Posted about this before, but its coming ever closer to desicion making time and would like to hear some expert opinions :-)
Hubby & I are going on a "Hooray Trintrin's got her MBA/Last hurrah before trying to start a family" cruise in the fall of 2011. We've never been to Europe before. We want to focus primarily on Italy and have a good amount of time in Rome to explore (more time than even an overnight would allow). I also want to see Venice and maybe Florence if that's not too much of a hassle. Of course we're also looking for the best deal!
I plan to hire a TA, but I want to be as informed as possible beforehand so I can be really clear about my needs. These seem to be my options:
1. Find a cruisetour that does a pre/post Italy package that encompasses Venice/Florence/Rome.
2. Do a Venice to Rome or Rome to Venice cruise (they seem to run very expensive!)
3. Tour Italy on our own then hop a transatlantic cruise from either Rome or Venice back to the US (we live in FL, so a cruise landing in Ft Lauderdale is actually kind of convienent)
We have about $10,000 to spend, 3 weeks of vacation, and want to get at least a balcony cabin on a premium cruise line. I was hoping to go luxury but that may be out of the budget.
I cannot answer your questions, but I suggest that you try posting this under Destinations/Europe on this board. Many of us will only check out the discussions in areas where we have an interest. I have read many very good posts on that section in the past and believe you will get good results there.
We did a transaltantic from Miami to Rome. I would suggest doing Rome to Miami you will be rested on the trip back. Plus you will gain time back on the trip to Miami. The train system in Italy is very good. After our cruise finished in Rome we took a train from Termini station (Rome) to Santa Lucia station (Venice) it was very easy to book and super comfortable. You want a Euro Star (ES) train they are very fast. You can also take the train to Florence if you want.
This is the train website. I could not get it to work to buy tickets so I just got the tickets once I was in Rome. But it has good information about tickets. I got a 2nd class Standard Fare ticket. I hope that helps. Trenitalia - The ticket
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