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  #1  
Old April 27th, 2008, 05:03 AM
clive and anne clive and anne is offline
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Default MSC Poesia 28/06/2008

Hi
Is there anyone booked on the above cruise. We are from Manchester, England and are travelling with my Wifes 96 year old Aunt. Would love to hear from anyone else on the cruise or indeed anyone travelling on Poesia on other cruises
Best Wishes
Clive
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  #2  
Old April 27th, 2008, 05:59 AM
clive and anne clive and anne is offline
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Default Sorry

Apologies for sending the message in triplicate , I am just a technophobe
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  #3  
Old April 27th, 2008, 06:16 AM
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sparky1664 sparky1664 is offline
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Hi,
Not on your sailing unfortunately. We're booked on 23/08. I've done quite a bit of research on the ports though, so would be glad to share if you need any help.

Have you sailed MSC before? If you read down this board you will find a few comments from people who sailed on the maiden cruise. They were not too impressed. However, I'm trying to keep an open mind, mainly as I am commited now..I've just made my final payment.

Edit: Forgot to say, there is a roll call forum here:

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com...play.php?f=524

You might want to try posting there too.

Last edited by sparky1664; April 27th, 2008 at 06:20 AM.
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  #4  
Old April 27th, 2008, 10:43 AM
clive and anne clive and anne is offline
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Default Hi Sparky

Thanks for the message.
Yes I have read the comments also, but like you I am keeping an open mind.They have time to put things right before our time comes, if not we will make the best of it in true Brit style.
I have also been doing some research on the ports of call and I am awaiting info from Dubrovnik, Isanbul and Izmir at the moment.
We have the restriction that we have an 96 year old with us so some of our more adventurous escapades have had to be curtailed.
So far we know that Bari is only a 5 hour stopover so the plan there will be to have a walk from the ship to the old town. Katakolon will have to be a ships excursion for us although I hate being ripped off with silly prices. Izmir is pencilled in as a day on the beach. Istanbul looks again like a ships excursion. Dubrovnik should be a 7 euro taxi ride from the ship to the walled City.
I will check out the Roll call ...thanks for that.
Look forward to hearing what you have come up with
Best Wishes Clive
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  #5  
Old April 27th, 2008, 10:47 AM
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We are sailing on the 2nd of August... I cannot wait! The only thing about the reviews that scare me are those that speak of sewage smell on the starboard side... Ick! I will pack some solid perfume to rub under my nose ; ). Have fun on your cruise!
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MSC Poesia--August 2008, Eastern Mediterranean (Venice, Bari, Katakolon/Olympia, Izmir, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Venice)

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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:56 AM
MaestroHog MaestroHog is offline
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We will be cruising with you. We are a family of 4 from from Fayetteville, Arkansas. The kids are 9 and 6. Our biggest concern is how the kids will handle the jet lag. We arrive on Thursday so hopefully they will be adjusted by sailing on Saturday afternoon.
I am also hoping that the crew finds their groove over the next two months.
Michael
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  #7  
Old April 27th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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96...Wow!!!

We are a bit of a mixed bag. My husband is in his mid sixties & slowing down a little. I am much much younger... ..but much more of an old crock..bad knees & feet that swell & become painful with a lot of walking, especially in the heat. We also have 2 boys, 20 & 14, who are of course capable of much more. We tend to 'do' ports on our own & did so on our last cruise (Baltic) Everywhere except St. Petersburg, where we hired a private guide.

So glad we did. We were off the ship & in St. Petersburg while the shore excursions were still meeting in the lounges. So much more flexibility. Car dropping us off & picking us up right at the doorways, rather than trekking from the car parks, tickets ready so no queuing, no waiting on the coaches for late passengers, the guide trailing off with my youngest to find a loo for him..& paying as we had no change at the time. She was also able to whip them round a few more exhibits in the museum while we took things at a slower pace, & in the afternoon, we spent a lovely half hour in the gardens of Peterhof, people watching & admiring the fountains with a soft drink, whilst the guide took the boys off to show them a little more.

After such a positive experience, in ports where we would have probably looked at shore excursions, I now look for alternative private arrangements. Being a group of 4, costs for this are either similar to or lower than ship's prices. In Katakolon for example, I'm hiring an English speaking taxi driver to take us to Olympia. Hopefully we will arrive before the tour buses. then he will take us to a couple of villages & maybe onto the beach before we return.

I'm just floating this as a thought for your wife's aunt, as it may be less tiring than a shore excursion as you will only have yourselves to please and can rest when you need to.
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  #8  
Old April 27th, 2008, 03:21 PM
clive and anne clive and anne is offline
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High sparky
Yes she does very well
Think you may be right about a private tour even if for us its a little bit more cost for three, Have you got someone in mind yet ?
I am 61,and my Wife will be 60 this year so we know what you mean about cracking up
I notice you are from Kent, my sister lives in Tenterden, anywhere near you?
Best Wishes
Clive
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  #9  
Old April 27th, 2008, 04:18 PM
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We're in Faversham, about 45 minutes drive away. We are really immigrants. I am from Yorkshire & and my husband was born & bred in Manchester. My eldest was born in Manchester too, but the youngest here in Kent.

I have booked George in Katakolon..

http://www.taxikatakolon.gr/

He is a taxi driver by the way, not a guide as such.

Funnily enough I mentioned him on this thread yesterday & there were a couple of positive comments made which was good to hear.

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com...d.php?t=763598

(My dodgy knee gave way last week & I fell, resulting in one very bruised & swollen leg. Hence more time spent on 'research' this weekend than housework...well that's my excuse anyway! )

For Izmir & Istanbul I've booked Levent Solmaz. I was going to do Istanbul on our own, but I sort of 'fell into it' whilst organizing the Ephesus tour. If you're just looking for a beach tour though, you won't really need a guide.

For Bari, like you, we'll probably just take a stroll in the old town. I really couldn't find much here, perhaps a hire car would be a possibility but after Venice I thought we would need a rest & we do not have too long in port. I would have been really tempted with the ship's beach transfer here, but the prices!!! At those prices the boys will have to settle for the pool on the ship.
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  #10  
Old April 27th, 2008, 07:37 PM
fitzgig fitzgig is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clive and anne View Post
Hi
Is there anyone booked on the above cruise. We are from Manchester, England and are travelling with my Wifes 96 year old Aunt. Would love to hear from anyone else on the cruise or indeed anyone travelling on Poesia on other cruises
Best Wishes
Clive
Hi! My new husband and I are scheduled on this cruise on 6/28/08. We are newlyweds (second time around). I am 51 and he is 58. I have never been on a cruise before - but he is an old hand. I am enjoying reading everything here - learning about what to do in the ports of call. Clive and Anne - look forward to meeting you and Aunty! Our room is on the starboard side - I am hoping not to have to wear a clothespin on my nose.

Patti and Chuck
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  #11  
Old April 28th, 2008, 09:14 AM
clive and anne clive and anne is offline
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Hi Sparky
Thanks for the info on George, I have emailed him for availabilty and a price. I will let you know how I get on but he seems ideal for us. Pity we spend such a short time in Katakolon would have loved the meal with the locals he talks about.
Hope the knee gets better soon
I was born in Miles Platting and my Wife Anne in Denton. We now live in Romiley just outside Stockport.
Will be in touch when I have heard from George
Best Wishes
Clive
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  #12  
Old April 28th, 2008, 02:13 PM
clive and anne clive and anne is offline
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Hi Sparky
We have confirmed a booking with George for a 4 hour tour for 130 euros.
MSC are quoting £31 each for a 3 1/2 hour tour half of which will be sat on the coach waiting for latecomers to arrive.
We are still working on Istanbul with the problem of not really knowing yet what we want to look at apart from the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar.
I am waiting on info from Istanbul tourist office so that may help.
Must admit we do like the private tours rather than a coach full. In 2006 we travelled through China using private tours and it was the most memorable trip we have ever done.
Thanks again
Clive
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  #13  
Old April 28th, 2008, 03:15 PM
AmoMondo AmoMondo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky1664 View Post
We're in Faversham, about 45 minutes drive away. We are really immigrants. I am from Yorkshire & and my husband was born & bred in Manchester. My eldest was born in Manchester too, but the youngest here in Kent.

I have booked George in Katakolon..

http://www.taxikatakolon.gr/

He is a taxi driver by the way, not a guide as such.

Funnily enough I mentioned him on this thread yesterday & there were a couple of positive comments made which was good to hear.

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com...d.php?t=763598

(My dodgy knee gave way last week & I fell, resulting in one very bruised & swollen leg. Hence more time spent on 'research' this weekend than housework...well that's my excuse anyway! )

For Izmir & Istanbul I've booked Levent Solmaz. I was going to do Istanbul on our own, but I sort of 'fell into it' whilst organizing the Ephesus tour. If you're just looking for a beach tour though, you won't really need a guide.

For Bari, like you, we'll probably just take a stroll in the old town. I really couldn't find much here, perhaps a hire car would be a possibility but after Venice I thought we would need a rest & we do not have too long in port. I would have been really tempted with the ship's beach transfer here, but the prices!!! At those prices the boys will have to settle for the pool on the ship.
#
Hi Sparky
You are right about Bari - there really isn't much to see. I had this itinerary 2 years ago and as it was my first ever cruise booked shore excusrsions at every port of call. The only thing Bari is really famous for is having St Nicholas's bones in a crypt in the church in the main square. There is also a castle too. The old town is fine for a stroll around the narrow cobbled streets but is a bit of a distance from where we docked. Our tour was a walking tour but we were on the bus 15 to 20 minutes before we got dropped off at the castle. there is an esplanade where you can get some nice views although nothing outstanding. There is also a newer part where they gave us some free time to shop. If you are looking for something unusaual there are some villages near by (can't remember the name but they used to be a MSC shore excusrsion, so you might get the name from their site) where they had very unusual shaped buildings that are particular to that region only that have weird conical roofs.

Istanbul is amazing. Make sure you go to the blue mosque (their is also an old church opposite, sorry forgot the name, that the Turkish government has preserved that has a wooden door over a thousand years old and Roman pitchers inside). Tokapi Palace is also not to be missed and if you fancy picking up some bargains - try the grand bazaar (nothing like a souk more like a large indoor market with lots of stalls. You'll find silk and cashmere pashminis of every colour ever thought of and more types of turkish delight than you can imagine. They are happy to accept Euros as well as Turkish currency. Thre was a carpet store nearby (called lapis) that had a huge range of wool hand made rugs of all shapes sizes and designs and the most exquisite small hand made silk ones meant as wall hangings. None of them are cheap but they are fantastic quality. They will also explain how they are made and if you are lucky give you a cup or 2 of the famous Turkish apple tea which is so refreshing on a hot day.

Hope you have a fantastic time
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  #14  
Old April 28th, 2008, 04:44 PM
Kapeks Kapeks is offline
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Hi!

My husband and I booked for MSC Poesia on 07/05/2008. This will be our first cruise vacation ever and we are really excited about it. I'm the one who organizes all the trips for our family but this is so new to me and I have no idea about it yet! Because we have a 2-years-old doughter to travel with us, we do not want take ship's organized land tours (not to waste time on buses with a fussy little one). I understand from the comments here that:
Bari - we can walk from dock to the city center,
Dubrovnik - easy to get to the old town by taxi,
Katakalon - should be easy to walk around,
Izmir - won't be getting off,
Istanbul - this is our hometown so, I will be open to any questions about it, I'll be glad if I can help...
Venice - Absolutely no idea how to manage without the ship's tour??? We will have a baby stroller in our hand, too. So, please give me some tips on how to get to the San Marco. What is the easiest way???

Thanks
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Old April 28th, 2008, 05:08 PM
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Clive, so glad George was available for you. I do hope he is okay. I haven't come across anything negative about him..and believe me I've searched.

We tend to find we about break even on ships tours prices. If we pay less it is a bonus, if we pay more, I feel it is worth it for the extra time we gain & less wear & tear. Just for your information, Levent is charging $75 per person for a full day Istanbul to include, I think, all mentionned in Amomondo's post...including entrance fees but lunch will be extra. It will of course be much cheaper to do it yourselves though. I do believe there is also a Bosphorus cruise between the European & Asian sides which should be easier than a lot of walking, oh & the underground cisterns too..there is too much to see in one day unfortunately. I didn't know about the apple tea, I must look out for it.

Amomondo, hi. Thanks for the info, particularly Bari. I think those houses are called trulli, from the info on MSC. There are other excursions too but I think it will be too much of a rush in the heat, particularly after Venice, so I am all for taking it easy. Can you remember though if the ship had a shuttle in Bari?

China..yes, we were lucky enough to go to Beijing for a week for our 20th wedding anniversary....I've always been a frugal type of girl
Amomondo, if you ever fancy it, CTS Horizons do a fantastic deal as a special, they usually have a few dates between January & March each year, if you can the tail end of March it is just about spring like with some warm days. We paid £600 pp for everything..flights, hotel. virtually all meals, guide, transport, all tours including extras like acrobatic show, beijing opera, rickshaw ride, hutong visit etc. They only take small groups..we were in a group of 12 for the whole week. There was also an option to add a couple of days in Xian, & I think maybe Shanghai. It was amazing.

Way off topic of course...I do gabble.
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Old April 28th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Hi Kapeks,
I'm sure Amomondo will be able to answer you better about Venice. My impression is though you will be able to get a shuttle from the port to Piazzale Roma & then a water bus (vaporetto) from there to St. Mark's. All very easy. It is a walking city so you should be just fine with a stroller.

You wil be able to glean lots of information if you read through the posts on the Med board here:

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com...play.php?f=234

I'll also throw a few links up that I have bookmarked before I sign off for the night that may be of help to you.

http://www.venicebanana.com/eng/maprom.htm

http://maps.venicexplorer.net/venice..._module=mappe&

http://europeforvisitors.com/venice/...sportation.htm

Some other ideas here. The vaporetto also calls at the Lido island which has I believe a beach.

http://www.veniceworld.com/venice_gu...o_torcello.htm

http://www.venice-rentals.com/info/routes.html

http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/ports/newport.cfm?ID=71

& here's a CC thread with a very long post for suggestions for eating out.

http://http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk...port.cfm?ID=71

Finally, you might also be interested in the 'secret itineraries tour' of the Doge's Palace, next to St. Marks. Some info here:

http://www.tickitaly.com/galleries/d...enice-tour.php

This link is given for info only..don't book here as there is a mark up on the ticket prices. If you're interested, I'll try & find the best site to book.

Last edited by sparky1664; April 28th, 2008 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Some links not working..If still no good I'll sort them in the morning.
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  #17  
Old April 29th, 2008, 05:56 AM
Kapeks Kapeks is offline
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Hello Sparky

Thank you for your prompt response. I'll check all the links and I'm sure they will be very helpful!

i have another question which has been a pain to me: Is there a way to avoid formal nights on cruises??? Because, when I'm on a vacation, i really don't want to be formal in any way, or worry about my looks!!! Also, I don't want to carry with me coctail dresses, matching shoes, etc.

thanks...
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Old April 29th, 2008, 07:55 AM
clive and anne clive and anne is offline
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Default Phew!! This is a busy board thank goodness

Sparky.
I looked at his website and there is no reason to think George will be any less than brilliant. Does Levants price include transport , if it does it sounds an excellent price and pretty good even if it doesnt.
We went to China with Travel China Guide and it was a personal tour (just the two of us)with guides and drivers meeting us at each airport. We went for 3 weeks and did Beijing,Shanghai, Guilin, a 5 day trip down the Yangtse, Chonquing,Xian and Hong Kong and flew home from there.I think the cost excluding the flights from UK to China was about £2500 for the two of us.
Avo Mondo
Thanks for the info on Bari and Istanbul, it all helps to paint the fuller picture for us
Kapeks
Not sure how much there is in Katakolon, Sparky found this Taxi Driver George who will pick you up at the ship and take you to Olympia (38 Km away from Katakolonand you can organise the tour you want with him. He is charging me 130 euros for a 4 hour tour, he has a website that Sparky kinly gave me the link to which is on one of Sparky's messages on this thread.
We have done 8 cruises to date and there has always been somewhere to eat on board that isnt "formal" but we love the change in atmosphere on formal nights although I agree it isnt everyones cup of tea.
Think thats it for now
Best Wishes
Clive
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Old April 29th, 2008, 08:10 AM
clive and anne clive and anne is offline
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Default Venice

Kapeks ,
I have just remembered that I didnt say that on previous cruises it hasnt been possible to look at the embarkation port as,depending on flight times and embarkation times you normally go straight from the airport to the ship and vice versa on you return. We have booked to go a day early and come back a day later in order to see Venice
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Old April 30th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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Hi Clive,
Yes the price does include transport, although I get the impresion that not much transport will be required once we get into Istanbul as the sights are close together. Here is the clip from the email he sent me.

This is what I suggest for the full day sightseeing tour of Istanbul on August 27, 2007 Wednesday:

The Blue Mosque,the prettiest mosque of the city with its six minarets, Hippodrome; where the chariots were used in the Roman period and with its ancient obelisks, the Saint Sophia (the oldest remnant of Byzantium),Topkapi Palace where 22 Ottoman Sultans spent their lives. Of course the Grand Bazaar with its more then 3500 shops !!!! this is a covered Bazaar.

The cost of the tour is $75 per person based on four people with the following services:

1) Air-conditioned midi bus with a microphone and driver.
2) English speaking official guide services.
3) Entrance fees to the museums and sights mentioned above.
4) Pick up and drop off at Istanbul harbor.
5) Parking fees at the museums and sights.

Lunch is optional.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.


kapeks, I agree with Clive. We made that mistake on our last cruise. I had intended to take a shore excursion which dropped us off at the airport on the last day, but in the event we didn't (I allowed my family to dither) so didn't get to see much. So this year we will be flying out on the Thurday afternoon so we can 'do' St. Marks etc before we sail.

As for clothes, I know what you mean. I have only cruised twice, once over 15 years ago when we booked a cruise & stay package with airtours. .(An overgrown ferry really!) I knew nothing about cruising & I wouldn't come out of the cabin on formal night as I hadn't bought an evening dress to wear.

You will find though that MSC isn't overly formal. I am older (cough) so tend to wear a skirt & top or a dress in the evenings, but it doesn't need to be dressy. Also, pants & top etc are fine, just not jeans & shorts & flip flops etc. I had taken suits for my husband & eldest son, but not dinner suits. (We don't have them.) My husband is quite comfortable in a shirt, tie & jacket, but my son abandoned his after the first formal night & just wore a short sleeved shirt & pants the second, after seeing how the others dressed. (He was of course disinclined to do even this, I think Jeans & t shirts must be glued onto his body.)

There was a mixture, one or two in dinner suits & evening gowns (I had taken one this time) but not many. A few were dressed very casually too, but the majority were someone in the middle. As for shoes, I have bought a very comfortable pair of flatish sandals which I will wear in the evenings with everything. After a long day sightseeing, especially in the heat, my feet won't be fit for dressy shoes with heels.
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