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Old 09-27-2013, 03:23 PM   #1096
linetbo
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Hi, does someone know how far in advanced you can renew your passport. For our mediterranean cruise my passport would have like 7 months left, but I dont want to take the risk and I rather to renew it.
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:36 PM   #1097
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As far as I know you can renew whenever you want.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:38 PM   #1098
ruadisneyfan2
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Yes, but it doesn't add 10 yrs to the old exp date. It's 10 yrs from the date you renew it.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:54 PM   #1099
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ok, but I think I will be more relaxed if I renew it, actually is not mine, its my 14 yo daughter. We are doing all Disney excursion, its only my DD and me on our firts time in Europe and I feel more safe with Disney.
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Old 09-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #1100
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We have renewed our passports a year early in the past just so we would not forget. It is one aspect of the government that works pretty well IMO. I believe kids get their renewal every 5 yrs. we have sailed a number of times to the Med.and twice with Disney and Disney is a great choice for they really take care of the logistics better than most.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:26 PM   #1101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carpenta View Post
We have renewed our passports a year early in the past just so we would not forget. It is one aspect of the government that works pretty well IMO. I believe kids get their renewal every 5 yrs. we have sailed a number of times to the Med.and twice with Disney and Disney is a great choice for they really take care of the logistics better than most.
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Old 10-13-2013, 03:18 PM   #1102
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Hi, we are planning to do August 2014 Mediterranean Cruise.

We've already made the Bahamanian and the Caribbean Disney Cruises. My doubt is that in that trips our kids (9, 11 and 12) stayed onboard part of each port day (3 or 4 hours) because they prefered to stay on onboard instead of going out to walk and sweat.
In this case, we see that DCL excursions can last 10 hours, so we dont dare to leave them in the cruise so long time, though they want it, they really enjoy the clubs/lab.
What is your advice? Maybe excursions on my own take less time. But taking Disney excursions makes me sure that if something'd happen they contact to the guide or driver... I don't know what to do!!!
All advice is welcome!
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:34 PM   #1103
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We did the med last August and plan to do it again in August 2014. We went to Pisa, Rome and Pompeii last time, mainly as they were only half day trips. My DS came with me, he was seven at the time, and while he enjoyed some aspects of the trips, they are very travel intensive.

Pompeii is only 30 minutes from the port so in an emergency you could get back fairly quickly and half a day is long enough to see the main sights. We were gone around 4.5 hours. It is a very exposed site. Pisa is about an hour from the port and lots of people I met were taking a train independently so again you could get back. It is very doable independently so maybe not be too much of a problem to do with the kids. Rome was a good 90-120 minutes by coach and the sights are scattered so that maybe slightly more difficult getting back quickly if you needed to. We didn't get off in Villefranche but the train station is near the station and you could go to nice or Monaco easily and probably do either in half a day. We are planning to go there and do the land train, and visit Florence next time. We may also walk into Naples as it really is right where the port is.

Not sure if this helps or not. I would never do three ports/ excursions in a row again with DS and I'm not sure I would feel comfortable leaving him on board.
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Old 10-13-2013, 04:39 PM   #1104
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Do a half day excursion on your own each day with the kids. You wouldn't be able to do the 10 hour ones anyway, since either the kids would be miserable or you would be with worry. Doing half day excursions on your own ensures that you have memorable experiences (together )and still make it back in plenty of time for kids clubs and relaxation. For example: Villefranche, take the train to Monaco or Nice. (aquarium in Monaco maybe? Watch a film which shows the Casino square?) We went to Monaco, walked around a bit, saw the Cathedral and outside the Casino area and after getting off the train in VF returned to the tender dock via rue obscure. It was out of the sun and may be interesting for the kids if you tell them what it was used for, etc. We were back onboard at 230. In La Spezia, do Pisa. Easy and they will love it. In Rome, just see the Colosseum and maybe get some gelato. I walked everywhere with my active daughter and we left the inactive father and other daughter on the boat. We left Rome on the 2:34 train and were back on the boat before 4:30 (we waited a while for the port bus for some reason). Naples, do Pompeii and go back to Naples, walk around there or go to Capri instead of Pompeii. That is my advice in order to enjoy the ports and your cruise and your time together as well. Sometimes less is more.

Of course, opinions differ
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:30 AM   #1105
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We did all ports on our own except Herculaneum which we did with DCL as it was a family treasure hunt, but to be honest a waste of money. My youngest is 8 and didn't go to Rome, she had a day on the ship with her dad. We did Monaco and were back about 1pm, Pisa, back by about 2pm, Venice we caught the shuttle to St Mark's and walked back & arrived for lunch. In Dubrovnimk & MAlta we went DIY so could control timings etc. We never felt short changed or that we had missed out. You know your family best and I guess alot depends upon how much you are comfortable doing DIY

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Old 10-14-2013, 02:11 PM   #1106
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We did the Med in August of this year.

We had a private tour in Villafranche, DIY in Pisa, and Can't Be Missed Tours of Rome and Pompeii/Amalfi Coast.

Here's my advice:
You and the kids can tender to Villafranche and walk around the area as it is right there, wouldn't take you very long.

We tendered to LaSpezia, walked a mile to the train station, took the train to Pisa, walked another mile or so to the tower. It look us most of the day and it was very hot. You could probably do it in half a day with a private tour company. I think the kids would really appreciate seeing the tower.

Rome was a LLLLOOONNNNNG day. Unless your kids are really history minded, let them have their fun on the ship and you take a Disney tour to assure you make it back in time.

Amalfi Coast and Pompeii was another all day tour for us. If you think your kids would appreciate Pompeii, take a private tour for half a day.

It's a shame to go all the way to the Med and not see all the incredible icons of history and culture! BTW, our girls are 13 and 16.

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Magic in the Mediterranean trip report http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3161128
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:03 AM   #1107
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Barcelona

If you're planning a trip that includes pre- or post-visits to Barcelona (and you definitely should!), I suggest you "like" Runner Bean Tours on Facebook (and on their website http://www.runnerbeantours.com/ ). They provide walking tours of Barcelona, "free" -- pay what you wish at the end of the tour.

Today they posted a very short movie, a day in the life of Barcelona. I saw so many of the sights from our trip.

http://vimeo.com/user3966540/vimeocombcnmotiontimelapse
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:32 AM   #1108
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having taken our kids or same ages 2X on European cruises, here's what I found worked the best: pick and choose special things for them to see/do--whether DIY, private tour or DCL tour. Also, at these ages, iconic things are remembered--such as climbing Leaning Tower of Pisa vs. "walking around seeing old buildings and old churches in Florence." We did both on different trips--Pisa was bigger hit--and they remembered it, as opposed to Florence, which they did not. There is also a very good church to see at Pisa, and a fun slushi/gelato type cafe right behind the Tower. Nice for sitting and cooling off.
I made DIY secret agent-type scavenger hunts for each port--pretty easy with a basic tour book--count how many steps at XX, try 2 different gelatos, find the secret back staircase in the church, find the clock tower at X, find the most expensive watch/bracelet/necklace at X. Buy a (insert classic souvenir from the area). My kids liked those a lot.
Please take your kids to Pompeii---they will/have learn about it in school--it's so educational--and an easy 1/2 day. Best tip--Get the illustrated book that has the cardboard flip overs that shows what it looked like prior to eruption, and then what it like now. They have them right at the gift shop in the port, a well as in the airports. They also have one for Colo in Rome. With the book, there is no need for a guide. You can also download Rick Steves. you can surf the web for DIY step-by-step--this is a VERY easy DIY port-and kids under 18 are now free at Pompeii! IF you DIY, you can also easily pop by Herculeum, as it is on the way back--we did it adults only , but kids were too pooped, so just Pompeii with them.
I think a long day, even 10 hours, spaced with stay on the ship day is fine for these ages--we did it--but only for really important things.
Lastly, don't hesitate to let them pick a day to stay on the boat. They are in safe hands. My kids stayed on the boat in S. France, as long day was right before. have fun! Elaine
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:17 AM   #1109
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Love this thread - can't wait to read through all of the information. We are booked on the August 23rd 2014 Med Cruise - our first Disney Cruise - very excited!
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:02 AM   #1110
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Great resource, thanks,
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