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Italy Ports Capri, Florence, Genoa, Naples, Palermo, portofino, Rome, Sardinia, Sorrento, Taormina, Venice

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  #1  
Old May 15th, 2009, 04:13 PM
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jalynn jalynn is offline
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Default RomeInLimo questions

I'm booking romeinlimo for some of my pre-cruise time in Rome, thanks to the many accolades here on CC. My questions:
1-They are suggesting an 8 hour tour with a driver, and a guide for the Vatican. Do we need a guide for other sites? Or is the driver usually knowledgeable enough to provide info?
2-Have you ever just gotten a guide at the Vatican rather than scheduled one in advance? If so, how did that work out? Did you still have to stand in line for tickets? Can you just visit the "church" on your own without tickets? (I obviously have lots more research to do! I visited Rome years ago, but I was on a tour and they took care of everything.)
3-Do you tip on top of the fee for the driver, or is it included?

4- Not a romeinlimo question, but has anyone ever done a day trip from Rome to Pompeii? Is that possible?

Thanks in advance for answers to my questions!
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  #2  
Old May 15th, 2009, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalynn View Post
I'm booking romeinlimo for some of my pre-cruise time in Rome, thanks to the many accolades here on CC. My questions:
1-They are suggesting an 8 hour tour with a driver, and a guide for the Vatican. Do we need a guide for other sites? Or is the driver usually knowledgeable enough to provide info?
2-Have you ever just gotten a guide at the Vatican rather than scheduled one in advance? If so, how did that work out? Did you still have to stand in line for tickets? Can you just visit the "church" on your own without tickets? (I obviously have lots more research to do! I visited Rome years ago, but I was on a tour and they took care of everything.)
3-Do you tip on top of the fee for the driver, or is it included?

4- Not a romeinlimo question, but has anyone ever done a day trip from Rome to Pompeii? Is that possible?

Thanks in advance for answers to my questions!
1) Our drivers were very good; chatterbox all the way in. Gave us the 2000 year history of Rome/Italy. During the drive between the stops and at each stop told us a bit of history and trivia of each, of course YMMV. To be honest beside the colosseum where we explored on our own for 45' there really isn't anywhere else a guide would add value as you simply aren't at any attraction for long enough. Even at the colosseum the second floor displays have lots of self explanatory displays that I don't think it would be worth spending more euros.

2) I'd recommend you use the Romeinlimo guide/reservation. Nothing could be easier, yes a bit more money. Lunch across the street, then meet up with your guide and larger group and simply walk to the reservation line. Unless you are going to seperately make reservations I can't see how you'd schedule this busy day. To be honest the whole affair is going to be a bit rushed. The guide is talking and walking continuously. If you go during the summer the place will just be jammed packed. During the tour you'll stop in about 5 or 6 points before the Sistine Chapel, but clearly not the most ideal way to tour one of the great museums but when you only got a couple hours that will be the compromise. If all you want to see is the Church and Sistine then you can likely skip the guide, but then you need to figure out how to avoid what could easily be a two hour line to get in.

3) We tipped our drivers and guide in all 3 ports. In Livorno they were so grateful, in Rome/Naples seemed more like they had come to expected it. Our guide at the Vatican, Julia, was very appreciative and really deserved it too. Call us generous or foolish but I recalled we ended up tipping about 5 euros/person for the driver and a similar amount to Julia.

You can search the threads here as last year there were a few on tipping. We tipped not because we had to but simply because we had an enjoyable time and they really did make it extra special.

Enjoy Rome,
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Old May 16th, 2009, 09:37 AM
szdiver szdiver is offline
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Most of your questions have been answered, but I concur with them. Our vatican guide was waiting in line for us and it only took a few minutes to meet up with her and get into the museum. The line was very long, so thank goodness we did not have to get into it. She (the guide) knew a lot of little known facts about paintings and we learned a lot from her. She took her time and we did not get behind big groups. It took a few hours, but was very enjoyable seeing all that history, especiallly the Sistine Chapel.

Our driver for both Rome and Florence/Pisa were vrey knowledgable and told us all kinds of facts while driving. We were only 3 and had a car, so it was easy to get in and out of places quickly.

As for Pompii, that is one place I haven't been yet, but would love to. I have heard it is a long distance for a day, so maybe you would be better off asking Romeinlimo about that one.

Have a great trip - I can't wait to get there in November myself....
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  #4  
Old May 16th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Your driver will be very knowlegable about the area. We saw many places no tour bus would go to. I would recommend you book your Vatican guide with RIL and not chance finding one at the Vatican. A tip is very much called for, our guide was wonderful and so were our drivers in both Rome and Florence.

Enjoy your trip!
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  #5  
Old May 16th, 2009, 12:10 PM
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I just got back from my cruise last week, and had the pleasure of using RomeInLimo for both Florence/Pisa and Rome. For Rome, we did opt for the Vatican private tour and we had Sara who was awesome. She's really sweet, funny and completely knowledgeable of the Vatican. She had us walk right in, we purchased our tickets and off we went on the tour. Since there is so much to see in a limited amount of time, we were able to see and understand what we were looking at. We had Marco as our driver for Rome who is a great/funny guy and also had a book on Rome and when we hit each stop, he gave us a ton of information of each place. For the Colosseum, we didn't have a private tour but you can go and visit and read up on it while you're there. Before we went in, Marco had a book and gave us a brief history lesson on the Colosseum to the point he even said, if we feel he's talking too much let him know, which of course he wasn't it was a great history lesson. He got us the tickets to the Colosseum so we just walked right in as well. We had time to see/do everything and even took us to an awesome place for lunch and GELATO when we returned back to the port. Couldn't have asked for a better day.

For Florence/Pisa we had Gian, who was great too. He took us to Pisa first, we got to climb to the top, before the crowds arrived and he took us to a great place for lunch and Gelato! He took us to a local place to try out wine, pick up some olive oil, showed us how they make the olive oil, showed us around and all around a great day. Got us right inside the Accademia and was able to see as much as we could in Florence.


From speaking with Jany, even if you don't get the guided private tour at the Vatican, they will still help you get tickets once you're there so don't worry about it. They will handle the ticket situation for you on that day. Everything went perfectly and smoothly and I couldn't ask for a better day. As for tipping, yes we also tipped our drivers (and Sara the private tour guide at the Vatican) as we thought they all did a wonderful job to make sure we had a great day at these ports and got us back in plenty of time. You couldn't ask for a better day and I would recommend them in a heartbeat! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
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Old May 16th, 2009, 12:18 PM
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We used Romeinlimo also. We didn't use a tour guide for the Colis. and you really don't need one. Maybe read up on a little of the history of it before doing it. We had Duman also and he gave us quite a bit of history beforehand and it helped. As far as the Vatican what you mostly likely will do there is tour it after lunch. The crowds are smaller than the morning ones. We used their tour guide, Mary, and it was worth everything we paid her. We did tip her as well as Duman at the end because we felt it was a job well done.
As far as Pompeii I don't know if you can reach it in one day from Rome. But I will tell you it is a place not to be missed. I'm sure Jany at ROmeinlimo can answer that question for sure. She answers all other questions promptly. And Pompeii is another place you want to have your own tour guide. I found it to be a stunning place with an unbelieveable history. This is also a place you want to read up on before going. I wish I had.
You are going to have a great tour.
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Old May 16th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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You can tour Pompeii from Rome. It is about a 2 1/2 hour ride and they can also add on Sorrento. I wouldn't miss it.
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  #8  
Old May 16th, 2009, 03:29 PM
David David is offline
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We are booked with Romeinlimo for transfers from FCO to our hotel in Rome, then from the hotel to Legend of the Seas, then form the ship to FCO at the end of the cruise. They are providing full-day tours in Tuscany (one day for Florence/Pisa, and one day for Siena, San Gemignano, and Lucca), Messina, and the Amalfi Coast.

We have not used Romeinlimo before, but have used other companies for day trips in Italy, France, and Ireland. In every instance, we have left a gratuity, usually 5-10 euro per person for a full-day tour. I think this is customary, and in our case, it was always deserved. When we took a day tour to Rome during a Med cruise in 2003, the driver was wonderful; we got to see so many things (except for the inside of the Vatican, for which there was no time). He took us to a really good restaurant on the piazza near the Pantheon, and we treated him to lunch, so we factored that into the gratuity at the end. But in my experience these driver/guides are excellent, and deserve about a 10% gratuity, unless you treat them to lunch and/or they own the company.
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Old June 4th, 2009, 07:01 PM
detwings detwings is offline
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Default Romeinlimo Tours and Tipping Suggestions

We just got back from NCL Gem on 5/25 and took Romeinlimo in Naples, Rome and Florence/Pisa. The drivers were all outstanding. Our tipping suggestions are 10-20Euro per person based upon the driver. We feel that the drivers deserve more than 5Euro per person based upon their knowledge, their service, and desire to please. All of the people we traveled with who used Romeinlimo set 10Euro per person as their minimum tip. Just thought Id pass this along for whatever its worth.
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Old June 6th, 2009, 04:05 PM
eandj eandj is online now
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Originally Posted by detwings View Post
We just got back from NCL Gem on 5/25 and took Romeinlimo in Naples, Rome and Florence/Pisa. The drivers were all outstanding. Our tipping suggestions are 10-20Euro per person based upon the driver. We feel that the drivers deserve more than 5Euro per person based upon their knowledge, their service, and desire to please. All of the people we traveled with who used Romeinlimo set 10Euro per person as their minimum tip. Just thought Id pass this along for whatever its worth.

Tipping is surely an individual choice. With the fee charged for the tour, my DH and I would only expect..knowledge,service and desire to please.

If you are tipping for something that SHOULD be done by a reputable company, then it isn't really a tip. There is no "minimum" tip as I see it. The people doing the service would need to impress me with something above what I expect. Do I tip? Yes. But without any pressure or feeling of guilt. Truly based on the definition of a tip...rewarding a job done above what you expect. Europeans do not tip each other. They do their jobs. When Americans show up, the service providers have the opportunity to enjoy that cultural difference.
Hmmm....A 20 euro tip per person (30$ U.S.) for a van tour would be exorbitant. Just my opinion.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 08:30 PM
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Default Question for those who have booked this company

I have booked this for 2 of us--I am not getting very far on trying to get others to join from our group--most of them have already booked their tours.
As it is VERY costly for only 2 I am wondering if anyone that has used them ever asked if they had others who might need to join a group for the cost to come down? It would be great for just 2 but way too costly should I just write & ask them or does anyone have any idea if this can be done?
I know we have quite a while to go yet..but I do worry about the cost of this one..so trying to figure out what we can do--I do not want to take the ships bus to edge of the city nor do I want to try to do it ourselves. (we also have a guide for the Vatican & it has also added to the cost).
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Old June 12th, 2009, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalynn View Post
I'm booking romeinlimo for some of my pre-cruise time in Rome, thanks to the many accolades here on CC. My questions:
1-They are suggesting an 8 hour tour with a driver, and a guide for the Vatican. Do we need a guide for other sites? Or is the driver usually knowledgeable enough to provide info?
2-Have you ever just gotten a guide at the Vatican rather than scheduled one in advance? If so, how did that work out? Did you still have to stand in line for tickets? Can you just visit the "church" on your own without tickets? (I obviously have lots more research to do! I visited Rome years ago, but I was on a tour and they took care of everything.)
3-Do you tip on top of the fee for the driver, or is it included?

4- Not a romeinlimo question, but has anyone ever done a day trip from Rome to Pompeii? Is that possible?

Thanks in advance for answers to my questions!
We had tour from Rome to Pompeii and Napoli as one day tour during land tour few years ago. It's took us full day and it's possible.
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Old June 12th, 2009, 09:54 PM
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Terpnut Terpnut is online now
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Originally Posted by kehlx2 View Post
I have booked this for 2 of us--I am not getting very far on trying to get others to join from our group--most of them have already booked their tours.
As it is VERY costly for only 2 I am wondering if anyone that has used them ever asked if they had others who might need to join a group for the cost to come down? It would be great for just 2 but way too costly should I just write & ask them or does anyone have any idea if this can be done?
I know we have quite a while to go yet..but I do worry about the cost of this one..so trying to figure out what we can do--I do not want to take the ships bus to edge of the city nor do I want to try to do it ourselves. (we also have a guide for the Vatican & it has also added to the cost).
Why don't you wait until your roll call builds up sometime after final payment. For our upcoming cruise, I organized and got tour shares around 20-30 days before we sail.

Even if you found someone to share your tour now, you can't guarantee that those folks won't change their plans or cancel their cruise between now and then. So I wouldn't even think about these things until you are well inside the final payment window. JMHO
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Last edited by Terpnut; June 12th, 2009 at 09:56 PM.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 12:06 AM
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olechka olechka is offline
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Default Just back

Quote:
Originally Posted by jalynn View Post
I'm booking romeinlimo for some of my pre-cruise time in Rome, thanks to the many accolades here on CC. My questions:
1-They are suggesting an 8 hour tour with a driver, and a guide for the Vatican. Do we need a guide for other sites? Or is the driver usually knowledgeable enough to provide info?
2-Have you ever just gotten a guide at the Vatican rather than scheduled one in advance? If so, how did that work out? Did you still have to stand in line for tickets? Can you just visit the "church" on your own without tickets? (I obviously have lots more research to do! I visited Rome years ago, but I was on a tour and they took care of everything.)
3-Do you tip on top of the fee for the driver, or is it included?

4- Not a romeinlimo question, but has anyone ever done a day trip from Rome to Pompeii? Is that possible?

Thanks in advance for answers to my questions!
We just came back last week.

1. Some drivers were better than others, ask Jany for Mauro in Rome, he is awesome, 30 years of experience, he made our entire cruise. Guide in Naples was really nice but didn't tell us as much, but there's also not much to say as far as history. Definitely get a guide for Pompeii, i think it would be very boring without a guide, he was excellent and really made it come alive. It would be nice to have the guide go in with us everywhere but the driver at least gave us an overview.

If you are going to Florence, do some research on what you want to do. We had RIL pre-book Accademia but not Uffizi and had no chance of getting in there because of lines.

2. Have Jany book the guide for you, ask for Julia, this was the best decision we made. We are not even Christian, and Vatican was the highlight of our trip. You want to see the Vatican museum not just the church. Make sure you insist that you want to see St. Peter's Basilica, one of the tours ran out of time and didn't even go in.

3. We tipped based on how good the driver was. 10/couple seemed to be common.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kehlx2 View Post
I have booked this for 2 of us--I am not getting very far on trying to get others to join from our group--most of them have already booked their tours.
As it is VERY costly for only 2 I am wondering if anyone that has used them ever asked if they had others who might need to join a group for the cost to come down? It would be great for just 2 but way too costly should I just write & ask them or does anyone have any idea if this can be done?
I know we have quite a while to go yet..but I do worry about the cost of this one..so trying to figure out what we can do--I do not want to take the ships bus to edge of the city nor do I want to try to do it ourselves. (we also have a guide for the Vatican & it has also added to the cost).
Our boards didn't pick up until closer to the cruise and the last week 10 people joined and were scrambling. Since you can cancel 7 days before, keep checking.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 11:24 AM
newcruiser551951 newcruiser551951 is offline
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Default Pre-Purchase Voucher for Entrance to Vatican

You can pre-purchase tickets to enter the Vatican on-line no more than 60 days prior to the date you want to enter. The Vatican website is:
http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets/do?action=booking&codiceLivelloVisita=9&step=1

I just purchased 4 tickets a few days ago for August 8.

The website is very easy to use. You specify the date and entrance time (hourly), the # of tickets you wish to purchase (regular and/or child) and you have to provide the names of who the tickets are for.

Once you provide your charge card information to finalize the purchase, you are emailed a voucher you print out and take with you.

This way you skip the lines to purchase tickets.
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Old June 13th, 2009, 11:41 AM
kehlx2 kehlx2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terpnut View Post
Why don't you wait until your roll call builds up sometime after final payment. For our upcoming cruise, I organized and got tour shares around 20-30 days before we sail.

Even if you found someone to share your tour now, you can't guarantee that those folks won't change their plans or cancel their cruise between now and then. So I wouldn't even think about these things until you are well inside the final payment window. JMHO

Thanks, Yes I had thought to do this--& I am sure this is what I will be doing. I have the word out on our roll call--just need to get new ones that are asking for help..worst case--we spend the amount that is to be billed as it shows for just us. (but my job is to WORRY---AND I do it WELL)!!
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Old June 13th, 2009, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jalynn View Post
I'm booking romeinlimo for some of my pre-cruise time in Rome, thanks to the many accolades here on CC. My questions:
1-They are suggesting an 8 hour tour with a driver, and a guide for the Vatican. Do we need a guide for other sites? Or is the driver usually knowledgeable enough to provide info?
2-Have you ever just gotten a guide at the Vatican rather than scheduled one in advance? If so, how did that work out? Did you still have to stand in line for tickets? Can you just visit the "church" on your own without tickets? (I obviously have lots more research to do! I visited Rome years ago, but I was on a tour and they took care of everything.)
3-Do you tip on top of the fee for the driver, or is it included?

4- Not a romeinlimo question, but has anyone ever done a day trip from Rome to Pompeii? Is that possible?

Thanks in advance for answers to my questions!
Relax, and leave it up to Rome in Limo. We went with them for a day last Sept. It was perfect!!! and well planned. I will use them again. That's the way to go when your time is limited and precious. Let them orchestrate the entire day and work out the Vatican guide. Ours was excellent -- really couldn't have been better. There was no waste of time. We never waited in lines more than a few minutes. This is what they do, and they do it well. They will do their best to fill your specific requests....trust them with your day....just relax and enjoy. We tipped both the Vatican Guide and the driver. They both certainly went the extra mile and deserved it. The driver was great; I think his name was Vincento. There was no need for an additional guide. He knew Rome well and the History that goes with it. He knew about how much time we would need at each location. He gave us a cell phone at one point where parking was an issue. When we were finished, we called him and with in minutes he drove up. There wasn't much extra walking because he would drive as close to the site as possible. He even helped with an ATM transaction we were having issues with. It was like having a best friend in Rome. He had a great personality and wanted us to take home fond menories.
You can get to Pompeii from Rome by train. Search this site for exact directions using the train. I know they are posted. I would however suggest finding a 1/2 day or full day tour. The guides at Pompeii are expensive. They do have a do it yourself rental taped tour , but a guide is so much more interesting and informative. I find I always get more from interaction with a guide. Rome in Limo will take you there as well and add some other sites into the day. You might also find a tour through your hotel in Rome.
Your choices will depend on how efficiently you want to use your time, your desire to go independent, your comfort level, and your budget. When time is not an issue, I usually chose to be an independent traveler because I truly enjoy exploring, mingling with local people, and discovering the unexpected.
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  #19  
Old June 13th, 2009, 05:16 PM
kehlx2 kehlx2 is offline
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Originally Posted by hylasgirl View Post
Personally, I wouldn't wait until your final payment to arrange private tours. There are many tours that simply sell out. There were many on our last cruise that could not even book with the most recommended company in Kusadasi because they waited until after final payment. I would secure all your plans of what you really WANT to do. Worry about getting others to join you later. What you want to do won't change. I don't make any of my arrangements based on what others will want to do later. I booked all of my tours and transfers with Romeinlimo and then worried about if others wanted to join me later.

No matter if you get stuck with the entire private tour or not, you are still in a better place. I have NEVER not found others to join me. NEVER! And I have done this many times now. Also... until the very last minute, Romeinlimo (for example) increased their vehicle size to accommodate my growing group.

No this is the only tour thus far I am worried about--we plan the Egypt tour from the ship for the day only (I know it will be a LONG day) then just see Alexandria the 2nd day. I AM/HAVE booked our other tours in advance--just working on Athens soon. Only worried about the Rome tour as it is over $400 each with guide for the Vatican... Oh well if it ends up that way--we certainly will have a GREAT tour I am sure.
thanks everyone..
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Land tour March 2013 with same friends to Turkey

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LAND trips: Aug 2010 MX (Nuevo Vallarta); April 2008 Mexico(Nuevo Vallarta); May/June 2008 Maui & Washington State (while Iowa Flooded)
Lake Muskoka 7 different summers (2 hours north of Toronto Canada) Lots of land tours since 1993 & west coast trips

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Last edited by kehlx2; June 13th, 2009 at 05:17 PM.
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  #20  
Old June 14th, 2009, 06:35 AM
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davejohn davejohn is offline
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Originally Posted by kehlx2 View Post
Thanks, Yes I had thought to do this--& I am sure this is what I will be doing. I have the word out on our roll call--just need to get new ones that are asking for help..worst case--we spend the amount that is to be billed as it shows for just us. (but my job is to WORRY---AND I do it WELL)!!
We did the same thing, booked for just two of us HOPING to get some others to join. But I was willing to just go with 2 people if it turned out that way.

About 3 weeks before our cruise we added 3 more people for the Naples/Pompeii tour and 5 more for the Rome tour. Romeinlimo had no problem getting a larger vehicle to accomodate us.

But it still would have been nice to have a Mercedes sedan.
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