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Ourhoneymooncruise

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About Ourhoneymooncruise

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  1. Ourhoneymooncruise

    carrying alcohol on carnival

    We were on the carnival last summer, when boarding (at various ports) with alcohol, they did not take it away nor say anything.
  2. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Port to Grand Bazaar?

    We walked from the port to Hagia Sophia, the blue mosque and finally to the grand bazaar. I agree from the port to Hagia Sophia it would probably be a half an hour. Although we had a map, the signage was excellent (in english) showing which way to Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar etc. For our return we took a cab from the grand bazaar to the bridge, for a few lira. Give yourself a little extra time at the end, we didn't anticipate the amount of traffic Istanbul has, and almost missed the ship. Walking was a wonderful way to see Istanbul, it was our favorite port! Mind you I think we fell into bed that night, we were so tired.
  3. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Livorno to Florence by Taxi

    Although we hired a taxi (for around $200-300) others on our cruise opted for the train. Unfortunatly from what I understand Italy can have rotating strikes, and others on our cruise did not get to Florence due to this. This was last summer, so I do not know if this problem has been solved.
  4. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Istanbul

    We walked from the port to Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and to the Grand Bazzaar, and returned to port by cab. There are cabs everywhere, and did not have a problem at all. We asked the cab driver before entering the car the price, but unfortunatly he did not speak english, but pointed to the meter. We showed him on the map where we needed to go, and he brought us there without a problem. A little note, the port is quite long, so depending where you are docked you might have a short walk to a "customs", as you probably will not have your passport, they will give you a "ticket" to provide to them when you return to port. For us the "customs office" was at the other end of the dock. We had a fantastic time in Istanbul, it was our favorite port. We were so happy we did not listed to the cruise director an go on a ship excursion, the city was exciting and vibrant. I don't think you would get that experience on a large bus. Also, many of the signs around hagia sophia, blue mosque and grand bazaar are in english.
  5. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Best Dining time on Freedom In Med

    We sailed on the Freedom this past July, are seating was the 6:15. As many of the ports had sailing times of 5 or 6 pm, so it was a rush to get to dinner on time after a long day. We had requested a late seating (8pm), as did all of our table mates , but it was full. In hindsight, I am quite happy with the 6:15 seating. As for the evening shows, we did not attend many, and I do not remember many evenings with two shows. Generally there was only the one show per night, therefore seating was very limited. Also, as the 6:15 seating has until 8 pm to finish dinner, we realized a few days into the cruise, we could easily be late for dinner. I noticed many other people attending dinner around 7pm nightly, the wait staff is extremely accomodating. Have a great time!!
  6. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Private Tours ever late for ship???

    We did not have a problem on any of our private tours. In Naples, we arrived back to the port at the exact time the boat requested our return( Tour of Italy) For Ephesus, we were running late.. and all of us were a little nervous, but the driver joked, see the bus we just passed, they are one of the tours from your ship, as long as he is ahead of just one of those, they will not be leaving. Goes to show you, that they really do pay attention. Florence, same as Naples.. just on time... If your a nervous person, I suggest asking your driver to return you to the ship an hour ahead. We actually almost missed the ship once.. when we were on our own in Istanbul! I guess I tried to cut it close like the drivers :) Have fun
  7. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Istanbul

    We did Istanbul on our own and had a fantastic time, although the ship did suggest passengers take the ships tour. We had absolutly no problems, and we walked from the ship to Blue Mosque, to accross the street to Sophia, then to the grand Bazaar.... We missed the spice market, but really wanted to see it. A private guide would definitly be the way to go, but they will bring you to a carpet store, even if they say they won't when you book. Istanbul was our favorite stop on the cruise, Have a great time,
  8. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Ephesus on your own?

    If you wish to go to Ephesus from the port, then I would not suggest going it on your own. Ephesus, depending on your port is quite a distance away. I did not feel unsafe in Turkey at all, it was actually our favorite ports. We actually did Istanbul on our own and had a fantastic time, but the Istanbul port is within walking distance to the city, so you don't need a guide. Hope this helps.
  9. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Tour of Italy or Aldo

    We used Tour of Italy, and had a great time. Brought us to Pompeii, (referred us a guide) and then to the Amalfi Coast. He brought us to a great restaurant in the Amalfi, which had great food and a better view. The restaurant he brought us to although it did have good food, (probably the best pasta I had in Italy) we were not provided menus, rather they asked us what we liked pasta, seafood etc. No prices either, but in the end the prices were very reasonable. Best of luck
  10. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Thank you Carnival!

    We were on the Carnival Freedom in July 2007 for our honeymoon. When I returned from the trip I realized I had left my mothers rings (she passed away 4 years ago) in the room safe. I contacted lost and found at Carnival and put in a claim; a few weeks later they contacted me to say the rings were not located. I was quite upset as these rings have sentimental value. Well I arrived home today, three months after the trip, to find a FedEx box from Carnival today, with the rings carefully secured inside. A special thanks to my room steward, who was wonderful for 13 days and the carnival lost and found department, who finally found me!
  11. Ourhoneymooncruise

    return to ports in istanbul and athens

    When we were in Istanbul I believe it was around 10 lira from the bazaar to the port. The cab was metered. Make sure you have a map or like the previous poster noted a postcard as our taxi driver did not speak english, at all! Also, give yourself a little extra time to return to the ship, we cut it a little to close as we did not allow for traffic!!
  12. Ourhoneymooncruise

    How often do they strike in italy??

    We encountered a strike the day we were in Florence. I should mention we are not tour travellers, we like experiencing cities on our own (Athens, Istanbul, etc) Fortunately for us we had hired a driver with other cruise critic members to get to and from Florence (no tour) The day we were in port at Liverno, our ship (Carnival) did not announce the train stike to the passengers, but from what I heard they announced this on the Princess ship. One couple from our dinner table decided to do Florence on their own (this was the only time they did a tour on their own) when they arrived at the train station they could only go to Pisa and missed the beautiful city of Florence, which was our favorite city in Italy! We did Rome without incident.
  13. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Istanbul souvenir shopping - how much?

    We were told that the prices in the Grand Bazaar heavily depend on how many ships are in port that day. We did Istanbul on our own, so we were still in the Grand Bazaar when the "tourists" had left. The prices decreased dramatically. We purchased two leather ottomans, in which they originally said they were 30 lira each, we told them another store was selling them for 7 lira each...well we paid 7 lira!! Just remember to barter. I think we ended up spending $300 US.. Ottomans, lamps, bags etc. Although the handbags in Florence were much better, not knockoffs but much better quality.
  14. We just used tourofitaly in July. They set up a guide for Amalfi who showed us around, and we went to Sorrento and Positano. The view driving along the amalfi coast is amazing, but the winding roads can prove to make you a little motion sick. Giancarlo brought us to a restaurant overlooking the coast where we had the best pasta of our trip. He said his wife was the chef, but I don't know if he was joking. I would suggest them to anyone. Have a good trip.
  15. Ourhoneymooncruise

    Livorno/Tuscany Shore Excursions?

    We just got back from our cruise, and Florence was out favourite destination!! (the other ports were Rome, Pompeii, amalfi coast, Rhodes, Athens, Istanbul, Izmir) We wish we would have made reservations at the museums in advance, as the lines were quite large. Even though we did not go to the museum, it was our favorite stop! Just a word of warning, we booked a private driver to Florence but other couples on the cruise choose to take the train on their own. It seems that the train system is not the most dependable, and there was a train strike that day. Many couples either did not make it to Florence, or had a very expensive drive back to the port! Have fun,
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