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Everything posted by boatsrfun

  1. Good to know. Paying for an excursion and then getting something way different than what we expect would certainly be a disappointment!
  2. Yeah, I'm trying to remember that we can't "see it all" or even close to it all.
  3. This is the kind of info that absolutely fascinates me. It's the "stories" of history that you don't often learn in a history class (unless you had a really good history teacher) that make different times and places come alive. Thanks for sharing!
  4. Thank you to everyone who has responded! This is exactly the kind of input I was looking for. I will get a copy of Rick Steve's book and will work through it over the next few wks. John Bull, thanks for the links! Agree that research is fun and fulfilling. It adds to the anticipation! Thanks to all for helping to point us in a direction.
  5. Like I said, this is subjective! We can't pay for an excursion for every port. Thanks for sharing your perspective!
  6. My wife and I will be on an 11 day cruise in the Mediterranean in June 2023 on Celebrity Beyond. This is my first cruise and her second. We are both really love history, and so we are especially excited about the itinerary (Rome, Istanbul, Athens, Ephesus, etc). I am trying to figure out to what extent it will be worth it to purchase excursions. We’re not in the place financially where we have tons of money to spend on them… At the same time, this cruise is sort of a one time splurge for us (10 year anniversary). We know we likely won’t be back to many of these places for a long time, if ever, and so we don’t want to miss out on anything major. As I’ve been googling and reading about people’s experiences, I’ve come up with three different categories for sorting the ports we’ll be visiting. It sounds like there are 1. Some ports you can sort of just walk around and see what there is to see without an excursion or much of a plan (i.e. the ship drops you off in a spot where there is plenty to see, do, and eat in the time that you have), 2. Some ports where as long as you have a plan for getting around, you can see them on your own and get everything out of it that a guide would provide, and 3. Some ports where your experience just won’t be the same without a professional guide. Of course this is pretty subjective! But based upon what I’ve told you about our situation/preferences, which of the following ports would you say require an excursion? I’ve preliminarily grouped the ports into the three “buckets” based upon what I’ve read so far. How would you group them? Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts/experiences!! No Plan or Excursion Needed: Santorini, Mykonos, Naples Require a Plan, but not an Excursion: Istanbul, Sicily Require Excursion: Rome, Ephesus, Athens
  7. I just tried to see what flights are going to cost us. The deal that we got claims that we will get a certain amount off of our flights if we book them with Flights by Celebrity. I tried to see how much a flight will cost, and it said there were no flights available. Is that just because the trip is almost 12 months out? Any tips on when we should book our flights? Any tips on where in Rome we should stay? The boat leaves on 6/26 in the evening, and so we're thinking we'll fly in either on 6/24 or 6/25.
  8. Wow, thanks! We're stretching our budget a bit for this trip in general, so we booked an interior cabin. But I'm glad to hear good things about the ship!
  9. Thanks! I really wanted to experience Odyssey of the Seas. We'll bookmark that for next time. Also, I just realized that I posted the wrong cruise 🤦‍♂️. I posted the 2022 version which is on Reflection, whereas we'll be cruising in 2023 which is on "Celebrity Beyond": https://www.celebritycruises.com/itinerary-details/11-night-italy-turkey-and-greek-islands-from-rome-civitavecchia-italy?packageID=BY11M263&sDT=2023-06-26&cCD=CO
  10. I just reported my post. Sorry about that! Thanks for the suggestion on Istanbul. Would you recomend seeing the Grand Bazaar?
  11. Ok so we just made our decision! We're going with an 11 night Italy, Turkey, and Greek Islands Celebrity cruise: https://www.celebritycruises.com/itinerary-details/11-night-italy-turkey-and-greek-islands-from-rome-civitavecchia-italy?packageID=RF11M238 We took into account the following feedback from you guys: It's all about the itinerary for a Med cruise - this hits multiple ports that we want to see Don't miss Rome! This cruise begins and ends in Rome. Many of the other cruises I looked at started or ended at Ravenna. I appreciated the fact that someone pointed out that this is actually a few hrs from Venice. This cruise is on a new ship, which is one of the things that drew me to the RCI cruise Celebrity seems like they provide really good food and service Thanks again for the help! If you have any other tips for first time cruisers, let us know!!
  12. Wow you guys are all so persuasive! After the first post, I almost booked HAL. Then I read the second post and saw the recommendation to consider Celebrity, which is a cruise line I hadn't looked into. My brother went on a cruise with Celebrity and has really good things to say about them. I found a Celebrity cruise and was ready to book it. However, the Celebrity cruise had 2 days at sea and also hit Venice instead of Rome. The several posts that mention that a Med cruise is really all about the itinerary (that totally makes sense to me - that's primarily why we're choosing Med over Caribbean) made me nix the Celebrity cruise. Now there are several posts noting that Quantum class ships are awesome 🤦‍♂️. My takeaway is that we probably can't go wrong?
  13. My wife and I are planning on a Mediterranean cruise Jul 2023 to celebrate our 10 yr anniversary. My wife went on one short cruise after college and I have never been on one before, so we don't really know what we're doing. We would love any/all input! We are trying to decide between a 7 day RCI cruise and a 7 day HAC cruise. https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/find-a-cruise/E3M07F/O346.html https://www.royalcaribbean.com/cruises/itinerary/7-night-greek-isles-from-rome-civitavecchia-on-odyssey/OY07ROM-3274971603?sail-date=2023-08-13&currency=USD&country=USA&dates_maxDate=07%2F31%2F2023&dates_minDate=06%2F01%2F2023 About us: We're in our early 30's, but we are old souls 😊. We're planning on reading tons of books, eating good food, sitting by the pool, etc. We drink, but not that much. We're really excited about the historical sites included in this cruise. I think of us as being pretty adaptable and fairly easy to please. If the food isn't perfect or if the boat is a little crowded, it won't ruin our trip. At the same time, when I read reviews like "we had to wait an hr or two to get a table each night" or "the pool was always too crowded to use" that gives me pause. We like the Holland America cruise because: 1. It hits Venice, Athens, and Ephesus, all of which are on our list of places we'd love to see, 2. Reviews seem to indicate that Holland America may provide a little better service, a little better food, and the ships may be less crowded. We like the RCI cruise because 1. It hits Rome, Naples, and Ephesus, 2. The ship is new and looks beautiful. While we are certainly old souls, we'd love to try all of the cool activities they've included. It also looks like, although there would be a ton of people onboard, there are plenty of places to sit and read a book. Please let me know what you think of these specific cruises, the cruise lines, the ships, any tips on booking the cruise, etc. Thank you!
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