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Old 02-24-2013, 10:49 AM   #691
bsusanmb
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Help

I have never felt so stupid in my entire life. I am retiring next week and this cruise will be my first time out of the USA. I can find my way around anywhere but this European cruise has my mind boggled. Just looking at the tour books and web sites overwhelmes me, perhaps because of the language difference, and the money exchanges, and perhaps of fear that we will get lost!! Seasoned travelers, what do you recommend? I booked the more expensive tours at each port, hoping that we would have a nice experience and get a comfort level being out of the USA. Would you do this, or is it a waste of time and money? Sailing to the Bahamas I did the swim with dolphins on my own by booking a room at the resort, but with this, I am lost. I don't even know where to stay in Barcelona as we are arriving a day early and then how do we get to the ship? Anyone who can help me overcome my anxiety please do...either pm me or just a message here.
Thanks a million. PS we are both 62! Lively 62, but nevertheless! 62!
Susan
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:36 PM   #692
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Originally Posted by bsusanmb View Post
I have never felt so stupid in my entire life. I am retiring next week and this cruise will be my first time out of the USA. I can find my way around anywhere but this European cruise has my mind boggled. Just looking at the tour books and web sites overwhelmes me, perhaps because of the language difference, and the money exchanges, and perhaps of fear that we will get lost!! Seasoned travelers, what do you recommend? I booked the more expensive tours at each port, hoping that we would have a nice experience and get a comfort level being out of the USA. Would you do this, or is it a waste of time and money? Sailing to the Bahamas I did the swim with dolphins on my own by booking a room at the resort, but with this, I am lost. I don't even know where to stay in Barcelona as we are arriving a day early and then how do we get to the ship? Anyone who can help me overcome my anxiety please do...either pm me or just a message here.
Thanks a million. PS we are both 62! Lively 62, but nevertheless! 62!
Susan
Hi Susan!

Don't be overwhelmed, you'll be fine!

If planning it all overwhelms you, then by all means use DCL excursions at each port. I actually think that their excursion prices this year for the Med are quite reasonable. You probably won't get as much detail and personalized service from the guides (and you may walk a bit further since the large coaches can't get as close as cars) but you'll be just fine.

We are traveling with a group of 9 (age 65 to age 1) and we're doing 2 private tours and 2 DCL excursions just to make my life easier since I'm the one planning.

If you book a pre-stay hotel w/DCL, that would make your life easier plus you can just add the cruise transfers.

If you book a Barcelona hotel separately, the cab to the port is about 30 Euro plus luggage.

Las Ramblas is the main tourist area in Barcelona so any hotel near that area would be "central" for sightseeing.

The purser on the ship changes foreign currency so you can bring USD and change it on the ship (or you can prepurchase at home through Travelex or Wells Fargo).

Any other questions?

My parents are 65 and 64, and I plan all the trips they take (complete with itinerary charts and emergency numbers), so there's nothing wrong with being overwhelmed. Europe is overwhelming if you've never been.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:48 PM   #693
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Hi Susan,

Are you using a travel agent? My aunt, uncle, mom and dad are meeting us in Barcelona for this cruise. My husband, our daughters, and I are taking the TA to get there. Anyway, I called our travel agent and they made reservations for my aunt and uncle to stay at a local hotel the night before the cruise and the night that we debark. And I think you might be able to call DCL directly and have them make a hotel reservation as well.

I'm overwhelmed as well, but trying to go with the flow
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:03 PM   #694
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PORT TIMES---

Has anyone else on our cruise noticed that the Port arrival/departure times have changed since last month?

For example, Civitavecchia was previously listed as arrival, 7:15 a.m., departure 6:30 p.m.

Now, its listed as arrival, 7:30 a.m., departure, 6:45 p.m.

This matters to us since our schedule is super tight that day and this week I'm coordinating pick up from our transfer company. The schedule change is only apparent if you click "Reservation Summary" and the printer icon.

I have the Reservation Summary "printed" in PDF format from January and I have a PDF printed from yesterday and the port times are different.

Just me?
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Old 02-24-2013, 02:42 PM   #695
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsusanmb View Post
I have never felt so stupid in my entire life. I am retiring next week and this cruise will be my first time out of the USA. I can find my way around anywhere but this European cruise has my mind boggled. Just looking at the tour books and web sites overwhelmes me, perhaps because of the language difference, and the money exchanges, and perhaps of fear that we will get lost!! Seasoned travelers, what do you recommend? I booked the more expensive tours at each port, hoping that we would have a nice experience and get a comfort level being out of the USA. Would you do this, or is it a waste of time and money? Sailing to the Bahamas I did the swim with dolphins on my own by booking a room at the resort, but with this, I am lost. I don't even know where to stay in Barcelona as we are arriving a day early and then how do we get to the ship? Anyone who can help me overcome my anxiety please do...either pm me or just a message here.
Thanks a million. PS we are both 62! Lively 62, but nevertheless! 62!
Susan
Awwww don't panic

I'm travelling with my mum (64) and she's nervous too, we're from the UK and are familiar with Europe but have never been to any of the places the cruise will take us.

You will find that the language barrier is minimal English is spoken widely as most of the place we'll be visiting are tourist attractions.

Currency, as already mentioned you can exchange onboard if that's easier, you will only need your USD for onboard and Euros for all ports including Barcelona.

I think if you're most comfortable with DCL excursions then nothings a waste of money, you're going to have a wonderful experience and by doing it that way you have reduced the hassle

In Barcelona if you look on trip advisor you can find a hotel closer to the port and take a taxi as already suggested or use one of the DCL hotels and transfers. We're staying at the Universal Hotel pre cruise and intend to take a taxi from the airport upon arrival and a taxi to port on embarkation day.

Please don't get worked up about it, everything will come together. Do what suits you best, don't feel you have to do it any other way. I don't see anything as a waste of time or money if it works, I like taking the train places and am very comfortable with that process so we'll be doing plenty of that
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:15 PM   #696
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Hi all,
Sorry to keep intruding on your thread but this is the 1st Med cruise and a 7-nt cruise also which we will be doing in Aug.

Is anyone planning to do early debarkation? I'd love to know what time they start letting guests off the ship. I booked 10:45am return flights after hearing so many posters saying it was easy to catch but I'd like to give our transportation company an accurate pick up time but also as early as possible. I don't want to leave our driver waiting a long time or have him think we're a no-show. I also don't want to make it later than it has to be. Unfortunately, I had to choose this early flight as I need to return to work that Monday.

In all the times I've cruised from PC, I've never checked my watch to pay close attention to exactly what time early embarkation starts; I only knew what time we needed to be out of our room.

Thanks!!
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:17 PM   #697
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Originally Posted by ruadisneyfan2 View Post
Hi all,
Sorry to keep intruding on your thread but this is the 1st Med cruise and a 7-nt cruise also which we will be doing in Aug.

Is anyone planning to do early debarkation? I'd love to know what time they start letting guests off the ship. I booked 10:45am return flights after hearing so many posters saying it was easy to catch but I'd like to give our transportation company an accurate pick up time but also as early as possible. I don't want to leave our driver waiting a long time or have him think we're a no-show. I also don't want to make it later than it has to be. Unfortunately, I had to choose this early flight as I need to return to work that Monday.

In all the times I've cruised from PC, I've never checked my watch to pay close attention to exactly what time early embarkation starts; I only knew what time we needed to be out of our room.

Thanks!!
Hi there! I keep seeing you everywhere

My brother has an 11:30 a.m. flight so he'll be asking for early disembarkation. I'll either post or PM you when we get back to the States (mid-June).
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:20 PM   #698
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Hi there! I keep seeing you everywhere

My brother has an 11:30 a.m. flight so he'll be asking for early disembarkation. I'll either post or PM you when we get back to the States (mid-June).
Thank you so much! I'd love any feedback!

I'm not stalking you, really!
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:30 PM   #699
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Thank you so much! I'd love any feedback!

I'm not stalking you, really!
It's actually fun to see other people also obsessively planning their Europe trip. My husband is starting to lose track of random ideas I'm getting each moment of the day
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:33 AM   #700
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Vistaprint has a a free shipping promotion today and tomorrow on orders over $50. Might be a good time to order!
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:20 AM   #701
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Vistaprint has a a free shipping promotion today and tomorrow on orders over $50. Might be a good time to order!
I also got a 33% off everything coupon from them via email....I'd share but it's tied to my account.....but sign up on their site and they may still send it to you.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:08 PM   #702
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Thank you everyone!

I sure do appreciate the help you have given me...I will try to relax and just take a deep breath! Since it is just the two of us, it won't be so overwhelming, and I think I better just rely on Disney to help me out here...I actually booked this cruise using use or lose DVC points. What would have been a 3 day member cruise with me, two daughters and 4 little ones, I got this mediterranean cruise for 2! Not bad, huh? I was happy!
So, I will be watching and reading and exploring. But June will be here before you know it!
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #703
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Originally Posted by bsusanmb View Post
I sure do appreciate the help you have given me...I will try to relax and just take a deep breath! Since it is just the two of us, it won't be so overwhelming, and I think I better just rely on Disney to help me out here...I actually booked this cruise using use or lose DVC points. What would have been a 3 day member cruise with me, two daughters and 4 little ones, I got this mediterranean cruise for 2! Not bad, huh? I was happy!
So, I will be watching and reading and exploring. But June will be here before you know it!
Have fun! I think you got a great deal using your points. Exchanging a 3-day member cruise for a 7-day Med? Great job!

My parents are also using DVC points for this sailing date--it was a great points-bargain that they couldn't pass up!
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #704
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Just when I thought I had made my mind up on doing Rome on our own mum and I had a good talk about it all and with so many ships in port feel taking the train is just too risky

Last edited by tinkertaylor05; 02-25-2013 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:01 PM   #705
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Originally Posted by bsusanmb View Post
I sure do appreciate the help you have given me...I will try to relax and just take a deep breath! Since it is just the two of us, it won't be so overwhelming, and I think I better just rely on Disney to help me out here...I actually booked this cruise using use or lose DVC points. What would have been a 3 day member cruise with me, two daughters and 4 little ones, I got this mediterranean cruise for 2! Not bad, huh? I was happy!
So, I will be watching and reading and exploring. But June will be here before you know it!
I'm glad you're feeling better about it all, it's almost March .... June is just around the corner
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