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Everything posted by marazul

  1. We booked Seabourn air for our cruise in August. Their prices were less than anything I could find on my own. It was no problem to change our reservation when the airline's change of schedules made it unlikely that we would make a connecting flight.
  2. The Abbey is open every day of the week.
  3. Agree. That's what our TA does too.
  4. Yes, you can, but only if you get a private transfer (e.g., George's Taxi) and have them take you directly to the Acropolis. They will wait for you to take you to the port and your luggage will be perfectly safe in their vehicle. You must also buy your entrance tickets online ahead of time. The crowds will be a lot less in November so you will be fine. This will get you to the Acropolis by noon at the latest and to your ship around 2. Why don't you email George's (taxigreece.com) or another transfer/tour company and check the prices. They can even provide a guide if you wish. Checking in first would not work. That adds at least one hour of travel time and maybe another hour for the check-in process.
  5. Look for any hotel that has a water door so that the water taxis can pull right up, both from the airport and to the ship. The hotel website will mention this. If you want to use public transport, look at hotels that are no more than a few steps from a vaporetto or Alilaguna dock. The routes are available in the internet. For example, the Bauer Palazzo would fit both descriptions.
  6. You are paying for the flights in addition to the cruise. They are not included. You have a say on when you fly and on your flight. Tell them what you want. Talk to them, or have your TA tell them what you want. This past August, we flew to Greece two weeks before our cruise. When we didn't like the connections on the outbound flight, they changed it for another one. You are not bound to whatever their computer pulls up. Every passenger is flying a different route. There isn't just one option for each cruise. If you don't say anything, they pick the cheapest option to get you there before the ship sails. Prices may vary some, but not much if you ask for a different flight.
  7. It is "just tell them" when you want to fly in and out. Seabourn will get the flights whenever you want before and after your cruise. No need to take chances. If you don't express a preference, they will assume you want to arrive on the day of embarkation and leave on the day you disembark. The only difference if you fly in early is that you might have to arrange for a taxi to take you to the ship.
  8. You can tell SB which days you want to fly. If you don't like a routing, you can also ask for an alternative. We did that this summer. They gave us a flight with a one-hour layover which we knew we might not be able to make. They changed it and that was great, because the one flight they had put us on had a two-hour delay because of weather. We also flew in several days before the cruise. SB had better choices and prices than we could find independently.
  9. Parking in Cinqueterre is very limited. You would need to leave your car at one of the parkings and go between the villages by boat or train. The boat schedule is extremely reduced after October. The trains are also less frequent. Because of the time of the year, you should probably go with the ship excursion. I would go from Genoa as there are a lot more excursions to choose from in Livorno.
  10. Have you been to Delphi? Why don't you ask CatTours (or George's Taxi, or others) how much it would be to add one extra night in Meteora. Then you can see all the monasteries and maybe take that sunset tour. On the way back do have them stop at Thermopylae.
  11. Hi JB - Thanks for your kind words. There is a BIG problem with your map. It skips the Grande Corniche entirely. Google takes you to the A8 Autoroute and then has you take the exit for La Turbie and then on down the zigzag road. The A8 has good views of the mountains but not of the sea, and none of the charm of the Corniche. Plus no place to stop to admire the views. The Grande Corniche is Route D2564. When you are at the port of Nice you will see signs at the corner of Blvd. Carnot and Blvd. Lech Walesa directing you to each of the Corniches and the A8. (If you are in Nice, you go along the top of the port on Blvd. Carnot and turn left. If you are coming from Villefranche, the street around the port is the Blvd. de Stalingrad which becomes the Blvd. Lech Walesa and you keep going straight.) Here is the map: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Bd+Stalingrad,+06300+Nice,+France/@43.6982155,7.2867224,19.25z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x12cddab8a78ab57d:0x582a55083966b2c8!8m2!3d43.6978941!4d7.2868258?hl=en From then on, there are only small street signs for the Grande Corniche. Essentially, the sign at the port takes you up the Blvd. Lech Walesa which becomes the Blvd. de Riquier which becomes the Blvd. de l'Armée des Alpes, and then, in about 4 or 5 blocks, you turn right unto the Blvd. Bischoffheim. (A left turn instead would take you to the A8.) That is the beginning of th GC. Here is a picture of the turn, but you may have to spin it around to see the signs: https://www.google.com/maps/@43.7081331,7.2928166,3a,51.2y,43.52h,81.35t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s2xglmDHlq1RwYZhJzHaU1w!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3D2xglmDHlq1RwYZhJzHaU1w%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D162.80249%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en In this area, the Grand Corniche takes you up and around Mont Boron, which has some good views, a park, and the Fort of Mont Alban on it, if you ever want to go back and look around. You can also get to the Grande Corniche from Villefranche on the other side of Mont Boron. There is a very convoluted route from the Blvd Napoleon III to the Av. Leopold II, just above the Villefranche beach that will take you to the GC. I will let you have the fun of figuring it out. You might want to repost a link to your route map using the Grande Corniche instead of the A8. The OP and others might enjoy it.
  12. The drive of Villefranche-La Turbie-Monaco is less than one hour. Add time for picture taking. Monaco should be 2-3 hours. Monaco-Nice is 30-40 minutes. Add one hour to visit Eze. Nice sightseeing can be 1-2 hours. Drive to Villefranche would be 20 minutes with no traffic. Add one hour to be safe.
  13. Happy to help. If you follow my second post, you will have plenty of time to be back in Villefranche and walk around for at least a leisurely hour before you have to board. Safe travels.
  14. Picklesmith - I see this was your first post on CC. If you check this again, I think I have the solution to your wish to see the mountains. It does involve renting a car or booking a private tour that will accomplish the same routes. No way to do this using public transport and there is no bus tour that does this, but it does cover all the points you make. The Pre-Alps plunge to the sea between Nice and Menton. There is a high cliff overlooking the shore where Villefranche and Monaco are located. There are three magnificent and roughly parallel roads that go from Nice to Menton - the Corniches. These are the iconic roads you have seen in movies (James Bond, Grace Kelly, etc.) Leaving Villefranche, backtrack towards Nice to follow the signs for the Grande Corniche - the highest. (Make sure you don't get into the A8 toll highway.) This road was built by Napoleon along the route of the Via Aurelia. It has eyepopping views of the mountains and the sea. Stop at the Belvedere lookout. Go on to the village of La Turbie where you will see the Trophy of the Alps, a Roman monument to Augustus. From there you will see spectacular views of the Alps on one side and of the Mediterranean on the other. On a very clear day, you might be able to see the faint outline of Corsica in the horizon. Go on just a little further and follow the signs to Monaco and Beausoleil. This is the famous zigzag road (Route D53) that takes you to down to Monaco. There are lookout spots along the road. After touring Monaco, return by the Moyenne (Middle) Corniche. Eze is a few minutes away. Pull up there and wander around the medieval village where there are also great views of Cap Ferrat and the coast. Continue towards Nice. The Moyenne Corniche ends in the port of Nice. Follow the road around the port and it becomes the Quai des Etats-Unis, which in turn becomes the Promenade des Anglais. As you go around the port, you will see a promontory with a huge carved sculpture (War Memorial) on the side. At the top of that hill is the Chateau of Nice. Just around the road off the Quai des Etats-Unis is Old Nice. There is an underground garage on your right (parking Sulzer). Walk back towards the Hotel Suisse for the stairs or elevator to the Chateau for views of the Baie des Anges. Come back down and go into Old Nice and the Flower Market. After seeing Nice, head back to Villefranche along the Basse (Lower) Corniche.
  15. We lived in Nice for a few years, and visit often, and we are quite familiar with the area. There is no way you can get to the Alps Maritimes and back to the ship in the amount of time you have. Public transportation will add a lot of time to your plans because you simply have to wait for the bus, train, etc. The most efficient use of your time , and the most expensive, is to have a private tour waiting for you and taking you wherever you want to go. You are going to be in port for nine hours (make that eight to allow for disembarking and embarking). You say you want to visit Monaco first which will take 2-3 hours. Then, if you go to Nice next, I would recommend walking up the Chateau (ruins of an ancient Roman castle) or taking the little train (petit train) through old Nice that will also get you there, for a fabulous view of the shore line. You can also stop at Eze on your way to or from Monaco which is a lovely Medieval town and has a spectacular view of the Riviera. The Alps are a three hour ride from Nice. If you have a private tour and you decide to skip Monaco, you can go up the mountains to Gourdon, St Paul de Vence or St Jeannet that have great views of the coast line from much higher places. Look at a map and decide what is possible. You might want to plan on a return trip for a driving vacation and I would love to give you hints on the "arrière-pays Niçois" (the back mountain country behind Nice). There is even a little train that goes all the way up to the mountain villages for a wonderful day trip (le Train de Pignes). Marseille is way too far away from the Alps. You cannot even see them from there.
  16. The mandates are from the local governments, not from SB. All cruiselines visiting those ports are subject to the same rules.
  17. Biarritz is farther North than Long Island. It is not the Caribbean. The water temps will be between 62F and 68F. You can always walk on the beaches and go in the water if you would like to, but all facilities are likely to be closed by then. The Grande Plage and the small Port Vieux are the most centrally located. https://www.seatemperature.org/europe/france/biarritz-october.htm https://tourisme.biarritz.fr/en/beaches-biarritz
  18. There are six monasteries (two convents, 4 monasteries) in Meteora. Even if you only visit three or four you are unlikely to have time for cooking classes in the area, especially when you consider that it is almost a two hour drive to Volos. The town closest to the monasteries is Kalambaka where there are many tavernas and your excursion will probably take you there for lunch or snack. The trip is more than worth a trek. Don't miss it. Probably the best place for a cooking class would be Athens itself. I hope you are planning to spend a couple of days there before or after the cruise.
  19. Yes, during a driving trip. I have also been in the places I mentioned as alternatives. It is not a condemnation. It is a matter of scale. It is a very nice city and so is Murcia, but there are more interesting choices for a cruise with only five ports, including Cartagena and Melilla. IMO, Cartagena is a very good option if Melilla were to be replaced with another port. Or in a longer cruise where more smaller ports can be added.
  20. There may be a good reason for Rhodes being the one "repeat" port in both Greek itineraries. Rhodes has one of the best hospital facilities in the Dodecanese. Before our September cruise we spent 10 days in one of the nearby (90 miles) small islands visiting expat friends. There is a small hospital there, but our friends said that all their medical emergencies get evacuated by helicopter to either Rhodes or Kos. The Rhodes hospital has an excellent reputation and that is where all the cardiac cases get sent. That means that SB ships are only within a couple of days of either Athens or Rhodes in all their cruises and can safely evacuate their COVID cases there.
  21. Interesting. Nafplion was three days before your wife's positive test. That was a possibility then. The new arrivals must have been exposed around the time they were getting their PCR test and boarding. Such bad luck for all. I hope you all get to go home soon.
  22. Sign up individually. Don't fight the website.
  23. braidmacd, best wishes for your wife's and other positive passengers safe recovery. Many of us are curious as to the source of the contagion. We know you were all vaccinated and initially tested. Were you, or most of you, together at the same shore excursion? Were these all separate sources of the virus? BTW - I am very glad to hear that SB left a representative at the hotel with the group to assist you during and after the quarantine.
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