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CorgiGuy
August 24th, 2007, 12:48 PM
Hi all,

Started doing some early initial homework regarding our first Mediterrian cruise. We board our ship in Monte Carlo on Sept. 24th, 2008

We decided to fly into Nice on the afternoon of the 22nd, and are contemplating taking a half-day private tour of several nearby villages/towns (St. Paul de Vence, Vence & Tourrettes sur Loup) on the 23rd.

Considering hiring Michel @ Revelation Tours. Has anyone used their services in the past, any comments/feedback on your experience with them would help us in making our decision.

Thanks in advance for your time & assistance.


Stay well,

Anthony aka CorgiGuy

sondi 14
August 24th, 2007, 04:03 PM
We haven't toured with them, but on our cruise in 2005 some of the couples that we had met on CC did tour with Michel while we were in Monte Carlo and they loved him and the day the spent with him. They felt it was one of, if not the best day, of the cruise in regards to tours and tour guides.

Loniel
August 24th, 2007, 04:46 PM
Hi Anthony,

Let me try to simplify your life. We are doing a TA from Civitavecchia in December of this year. I booked the cruise in early July 2006. Since then I have been researching every facet of the adventure for my group of ten (all siblings w/ spouses) and will be happy to share some of my findings. After reading literally hundreds of reviews, I settled on the following:

We have booked Revelation Tours for an 8 hour tour from Cannes. Michel LeGrand will be our driver/guide.

In Naples, it's Salvatore Lucibello of Drive Amalfi for an all-day tour of Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast.

In Livorno, we will be using Tuscany by Taxi for the day and will spend the time in Florence with a brief stop in Pisa. Two members of our party just returned from an extended stay in Florence so we felt comfortable without a formal guide. Tuscany by Taxi supplies a van and driver to be at your disposal for the day at a very reasonable price.
Here is a sampling of excerpts I assembled from this board relating to this topic:

START

A truly enjoyable time was afforded to us by Michel LeGrand (pronounced Mee Shell) of Revelation Tours. Michel, a man, goes above and beyond the average tour guide for his clients. Each client in our party was given a presentation type file folder with details of Villefranche and all the stops on our tour. He had a cooler with water and soft drinks, a very nice touch. He even had hand wipes and candy to offer his clients.

We used Revelation Tours last year and would highly recommend. Michel was excellent tour guide, adapted the program to our desires. made great recommendations and provided free soft drinks, water throughout the day.
You can't go wrong.

> Highly recommend Revelation-Tours and Driver in Rome Both Michel Legrand from www.revelation-tours.com (http://www.revelation-tours.com/) and Daniele Melaragno from www.driverinrome.com (http://www.driverinrome.com/) were very professional, reliable, and had a good sense of humor. For VilleFranche, we had Michel himself but I heard his other guides were also very enthusiastic narraters...For Tuscany and Amalfi, we had Daniele (very charming) and Fabritzio (very funny) Melaragno. If you enjoy a guide who is very accommodating and hilarious, he would be the one. He even took us to this 5 star hotel on the Amalfi coast http://www.hotelsantacaterina.it/ (http://www.hotelsantacaterina.it/) at our request (a very beautiful place with fantastic views)... Both my mom and teenage daughter had a great time. Both Claudia and Driver in Rome were booked for Rome, so we had to use a different company in Rome, (whose owner we feel did not care much about taking care of their customers)...Enjoy the sight and sound of hotelsantacaterina, a prelude to your Med experience...
Kim-LTGL

> Salvatore of DriveAmalfi (************************ (************************)) worked for around Twenty years at the Santa Caterina Hotel (hotelsantacaterina.it (http://hotelsantacaterina.it/)) in Amalfi,it looks a great place to stay

> We just returned from our cruise to the Med aboard the Millinnuim. I cannot say enought about Michel Legrand of Revelation Tours for your tour in France. He is a gentleman, he has a wonderful sense of humor, he is very informative and he was one of the highlights of our trip!!

In Naples we used Salvatore of DriveAmalfi. After the traffic of "organized chaos" in Rome, Salvatore made us feel safe as he slowly drove the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast (where he lives) and guided us with the history & best views!! He took us to a restaraunt overlooking the sea that had the most fabulous food!!! It was quiet & reasonably priced, not to mention DELICIOUS!!

After all of the ports we visited, isn't it interesting that we want to revisit Nice, St. Paul, & Eze in France and the Amalfi Coast?? Could it be our guides that we were enchanted with?? Ha! Ha! :)

Kathy

> French Riviera & Amalfi Coast

Kathy/Luvcrusin', glad to hear you've also really enjoyed the above regions of Italy and France...

Mike Andrews, Salvatore is a lucky man to have worked at the Santa Caterina hotel for that long...When I corresponded with him in the past, he was very polite, courteous, and replied quickly to my e-mails...We would not mind trying out his services in the future...We still have the 16 pages Hotel Santa Caterina color brochure with us to enjoy the spectacular breathtaking views!!!

Kim-LTGL

> Kathy & Ed

Great to see you on the board. Gosh we miss seeing you guys!!! How was Venice post cruise?
Tony and I are still getting over the jet lag. Yes we agree the Amalfi Coast is a definate to return to - we were also head over heels in love with Santorini (especially Oia and Camari Beach). Oh I wish I was back on the Milennium!!! Whe do you think you'd do the Med again?
Jack

> Hi Becky,

I just booked Papillon. Who was your driver? How would you rate your day compared to your tour with Michel at Revelation or Salvatore of Drive Amalfi?
Thanks in advance for the info!!!

> My wife and I just returned from the Galaxy transatlantic. We used driverinrome and revelationstours.

Both companies were outstanding in helping get things arranged. We had three people coordinating transfers and tours and the details got complex. Both of them performed flawlessly.

In Villefranche, there were two groups of us touring. One group wanted the full deal from Cannes, to Monte Carlo with 3-4 stops between. They had one van (and had Michele as their driver). They said the tour and Michele were both great. 16 of us decided to do a little less and cut out Cannes. We went to Nice, Eze and Monte Carlo/Monaco, taking about 6 hours. We had two vans and the drivers were informative and very nice.

I would recommend either company to anyone.

Bob

> You're right, CruisingCatherine. With yesterday's conversion rate, a 500 Euro excursion is $625 US. I think it is high also, but if you look at what you're paying for, it makes a little more sense.

The cost is covering a drive from the port to the city (Rome, Florence especially), which could be more than 90 minutes of driving. Then they are taking you around for the entire day. Most of these excursions last 8 to 9 hours with, from what I've heard on these boards, excellent narrations of the area you are visiting.

I have also done private excursions in the Caribbean for much less money, but I think there is no comparison of the Caribbean to the Mediterrean. At least IMHO.

Donna
BOS - October 15, 2005

> Catherine, the price you're quoting for Europe is per vehicle, not per person. It's worth it to advertise here on CC and get other people to join you. We were three couples per minivan on each excursion - which is roughly 80 Euros per person. On this subject, an equivalent ship's tour will cost in the vicinity of $135 each and trust me there's no comparison. They travel in huge busses which can't negotiate most of the streets in the cities, so one get's dropped off and has to walk in a huge group to view the various sites. Your private tour guide will take you whereever YOU want to go - and give you as much time as you need to shop and eat as well. Also there is absolutely no comparison between a tour in the Caribbean and a tour in Europe. Yes the distance to Florence for instance is 1 1/2 hours travel one way - the narration is amazing - (they're not merely talking on passing scenery) all the dates and historical facts are totally mind blowing (by the way we were there last month and gas was 8 Euro's a gallon!!) We felt we got more than our money's worth out of our tour guides - they were amazing. Anything I can answer for you - I'd be glad to.

Zebra

> The good tour guides get booked a year in advance - so if you're interested in them I suggest you book soon.

Jackie

>
If you are going to invest in private tours then I recommend that you invest in the best and I agree you will need to book early to ensure you get the he best. We have done most ports in the Mediterranean on our own but for somewhere like the Amalfi Coast the services of a private driver are almost essential to get the most out of your day and it is a place we have never tired of visiting. I recommend the services of Salvatore Lucibello of DriveAmalfi (************************ (************************)) for tours of Pompei and the Amalfi Coast out of Naples whom we have used twice and would say he is the best without question. We have also used Paola Migliorni of Florence Tour (info@florencetour.com (info@florencetour.com)) for an indepth Tour of Florence and Pisa and if there is a more knowledgeable guide in Florence then I would like to meet them.

> Tour guides in Italy

We just returned from a Med cruise on the Splendour. I researched and sort of got an idea who everyone was high on using as private guides. We settled on driverinrome for Florence (Pepe was our driver) and driverinrome for Rome (Remo). For Naples we decided to use Salvatore from driveamalphi. All were very good, gentlemen, excellent drivers and tour guides. All were very knowledgeable on the areas we toured. Never had to wait in any lines with any of them. When there was a traffic jam going to the Amalphi coast, Salvatore took an alternate route and hardly any time was lost. He was probably the most informative, I would highly recommend Salvator for Naples. Be sure to reserve him well in advance, we did about three months ahead and he guaranteed he would be our driver, my wife was happy about that. He was soft spoken, a great driver (you did not have to hold the seat while he was driving), and knew every detail about the area you were in. He took us to a small village (Pontone) for lunch, it was unforgettable, I guess you had to be there.
Pepe and Remo were also very excellent both had their own ways of touring, Remo more of a comedian, and musician. All spoke excellent english. Any other info you may want please email me at, jfasc@adelpia.net (jfasc@adelpia.net)
__________________
John & Carol

> I echo your sentiments about Sylvie,she was first class also Salvatore of DriveAmalfi, ********************* (*********************) out of Naples is a total professional as is Paola of Florence Tour, info@florencetour.com (info@florencetour.com). We like to do our own thing in many of the ports but hiring knowledgeable local guides in selected ports gives you a greater insight into the areas you are visiting and is well worth the cost.

> Vilefranche driver

Hi

I can't say enough good things about Michel Legrand and Revelation Tours - we had a terrific tour from Cannes to Monte Carlo from our stop in Villefranche during the Galaxy Transatlantic cruise in May.

Michel and Revelation Tours are exceptional for many reasons.

We found out when we boarded the Galaxy that the itinerary had been changed and that we'd be in Villefranche a day earlier than originally planned. With less than 2 weeks notice and during their busy season, Michel was able to make this change for us.

Also, as word spread onboard about our Villefranche tour, we asked Michel to accommodate 16 more Cruise Critic folks in 2 minivans, and he did it for us. He had to sub-lease the vans from another company and arrange for these vans to have the same amenities as Revelation Tours vans, but he did it.

Another special note is that Michel/Revelation Tours did not mind if we changed the itinerary as the tour went along or if each of our vans - and we had 5 in total - had a different itinerary. Moreover, Michel went out of his way to draft other itineraries for us based on our interests, rather than demanding that we choose from the existing tours in the Revelation Tours brochure.

We all got an information kit with a copy of the itinerary for the day and historical information about the places being visited. While touring in the van, there was an audio presentation for each visit site and free non-alcoholic drinks were available too.

The weather was perfect, the scenery was divine and the service we received was outstanding. We probably had the best independent shore excursion we've ever had and thought it was a perfect day!

Bev

> We have Salvatore from DriveAmalfi Michel Legrand of Revellation Tours reserved but does anyone have any suggestions for Dubrovnik?

> full vans!

With Salvatore's assistance, it appears we've filled two vans of six each for the Amalfi drive on 5/19 - very much looking forward to it, as all CC reviews have been excellent for DriveAmalfi!
__________________
Jan T. in Harrisburg, PA

> Revelation Tours

I have read numerous reviews on this board about Revelation Tours in Villefranche, and recently contacted them to organize a group for our upcoming cruise. I am sure I won't be disappointed.

> Josie, last year we used driverinrome on two occassions. The first time we had Pepe. He was excellent, very freindly and talkative. He got us in to some sights without waiting. Good driver and informative. The second tour was with Daniels father Remo. He was VERY excellent. He was funny, talkative, informative, a very good singer and did I say he was funny? You will love him if you do get him. You may even request with Monia, she was just as great with our reservations. Make sure you ask him to play for you.
Our other tour was in Naples with Salvatore from driveamalphi. This was probably our best tour. All around I just cannot say enough about Salvatore and the tour through Amalphi and surrounding villages.
Hope you have a great trip and many memories. John
__________________
John & Carol

> Need advice on Guides/Drivers

Trying to book a private tour for my family in Naples. Wrote to Salvatore from Drive Amalfi- but he is already booked. He is recommending Roberto from his company. Would like to know if anyone can tell me how is he as a driver/guide?

> Drive Amalfi---Anyone Had Adriano?

I, too have tried to book Salvatore for our day. He is personally booked, but he has given us the name of Adriano. Has anyone had any past experiences...good or bad? I am especially concerned with driving abilities of our driver as our children are accompanying us. Thank you!

> Dr. Pam - While i was emailing Salvatore about my booking last fall another party confirmed with him so he offered me Adriano as well. He assured me that he is his number one driver, but I too would be interested to see if anyone else has toured with him. I'm sorry that its not Salvatore himself but we are really looking forward to the Amalfi coast.

> drivers and tours

I hope someone has more information and ideas for trips and drivers in Villefranche- everyone i have tried is booked..likewise trying to find someone for a civitavecchia trip ( estruscan towns).
tried RTCarbone@yahoo which someone recommended, but email doesn't exist.

thanks

> The two best Drivers and Guides we used were Michel Legrand of Revelation Tours from Villefranche and Salvatore Lucibello of DriveAmalfi out of Naples

Cruise98

> happy46

Quote:
Originally Posted by mert461
Thanks to everyone who replied to my original poll and questions. We've booked Villefranche and the Amalfi Coast.

I'm still trying to decide for Rome and Florence. It appears driverinrome might be the one to choose?

Donna

Donna,
We just returned last week from the Liberty and were quite happy with using Tuscany by Taxi for our driving excursion to Florence. Our driver was Maximo (i'm not sure of the spelling), and although he did not speak much English he was a very nice and courteous man. The price was 320 E for the whole day for a van that sat our group of 8 plus Maximo.

> tuscanybytaxi

happy46,
Good to hear that you like tuscanybytaxi. I am thinking of using them for our day in Florence. Did you book with them in advance and specify an 8 seater van?
The e-mail I got from stated that the taxis take up to 6 people. While there are only 4 in our group, it would be great to recruit 4 others to share and bring down the cost consdierably.
Thanks!
Pia

> Private tours in Italy and France

We were on the Carnival Liberty October 05 cruise, we used both driverinrome for Rome, Florence/Pisa and Naples. and Michel Legrand of Revelation Tours for the French coast tour. They are both excellent and provided a wonderful tour. I will recommend both for their tour services. They are the best.
Laris

> Salvatore and Nello were are drivers for the Amalfi Coast. We were a group of 16, so we needed 2 vans in some areas. We had lunch in a hillside cafe enjoying Italine cuisine and local wine. It was a perfect day.

In Nice we booked revelation-tours and had Michel Legrand. He was so professional and kept us on a schedule, so we could see the most in the 9 hours we were with him.We loved the village of Eze, St Paul, Tourettes, Monte Carlo, Flower Market of Nice.

These tours made this cruise on the Millennuim so memorable.

Nancy

>
Our Emerald Princess group has a reservation for 2 vans with Salvatore's company. Salvatore is the driver of one of his vans and the other is Roberto of his company. I hope that this is not the same Roberto that others wrote about but it is in a different city. I have also asked Salvatore to get us a private licensed guide for Pompeii since we will be cramming it into 2 hours.

I am thrilled with Salvatore. Has anyone used Roberto of Drive Amalfi? If so, I would appreciate your feedback.

Bonnie from Atlanta
__________________
Bonnie and Joe from Atlanta


> CHECK OUT THIS WEB SITE (for a great review with photos): http://www.europeportreviews.com/Nice1.htm (http://www.europeportreviews.com/Nice1.htm)

> Isoline We had hoped to have Michel as well last October. We too had Isoline, and had a wonderful day. She did use a microphone in our van, and Revelation tours will provide folders with detailed info about each place you will visit. She also played CDs about the areas. You will have a wonderful day.

> We used Michel last October for our Villefranche tour. There were 16 that signed up for the tour so we had Michel and Isoline. I was in the van w/ Michel but those that were in Isoline's van loved her! She's very energetic and bouncy. Michel did use mikes while doing the tour as well as a cd presentation of the particular area we were visiting. It gave a nice overview of what we would be seeing.

I would definitely request that mikes be used if you have a group. It makes the tour so much nicer and everyone can hear.

Have a nice trip.

Mary

> Revelations Tours We were a party of 7 people who used Revelation Tours when our ship, Voyager of the Seas, was docked in Villefranche on September 18th. Michel was our driver and he was fantastic! He responded promptly and courteously to all of our email requests prior to the cruise. He was waiting for us at the pier (with a hugh smile) and gave us a wonderful whirlwind tour of Nice, St. Paul, Monte Carlo, Monaco and Eze along with a stop at the Fragonard Perfume factory. He was able to keep all of us on a good schedule so that we could see everything we had requested and get us back to the ship on time. He seemed very educated in the hisotry of the areas we visited while also being alot of fun...we all certainly enjoyed his sense of humor and decided he was one of the best drivers we had while in Europe and would highly recommend his services at Revelation Tours.
We had no problem reaching him thru the website: revelation-tours.com (http://revelation-tours.com/) and email address: revelationtours@aol.com (revelationtours@aol.com). Best of luck with your planning! The towns we visited were beautiful and fascinating!

> We had a tour with Michel Legrand from Revelation Tours. We started from Monte Carlo and visited St. Paul de Vence, Nice, Eze, Rothchild Villa and Monaco.

Michel is absolutely amazing guide, one of the best we ever had. Check his web site. There are some different itineraries there.

END

I have compiled what I call a "Mediterranean Resourch Guide" That is jam-packed with web sites, email addresses and other reasearch results. I posted it in the Roll Call for the Star Princess TA Rome to Ft. Lauderdale, but I'd be glad to send it to you the a Word file if you'd like. Send me a request at cassalery@aol.com

Good luck and enjoy!

Daniel

Man, I wish someone had done this for me!

CorgiGuy
August 24th, 2007, 10:30 PM
Hi all,

Sondigreen, thank you for taking the time to provide feedback based on the experience of your fellow ship mates.

Lionel, your detailed response is a great help. Hearing such positive feedback from a number of individuals is very reassuring. I appreciate your time & assistance.

I have already conversed with Michel (Via e-mail), and will proceed in confirming my reservation with him.

Stay well all,

Anthony aka CorgiGuy

packed&ready!
August 25th, 2007, 10:28 AM
Loniel,

Thank you for all that info. It is a big help to me! I contacted Revelations tours and am waiting for a quote. There are so many tour companies, it is mind-boggling!

mahdnc
August 25th, 2007, 12:22 PM
Hi all,

Started doing some early initial homework regarding our first Mediterrian cruise. We board our ship in Monte Carlo on Sept. 24th, 2008

We decided to fly into Nice on the afternoon of the 22nd, and are contemplating taking a half-day private tour of several nearby villages/towns (St. Paul de Vence, Vence & Tourrettes sur Loup) on the 23rd.

Considering hiring Michel @ Revelation Tours. Has anyone used their services in the past, any comments/feedback on your experience with them would help us in making our decision.

Thanks in advance for your time & assistance.


Stay well,

Anthony aka CorgiGuy

We took an all day tour of the French Riviera with Michel back in June when we sailed the Med aboard Millennium. Long story short, it was a very good tour and we highly recommend him. Michel is very knowledgable about the area and tour van was extremely comfortable. A few things unique to their private tour (compared to the other 4 that we took on our cruise):

1. The use of an audio system to broadcast the narrative throughout the van so every one can hear. The narratives were mainly the discussion from Michel while he was driving but pre-recorded narratives from a CD were also used on occasion.

2. Cold drinks from a cooler were provided for free.

3. Laminated tour descriptions/maps were handed out to passengers at each stop where we were dropped off to explore the area by foot.

The tour is a flat rate tour regardless of the number of people. We managed to share the tour with another family of 4 which allowed us to cut our costs in half.

Costafox
August 25th, 2007, 04:02 PM
Hi Corgi Guy

We used Revelation Tours during our stop off in Villefranche in May and we had a really great day out.

Michel was very helpful in planning our trip so it was tailor made to visit exactly the places we wanted to see. Isoline was our guide and I would really recommend her, she was very informative and was very flexible on the day so if we decided to stay longer in one place, it was no problem to her.

The added incentive of Revelation Tours is that if you get stuck in traffic, the time does not come out of your tour time - we were out for over 9 hours which was exhausting but we had a fantastic day which we will always remember.

As someone has already said it is a flat rate for up to 8 people - we were 4, so it wasn't a cheap day out - but that was our decision. The more people you can get the better.

Any other questions please do not hesitate to ask
Best Wishes
Gill

CorgiGuy
August 25th, 2007, 04:44 PM
Thanks to all for your feedback (Sondrgreen, Loniel, Mchdnc & Costafox), it was very helpful.

I have a confirmed 5-hour tour booked for Sept.23rd 2008 with Revelation Tours. (Although between now & then, I just might extend it an hour or two). I had requested Michel to be our guide, and he indicated that he is available and will guide our tour.

Hopefully, as we get closer to our tour, we'll be able to find a shipmate or two that will want to join us & thereby lower the cost per couple. If not, so be it, you only go around once in life!!!

PS: If anyone needs some assistance in planning an Alaskan adventure, I might be able to provide some suggestions. We spent three weeks there in 2006, two on land & one on southbound cruise to Vancouver.

Thanks again.

Stay well all,

Anthony aka CorgiGuy

Costafox
August 25th, 2007, 06:12 PM
Hi Anthony

I would be happy to take you up on your offer about advice on Alaska.
I am booked on the Serenade repo cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver in May 2008. Flights are all booked, we have booked Harv and Marv for whale watching in Juneau, we want to do the Yukon bus + rail excursion in Skagway and have ideas for a few of the ports.

We have 5 days post cruise in Vancouver and wondered what you would suggest there, we are already visiting Victoria on the ship. Have you any ideas what we could do there.

Many thanks

Gill

kcbarker
August 25th, 2007, 06:37 PM
We used Michel last summer and can not say enough great things about our day. I would not hesitate to recommend a tour with him.

CorgiGuy
August 25th, 2007, 07:29 PM
Hi Anthony

I would be happy to take you up on your offer about advice on Alaska.
I am booked on the Serenade repo cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver in May 2008. Flights are all booked, we have booked Harv and Marv for whale watching in Juneau, we want to do the Yukon bus + rail excursion in Skagway and have ideas for a few of the ports.

We have 5 days post cruise in Vancouver and wondered what you would suggest there, we are already visiting Victoria on the ship. Have you any ideas what we could do there.

Many thanks

Gill

Hi Gill,

A few questions before I start my reply:

I see you indicate your cruise from San Fran. to Vancouver starts 5/3/08, when will you cruise Northbound to Alaska begin?

What other ports or inland cities/towns will you be staying in or stoping at? Fairbanks, Denali National Park, Ketchikan, Homer, Seward, etc.

Do you tend to like to go off the beaten path or are you more of a tour bus junkie? (I have nothing against tour bus junkies, so everyone please put your guns & knives away).:eek:

I will initially say this, the cruise port stops are VERY commercialized. There must have been 25-50 jewelry stores in each port( I, personally didn't go to Alaska to shop for jewelry):p . Additionally, unless your are a jewlery addict, 2-3 hours is more than enough time to see all the major attractions/sights in each port.

Although we used Capt. Larry(Orca Enterprises), Harv & Marv is a very good choice for whale watching in Juneau. I heard nothing but very good things about them. They take a much smaller group (6-10 max.) than
Capt. Larry (30-40 passengers). When we get back to Alaska, I am anticipating booking with Harv & Marv.

In Skagway, we rented a car and drove into the Yukon up to Emerald Lake. The ride was WONDERFUL & THE LAKE IS BEAUTIFUL, and there were many photo stops along the way. If you are so inclined, there is a very good stable by the lake for trail rides, The train is too confining & slow for me. Its approx. a two hour ride @ approx. 20 mile an hour. The car ride is simple, the road is paved, and their are no turns that you have to make once you get out of Skagway. If someone gets lost on this trip, they probably shoudn't have a license to drive.:eek: The cost of the car and gas might even be less than the train/bus combo.

I will await your response to my questions above, and then I will be glad to provide additional suggestions, based on your itinerary.

Stay well,

Anthony

Costafox
August 26th, 2007, 02:56 PM
Hi Anthony

Thanks for your reply

Our itinarary is as follows:

San Francisco
Astoria (Oregon) 7.00 - 17.00
Seattle 10.00 - 19.00
Victoria B.C. 7.00 - 17.00
Inside Passage (Cruising)
Ketchikan 7.00 - 15.00
Juneau 8.00 - 21.00
Skagway 7.00 - 20.30
Icy Strait Point 7.00 - 17.00
Hubbard Glacier (Cruising)
Sitka 7.00 - 16.00
Prince Rupert B.C. 10.00 - 18.00
Inside Passage (Cruising)
Vancouver Where we will be staying for 5 days post cruise

We are not really tour bus junkies and don't expect to be purchasing much in the line of jewellery during our trip!

I have considered the possibility of renting a car in Skagway and doing the drive up to Emerald Lake myself but I think we will be in Skagway before the Avis office opens for the season - we are there May 11th - so the rail/bus trip may be our only option.
I have also looked into the possibility of doing a wildlife trip in ICP with Teckk Outfitters but nothing is decided as yet.
I realise our trip is early in the year so maybe there won't be a great deal of wildlife to see but we will be one of the first ships in Alaska for the season and in most ports will be the only ship in for that particular day. Also we are not able to take holiday time in the summer months and the loyalty ambassador on our last cruise advised us we would have a better chance of less rain in May than September, which was our other option.

Think this is everything I needed to tell you

Best Wishes
Gill

Costafox
August 26th, 2007, 02:56 PM
Hi Anthony

Thanks for your reply

Our itinarary is as follows:

San Francisco
Astoria (Oregon) 7.00 - 17.00
Seattle 10.00 - 19.00
Victoria B.C. 7.00 - 17.00
Inside Passage (Cruising)
Ketchikan 7.00 - 15.00
Juneau 8.00 - 21.00
Skagway 7.00 - 20.30
Icy Strait Point 7.00 - 17.00
Hubbard Glacier (Cruising)
Sitka 7.00 - 16.00
Prince Rupert B.C. 10.00 - 18.00
Inside Passage (Cruising)
Vancouver Where we will be staying for 5 days post cruise

We are not really tour bus junkies and don't expect to be purchasing much in the line of jewellery during our trip!

I have considered the possibility of renting a car in Skagway and doing the drive up to Emerald Lake myself but I think we will be in Skagway before the Avis office opens for the season - we are there May 11th - so the rail/bus trip may be our only option.
I have also looked into the possibility of doing a wildlife trip in ICP with Teckk Outfitters but nothing is decided as yet.
I realise our trip is early in the year so maybe there won't be a great deal of wildlife to see but we will be one of the first ships in Alaska for the season and in most ports will be the only ship in for that particular day. Also we are not able to take holiday time in the summer months and the loyalty ambassador on our last cruise advised us we would have a better chance of less rain in May than September, which was our other option.

Think this is everything I needed to tell you

Best Wishes
Gill

Loniel
August 27th, 2007, 08:41 AM
Hi Anthony

I would be happy to take you up on your offer about advice on Alaska.
I am booked on the Serenade repo cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver in May 2008. Flights are all booked, we have booked Harv and Marv for whale watching in Juneau, we want to do the Yukon bus + rail excursion in Skagway and have ideas for a few of the ports.

We have 5 days post cruise in Vancouver and wondered what you would suggest there, we are already visiting Victoria on the ship. Have you any ideas what we could do there.

Many thanks

Gill
Most of my family lives in the Pacific Northwest so I've been traveling up there since I was a kid. Whenever I go anywhere near Vancouver I somehow always end up atop Grouse Mountain. It is just north of the city. There are gondolas that take you up to the lodge where a path that winds through a Forrest populated with huge trees carved in the shape of animals. The views of Vancouver and Victoria Island from this point are surpassed only by the mountain peak some 1000 feet higher and accessible by a very hairy chair-lift ride.

Never been to the suspension bridge further down the mountain. We always get hung up at the top and run out of time. maybe someday...

I spent 10 weeks in Sitka entertaining at the Sheffield Hotel. I always enjoyed walking to the bridge at the edge of town and just watching the Grizzlies fish from the streams below. I also enjoyed climbing Mt Edgecomb, but my favorite pastime by far was dining at the Channel Club. Who would have thought that one could find a world-class restaurant like that in the Alaskan wilderness? Of course, it was pretty easy and inexpensive for me since the owner's (Victor Wyatt), daughter, who was visiting from Florida, fell in love with me, and I with her, so my diners were all free. Good thing too. The average dinner ticket came to about $300 (for two).

Daniel

PS: That's why I ended up moving to Florida some 25 years ago.

Loniel
August 27th, 2007, 08:42 AM
Hi Anthony

I would be happy to take you up on your offer about advice on Alaska.
I am booked on the Serenade repo cruise from San Francisco to Vancouver in May 2008. Flights are all booked, we have booked Harv and Marv for whale watching in Juneau, we want to do the Yukon bus + rail excursion in Skagway and have ideas for a few of the ports.

We have 5 days post cruise in Vancouver and wondered what you would suggest there, we are already visiting Victoria on the ship. Have you any ideas what we could do there.

Many thanks

Gill
Hi Gill,

Most of my family lives in the Pacific Northwest so I've been traveling up there since I was a kid. Whenever I go anywhere near Vancouver I somehow always end up atop Grouse Mountain. It is just north of the city. There are gondolas that take you up to the lodge where, (among other things), a path winds through a Forrest populated with huge trees carved in the shape of animals. The views of Vancouver and Victoria Island from this point are surpassed only by the mountain peak some 1000 feet higher and accessible by a very hairy chair-lift ride.

Never been to the suspension bridge further down the mountain. We always get hung up at the top and run out of time. maybe someday...

I spent 10 weeks in Sitka entertaining at the Sheffield Hotel. I always enjoyed walking to the bridge at the edge of town and just watching the Grizzlies fish from the stream below. I also enjoyed climbing Mt Edgecomb, but my favorite pastime, by far, was dining at the Channel Club. Who would have thought that one could find a world-class restaurant like that in the Alaskan wilderness? Of course, it was pretty easy and inexpensive for me since the owner's (Victor Wyatt), daughter, who was visiting from Florida, fell in love with me, and I with her, so my diners were all free. Good thing too. The average dinner ticket came to about $300 (for two in 1982).

Daniel

PS: That's also why I ended up moving to Florida some 25 years ago.

CorgiGuy
August 27th, 2007, 10:12 AM
Hi Gill,

I also enjoyed climbing Mt Edgecomb, but my favorite pastime, by far, was dining at the Channel Club. Who would have thought that one could find a world-class restaurant like that in the Alaskan wilderness? Of course, it was pretty easy and inexpensive for me since the owner's (Victor Wyatt), daughter, who was visiting from Florida, fell in love with me, and I with her, so my diners were all free. Good thing too. The average dinner ticket came to about $300 (for two in 1982).

Daniel

PS: That's also why I ended up moving to Florida some 25 years ago.

Hi Daniel,

Just curious, what turned out to be more expensive, paying for those diners or moving to Florida & getting married? No need to answer, I'm married too, I already know the answer.:p

Stay well,

Anthony

John&Betty
August 27th, 2007, 10:49 AM
Hi Anthony,

Click on "Alaska" below for some links and pictures. We went with Harv, Pete Nelson, last May and saw lots of whales and other wildlife. He's a great guy. Your idea of booking something in Hoonah at Icy Straight Point is a good one. There's not much there except beautiful scenery.

BTW, there's a link to a great web cam of Canada Place, the cruise ship terminal in vancouver, on our web page.

John

CorgiGuy
August 27th, 2007, 02:29 PM
Hi Anthony

Thanks for your reply

Our itinarary is as follows:

San Francisco
Astoria (Oregon) 7.00 - 17.00
Seattle 10.00 - 19.00
Victoria B.C. 7.00 - 17.00
Inside Passage (Cruising)
Ketchikan 7.00 - 15.00
Juneau 8.00 - 21.00
Skagway 7.00 - 20.30
Icy Strait Point 7.00 - 17.00
Hubbard Glacier (Cruising)
Sitka 7.00 - 16.00
Prince Rupert B.C. 10.00 - 18.00
Inside Passage (Cruising)
Vancouver Where we will be staying for 5 days post cruise

We are not really tour bus junkies and don't expect to be purchasing much in the line of jewellery during our trip!

I have considered the possibility of renting a car in Skagway and doing the drive up to Emerald Lake myself but I think we will be in Skagway before the Avis office opens for the season - we are there May 11th - so the rail/bus trip may be our only option.
I have also looked into the possibility of doing a wildlife trip in ICP with Teckk Outfitters but nothing is decided as yet.
I realise our trip is early in the year so maybe there won't be a great deal of wildlife to see but we will be one of the first ships in Alaska for the season and in most ports will be the only ship in for that particular day. Also we are not able to take holiday time in the summer months and the loyalty ambassador on our last cruise advised us we would have a better chance of less rain in May than September, which was our other option.

Think this is everything I needed to tell you

Best Wishes
Gill

Hi Gill,

Thanks for additional details.

Oh well, you miss the opening of the Avis office by just a few days. Might be just as well, because that early in the season there might still be some patches of snow once you get up into the Yukon.

PS: Check with the train company, to make sure you have the necessary documentation necessary for going through customs at the CAnadian boarder. Being from Europe, I'm not sure if you'll need additional documentation other than a passport.

Give me a couple of days to review my notes, and I will post whatever comments/suggestions I have based upon our experiences (Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan, Vancouver).

Be prepared for some chilly weather, here is a very good web site I recently came accross which gives avg monthly temps & precipitaion by various cities in Alaska and through the globe. www.weatherbase.com (http://www.weatherbase.com)

Also, it's not uncommon to encounter rain while on the cruise, especially in Juneau. The cruise ports are in what is considered the "Rainbelt" of Alaska, so there is a good chance you'll encounter rain somewhere along the way.

One recommendation I have right off the bat, is for Ketchikan.

If your a little adventurious, go kayaking with Southeast Sea Kayaks. You don't need any kayaking experience, and they are a wonderful first class outfit. The co-owners, Kim & Greg are great. Based on your time in port, I would suggest the Orca Cove tour. We went on it and it was an extreamly relaxing, informative and enjoyable experience. If you want to take a look at their web site, its www.kayakketchikan.com (http://www.kayakketchikan.com)

I will gwt back to you with additional "Stuff", in a few days.

Stay well,

Anthony

Costafox
August 27th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Thanks Anthony and everyone else for your replies. Having spent all summer in very hot temeratures in the South of Spain I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to some pretty chilly weather!

My DH is keen to do the Harley excursion in Ketchikan so I have to look for something to amuse myself - I will look into the kayak trip but am not sure I would be happy going alone.

Thanks again for the feedback - this is our first trip over the pond and is a great adventure for us.

Best Wishes

Gill

Ms Understood
August 27th, 2007, 08:10 PM
We have just returned form Voyager of the Seas Med cruise. I booked Revelation Tours many months ago based on everyones glowing reports of their day with Michel. Unfortunately Michel did not show but sent Isoline instead. She was very pleasant and professional but we had been long looking forward to the "wit and wisdom" of Michel. She did have drinks in the van but there was no presentation folder for each pax and there was no "mood music". We had a lovely lunch outside St Paul de Vence. Otherwise she was uninspiring.

CorgiGuy
August 27th, 2007, 10:44 PM
Thanks Anthony and everyone else for your replies. Having spent all summer in very hot temeratures in the South of Spain I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to some pretty chilly weather!

My DH is keen to do the Harley excursion in Ketchikan so I have to look for something to amuse myself - I will look into the kayak trip but am not sure I would be happy going alone.

Thanks again for the feedback - this is our first trip over the pond and is a great adventure for us.

Best Wishes

Gill

Hi Gill,

I forgot to mention in my previous post, that I had posted a number of photo albums from our Alaskan adventure on the web. If you'd like to view them, your more than welcome to, just do the following:

1) Go to www.snapfish.com (http://www.snapfish.com)
2) Log in with the following: E-mail Address: apep33@aol.com
Password: alaska3weeks
3) Then under Your Recent Albums, click on the "Go to photos" button.
4) On the left side of the page under "Your Albums", click on 2006 and a page will be illustrated showing all the albums of Alaska. Click on whatever album you like, & all the photos contained within will be shown.

I hope you enjoy them, Alaska is amazing!!!!!

PS: Will your ship be docking in Seward?

Talk to you soon.

Stay well,

Anthony

CorgiGuy
August 27th, 2007, 11:03 PM
We have just returned form Voyager of the Seas Med cruise. I booked Revelation Tours many months ago based on everyones glowing reports of their day with Michel. Unfortunately Michel did not show but sent Isoline instead. She was very pleasant and professional but we had been long looking forward to the "wit and wisdom" of Michel. She did have drinks in the van but there was no presentation folder for each pax and there was no "mood music". We had a lovely lunch outside St Paul de Vence. Otherwise she was uninspiring.


Ms Understood,


Sorry to hear of your situation. I like you, tend to make all my reservations well in advance of my trip. I would have been very disappointed , as well.

I assume your confirmation document states your driver/guide as Michel, ours does. Did he give any explaination for the last minute change?

Since I just confirmed a tour with Michel, your post is not exactly what I'd like to hear. I know its' no consolation, but regretably for you, it was an unfortunate isolated occurrance.

I hope the rest of your trip went smoothly.

Stay well,

Anthony

Ms Understood
August 28th, 2007, 09:25 AM
I think he was sick. Isoline said he had "foot infestation". We decided she meant something like food poisoning. I am a little skeptical since with a ship that size, how is it that Isoline was available at the last minute then? Oh well, we had a fantastic trip and there can be no doubt that any private guide is better then the ship's excursions, n'est pas?

Cruising50's
August 28th, 2007, 06:32 PM
Michel with Revelation Tours did an outstanding job on our recent trip.

We were on Brilliance for the July 8 tour........ I contacted Michel months earlier and he was very quick to respond to us. He went above and beyond making our day very special. It was our daughter's birthday...... it was her choice to make this trip, and it was memorable. Michel is awesome.

As a matter of fact, he set the bar for other tours we had, but none of them did the tours in the classy manner that he did. I wish others took the time to make the tours as good as he did.

Don't even hesitate to book him. You won't regret it.

PTC
August 28th, 2007, 07:11 PM
I am a little skeptical since with a ship that size, how is it that Isoline was available at the last minute then? Oh well, we had a fantastic trip and there can be no doubt that any private guide is better then the ship's excursions, n'est pas?

She may not have had a booking for that day. Not everyone books a private tour so the size of the ship doesn't matter. The percentage of folks here on CC who do research and want a private tour is very small. There are many other tour guide companies who do the same tours. Most people take ship tours, the others wonder around on their own and then there are the smart people, like yourself, who decide they want to get the one on one experience.

PTC

dsawyer
August 30th, 2007, 01:14 PM
We have been assigned Cecile with Revelation tours. From the remarks on here, it sounds as if one can book Michel, its wonderful but if not, its not so great. Anybody had Cecile?

TITISSA
August 30th, 2007, 01:25 PM
We had Isoline last month when we were on the Voyager of the Seas. It was my daughter's 14th birthday when we were in Nice. She showed up with a big Happy Birthday Olivia sign. Gave her a huge bouquet of flowers, a French birthday card and a box of chocolate. She was delightful. Spoke with a very charming French accent, had cold drinks and hand-out maps. She took us everywhere and the highlight of the vacation was St. Paul de Vence.

Frankiesmom
August 31st, 2007, 09:28 PM
Hi to all! Thanks for this thread! I have booked w Michel for our tour in Nice;we want to see the Matisse and Picasso Museums while on tour with a local lunch with local wines! LOL. We are a group of 4-but this cruise is for my daughters 16th bday and my baby sisters;both of which are in aug. we booked this tour with him for Oct 19,2008. We will be on the Oct 18th Voyager. We are also waiting for a confirmation from driversinrome for a great tour on Oct.21,2008. We also are awaiting a confirmation from Salvatore for a Naples/Pompeii tour. We are planning on taking a couple of RCCL tours Florence/Pisa on your own;and the Corleone vinyeards and winery. Does this sound like a good plan? Thanks for any advice/tips in advance! Angel:)

Costafox
September 1st, 2007, 06:05 AM
We have been assigned Cecile with Revelation tours. From the remarks on here, it sounds as if one can book Michel, its wonderful but if not, its not so great. Anybody had Cecile?


We also had Isoline and found her to be exceptionally personable and knowledgable - nothing was too much trouble for her and we were able to adapt the tour, even on the day to fit in exactly what we wanted to do.

attagirl
September 4th, 2007, 09:18 PM
Thanks to all for your feedback (Sondrgreen, Loniel, Mchdnc & Costafox), it was very helpful.

I have a confirmed 5-hour tour booked for Sept.23rd 2008 with Revelation Tours. (Although between now & then, I just might extend it an hour or two). I had requested Michel to be our guide, and he indicated that he is available and will guide our tour.

Hopefully, as we get closer to our tour, we'll be able to find a shipmate or two that will want to join us & thereby lower the cost per couple. If not, so be it, you only go around once in life!!!

PS: If anyone needs some assistance in planning an Alaskan adventure, I might be able to provide some suggestions. We spent three weeks there in 2006, two on land & one on southbound cruise to Vancouver.

Thanks again.

Stay well all,

Anthony aka CorgiGuy


I am surprised Revelation Tours booked a 5 hour tour. When I contacted them back in February for our trip this October, the reply was that they do not do half day tours. Interesting.

mahdnc
September 4th, 2007, 10:04 PM
attagirl,

for what it is worth, Revelation-Tours's own website shows them doing 1/2 day tours:

http://www.revelation-tours.com/cruise.html

CorgiGuy
September 4th, 2007, 10:06 PM
I am surprised Revelation Tours booked a 5 hour tour. When I contacted them back in February for our trip this October, the reply was that they do not do half day tours. Interesting.

Hi Attagirl,

Don't know the reason why they told you that.

In my initial correspondence with Michel, I asked him how long we would need to see the three towns/villages we were interested in touring. He indicated 5-hours would be needed, and our confirmation says 5-hours (Although, I'll bet we'll end up extending the time an hour or two).

Have a great time on your cruise, look forward to read your feedback on your ports of call.

Stay well,

CorgiGuy

Mike Andrews
September 5th, 2007, 02:40 AM
Also consider Sylvie di Cristo of Azur Guides whose email address is sylvie.di.cristo@wanadoo.fr

llandaff
September 5th, 2007, 02:48 AM
I am surprised Revelation Tours booked a 5 hour tour. When I contacted them back in February for our trip this October, the reply was that they do not do half day tours. Interesting.

I was told the same when I tried to book a 6 hour tour for next April. I contacted various other companies but eventually accepted an 8 hour tour with Michel. I'm sure it will be worth it, but it would be nice to know what they base their replies on.

Dbedros
September 5th, 2007, 10:51 PM
I do not know if this is the answer but it is a possibility.

Most of the half day tours on the web site had departures from a specific port.

I used Michel a couple of years ago in Provence and Marseilles and the tour was wonderful. But, be warned that the vans do not hold eight (8) comfortably. With eight, two (2) are in the front with the driver. We built our group from the Oceania Roll Call and that was a little too much closeness with strangers.

attagirl
September 6th, 2007, 04:29 PM
attagirl,

for what it is worth, Revelation-Tours's own website shows them doing 1/2 day tours:

http://www.revelation-tours.com/cruise.html

I know! That is why I contacted them for a half day tour. But their reply was they don't have half day tours. I was rather confused :)

Dbedros might be onto something. We are tendering into Villefranche.

Pemcorgimum
September 16th, 2007, 09:44 AM
Hi all,

Started doing some early initial homework regarding our first Mediterrian cruise. We board our ship in Monte Carlo on Sept. 24th, 2008


Thanks in advance for your time & assistance.
Anthony aka CorgiGuy

LIke you I am looking for reviews about private tours for next year and when I saw your post I thought I needed to reply to a fellow corgi lover. As you can see I have two corgis.And living in Wales, they are genuine Welsh born corgis too LOL