Who's in for GREECE and TURKEY, June 15 2003????

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Meets' started by armyferret, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. moneyhappy

    moneyhappy Mouseketeer

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    We do not book air or hotel through Disney they are over priced (IMO). We
    normally spend at least one night in Barcelona to just to the time difference. On our first med cruise we spent 3 night to be able to see Barcelona. We will be fighting out Thursday night because light you flights are normally in the evening.

    Our flight in May 2010 was with Iberia cost $633 per person from Boston and we had to change plane Madrid.

    I like to stay at Eurostars Grand Marina in Barcelona. It is right on the port and you can walk to a number of places. Last time a lots of us were staying in the Hotel and we meet up shared cabs and went to see the fountains. We also meet up with others from the Dis board as well.

    I will buy some Euros before I leave. I use my Disney visa reward dollars to pay for things on the cruise (i.e. stateroom tips, Palo, etc)


    We would enjoy sharing private tours. I noticed you wrote you took the train to Roma then took the tour from there? We had the car pick us up at the port and drop as off as part of the private tours. Also, because we booked all 3 Italy ports with them they discounted the tours savings $150 Euros.

    If there are a number of people interested in sharing private tours we should start a list and see what people are interested in seeing. This way people with similar interest can be group together. Also, from my experience with the private tours the money is paid in cash or travelers checks at the end of the tour. I did have one company in Barcelona require 10% to hold the tour.

    Did anyone have a different experience when dealing with private tours?

    I like first seating because I do not like to eat at 8:00 PM - 8:30 PM. We (any many others) were late a few nights and DCL let everyone go to dinner late. There is always the other dinning options if you miss you seating.

    It is up to you about booking through Disney or not. You should do what you are comfortable with. On our last DCL Med cruise each couple saved over $2,000 on excursions and did not have bus full of 40 people. When booking private tours all I can say is research...research...research and contacting the company to get a feel for them. There were a couple of companies I did not get a good feel for when doing my research.
     
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  3. Tozzie

    Tozzie DIS Veteran

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    I am also booked on this cruise, I went on the one in 2011, I didn't join the meet thread and I don't quite know why.

    I am hoping to add the ABD Barcelona pre cruise trip to this when it becomes available.
     
  4. NAG

    NAG Earning My Ears

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    We prefer the early seating. The older kids like to mix with friends early, and we prefer to go to the later show, and then right into the "Beat Street" entertainment area or hit Cove Cafe. Our servers have told us that we could show up pretty late in the first seating and still be served. We've also been told that if we come back late from a tour to see the head server who would find a place for us in second seating.

    I think the answer to the second question is you are safer on Disney (regardless if you're a single mom or not) for a number of reasons. Note that pickpockets will get you anywhere.

    That said, we do almost all excursions on our own. We have looked down an out of the way street and said, "you know what, I think we'll take the long way around" (Even with me and 2 boys in their late teens). Naples had a bad reputation with some of the cruisers as there was a rumor of a passenger being robbed. But I think if you make a wrong turn anywhere you may find yourself in a less safe area (including the US). We considered renting motorcycles in Corsica last year, but internet info indicated they were having a problem with poor driving by locals and thefts of vehicles. Disney excursions can be expensive (especially if you are a larger group), so I wouldn't want to talk you out of "on your own". However, they require extra up front work and a little extra vigilance when you are out and about.
     
  5. moneyhappy

    moneyhappy Mouseketeer

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    I have heard the the ADB does all ports excursions as one package deal and that the information will be out in March 2012. I know someone who did this on the last med cruise and liked it.

    Are you only doing ADB in Barcelona?
     
  6. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    We prefer 2nd seating for a couple of reasons. We did the med in mid-late August last time, and after being gone all day, DH usually wanted to go in the pool, and we wanted a shower to get the sweat, sunscreen and grime off us before dinner. Also, there was always the ability to grab a snack if hungry.

    As far as doing it on your own, it would kind of depend on the ages of your kids and how assertive you are as a female. I'd feel fine just about anywhere, but that said, I wouldn't do Turkey on my own. I was in the Med in 2010 and went on a DCL excursion in Tunisia. The guide was great....but I wouldn't (even if present-day conflict hadn't happened) have done it by myself. We had left DD on the ship (not because we were afraid to bring her with us, but that she hadn't tolerated the heat the day before well, and it was going to be even hotter), and there were 2 separate occurrences that DH and I were uncomfortable. That said, DH had a great interaction with some locals. You never know what you're going to see!

    We ended up meeting people on these boards with whom we ended up doing tours with. IMO, as time goes by, you'll get a feel for people's personalities here, and get an idea who you'd like to partner up with. :cutie:
     
  7. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

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    From what my friend told me about Turkey, July is unbearably hot for everyone. So, no-one travels in July. Although it states 86 average temperature in July for Kusadasi, my friend reminded me of the 40% humidity. She said that it is IMPORTANT to wear only cotton and linen clothing.

    So, we ended up booking for June 15th 12 -night Med cruise. Our friends are on the July 13th cruise. And based on our friend's personal experience in Turkey, we couldn't bring ourselves to book the cruise in July.

    As for Rome, we are planning another private tour :)

    Looking forward to 2013.
     
  8. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

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    Hi, MinnieDiva: I think that we were on the same Med Cruise in 2010.

    I do agree with MinnieDiva as to doing on your own in certain ports. Our friends took the Disney tour in Tunisia. My husband was dropped off in the middle of Tunisia... yes... he absolutely enjoyed it. As for myself and my two DD's (10 and 6) at that time, we stayed on the ship. I just didn't feel comfortable, because I am very independent and outspoken. I didn't feel that I would have fit in as well.

    Apparently, Turkey is very safe and Dolmus which are the local mini-buses which cost .65 cents in US dollars to take around the coast. My Turkish friend from Los Gatos, CA is planning to be visiting her family around the same time. So, she might be our personal tour guide and take us to the Ephesus beach.

    My DD12 is so excited about Athens that her goal no matter what the "cost " (hah! on my bill), she wants to be on that shore excursion. She loves to read books and love history.

    Hopefully, the DisMeet for the June 15th, 2013 will be up soon.
     
  9. abayaflowers

    abayaflowers DIS Veteran

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    Hi, Armyferret! We are on the cruise, too! What did you end up getting for a stateroom?

    I am looking forward to this trip in 2013!
     
  10. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    We were on the 8/18/10 cruise. Where in the Bay Area are you? I'm originally from San Jose....I'd move home in a heartbeat if we could! Still come down a few times a year as my dad still lives there.
     
  11. Tozzie

    Tozzie DIS Veteran

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    I will probably only do the ABD Barcelona add. I have been on 3 of their regular trips and they are the best vacations I have ever taken, that being said I wanted to do different excursions in 4 of of the ports than what ABD was doing so I didn't book the ABD part and the Barcelona add on was announced after I had already booked my airfare so I couldn't change it.

    On this years cruise I am assuming they will still do the same excursions in La Spezia, Rome and Malta, which I either did last year or don't want to do those excursions, as for Villefrance, I didn't like it and am seriously toying with the idea of staying on the ship that day. So it isn't really beneficial to do the ADB add on for the cruise part but.
     
  12. danfromca

    danfromca <font color=royalblue>Earned his ears, now wants y

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    We did Europe on 2007 and we will be making a couple of changes based on what we learned, and doing some things the same:

    1. We WILL arrive in Barcelona 2 days before the cruise. Last time we arrived the day before - but our luggage did not. Fortunately DCL went above and beyond in contacting the airlines on our behalf and not only got it redirected to Naples, but had an officer pick them up. Closer to the cruise I'm sure there will be numerous posts about carrying anything critical in your carry-on. We did and it made a tough situation bearable.

    2. We will take more than the usual security precautions in Barcelona - Pac-Safe wallets and backpacks, dress like locals, etc. We didn't have any problem, but met a couple of people who lost wallets, passports, etc.

    3. We will switch to late dining. We were early last time and it was ok - but I've done late dining on another cruise since and it works fine for us. Late dining gives some time to shower and relax a bit before dinner.

    4. We will almost certainly take DCL excursions. Yes, we know you can save money with private tours, and everyone we know who took private tours did just fine and had no problems. But we enjoyed the DCL tours we took last time - we liked the fact that they had DCL cast members on the tours with us, and we liked the peace of mind of knowing that the ship would wait for us (something I've experienced first hand several times over the years).

    There are probably more things I'll think of later.

     
  13. mindelmouse

    mindelmouse Rabid Disnoid's Spouse

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    We too will take the late seating and I agree with MinnieDiva, you need to do what is comfortable for you. Late dinner gave us the ability to not worry about getting back early for dinners and gave us breathing time, so to speak. We did Disney tours and we did personal tours on our last med cruise. We met a group on the board and did tours with different people. Of course they are all still friends today, some of them friends that I don't know how we lived with out before, but we still travel with them :love:
     
  14. TDC Nala

    TDC Nala <font color=red>1937, what a year that was<br><fon Moderator

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    I loved the market in Nice. Will have to try to get back there. And buy cheese and wine since it's the first stop.

    Probably not going to do any pre-stay in Barcelona but a post stay as the cruise ends on a Thursday and the weekend is open anyway.

    Probably DCL excursions including the on your own in the Italian ports (transportation through DCL).
     
  15. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    We've always used DCL air / hotel / transfers for any port besides Port Canaveral (because we can drive there). We've not found airfare to be any better for us if we did it on our own but then we don't have frequent flyer miles we're trying to use. The hotels are obviously more expensive but we figure that into the cost of our vacation and while we don't normally stay somewhere as super-nice as the hotels DCL uses, we do like that experience. But what we really like is not having to worry about any of it - we just sit back and scroll through all the "the airlines changed our flights" posts / scrambles as people have to cobble together their filghts.

    However, this time we've booked this cruise through DVC and the following one through our TA, so I'm not sure how we'll work out air / pre-cruise hotel -- I think it will be tricky to do it through DCL and have them NOT screw it up and try to fly us home on the day we're supposed to depart on the 2nd cruise! But we'll wait to see when they have air / hotel available to book and if we can work it out, we'll book through them (and then start watching to do flights and pre-cruise hotel on our own).

    When we cruised the Med in 2007, here are some things we learned (I like the idea of sharing those tidbits - it's a good reminder for me and I'm already learning things from y'all):
    1 - fly in more than one day early. Our flight was delayed arriving so we lost most of the day we had planned to "sight see" in Barcelona - so we pretty much didn't get to see our departure port. Plus we were exhausted. We now go 2 - 3 days early.
    2 - check return flight times before deciding if you want to fly home the day you get off the ship or wait til the next day. When we did Alaska this summer, we flew home the day we got off the ship which meant we didn't get back to ATL until 3 AM after flight delays in Dallas. If we had waited until the next day, we could have gotten an early morning flight and been back to ATL at a reasonable hour. If there's just one flight option, then that decides for us.
    3 - take non-stop / direct flights when possible, minimizing the risk of your bags being lost in transit.
    4 - back some of each person's clothing in each bag so no one person will be without anything to wear
    5 - plan on your hotel room not being ready when you arrive. Place your valuables in a bag that you can keep with you safely so you can check your bags with the bellman at the hotel and still go out to see the city. If you're prepared that way, then your room will likely be ready - if you aren't, then you'll not have a room til 4 p.m.
    6 - Dining on board is more relaxed on the European cruises, especially on long port days. They are happy for you to come directly from your shore excursion to dinner as long as you stop and wash your hands first. On both the 2007 Med and 2010 Baltic, we had occasion that we went straight to the dining room for dinner after boarding (with a restroom stop to wash first). We like the longer cruises and enjoy having our wait staff with us for so many days. We like main dining because that gives us opportunity to digest before crashing for the night - or in the case of nights where the sun doesn't go down until so very late, we don't feel bad about having a late night snack because we've had an earlier dinner!
    7 - We mostly do our shore excursions through DCL, especially any that involve going a distance from the port. When choosing among them, we figure out what things we want to do most - for example, did we want to SEE the Colloseum or did we want to GO INSIDE? Did we want to look at the Leaning Tower in Pisa, or did we want to CLIMB TO THE TOP? That's how we decide.
     
  16. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    Ah, I had forgotten about the market - it was so scenic. Villefranche was at the end of our 2007 itinerary (well, nearly the end) so we had a light day in Nice. I'm excited that it will be at the beginning of this itinerary because I thought it was the most beautiful of all the ports.
     
  17. pxlbarrel

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

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    Last year we didn't book our Barcelona rooms through DCL because the rates were too high. We booked the rooms at the same hotels ourselves for signicantly lower rates. We were at the AC Diplomatic when arrived in Barcelona and at the Hilton Diagonal Mar when we came off the ship. I got the Hilton on special. Saved a ton by booking ourselves.
     
  18. nzdisneymom

    nzdisneymom DIS Veteran

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    Did you use DCL transfers? And were you able to check in for the cruise at the hotel even though you booked the hotel on your own? I do like being able to do our check-in at the hotel when they offer that.

    We may very well end up at a DCL hotel but book on our own as well - I'll be glad when they have the information available.
     
  19. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    I stayed at Le Meridian (wouldn't necessarily recommend) which was one of DCL's hotels, but booked it on my own. I got the room for something like $199E and they were charging something outrageous like $750/night (that included the transfers). I was able to use DCL transfers from the resort to the ship. Can't remember the cost, tho. This time, i might consider a DCL post cruise as the taxi lines at the port upon disembarkation were loooooonnnnnggggggg! But pre-cruise, now that I know how easy it is to get a taxi.....

    :hug:
     
  20. MinnieDiva

    MinnieDiva Obsessive Trip Planner

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    We agree. I had no expectation to love this area, but ended up infatuated with how beautiful it was! We did Eze and the perfume tour (very cool to create your own scent!) but didn't get to the market! Sounds like a place we can stock our stateroom with wine and snacks!
     
  21. pxlbarrel

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

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    No, we didn't use the DCL transfers. There were four of us so it would have been too expensive for us. When we left the hotel (AC Diplomat) we told them we needed a cab for four people with four bags to get to the Port. They called the cab company and a cab that was able to hold all us and our luggage arrived. I think it cost us 30 Euro for the trip to the port. (Don't hold me to that, I can't really remember that well. LOL)

    We couldn't check in for the cruise at the hotel. The DCL table was in the lobby and I talked to them but they couldn't check us in ... probably because they didn't know we were staying there or something. No problem. I didn't expect it anyway.

    We picked these hotels because we knew that DCL had vetted them already so they had to be ok. I'll start looking for next year's rooms in July of this year and keep looking until I find a rate I like :rotfl:

    We'll arrive the day before the cruise but fly out of Barcelona on disembarkation day. We want to make a stop in London for a couple of days before heading back to Canada so we won't be sightseeing in Barcelona unless we arrive really early on the day before.
     

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