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. Cjjoncas

    Cjjoncas Earning My Ears

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    On a recent trip to Portugal, we went to a local cell phone store and got a cell phone and 2 hours worth of talk time for 20 euros. The whole process was quick and painless. It was great to have a phone to use and gave us peace of mind since we had a rental car and doing long day trips. Not sure if there are the same offers in Barcelona but something to think about.
     
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  3. ruadisneyfan2

    ruadisneyfan2 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! I think we'll be ok with our regular phones. I made each of us a little card of how to call/text home, locally & each other in case someone gets separated or some emergency. For $1.50 per minute (pay per use), it's really not that expensive.



    We fly to Barcelona tomorrow! I'm so excited I can't take it! :yay:
     
  4. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    Hey y'all!

    I don't know who might still be subscribed to this thread, but I have gone through a lot of the info jam-packed in this thread and highlighted it with links on the 1st page.

    I've copied & pasted it below for those too lazy (like me ;)) to click on the 1st page.

    For any 2013 Med cruisers who have other info/recommendations, please let me know and I will add it to the 1st page.

    I did not do the 12 night, so I'm missing many of the research/details for those ports. Let me know if you have anything/recs to add.

    I think it's great that we have a resources here. I know many are planning to go back next year on the EBTA or WBTAs and so a lot of this info will come in handy again soon.


    ****************Let me know if you have anything/TRs to add, here is the 1st page*****************


    The 2013 Med cruises are almost over :sad: Since there is so much amazing information in this thread and in the TRs, I compiled links to the info below. Feel free to let me know if I'm missing anything. This first page is a work in progress.

    Barcelona Pre-cruise Hotel Thread/Recommendations

    Recommended/Referenced Barcelona Transfer Companies
    Barcelona Day Tours
    Spanish Trails
    Barcelona Airport Transfers

    Sagrada Familia tickets


    Helpful Discussion on Med Ports for Mobility Challenged Folks

    Interesting Discussion re ABD v Other Med Excursions

    Villefranche
    ***Please PM me if you have recommendations or more info***

    La Spezia (Florence/Pisa)
    Art Viva (link to Rick Steve's discount page)
    Florence Cooking Classes

    Website to Purchase Pisa Tower tickets

    Informational Website on Cinque Terre
    Website for Ferry Company w/Service to Cinque Terre
    Status of Cinque Terre Trails

    Civitavecchia (Rome)
    Recommended touring/transfer/guide companies
    Rome in Limo
    Rudy's Touring Service
    Walks of Italy
    Angel Tours
    Through Eternity

    Website to Purchase Colosseum tickets (and tickets to Underground Tour)
    Website to Purchase Vatican tickets

    Rome Gladiator School for Kids
    Blog Description of Gladiator School

    Rome ToolKit's detailed summary of the cruise port

    Heatherbelle's Explanation for Rome On Your Own (with itinerary)

    Tom's Port Guide Rome

    Naples
    Tom's Port Guide Naples/Sorrento

    Venice
    Tom's Port Guide to Venice (PDF)

    Palazzo Ducale's Link to Secret Itineraries Tour

    Doge's Palace website link to different tickets & museum passes

    Walks of Italy's Secret Itineraries Tour

    Mykonos, Greece
    Tom's Port Guide to Mykonos

    Thndrmatt's summary of DIY at all ports
    http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=48812510&postcount=756


    7-Night Med Trip Reports

    Realbetis' TR

    Disney Helen's TR

    Disney Mam's TR

    Lilpooh108's TR

    Lilpooh108's Bathroom roundup for 7 night Med

    Abayaflowers' TR (mostly DIY)


    12-Night Med Trip Reports
    MelCatfish's TR

    Scraptographer's TR

    disprincess4ever's TR

    MinnieDiva's TR

    Deb in IA's TR
     
  5. bats

    bats Enjoying Bahama Mama's

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    Fantastic piece of work you've done here. Thank you!!

    Having just returned from a B2B Med, I'd really like to add a couple of companies if I may.
    For transfers from Barcelona, we, and many Brits use Suntransfers (www.suntransfers.com). First time I've not used DCL but I was really impressed with the prices and the fact that they turned up within 1 minute of my collection time. It was 55 euros for a 7 sweater mini van from Port to Airport or 35 euros for a 4 person car. We had the minivan for 4 though as we each had a large case plus carry ons.

    I'd also like to recommend Your Tour In Italy (www.yourtourinitaly.com) too please. 3 years ago we were in WDW speaking to some DVC staff who had recently been on a Med cruise. They recommended this company, so for our 2011 Med cruise, we booked with Your Tour In Italy. We had 42 people join us in the end (lots of friends and family on cruise!) and they were excellent. Nothing was too much trouble and the drivers local knowledge was amazing. They took us to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum and Spanish Steps .. All in one day, but as we were in mini vans and could get directly to the buildings (unlike DCLs buses), we had no walking to do and it didn't feel rushed.

    This year, we used them for our Naples stop. We only wanted a taster of a couple of places as we are booked for another Med cruise next year. We also didn't want to be off the ship all day, so we did Sorrento then down to Herculaneum. As it was a big public holiday with traffic congestion on the main roads, our driver who lived in Sorrento, took us via some more 'local' roads to save time. We were off the ship for 6 hours in total and we now plan to do Sorrento and Capri next year. We had 1 1/2 hours in Sorrento and the same in Herc, left the ship at 8am and was back on board eating at 2pm! They did recommend a longer tour, but we personally only wanted a shorter one which they tailored for us.

    They do all 3 stops in Italy (Pisa, Rome and Naples) and have local drivers for each area, not just drivers they 'ship' in.

    I cannot recommend this company enough and I'm so glad that the DVC Cast Members told us about them.

    Would appreciate if you could add my two recommendations please.
    Thanks
     
  6. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Bats!

    Welcome back! How exciting -- I didn't know you were doing a B2B! Sounds amazing... hope you do a trip report!

    I added the 2 companies you recommended. I can't believe I forgot about Suntransfers. We used them also and their prices were amazing.

    Too bad I hadn't heard about Your tour in Italy prior to our trip. One of our excursions didn't go that well. We will try them out next time for Naples/Sorrento.

    Anyways....feel free to add more tips and I'll compile them for the 1st page. :goodvibes
     
  7. Celestine

    Celestine DIS Veteran

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    We did everything but Naples without using Disney. Transfer from airport to Barcelona was simple, although less so if you have heavy bags, and at 9.80 euro was a bargain for the 4 of us (especially with 6 more trips still to use on the T10 card).

    Villefranche - train to Monaco was easy. Wandered around & caught the little train - waited about 30 mins because of the queue but was a great way to see almost everything

    La Spezia - a 30 minute walk to the station and a train to Pisa romma??? (not central) a 5 minute walk and we were at the field of miracles. Climbed the tower (prebooked 21 days out). Just remember to validate your train ticket before boarding as saw lots of families getting a 5 euro /person fine.

    Rome - we used cruising excursions.com and it was perfect for us as it was an unguided guided tour!

    Naples - did the scavenger hunt at Herculaneum through DCL - waste of money. Guide was good, but not for kids who were expecting (as was I) to go looking for things/info. etc. Wish we had just hopped in a cab and DIY'd

    Venice - went to Murano first day on the boat from the port - big mistake as it took forever and was the only way of getting back & there was only 2 an hour. Now we know where the railway station is I would use the proper water buses.
    On the second day got up and out. Again took boat from port to St Marks Square as we walked back which was the best way to see many of the sights, including a trip to McDonalds for the free restrooms.

    Dubrovnik - caught the shuttle bus and then climbed the city walls and wandered around the old town. Beautiful. Also used the supermarket at the port to stock up on diet coke as the ship had run dry!

    Valletta - caught the lift up (1 euro return). Watched the cannon firing at noon then walked through the streets and slowly made our way back to the ship. Lots of horse drawn cabs trying for business. Advertised price was 60/hour but by the time we had walked through town it was being offered for 25!

    Celestine
     
  8. DisneyNurse19

    DisneyNurse19 Mouseketeer

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    Celestine, how did you get the lift? It wasn't working when we walked by :sad2:

    We did all our excursions through DCL and i can;t complain about any of them :thumbsup2
     
  9. Stinkerbell1973

    Stinkerbell1973 DIS Veteran

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    You guys have no idea how helpful this thread is for those of us that have Med cruises booked for next year!! My family is on the May 31 seven nighter and while thumbing through this thread is a little overwhelming (sooo much information), that's a good problem to have!! So excited to scrub it a little closer and make some plans.
    Thanks to ALL of you for putting so much time and energy into the thread and helping the rest of us out.
     
  10. texasgirl29

    texasgirl29 Mouseketeer

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    We just got off the 7-night Magic (August 10-17) and will do a thorough trip report when I get home. But here's the very short version:
    Barcelona: Runner Bean tour of the old city, pay what you wish. Great tour, we paid 20 euros each. Used HOHO bus to get an overview of the city.
    Villefranche: private tour for seven with Ingrid of Kultours, independent licensed guide. Drove us around all day in her van, saw Eze, old town Nice, and St. Paul de Vence medieval town. Very accommodating, very reasonable. Speaks French, English, German and Italian.
    La Spezia: DIY, walked to train station (about a mile) took train to Pisa, walked to Field of Miracles. Didn't have tickets to go inside and too hot to wait in line anyway.
    Citivecchia: used Cant Be Missed Tours. Prepaid via PayPal, tour operator was waiting for us with tickets for transportation and colosseum. Had radio devices to hear the guide. Fast paced, lots of walking. Used train, metro and city busses. The guide, Stefan, also does Disney Port Adventure Tours so we felt like we were getting a good bargain. Knowledgeable and no stress figuring out where to go.
    Naples: Again used CBM tours. Had two small busses with drivers and guides. Our guide was Guido. Drive to Sorrento and Postiano was beautiful. Very knowledgable about Pompeii. It was a big holiday for Italy but the guides and driver kept us out of traffic and delivered us back to the ship on time.

    I would definitely use Runner Bean, Ingrid, and CBM again.
     
  11. DisneyNurse19

    DisneyNurse19 Mouseketeer

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    I am on that cruise as well, see you there :thumbsup2
     
  12. Celestine

    Celestine DIS Veteran

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    It started working at about 11.45am. It was supposed to have been shut all day due to electrical works but they finished ahead of schedule!

    Celestine
     
  13. cforsythe

    cforsythe Mouseketeer

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    Which tour did you all do in Rome?
     
  14. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Celestine!

    I added a link to your post re DIY.

    Great endorsements! I was wondering about Runner Bean :)

    I will add your recommended companies to the 1st page. Is there a website for Ingrid?

    Thanks.
     
  15. bats

    bats Enjoying Bahama Mama's

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    It was our first B2B and we loved it!!
    When you email them, please tell them you were recommended by me (Joa) ... No commission for me, but you may be able to tweak your own itinerary more if they know you've been recommended. Our driver for Naples was a lovely man called Carmine. He was very proud of his home town and told us loads of details as we drove past churches, bays, beaches and magnificent views on our way to the old town area.

    Sorry your tour didn't go well.
    Joa
     
  16. liberty6201

    liberty6201 Mouseketeer

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    Celestine

    We are booked on the Herculaneum tour. Why was it disappointing? We are expecting to hunt for things, what was the scavenger hunt left if you didnt go looking for things?
    Thank you. We go on Saturday :)
     
  17. bats

    bats Enjoying Bahama Mama's

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    Us too!!! See you on board!
     
  18. texasgirl29

    texasgirl29 Mouseketeer

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  19. Celestine

    Celestine DIS Veteran

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    It was an incredibly knowledgable man talking at us for the whole time - no scavengering at all. It was only half way through I realised I was supposed to have answering questions. Needless to say we only got 4 out of 10! Girls (8 & 13) were bored. Guide seemed to suggest it was too hot to send kids off looking for things, and it was hot & humid, but I think we would have been better off DIY

    Celestine
     
  20. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    oh yikes - did they restock before the end of the trip?
     
  21. heatherbelle

    heatherbelle DIS Veteran

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    I've just booked marked this thread for future years, thanks for putting it all in one place.

    Sadly I didn't make it on the Mickey boat this year, but I did cruise the Med with Carnival, on the beautiful Sunshine, at 1/3 of the DCL price.

    We do all of our own trips, so hopefully this will help those who like to do that.

    Venice, take the people move and start walking and exploring. There are signs on the buildings that point to Rialto Bridge, St.Marks and the Accademia Bridge. We caught the boat back, but it was very hot and packed to the gills. Next time I would do it the other way, boat out walk back. If there is a large group of you a water taxi will be a good option, as you can share the cost.



    Dubrovnik one of my favourite places. There is a sign up at the port with the prices of taxis. We took the Panaroma tour which cost 50¬. Our axi driver who was fab and spoke really good English, drove us over the new bridge, pointed out a map with all the places we would stop for photos. Explained about the old and new town etc. we made a couple of photo stops and then he took us to the top of the cable car, where he explained about the war and showed us photos of the bombings and holes in the wall. He took photos of us up there and then dropped us at the gate. The tour lasted 1 hour. A taxi to the gate was ¬20 and the port were running a shuttle which I think was ¬8 each. I pre purchased our wall tickets before we left, so no standing in line. Make sure you have the local currency before you go up the wall for drinks and ice creams.

    Athens. Walked out of the port passed the HOHO buses and and negotiated a tour with a taxi driver for ¬60 for 4 hour tour. Taken to the ruins, museum, temple of Zeus, changing of the guard, the Olympic stadium and shopping in the Plaka for an hour. His English was not that great, but the price was. I had left DS on the ship and didn't want to be too long. We did intend on getting the metro and then riding the road train, but because DS was on the boat, I felt better getting the taxi tour.

    Naples - Caught the hydrofoil to Sorrento at 9.00, left the boat at 8.00 in case of queues, there were none this time. We caught the 2.00 hydrofoil back. You can also get tickets to the Amalfi coast, which I learnt from one of my new cruise buddies, so next time we will do that. We rode on the road train to help get our bearings and I think this was 6¬ for adults.

    Izmir Turkey, they wanted 20¬ to take us to the Bazaar, so I kept walking and haggling with different drivers in the end I got one for ¬5, so try the haggling.

    Rome, we just looked around the port, nice local beach. There was a HOHO bus that goes Taraquina, but it was too hot to bother with this. We have been to Rome before on the train and then used the HOho bus and metro. No desire to go here in a hurry again.

    Livorno DCL dock at La Spezia. After Dubrovnik, this was my favourite. We took the train to Lucca, hired bikes for 3¬ per hour each and rode around the castle walls. On the way back we got off at Pisa Rosse, 5 minute walk to the tower. We walked to Pisa Centrale for the return journey. If I was to do it gain, I would catch the train at Pisa Rosse and then change at Pisa Central. Lots of lovely pastry shops in Lucca, a charming place.

    We also had the ports of Marseilles, Barcelona and Messina, which we did on our own too.

    All together we spent £600 on food off the ship and local transport for those who are travelling on a tight budget it can be done.
     

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