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. DenverVal

    DenverVal DIS Veteran

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    Our experience through Heathrow is that you should leave yourself a 3 hour connect time. It was a confusing maze to get from our arrival gate to our departure gate, and the bags had to be screened again, even though you never leave the international terminal. My daughter's bag was flagged to be inspected, and the screener was in absolutely no rush to get through the line of bags that were stacked up waiting. She took everything out and looked at every item, then left it to us to put it all back in the suitcase. On our way back to the US, our plane sat on the Tarmac for an hour past our departure time, causing us a lot of stress, since this flight had only a 2-hour connection time. They gave us some brightly-colored cards at the gate and told us to hurry. This time there were people directing us through the maze, and we did make the connection, barely. Our luggage spent the night in London.
     
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  3. kikids

    kikids Mouseketeer

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    We did the Med last year, similar to pduck1998 we are also from MI but drove 4 hrs to catch a flight out of Toronto. I booked approx 60 days out from our departure date on Air France (note that Air France, Delta and KLM offered the exact flight but each had a different price). I booked direct from AirFrance website. Tix at 60 days out were $1078 for adults and $957 for my 11 yr old. We had a 65 minute connection in Amsterdam and I was sure we'd miss it - I had even looked ahead at when the next AMS to BCN flight would be - but we made it!
     
  4. Chirple

    Chirple Mouseketeer

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    So you like living on the edge! :rotfl2: I would probably need a paper bag because I'd be hyperventilating the whole time.

    We went ahead and purched our tickets through Air Canada. The good thing is that it is the same airline all the way through (connecting in Toronto outbound and in Montreal inbound) so we won't have to worry about picking up luggage and checking in again. I have flown this airline from my area-Montreal-Vancouver, and we liked their service. Plus they are a United partner so we'll get miles for the trip.

    Ranidayz, I don't know the answer to your question, sorry!
     
  5. pxlbarrel

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

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    We flew through Heathrow on our way to Barcelona last year. Changing planes at Heathrow was not a problem for us. Our problems were French air traffic controllers going on strike and creating air travel mayhem in continental Europe. Heathrow was the best part of the trip! Lol
     
  6. worldfamous

    worldfamous Mouseketeer

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    Hello

    Just decided for the 7 day Med trip this June (yay!). My husband and I have been to Pompeii and Sorrento - both really cool.

    This trip we'll have my 8 year old. We'd love to go to a nearby beach...if there is one?

    Rick Steves recommends doing a tour in Naples since transfers can be iffy. We'd love to go to Capri...but I can't see my boy enjoying the museum. It would be awesome to do a jet boat then beach.

    Does anything like this exist at Capri or anywhere else? thanks!
     
  7. kikids

    kikids Mouseketeer

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    To Chirple, sounds like you made a great choice with tickets, I bet it feels great to have that booked and done!

    To worldfamous, I know nothing about Capri, but if you can't find anything, consider Positano. It was our fave of the stops at Naples and has a public beach. Google images "positano beach" - although when we went there were maybe fewer than a dozen people on the beach in June, google images shows pics of the beach being packed. There is one pic in my trip report, I think page 3 or 4, the link is in my signature. There are no water sports but good sea glass hunting (also a pic of that in my trip report) and gelato. The shops in Positano are beautiful, charming, it's just a lovely area.
     
  8. bats

    bats Enjoying Bahama Mama's

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    I've recommended them before on here, but Yourtourinitaly.com are absolutely fantastic for your Italian tours ... They have taken 42 of us to Rome in 2011, then last year they took just 4 of us to Herculaneum and Sorrento for the day. Look them up on Trip Advisor, they are honest, helpful and have great prices. All their drivers are local to where your tour is to (our driver last year lived in Sorrento so had heaps of knowledge). The owner is called Aldo and his sister Adriena handles all of the bookings. They speak perfect English and will tailor make tours for you if the ones they advertise don't fit with your schedule or budget. Last year, we had 2 hours in Sorrento and 2 hours in Herculaneum, perfect and not too long, but it's not on their website. I would strongly recommend Herculaneum over Pompeii for anyone visiting Italy for the first time. Herc is by far better preserved, more compact, easier to walk around and generally a much better place to visit. We're on the first Med cruise this year but we're staying on the boat as we've done this itinerary a few times now. Living 2 hours from Barca helps with that travelling!! For anyone new to Med planning, if you fly into London Heathrow or London Gatwick, look at Easyjet for your flight to Barca. Low cost airline, cheap and cheerful, but they get you there safely! The sooner you book them, the better price. If you're flying into LHR with BA, be aware that they have their own terminal so your transfer time is longer for your next flight at another terminal.

    Also look at condor.com (via Germany) and Icelandair (via ... Errrrr ... Iceland!!!). Depending on your travel month, you could always stay in Rekjavik and see the Northern Lights!
    Hope that helps
     
  9. austraveler

    austraveler Mouseketeer

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    We did the Med cruise a couple of years ago when my boys were 8, 10 and 12. They loved the clubs and hated to leave them, but were happy to come on all the port excursions since the experiences were so different. We did one long day in Rome with Disney (catacombs, colosseum and St Peters) and they loved that too, although slept on the bus on the way back.

    My recommendation is to take them along with you. They have experienced the kids club before and can experience it again in the evenings and on the sea days. Go explore Europe!
     
  10. ranidayz

    ranidayz DIS Veteran is a....... Caribbean Amphibian

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  11. gatorfreud

    gatorfreud DIS Veteran

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    Not sure near there, but on the Rome stop we are going to Santa Marinella beach (we will go to Rome after cruise). I just found it by googling for beaches, found it on the map. I would try to search for beaches from Rome since it's close.. there was one south that everyone seemed to like, I'll look for the name. I'm sure there are some good ones!

    Kim
     
  12. gatorfreud

    gatorfreud DIS Veteran

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    Trying to decide between Pompeii and Herculaneum... I don't think the kids would make both, and I want to be back on the ship in the early afternoon ideally!

    Has anyone gone and have an opinion? I am leaning Pompeii just since it's so famous - and I think it may have more plasters on the bodies, which is what the kids will want to see I think...

    If you did tour Pompeii - how long did it take you?

    Kim
     
  13. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

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    gatorfreud, I have done both and would definitely DIY to Pompeii by train. Here's why--super cheap and you can decide at the last minute whether you are up for Herculaneum. For kids/teens, definitely Pompeii--they have/will study it in school and it is an important ruin to see. It was #1 place to see on our trip to Europe. For easy DIY--1st, right off the boat, stop in a tourist souvenir shop at the port and look for the cardboard book that has the overlay of Pompeii as it used to look (they also have them for Coliseum). These books are also at the airport. Then walk to the end of the port (pedestrian friendly), cross the small street and buy a ticket from the tobacco stand to/from Pompeii and good for all trams (5 or 8 euros PP), then take tram #1 right there to the circumvensia train station--5 minutes away. Get on the next train to Sorrento (one every 30 minutes). Get off at Pompeii Scavi (means excavation) and walk to front gate--right around the corner and buy your tickets--kids under 18 are free. With that little book, there is no need for a tour--get a map and go to the sites that interest you (or even better, download Rick Steves tours for free). My tweens/teens loved looking at the book and then at the ruins. It is hot and they lasted for 2.5 hours.
    There is a café/gelato place inside Pompeii that you can cool down in, plus a few nice café style places right outside the gate where we got slushi drinks. Get back on the train (cross under the station--the train goes the opposite way back). The great thing is, you can decide on the fly if you want to get off at Herculaneum or head straight back for the ship. With DH and I alone, we did both. The next trip with the kids, we went to the ship--they had had enough---and it was a great day. remember to get off at the circumvensia station and get the #1 back--not the main trenitalia statin. We made that mistake--no worries, just hop on the train back 1 stop--15 minute detour to get the next terrain. It's pretty foul-proof to DIY. This is about the easiest port to DIY and with kids free At Pompeii and Herculaneum, you can save a lot of $$. We felt 100% safe at the port, on the tram, circumvensia train and at Pompeii. have fun! It's a great place. Elaine
     
  14. 2003Eeyore

    2003Eeyore Earning My Ears

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    Elaine- thanks for the great info!!! Can you tell me how I would get to the Herculaneum if I wanted to go there after Pompeii?

    Thanks again,
    Patti
     
  15. debsters41

    debsters41 DIS Veteran

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    It is one of the train stops on the way back. However, there is some walking involved to get to the site, I am not sure how far, and I think it is uphill on the way back. Make sure you research a bit more. If you google 'herculaneum on your own' you should be able to get the details you need.
     
  16. tajz90

    tajz90 Mama D

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    It is one if the stops on the way back from Pompeii. Downhill there, uphill on the way back ;) but its not real far. We made the trip with a 7 year old who didn't gripe.
     
  17. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

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    Herculaneum is a stop "Ercolano Scavi" on the same train. That all day ticket is like a hop-on, hop off tickets, good for that train, trams and buses--make sure you tell the tobacco guy you want the all day ticket to Pompeii and return also good for the trams--You can also say "biglietti train a Pompeii et return con tram"--and motion to the tram line, in case he doesn't understand English--which I'm pretty sure he will, as his main market is English speaking tourists.
    Once you get off the train at Ercolano Scavi, it is a short downhill walk, uphill back--not far as the train station at WDW to the hotdog place at the end of Main street. The entrance area has A/C and good bathrooms (LOL). You have to check you backpack there (very safe). H is not crowded and much smaller and more shade. The buildings are more intact and you can still see some frescoed walls, etc. It is a good add-on to Pompeii (you could spend a total of 2 hrs--walking, looking around, back to train) and get a decent look around---but Pompeii should still be your 1st stop and the earlier, the better (definitely off the boat by 9am--8:00/8:30 is ideal).
    I think Pompeii opens at 10. There is also a tour bus that goes to Pompeii and back--the stand is right at the end of the port--before you cross the small street to the tobacco stand. We debated taking the bus--but it returns at a set time and there is no option to go to H then. We opted for the tram/train. If you have to wait for the next train--we had to wait 20 minutes, there is a fun little food/drink stand right by where you get the train. My kids got some 1 euro interesting fruit slushis (like coconut, etc.) while waiting.
    If you surf the web, you can find step by step photos of what to do to get the tram/train, etc. My info comes from those, which I followed in 2011--only getting off at the wrong train stop on the way home--but easily getting on the train back 1 stop. Aug. 2013, it was a breeze. We felt very safe both times--of course, watch for pickpockets--but I carry a shoulder bag purse and never had any issues.
    As I said, if you can get the little book for 12 euros or so, there is no need for a tour guide--just get a map with your ticket--either free or 1-2 euros extra. They also had that Pompeii book a at Pisa and probably places in Rome, so you might look for it at earlier stops. We have seen many tour books--but the overlay with cardboard is excellent--for adults, as well. If you want a tour guide, they are 10 eruos PP at the front gate. The book is 12euros--and I was the guide. I also really like DKI European Ports--I have used it for years--worth buying. have fun! Elaine
     
  18. ldo

    ldo DIS Veteran

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    here is the Pompeii book I talked about in my prior posts.
    From amazon. Pompeii Reconstructed: Book with DVD in English Hardcover – January 1, 2007
    by Lozzi Editori (Author)
    They also have similar one for the Coliseum.
    These books are so worth it to have when you are standing looking at some ruins and then see what it looked like back then--even if you don't have kids. I saw them at the FCO (Rome) airport, Pisa, etc., but I would order in advance to make sure I had them, plus great to get kids interested in what they will be seeing. Elaine
     
  19. woody73

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

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    When we went to Herculaneum, I brought a small luggage lock to lock the zippers on my backpack before checking it in.

    We rented audio guides near the ticket booth. The audio tour was interesting and informative.

    Woody
     
  20. 2003Eeyore

    2003Eeyore Earning My Ears

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    Thank you both so much!!
     
  21. 2003Eeyore

    2003Eeyore Earning My Ears

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    Thank you both so much!
     

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