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Old 03-13-2013, 05:12 PM   #991
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We are PIF as well.

Can't wait to hear how all the Platinum's make out in a couple of days on their excursion bookings. Make sure to let us know any tidbits that could be handy...

Now I just gotta wait until our window open's up for bookings and to find out what cabin my brother ended up with on his GTY - hopefully close to the rest of the family.

Oh....and get started on my FE gifts. I have half started two or three items....but haven't nailed down anything yet.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:51 PM   #992
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Originally Posted by FloridaMom3461 View Post
Thanks for the input Amy. I'm going to be organizing the meet and greets and right now am planning to have two - one the first day and one during a sea day. I'd be grateful for suggestions of where/when to do each.

Randi
Promenade Lounge on deck 3 is always a good spot. Not many activities are planned there and, if there are, there's still plenty of space to grab a few tables off to the side. Rockin' Bar D is another possible option. I don't remember too many activities there during the day either. Or meet for lunch one day? Everyone meet outside a chosen restaurant & sit together for a meal. I would totally avoid the pool areas because there's way too many people there - too crowded.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #993
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It's almost that time!

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Originally Posted by Newfoundland Sailor View Post
:

Can't wait to hear how all the Platinum's make out in a couple of days on their excursion bookings. Make sure to let us know any tidbits that could be handy...
.
I was so excited today to receive an email from the concierge team reminding us we can book on Friday!

If anyone has questions after that, let me know.

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Old 03-13-2013, 10:29 PM   #994
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Hello! Just joined this cruise. Very excited but feeling a little guilty about leaving my husband and kids home. This is going to be a fun girls trip with good friends. I haven't been able to catch up on all the posts yet, but I wanted to join the roll call and see if it was too late to sign up for the FE?
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:57 PM   #995
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Promenade Lounge on deck 3 is always a good spot. Not many activities are planned there and, if there are, there's still plenty of space to grab a few tables off to the side. Rockin' Bar D is another possible option. I don't remember too many activities there during the day either. Or meet for lunch one day? Everyone meet outside a chosen restaurant & sit together for a meal. I would totally avoid the pool areas because there's way too many people there - too crowded.
If we're talking about embarkation day, I'd avoid Rockin' Bar D as they do the restaurant rebookings/requests there, and there are often big queues, at least in our experience walking through. Promenade Lounge has always been relatively quiet and good for meets, especially on embarkation day before the lifeboat drill
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:58 AM   #996
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If we're talking about embarkation day, I'd avoid Rockin' Bar D as they do the restaurant rebookings/requests there, and there are often big queues, at least in our experience walking through. Promenade Lounge has always been relatively quiet and good for meets, especially on embarkation day before the lifeboat drill
Yeah every cruise I've been on we've done the embarkation meet up in Promenade before the lifeboat drill. I think that's probably the best choice for a first day meet up and then we can plan other things for later in the cruise.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:56 AM   #997
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La Spezia

Hello all!

So, my head is spinning now on the amount of time (probably too much time) I've spent trying to figure out our options (private, on our own, or DCL) for La Spezia. We have been to Florence before, so we want to go to Cinque Terra.

So, I have lots of questions for anyone here who can give any answers.

First off, these are the different plans I keep going back and forth on....

The Cinque Terre DCL excursion is by boat, but I can't quite tell (maybe my brain is just fogged by now) if the boat only stops at ONE town, and the rest of the tour is purely seeing the towns from the water? If this is the case, we don't want to do this (as much as going from town to town via boat sounds fun, we want to be able to look in the towns, etc).

I have the Rick Steve's Med Cruise Ports books, but for this chapter (Florence, Pisa, Luccca) in the book, it discusses from the Port of Livorno, which not our port. So, there is no info (at least that I've seen so far) in his book about ideas if you arrive to the La Spezia port, SO I am having a hard time getting ideas for "doing it on our own" or "private tours" from the Rick Steve's book.

Then, from what I've read so far (both online and books) of doing Cinque Terra on your own from La Spezia, I'm trying to decide if taking our 10 & 12 year old boys, if they will hold up well doing this on our own (ie, all the walking, the crowded train, etc). Plus, my parents may be going with us at this port (and they are both in their early 70's), but they also might do Florence with DCL (they are still deciding). But, if my parents decide to do Cinque Terra with us, I think doing it on our own might be hard.

Now, for my questions...

That said, can anyone here recommend any good private tours from La Spezia Port to visit Cinque Terre (with a private car)?

Also, if my parents do not tag along with us at this port, what do you all think about taking 2 kids (ages 10 & 12) "doing it on our own" to Cinque Terre. Will that be too much? (ie, all the walking, etc. etc.)? They are both energetic kids, but just wondering about not having a car to go back to for a "breather" between towns?

And, as for the DCL tour, has anyone done the Cinque Terre by boat from previous MED cruises, and can give me your opinion on how it was (was it worth it, was it MOSTLY boat, and very little land), etc?

Thanks so much!!!
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:15 AM   #998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Now, for my questions...

That said, can anyone here recommend any good private tours from La Spezia Port to visit Cinque Terre (with a private car)?

Also, if my parents do not tag along with us at this port, what do you all think about taking 2 kids (ages 10 & 12) "doing it on our own" to Cinque Terre. Will that be too much? (ie, all the walking, etc. etc.)? They are both energetic kids, but just wondering about not having a car to go back to for a "breather" between towns?

And, as for the DCL tour, has anyone done the Cinque Terre by boat from previous MED cruises, and can give me your opinion on how it was (was it worth it, was it MOSTLY boat, and very little land), etc?

Thanks so much!!!
I think you will be fine with the train- the ride from La Spezia is supposedly only like 10-15 minutes from what I've read. So even if its crowded, it wouldnt be the hardship it would be like stuck on a crowded train from Civitavecchia to Rome for over an hour. Also, cars are very limited in travel amongst the villages from what I've read- I think some towns in Cinque Terre even prohibit cars altogether. The ones that do allow car travel it says that parking is very scare, so even if you had a private driver, you still may have a lot of walking to meet up with him to go between each town. From everything I've read, it appears the fastest, most cost effective and easiest way to get to/from Cinque Terre and between the villages is the all-day train pass.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:19 AM   #999
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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.
Yes, for me, I was originally planning to sail solo on this trip and was just going to stay onboard for the Rome day, since I've studied abroad in Rome and seen/done most all the highlights there- been inside the Colosseum, St. Peters Square (saw the Pope speak and come around very close to us!), inside the Vatican/Sistine Chapel, and other Rome "top spots". However, once my dad decided to join me on this trip, I knew I had to do Rome again. He has never been outside of the country other than the Bahamas which I hardly consider being "abroad", and this will probably be his one and only chance to visit Rome also. So for that alone, I have to justify the cost of this day's private tour. I know he'll enjoy it and even though I've been to all the places, its been 7 years, and it will be nice to have a "pampered private tour" this time instead of running around as a young student navigating all the trains/metros/etc--that was fine when I had several weeks to see/do it all, but for just having 1 day in Rome, I think this private tour is really the only way to do it.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:05 PM   #1000
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I've been to Cinque Terre a couple of times. Not sure how beneficial a private guide in Cinque Terre would be. You can't access most of the towns (or at least the interesting areas) with a car with the exception of Monterosso I think. If you're wanting to hike the trails, you don't need a guide for that. I think it's best done on your own IMO. Take the train, go to Vernazza, shop around, find a cafe, get some fresh pesto pasta and fish with some local wine and call it a day.

Your kids should do just fine. There's no need to stay out all day if they get tired or bored. Here's my son enjoying gelato...
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:57 PM   #1001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDW Princess 71 View Post
I think you will be fine with the train- the ride from La Spezia is supposedly only like 10-15 minutes from what I've read. So even if its crowded, it wouldnt be the hardship it would be like stuck on a crowded train from Civitavecchia to Rome for over an hour. Also, cars are very limited in travel amongst the villages from what I've read- I think some towns in Cinque Terre even prohibit cars altogether. The ones that do allow car travel it says that parking is very scare, so even if you had a private driver, you still may have a lot of walking to meet up with him to go between each town. From everything I've read, it appears the fastest, most cost effective and easiest way to get to/from Cinque Terre and between the villages is the all-day train pass.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cousin Orville View Post
I've been to Cinque Terre a couple of times. Not sure how beneficial a private guide in Cinque Terre would be. You can't access most of the towns (or at least the interesting areas) with a car with the exception of Monterosso I think. If you're wanting to hike the trails, you don't need a guide for that. I think it's best done on your own IMO. Take the train, go to Vernazza, shop around, find a cafe, get some fresh pesto pasta and fish with some local wine and call it a day.

Your kids should do just fine. There's no need to stay out all day if they get tired or bored. Here's my son enjoying gelato...
[/url]
THANK you for these replies!!! Both of these confirms that just taking the train and doing Cinque Terre on our own is what we'll do (and it's MUCH cheaper!!). This is actually what I had planned on (doing it on our own), but then I started reading about how the train lines can be super long, and really crowded, and it can be long walks, etc. etc. And, for my husband and me, this is no big deal at all (we're both the adventurous type and fit, so walking lots is no big deal, and crowds don't bother us), but then I wasn't sure if my boys would keep up well with all the walking, crowds, etc (even though they are very active and energetic). BUT, this gives me confirmation that just doing it on our own is the best way!! And, you're right.... we can always head back to the ship early if the boys get worn out, etc.

Also, I would not want to spend the money on a private car only to find we can't even see all the different parts of the towns that we could see by foot.

'Cousin Orville', that is such a cute picture of your son!! I am positive I'll be getting the exact same Gelato shots with both my boys.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:02 PM   #1002
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Another questions for previous Disney Med cruisers

Ok, so I have a question for those of you who have cruised the Med before with Disney.

I read one person's post (I think on the main Dis boards) somewhere that on their Disney Med cruise there were women who were topless at the pools on the Disney cruise ship. Now, I TOTALLLLY get this is Europe, and I 100% am expecting to see topless women at beaches, etc, etc.... I mean, it's part of their culture, so I totally get that, and I have no issues especially since this is part of the European culture (ie, if we didn't want to even be around that, we would not choose to go to Europe)...

But, it didn't occur to me that women might be going topless on the pool decks of the ship, I guess because I associate Disney with a family oriented atmosphere (that is, North American-minded family oriented atmosphere, to be more specific).

Just wondering if any of you past Med cruises saw topless women often on the pool deck of the ship, or just a few, or none at all? Just thinking about the kids, is all. And, so we'll know to expect this, rather than be caught off guard when hanging out on deck 10. If we know to expect it, it'll be fine.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:07 PM   #1003
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Originally Posted by LovesToRun View Post
Ok, so I have a question for those of you who have cruised the Med before with Disney.

I read one person's post (I think on the main Dis boards) somewhere that on their Disney Med cruise there were women who were topless at the pools on the Disney cruise ship. Now, I TOTALLLLY get this is Europe, and I 100% am expecting to see topless women at beaches, etc, etc.... I mean, it's part of their culture, so I totally get that, and I have no issues especially since this is part of the European culture (ie, if we didn't want to even be around that, we would not choose to go to Europe)...

But, it didn't occur to me that women might be going topless on the pool decks of the ship, I guess because I associate Disney with a family oriented atmosphere (that is, North American-minded family oriented atmosphere, to be more specific).

Just wondering if any of you past Med cruises saw topless women often on the pool deck of the ship, or just a few, or none at all? Just thinking about the kids, is all. And, so we'll know to expect this, rather than be caught off guard when hanging out on deck 10. If we know to expect it, it'll be fine.
We did a DCL Med cruise in 2007 and I personally did not see any topless women at the adult pool or Mickey pool. I did see a few women in thong bikinis and a few topless younger girls at the Mickey pool. We also saw topless women in Nice at the beach. We just explained to our then 6 and 9 year old sons that is the way that those individuals were used to dressing in their native countries. I made sure not to take any pool photos of our sons with any of the topless girls in the background.

One thing I thought was bizarre was when a few little boy's parents let them pee in public when we were on excursions. They were not American families, so I just assumed they were used to doing this in their countries. The most shocking to me was when were in line to get into a church in Marseille when the dad in front of us pulled down his son's pants and had him pee in flowers next to us. This happened a few times on different excursions. We told our boys no way were they going to be doing that, we would just find a bathroom.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:27 PM   #1004
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Videos about the Mediterranean

I have read the Rick Steve's book and LOVE it. I will read it a couple more times before the trip. I also looked for Youtube videos about where we are going and found these two great videos. They are both part of a "Drive Thru History" series This first one is about Ephesus and is only 6 minutes long but very informatiave.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZM6lI8uw9o

This second one is 28 minutes long and specifically is about the journey of St Paul (you might remember his letter to the Corinthians is said at many weddings -Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. etc..). Anyway this is not a religious video, just historical and I learned about the Acropolis and many other places and I learned that Saint Paul visited Ephesus, Athens, Rome and Malta. Many of the places we are visiting. Enjoy!

http://www.itbn.org/index/detail/lib...F2Xd60p5frJb2C
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Old 03-14-2013, 07:23 PM   #1005
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Hi everyone! I have been lurking on here for quite some time and we are paid in full to go too! We are a family of 4, myself, DH, DD 18 and DS 15. We are taking this cruise to celebrate our daughter's high school graduation and we have never been to Europe before! We are so excited about this trip!
I was able to use airline miles for 4 tickets for us to fly in and out of Paris, and we have tickets to Barcelona and back on Air France. I booked the Four Points by Sheraton in Barcelona, 2 rooms for about $100 a night each. It is newer and has good reviews. I also have a private guide and car in Rome and Athens. The other ports I am looking into doing on our own, but I am still working everything out.
I have gotten some great tips from you guys, thanks so much!
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