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About Marvalous

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    New Jersey
  • Interests
    Travel, photography & genealogy
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Fortunate to have visited all 7 continents and loved them all!
  1. Marvalous

    Tour guide for istanbul

    We had visited Istanbul before so when I was preparing for a port stop there in May my husband couldn't understand any reason to hire a private guide since most attractions are in walking distance from each other. But, I have some difficulty walking long distances so I hired Ekol Travel for our day there since they would provide a guide and a driver. At the end of the day my husband and I decided it was a great decision. Valentina, their Sales Executive, was wonderful in helping us plan a perfect day. She was always so nice and prompt with her answers. Our guide, "Sammy," was our best guide ever! He greeted us with a big smile as we exited the port terminal and went out of his way to insure we enjoyed our day re-visiting Istanbul. Sammy was able to get us in the sites ahead of the big lines from the tour buses. He provided us with wonderful information and then gave me ample time to photograph the beautiful places. Our driver was great, too, and was always there when we needed him. The price of our private tour was about what the ship's excursion would have been, but instead we were treated to a view of the city by someone we feel became a new friend in Istanbul. I would highly recommend Ekol Travel -- and ask for Sammy if you do!:)
  2. Marvalous

    Athens tour company

    We just return from another wonderful cruise to the Med. Since we have visited Athens a few times in the past, we decided to hire Private Greek Tours to do a private tour for us. Nikos Loukas, the owner, was great to deal with. He was always prompt with answers to our questions and so helpful to plan a day suited for us. Lambros Petropoulos greated us at the port with a big smile and a nice Mercedes taxi. His information about the sites and his life in Greece was so interesting, and he was great getting us to the places before the big tour buses hit. We booked a modification of their Athens and Cape Sounion tour, which was approximately 8 hours and 260 Euros for the two of us. It was one of the best tours we have ever taken, and at the end of the day we felt like Lambros was our new friend in Athens. If you are looking for a wonderful tour company, my husband and I would highly recommend Private Greek Tours! :)
  3. Marvalous

    Hotel Suggestion in Venice

    I really appreciate all of your ideas and input. Unfortunately, many of the places you suggested were filled for the time we will be in Venice. We ended up booking 3 nights at the Best Western Hotel Cavalletto e Doge Orseolo near St. Mark's Square. The location is great but the hotel got mixed reviews. Finally we decided that the lowest priced rooms were the ones getting the bad reviews but the guests who opted for the rooms in the higher categories got good reviews for the most part. We reserved a Superior Deluxe room overlooking the canal and the gondolas, which they say is their best room, and we are keeping our fingers crossed. I guess for us it was a case of location, location, location ... and finding a hotel that had a room for us. I can't find a thing special going on that weekend but the hotels are really full. Thanks again for your help. I am saving all of your suggestions. Marva :)
  4. Marvalous

    Hotel Suggestion in Venice

    My sincere thanks to all of you for your help and suggestions! Yes, we stayed at the Hotel Violino D'Oro on our last visit 5 years ago and loved the location and hearing the gondliers singing outside our window. But since they have no vacancies, I am delighted with all of your suggestions and will be spending tonight checking them out. We just booked this cruise from Rome to Venice on Saturday when I spotted it so there isn't the usual time I allow to make arrangements. That's okay because some times the things put together at the last minute end up being the jewels in life! Thanks again and happy travels to all of you!
  5. Marvalous

    Hotel Suggestion in Venice

    My husband and I will be disembarking the Crown Princess on May 24 in Venice, Italy. The hotel we stayed in previously near the San Moise gondola station is full. I would appreciate any suggestions on a hotel you enjoyed in the San Marco area? Thanks, Marva