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About Terpnut

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Tennis, softball, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Celebrity, RCI
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe, NE/Canada
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  1. I'll be back in Europe in May and can't wait to use Romeinlimo again! 😀
  2. I have used Romeinlimo 5-6 times myself, but also do a lot of pre-trip research and do many self-guided tours independently -- so I think I have a unique perspective to see both sides of the issue. In fact, I may be one of the few people who has used Romeinlimo for multiple tours and transfers in Civitavecchia/Roma, Livorno/Firenze and Napoli/Salerno/Amalfi, AND has done these same ports totally-independently, i.e. train/walk/self-guided trips! Romeinlimo provides a great service for the cost-is-not-a-priority customer who values their time over money. Their transfers are consistently on-time and reliable. Customer service has been consistently excellent. Their tours and guides from my experience have all been very good to excellent. I always use them when travelling with my elderly parents or with small children, when mobility or carrying things like strollers is an issue, and I appreciate the luxury and flexibility of having a private driver and vehicle. When travelling overseas, there is a certain peace of mind that comes from knowing that a driver or guide will be there when they are supposed to be there, and to do what you expect them to do! With all that said, even though I can afford the tours, I am an independent, do-it-yourself traveller who prefers to save $$$ by taking trains, taxis, buses or walking to get around, and using mobile apps, guide books and internet-based information for my own self-guided tours. I tend to do this when I'm travelling alone or with my kids. The primary advantages to doing things independently are the freedom to do what I want, being more connected to the way locals move about and interact, and the cost savings. In summary, using Romeinlimo or similar service allows a visitor to do far less advance preparation and planning, is probably less stressful or work for the newbie traveller (or perhaps someone with any worries about visiting to a new country or area), or if a group has one or more persons with mobility issues, but it does all come at a not-insignificant cost! :)
  3. Terpnut

    Punta Arenas Closed?? Schedule Adjustments??

    Our most recent sailing nearly missed Punta Arenas but the weather forecast was apparently overly pessimistic! I did see a few people disembarking so I assume many people do the redirect to Antarctica! I wonder if the cruise line, in the event she cannot anchor near Punta Arenas and must cancel the port stop, has an alternate, less windy location in the Beagle Channel just to disembark certain passengers? This would allow the captain to safely skip the port stop and disembark the handful of passengers. I think it's one thing to commit to safe, full-day tendering services for 4,000+ passengers and crew, and a whole other thing to disembark just 6 people. Of course, only the cruise line would be able to confirm this.
  4. Terpnut

    ATMs Santiago and Buenos Aires

    These cities, including Rio, are all similar: 1. Taxis mostly take local currency but you can pay via credit card by pre-booking at airport or hotel. 2. Many local restaurants and vendors take credit cards and those that don't often take hard currencies such as the US dollar. Credit card acceptance varies by city and country of course but it was widely accepted all over South America. As for paying using US dollars, just make sure your math skills are good as you will need to convert using the exchange rate while negotiating or paying! 3. Local markets, street stands, more obscure off-the-beaten-path places are more likely to accept only local currency. So the key for any day is: 1. Anticipate your local currency cash needs in advance. For example, if arriving by airplane, decide in advance how you want to pay (i.e. cash or credit card) 2. Use ATMs to withdraw local currency as needed. 3. Avoid buying foreign currency at home or using currency exchange services due to their poor exchange rates and high fees. Hope this helps.
  5. Terpnut

    Dubrovnik Questions (merged)

    What we did in your situation is just grab 2-3 others from your ship and split two taxis. Unless you are off the ship at a most unusual hour, there will almost always be another couple willing to share a taxi! Either find someone from your roll call or do it spontaneously in the gangway or even outside! Much faster and cheaper! :)
  6. Terpnut

    Our day in Rome and Civitavecchia

    What I am try to say is that, having docked both at 12 and 25 in the past 13 months, neither shuttle route will stop at or near Forte Michelangelo. So I was answering based on my experience on both the red and green routes--everything went to Largo della Pace. But my experience was sole from cruise terminal toward Largo della Pace so I cannot answer whether transferring to the green route from Largo della Pace toward 12/13 will have that intermediate stop. I will add that, the routes you are talking about will only run if there is a ship along that route so even if there is an intermediate green stop near the fort, make sure there are ships in port at 12/13 or that shuttle won't even be running! This happened when we were in Civitavecchia in July--Brilliance OTS docked at 25 and there was no green route service since nobody was out there!
  7. Terpnut

    Our day in Rome and Civitavecchia

    No, the free port shuttle will not stop anywhere before Largo della Pace. So if getting to the train station is your goal, then you must either (1) walk the entire way from whereever your ship docks, or (2) take the free port shuttle to Largo della Pace and then the €2 shuttle to the train station. Either for safety or profit reasons, the port authority will not drop passengers at or near Forte Michelangelo.
  8. Terpnut

    timing of train from Rome to Venice

    We have been able to stay aboard most cruise ships until 10 am or even as late as 10:30 am. And if you coordinate with your stateroom attendant (hint: extra tip!), you can even arrange to "sleep in" and stay in your room until 8 pm or later! And some lines now even offer a paid option to stay aboard until mid afternoon e.g. 3 pm (useful if you should you want to take a mid or late afternoon train). So don't let the published debarkation schedule that shows the "last people off the ship" at 8:30 am fool you! Most lines are focused on getting the majority of the people off as quickly as possible--primarily to allow stateroom attendants sufficient time to turn around the cabins. Their goal is to board the next sailing around 11 am at the earliest. Otherwise, as long as you have a place to hang out with your luggage and aren't causing the crew any trouble, you can generally hang around onboard longer than you think. So there's no need to kill alot of time in Civitavecchia--just stay onboard until you are kicked off. Worst case you are forced off at 9:30 am to 10 am (although it's generally later in my experience) and you get to the train station an hour early. Again, that is the worst case. The main drawback to my suggestion is killing time--not in Civitavecchia but onboard. As most things on the ship will be closed on turnaround day, you won't have alot of things to do beyond enjoying your coffee, reading and hanging out in a lounge that morning. But it's more relaxing to do this onboard than at the train station! :)
  9. Terpnut

    timing of train from Rome to Venice

    With all that considered, this is why I suggested the late debarkation and the all-Freccia solution. Much cheaper, faster debarkation, less crowded at station, and reserved seating on trains. Only drawbacks are that the OP would still have to schlep luggage from port shuttle-shuttle-train station, and the later arrival into Venezia, but possibly worth it to save €85+?
  10. Terpnut

    timing of train from Rome to Venice

    I too was wondering why you would book an expensive car-based transfer from Civi to Roma Termini, when the train would give you more options, save money and probably get you there nearly as fast. And there appear to be multiple options from Civi that would get you Roma Termini in time. I'm confused: why spend a king's ransom on a private car transfer from Civi to Termini, and go cheap on super economy on the Termini-Venezia train? Do you have to be in Venezia at a certain time? If not, you can do Freccia (so guaranteed, reserved seats and faster train) both legs, departing Civitavecchia at 11:24 am, leave Roma Termini at 12:50pm and arrive Venezia SL at 4:35 pm for just €46/person. All that this requires is that you be willing to debark the ship last (I love to do this!). Alternatively, if you are either not willing to debark late, or must get to Venezia earlier, you can take any of the three Regionales that depart Civi earlier (as per the original posts in this thread).
  11. Terpnut

    Rome ideas, not tourist places

    I'm a little late to this conversation but as someone who was married in Rome, has been there numerous times, and am a father of two kids who tire easily of my love for churches, museums and ruins, here are a few suggestions that worked for us over the years: 1. Run, walk or bike riding in Villa Borghese. Maybe sneak into Gallerie Borghese before or after for your one dose of culture? :-) 2. Cappucin Crypts (on Via Veneto near Piazza Barberini) - very macabre and super cool! Sadly they are charging €8 for admission now due to the new museum but still worth it! 3. The Time Elevator Rome Experience - short but fun. And get out of the heat with a nice air-conditioned visit on a super hot day! 4. Near Piazza della Rotonda, visit Chiesa di Sant'Ignaazio di Loyola. While sneaking in the obligatory church visit, check out the painted ceiling that is an 3-d optical illusion! 5. If you all are active types, climb the cupola of Basilica di San Pietro! 6. Check out the market at Campo dei Fiore (morning or early afternoon). 7. Food and wine tour- Trastavere?
  12. Terpnut

    24 hour Vaparetto pass from airport?

    When are you travelling to Venice? If peak summer time, then one more word of caution regarding the Vaporettos: Having been there six times now, including July of both this year and last, many Vaporettos are so jam packed, you are not guaranteed a seat or even a view. The views and pics are probably just as good or better walking along the waterfronts and canals than from the Vaporetto!
  13. Terpnut

    Train question

    Yes, the answer to your question depends 100% on where you are coming from and WHERE in Roma you will be going to or the hotel where you will be staying.
  14. Terpnut

    Venice Gondola ride

    I agree with Hank that it is overpriced but you have to do it at least once. :-) And as others have said, don't prebook--when you are ready, just find a station and gondolier that suits you and go! I also agree that the best time is early evening--preferably just before sunset. Do not go around noon or early afternoon on a hot day or you will roast! If you go later, the worst of the afternoon heat is gone and the crowds are much less. The usual cost is €80 but it goes up to €100 I think after 8 pm. For summer time, the best time will be after 8 pm so I think it's worth the extra €20 for the early evening trip. As for the ride and location, the gondoliers are stationed all along the Grand Canal and other locations, but I recommend avoiding either Piazzale Roma or near San Marco, and trying one of the stations nearer Ponte Rialto.
  15. Terpnut

    24 hour Vaparetto pass from airport?

    I don't think the 24 hour pass/Travel Card is valid for any transport (bus or Alilaguna) to/from the airport. So you'll need to take the ATVO bus to PR and hotel, and then later buy your Vaporetto tickets once you're in the city. As for validation, I think you will only validate the Travel Card prior to your first embarkation and then you're done. Please keep in mind that Venice is very compact and walkable. It's about the size of my neighborhood subdivision and I don't need public transportation to get around here. I have been to Venice a half a dozen times and I've used the Vaporetto once (and that was during our first visit and with a tour). If one wants to visit to an outlying island, use the Alilaguna (but that is also not included with the 24 hour Travel Card/Vap pass), so I personally don't see alot of value in the 24 hour ACTV Travel Card. Everything depends on one's ability to walk but for me, the cost of the Travel Card is just not worth €20 just to spare me 1 or 2 km of walking in a day. And this does not factor in the lost time--waiting for, boarding and riding the slow Vaporettos rarely beats walking!