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. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    I have used Whats App to free text between USA and Europe but not on the ships as the Wi Fi is SLOW and EXPENSIVE! I would save the Whats Apping for port days unless there is a major reason you need to be in touch on sea days.

    Mel
    x
     
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  3. lasdisney

    lasdisney Earning My Ears

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    Yes, we are going to use Whats App in the ports. We have a phone off policy for the ships as the cost of two teenagers thinking that they can text with their friends back home would be very dangerous.

    Now having said that, NZDISNEYMOM is doing an amazing job of blogging her B2B cruises and I believe she has used the ship's wifi for some of her posts. The link to the blog is in her signature. Thank you, Cindy!

    I wish that I had thought of B2B 12 night med cruises ... :idea:
     
  4. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    For all of you who've recently sailed, how far did you have to go after deplaning in BCN til you found an ATM (preferably with no fees)? I've heard of kiosks that charge high fees and offer poor exchange rates so I'd like to avoid those. I tried google-mapping banks near our hotel (Hispano 7 Suiza) and it's only showing the hotel, not banks nearby. I'd like to be able to tip our driver in Euros for our BCN to hotel transfers. Should I request a bank stop to our transfer company? or it's not that difficult?

    Thanks!:goodvibes
     
  5. thndrmatt

    thndrmatt Real Life Mickey Wannabe!

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    This is definitely group dependent, but take a look at the following map. It is exactly 1 mile (note this is from the tender dock, actual dock will be different), and in that mile it only climbs 60 feet. Thinking back I remember basically none of the incline other than a slight hill to get up to the station itself (it's situated above the road level). There are no required turns once you pass through the park with the big equestrian statue on your left, and on the way back there's lots of shopping and little restaurants if you have extra time.

    It also might be time dependent, if you only have 5 min to make a train taxi it up, but a 20 min walk is certainly doable for most (and is free...).

    https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=SS1&daddr=44.1029779,9.8234318+to:Piazzale+della+Stazione&hl=en&ll=44.107649,9.821563&spn=0.01362,0.024118&sll=44.111125,9.813634&sspn=0.001702,0.003015&geocode=FfT7oAIdZvKVAA%3BFUH1oAIdx-SVACnNbb0ImvzUEjFvO69EhFPihA%3BFX8VoQIdNb6VAA&t=h&dirflg=w&mra=dme&mrsp=2&sz=19&via=1&z=16
     
  6. pxlbarrel

    pxlbarrel <font color=teal>They won't allow any kind of cow

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    Don't know if this was ever answered but the Shutters CD was $399 plus $75 if you wanted all the prints for the 12 night cruise. We just finished the Greek one.

    A note about Villefranche tendering. We were one of the first off the ship, I think, and it was delayed by probably 15 minutes at the beginning. Our problem wasn't really getting to land, it was afterwards. The buses were having a extremely difficult time going up the hill in the tight turns because of all the cars parked on the side (tour guide said probably from all the drunks from Saturday night) and other buses trying to get down to the port area. This one impatient car driver behind us tried to squeeze past us and the bus in front (that was about to back into him) and he eventually fell back behind us again. It must have taken about 45 minutes to maneuver out of the tendering area.

    We were on the Nice, Grasse and Saint Paul excursion. (By the way, my least favourite part was Grasse and the perfume factory...it was Sunday so nobody was working so we got, for the most part, a sell job on perfumes. If you're sensitive to odours, don't go here... LOL)
     
  7. drlaurafsu

    drlaurafsu Mouseketeer

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    We used What's App in Paris to stay connected in December. We also use it to stay in contact with family in South America. Its fantastic for both of those purposes. Just use your wifi connection when you are on land. You'll find lots of hotspots to use it.
     
  8. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    We walked back from the train station and it was great. (and my mom is in her mid-70s and moves slow)

    REALLY cute town, got some GREAT Gelato on the walk back. All pedestrian. I highly recommend it!

    (We took the boat to the Cinque Terra)
     
  9. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    Here you go.. in the airport

    http://www.aena-aeropuertos.es/csee/Satellite/Aeropuerto-Barcelona/en/Page/1045569607399/#ATMs

    I know Banco Popular and Santander don't charge any fees. Your bank may however.

    If the ATM is affiliated with a bank I have never had it charge fees. The fees come on the US side of the transaction!
     
  10. drlaurafsu

    drlaurafsu Mouseketeer

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    Pretty sure you have already posted this...but can you tell me again about the boat? Where do you catch it? Which stops, etc? I recall it was 25e, right?

    I am seriously considering taking the boat (even for the extra cost) so I can get pictures from the water...especially if it stops at the near towns first and the goes to the last one. Then a combo of hiking and train back to La Spezia so any insight you could provide would be helpful. I'm going solo on this stop as my guys are going to Pisa/Lucca.

    Thanks!
     
  11. OrangeCountyCommuter

    OrangeCountyCommuter DIS Veteran

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    We tendered in LaSpezia, so if you don't you may have to look around, but..

    If you tender there was a tourist boat just to the left of where you get off the tender. It's 25 Euros for an all day off and on pass. That's all they have on the sign. But if you ask you can buy a one way ticket It was 15 Euros each to Verranzo (town 4) (I know I spelled that wrong, but..) It stopped at the fort by the port (which you can't really see otherwise) and at two other villages on the way there and you can take it all the to the last town also.

    It left at 9:15. (there are other departures I don't recall the time) It was GREAT, we loved it. The view from the water of the mountains and town was much more "breathtaking" and you can see how the towns are wedged in...

    We took the train back stopping at two other towns before we hit La Spezia.

    For us this worked well since we could have the view, but weren't stuck with the "boat" schedule for moving around.

    We had planned to walk between towns 1 and 2, but the trail was still closed. Check the info on line as lots of the trails are still closed from the flooding last year. (My mom is not up to major hiking so 1 and 2 was our best bet as it's pretty easy according to the books!)
     
  12. drlaurafsu

    drlaurafsu Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for that info! It sounds like the perfect option for me.
     
  13. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

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    Vernazza is our favorite of the five villages. We stayed there a few nights on one of our trips through Italy.

    For a tasty snack, be sure to try the fresh baked foccacia bread. Delicioso!

    Woody
     
  14. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    Yes, we are b2bing now.. second half. A week to go.
     
  15. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    How wonderful :goodvibes Really hope you do a TR when you get back. Have fun!
     
  16. clairedy6

    clairedy6 Mouseketeer

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    I was kind of looking forward to tendering in La Spezia..how far does the ship dock from where it used to drop off tender passengers?
     
  17. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    You'll get to tender in Villefranche. I noticed that the tender process in Villefranche was ALOT faster than in La Spezia. In La Spezia we waited 20 minutes for them to fill our boat, and the ride was about 10-15 minutes long. Maybe that's why they changed the process?
     
  18. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    We are blogging including pictures. Link is in my sig line but for mobile users, you might not see sig lines. Http://medcruise2013.blogspot.com
     
  19. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    We are on our first sea day of the inaugural cruise to Venice, and after four intense port days in a row, you can really tell that everyone is glad to have a sea day. The weather is beautiful and the family and kid pool areas are busy. The CM working the soda machines can barely keep the cups filled. Quite a difference from last week when there were more adults and fewer kids. There are many European families onboard this week that couldn't sail last cruise because their children were still in school. So, we have had four ports so I thought I would post a quick update on them.

    Villefranche: tendering was better than the previous sailing but excursions still returned later than the last scheduled tender time. It was a beautiful sunny day, unlike the muggy, overcast day 12 days prior, so we were able to get some good photos. We did not do an excursion here. The teenagers stayed onboard and slept. DH and I went into town around 10:15 and walked to the beach and then to the train station to have a look around. There was another ship in town and the line for the ticket office was busier than I would have expected. But the trains apparently were running on time, so no worries there. There is free wifi in the port area, valid for 20 minutes. It's located to the right as you enter the port building from the tendering pier... Just follow the crew.

    La Spezia: we did the Florence and Michelangelo tour through DCL. This was a good tour to the heart of Florence and included a visit to the Accademia to see The David which is why we picked this one over others. We had a walk about the historical center which took us outside the Uffizi and by the river, through some of the streets, and by the Duomo before going to the Accademia for our 12:15 entry time which ended up being closer to 12:45 because the museum was overbooked. Our guide did t give us our water bottles when we arrived in Florence but rather at the end of the day, but there was a grocery shop rig across from the Accademia so we were able to dash in and get a drink there. After the Accademia, some folks split off to start their free time earlier while the rest of us went back to the Duomo for a better viewing. By then, the crowds had begun to disperse and it was easier to see and hear. We then had approximately two hours of free time for lunch and whatever else we wanted to do, meeting back at 3:45 at the Michelangelo leather shop. Several of us asked our guide for her recommendation for lunch so she took us to an underground restaurant where our limited Italian let us order the best ravioli we have ever had. We had about 45 minutes left after lunch and were about 15 minutes away from our meeting point, so we did some souvenir shopping and had gelato on the way back. The drive for this tour takes a bit over two hours going and two and a half on the way back. This was on a Saturday and our guide said it takes more time on a week day. Most of us slept on the way back. Oh, we did have a rest stop about an hour into the trip for the driver to fuel up the bus.

    Civitavecchia: the boys and DH stayed onboard while I went on the Bracciano and Wine Tasting excursion. DH wasn't feeling well so he opted not to go. We aren't wine drinkers but wanted to see the countryside and also try local foods that would be offered as part of the excursion. It was a beautiful, relaxing day and I enjoyed getting to meet more of our cruise companions. The others reported the wine was good. We were at a local winery where they also produce several other products such as cheese and jams. The time in Bracciano was too limited, not enough time to walk up to the castle which houses a museum in part of it, but as it was Sunday morning, not much was open besides the churches. There is free wifi in the main square. In the afternoon, DH was feeling better, so we took the shuttle to the edge of the port and walked around the boardwalk area... Not much going on but apparently a lot of places to get good wifi. We had a 7:30 all aboard time which was an hour later than our previous stop. At 6:15 there wee a dozen buses dropping off guests and the line of people to board was literally from the forward gangway to the aft. Crazy!

    Naples: we did the Half Day Pompeii through DCL for this port. Our meeting time was 8:30 and we were back to the ship by 1:00. We had a full two hours in Pompeii plus about 15 minutes pre-entry to collect a refreshment that was included, and the another 20 minutes at the end for souvenir or shopping. We were able to use the Cameo factory's restrooms which were clean and well supplied. After we got back to the ship, two other DISers and we took taxis to a pizzeria we had found on TripAdvisor so we could have authentic Napoletana pizza. It was a successful venture and we were back onboard by 3:00. Tomorrow we arrive in Venice.

    Today is formal night, and there is also the Bella Italia deck party at 10:15 tonight. The Lone Ranger premEARs at 12:01 tonight and will show again at 8:30 AM and again tomorrow night. We arrive in Venice around noon so a morning showing of the movie works better for me than staying up so late tonight. So that's it from here. VAT is 21% for onboard purchases. My of can cash a personal check for up to $300 once per cruise. They have Croatian Kuna onboard that we can exchange for beginning today.
     
  20. 890537

    890537 Registered

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    We saw groups of teen girls in the vatican using scarves to make skirts. Never thought about it but might use it if we go back again and it's hot.
     
  21. 890537

    890537 Registered

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    Depends on how well they can walk. We read in Rick Steves that it was a 10 minute walk but my mom (75) was complaining from the start because we were trying to make the train. We did not make the train we wanted to make (might have been an earlier one - we were headed to Pisa). If you're headed to CT, you might consider the boat - it docks right next to the tender so there's little walk. Taxi cost is way more than Spain - I think it was 20 euros from the train station back to the dock.
     

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