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Old 08-06-2013, 01:10 AM   #961
lilpooh108
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Is anyone still planning or just me?
If it helps, I'm really envious that you get to do your Med cruise in a few days!!

Hope you guys have fun.

I'll be sad when this thread dies down. It's helped me alot planning wise and after we got back it helped me re-live the cruise.

I'll probably be updating the 1st page with info & links for next year's cruisers
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:09 AM   #962
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I am still planning, we are on the last one (Aug. 31) Still looking for tips and ideas. If I come up with any tips I will add them to this thread for next year's cruisers
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:20 PM   #963
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Originally Posted by lilpooh108 View Post

Disney does one on disembarkation day depending on your flight time. I think you can only sign up after you get on the cruise.

We ended up going with Barcelona Day Tours (we combo-ed Montserrat with airport drop off). They were great. We also had 3 days prior to our cruise and just took it really slow since we knew we'd get a short tour & Montserrat in before we left. Montserrat never worked out due to a freak storm that day, but it was great to have them pick us up on time. I had asked for quotes from other companies, but honestly I didn't trust unrated/unreviewed companies with my luggage.

There is also luggage storage at the port exit. You can leave stuff there, take a taxi to a Tapas Restaurant and kill some time there. Ciudad Condal and Ceverseria Catalanes both open early, I think at 9:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. We did that before the airport and it was fun saying good bye with food
Thank you! That is really helpful.
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:43 PM   #964
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Wow, I'm so glad we didn't bother. We happened to stop by the London & Paris Disney Stores and they had city-specific tshirts, shopping bags, pins and other items. We had been wondering about Barcelona. This is good to know.
We stopped by the store in Naples. Grabbed a bargain long sleeve t-shirt for 9 euro, but no country or city specific stuff

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Old 08-07-2013, 03:47 PM   #965
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So today was the date we'd be able to buy our tickets to climb the leaning tower of Pisa. I tried late last night just in case they get an early start with the time difference. Not able to click on our date yet. I tried again at 5:30 this morning. Still no listing for our date. When I got home from work, the entire am is completely booked solid. I guess the only way to do it now would be to wait in the long lines.
I wouldn't mind skipping it except when I was there in 1990, no one was allowed to climb to the top & I was a bit disappointed then & really excited that climbing is allowed now.
Oh well, if that's the worst that happens on this trip, I can live with it.
We climbed at 1pm and made the train at about 2pm and back on board by 4pm. I don't think they release everything for online booking. At the ticket office they have a digital board showing how many spaces available for each climb. Sending you pixie dust to help you score the time you want

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Old 08-07-2013, 08:20 PM   #966
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My absolute ignorance, please humor me...

Hello all... My family is cruising out of Barcelona in May 2014 and JUST booked our flights!! Decided to stay 2 extra days in Barcelona.. This cruise is exactly what I was looking for but I must admit, 52 pages of posts is a little overwhelming...:conf used3

I have questions for those who have done private tours. I looked at one today for 4 people and it was upwards of 650 USD. What do you get for that 650? What exactly do the private tours entail? Are they worth it? Does it just include a driver? Do you have to purchase your tickets for museums you may go to?

We have always used the DCL for our port adventures mainly so that you have the assurance of them waiting for you.

This will be our first time to Europe so it's very uncharted territory for us. Is there anything we should be leery of when booking?

On the back end of the cruise we will be staying in Barcelona for 2 nights, are there any particular hotels that are better? We are having a hard time trying to lock down a hotel even for the night before at the Hilton in Barcelona...

Seeking general advice on do's and don'ts!!!
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:15 PM   #967
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I have questions for those who have done private tours. I looked at one today for 4 people and it was upwards of 650 USD. What do you get for that 650? What exactly do the private tours entail? Are they worth it? Does it just include a driver? Do you have to purchase your tickets for museums you may go to?
For 650 Euros you should expect both a driver and a qualified guide. Frankly, I paid about 400-450 Euros for both when I did a private guide. Which stops are you considering? My two best guides were recommended by Rick Steves in his book on Mediterranean cruises. The worst one was booked through Disney. I actually met with the head of tours for the Mediterranean as they were having lots of problems with feedback especially in Villefranche, Rome and Athens. I think they will be in better shape next year. They are going to find some new vendors.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:27 PM   #968
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. . . The worst one was booked through Disney. I actually met with the head of tours for the Mediterranean as they were having lots of problems with feedback especially in Villefranche, Rome and Athens. I think they will be in better shape next year. They are going to find some new vendors.
Interesting! I wonder, what issues were they having?

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Old 08-07-2013, 09:29 PM   #969
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Interesting! I wonder, what issues were they having?

Woody
They hired a bunch of new people. Some of them were good, some of them were average, some of them couldn't do the job. Just like any endeavor.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:37 PM   #970
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They hired a bunch of new people. Some of them were good, some of them were average, some of them couldn't do the job. Just like any endeavor.
That's too bad. People pay alot for a Disney Med cruise and Disney shore excursions.

Woody
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:43 PM   #971
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I didn't like either of the excursions I booked thru Disney. I loved both the private yours we booked. We found the private guides on trip advisor. Don't hesitate to take private tours because they are well worth it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:43 PM   #972
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Originally Posted by JimmyJackJunior View Post

For 650 Euros you should expect both a driver and a qualified guide. Frankly, I paid about 400-450 Euros for both when I did a private guide. Which stops are you considering? My two best guides were recommended by Rick Steves in his book on Mediterranean cruises. The worst one was booked through Disney. I actually met with the head of tours for the Mediterranean as they were having lots of problems with feedback especially in Villefranche, Rome and Athens. I think they will be in better shape next year. They are going to find some new vendors.
We JUST started looking. Not 100% sure where to start. It's all very overwhelming. We are looking at Rome for sure, want to go to the Vatican, if we can to the coliseum too. There is so much! Is there a specific company you suggest?
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:54 PM   #973
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In Barcelona we stayed at Hotel Cuatro Naciones La Rambla, you literally step out your door right onto La Rambla. The other thing is that they have quads if that is what you are looking for. We have 4 in our family. Taxi's are right out the front door, the bus stop as well. The hotel is very clean and staff is friendly. The room was very roomy. It was so perfect. Breakfast is included and with great spanish food. I would definitely stay there again.

As for tours, we took a tour in Rome called Romeinlimo. We had 14 of us and it was 1800 Euro's for 15 people. The other tour we took was in Naples, we used AP Tours and it was 400 Euro's for 4-6 people. Both are great companies.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tianni View Post
Hello all... My family is cruising out of Barcelona in May 2014 and JUST booked our flights!! Decided to stay 2 extra days in Barcelona.. This cruise is exactly what I was looking for but I must admit, 52 pages of posts is a little overwhelming...:conf used3

I have questions for those who have done private tours. I looked at one today for 4 people and it was upwards of 650 USD. What do you get for that 650? What exactly do the private tours entail? Are they worth it? Does it just include a driver? Do you have to purchase your tickets for museums you may go to?

We have always used the DCL for our port adventures mainly so that you have the assurance of them waiting for you.

This will be our first time to Europe so it's very uncharted territory for us. Is there anything we should be leery of when booking?

On the back end of the cruise we will be staying in Barcelona for 2 nights, are there any particular hotels that are better? We are having a hard time trying to lock down a hotel even for the night before at the Hilton in Barcelona...

Seeking general advice on do's and don'ts!!!
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:56 PM   #974
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I didn't like either of the excursions I booked thru Disney.
That's too bad.

Woody
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:12 PM   #975
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We JUST started looking. Not 100% sure where to start. It's all very overwhelming. We are looking at Rome for sure, want to go to the Vatican, if we can to the coliseum too. There is so much! Is there a specific company you suggest?
I would wholeheartedly endorse Cristina Giannicchi. It was 60 Euros per hour.



http://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserRe...ome_Lazio.html

http://www.crisacross.com/

We booked through Cristina and she was very accommodating to doing what we wanted to do. We toured with Marzia who was a professional archaeologist. Very knowledgeable and great with kids. They met us at a train station in Rome. I was a little leary of this but the train into Rome is a snap from Rome. It is a little trickier in Athens and La Spezia but this one is easy. You could definitely do the Vatican, Coliseum and Forum in one day.

We did Forum, Palentine Hill, Coliseum, Walking tour ending in the Pantheon. Still had some time left over but it was our fourth straight day of touring so we bailed on Plaza Navone and Trevi Fountain.

As for the hotel, we stayed outside of Barcelona in the burbs but very convenient to the Metro.

http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Revi...Catalonia.html

The price was about a third of what it cost to stay on the Rambas.

For your two days in Barcelona I would very much recommend La Sagrada Familia and Montserrat. Montserrat is about an hour away by train and well worth it. Combined natural beauty with great art. There is an amazing trail with statues and mosaics telling the story of the resurrection.
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