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Old 03-11-2013, 12:31 PM   #976
JimmyJackJunior
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Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Hello!

I'm curious what post-cruise hotels people recommend (for just one night)? And, is staying near the airport probably the smartest idea, or staying downtown Barcelona? There are 4 of us (2 adults, 2 children (10 & 12) ).

Our flight leaves at 1:30 PM on the 26th after the cruise.

Also, we'll be in Barcelona for 3 days before our cruise, so we'll have that time to see the city, so staying in the heart of the city post cruise isn't completely necessary, but we are open to it.

But, also weighing out the cost of taking a taxi to the airport vs. booking an airport hotel with a free airport shuttle.

Hmmmm..... decisions, decisions!



Thanks!!!
We are stayng at the Aura Parc Hotel. Looks good for families. Right beside the main train station. Pretty easy to the airport from there.

http://www.explura.co.za/hotels/spai...ark-aparthotel
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:41 AM   #977
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We are stayng at the Aura Parc Hotel. Looks good for families. Right beside the main train station. Pretty easy to the airport from there.

http://www.explura.co.za/hotels/spai...ark-aparthotel
Thank you for the recommendation! I will look into this hotel.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:54 AM   #978
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booking cruise activities/port adventures

Good Morning!

Quick question. We are gold, so I know we can start booking our cruise activities on March 30 ( ), but my parents who are coming on the cruise with us are Silver. Does anyone know what date the silver tier can start booking cruise activities?

I just want to make note for my parents so I can remind them.

I'm getting very excited!!
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #979
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Does anyone know what date the silver tier can start booking cruise activities?
April 14th!

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Old 03-12-2013, 11:16 AM   #980
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Yes it is only April 14 for the silvers!! I was planning on doing a lot of DCL excursions, but got worried that as silvers we would not get exactly what we wanted, especially Athens and Turkey. So now we have gone with private drivers and I know what we are doing and that we will see what we want! Can't wait.

Heather- I am enjoying your pre-trip report, Thank you for all the wonderful info and links.

Joan
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:20 PM   #981
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Yes it is only April 14 for the silvers!! I was planning on doing a lot of DCL excursions, but got worried that as silvers we would not get exactly what we wanted, especially Athens and Turkey. So now we have gone with private drivers and I know what we are doing and that we will see what we want! Can't wait.


Joan
I am also going to research private tours, because my parents want to do excursions with us, but since we are gold, we can book Disney excursions before them, but then I don't know what to do if by the time they book, the excursion we are on is full, so they can't go with us. It's too bad they don't let everyone traveling in your party all book at the same time (regardless of the tier you are). I suppose we could wait to book until the Silvers book and then my parents and our family just all will book together and get what is left over. We'll have to figure that one out. I'm not too worried... there are so many options if the Disney excursions get sold out.

The only place we ARE considering doing Disney excursions is Athens and Ephesus, which it sounds like may be the two places a lot of people will be mostly booking Disney excursions. But, we may still do private excursions there, or do it on our own... still figuring that one out.

The rest of the ports, we'll be doing on our own.
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Old 03-12-2013, 01:31 PM   #982
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Heather- I am enjoying your pre-trip report, Thank you for all the wonderful info and links.
Thanks Joan - I was wondering if anyone was reading my reports...

I figured I had so much info in my head I had to share it somewhere
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Old 03-12-2013, 03:56 PM   #983
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The only place we ARE considering doing Disney excursions is Athens and Ephesus, which it sounds like may be the two places a lot of people will be mostly booking Disney excursions. But, we may still do private excursions there, or do it on our own... still figuring that one out.
Sorry if I missed it in this LONG thread, but why are folks doing more DCL in Athens and Ephesus? We are definitely considering a private tour in Athens even though we usually prefer to go with DCL -- just not finding the right tour through Disney this time. Ephesus we'll see what happens when we can book -- we want a DCL trip but will find a comparable tour on our own if we are blocked from it (we are only silver, this is our 4th DCL cruise)...
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:06 PM   #984
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Sorry if I missed it in this LONG thread, but why are folks doing more DCL in Athens and Ephesus? We are definitely considering a private tour in Athens even though we usually prefer to go with DCL -- just not finding the right tour through Disney this time. Ephesus we'll see what happens when we can book -- we want a DCL trip but will find a comparable tour on our own if we are blocked from it (we are only silver, this is our 4th DCL cruise)...
I am not sure why others might do more DCL in Athens & Ephesus, but for us, we are still in the beginning research stage, so we may end up with a private tour (just need to look around and figure it out), but all the other ports we know for sure we'll be doing it on our own and won't be doing a DCL tour, but for Athens and Ephesus, we won't want to do that all on our own, so our choice is either a DCL tour or private... I just need to figure it out. We aren't opposed to a DCL tour, even if it's more expensive than a private tour.

So, I guess that doesn't really answer your question. LOL!!

It might be others want to book DCL because these could be longer days (of touring/exploring), and with DCL you are guaranteed to not miss the ship, but if you go on your own, or a private tour, if things go longer than expected, you could miss the ship. That is my guess why DCL may be more popular at these ports.

The only reason we are nervous to do Athens all on our own (and call my paranoid), but good friends of ours did a Med cruise (not with Disney... different cruiseline), and they chose to do Athens on their own. They took the train from the port to Athens (which they said worked GREAT, easy to get to from port). They did all they wanted to do in Athens, and had a great time, but when they went to get back on the train to get back to port, during the time they were in town, the employees who run the trains went on strike! So, the trains weren't running at all, and everyone was trying to get back to port, so all the cabs were totally full, and traffic was a mess. It's too far to walk back to port. So, they got lucky and went into a local store and asked a local if there is any other way to get back to port, and the local was super nice and he drove them to the port, so they got there, but they had to get very creative in getting back.

That said, the chances of this happening on our trip is very slim, and I know that!! But, my friend's story is one reason I want to maybe go with DCL in Athens... if something like that did happen, then at least I won't have to worry because if the bus is late getting back to the ship due to traffic, etc, I know we'll still make it.

As for Ephesus, we may go with a private tour... I just need to figure it out. I also know we can get off the ship, and hire a driver right there off the ship.... so I just need to research it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:06 PM   #985
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I am also going to research private tours, because my parents want to do excursions with us, but since we are gold, we can book Disney excursions before them, but then I don't know what to do if by the time they book, the excursion we are on is full, so they can't go with us. It's too bad they don't let everyone traveling in your party all book at the same time (regardless of the tier you are). I suppose we could wait to book until the Silvers book and then my parents and our family just all will book together and get what is left over. We'll have to figure that one out. I'm not too worried... there are so many options if the Disney excursions get sold out.

The only place we ARE considering doing Disney excursions is Athens and Ephesus, which it sounds like may be the two places a lot of people will be mostly booking Disney excursions. But, we may still do private excursions there, or do it on our own... still figuring that one out. Melitours have been awesome - totally professional and you get to go back to their ranch for a real turkish lunch.



The rest of the ports, we'll be doing on our own.
I have done a lot of research - we are doing Rome, Ephasus and Malta with a private guide. Probably pick up a guide on site in Athens on site. Went with melitours in Ephasus based on Rick Steves and Trip advisor rankings.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:40 PM   #986
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I have done a lot of research - we are doing Rome, Ephasus and Malta with a private guide. Probably pick up a guide on site in Athens on site. Went with melitours in Ephasus based on Rick Steves and Trip advisor rankings.
Thanks for this! I'm keeping a list of all the recommended private tours/guides I have seen on the DIS boards for the ports we are going to (and will add Melitours to this list), and I'm going to then research and figure it all out from the recommendations I have vs. the DCL tours as to what we'll end up doing. I need to figure it out by March 30 since that is when we can start booking our port adventures (if we do go with DCL).

I also just got the Rick Steve's Mediterranean Cruise Ports book! That will be my reading for the week, too. I'm excited about that book!

We are kind of getting on the "figuring out what to do at each port" bandwagon a bit late, but we've been busy booking our entire Europe trip (hotels, flights, etc), and all of that is now finalized, so now what to do at each port is now on our radar.

Getting excited!
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:55 PM   #987
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We're doing a private guide in both Athens and Ephesus. Ephesus for us will be a half day tour. Go out and see Ephesus and come back and grab lunch in town probably. On a per hour basis, Ephesus is our cheapest tour. Especially compared to Rome, Villefrance, etc. I wouldn't think an excursion would be that much cheaper if you have a party of 3 or 4.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:07 PM   #988
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We are doing private tours for Rome, Athens, and Ephesus. Doing Barcelona, Nice/Monaco, Cinque Terre, and Malta on our own. Mykonos we booked the St. John's resort day pass for a nice beach/pool/resort and that includes transporation, thanks to a tip from Heather! I agree that our Ephesus tour is by far the cheapest experience and paybable directly in US dollars instead of Euros. Too bad the rest of the ports are so expensive- I still can't believe how much I'm justifying spending for our Rome tour but the DCL comparable one was only very slightly cheaper and not customized for just us, so that's what I keep telling myself.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:09 PM   #989
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Paid in FULL !!!! YEAH, so excited!

Back to Back Mediterranean here we come!
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:58 PM   #990
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- I still can't believe how much I'm justifying spending for our Rome tour but the DCL comparable one was only very slightly cheaper and not customized for just us, so that's what I keep telling myself.
We are exactly the same but I think this will be the one and only time we go to Rome in our life. I want to do what interests me and my family and had the chance to hire a university educated archaologist.
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