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Old 02-13-2012, 05:55 PM   #196
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Plus the counselors on the Wonder were great and said both boys were well behaved and respectful and considerate - always something you want to hear but especially when they've made an exception for you.
I'm not surprised the counselors would say that about your boys - they are wonderful! I think it's pretty incredible that we have cruised together twice!
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:27 AM   #197
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I'm not surprised the counselors would say that about your boys - they are wonderful! I think it's pretty incredible that we have cruised together twice!
Deb - that's so sweet of you to say! They are very excited that you are scheduled to sail with us again.

I just finished reading the French Riviera portion of the Rick Steves Mediterranean Cruise Port book and I'm so excited to be going back there. It was so fun to read about places in Nice that we saw, and also to read about Monte Carlo (which is Spanish for Charles' Hill) and Eze which are both on our short list of places to go while ported at Villefranche. The next section is about Italian ports and I'm about to start reading about Florence!
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:38 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
Deb - that's so sweet of you to say! They are very excited that you are scheduled to sail with us again.

I just finished reading the French Riviera portion of the Rick Steves Mediterranean Cruise Port book and I'm so excited to be going back there. It was so fun to read about places in Nice that we saw, and also to read about Monte Carlo (which is Spanish for Charles' Hill) and Eze which are both on our short list of places to go while ported at Villefranche. The next section is about Italian ports and I'm about to start reading about Florence!
We went both to Monaco and Eze on our Med cruise last year. We also visited Nice for like 5 seconds it seemed like. We also saw Elton's house like a ZILLION times. We took the train ourselves to Monaco and walked up to the casino. We ended eating lunch at the cafe next door. We spent over $100 on two ice cream sundaes, one sandwich and 7 drinks for our party. They were bg sundaes, but it's still a joke between us about our expensive ice cream lunch!!!! We then made our way back to Villefranche and to join our DCL Wine and Cheese and Eze tour. The wine and cheese were interesting and took place in a basement in Nice, across the street from the vineyard owner's shop. It was very informative and fun. After that we got a brief walking tour of the area, then we headed up to Eze. I recommend trying to get to Eze in the morning, because by the time we got there in the afternoon, the whole place was engulfed in fog. The people we also knew on the tour, did the tour in reverse, so they went to Eze first. There were two buses, we just ended up on the unlucky one..... Eze was charming, but due to the fog climbing up to the top to see the supposed AMAZING view was a moot point since you couldn't see anything! I think this time, we might just take the train into Nice on our own and travel around, or head to Cannes.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #199
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We went both to Monaco and Eze on our Med cruise last year. We also visited Nice for like 5 seconds it seemed like. We also saw Elton's house like a ZILLION times. We took the train ourselves to Monaco and walked up to the casino. We ended eating lunch at the cafe next door. We spent over $100 on two ice cream sundaes, one sandwich and 7 drinks for our party. They were bg sundaes, but it's still a joke between us about our expensive ice cream lunch!!!! We then made our way back to Villefranche and to join our DCL Wine and Cheese and Eze tour. The wine and cheese were interesting and took place in a basement in Nice, across the street from the vineyard owner's shop. It was very informative and fun. After that we got a brief walking tour of the area, then we headed up to Eze. I recommend trying to get to Eze in the morning, because by the time we got there in the afternoon, the whole place was engulfed in fog. The people we also knew on the tour, did the tour in reverse, so they went to Eze first. There were two buses, we just ended up on the unlucky one..... Eze was charming, but due to the fog climbing up to the top to see the supposed AMAZING view was a moot point since you couldn't see anything! I think this time, we might just take the train into Nice on our own and travel around, or head to Cannes.
Thanks for the tip about the fog at Eze. From reading the book, it seems like getting to Monaco or Eze are both really easy from Villefranche, so we might actually be brave and do something "on our own" while there. We know there will be some ports that we absolutely want to do through the cruiseline but since this area isn't too far from the ship and we have adequate time in port, unless there's an excursion that just wows us, we may save our money here. Of course we'll also consider what costs we'll have for transportation (and avoid the $100 ice cream - LOL).

We loved Nice - it's one of those places that I wish we'd also had a few hours of free time while there after our bus tour. I had told DH when we were there before that if we ever were back in the Villefranche area, there was still so much I wanted to see of the area, so I'm glad we are getting the opportunity to go back.
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Old 02-14-2012, 10:07 AM   #200
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Hi Cindy,
My name is Maxine and I'm sailing with my husband, son 18 and daughter 12.
We have never been on any cruise before, this will be our first ever one and I am a bit apprehensive about all the planning everyone seems to be doing. My son will just be 18 and he is a little worried he'll not meet anyone his own age to hang out with as there is no club. What do the older kids do? My daughter is very shy, will the leaders at the club encourage her to stay?
I have so many questions
Welcome Maxine,

This is going to be a great cruise....this will b our 11th dcl cruise and dd will be 13 at time of sailing...sometimes a tween/ teen thread is set up so the kids can talk to one another before hand...

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Old 02-14-2012, 01:10 PM   #201
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Welcome Maxine,

This is going to be a great cruise....this will b our 11th dcl cruise and dd will be 13 at time of sailing...sometimes a tween/ teen thread is set up so the kids can talk to one another before hand...

Susan
and I plan on piggy-backing on that platinum booking advantage!!!!!!
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:16 PM   #202
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Question $prices$

I see everyone has booked this cruise, but when I checked ABD and DCL there were no prices or options to book? Is everyone just calling DCL to make reservations? I suppose I'm a bit out of the loop... What is the deposit required for the trip? I've been waiting to book this trip since the last one! SO excited!
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by sunkssed22 View Post
I see everyone has booked this cruise, but when I checked ABD and DCL there were no prices or options to book? Is everyone just calling DCL to make reservations? I suppose I'm a bit out of the loop... What is the deposit required for the trip? I've been waiting to book this trip since the last one! SO excited!
Hi and welcome. This cruise is available to book on the DCL website. Deposit is 20% of the cruise fare, unless you are going to transfer an onboard booking, in which case it is 10%....not sure why you can't find it on the DCL site

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Old 02-14-2012, 02:32 PM   #204
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I know folks have been asking about what to do in the Ports...first, let me say that we had never been to any of them before, and booked this trip about 3 months out. That being said, we did all our own excursions, except for in Tunisia and a perfume tour in Villefranche.

La Spezia -- took the train on our own to Pisa and booked the Tower climb --super easy to do on your own.

Rome - booked a private tour with RomeInLimo for the day and set our own itinerary -- shared with another DIS family

Naples -- booked a private tour and did Pompeii, Hurculaneum and climbed Mt Vesuvius

Malta - private tour -- saw the blue grotto, the old walled city, and lots of other things

Villefranche -- went to Nice on our own in the morning, and did the DCL perfumer's apprentice tour in the afternoon.

Lots of good information on the cruise critic board about private tours. If you can find others with similar interests, private is the way to go.

Lisa
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #205
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Originally Posted by jel0511 View Post
Flavors of sorrento And timeless Pompeii. It is a DCL excursion. You get a small tour of sorrento and some time to explore. You're dropped off at a shop with the most beautiful inlaid wood works. After your time in sorrento you go to a local farm where you will eat the best food of your life! Then you get a guided tour of Pompeii. It was SO HOT in Pompeii but still nice to be there. DEFNITELY book this one for naples!!!!!
Sounds wonderful

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Same here. Our friends and co-workers know but no family. I just don't want to hear about it at all from anybody who is anything less than supportive or interested.
That's why I like this Board so much. No one else cares about our trip as much as the people going on it with us

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Originally Posted by jel0511 View Post
You name it and they had it. Everything from small music boxes,to large game tables that cost 8k euro!!!! Everything they had was beautiful. I wanted a small table for my foyer but at 1,000 euro DH said it was too much. I'm hoping to pick it up this time!
At least you are prepared for the sticker shock this time

I'm thinking one of the music boxes would work for me

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Originally Posted by Lifelong_Dreamer View Post
That inlaid wood in Sorrento is beautiful. I bought a beautiful jewelry box there when I visited way back in 1999.

Or a jewelry box

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The store owner in Sorrento has a brother that runs a store in Shrewsbury Mass. It is called Casa di Sorrento and the web sight is [url]www.casadisorrento.com. It can give you an idea of what they have. In Florence they are well known for their leather works and have beautiful leather coats as well as their gold. Villefranche is known for their perfume and do offer excursions to perfume factories. And of course Venice is glassware. On our stop in Positano we went into a local store to buy some wine and the shop owner wanted to sell us a case. He even handed us his card and said he is on the web and can ship to the U.S. The local wine was excellent and Disney does allow you to take items back to the ship to consume.
Thanks for the website. The large wooden chest on the first page just took my breathe away
I didn't realize DCL let you bring wine in from the ports to consume onboard..has that changed because I thought that wasn't the case on our previous cruises. Maybe it depends on the ports
I'd need someone to help me finish a bottle of wine as my DH doesn't drink at all and I can't finish one by myself
You should see me after the wine tastings

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Originally Posted by jedipup View Post
We (Me 42, wife 37, & son 6) booked the cruise several weeks ago, but now got around to looking for the board. I was quite surprised at how quickly the board has grown. We sail on the Magic out of Barcelona in June of 2011, and have been to all the port several times over. If anyone has questions, we would be happy to offer advice regarding the ports of call.
Hey jedipup
Yes, we would love your take on the ports as well
Just having fun researching them at the moment, but all you veterans of the Med are going to be very popular when the heavy duty planning gets started
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Be sure to carefully research your Venetian mask. Many of the sellers sell masks that are from China, so you really have to look around to find the authentic ones. I'll have to see if I can find the name of the store we went to on the ABD Viva Italia, their's are authentic Venetian and absolutely gorgeous. With ABD we got to paint and decorate our own which was a lot of fun.
I'd love the name of the store when you get around to it

My DD and I bought a mask at Epcot last year, just a small one because they were so pricey. Do you remember how much they ranged in price where you went? I'd rather get one real one than a bunch of imitation ones.

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Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
Emily - this is a good point - and it reminded me that when we were on the Baltic cruise in 2010, I went to several of the Port Shopping seminars / talks which were really good because the Shopping Expert did some educational portions in addition to pushing the "guaranteed shops" - she told us what things to watch out for (made in China vs. made in Russia) and what little things made a difference in prices of items we might come across. And she talked about how things were made - it was interesting to learn about so much of that and when we got home, I did some reading and found that what she said was true, not just a sales gimmick. So I guess my point is that we should definitely take advantage of the information the Shopping Expert can provide about how to look for authentic items vs. touristy-fake-items.
I think your mileage may vary on those shopping talks. I think I missed the one for St Petersburg (which I could have really used) and only made the one for Tallin. We wound up following the advice on Tallin and was not crazy about the restaurant and shop the woman raved about

It didn't ruin our day or anything, we just found different shops that had what we wanted and the pear ice cream from a vender was amazing

But yeah I would think the shopping talks are worth going to for most ports
I'm just going to research my lunch spots a little more carefully

Cindy, do you remember what she said about those decorative boxes they sold in St Petersburg? I wound up buying one at the souvenir store at the port because it was the only one I could find that I liked and was in my price range. I know there is a good chance it is not authentic, but It was not a huge investment and I really liked how it looked so I figure it made a nice souvenir.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:11 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by mjhoward View Post
Hi Cindy,
My name is Maxine and I'm sailing with my husband, son 18 and daughter 12.
We have never been on any cruise before, this will be our first ever one and I am a bit apprehensive about all the planning everyone seems to be doing. My son will just be 18 and he is a little worried he'll not meet anyone his own age to hang out with as there is no club. What do the older kids do? My daughter is very shy, will the leaders at the club encourage her to stay?
I have so many questions
Hi Maxine

Not really planning at this point as the cruise is too far away to make any real plans-just research and getting to know each other a little bit

My son just turned 18 and my daughter is 15, but we are not sure yet if they will be coming on this cruise with us though.
On our past cruises, my daughter made friends with the daughters of some fellow Dis people that I met here on the Boards. My son is the shy one and we often had a hard time getting him away from the video games. I do know that one of the adult lounges had Wii games because my husband joined in on a bowling video game with a bunch of other cruisers. I am thinking that would be where my DS will get his video games in if he winds up coming with us

It is really hard to tell in advance if your daughter will like the kids club The cast members will try to involve all the kids, but sometimes that works and sometimes not. The one thing I can assure you is that there will plenty of things to do on the ship. Sometimes my daughter just went with my DH and I instead of the clubs. We did things like bingo, shuffle board, movies and shows together. Sometimes we were just tired from a long day in the port and just wanted to relax (watch a movie or read a book).

So making friends can be great, but not necessary to have a good time.

The very first post on this thread has alot of great information as far as the age ranges of the kids that will be onboard from this group as well as a link to trip reports from others who have done this cruise in the past. Keep coming back to see what is new And post a little about yourself so we can get to know you too
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:22 AM   #207
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Cindy, do you remember what she said about those decorative boxes they sold in St Petersburg? I wound up buying one at the souvenir store at the port because it was the only one I could find that I liked and was in my price range. I know there is a good chance it is not authentic, but It was not a huge investment and I really liked how it looked so I figure it made a nice souvenir.
I don't remember - we were mostly interested in the nesting dolls and we found that to be extremely helpful in making our selection and not having such sticker shock or wondering why some were so much less than others. We had an idea of what size we wanted before we saw any and were very happy with what we were able to get at a fair price. When we were in Skagway, AK, we went into one shop that sold a lot of Russian items (or Russian influenced items) and were able to distinguish those made in Russia vs. those made in China before even looking for the "made in China" sticker.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:37 AM   #208
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We went both to Monaco and Eze on our Med cruise last year. We also visited Nice for like 5 seconds it seemed like. We also saw Elton's house like a ZILLION times. We took the train ourselves to Monaco and walked up to the casino. We ended eating lunch at the cafe next door. We spent over $100 on two ice cream sundaes, one sandwich and 7 drinks for our party. They were bg sundaes, but it's still a joke between us about our expensive ice cream lunch!!!! We then made our way back to Villefranche and to join our DCL Wine and Cheese and Eze tour. The wine and cheese were interesting and took place in a basement in Nice, across the street from the vineyard owner's shop. It was very informative and fun. After that we got a brief walking tour of the area, then we headed up to Eze. I recommend trying to get to Eze in the morning, because by the time we got there in the afternoon, the whole place was engulfed in fog. The people we also knew on the tour, did the tour in reverse, so they went to Eze first. There were two buses, we just ended up on the unlucky one..... Eze was charming, but due to the fog climbing up to the top to see the supposed AMAZING view was a moot point since you couldn't see anything! I think this time, we might just take the train into Nice on our own and travel around, or head to Cannes.
We'll most likely be on the train to Nice as well
My DH remembers going there years ago while on a high school trip and really wants to go back.

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Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
Thanks for the tip about the fog at Eze. From reading the book, it seems like getting to Monaco or Eze are both really easy from Villefranche, so we might actually be brave and do something "on our own" while there. We know there will be some ports that we absolutely want to do through the cruiseline but since this area isn't too far from the ship and we have adequate time in port, unless there's an excursion that just wows us, we may save our money here. Of course we'll also consider what costs we'll have for transportation (and avoid the $100 ice cream - LOL).

We loved Nice - it's one of those places that I wish we'd also had a few hours of free time while there after our bus tour. I had told DH when we were there before that if we ever were back in the Villefranche area, there was still so much I wanted to see of the area, so I'm glad we are getting the opportunity to go back.
I remember another Diser saying the same thing about Monte Carlo being super expensive for food
We'll need to save money for the Rome and Florence ports so will be looking for fun things to do in the others that won't cost alot.
DIY worked well for us in the past in ports that had alot nearby, but for Rome, Florence and Naples we'll be looking for a private tour company.
I will be looking at DCL tours as well as sometimes they have special experiences that you can't get elsewhere

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunkssed22 View Post
I see everyone has booked this cruise, but when I checked ABD and DCL there were no prices or options to book? Is everyone just calling DCL to make reservations? I suppose I'm a bit out of the loop... What is the deposit required for the trip? I've been waiting to book this trip since the last one! SO excited!
I contacted Dreams Unlimited to book the cuise for us. They offer a nice oboard credit when you book with them

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofy559 View Post
I know folks have been asking about what to do in the Ports...first, let me say that we had never been to any of them before, and booked this trip about 3 months out. That being said, we did all our own excursions, except for in Tunisia and a perfume tour in Villefranche.

La Spezia -- took the train on our own to Pisa and booked the Tower climb --super easy to do on your own.

Rome - booked a private tour with RomeInLimo for the day and set our own itinerary -- shared with another DIS family

Naples -- booked a private tour and did Pompeii, Hurculaneum and climbed Mt Vesuvius

Malta - private tour -- saw the blue grotto, the old walled city, and lots of other things

Villefranche -- went to Nice on our own in the morning, and did the DCL perfumer's apprentice tour in the afternoon.

Lots of good information on the cruise critic board about private tours. If you can find others with similar interests, private is the way to go.

Lisa
Thanks Lisa

We're hoping to find people to share our private tours with but only if our "must do lists" coincide, otherwise we'll just bite the bullet and pay the whole cost.
I heard another Diser liked RomeinLimo alot too, but I don't think I can afford their prices unless we share the tour costs with others. Did you use them for all your private tours?

How strenuous was it to climb Mt Vesuvius in the heat
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:41 AM   #209
rotary2808
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Originally Posted by MrsScooby View Post
Sounds wonderful


That's why I like this Board so much. No one else cares about our trip as much as the people going on it with us



At least you are prepared for the sticker shock this time

I'm thinking one of the music boxes would work for me


Or a jewelry box


Thanks for the website. The large wooden chest on the first page just took my breathe away
I didn't realize DCL let you bring wine in from the ports to consume onboard..has that changed because I thought that wasn't the case on our previous cruises. Maybe it depends on the ports
I'd need someone to help me finish a bottle of wine as my DH doesn't drink at all and I can't finish one by myself
You should see me after the wine tastings


Hey jedipup
Yes, we would love your take on the ports as well
Just having fun researching them at the moment, but all you veterans of the Med are going to be very popular when the heavy duty planning gets started

I'd love the name of the store when you get around to it

My DD and I bought a mask at Epcot last year, just a small one because they were so pricey. Do you remember how much they ranged in price where you went? I'd rather get one real one than a bunch of imitation ones.



I think your mileage may vary on those shopping talks. I think I missed the one for St Petersburg (which I could have really used) and only made the one for Tallin. We wound up following the advice on Tallin and was not crazy about the restaurant and shop the woman raved about

It didn't ruin our day or anything, we just found different shops that had what we wanted and the pear ice cream from a vender was amazing

But yeah I would think the shopping talks are worth going to for most ports
I'm just going to research my lunch spots a little more carefully

Cindy, do you remember what she said about those decorative boxes they sold in St Petersburg? I wound up buying one at the souvenir store at the port because it was the only one I could find that I liked and was in my price range. I know there is a good chance it is not authentic, but It was not a huge investment and I really liked how it looked so I figure it made a nice souvenir.
I don't remember looking at the prices. The cost of making ours was included as one of the ABD activities.
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:43 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
I don't remember - we were mostly interested in the nesting dolls and we found that to be extremely helpful in making our selection and not having such sticker shock or wondering why some were so much less than others. We had an idea of what size we wanted before we saw any and were very happy with what we were able to get at a fair price. When we were in Skagway, AK, we went into one shop that sold a lot of Russian items (or Russian influenced items) and were able to distinguish those made in Russia vs. those made in China before even looking for the "made in China" sticker.
I bought some nesting dolls on the internet before we even cruised. I knew shopping in SP was going to be very limited for us because of the visa requirements and I wanted a set so badly I wanted it out of the way ahead of time so I could relax and enjoy the port. Again, not sure if they are authentic, but they look really nice in my living room
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