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gkkapp

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  1. Well, here I am . In 2010 we were part of a small group touring with Alla. In 2013 we did a group tour with SPB. Then in 2016 DH and I did a private (just the two of us) with Best Guides as we wanted something different. We will be on a Baltic cruise (our favorite itinerary) again in 2020 but have not decided what to do in St Pete yet. The point is...any of the major tour companies in St Petersburg will give you a great tour. All three companies we used were wonderful but each had some differences. Look over their tours and pick the company that offers one closest to what you are interested in. <<<Karen>>>
  2. From my own experience organizing private tours...... Arrange a meeting place (Vines or by the "white piano etc") and a time based on when your tour time is. Allow time to tender and time to walk to a meeting location if needed. Wait on the ship until everyone in your group shows up. I have had people run back to their cabin because they forgot something or make one more "pit stop". Once everyone is at the meeting place and only then go to the assigned place to get tender tickets. That way you will be together and no one gets left behind. Do not expect people in your group to tender and meet you on shore at a specific location. Had a bad experience with that and won't do it again. <<<Karen>>>
  3. Thank you, caribill- That's all I was trying to point out. We have used EZair for domestic flights and paid for a bag but never for one bag only on international flights. And.....the red letter warning has been there for sometime (several years anyway) and I always check with the air line we've booked with to make sure. <<<Karen>>>
  4. OP's original question involved EZair and I was just stating our experience with them regarding baggage. I haven't looked at booking with the air line directly in several years as EZair has been less expensive and the flexible feature allows for price saving changes at no charge. Sorry I bothered to response at all . <<<Karen>>>
  5. We have flown British Airways booked through EZair several times and always had the one bag free plan. I think Princess would not do a "hand baggage only" plan since people using EZair are going on a cruise and would most likely have a "suitcase" plus a carry on. I think you could get away with just a carry on on a short cruise perhaps to the Caribbean but a cruise in Europe is usually longer then a week. Also, people might stay in Europe both before and after the cruise. My only point was to the OP who asked if they got a free bag using EZair. We never even come close to the 50lbs limit, either. <<<Karen>>>
  6. Flew to England in May on United from Dulles. Yes, international flights give you one bag free plus your carry on and one personal item. Doesn't matter which class you are and if you fly from another city in the USA to a connecting airport you still get the one free bag because your flight is an "international flight" to begin with. My personal item is a large purse (holds lots of stuff) and DH's is his camera bag. Hope this helps. <<<Karen>>>
  7. Here is our write up for our tour with http://www.shorexcursions.co.uk/ We used Nigel before in 2012 and were pleased to use his company again. Really, "Outlander" is not filmed in the Invergordon area but this is the real Frasier country. It was a great day, one of the best tours we have ever taken. Hope this helps. <<<Karen>>> MAY 21 We docked at the Invergordon pier this morning. Our group with Brandy and Paul, Mark and his wife,and his parents disembarked and met Johnny, our tour guide. We first visited Black Rock Gorge that was carved into the bedrock by glacial meltwater. This required a long hike on a dirt road but the view and the Scottish forest was worth the effort. Then we traveled past Inverness to Culloden House whose facade was used in the Outlander TV series. Next stop was Clava Cairns; three Bronze Age stone cairns and standing stone circles. These are less than a mile from the battlefield and suggest the stones that Claire went through when she time traveled in the Outlander TV series. At the Culloden National Trust visitor center, Johnny let us go on our own to explore the displays and movie before he took us out on the battlefield and explained the details of the 1746 battle. Johnny confessed that his Munro ancestors fought on the English side. Nearby a piper set the mood with his rendition of “Amazing Grace”. We drove to Inverness where Johnny pointed out places of interest and then took us to a supermarket to buy sandwiches, chips and a drink. We took the food to a stone beach at the end of Loch Ness where we had a very pleasant picnic lunch. After lunch Johnnie took out a wicker basket labeled “Johnny's First Aid Kit”. From it he produced a wee dram of Scotch whiskey for each of us followed by shortbread biscuits, sweet fudge, and a local soft drink. Very nice touch. We then drove to Kirkhill to visit the Frasier family cemetery and crypt. We drove down a private road so we could glimpse the Frasier ancestral home now in private hands. In the small town of Beauly we visited the ruins of the Beauly Priory. Continuing, Johnny took us on a narrow gravel road to a high hill with magnificent views of the Scottish countryside. One last stop on our return to the ship was for Johnny to show us his Munro family's ancestral home. Then it was back aboard the Crown Princess and dinner.
  8. Thanks Dogs- That's the place . Thought I bookmarked the website but...... We are thinking of Kronstadt or palaces we have not seen for one day and maybe the village for another. Had very good luck with Best Guides arranging a custom tour in 2016 so will try them again. The cruise is not until June 2020 so lots of time for planning, This is a Princess cruise that goes to Latvia (Riga) and Lithuania as well as the other usual ports. I am 1/4 Jewish and my ancestors came from Latvia. Have wanted to go there, at least to Riga. The actual village is some distance away so doubt I will make it there. Nothing left of the Jewish community anyway . Thanks again!!! <<<Karen>>>
  9. Hi Dogs- It's been awhile since you and I last corresponded. Hope all is well. We are thinking of doing a cruise next year that includes St P again . I seem to remember seeing something about a wooden building village /museum located near St P. Not the one near Novgorod but closer to St P. Do you know anything about this??? We are beginning to think of other things to do as we have been there 3 times and seen all the usual sites plus a trip to Novgorod in 2016. Rained all day so the time at the wooden building museum there was limited. Thanks in advance for any help you can give. <<<Karen>>>
  10. IMHO, Kotor is not a fort but a walled city and it is wonderful!!! We were there in 2017 and loved it. In the morning we took a tour with M Tours to the church on the rock and Perst. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around the city. See post #5 above for a good description. You may not have time for a tour but the city alone is well worth the time. <<<Karen>>>
  11. We took a cruise in 2012 that stopped in Le Harve. We, along with our friends, wanted to go to Paris for the day and after some careful planning this is what we did (from the trip log of our cruise): Today we booked a ship's tour – Paris on Your Own. Basically we paid for a bus to take us from the ship into Paris and get us back in time before the ship sailed. We had a very early breakfast in the buffet, and went to the ship's theater to await our tour group being called. The trip into Paris was uneventful and took about three hours. The scenery along the way was nice. Arriving in Paris we rode down the Champs Elysee, past the Arc de Triomphe and were let off near the Place de la Concorde. Luckily, we quickly found a taxi that would transport four people (many taxis won't) and we rode to Notre Dame Cathedral. We walked around the outside, taking pictures as we went. On the north side of the Cathedral under the rose window is a sidewalk cafe we discovered on the Internet called La Rosace. We ate lunch there, a ham and cheese sandwich for us and crêpes for our friends. We took advantage of their free restroom. After lunch we got in the long but fast moving queue to visit the inside of this vast church. In spite of the wall-to-wall people we were able to take a few pictures and admire the architecture. Leaving the church, we walked past the flower market and in front of St. Chapelle. We then crossed the Seine River and started walking along the river towards our bus pick-up point. Karen was able to purchase an oil painting of the Arc de Triomphe along the way. When we came to the Louvre, we walked through a large archway into a courtyard. A second archway took us to the famous glass pyramid. Lots of photos were taken. We continued on through the Tuileries Gardens and around the Place de la Concorde. It was time to return to the pick-up point for our return to the ship. On the way back we drove past the Eiffel Tower, which we had only seen from a distance, so we had a great photo opportunity. Traffic was a bit heavy as we rode back to Le Havre and got worse as we neared the ship. Finally we were there, and quickly made our way to the dining room for our “last supper”. Not the best way to " see Paris" but thinking we may never get there again we at least got a taste of it. Turns out we are taking the same cruise in May but we are planning to go someplace else rather then Paris. Our plans could change and maybe we will do the ship tour again.....who knows . <<<Karen>>>
  12. Posted this over on the ports board: We were in Dublin in 2012 and visited the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology. It was raining and we thought it was a good place to "wait it out". However....it was a wonderful museum. And it's free!! It has two "illuminated manuscripts" (correct name for books like the Book of Kells). Maybe not as fancy but there was no line, no ticket to buy and you could look at it as long as you wanted. If I remember correctly I was the only person in the room!! Just a thought for people interested in something different. <<<Karen>>>
  13. We were in Dublin in 2012 and visited the National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology. It was raining and we thought it was a good place to "wait it out". However....it was a wonderful museum. and it's free!! It has two "illuminated manuscripts" (correct name for books like the Book of Kells). Maybe not as fancy but there was no line, no ticket to buy and you could look at it as long as you wanted. If I remember correctly I was the only person in the room!! Just a thought for people interested in something different. <<<Karen>>>
  14. I'm moving this thread up so maybe the OP will see it. <<<Karen>>>
  15. Hi- In 2017 we stayed in Fiumicino and toured Ostia Antica. We stayed at the Comfort Hotel Roma. Stayed there before in 2011. Here's a link to their website: http://www.comforthotelfiumicino.com/en/ They have shuttle service from the airport to the hotel and back again and are close to restaurants ATM's and a grocery store. We did not go to Ostia until the next day. The site is HUGE and requires a lot of walking. Since you are flying from the USA you will be tired once you get to the hotel. I think you will be too tired to really do the site justice. IMHO, it would be better to come in a day sooner, get a good night's sleep, go the next day and stay another night. To get to Citavacchia the day of the cruise we took the hotel shuttle back to the airport and took a Princess Cruise Line transfer to the ship. Here's what we did from our trip log: Monday October 9- Rome We arrived at Heathrow Terminal 5. We did not have to go through “passport control” as we figured we would. However, we did have to go through security again. Looking for the gate for our connecting flight to Rome we discovered that the gate would not be announced until 40 minutes before departure, so we had more waiting. The flight was full and we could not even get a drink of water until all passengers who paid for their drinks were served. We finally arrived in Rome and claimed our luggage. Passport control took longer than we wanted, and when we went to the pickup point for the shuttle to the hotel, the van had just left. So we waited some more. Finally a van arrived and delivered us to the Comfort Hotel Roma. By this time we were exhausted. We checked in and walked to a nearby ATM. Once again our local bank card would not work so we decided to wait until the next morning to try the other card. Then we walked to a nearby grocery store to purchase bread, chips and cold cuts for our dinner plus a large round pastry (similar to one we had in Rome in 1985!!) for breakfast the next morning. Tuesday October 10 We had breakfast on the patio of our hotel room – the pastry and coffee and tea. After breakfast we walked to a nearby ATM for some Euros. The ATM card from the credit union worked with no problems!!! We arranged for a taxi to take us to Ostia Antica, the ancient port city for Rome. The taxi picked us up at 10:00 and in less than 15 minutes delivered us to the entrance. We arranged for our taxi driver to pick us up at 3:00 that afternoon. We explored this sprawling old city that was buried by sediment from the Tiber River and excavated by workmen under Mussolini. We had lunch in the cafeteria; Karen had bruschetta and Gary had lasagna. We continued to explore after lunch but it was getting warmer and we were still tired from our long trip. We were back at the entrance by 2:30 and our taxi showed up shortly after. Back at the hotel we rested a bit and then went out walking to find a place for dinner. We found a pizza shop that looked good but it closed in the afternoon until 6:00. So we walked a bit more until 6 when we returned for pizza and coke zero. We bought another pastry for tomorrow's breakfast, and then back to the hotel and early to bed. Wednesday October 11 After breakfast on the patio, we checked out and waited for the 10:00 hotel shuttle to take us to the airport where we would board the Princess transfer bus to the cruise ship. Hope this helps- <<<Karen>>>
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