Some thoughts on my med. excursions

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by misseulalie, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. misseulalie

    misseulalie DIS Veteran

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    Hi everyone, I can't find the threads about the Med. excursions and the internet is so slow it's eating my minutes, so for those who are interested, here’s a few comments about the excursions that I have taken so far…


    Horse show in Cadiz: This was a big waste of time and money. The show was nice, but not worth the money and the kids were bored. Arabian nights in Orlando provided a better show.
    We were supposed to get a box lunch but they “surprised” us with a Tapas lunch. It consisted of mini ham and cheese sandwiches, slices of more ham and cheese, and a potato frittata. If you can’t eat pork like my husband, it really wasn’t much of a lunch.

    Palermo and the Ballero Market:
    The church was beautiful and the tour guide was excellent, but we seemed to circle the city quite a few times to kill time and the walk to the market was interesting. We called it “strolling through Ghetto Sicily”. The market is quite old and beware that it is a food market and the rest is similar to a flea market. The problem is that we all visited the market in Barcelona (on Las Ramblas) and it was incredible, beautiful stands with everything from nuts, candy, pizza, fish, dairy etc….
    So we were expecting something similar. Just be prepared that it is a very local market.
    The snack was excellent; it was almost a full lunch. Samples of pizza, traditional chickpea bread, olives, sardines, different cheeses, bread, and wine and soda.

    "Timeless Pompeii and the Flavors of Sorrento”
    Sorrento was great and the stop at the farm to see how they made mozzarella. The food was terrific and the hospitality was wonderful. My big complaints were the not so subtle stops at two stores that were “supposedly” factories. It was obvious to everyone that we stopped there only because the tour company was getting kickbacks for everything we bought. We basically used the bathrooms and waited outside by the bus.
    Pompeii was nice (even in the rain) but in the 2 hours we were there, we spent only the last 10 minutes looking the bodies and other objects. (This is what we all wanted to see) We spent the whole time looking at house after house but we only saw 2 out of 40 bodies.
    We could have spent 1 hour (or even 90 minutes) looking at the homes and 30 minutes looking at the bodies and other items.

    "Rome on your own":
    Great and it only took 70 minutes instead of the 90-minute bus ride. Here is the complaint that may cause some flames: We had to meet the bus in Rome at 5pm. (Though the ship didn’t leave until 10pm) We could have had at least 1-2 more hours in Rome, but we had to get back in time for the guests who had main dining. I’m sorry, but I’m in Rome, the home to some of the best cuisine in the world. I would kill to have a great Roman dinner. But no, we had to rush back so people can eat at their 6pm dining. The food on DCL is good, but I and most other people would gladly skip the dining room in order to eat in Rome.
    I spoke to guest services about this and according to a survey they took, most people wanted to get back in time to eat because they “paid” for it and don’t want to spend money on food that they can get for “free” on the ship. I could see if this happened for all the excursions, but ROME??? Come on, people!! You are in ROME!! Skip the dining room and live a little!!!

    Last excursion:
    Make your own perfume in Villefranche:

    (I actually didn’t take it. I had it reserved but changed to another excursion. )
    BIG ISSUE WITH THIS EXCURISON!! You do not make your own perfume; you make one per party. So for example, if you go with a group of 4 (mom, dad, 2 kids) you make 1 sample for all 4 people. It is very mis-leading because no -where does it state this. All it says is “create your very own scent”. Doesn’t this imply that each person makes their own???
    This is a very expensive excursion to make only 1 sample per party.

    Any questions, let me know!!

    Only 4 days left :sad1:

    Jennifer
     
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  3. lzj21428

    lzj21428 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks so much for posting your excursion experiences.

    I was wondering if you could tell me a bit more about the "Rome on Your Own"
    excursion. I have reserved this for my family of 5. Where did the bus drop you off and where did it pick you up? Was it easy to find? Did you have lunch somewhere good? On my printout confirmation for the excursion it says from 8:15 AM to 6:45 PM. Was that the time schedule you had? Does 6:45 mean back to the bus or time you get back to the ship?

    Sorry for so many questions, but this is the one excursion I'm second guessing myself on.

    Thanks for any insight you can give. :flower3:

    Nina
     
  4. din

    din <font color=009933>Former Ohio North Coast Residen

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    Yes I have the same questions as lzj21428

    I thought the ship leaves Rome at earlier and not 10PM, but I am be thinking of a different port.
     
  5. AhoyCaptainMickey

    AhoyCaptainMickey ACM C and G

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    thanks for sharing:thumbsup2 good info:thumbsup2
     
  6. lzj21428

    lzj21428 DIS Veteran

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    Bumping, so that OP will hopefully see this before it gets pushed to far back.
     
  7. misseulalie

    misseulalie DIS Veteran

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    Hi,
    Just got back from Portifino and Santa Margerita. It would have been great if it didn't rain all day....

    Regarding Rome, we met at 8:15 and boarded the bus by 8:45am. We got to Rome about 10am. It gave us 2 options for drop off. The first was near the Spanish steps at Piazza Barbarini. The other stop was near the Vatican. We had to meet the bus at 5pm at Piazza Barbarini. We were back on the ship at 6:30.

    We ate at a restaurant near the Collusseum. It was good, 3 courses (brushetta, pizza, and fruit) for 12 euros.

    Lots of good choices to eat. The tour guide gives you a great map and out of the 3 maps we had, that one was the best. We used the metro to get around. It was 1 Euro and it was fast.

    Any more questions, please ask!!!

    Jen
     
  8. xangav

    xangav Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for telling us about the perfumerie excursion. I have signed up for this with my 10 year old daughter and we are paying the adult price for her. And it says, "Adults will recieve a complimetary souvenir soap and 100 ml perfume bottle. Children recieve a complimentary souvenir soap shaped like a duck or a sailor." It should say "One per party." Did anyone complain to DCL about the discrepancy? Thank you again. This is the kind of information I have been looking for from previous cruisers.:thumbsup2
     
  9. lzj21428

    lzj21428 DIS Veteran

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    Jen, thank you so much for the info. This is really helpful.

    One more question for you, which do you think was the better drop off point?

    Oops, another one, was anyone late for the bus and did they say what would happen if you missed it or would they wait a certain amount of time for you? Big fear of mine is to miss my mode of transportation!!! :scared1:

    Thanks again for all the info you provided. :thumbsup2

    Nina
     
  10. woody73

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

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    We spent a week in Rome last year, and you're right about the food!

    Hopefully you tossed a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to Rome.

    Woody
     
  11. latinqt

    latinqt Mouseketeer

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    Take the train into Rome. Its fast and easy. You can spend more time in Rome.
     
  12. Cindi0511

    Cindi0511 <font color=green>I have a hard time biting my ton

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    One thought for some of you still going: on the special southern Caribbean last September, we got a lot of info on ports from cruise critic dot com and created our own excursions for all ports except one. Maybe you could use that site to make Rome a little more to your personal liking. I missed out on Europe this year, but I have to agree: if I was in Rome, I'd have to eat there. :thumbsup2
     
  13. misseulalie

    misseulalie DIS Veteran

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    We waited about 5 minutes for people then we left. We had everyone so I don't know how long we would have waited if not everyone was onboard.

    I liked the stop at the Vatican since we wanted to go there first. The museum closes early (3:45) so we didn't want to go too late.

    We took the DCL excursion because we had the kids stay on the ship.

    I would also recommend doing the train, though it wasn't much faster than the bus. I was comparing it with friends who took the train and it was only about 10 minutes faster. Plus, with the bus, we get dropped off in front of the ship. With the train, you had to walk to the shuttle pick up and wait for that.

    Let me remind everyone that it seems like these excursions are a work in progress. What may happen with us may not happen with you. (I won't even begin to write about the boat ride to Capri) We are the guinea pigs and they are tweaking things along the way.

    We were in Marseille today. DCL wanted 40 Euro to do the "Little Train" ride through Marseille. IT actually costs 5 Euro. Marseille is very easy to do and if you plan to stay in Marseille, I don't think there is a need for a DCL excursion.

    Jen
     
  14. OlKiara

    OlKiara Earning My Ears

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    Could you tell me more about the Santa Magherita and Porto Fino excursion?
    Thanks!
     
  15. Kouris_Family

    Kouris_Family Lovin the Magic

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    Hi,
    Can you only leave the kids onboard if you have an excursion with DCL?
    We were considering taking the train in to Rome and we are planning on leaving the kids onboard.
    Kay
     
  16. OurDogCisco

    OurDogCisco DIS Veteran

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    Well.... I've never heard of that rule. So I don't believe you have to take DCL tour to leave your kids in the club.

    I think the reason she took DCL tours is because she knew DCL would do everything in their power to make sure she made it back to the ship. If you are on your own, there would be no way for DCL or you to be contacted. So the ship may sail without you. Or if something happened to your children in the club then, again if you are touring on your own then, DCL wouldn't have a way to contact you.
     
  17. Kouris_Family

    Kouris_Family Lovin the Magic

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    Good thought, another reason to do DCL tour, I keep going back and forth on my decision. Rome on our own DCL or literally on our own. Thanks for the input.
    Kay
     
  18. misseulalie

    misseulalie DIS Veteran

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    This is exactly why we took DCL excursions when we leave the kids on the ship.
    There was a group of us who toured Rome and now even today when we toured VilleFranche. We went to pick up the kids and they cried when we wanted to pull them out for dinner! They wanted to stay all night!! These kids were in the club for 14 hours!!! Shhhh... don't tell DCF!!!:lmao:

    Portifino and Santa Margarita. The tour itself was wonderful. The only negative thing that DCL could fix is that the "Pizza Party" was not a party, nor was it decent pizza. It was cold and it looked like it sat on the table for hours.
    The problem that DCL couldn't control was that it poured and was cold and windy. Plus, it was a national holiday so all the stores were closed. After lunch, we had 2 hours to walk around. Because of the weather, we stood under awnings looking at all the stores that were closed.
    I would recommend this tour as long as you know you are not getting the world's best pizza. The views were incredible and everybody in Portifino looked like they just stepped out of a Ralph Lauren ad.

    We did Monaco, Monte Carlo and Eze.
    Highly recommended. There were really nice views, the food was great and Eze was so cool! It's like a little cobblestone village with neat shops and cute cafes. There are a lot of steps to climb and a few hills. But everyone seemed to do ok. I was not that impressed with the casino. Though we probably only got a very small glimpse of the casino. I was expecting to see a casino like I would in a James Bond film, but it looked like a casino you could find anywhere in Vegas.

    Jen
     
  19. din

    din <font color=009933>Former Ohio North Coast Residen

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    misseulalie: Can you please let us know where in Rome did they drop you off and picked you up from to return? Trying to plan the best route to visit.

    Thanks!
     
  20. xangav

    xangav Mouseketeer

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    Misseulalie, can I ask how you came to find out that the perfume excursion was only one per party? I called DCL today and Lydia read through the description and agreed that every adult would get to create their own. Thanks.:confused3
     
  21. misseulalie

    misseulalie DIS Veteran

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    The shore excursions desk on board told us this information. They said that each person in the group would chose one scent and they would be combined to make 1 vial of perfume. Like a blending of the family to create a unique scent. She also made the snotty comment of "where does it state that each person makes their own perfume?".

    Hope this helps... It seems on this sailing that one person says one thing, and another says something else. I couldn't find anyone that did this tour so I can't confirm this. If any Dis'ers actually did this excursion please let me know.
     

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