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Sueswans
October 11th, 2004, 10:10 AM
We just got home from the 12 day cruise on the Star Princess that started in Rome and ended in Venice. All in all, a very nice trip. I just wanted to give some information on a few of the things that seem to keep coming up on the boards that we also were a bit vague on before we left. First of all, since it is being discussed at great length right now on this board....Venice, where to stay, and how to get there. We stayed at the Locando Orseolo and it was wonderful. Great couple running the place, great breakfast, fantastic location although tricky to find...... And, getting there. We docked at the main cruise pier. We really studied the different ways of handling our debarkation and the luggage etc. and this is what worked well for us. We paid the ships fee.....$15.00 each....to get to Piazza de Roma. We took a bus and our luggage met us there. Right there from the parking lot you can spot a baggage storage place. It cost us 3E per day per bag. We left our 3 big suitcases there and carried our small overnighters. Then almost next door we purchased the 24 hour vaporetto pass. You can use it over and over for 24 hours for 10.50 E. Since we had to come back about the same time the next day, it worked well for us. The vaporetto took us to St. Mark's Square where we got off and found our hotel. Just a few short blocks from the square. The next morning we took the vaporetto back to Piazza de Roma, got our suitcases and took the bus that was right there for 3E each to the airport. They are the big buses with the place for luggage underneath so it was easy to load. The bus dropped us off right at the departure area of the airport. I hope this doesn't sound too confusing. It was actually quite easy and cheap.

The other thing that there has seemed to be a lot of discussion about is independent tours. We hired SorrentoLimo in Naples for a drive along the Amalfi coast and Pompeii. Gennaro was the person with whom I corresponded but we got Mario who was wonderful. He had suggestions and we picked what we wanted to do. The drive along the coast was wonderful and we want to go back there to see more another time. Pompeii was very crowded, parts were closed and it was.....believe it or not....rainy. Didn't really enjoy it but want to go back again under better conditions. The big tour groups kept getting in our way so that it was hard to use the phone guides we had rented. I had been there years before so know it can be better appreciated than it was on this trip. Will try again some day.

In Kusadasi we had a wonderful guide. We had arranged along with several others who read this board to have **********@yahoo.com take us to Ephesus and guide us through. He was very good. The only change I would make is to not stop at the carpet place on the way back. It took time away from our being able to wander thru Kusadasi. I don't know how the others felt, but we weren't interested in buying rugs. Other than that, it was a very worthwhile excursion....much better than a big group.

These were the main things I had questioned and thought maybe some of you might like to know. Oh, one other thing, we arrived at Rome a day early having flown in from a few days at Istanbul, and stayed at the Holiday Inn near the old Rome airport. They had a free bus to take us there and then we had to pay for a car to take us to the ship the next day. We knew we wouldn't have time to sightsee in Rome, so for 125E it was a good choice. Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Sue

juliejoe
October 23rd, 2004, 08:20 PM
We cruised to Turkey in 2001 and used the same guide that Sueswans did. We have booked with him for our return trip in 2005. As she said, he is a wonderful guide - so knowledgeable about Ephesus and Istanbul. We got so much more from our time by touring with Nejat than we ever could have on our own or on a ship's tour.
Julie
juliejoe@swbell.net

Brahmama
October 25th, 2004, 09:45 AM
Hi Sue,

Thanks for a great report. Those were some things I was wondering about also. I especially thank you for the email for the guide in Ephesus.

AND! You didn't talk about Instanbul because it wasn't part of your cruise, we our cruise does go there and spends the night. I would love to read anything about Instanbul. Did you happen to do the night show? I think it's called something like 1001 Nights? Instanbul sounds so exotic and I'm hoping that the port stop isn't canceled this year.

If you want to post the info here, that's great; if you prefer to email me, I'm at Brahmama@yahoo.com

Thanks forr any help,

carol

juliejoe
October 25th, 2004, 10:31 AM
Brahmama,
I know your question is for Sue - but thought I'd stick my nose in anyway. :rolleyes: Here is a link to my review of our Golden Princess Grand Mediterranean cruise in June, 2001. We flew into Istanbul and spent some time there pre-cruise. It is wonderful - I do hope your itinerary is not changed and that you are able to get there. I have a reply I sent to many who asked for additional information - email me if you want and I'll send that to you.
http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=388

Julie
juliejoe@swbell.net

Brahmama
October 25th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Hi Julie Joe,

Nice to see you again as I've read many of your posts over the months.

I read your report - esp the part about Instanbul and would love to have the email / website etc of the guide that you used in Instanbul! We also are stopping at Ephesus. I'm hoping the prices are still as reasonable as they were - but I"m afraid that inflation is rampant all over the world!

Thanks for any help. Our email is Brahmama@yahoo.com if you would rather send the information there.

Carol

Accurate
October 25th, 2004, 04:21 PM
Hi Sue ,, we also had Sorrento Limo and we had Mariano - for 3 days .. is this the driver you had . ? We had such a great time with him -- for 3 days he was our driver in Italy as we toured the coast .. we went with him to his house and met his family .. he is truly a wondeful man .. and we cried when we left him .. What a beautiful country .. .

Regards .. Joe