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Old March 28th, 2010, 04:47 PM
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Smile Celebrity Equinox Advice

We are are heading out on a Celebrity Cruise on Oct 31st. We have never been on Celebrity and have heard many positive things. We are in a balcony cabin and we are doing a tranatlantic. Any advice on excursions or alternatives would be welcome. Our ports are; Rome, Pisa, Nice, Barcelona, Cartagena, Seville, and Tenerife.

Also, I like my chow, so you have any advice on Restaurants on board I would love to hear it.

One final thing, if you have any advice on "dont miss" events on board I would also welcome it.


Thanks!

Last edited by 5Jasmine; March 28th, 2010 at 04:48 PM. Reason: spell chk
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Old March 28th, 2010, 07:23 PM
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Don't forget to take a shore excursion in the middle of the Atlantic ocean!!!!

Okay - that wasn't funny, but it was the first thing that came to my mind.

These are great ships - I peresonally liked the retaurant Muranos better than the Italian one, and I don't think the Asian restaurant is getting a lot of play these days - I believe they are going to replace them with "Jacques" a namesake for their headchef, soon.

When in Rome, don't do what the Romans do - because they probably don't do sightseeing, you should go sightseeing, to the Colisseum, the Forum; all the famous Roman places.

In "Pisa" that is actually the stop for Florence Italy. Do go there and do go inside the Basilica of Santa Croce where you will see many famous inetrnments for Gallilieo, Michelangelo Da Vinci and more people. Many tours do not go inside here for some reason. You can go to Pisa, too, but if you want to climb the tower either get tickets early (somehow) or plan to spend the day there.

Nice - Nice is nice. You can go to St Tropez, Monte Carlo or other cities nearby. Go to the wine country.

Barcelona - go to the Basilica La Sagrada Familia by Gaudi. Also take a walk along Las Ramblas Blvd.

The rest I am not sure, its been too long since I have been there.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 08:54 PM
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I would just add two things to what Paul has said. You can get the tickets for the leaning tower online in advance. And if you are doing that be absolutely sure you have your passport with you and that you show up at the time indicate on your ticket.

Also, when walking Los Ramblas be very, super careful with your purse and money. Wear a money belt if possible and carry your purse directly in front. If you have a back back don't take it with you. Huge number of pick pockets there.

Now, to justify what I said in both cases. We bought our tickets for the leaning tower in advance as was recommended to us at the time. When we bought the tickets it very clearly stated to show up on time and have your passport. One person in our party of 8 choose not to believe they needed their passport and wasn't allowed to go up.

As for Los Ramblas - we loved it. We stayed on a hotel directly on it and watched and walked all day and half the night. The problem was the pick pockets. We were lined up to be robbed several times and it was only because I was vigilent that I saw it happening. One of the times we had wandered a bit away and I could see we were actually being cut off front and back and we had to run and literally duck up some stairs and then jump on a bus to get away from them. They were trying to catch up to us as we jumped on the bus.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 5Jasmine View Post
We are are heading out on a Celebrity Cruise on Oct 31st. We have never been on Celebrity and have heard many positive things. We are in a balcony cabin and we are doing a tranatlantic. Any advice on excursions or alternatives would be welcome. Our ports are; Rome, Pisa, Nice, Barcelona, Cartagena, Seville, and Tenerife.

Also, I like my chow, so you have any advice on Restaurants on board I would love to hear it.

One final thing, if you have any advice on "dont miss" events on board I would also welcome it.


Thanks!
Since we have done several of these ports...let me add.. Rome.. if you can get together with others and hire a limo service to get an overall view of ROME do it.. We were in Rome in November and I was blown away by the city and it's relationship to the past like the Panthenon, Coluseum,..okay.. the Trevi Fountain, Pisa and instead of doing Pisa we did Cinque Terre.. a magnificant walk through five italian villages..the edge of the ocean on one side, villages and olive groves on the other..Cartegena.. well, not my favorite, but we took a ships tour of the best of Murcia..The history of the city and how they have brought "water for all" has brought them new prosperity..Barcelona..well, the best thing would be to hire a private guide..there is so much to see... we have cruised from there four times and haven't seen enough.. The Hop on Hop off bus isn't always the best way,but make sure you walk La Rambla from the top, then there is the wonderful 200 year old working market, on the other side of the street down a few winding alleys is the Gaudi church.. Seville, I know not much and Tenerife I can't say much as I wasn't that thrilled..
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Old March 29th, 2010, 07:44 AM
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I want to second the warning about pickpockets in Barcelona,(also Rome)they seem to target older people--I would also recommend a money belt--never use a backpack.That said both are wonderful cities with lots to see and do--I loved the Picasso and Dali museums in Barcelona.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Cool Pickpockets in barcelona

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Originally Posted by gardener46 View Post
I want to second the warning about pickpockets in Barcelona,(also Rome)they seem to target older people--I would also recommend a money belt--never use a backpack.That said both are wonderful cities with lots to see and do--I loved the Picasso and Dali museums in Barcelona.
BESIDES La Rambla they are also active at the airport. On the good side there are plain clothes policemen all over the place.. On La Rambla be careful near the "living statues".. and in the market where it's crowded with tourists and natives shopping. If y our on the Equinox crossing there is a huge group on another board, very active with excursions and I think a Halloween, cabin hopping, etc. We will be on the ship the week before getting off back at Rome. Let me know if you are leaving from Rome or Barcelona. After a day walking Cinque Terre our driver took us over the famous Arno River and we were also able to visit the Tower of Pisa.. I don't know (didn't get out of the van I was so exhausted and cold..lol) if any of the other people on our tour needed to buy tickets.. it was early evening.

Last edited by Parrot Mom; March 29th, 2010 at 10:05 AM.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 07:29 PM
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Just joined the forum, but have been reading it for sometime - thought I would jump in and add a resource for those traveling to the typical European locations that many of us have or would like to visit, but the cruisers had concerns about pickpockets.

Know that crime happens everywhere in the world - no mater where..... crime happens...almost always, if a crime problem does happen to someone who is visiting a cruise port...it will usually be petty crime - heck, a lot of places here in the US have a lot worse crime rates than many cruise ports and excursion cities around the world.

The point I am trying to make here is don't get to "wigged out" about the pickpocket issue - just be a better educated traveler about the subject. Take a little time to understand how pickpockets operate, know the tell tale signs, and have a strategy to safeguard your valuables anytime you carry them in a public environment. So here are a few tips on how to deal with pickpockets.

1. First off, anyone who goes to any international destination, especially major European tourist destinations in Spain and Italy, just have to understand that pickpockets are just part of the "travel experience." We may not like it, but it's a fact of life - "Pickpockets love Travelers" as an old saying goes. Once you embrace this philosophy, you need to spend a little "pickpocket research time" - just like you did when you were trying to decide which cruise ship to take, or shore excursions to sign up for.

The main idea of doing "pickpocket research" is to accomplish a few things . The most important is learning how to identify the most common "pickpocket set up scams" BEFORE they occur to you. This is the most important part - knowing what to expect, before it happens. This way if a nice middle aged woman taps you from behind to get your attention and says "excuse me, a bird pooped on the back of your jacket," your prior "pickpocket research" would have alerted you that the "Pigeon Poop Scam" is very popular around the world and to immediately safeguard your pockets, purse, travel bag or other valuables.

How to Conduct "Pickpocket Research"

Take time researching the destinations you plan on visiting on websites such as this. Many times, fellow cruisers are a great source of information. Read several cruising and travel websites for different versions of information - as well as content - TripAdvisor is one of these websites that you can find specific security info on the cities you plan on visiting.

Visit the main government websites that provide specific info about some of the cities you are visiting. Some of these pages may be in-depth, others may be outdated, but, many will have some good info that you may not find elsewhere. A good place to start is the US Depart of State website and pull up the country you plan to visit. Another US govt website is OSAC, which sometimes has additional info. Consider reviewing the Canadian, UK, and Australian equivalents of these websites. I have these websites bookmarked on another computer and will re-post those addresses in a bit.

Watch Pickpocket Crime Videos and Read Specific Pickpocket Avoidance Tips
This is probably the best and quickest solution. Watching actual pickpocket videos is a real "in you face" way to quickly understand how they work.

Watching several pickpocket videos gives you a full flavor of the sophistication of some pickpockets - to many thieves - this is considered "art" to be able to steal a wallet or purse right from under the victim's nose...and especially without them being alerted to the theft until the thief is long gone.

One particular website has a variety of these videos

When you go to this website, you will find a variety of travel safety tips, however the videos and tips are located in the "pickpocket" category.

The same website has a variety of pickpocket scams broken down into several cities, as well as by style of pickpocketing.

Several other travel websites have forums devoted to pickpockets and travel safety, consider reading up on those at rick steves website, How Stuff Works website, WikiTravel,

Hopefully this will give you a better look at the subject so you better prepare yourself when traveling abroad. Remember, these type of issues can happen anywhere, just view it as part of the travel experience. Most travelers never have any problems when going abroad, but you will always have the old 10% rule - that is 90% will never fall victim to a pickpocket, but 10% will (if that).

Most importantly, have a great trip, take lots of pictures...all of the destinations you plan on visiting are great destinations and will bring you great memories in the years to come.
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Old March 29th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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Those sites are enough to make you paranoid and not want to leave your hotel.. As long as your aware of the people around you and your surroundings.. I'm about to enjoy..everything and everywhere..
We do not carry our passports with us (copies though) and my $$ are attached with a safety pin in side my bag and P.Pop keeps serious $$ in a wallet attached to his b elt.. inside his pants and if something looks suspicious I just tell him "heads up"....our signal
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Old March 29th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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The info was just done to provide info to someone who had never traveled before to these types of destinations - many of which are known to be pickpocket hot spots. In regards to the info making you scared to leave, I think it's kind of like learning to drive for the first time, we all know the basics, but drivers ed information can scare you too. The info was added to help those who don't have a lot of intl travel experience - once you have done it a few times, its no big thing.

I tried to do my best and allude to the fact that the chances of falling victim to a pickpocket are slim, however if you have ever spoken to someone who had to spend the day at a police station making a police report, and calling credit card companies is not a fun way to spend a day in port....and god help someone who makes the mistake about taking their passport with them into port (which should never be done, but has occurred several times by uninformed travelers)...then having it stolen.... Having to get a replacement passport is a total drag, so I thought having this info may help someone avoid these types of problems.

My post was not intended to scare anyone...just make someone a little more savvy so against a very small population that targets travelers.

Jasmine5, who started this post....please don't take anything more from my posting. As I mentioned previously your chances are very slim that any of these things may happen to you when visiting one of the ports you are considering, however, you do need to be aware that pickpockts do exist and knowing how to avoid them is alot bettern that the altenative.

Have a great cruise.....I know you will.

Last edited by 9000; March 29th, 2010 at 08:16 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old March 29th, 2010, 09:03 PM
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The point being that pickpockets are "working" in NYC, Washington, D.C. or any major city or tourist attraction. You should always be aware of y our surroundings and just take proper precautions wherever you are.. Obviously wearing flashy jewelry, big wads of bills and learning a few tricks that these people use wherever you go.. such as the gypsy children in Italy and Spain..
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