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We are sailing on Poesia on 13th June from Venice, calling at Bari, Katakalon, Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik. Can anyone tell me when the formal nights are (Captain's Night and Gala Night) on this itinerary? Reason for asking is that one couple in our group celebrate their 40th Wedding Anniversary on 14th and if there was a formal night that date it would make their evening just that bit more special. If not, then we might consider booking into the speciality restuarant for them.
Also would appreciate any information on how easy it is to get around independently in all the ports. We are a group of 6 and one person has limited mobility so think the organised tours would not be suitable.
If any of you want information on the various drinks packages you can e-mail msccruises.co.uk and they will gladly e-mail the drinks package attachment (I had a lovely e-mail from Lauren Underwood in answer to my request).
I've not done this exact itinerary on this ship but similar ones on other MSC Ships. Normally the Captain's cocktail party/gala dinner will be the second night which will be perfect for your friend's anniversary. the farewell gala can be usually 6th night but occasionally the 7th. Hopefully someone just off this sailing can confirm this for you.
Getting around on your own in Dubrovnik is very easy. You can explore the city by working off the main square and exploring all the side streets that run off it, or do the city wall walk or both. When I called there on the Opera, we were tendered in and dropped off about 50 yards from the entrance to the main square in the heart of the old city. However on some of the cruises last year, they were docking out of the old town and providing a shuttle bus service in to town (extra charge) but I'm sorry I don't know where they drop off.
Katakalaon - well depends what you want to do/where you want to go. When i called here it was my first cruise and I did ship's shore excusrsions at all the ports as i was too nervous to try on my own. I did the Olympus tour and if that's what you want to do, then i can tell you it was a 45 minute ride in the coach to reach it, so a taxi would probably be quite expensive.
I also doid the Istanbul tour which was great. However others at our table seemed to fare equally well with local transport. i believe there is a tram and train that can be used. If you got to the Ports of call section here and then Europe and then mediterranean and use the search facility to search for each port name in turn, you will find loads of info to be able to do ports on your own. I do this all the time now.
In bari there is not much to see do - The church where the bones of the original St Nicholas are held in the crypt (bit creepy if you ask me), the castle, a few quaint streets and the esplanade. our ship's tour only consisted of a ten minute coach ride in to town and the rest was a walking tour - so easily doable on your own.
No idea about izmir but the ports of call section will have info.
As for the ship's tours for passengers with limited mobility - in the Tour magazine (you'll get as you embark) they have codes against each tour which indicates whether there is a lot of walking on stairs/uneven ground or not. So some ship's excursions could be suitable but they will be limited.
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Thank you for your quick reply. People on these boards are so willing to share their gems of information and we have found so many useful tips in the past. Your information will help a lot - we are really looking forward to this trip, visiting new places and re-visiting Istanbul which we enjoyed on our visit some years ago.