't realize the Eurostar was so fast. So, the one you took got you back in 41 minutes but the current one 1 hour 7 minutes. I probably wouldn't want to take the last train just incase we got lost looking for the train so, we'd want to take the 2nd to last train to get us back in time. Is that what you do? Where do you find the train schedule? Thanks for your help.

Tina
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...0080a3e90aRCRD

I think there are more time options available during the summer months. The system doesn't let you check for summer of 2012 currently.

The Eurostar is much quicker, it's only a few extra $.
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:33 PM   #193
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
OK, I made a list of all the DISers who have posted who seem like they are booked - if I've left someone off, let me know and I'll add you to this post, or if I've put someone on who has not booked or since cancelled, let me know that, too, and I'll edit here.

Deb_in_IA
YES!!!

We are booked!

We originally got a 5B, but I talked DH into going up to a 4B.
We are in 8002, far forward, port side, just beind the bridge and below the spa. Very convenient if we need to hop up there to shower.

Wow, lots of DIS'ers, and repeat cruisers! I'll be asking a lot of questions because this will be our first Med cruise!
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:34 PM   #194
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
OK, I made a list of all the DISers who have posted who seem like they are booked - if I've left someone off, let me know and I'll add you to this post, or if I've put someone on who has not booked or since cancelled, let me know that, too, and I'll edit here.

IIIpath had offered to start a FE google spreadsheet - I think that's great idea (but have no idea how to do something like that).

By no means do I want to be the "keeper of the list" but thought I'd get it started so someone else could pick it up - after all, we're already on Page 13!
LOL! You may be stuck! It would be nice, though, if someone on the 1st page would post this there....much easier to refer back to p1 than p13.

And WOW! This is quite the group already!
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:34 PM   #195
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That is a great list of cruisers! Thanks for all of your hard work. Will you please change the spelling of my name from Dantz to Dance. That way it will be easier for everyone. Thanks!

We flew to London and stayed for a couple of days before flying to Barcelona for our 2010 Med cruise. We felt that this helped reduce the jet leg. This time we are looking to fly to Paris after the cruise. Has anyone been to Paris? Did you enjoy it? Any insight would be appreciated.

We discovered that we need lots of room on long voyages and book the largest cabin that we can afford. This gives us lots of room in which to relax. This time we didn't have enough DVC points for a cat t so we booked a cat 4. Has anyone stayed in a cat 4 before. Did you enjoy it? It looked like some of the cabins have an amazing view of the bridge from the balcony.

We would like to explore the option of doing a private tour(s) with a family. Also we would be open to linking our dinner reservations with another family who has child(ren) around the same age.

The last disgroup I sailed with had a get together party on the first day and had a lunch at Palo together in the private dining room. It held all 20 of us. This was a lot of fun! Would anyone be open to participating in this?
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