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Old 06-25-2013, 07:19 PM   #91
3goofyboys
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Thanks for the compliment about Ems! I'm partial to her myself

Where in Denver are you from? A million years ago I lived in Ft Collins and went there for Elementary school.
I'm loving your trip report and I just wanted to say that I'm from Loveland, went to CSU, and lived in FC for several years. Shout out to NOCO!
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:33 PM   #92
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I'm loving your trip report and I just wanted to say that I'm from Loveland, went to CSU, and lived in FC for several years. Shout out to NOCO!
My aunt and uncle were going to CSU when I lived in Ft Collins. My family lived in the condos across the street from the campus, actually. It's so beautiful there!! All I remember is snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:59 PM   #93
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My aunt and uncle were going to CSU when I lived in Ft Collins. My family lived in the condos across the street from the campus, actually. It's so beautiful there!! All I remember is snow. Lots and lots of snow.
I HATE snow! Every year I hope this will be the year we don't get any snow. It hasn't worked out for me yet !
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Old 06-25-2013, 08:31 PM   #94
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I HATE snow! Every year I hope this will be the year we don't get any snow. It hasn't worked out for me yet !
Hehe, as a kid all I knew was that snow = snow day = no school . My mom didn't feel the same way since snow = shoveling snow. So I can see where you're coming from.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:39 PM   #95
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Thank You so much for this great trip report.

I would love to do the Med Cruise, especially after the Magic come back from being dry docked. Depending on the type of cabin, the prices seem to be very reasonable given how many cruise days they are but being on the West Coast, the cost of airfare doesn't make it feasible for us (currently at least); so great trip reports give me the pleasure of taking the cruise vicariously.

Your girls are super precious and too cute for words.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:11 PM   #96
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Thank You so much for this great trip report.

I would love to do the Med Cruise, especially after the Magic come back from being dry docked. Depending on the type of cabin, the prices seem to be very reasonable given how many cruise days they are but being on the West Coast, the cost of airfare doesn't make it feasible for us (currently at least); so great trip reports give me the pleasure of taking the cruise vicariously.

Your girls are super precious and too cute for words.
Hi there! Thanks for following along

We actually only paid for the flights to London, which were under $500/pp. We used miles to fly back. We signed up for the United Miles card a year ago when they were giving out 50,000 miles per account. It comes with a free checked bag, no foreign transaction fee and primary rental car insurance, so the card has actually been great for us travel wise (we fly on United to WDW alot).

For 2014, check out the Eastbound Transatlantic. The prices are quite reasonable for such a long cruise, and Norwegian Epic is actually sailing on June 1 (right after the EBTA arrives in Barcelona) for cheaper than DCL if you're trying to do the Med. That way, you save on airfare going to do more stops and you only have to pay for the flight back. As you can see, I've been planning

Hope you can make it next year!
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:06 PM   #97
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Hi, do you remember the name of your driver from SeeAmalfiCoast? Maybe you should write a review on tripadvisor about your bad experience. I was considering and came very close to booking an excursion with them but I'm so glad I didn't after what you posted so thank you for that!
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:15 PM   #98
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Hi, do you remember the name of your driver from SeeAmalfiCoast? Maybe you should write a review on tripadvisor about your bad experience. I was considering and came very close to booking an excursion with them but I'm so glad I didn't after what you posted so thank you for that!
Ugh. I do remember his name and even what he looks like. I really need to do Tripadvisor reviews for all 3 tour companies we used (as well as our hotels) but I just feel like I never have the time.

Also, I wanted to wait and reflect on it so that I was fair in the review. I figured that if I wrote it immediately I might still be irritated. Wanted to see if I feel the same way after the exhaustion of the trip wore away.

Now that you've brought this up.....Yup, still do!

Some other poster mentioned that she had a positive experience with them. She also said that she took the reins and directed them on where to go, rejected their suggested restaurants, got back early but made them drive out to Naples, etc. I guess I could have done all that, but I didn't want to.

And frankly, I shouldn't have to. In Rome our driver was great. I didn't need to negotiate with him on timing/stops, etc. I feel like if I paying hundreds of dollars....I shouldn't have to dodge commission bullets and tourist traps.

Anyway, we MAY go back to the Med. I definitely would not hire them again.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:26 PM   #99
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Ugh. I do remember his name and even what he looks like. I really need to do Tripadvisor reviews for all 3 tour companies we used (as well as our hotels) but I just feel like I never have the time.

Also, I wanted to wait and reflect on it so that I was fair in the review. I figured that if I wrote it immediately I might still be irritated. Wanted to see if I feel the same way after the exhaustion of the trip wore away.

Now that you've brought this up.....Yup, still do!

Some other poster mentioned that she had a positive experience with them. She also said that she took the reins and directed them on where to go, rejected their suggested restaurants, got back early but made them drive out to Naples, etc. I guess I could have done all that, but I didn't want to.

And frankly, I shouldn't have to. In Rome our driver was great. I didn't need to negotiate with him on timing/stops, etc. I feel like if I paying hundreds of dollars....I shouldn't have to dodge commission bullets and tourist traps.

Anyway, we MAY go back to the Med. I definitely would not hire them again.
I agree wholeheartedly, I've heard other things about tour companies based around the Amalfi Coast bringing their customers to that restaurant (I think I know which one you're talking about) so they must have all caught onto the gimmick. I would also feel uncomfortable telling the driver where to go and I don't think it's very professional to bring customers to tourist traps like that that take up so much unnecessary time and cut into other activities. However I'm glad that you still had a good time in that port!
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:21 AM   #100
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I agree wholeheartedly, I've heard other things about tour companies based around the Amalfi Coast bringing their customers to that restaurant (I think I know which one you're talking about) so they must have all caught onto the gimmick.
Really? Do you mind saying which other companies do this so that I can avoid them next time?
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:51 PM   #101
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Really? Do you mind saying which other companies do this so that I can avoid them next time?
I don't know their exact names but if you look on the TripAdvisor page for the restaurant and search hard enough there's lots of reviews saying "our tour guide brought us here for lunch".

Also if you look at reviews of some of the top tour companies they'll say "our guide took us to (the same restaurant)"
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:25 PM   #102
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I don't know their exact names but if you look on the TripAdvisor page for the restaurant and search hard enough there's lots of reviews saying "our tour guide brought us here for lunch".

Also if you look at reviews of some of the top tour companies they'll say "our guide took us to (the same restaurant)"
I see what you mean. When we walked into the restaurant, every table in there was a tourist table (no locals, which to me is always a bad sign).

They had an entire back table of just tour guides. When our driver checked us in, they put a piece of paper on our table with our driver's name on it that said "8 p" for our 8 people who were there. Then they logged his name in a book (for his commission, I suppose). He sat at the tour guide table and got his free meal while waiting for us to order, and then chain smoked outside with his other driver friends while waiting for us to eat. I guess he had a great time

My DH and I considered for one moment of asking him to take us elsewhere, but everyone was tired and the kids were cranky so we stayed. I think that if it had been the 2 of us, we probably would have left.

It took over 20 minutes for someone to take our order, and they then charged a service charge per person for the yucky table bread. We had to ask for oil & vinegar for it. Call me cynical but one waiter "accidentally" brought us a bottle of wine instead of balsamic vinegar. I'm pretty sure they were going to charge us for it had we not noticed or sent it back.

It was situations like this (as well as being snapped at by the driver at Pompeii) that made me indignant throughout the day. Luckily, the rest of the family didn't know what was happening, and I was glad for it. No need for everyone to have a bad time
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:31 AM   #103
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I so enjoyed reading this TR. First and foremost, your daughters are beautiful. The smiles on their faces, especially with Mickey and Minnie, made me choke up a little. Our daughter is 8 so it reminds me of how they make her smile too. I could go on and on about this topic, haha.

We are doing this exact same cruise the exact same week next year (ours leaves May 31). You mentioned a couple of times about the heat and humidity. Do you happen to remember what the temperatures were?

I bookmarked your TR so that when I start planning excursions, I can refer back to it easily. You provided such phenomenal, detailed information! I wanted to make sure I knew exactly where to go to research your tour companies, guides, etc.

I'm so glad you guys had a great time, and personally I am thankful that you decided to write a TR. You are helping my family plan properly by doing so!

Best wishes!!
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:32 PM   #104
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I so enjoyed reading this TR. First and foremost, your daughters are beautiful. The smiles on their faces, especially with Mickey and Minnie, made me choke up a little. Our daughter is 8 so it reminds me of how they make her smile too. I could go on and on about this topic, haha.
It is so amazing to see their little faces light up when they see the characters. I remember Baby Ems walking away from Daisy, patting her tummy in satisfaction when the picture was done. She was just astounded she met her favorite "person" in the whole world.

Is your daughter into princesses? They had so many princess photo opportunities on this trip. I'm sure she will really enjoy it

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We are doing this exact same cruise the exact same week next year (ours leaves May 31). You mentioned a couple of times about the heat and humidity. Do you happen to remember what the temperatures were?

I bookmarked your TR so that when I start planning excursions, I can refer back to it easily. You provided such phenomenal, detailed information! I wanted to make sure I knew exactly where to go to research your tour companies, guides, etc.

I'm so glad you guys had a great time, and personally I am thankful that you decided to write a TR. You are helping my family plan properly by doing so!

Best wishes!!
It was actually cold and rainy in Barcelona that last week of May. I decided last minute to bring Columbia Sportswear fleece for the whole family and we all wore it in Barcelona (all 3 days). It was pretty cold without fleece. I was surprised.

Here is a picture near Placa Catalunya at 11:30 am. You can see a bunch of tourists off in the distance. Everyone was wearing jackets, sweaters.


In Villefranche, the weather was mild -- mid 70s.

We went to Portofino & Santa Margherita for our La Spezia day. These towns are by the sea and so the temperature was very mild. I wore a lightweight long sleeve and it was perfect. Probably low 70s with a breeze.

Rome was easily 85 or so and in the sun when you are walking, it starts getting pretty exhausting. It was humid....so it's good to apply sunblock and bring some too to reapply since you'll sweat it off. There isn't very much shade at the Forum or the Colosseum. There are also hordes of people, so it "feels" hot. The A/C doesn't work well in the Vatican. Hot hot hot.

The Roman Forum at around 10:30 am. Already hot hot:




Pompeii has no shade, and it was very very very hot. I don't remember the exact temperature, but I would guess it was low 90s. The sun reflects off all the white stone so it's sort of just blinding everywhere. It's also humid since its only a mile or 2 above the coast. It takes about 2 hours to tour Pompeii, so the heat gets exhausting. Kinda like being at WDW in July and walking around for 2 hours. Your tour guide will have you stand in the shade of a wall every time they do an explanation.

Pompeii at around 10:00 a.m. Bright and sunny, and the run reflects off the stone.



We loved the weather in Positano. It was probably low 80s, with a breeze.

The ship is always cold and it's super windy on deck. We brought a lot of layers in our luggage and that seemed to work well.

Let me know if you have other questions!

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Old 07-06-2013, 04:30 PM   #105
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Day 13 Naples -- Baby Ems v. The Sleazy Guy
Ok ladies, you know that guy in the bar? You know, that one. There's always that one guy, in the bar, whose wife and kids are at home, but he's all greasy looking sitting by himself in the bar, looking to pick up chicks? Yea, that guy. Well, that guy was our driver in Naples. UGH. ICK. HEEBIE JEEBIES.

Let me start off with a disclaimer: We had a GREAT TIME in Pompeii and in Positano. Unforgettable. Beautiful. But the entire day was sort of hijacked by The-Sleazy-Guy. Let me get all my gripes about The-Sleazy-Guy out of the way. The-Sleazy-Guy showed up late, so I had to ransack my diaper bag to figure out See Amalfi Coast's phone number. Then The-Sleazy-Guy yelled at me for grabbing extra things out of my diaper bag because he needed me to hurry up and get me out of the car, since he decided to drop us off at Pompeii by parking in an illegal spot. Then The-Sleazy-Guy took us a tourist trap restaurant where he: (1) gets a commission; and (2) a free lunch without telling us that this ginormous waste of time would cut our Positano time to 1 hour, and that we'd miss Sorrento.

Oh yea, and The-Sleazy-Guy told me that he has a baby mama in England, with a kid who refuses to speak/learn Italian and whom he only sees once a year because "the kid is British." I had to sit next to him for 9 hours of my life, listening to the sleaze.

I'm sad to say that we booked with the highly-rated "See Amalfi Coast." I can't recommend them based on our poor experience. But hey, the bright side is we saved some money compared to going with DCL. Yay?

Baby Ems avenged us against The-Sleazy-Guy by throwing up in his van (take that, Sleazy-Guy!) But we are kind people and we made sure she threw up on us instead of his seats (I'm like, Evil-lite). So she wore my skirt as her top for the rest of the day.
Good for Baby Ems! Babies are great!

I am so sorry to hear about your experience, because it's your vacation! Did you complain to the tour company?
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