Med Cruisers...Let's Discuss Planning!(Updated Tour Info, Links & BCN Info on Page 1)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by lilpooh108, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Fantasia Sam

    Fantasia Sam <font color=blue>Has a WDW secret<br><font color=C

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    I had subscribed to this thread a long time ago and I am glad to read that overall it was the Trip of a Lifetime and only with a few hiccups which of course I was disappointed for you when I read them.

    I am with you on the Navigators - my husband would complain about it every night LOL he never got over the new format for the same reasons as you state!

    Your mini report confirms my fears about DCL excursions but sounds like the Portofino one was good so I may try that one next time :) We avoided this time round because we just found them sooo expensive.

    We did Cinque Terre on our own that day and bar the long wait for tenders at La Spezia it would have gone totally according to plan but we still had a great day and including lunch, 2 taxi rides, train journeys we paid for 4 people the same price Disney were charging for 1 person!

    Monaco/Monte Carlo we also did on our own and bar the rain at the end of the day and the mad dash walk from the bus back to the tender at Villefranche we really enjoyed walking around the Principality!

    I was however a bit surprised to read your review on See Amalfi Coast only because we used them on the same day and had the most wonderful time but with a couple of changes. What a shame they were not consistent for you and very frustrating for you indeed.

    We must have lucked out as we had a driver and a tour guide plus we paid for another tour guide at Pompeii which was well worth the money. They picked us up at 8am and we were at Pompeii for opening.

    Originally the company wanted to take us to La Tagliata overlooking Positano but it wasn't my sort of place so we requested that they take us to Ristorante Constantino - which yes was full of tourists but the view was amazing - we didn't want the prix fixe menu which they were trying to push onto us but we know what we like and we wanted the a la carte so our lunch took a little longer but it was actually cheaper than the prix fixe and we had wine and bottled water too.

    Because we had chosen to linger over lunch our Driver was concerned about time and getting us back to Naples because I wanted us to be back at 5pm even though the all aboard time was 5.30pm (OCD). This meant they gave us the option to go down to the lovely less busy Positano or go to Sorrento - Sorrento was a must do for us.

    I then came up with another plan as we were concerned about traffic on the way back to the city. We only wanted about 50 minutes in Sorrento (in that time I managed to do some damage on the credit card and buy gelato - it's very touristy and I am sure Positano would have been less crazy but I needed that pin in Sorrento LOL). When we got back to Naples we still had tour time and so our driver dropped us off and waited for us whilst we walked around Naples for a little bit - this worked out well and given how we felt DCL were running the place down a bit (dangerous, traffic etc) honestly everything that DCL were telling us they could have said about NYC and London and I really thought there was a lot of scaremongering - After walking around Naples we found it to be a beautiful city with a lot of culture and we were grateful to See Amalfi for keeping us on track and being so flexible.

    I just wanted to put that out there because I think Trip Advisor puts See Amalfi Coast as #1 for a reason but of course I appreciate that there are companies out there that I have used that I too thought were not worthy of their accolade only to hear that others had a wonderful experience.
     
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  3. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    I'm glad to hear you had a great time :thumbsup2 That's so nice that you got to do Cinque Terre on your own. We'd considered it but w/2 little kids and my post-surgery issues, we gave up that plan. Portofino was incredibly beautiful and we had a really wonderful time.

    Regarding See Amalfi Coast, these were my issues with them-- they stated specifically that we'd do both Sorrento & Positano (both via email and when I started the tour).

    We did not linger at lunch (ordered pizza, no alcohol, in and out w/in reasonable time), and I was told no Sorrento after lunch. Since our driver got a commission (and a free lunch) for taking us to the restaurant, I felt that it was deceptive to take us there only to announce after lunch that we were out of time. I specifically asked our driver whether we would have time for both Positano and Sorrento before lunch. He said yes. If he had said no, we would have skipped a sit-down meal.

    When we got into Positano, there were plenty of cafes/lounges/restaurants where we could have eaten on our own. I guess See Amalfi Coast didn't want to pay for 2 hours of parking instead of 1.

    We decided on a "private" tour to avoid tourist trap restaurants and commissioned purchases, etc. If I didn't mind these types of places, I'd just go for a cheaper group tour company like Viator.

    We also paid for a guide at Pompeii. Probably just a matter of preference, but in the end we felt like we didn't need her since we'd all read up on it and felt bad when she waited around while we took pictures or when my daughter took a 30 minute potty break. She has number 2'ed at all the famous archaeological sites in the world. :lmao:
     
  4. tinkertaylor05

    tinkertaylor05 DIS Veteran

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    We were also on 1st June sailing and had a wonderful time. Spent 2 days before and after in Barcelona, I travelled with my 64 yo mum who is having difficulty walking and my 8 yo dd.

    As I've previously said I had the talk with de several times before our trip about the importance of her not stopping unless I've agreed it and not to take anything from anyone. As I was travelling with 2 people both of which fall into the vulnerable target group I made sure we stuck together and simply gave a firm no to anyone that approached us whilst carrying on walking. I didn't use anything fancy, I believe it's best to blend in and not have any tourist gear where possible. I used a good quality heavy leather across body handbag, carried passports, cash and a camera.

    We did all of the major sites in Barcelona, we stayed on Paral Lel, I found this area perfect to get around we decided to not do any tours or the hoho and simply used cabs, they were all good value and we did exactly what we wanted when we wanted to.

    Villefranche - took the train to Monaco super easy, we walked through town so avoided all the steps up to the train station. Cost around 15¬ for 3 people return and the train only took 20 mins tops.

    Stayed onboard for Pisa to enjoy the quiet ship :goodvibes

    Rome - we arranged a tour with Rudys Touring Service, what an incredible day. We had a fantastic charismatic driver. He picked us up at 8am and took us everywhere we wished to go. We spent a couple of hours in the colosseum, our driver was also a qualified badged tour guide for all museums so took us to the front of every line and gave us a superb tour. We walked past all the dcl tours waiting in groups to get in. We did authentic little back street pizza restaurant, gelato and coffee at various points throughout the day. We were never rushed and it was good value.

    Naples - I found the town pretty run down so we just had a quick look around then did the DCL Hidden Treasures of the Herculaneum, this was the perfect tour for us, half day was just right.

    We had an incredible trip, just remember when using trip advisor people that number one isn't always the best and it represents sometimes quantity not quality :thumbsup2
     
  5. Fifitrixabellee

    Fifitrixabellee Earning My Ears

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    Rome - we arranged a tour with Rudys Touring Service, what an incredible day. We had a fantastic charismatic driver. He picked us up at 8am and took us everywhere we wished to go. We spent a couple of hours in the colosseum, our driver was also a qualified badged tour guide for all museums so took us to the front of every line and gave us a superb tour. We walked past all the dcl tours waiting in groups to get in. We did authentic little back street pizza restaurant, gelato and coffee at various points throughout the day. We were never rushed and it was good value.

    Thank you for the tip I've just emailed Rudy for cost. He has great reviews.
     
  6. tinkertaylor05

    tinkertaylor05 DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2 Rudy was really good through the whole process, our driver was Daniel and he was fantastic.
     
  7. disprincess4ever

    disprincess4ever DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for posting your review! I'm on the next cruise on the 27th and am a bit nervous. We bought some pacsafe purses which I'm sure look very touristy, but hopefully they work and people don't target us. As for the ship, hopefully we don't have the same room situation as you did! We're a family of germaphobes so a dirty room wouldn't go over well. Any other insight about your vacation would be appreciated! Just trying to make this trip of a lifetime as perfect as possible :cool1:
     
  8. texasgirl29

    texasgirl29 Mouseketeer

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    I debated about the pacsafe purse too. On one hand, it says " I'm a tourist" but on the other hand it says "don't even mess with me"
     
  9. disprincess4ever

    disprincess4ever DIS Veteran

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    I have a big camera, so I needed a bag anyway. At least with a pacsafe there are the safety features and the picpockets will hopefully try to pick an easier target.
     
  10. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    I posted a trip report with my notes....

    But, I find the "pacsafe purse protection' thing just hysterical. That company has made a fortune off of "scare tactics" I spent 2.5 weeks in Europe this trip without the "safe for a purse" and...no problems. (Depsite the fact that my 75 year old mother tends to carry her purse like Michael Vick carries a football!) I also never really felt the "threat" that others do, but then having traveled a lot, I don't the 'stories' on message boards create some of the fear I see on here. I have seen several posters who say they plan not to talk to strangers... had we done that we would still be wandering around the port in Naples thanks to Cruise Director Peter's absolutely horrid directions LOL! I just say no to beggars, etc and move on... (And lots of the petition girls are NOT pickpockets, they are con artists, there's a difference. They will tell you that now that you have signed you have agreed to make a donation and badger you for it. But of course that happens here, I get calls all the time from some local Veteran's Association trying to guilt me into giving to them when 90% of what they make lines the manager's pocket!)

    And of course if they had picked my wallet out of my purse they had.... 40 or 50 Euros max. Hardly the end of the World. My money belt has the good stuff. And unlike the US you generally aren't mugged so that works! And as for someone hurting me by cutting it off... REALLY? First unless you are rummaging around in it how are they going to know it's there.. And in ALL my travels and reading of message boards... never heard of this one actually happening LOL! Let's not sit around thinking of ways to scare ourselves (the PacSafe people can do that for us!)

    My view of Pacsafe is the thief thinks "she must have something she wants to protect" There's nothing about it that says "don't mess with me" I think it creates a false sense of security. (When you set it on the ground by your cafe table then it can and will be stolen, saw that happen in Paris once... woman actually said "but it's a PacSafe" LOL!)

    My camera was on my body with a cross body strap (Honestly how does a "purse" protect the camera unless you never take it out of the purse? The risk is when you are using it and folks can see it, so unless you plan not to use it I don't see the "purse" as the "solution"? And standing there dragging it in and out of the purse is probably just as risky as anything else. that's when your purse is open etc... I actually picked up a woman's wallet in Naples and handed it back to her after it fell out of her purse when she pulled out her camera!)

    Actually Europe is a heck of a lot safer then the US. You won't be shot for refusing to hand over your purse....

    We did not do any DCL excursions. Had a great time in Naples, Nice, Cinque Terra and a good time in Rome. I put my thoughts in my trip summary over on that board.

    My room was prefect and my service was OUTSTANDING! Restored my faith in DCL after my "Dream" (or Nightmare) cruise a while back.

    I did want to point out a couple of things on debarkation.

    1. If you are flying Delta home that day you can check your bags at the port.
    2. If you shopped too much they have a shipping service affiliated with UPS at the port waiting to take your stuff.
    3. That same shipping service will either hold your luggage or deliver it to the BCN airport on the same day if you have a late flight and want to tour without your luggage!
     
  11. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    I'm very thin, my money is very clearly visible through my clothing even with layers on. I felt more comfortable putting our important things in my husband's leg wallet. I carried nothing at all.

    Regarding whether a person would get robbed--it's all to do with a bit of luck, knowledge and circumstance, right?

    I'm sure the older lady who almost got robbed during the Florence/Pisa excursion never thought she'd ACTUALLY get robbed when she left for this trip.

    In my opinion, people need to do what they are comfortable with. If buying a Pacsafe purse increases a DIS'er's enjoyment of their trip, why mock them?

    FWIW, this was my 6th trip to Europe. Safety wise, I treated it as if it were my 1st trip to Europe. My valuables were NOT my money or my passports. It was my family. And if anyone had gotten hurt by being knocked over by a thief/pickpocket, that would have been more heartbreaking than losing a few Euros which my travel insurance would have easily covered.
     
  12. tinkertaylor05

    tinkertaylor05 DIS Veteran

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    :lmao: having just done this sailing with my mother I can say that I carried all of the good stuff she carried a purse for decoration ..... love you mum but just saying!

    Also meant to add we got off at both tender ports - albeit at La Spezia just for a look around ... I did not go into the movie theatre where everyone waited and both days waited for open boarding to be announced ... if you're not in a rush I would recommend waiting for the announcement it took them very little time to clear the excursion guests.
     
  13. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    How does one wear a leg wallet if wearing shorts? He'll wear long pants (zip offs) on our Rome day but that's it. Doesn't it go on your calf? :confused:
     
  14. texasgirl29

    texasgirl29 Mouseketeer

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    Since the purse I presently carry around is a small cross-body Vera Bradley with thin straps, a new one is in order. The Pacsafe Metrosafe I bought holds my iPad as well, so I can use my kindle app on the plane.

    I'm not worried about myself (heck, I live in Texas and I don't even have a gun!) but I'm afraid my daughters might be easy marks -- although they will definitely have nothing of value on them.
     
  15. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    It's a thigh wallet actually. There is one loop which goes around the belt for the guy's pants. You then flip the wallet inward so that it hangs right about where the thigh is, kind of where the front pockets normally are.

    My husband wears boxers so the wallet was usually between his jeans/shorts and his boxers.

    He said that it was very comfortable, and he wore cargos on occasion and it was not visible. There is a zipper at the top to enclose the items.

    When he needed to access it, he usually did it in the bathroom. He eventually got so used to it that he could access it sitting down at a restaurant (if we felt like no one could see).

    My husband does not like money belts b/c he sweats alot (like a guy does), and he doesn't like how bulky the money belts are under his polo shirts. This was the first time we've used this type of wallet and he didn't complain at all.
     
  16. MrsScooby

    MrsScooby DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2
    I also bought one of those wallets that has loops for the belt for my husband for our trip to France last summer.
    He also made fun of it at first until we rode the subway at rush hour. We were packed like sardines and he was glad he didn't have to worry about losing it.
    Something that is comfortable to wear that gives you peace of mind and doesn't cost a lot. :confused3 makes sense to me
     
  17. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    Hi again :wave2:

    I can't seem to get over this jet lag (fall asleep at 5pm, wake up at 2am). So I decided to actually start a trip report. It's been fun re-living the trip and I wanted to document it before I forget the details. I've also been reading other June 1 Med cruiser's TRs and it's been so fun.

    Here is my TR for anyone who is interested. Only on day 4 so far:
    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=48694844&posted=1#post48694844
     
  18. DisneyNurse19

    DisneyNurse19 Mouseketeer

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    Please hurry! Loved all the photo's :thumbsup2
     
  19. Celestine

    Celestine DIS Veteran

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    This sounds ideal - do you have any further details, e.g. cost?

    Glad to hear you had a great cruise

    Celestine
     
  20. debsters41

    debsters41 DIS Veteran

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    So, have any of the recently returned med cruisers happened to have noticed the price of the shutters cd with all pictures and prints? Is it still 399?
     
  21. kventventx

    kventventx Mouseketeer

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    Can anyone post a picture of the new format Navigators? Thanks.
     

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