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Old 06-16-2013, 01:23 PM   #1651
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Now just to keep the suitcase under 50 lbs!
Okay, the first suitcase just hit 50 lbs....on to FE suitcase no. 2....good thing I'm packing light!
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:43 PM   #1652
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We are hiring Roneinlimo to tour Rome. I think several of us are. What is customary to pay as a tip if the service is good?
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:23 PM   #1653
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Getting closer
Not long till I start packing
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:00 PM   #1654
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Anyone here a photographer? What are you taking with you on this trip? (gear wise, that is!)
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:05 PM   #1655
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Anyone here a photographer? What are you taking with you on this trip? (gear wise, that is!)
I'm not our family's photographer - my husband is. But he says he's bringing both of our DSLR bodies (Nikon D7100 & D5000), Tamron 18-270 telephoto lens, and a 10-24 wide angle. He also brings a Nikon SB600 flash & extra batteries, cards, etc. He isn't planning on bringing a tripod since baggage is going to be an issue on an international flight. That should be about it
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:00 PM   #1656
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Secret Mickey

Hello all Secret Mickey participants.

Just some info as we all start packing and organizing. Please, please, please label your Secret Mickey gifts with the recipient's name. Many staterooms have more than one person in them doing the Secret Mickey exchange and they won't know who the gifts are intended for.


Also, for the big reveal of the Secret Mickeys I was thinking we could all meet on the last sea day at 10:00 am in front of Goofy's Galley. We can keep it casual and quick.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:07 AM   #1657
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Originally Posted by dormouse7899 View Post
We are hiring Roneinlimo to tour Rome. I think several of us are. What is customary to pay as a tip if the service is good?
I would also like to know this. We are paying 600 euros for our private Rome day with EasyItalyTours which includes our all day transporation and the 2 hour guided Vatican tour. I really can't imagine giving another 10-15% on top of that since I still can't believe I'm already spending that much. What is everyone else planning for these expensive private tours as far as tipping?
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:37 AM   #1658
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Taxi's

Hi everyone,

I have a taxi question for anyone who has been to Barcelona. I emailed our hotel we're staying at just to re-confirm our reservation, and I also inquired about taxi's from the airport to the hotel (any advice they had, also what price I should expect).

This was the hotel's answer:

I would like to inform you that taxiís maximum capacity is 4 people, however and depending on how many you luggage pieces you are travelling with you should take 2 of them. The price per ride is
around 30 Euros and per car

We would like to take the opportunity to inform you that we could arrange private transportation as follows:

The price of a transfer from Barcelona El Prat airport to hotel is 72 Euros in a Minibus (up to 4 persons). Going back from hotel to airport on departure will cost 72 Euros as well.


(and then they gave some further information on booking a private transfer.)


I'm confused about how the hotel said the taxi's maximum capacity is 4 people, but depending on how many pieces of luggage we are traveling with, we might need two taxi's.

Either this answer means that their Taxi's are something like 2-door Mini-Coopers where they literally hold just 4 people and have hardly any trunk space, OR, this answer means, if you are traveling with a TON of luggage then you'd need to take two taxi's.

We will have 4 pieces of luggage. One large suitcase (30"), one medium suitcase (26"), and two rolling carry-on suitcases. Does anyone know the size of these taxi's? Based on the luggage we will have, do you think the 4 of us (2 adults/2 kids) will be able to fit in just one taxi?

Also, if we did have to take two taxi's and if it is true it is only 30 Euros from the airport to our hotel (we're staying right on Las Ramblas), that is 60 Euros for two taxi's, yet the hotel recommended a private taxi for 72 euros. I understand they probably suggested that so we could all be together in one car rather than two cars, if we needed to take two taxi's, but logically speaking, that suggestion they made to book a private taxi doesn't make sense since it's more expensive than two taxi's.

Maybe I'm missing something.... or maybe they suggested a private taxi just purely for convenience.

But, then they told me in the email that if I did book a private taxi, they will ONLY wait for 1 hour past my flight arrival time and then they will leave (so if our flight is late, or if for some reason it takes a long time to find our luggage, they will leave, and we will have to take a regular taxi anyway). I don't think you pre-pay, so you wouldn't be out any money if they left before we found them, but to me, booking this private taxi doesn't make a lot of sense the cost is way more than a regular taxi, plus the fact they won't wait if your flight is late, etc (I'm only trying to make sense of their suggestion.... we'll be taking a taxi for sure... it's cheaper, even if we did need to take two taxi's, which hopefully we won't, and this way, we won't be stressed our ride will not wait for us if our flight is late, or it takes longer than expected to find our luggage).
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:46 AM   #1659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Hi everyone,

I have a taxi question for anyone who has been to Barcelona. I emailed our hotel we're staying at just to re-confirm our reservation, and I also inquired about taxi's from the airport to the hotel (any advice they had, also what price I should expect).

This was the hotel's answer:

I would like to inform you that taxiís maximum capacity is 4 people, however and depending on how many you luggage pieces you are travelling with you should take 2 of them. The price per ride is
around 30 Euros and per car

We would like to take the opportunity to inform you that we could arrange private transportation as follows:

The price of a transfer from Barcelona El Prat airport to hotel is 72 Euros in a Minibus (up to 4 persons). Going back from hotel to airport on departure will cost 72 Euros as well.


(and then they gave some further information on booking a private transfer.)


I'm confused about how the hotel said the taxi's maximum capacity is 4 people, but depending on how many pieces of luggage we are traveling with, we might need two taxi's.

Either this answer means that their Taxi's are something like 2-door Mini-Coopers where they literally hold just 4 people and have hardly any trunk space, OR, this answer means, if you are traveling with a TON of luggage then you'd need to take two taxi's.

We will have 4 pieces of luggage. One large suitcase (30"), one medium suitcase (26"), and two rolling carry-on suitcases. Does anyone know the size of these taxi's? Based on the luggage we will have, do you think the 4 of us (2 adults/2 kids) will be able to fit in just one taxi?

Also, if we did have to take two taxi's and if it is true it is only 30 Euros from the airport to our hotel (we're staying right on Las Ramblas), that is 60 Euros for two taxi's, yet the hotel recommended a private taxi for 72 euros. I understand they probably suggested that so we could all be together in one car rather than two cars, if we needed to take two taxi's, but logically speaking, that suggestion they made to book a private taxi doesn't make sense since it's more expensive than two taxi's.

Maybe I'm missing something.... or maybe they suggested a private taxi just purely for convenience.

But, then they told me in the email that if I did book a private taxi, they will ONLY wait for 1 hour past my flight arrival time and then they will leave (so if our flight is late, or if for some reason it takes a long time to find our luggage, they will leave, and we will have to take a regular taxi anyway). I don't think you pre-pay, so you wouldn't be out any money if they left before we found them, but to me, booking this private taxi doesn't make a lot of sense the cost is way more than a regular taxi, plus the fact they won't wait if your flight is late, etc (I'm only trying to make sense of their suggestion.... we'll be taking a taxi for sure... it's cheaper, even if we did need to take two taxi's, which hopefully we won't, and this way, we won't be stressed our ride will not wait for us if our flight is late, or it takes longer than expected to find our luggage).
I haven't been to Barcelona so I can't help with the size of the taxis, but I would say that they suggested the private transport just for the convenience of travelling together in one vehicle and not having to wait in a taxi line. Just a guess though.

Have you considerd the airport bus, Aerobus? That is what we are doing. Our hotel is only about 50 yards from one of the stops so its super convenient for us, and much less than a taxi- only about 6 euros/pp. Not sure if your hotel is located conveniently to one of the stops but if it is, that may be an option for you.
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September 2014: 14 Night WB Transatlantic on the Magic! November 2013: WDW & 3 Night Dream Mother/Daughter TripJuly 2013: 12-Night Eastern Med Cruise w/Greece & Turkey, then Disneyland Paris! January 2013: 7 Night Western Carib on the Fantasy May 2012: 5-Night Double Dip Dream Cruise for Mom & Dad's 30th Anniversary! February 2012: Solo Valentine Cruise Treat to Get Me to Gold! January 2011: 3 Week Ultimate Disney Vacation- WDW then 15 Night Disney Cruise Through Panama Canal then DL in California!May 2010: celebrating at WDW for graduating my MBA program! January 2010: 3rd Disney Cruise, 1st on the Magic, prefaced by New Years Eve in WDW! November 2009: Return to DL at Disney's Grand Californian Resort, May 2009: WDW Summer Kickoff, January 2009: 2nd Disney Cruise- Sisters Cruise 4 Night Wonder, March 2008: WDW Spring Break, February 2008: WDW ESPN Weekend with relatives, April 2007: WDW Spring Break, March 2006: WDW Spring Break, March 2004: Land & Sea Graduation Present 4 Night Wonder (1st Cruise!) and 3 Night WDW, April 2003: WDW Spring Break, November 2002: Florida College Road Trip, Stopover in WDW, June 2002: California College Road Trip, Stopover in Disneyland, November 2001: WDW Momís Birthday Celebration, April 2001: WDW Spring Break, October 2000: Millennium Celebration WDW, November 1996: 1st Trip WDW Hooked For Life, 2004-2007: MANY trips up to Disneyland, CA (including 50th Anniversary Happiest Celebration on Earth!) while in college at University of San Diego
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:02 AM   #1660
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Hi everyone,

I have a taxi question for anyone who has been to Barcelona.

We will have 4 pieces of luggage. One large suitcase (30"), one medium suitcase (26"), and two rolling carry-on suitcases. Does anyone know the size of these taxi's? Based on the luggage we will have, do you think the 4 of us (2 adults/2 kids) will be able to fit in just one taxi?


B
Taxis in Europe are generally smaller, but when we were in Barcelona in 2011 my family of 4 and our luggage (4 large and 4 small) fit into one taxi. We had to wait a few extra minutes for a larger car, but it was only 5-10 minutes. They also have mini-van taxis for larger families (5+ people).
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:05 AM   #1661
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We used a taxi in 07 w/ family of 4. No way our luggage would have fit in the back even though it was a regular size taxi. The driver had "stuff" in the trunk. Go figure! Good thing we lost all of our luggage or we would have had to take two taxis.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:12 AM   #1662
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We are also using "RomeinLimo" for Pisa/Florence and Rome port visits. I would like to know the guidelines for tipping too. We have 9px for Pisa day at 1050 euros and 8px for Roma day at 550 euros - how much extra for the tips? We have half adults and half kids, no guides and entry into attractions is an added cost (I have prepaid for attractions)...

I'm also interested in finding out tipping guidelines for Athens where we also have a private tour booked. I think it's 600 euros for 9px, no attraction tickets.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:15 AM   #1663
LovesToRun
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tipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by WDW Princess 71 View Post
I would also like to know this. We are paying 600 euros for our private Rome day with EasyItalyTours which includes our all day transporation and the 2 hour guided Vatican tour. I really can't imagine giving another 10-15% on top of that since I still can't believe I'm already spending that much. What is everyone else planning for these expensive private tours as far as tipping?

I also want to know this, too. I just did a quick online search, and found these different discussions on tipping for private excursions in Europe you can read to get an idea of what other people have done:


http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2670169

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...e_Tuscany.html

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com....php?t=1150794




Also, in my Rick Steves Med Ports cruise book, he doesn't talk about tipping for a private excursion, but he does talk about tipping in a restaurant, so I would imagine it is similar between a restaurant and an excursion (similar tipping principle, that is)... This is what Rick Steve's says (about restaurant tipping):

"Virtually anywhere in Europe, if you are pleased with the service, round up a Euro or more. In most restaurants, 5 percent is adequate and 10 percent is considered a good tip. Please believe me - tipping 15 - 20 percent in Europe is unnecessary, if not culturally insensitive. Tip only at restaurants with waitstaff; skip the tip if you order food at a counter. Servers prefer to be tipped in cash, even if you pay with your credit card; otherwise the tip may never reach them."

Also, Rick Steve's discusses tipping in each country in his book. Here is wat he says about all the places we're going:

Barcelona: restaurant have a "service charge" on their bill, and this is kind of like an automatic tip, but if the bill says "service not included" this means there is no automatic tip, and you can leave a tip. So, look for that, too. (again, this is info on restaurants, not private tours, but I would guess this could translate over to a private tour somewhat).

France: At cafe's and restaurants, a 12 -15 percent service chanrge is always included in the bill (called "service compris), and most French never tip. But, if you feel service was exceptional, you can give an additional 5%.

Italy: At restaurants, the service charge is usually built into your bill's grand total in one of two ways: Either the menu prices include the fee (servizio incluso), or a percentage is added to the bottom of your bill (servizio non inclusion) and the percentage added is usually 10 - 15%. In either case, the total you pay already includes a tip. If you are pleased with the service, you can round up the bill by a euro or two. If you order food at a counter service, no need to tip.

Greece: If you order food at a counter, don't tip. AT restaurants that have waitstaff, service is generally included, although it's common to round up the bill after a good meal, usually 5-10%.

Turkey: If you order food at a counter, don't tip, though it's nice to have a lira or two on the table for the busser. At cafes and restaurants with table service, tip 10%.

And, he does not have Malta in his book, so don't know about Malta.

So, that is Rick Steve's "rule of thumb" for tipping in restaurants.... I wonder with private tours, if you could ask if a service charge is built in to the cost??? Like they do in restaurants??


Probably what we will do is tip like 5-10% for our private tour in Rome. For our private tour in Ephesus, we'll probably tip 5% to our driver and 10% to our guide (IF they do a great job, which I think they will. ).

Our DCL excursion we are doing in Athens, I'm not going to tip any guide that might be on our bus.... DCL marks up the prices so much compared to private tours, I am going to guess that there is a service charge built in their somehow already.
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Old 06-17-2013, 12:42 PM   #1664
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Hi everyone,

I have a taxi question for anyone who has been to Barcelona. I emailed our hotel we're staying at just to re-confirm our reservation, and I also inquired about taxi's from the airport to the hotel (any advice they had, also what price I should expect).

This was the hotel's answer:

I would like to inform you that taxiís maximum capacity is 4 people, however and depending on how many you luggage pieces you are travelling with you should take 2 of them. The price per ride is
around 30 Euros and per car

We would like to take the opportunity to inform you that we could arrange private transportation as follows:

The price of a transfer from Barcelona El Prat airport to hotel is 72 Euros in a Minibus (up to 4 persons). Going back from hotel to airport on departure will cost 72 Euros as well.


(and then they gave some further information on booking a private transfer.)


I'm confused about how the hotel said the taxi's maximum capacity is 4 people, but depending on how many pieces of luggage we are traveling with, we might need two taxi's.

Either this answer means that their Taxi's are something like 2-door Mini-Coopers where they literally hold just 4 people and have hardly any trunk space, OR, this answer means, if you are traveling with a TON of luggage then you'd need to take two taxi's.

We will have 4 pieces of luggage. One large suitcase (30"), one medium suitcase (26"), and two rolling carry-on suitcases. Does anyone know the size of these taxi's? Based on the luggage we will have, do you think the 4 of us (2 adults/2 kids) will be able to fit in just one taxi?

Also, if we did have to take two taxi's and if it is true it is only 30 Euros from the airport to our hotel (we're staying right on Las Ramblas), that is 60 Euros for two taxi's, yet the hotel recommended a private taxi for 72 euros. I understand they probably suggested that so we could all be together in one car rather than two cars, if we needed to take two taxi's, but logically speaking, that suggestion they made to book a private taxi doesn't make sense since it's more expensive than two taxi's.

Maybe I'm missing something.... or maybe they suggested a private taxi just purely for convenience.

But, then they told me in the email that if I did book a private taxi, they will ONLY wait for 1 hour past my flight arrival time and then they will leave (so if our flight is late, or if for some reason it takes a long time to find our luggage, they will leave, and we will have to take a regular taxi anyway). I don't think you pre-pay, so you wouldn't be out any money if they left before we found them, but to me, booking this private taxi doesn't make a lot of sense the cost is way more than a regular taxi, plus the fact they won't wait if your flight is late, etc (I'm only trying to make sense of their suggestion.... we'll be taking a taxi for sure... it's cheaper, even if we did need to take two taxi's, which hopefully we won't, and this way, we won't be stressed our ride will not wait for us if our flight is late, or it takes longer than expected to find our luggage).

We have booked a private company for all of our transfers. It is going to be $200 for all 4 transfers. I got the name from one of threads on here, with someone who had recommended them on the first cruise.

The email address is info@autosvilar.com



I am also interested in the tipping for the private excursions...we have rome in limo booked as well.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:20 PM   #1665
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Visa for turkey?

Someone on another site said that we need to purchase a visa for Turkey? I haven't heard anything about this. I am taking a DCL excursion...won't that cover it?

When we went to Russia, the excursions included day visas for cruise ships.

???
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