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Old 02-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #211
MrsScooby
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Originally Posted by rotary2808 View Post
I don't remember looking at the prices. The cost of making ours was included as one of the ABD activities.
DH and I are looking forward to doing an ABD someday
How many have you done?
I think I would like to go back to Germany and Italy on an ABD
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:01 AM   #212
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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
We actually booked the afternoon shopping excursion for St. Petersburg because we wanted to be sure we had time to shop. We were able to get what we wanted pretty quickly and then had time to walk up to Nevksi Prospeck and also the Church of the Spilled Blood that was nearby.

We had learned on the Med in 2007 that there isn't always time to shop on the DCL excursions, or if there is a stop that has shopping available, the time is so short and everyone is crowding in, that we try now to make sure we have some shopping time. And when we are on excursions, we look for the unplanned opportunities to duck into a place (like if it's a cafe stop, finish up and then pop into a nearby shop but be back before it's time to go).

When we were in Rome, the only shopping time we had was in one shop by the Vatican. It was insane. And I don't mind being taken to the souvenir shops that give the cruiseline / tour companies a cut - I just want to have a little time to actually look around (and use the restroom!).
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:42 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by MrsScooby View Post

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
We used Limo in Rome for both of our Rome tours and getting to Florence and Pisa. Just realize that you're only hiring a driver, not a tour guide. In Italy you must have a license to give any type of tour. Our drivers were all courteous, but spoke barely any English. This time, I'll spring for a tour guide as well. So think about that additional fee as well.... They don't put those on the site, but will provide them if asked for.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:26 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by MrsScooby View Post
DH and I are looking forward to doing an ABD someday
How many have you done?
I think I would like to go back to Germany and Italy on an ABD
Just the one, but it was absolutely outstanding. ABD is pricey, but I'd recommend them in a heartbeat. I would love to do the Germany one as well.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:07 PM   #215
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Hi All,

We're in for this one along with the first Greece B2B.

We'll check in from time to time for now as we're concentrating on 2012 cruises!

Bob & Dale (& Gordy)
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:12 AM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrabitdad View Post
Hi All,

We're in for this one along with the first Greece B2B.

We'll check in from time to time for now as we're concentrating on 2012 cruises!

Bob & Dale (& Gordy)
Welcome! We're B2Bing with y'all - looking forward to getting acquainted. I know what you mean about concentrating on what's coming between now and these cruises.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:51 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by nzdisneymom View Post
We actually booked the afternoon shopping excursion for St. Petersburg because we wanted to be sure we had time to shop. We were able to get what we wanted pretty quickly and then had time to walk up to Nevksi Prospeck and also the Church of the Spilled Blood that was nearby.

We had learned on the Med in 2007 that there isn't always time to shop on the DCL excursions, or if there is a stop that has shopping available, the time is so short and everyone is crowding in, that we try now to make sure we have some shopping time. And when we are on excursions, we look for the unplanned opportunities to duck into a place (like if it's a cafe stop, finish up and then pop into a nearby shop but be back before it's time to go).

When we were in Rome, the only shopping time we had was in one shop by the Vatican. It was insane. And I don't mind being taken to the souvenir shops that give the cruiseline / tour companies a cut - I just want to have a little time to actually look around (and use the restroom!).
Plus the day we are in Rome, the last Sunday of the month, is suppose to even more crowded than usual
My DH hates shopping...maybe I'll put him on the gelato line while I'm on the souvenir line

Quote:
Originally Posted by jel0511 View Post
We used Limo in Rome for both of our Rome tours and getting to Florence and Pisa. Just realize that you're only hiring a driver, not a tour guide. In Italy you must have a license to give any type of tour. Our drivers were all courteous, but spoke barely any English. This time, I'll spring for a tour guide as well. So think about that additional fee as well.... They don't put those on the site, but will provide them if asked for.
thanks, I checked their site. I just wasn't ready to book yet. They are number one on tripadvisor, but I thought I read somewhere that there are plenty of other private companies that are less expensive that are also good. Plenty of time to research before deciding

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotary2808 View Post
Just the one, but it was absolutely outstanding. ABD is pricey, but I'd recommend them in a heartbeat. I would love to do the Germany one as well.
My DSis went to Germany this past Christmas and loved it. I'm going to try and convince her to do the Castles of Germany ABD one of these days

They are pricey but I have heard great things from others as well.
How big was your group for the ABD? We were just a little worried that a really big group would slow everything down so much that you could spend alot of time standing around waiting
My DH hates waiting...kind of why he hates shopping now that I think of it
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:53 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by wrabitdad View Post
Hi All,

We're in for this one along with the first Greece B2B.

We'll check in from time to time for now as we're concentrating on 2012 cruises!

Bob & Dale (& Gordy)
Welcome aboard

I see from your sig you like to cruise
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:00 AM   #219
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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
Hey Lisa,
I was on cruise critic yesterday looking at their pages for the Med ports, and was getting really excited for Malta

Were you able to see the blue grotto and Mdina in one tour or are they too far apart? It is good that we have a sea day before this port because I can see myself doing alot here
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:59 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by MrsScooby View Post
Plus the day we are in Rome, the last Sunday of the month, is suppose to even more crowded than usual
My DH hates shopping...maybe I'll put him on the gelato line while I'm on the souvenir line


thanks, I checked their site. I just wasn't ready to book yet. They are number one on tripadvisor, but I thought I read somewhere that there are plenty of other private companies that are less expensive that are also good. Plenty of time to research before deciding



My DSis went to Germany this past Christmas and loved it. I'm going to try and convince her to do the Castles of Germany ABD one of these days

They are pricey but I have heard great things from others as well.
How big was your group for the ABD? We were just a little worried that a really big group would slow everything down so much that you could spend alot of time standing around waiting
My DH hates waiting...kind of why he hates shopping now that I think of it
If I remember correctly, the max group size is 40. We only had around half. They move just as efficiently no matter the group size. There were times that our group split up to see various things.
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #221
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Just checking the Travel Channel lineup and saw these programs are coming on that might be of interest:

Tonight – 10 p.m. Anthony Bourdain – ROME

Tuesday, Feb 21st, 10 a.m. – Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown – Monaco
Wednesday, Feb 22nd, 10:30 a.m. – Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown – Florence

Tuesday, Feb 28th – 7 p.m. – Bizarre Foods – Venice
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:04 PM   #222
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Originally Posted by wrabitdad View Post
Hi All,

We're in for this one along with the first Greece B2B.

We'll check in from time to time for now as we're concentrating on 2012 cruises!

Bob & Dale (& Gordy)

Hi Bob, Dale & Gordy,

So glad to be sailing with you guys on the B2B cruises to Greece and Venice. It is always fun to have you guys sailing with us.

We are also busy planning for our 2012 cruises. We will see you soon on the Fantasy MV, Hawaii, and NY/Canada cruises.

Pete & Faith
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:10 PM   #223
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Not to take away from this thread in any way, but I know there are several of us B2B'ing this one and the previous one - thought I'd start a separate thread specifically for B2B'ers - totally in addition to this one and the one for the other cruise we're B2Bing... I can't keep up with who's B2Bing and thought it would nice to have a central place for us.

In case you're interested: B2Bing in the Med.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:35 PM   #224
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Nathan was telling me today that in Psychology class they've been studying sleep and the effects of sleep deprivation. He said it reminded him of when we went to Barcelona in 2007 - the jet lag was seriously tough. That made me want to ask you all for your "tried and true" tips for minimizing the effects of jet lag.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:48 PM   #225
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Nathan was telling me today that in Psychology class they've been studying sleep and the effects of sleep deprivation. He said it reminded him of when we went to Barcelona in 2007 - the jet lag was seriously tough. That made me want to ask you all for your "tried and true" tips for minimizing the effects of jet lag.
2007 was by far my worst (and first) international flying experience. We booked last minute (and I mean last minute) so all we could do was fly in and land the morning of embarkation. Never again! I was so exhausted when we landed, plus starving and it was miserably warm in Barcelona.

I found the biggest mistake I made (besides landing the day of) was taking a nap immediately upon arrival. It completely through my internal clock off and I almost missed our excursion the next day. A few years later when we went to Italy on ABD, we arrived early the day we were supposed to meet. We saw some of the nearby sights and forced ourselves to keep going. The next day we were able to tour Rome w/o any issues. This also worked for us in London w/the Baltic cruise.
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