To carl maria and manlief: So, we're at least 6, and there are a few more on Cruise Critic and the Yahoo Oceania Group! It's always nice to "know" a few people and exchange information before a trip. Perhaps we can get together on board to meet each other during the first couple of days. That way you get to know other couples to share a dinner table with, a taxi in port, a walk through town, or a private guide.
I have already started researching the ports that are new to us. We prefer to sightsee independently and plan to do so in Mahon, Amsterdam, Guernsey, Tallinn and Cadiz. We have been to St. Petersburg before, so will probably book directly with a local agent rather than take a "highlights" tour.
Let's continue to exchange information. We look forward to meeting you on Board!
Hi, I have been looking into ports too. We also will be doing are own port excursions. It's our first time in Europe so will take all the advice we can get We are going to be in Rome before cruise would anyone like to share guide in Rome? We are from Boston area , Carl Maria are you flying out of VT. or maybe Boston?
to Manlief: My husband also took his first cruise for our 25th Anniversary (I had cruised before) from Istanbul to Rome and we stayed on to see Rome, Florence and Venice. Since then we have taken several cruises, including 2 River Cruises, and this will be our 2nd on Oceania.
Re: the ports, I have been reading about the hop-on-hop-off bus in Copenhagen. It seems to be a good way to see the major sights and only costs about $20 per person.
Since we have been to Seville before, we will walk around Cadiz and see the sights rather than travel to Seville again. At Mahon in Minorca, Frommers Travel Books recommends taking a one hour glass bottom catamaran ride, which sounds interesting.
I really love the planning part of the cruise! See you on board, Marsha
Hi, Glass bottom boat in Mahon sounds great Let us know when booking if you want to share. Not sure what we will be doing in Copenhagen. Are their certain attractions you are interested in? I also enjoy very much planning the trip! Laura and Mike
To Manlief: Dear Laura and Mike: Although we originally took Oceania's free air and were not planning to fly in early, my husband now wants to make our own arrangements and do a 2-day Rome pre-cruise, so I have contacted my Travel Agent to ask about air credit. We haven't begun to look at hotels yet. Did you book through Oceania, or did you find a hotel on your own? When we stayed on in Athens for 3 nights after our previous Oceania tour, we made our own arrangements for a hotel and were very pleased with both the price and the location. Marsha
Sorry posting so late. We booked air and hotel with Oceania. Staying at Rome Marriott two nights. We are also going to stay at Stockholm Hilton post cruise. I priced out air and hotel seperatly though I could find cheaper hotels, it was hard to get a good price on air. I found one-way back from Stockholm to Boston was expensive. Let us know how it worked out for you. Have you looked into shore excursion in St. Petersburg? We are thinking on getting Russian visa and get a private guide. I will try to keep an eye on site
Laura and Mike
Dear Laura and Mike: My husband got a good price on the air by booking it as a multi-city trip rather than two one-way trips.
We had a hard time booking a hotel in Rome, but were finally successful and we'll be staying in a small hotel recommended by Fodor's and Rick Steves. Are you taking the ship's tours? We plan to follow a walking tour route from the Colliseum to the Roman Forum the first day, then focus on the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's the second. If there's time the third morning, we might do something before heading to Civitavecchia. Is Oceania getting you to the ship from Rome?
We have not booked yet in Stockholm and we're still discussing St. Petersburg. I knew that if we booked with Red October or another agent we would not need a visa, but that we wouldn't be able to go off on our own. I'm not sure what we would be able to accomplish alone from where the ship is docked.
The only tour we are taking in Rome is Papel blessing on Wed. morn.(May,16) Then we might have guided tour of vatican afterward. We are not catholic but we heard this can be special. I beleive I read there are certain areas of the Vatican that only registerd guides can take you to. Depending on when we arrive on Tue. we will do sightseeing then and Thur. before boarding. Right now transfers are via Oceania. In St. Petersburg we are getting visa and probably hiring a local guide. It is White Nights then and we want to stay out late and enjoy that. There also is a canal boat trip late at night to see the raising of the drawbridges. In Stockholm we will stay at least two nights, again booked with Oceania staying at Stockholm Hilton. I know there is a old ship museum called Vasa I believe. We also heard of a bar made out of ice, including glasses You get coat, hat gloves, etc. as part of entrance fee. sounds entertaining. I think there is also changing of the guards at the royal palace. We have tossed around idea of renting a car and seeing country side. Well enough for now. Lets keep planning
Laura and Mike
For those shaying over in Stockholm post-cruise, the first week of June there's a city-wide festival called "A Taste of Stockholm" with food and entertainment in the parks. Sounds like fun.
Also, there's whole group of us who have been posting on CruiseCritic.com forums (Oceania Role Call). We're planning to have a "get acquainted" drink in the Horizon Lounge after the lifeboat drill on Day One of the cruise.