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  1. Hi Commodoredave Thanks for your post, it all looks and sounds great. I’ve always wanted to visit the CT and now have the opportunity to as a shore excursion on an upcoming cruise. My DH can walk a bit but not long distances and has trouble with long flights of steps and steep upwards climbs. This is the description of the excursion, we’d be very grateful if you could expand the info, particularly getting to the harbour in Manarola to board the motorboat and getting to the train in Monterosso, if you had experience yourself. Thanks in advance for reading all this. Leaving Livorno, drive north for 1.5 hours, passing Pisa and the resorts of Viareggio and Forte dei Marmi until reaching Manarola, where you'll begin your exploration in earnest. Cinque Terre is a National Park protected by UNESCO, and Manarola is one of the five villages within the territory. Arriving in Manarola, you'll enjoy a guided introduction of the village and some free time. You will then embark a motorboat for a scenic cruise (weather permitting) that will take you to the fishing village of Vernazza, where you'll enjoy time at leisure. No visit to the Cinque Terre can end without visiting Monterosso al Mare. After an introduction from your guide, you'll have free time to explore the tiny shops and have lunch on your own. Then you will board a local train from Monterosso to Levanto where your motorcoach is waiting for you for the return drive to Livorno. Please note: Guests must be able to walk approximately two hours over various surfaces, including steps, and stand for extended periods of time.
  2. Exactly the same scenario with us, we are fairly long time Azamara cruisers and love the on-board experience. However we've been burned booking early then seeing dramatic price drops once too often. We board our first Oceania cruise in two weeks and have three more booked in Europe/Med this coming (European) summer 2020. They were itineraries similar to those we’d looked at first on Azamara, but more realistic prices. With all the O Life perks included, they end up being much better deals than Azamara. I’m wary of the ‘double upgrade’ promo, you really need to know your prices. One in particular that we were following doubled the inside price and increased the balcony price by $1000 in the double upgrade offer.
  3. Thank you so much, Bonnie. As I said, I'm sure we'll be back. We enjoyed sailing with you too. This reminded me of our art work we brought back from the Japan cruise, they are in a cupboard just waiting for the final touches to transform them into masterpieces. 😁 who am I kidding?
  4. So sorry for all those whose cruises have been cancelled. This, along with the high prices and then last-minute fire sales, have made us decide to try Oceania next. We were waiting for Azamara’s dubious ‘double upgrade’ offer to finish to see how prices went but then, as happened last year, it was extended. We priced a 10 night Med cruise just days before the ‘double upgrade’ promo started. With the promo, the price of an inside cabin had just about doubled (no surprise there) and the balcony we were looking at had gone up $1000 which carried through to the inside. We are now booked on Oceania for a Christmas cruise, although that was mainly the itinerary. We have also booked three cruises in Europe next year with Oceania, with all O Life perks included. We had to get our flights organised and were not prepared to sit out Azamara’s silly pricing games any longer. We love the on-board experience on Azamara and I expect we will be back but changing/cancelling itineraries and over pricing means we won’t be booking way in advance, we have been burnt several times by doing that. That means our cruise itinerary options are limited when long haul flights are involved.
  5. I actually use masking tape but not sure if that is called something different in the USA.
  6. Well I have the solution to that! Take some duct tape or similar with you whenever you travel and tape the button down in the ON position. It does mean that if you need to pause while drying you have to pull out the plug but that beats having to keep your finger on that button all the time. 😁 I have a roll of tape permanently in my suitcase.
  7. But even 5* hotels often have pretty mediocre hairdryers.
  8. Good thinking. We have two nights pre cruise. With only the outbound flight then the cruise back to Sydney it’s a no brainer, I’ll take my own hairdryer.
  9. Thanks for posting the pic. Still trying to decide whether or not to take my hairdryer. It’s heavy but works so well and fast.
  10. We were on the Quest in September and found the included wines had declined in quality, especially the white, since our last cruise the previous year. And we’re not that fussy.
  11. Slight thread creep. Does anyone know if they have Schweppes tonic on board? Nothing else will do in my G & T!
  12. Wow, carry on only! I’m impressed. Last time I did that was island hopping in Greece, a looong time ago. Thanks and enjoy your cruise too. And remember you can always buy another bag (and shoes) en route.
  13. Thanks, just what I’m thinking, will take the Azamara tote which DH can carry. I have a small, very lightweight bag which folds up to nothing I’ll use. And I’m sure I’ll still find room for all my shoes, tote or no tote. 😉
  14. Sounds like you a regular cruiser with O and so have a high loyalty level? And maybe a tote is a perk no matter which category cabin you’re in? This will be our first cruise with them. I’m not that fussed one way or the other, just don’t want to take a tote along if we’ll be given one (that could be room for two more pairs of shoes instead 😁). We’re on Regatta in December in a C1.
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