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Old May 2nd, 2003, 02:55 AM
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Default Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

My wife and I are booked into room 7116 on the June 16 sailing of the
Millenium. I realize this is one of the smaller balcony cabins on the
ship. We would be interested in any feedback from anyone who has
sailed in one of these cabins on this ship.

Also, are the cruise excursions worth it? Our previous five cruises
have all been in the Carribbean, and we have often explored on our
own. But because of the scope of this cruise and the fact I have only
been to one of the countries involved we have tentatively decided to
depend on the cruise line tours.

Any thoughts on these tours?

Venice: Murano Glassworks, San Giorgio & Gondola Ride ($138 for two
people)
Dubrovnik: Transfer to Lopud Island ($158)
Santorini: Village of Oia & Santorini Island ($112)
Athens: Athens & Cape Sounion with Lunch ($198)
Naples: Pompeii, Sorrento & Capri ($354)
Rome: Imperial Rome ($296)
Livorno: Florence & Pisa ($314)
Villefranche: Monaco & Monte Carlo ($112)

Any thoughts from Mediterranean Cruise veterans would be appreciated.

Thank you for your time.

Jack Nolan
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

Jack, we are with you on this cruise. Now we have also been to carrib a lot & do our own thing, & while we have only been to Med once, we intend to do our own thing again, in our view much cheaper than prices quoted by cruise line!
Santorini is delightfull & fairly easy to tour on your own. At Piraerus for Athens we were stuck in a traffic jam for 1.5 hours & apart from the Acropolis saw not much else, this time we may take a ship excursion in opposite direction. A fair walk to metro station, you can then get you to nearest station to Acropolis & other sights & now I know I would do this another time. Intend using trains in Naples, Civitavechia to Rome, Livorno to Florence & in Villefranche to ? not decided yet.
Should be a great cruise hope to see you on board, we were on the Connie to Baltic last year & ships are great, no problems with the cabins, just ask if you want more info. we are from UK & are commited cruisers, this will be our 19th.
Eric
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Old May 4th, 2003, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

thanks for the advice. Hope to see you on the ship.

jack
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Old May 5th, 2003, 09:57 PM
harry murphy
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Default Millenium excursions

Same kinds of questions. We're on the Millenium, Venice to Barcelona, May 23 to June 4. We've been to Santorini and it is easy to do on your own. We've been to Piraeus/Athens and intend to walk to the subway and take that to the Plaka for shopping. Any idea how far the train stations are from the cruise ship to get to Rome/Florence? Any idea of distance? Many thanks. Harry
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Old May 8th, 2003, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

My friend and I will be on the same cruise (June 16th) and are looking for 2-4 other people to share our private tour of Rome. He had great reviews and will pick us up from the pier and take us to all the major locations for $550 for the group. Please let me know if you would like to join us. Thanks!
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Old May 9th, 2003, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

MY wife and I are on the Millenium and are interestd in sharing a private excursion to Rome. We are a retired senior couple. Please advise planned itinerary. I have also received quotes from some tours. Perhaps a deal is possible.
Thanks
andy Boytim
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Old May 9th, 2003, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

Here is the info that Julie just sent me. If you folks would also like to go, we can do the tour for $183 a couple...I think that is more than $200 less than the cruise ship tour and it appears we would see more at a more leisurely pace.

I have recieved a number of e-mails from past cruisers on this itineary advising me to avoid some of this long bus ships tours.

Let us know.

Jack in South Bend
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Old May 9th, 2003, 05:45 PM
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Default Rome Tour Example

Here is the rundown:

I had this info from a previous cruiser re Max. Thought it would provide some of the information you requested!

Hi Julie, happy to provide info on our Med cruise. We had a great time - Rome was one of the best days. We paid Max $500 US for the six of us for the day's tour. If I remember correctly, we also tipped him an additional $60. Everyone in our group thought Max did a terriffic job. We had used a driver from Bob's Limo the day before in Florence and there was no comparison - Max was so much better. When you divide the cost by six and compare it to the ship excursion prices, this is a good deal. Regarding itinerary, Max suggested the following stops: Vatican, St. Peter's, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navonna, Coliseum, Spanish Steps, Wedding Cake, Pantheon. He is flexible though and will tailor up the day any way you like. You can add or subtract, time permitting. He will also let you decide how you want to handle lunch and can suggest anything from a quick stop for sandwiches to pizza or a multi-course meal with wine. Since we were interested in the most tour time possible we opted for sandwiches. Back to the itinerary. The only place on Max's original list we did not make it to was St. Peter's. We crossed it off the list because on our day in Rome there was not much going on there and we were enjoying the other sights so much we spent the time there. You have approximately 1 hour from the port to Rome, Max uses this time to review his proposed agenda and get your input. Things he has no control over (traffic/crowds at exhibits) may cause him to change the order. We loved the Vatican (this takes some time but is well worth it), Coliseum and Piazza Navonna and Trevi Fountain. The coliseum also take a bit of time. Trevi, Spanish steps, Wedding Cake, Pantheon and Piazza Navonna were quicker stops. Max is a master at zipping in and out of traffic and back roads to get you from stop to stop. Remember that Max does not go into sites like the Vatican and Coliseum with you (this requires a different license, you would have to hire an additional person for this which he can arrange). Max does provide excellent commentary on all of Rome and it's history. What we really liked about him was his insight into normal everyday life in this city through his experience. He really puts everything in perspective for you. You can hire a lot of drivers but it's a long day if they have nothing of interest to share....... Regarding the length of tour, I believe he met us at the ship at 8:15 and returned us to the ship @ 45 minutes to an hour before before sailaway time. Max also brought us to a grocery store on the outskirts of Rome so we could purchase items like wine, Italian cookies etc. If you are interested in purchasing anything in particular, he can recommend the best place and fit it into the day. We had a great day with Max and wished we could have spent a couple of more with him.



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Old May 10th, 2003, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

Willing to use your group for Rome tour. Please advise if you have availability. Retired seniors but not decrepit.
Andy Boytim
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Old May 12th, 2003, 10:16 PM
weezie
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Default Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

Howdy - I've been off the boards for a long time. We took our 1st cruise on the Constellation last Oct - hitting many of your stops. Re Naples, my sis and I took the Pompeii tour, my husband and his father took the Herculeneum tour. We all enjoyed our specific tours. Pompeii site is larger; Herculeneum smaller but w/ more intact buildings - both great. Didn't do Capri but a lot of folks did - said it was beautiful. Note, you dock right at the base of Naples and can walk right into great shopping areas - up and to left behind Castello Nuevo. We were hoping to hit a great pizza place - the one we wanted opened after 8 so we missed out. Re Livornio - my sis and I did Pisa w/ my little girl - went in the morning. My husband and his dad just took the transfer into Florence and did their own thing. You are not really near anything at Livornio (although had read somewhere that shopping wasn't too far away. Re Rome - we did the tour that hit the Colosseum and the Vatican - loved it. Villefranche - charming city in it's own right - we explored it once we stepped off the tender and had lunch there before hailing a taxi (near stepping off point from tender) to Nice for the afternoon. You could do this on your own and hit the old town area in Nice - real nice - there are cafes on the beach and back up the way a bit is a plazza area where there are lots of open air restaurants - we had hit this before when we were in Nice on our own w/o a tour. If you really want to see something and not worry about getting around - the tours worked well, were on time and guides were good - Rome w/ Rose Alba was fantastic!! We've toured a lot overseas on our own - and found this these tours intersperced w/ days on our own worked great - enjoy!
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Old May 18th, 2003, 02:30 PM
Frank Margo
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Default Re: Millenium excursions

Surfing the internet, Livorno station (for Florence) looks about 3 to 4 km from the port. Train timetables and fares can be seen on www.trenitalia.com

Civitavecchia station for Rome I believe is 20mins walk from the port but I couldnt locate it on maps on the internet. The timetable is also on the website above.

Did this research as we (my wife and I) have the same questions and we will be on the same cruise.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 04:02 AM
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Default Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

I agree that cruise excursions are very expensive,but they do have certain advantages.
The main one is that certain sights,such as the Coliseum in Rome,and the Art galleries/Museums in Florence, can have very long queues[ 1-2 hour wait times can be the norm].
With a group tour,one walks straight in.
Having a guide who knows the shortcuts from one sight to another is invaluable.
On our Cunard tour of Rome, our guide had been professor in ancient Roman history,and our guide in Pisa had written the guide book to the city.Their knowledge/enthusiasm added greatly to our enjoyment.
With Venice,I feel the greatest value is taking the water bus along the Grand Canal[ a tour in itself ],and jumping on and off at stops that take your fancy.Walking along the back streets give on a sense of history,but be prepared to get temporarily lost.It is part of the fun!
Additionally,if there is a major delay,for any reason,with a cruise tour one knows that the ship will wait.
Enjoy the cruise.
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Old May 19th, 2003, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

Jack,

Also, are the cruise excursions worth it? Our previous five cruises
have all been in the Carribbean, and we have often explored on our
own. But because of the scope of this cruise and the fact I have only
been to one of the countries involved we have tentatively decided to
depend on the cruise line tours.


There's so much to see and to do in each Mediterranean port of call that a tour from the ship is about the only way you'll have a chance of covering the most significant aattractions in a day. Additionally, the tour guides do a thorough job of explaining local customs the breach of which could get you into difficulty. On your first visit to each European port, a tour definitely is the way to go. In most cases, tours also have reserved admissions so you won't stand in line for several hours waiting to enter various attractions -- a vital time saver when you have only a day.

Venice: Murano Glassworks, San Giorgio & Gondola Ride ($138 for two
people)


I would opt instead for the tour that includes the Godola Ride, the Piaza San Marco, the tour of the Doge's Palace, and a glass factory if Celebrity offers it. The price should be about the same, and you also will have time to tour the Basilica San Marco -- a magnificent architectural and artistic wonder -- on your own. the price should be about the same.

Naples: Pompeii, Sorrento & Capri ($354)

That tour is way too ambitious for a single day. It would be better to take either the full day tour to Pompeii or the full day tour to Capri and have time to see it well, and to plan to visit the other desitnation whenever you return to Naples. If you opt for the full day tour of Capri, don't miss the demonstration of the game table in the "department store" in the town of Anacapri (located directly opposite the main road on the town square).

Livorno: Florence & Pisa ($314)

I made the mistake of doing the combined tour on my first Mediterranean cruise. Again, it's way too ambitious and consequently too rushed. I also found Florence to be a major disappointment. If I had to do it again, I would opt for either the half day tour of Pisa or the tour to a Tuscan winery.

Villefranche: Monaco & Monte Carlo ($112)

If you are planning to go to Monaco, be sure that your tour includes entrance into both the cathedral and the royal palace. The art and architecture therein are quite impressive, and you might even get to see the changing of the guard at the palace.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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Old May 20th, 2003, 03:23 AM
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Default Re: Re: Millennium June 16th Med Sailing Questions

Norm,
I would be interested to know why you found Florence to be a major disappointment.
We recently spent two weeks there,and found it far from disappointing.
I would agree that the plain exteriors of the buildings do not make walking through Florence as visually rewarding as walking around say Venice.The philosophy appears to be plain exterior/impressive interior.
The history of Florence is primarily one of the Arts,and so the majority of the galleries/museums are reflective of this.
However,one does not have to be an art lover to enjoy looking down upon Florence from the Piazzale Michaelango,the beauty of the Duomo,the view of the Ponte Vecchio from the banks of the Arno,walking through the Boboli Gardens.
To have an opportunity to visit Florence,and not go would be regretable.
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