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Old 05-16-2013, 06:14 AM   #1
ThePicketts
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Last bit of Med cruise planning. Experienced advice needed.

Ok, I'm still arching, researching, and debating and I need help. I'm traveling with my family of 4 (wife, me, sons 16 & 8).

1. Landing in Barcelona, I'm thinking a taxi to the hotel will be the best, easiest, and somewhat economical way to go to the hotel. Is that the best thing in your opinion?

2. Leaving the port, to the airport, my plane leaves at 1 pmish. Should I take another taxi?

3. Rome! Been there a dozen times and very familiar with it but....
A. I'm having trouble finding a link that gets me to the tickets for the UNDERGROUND Colosseum tour. Help, help, help.
B. Has anyone done it, and if so, is it worth it?
C. Is getting the train there the best option? Is there a private pick up and drop off deal that works better but won' break the bank?

4. Villefranche.
A. Are there any awesome kid friendly things to do?
B. is it possible to do Monaco, Eze, and Nice in one go?

5. Any "must do's" that get overlooked.

Thanks guys and gals! I am grateful for you time and wisdom (sarcasm is also welcome)!
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:58 AM   #2
bellelinus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePicketts View Post
Ok, I'm still arching, researching, and debating and I need help. I'm traveling with my family of 4 (wife, me, sons 16 & 8).

1. Landing in Barcelona, I'm thinking a taxi to the hotel will be the best, easiest, and somewhat economical way to go to the hotel. Is that the best thing in your opinion?

2. Leaving the port, to the airport, my plane leaves at 1 pmish. Should I take another taxi?

3. Rome! Been there a dozen times and very familiar with it but....
A. I'm having trouble finding a link that gets me to the tickets for the UNDERGROUND Colosseum tour. Help, help, help.
B. Has anyone done it, and if so, is it worth it?
C. Is getting the train there the best option? Is there a private pick up and drop off deal that works better but won' break the bank?

4. Villefranche.
A. Are there any awesome kid friendly things to do?
B. is it possible to do Monaco, Eze, and Nice in one go?

5. Any "must do's" that get overlooked.

Thanks guys and gals! I am grateful for you time and wisdom (sarcasm is also welcome)!
Hi! I can't answer all your questions, but have experience with a few of these:

Yes, a taxi is easy to get at the airport and at the port in Barcelona. I've done both, and there are taxi lines there, meters on the taxis, etc. If your Spanish isn't fluent, you might want to have the name and address of your hotel written on a piece of paper to give the taxi driver. If you were rushing to get out of the Barcelona port after the cruise, you might face a line at the taxi stand at the port, but with your flight time you can get off the ship whenever and if you have to wait a bit on line, no worries. The line moved pretty fast when we did it.

Haven't done the underground Colosseum tour. However, taking a train from Civitavecchia to Rome and back is easy, pleasant, and VERY inexpensive (RT around 10 euro each) compared to any other way you will do it.

I think Monaco, Eze, and Nice would be tricky. Nice, Villefranche, and Monaco are all on a train line that moves regularly along the south of France, but Eze has to be reached via bus. I would say the maximum is to pick two, either Eze and Monaco (in the same direction from Villefranche, so they work together; use a bus to Eze, bus from Eze, to Monaco, then train back), or Nice and Monaco (two different directions from Villefranche, so use the train to zip between them). To make a more pleasant day, just pick one and spend a few hours in Villefranche before getting back on the ship.
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:07 AM   #3
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I'm going on the med cruise in 2 weeks and have been twice before, I will be getting a taxi to the hotel and also one back to the airport once the cruise is finished, I can't all the answers but I would like to tell you from past experience that I took my two daughters then aged 6mnths and 5 yrs to the oceanographic museum in Monaco and totally loved it, so did my husband and myself as it was wonderful all the marine life, we are even planning on going again
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:18 AM   #4
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http://www.ticketclic.it/Gb/HTML/musei/colosseo.cfm
This is the link to underground tour.

Have not taken it yet, but have tickets in hand

We were advised to go to Monaco first, then head to Eze. We loved Monaco and plan on enjoying the day there again, but may try to visit Eze if they day is going good.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:28 AM   #5
ThePicketts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tajz90 View Post
http://www.ticketclic.it/Gb/HTML/musei/colosseo.cfm
This is the link to underground tour.

Have not taken it yet, but have tickets in hand

We were advised to go to Monaco first, then head to Eze. We loved Monaco and plan on enjoying the day there again, but may try to visit Eze if they day is going good.
Any clue why it isn't working for Sept 4?
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:35 AM   #6
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Any clue why it isn't working for Sept 4?
Nope.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:33 AM   #7
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A note on the cab drivers in Barcelona. We took a cab from the airport to our hotel (Novatel, downtown just next to the gherkin building) which was about a 40 minute drive. The cabbie spoke English, was a great guy, pointed out fun sights that we couldn't see because it was dark, but all around, a very good trip.

Our cabbie from the port to the train station (we had awhile before our flight so put out luggage in the lockers there), wouldn't admit to speaking English, but since he started to laugh several times while I was talking to the kids in the back seat and my DS said something funny I was suspicious. 15 minute drive, and he charged us the same as the 40 minute cabbie. So, long story short, and it's been confirmed by several people after the cruise, ask your driver if they speak English before you get in, if they admit to it, it's a decent indicator that they aren't going to try and rip you off, if they won't, tell them no thanks and you'll grab another cab.

One other thing to remember, also ask about any extra charges for the bags, sometimes they have an extra "fee" if you have a lot of luggage.

Enjoy your cruise! We did the Med with DCL in 2010 and it was awesome!
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:34 AM   #8
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1. Taxi is easiest. I have taken the bus, which is also very easy and cheap.
2. I would definitely taxi or private car from port to airport.
3c. The train is the best way to go to Rome. Least expensive, very convenient, no traffic lights. Just stamp your ticket! (see below)
4. We did Monaco then had a quick tour of Nice, then out of time. I think it would be hard to do all three.
5. When you use trains in Italy, you must stamp your ticket as you go to the train!! The ticket can be used any time, much like a subway ticket. So to keep people from reusing the same ticket, you have to put your ticket into a nondescript little box as you go towards the tracks. That box will time and date stamp your ticket. If you don't stamp it and a conductor checks it, you will get a 50 euro fine for each person. Stamp your ticket!
5. (more 5). I like landing in Europe with Euros. Get some from your bank or AAA or Wells Fargo online (Wells Fargo is AAA's foreign currency provider, BTW). Makes getting a snack or a cab ride a lot easier.
5. (still more 5). I love Rick Steves' guides. They are very practical for people touring on their own. Best guides I have ever used.
5. Don't forget to stamp your train ticket.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePicketts View Post
Ok, I'm still arching, researching, and debating and I need help. I'm traveling with my family of 4 (wife, me, sons 16 & 8).

1. Landing in Barcelona, I'm thinking a taxi to the hotel will be the best, easiest, and somewhat economical way to go to the hotel. Is that the best thing in your opinion?

2. Leaving the port, to the airport, my plane leaves at 1 pmish. Should I take another taxi?

3. Rome! Been there a dozen times and very familiar with it but....
A. I'm having trouble finding a link that gets me to the tickets for the UNDERGROUND Colosseum tour. Help, help, help.
B. Has anyone done it, and if so, is it worth it?
C. Is getting the train there the best option? Is there a private pick up and drop off deal that works better but won' break the bank?

4. Villefranche.
A. Are there any awesome kid friendly things to do?
B. is it possible to do Monaco, Eze, and Nice in one go?

5. Any "must do's" that get overlooked.

Thanks guys and gals! I am grateful for you time and wisdom (sarcasm is also welcome)!
1. When we were originally planning to fly into BCN I did a lot of research. Bus is cheapest. Taxi was better then private car service and was the route I had chosen.

3. B, Link for tour tickets http://www.ticketclic.it/Gb/HTML/musei/colosseo.cfm
(warning I wound up calling when I did it so good luck LOL!)
C. I researched this. There is another tour company that does a bus that's cheaper then DCL, but the reviews indicated they hang around at the port until the bus is full from lots of boats. Car service was high IMHO. We are doing the train

4. B. Monaco and Nice are easy. Eze is the "oddball" and could throw a wrench in your plans. You take bus one to someplace and change to bus two... in other words plan on a long commute. Monaco and Nice are each 10 minutes from the port city.
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ThePicketts View Post
Any clue why it isn't working for Sept 4?
There are days they don't do it... I consider the entire adventure of getting these tickets a reminder that "it's Italy, it's not efficient" LOL! (And I love Italy but... it's not efficient!)

However, what I had to do last year was call... (that was another adventure but...) Then I could get whatever I wanted. So

Also, the Taxi fare to Rome is probably more then 10 Euros (that's the lowest I have ever seen quoted, more often I see in the 20 to 30 Euro area, but... that's assuming you don't get stuck in a traffic jam and Rome has magnificent traffic jams. Last time it took us two hours to get from the airport to city, but at least we were using a car service )
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Old 05-16-2013, 11:34 AM   #11
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We were in Cannes instead of Villefranche, but we rented a car for the day and drove to Eze and Monaco. For us, Eze was one of the highlights of our trip. The drive from Cannes to Monaco was beautiful!
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #12
ThePicketts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoDisneyFreaks
A note on the cab drivers in Barcelona. We took a cab from the airport to our hotel (Novatel, downtown just next to the gherkin building) which was about a 40 minute drive. The cabbie spoke English, was a great guy, pointed out fun sights that we couldn't see because it was dark, but all around, a very good trip.

Our cabbie from the port to the train station (we had awhile before our flight so put out luggage in the lockers there), wouldn't admit to speaking English, but since he started to laugh several times while I was talking to the kids in the back seat and my DS said something funny I was suspicious. 15 minute drive, and he charged us the same as the 40 minute cabbie. So, long story short, and it's been confirmed by several people after the cruise, ask your driver if they speak English before you get in, if they admit to it, it's a decent indicator that they aren't going to try and rip you off, if they won't, tell them no thanks and you'll grab another cab.

One other thing to remember, also ask about any extra charges for the bags, sometimes they have an extra "fee" if you have a lot of luggage.

Enjoy your cruise! We did the Med with DCL in 2010 and it was awesome!
Wow, thanks for the tip!
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Old 05-16-2013, 12:58 PM   #13
ThePicketts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmom
We were in Cannes instead of Villefranche, but we rented a car for the day and drove to Eze and Monaco. For us, Eze was one of the highlights of our trip. The drive from Cannes to Monaco was beautiful!
Is renting a car easy and convenient?
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Old 05-16-2013, 02:47 PM   #14
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There is no way a taxi to Rome from the port would be 10 Euro - that is approximately the round trip train fare.

As for the "extra" charges for luggage in Barcelona, they are real, so are charges associated with the airport, port, etc. The fares are here:

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...pplements.html

Also, the meter should always be running. If you feel you were overcharged, the link below tells how to make a formal complaint.

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...taxi-fare.html

I personally don't think that a person not being able to speak English or admit to it (perhaps their English is not good) has anything to do with getting overcharged.
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Old 05-16-2013, 03:03 PM   #15
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I personally don't think that a person not being able to speak English or admit to it (perhaps their English is not good) has anything to do with getting overcharged.
Perhaps not, but, a communication block makes it very hard to understand what is expected, on top of that, when I've had several people confirm the exact same issue, along with others who are from Spain themselves, I'll accept it. It's not a knock, just a tip on safer travelling.
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