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About ctompkins

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Denver, CO, USA
  • Interests
    Family, NASCAR, Lakehouse
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Carnival
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

Recent Profile Visitors

82 profile views
  1. Thank you, masterty. How will I know if the fare I am purchasing is ‘refundable’?
  2. Hi all, My DH and I, are wanting to book two cruises for 2020 & 2021. There is a current Anniversary Sale going on right now, but don’t really need a room upgrade, as we usually book Club Class, and I don’t drink Wine. I have heard people comment that they are waiting for one sale or another, before booking their cruise. I have not ever paid too much attention to the sales (my bad!), so not sure which promotion will give us the better deals on cost. What sales should we hold out for? Best Deals? Any thoughts? Thanks, Colleen
  3. Hi Gay, Well glad my review helped you out. ItalyToursEU were really great. Make sure when signing up online you keep all your email correspondence in a folder. Sometimes, with all the tours we booked, (with this company and others), I was confused on whether we were actually signed up and confirmed? Print your confirmation pages and bring them with you, as they will give you info as “paid, dress requirements, meeting places, etc. Have a great time! Colleen
  4. Hi, My DH and I just got back from a 12-day Princes Cruise to the Mediterranean. We did take two tours with ItalyToursEU (ItalyToursEU.com). Best of Florence/Pisa Tour Review Our driver was Massimiliano, and guide was Virginia. They were both very knowledgeable and passionate about their cities and country. Massimiliano, answered several questions about what we were seeing during the nearly 1-1/2 hour drive to Florence. He was prompt in picking us up at the ship, and we were escorted to our beautiful, newer Van. When we got into the city, we were greeted by our walking guide, Virginia. She spoke English very well and was easily understood. Wow, what a beautiful city Florence is. We loved seeing all that we did. I was so surprised when I teared up seeing the Statue of David. That had to have been the most beautiful piece of art I have ever seen. Everything about it gave me chills. I did not have any kind of attachment to the statue beforehand, but I do now!! Really the highlight of our whole trip. Breathtaking. We loved the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It would have been nice if we were able to have gotten some kind of idea of what the interior looked like. After reviewing the literature, it did not mention an inside visit of the building (I've seen towns smaller than this Cathedral). Virginia, was really good about keeping our group together and on pace, as there was a huge amount to see. She was very knowledgeable about everything she was talking about and was happy to expand on the sites and also answered our many questions. We definitely would love to have Virginia show us around again, she was great. After, free time and lunch we went and met back-up with Massimiliano, for the 45 min ride to the Village of Pisa. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, was so cool!! Not sure what we were expecting, but that place was above and beyond. We loved that "little tower" in the square. It was smaller than I was expecting, but in no way disappointing. So pretty in person. After Pisa, we went back to the ship, which was about a 30 minute ride. Next time, now that we have seen Pisa, will look for a tour that spends more time in just Florence, as there is so much to see. Again, thanks to Virginia, and to our driver Massimiliano. Pompeii, Sorrento, and Amalfi Coast. Our driver was Salvatore and guide in Pompeii was Valeria. Salvatore was also the driver/guide for Sorrento and Almalfi Coast. They we both very good, knowledgeable and pleasant. Wow, Pompeii, what can we say about one of the most beautifully excavated ruins in the world. This was a life-long dream to see this magnificent place. Valeria, was very informative and enthusiastic about everything she was talking about. She made sure we were getting around ok (those "streets" are hard to walk on!). Her descriptions were so vivid, we could actually "see" ourselves in the arena, markets and baths. There really are not enough words to describe Pompeii and the mountain of Vesuvius! The drive to Sorrento was spectacular and Salvatore was very informative about the roads, tunnels, and buildings along the way. Great driver. Well, what can we say about Sorrento? There are not enough words to describe one of the prettiest towns we have ever been in. Just a gorgeous downtown area (like a movie setting), with a lot going on. Wonderful shopping too. I think we had about 1:45 min of free time. DH and I had a beautiful lunch, and did a little shopping. We have got to go back there! The Amalfi Coast drive was stunning. We got a great feel for the beauty, even though it was quite hazy out that day. Our driver was really good at describing the area and history. We have to come back here to spend more time in this part of the world. Thoroughly, enjoyed both of the tours we went on with ItalyToursEU. This cruise trip was the first time for us using Private Tours (non-ship tours), We definitely are sold on seeing the sites this way. We did do a few ship tours, as we were either too late in getting signed up with others on Cruise Critic or missed out because we didn't see the posts requesting tour mates. Since, I am a little more knowledgeable about how to go about booking private tours and will DEFINITELY be calling ItalyToursEU next time. Safe Travels Everyone, Colleen
  5. Hello, All you will need to do to get an extra sheet is ask. We have found that our room stewards are more than happy to accommodate their guests. An extra tip is really not nessesary, but if you feel the need to, a couple of dollars would be sufficient. Enjoy your cruise!
  6. Pre-order your flowers. They are pre-arraigned from florists on land and delivered to the ship. They have a greater selection and are so fresh. DH always gets me an arraingement, and the ones I got last time, lasted the whole 21 days (w a little plucking and placing). Still so fresh I could have taken them w me (but as we know, that’s a No No)! Plus, they are half the cost of RC’s flower bouquets and twice as big!!
  7. Hi EP010835, My husband and I did a full transit on the Coral last year. It is my understanding that you will never sail through the larger, newer, locks if you are on the Coral, or if you do, something is really wrong! This ship was the 1st cruise ship built to transit the full Panama Canal. It is advertised as sailing the old locks. There would be a mutiny if it did not! The new locks are huge, (which you can see every now & then) and like you are sailing up a flat, grassy canal. We also heard (so don’t remember if this was from Lecturer on the top decks or a very knowledgeable cruiser) that every transit is bid on 4-6 months before the crossing. The more you pay the sooner you go thru!!! Our time slot was 7:00am. I was in awe as we sailed by 26 ships (counted from our starboard balcony) waiting to do the transit. We also heard that our transit cost $400,000/one way! This actually is a case of “whomever has the most money wins”!
  8. Ahhh, that makes complete sense now! Thank you for that insight. We really weren’t picky as to where the mini-suite was, just that there were more than 8 cabins to have selected from. I did up-grade to Club Class to get a decent mid-ship location. Going forward, I do need to look to see if the itineraries will be sailing back-to-back, or more. I know several folks on this trip are doing 4 back-to-backs! Happy sailing!
  9. Aaaah, good to know! Thank you for that information. Safe travels!
  10. This will be our first time on a plane to Europe, so we really don’t know what to expect!! Have a great time on your cruise!!
  11. You can also notify the front desk of your earlier flight and they will probably give you an early disembarkation ticket. Also, if you walkoff on your own with your baggage, you get off first.
  12. The Royal is my favorite ship I have ever sailed on!! The thing that spoiled me the most (after all the awesome entertainment was over for the evening) were those amazing TV’s! I am a night owl and do love to watch TV in bed! It’s a treat for me, as my hubby and I have been married for almost 46 yrs, and have never had a TV in our bedroom!! 😉😉
  13. We went on the full Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess last April! It was right up there as being my favorite cruise ever. ABSOLUTELY, do the old locks!! You will get a great look at what those poor men who built the Canal had to deal with. If it is in your budget, get a balcony cabin on the Starboard side. Fly to Ft. Lauderdale and sail to LA. We were on the last Panama sailing the Coral was doing for the season, before heading to Alaska, so our stops on the Pacific side were not their “regular” stops.
  14. I looked at the same cruises you guys are on and noticed that a few days after the itineraries opened, half the ship was sold out! What’s up with that? TA’s pre-booking and hogging the best rooms??? Can’t believe hundreds of cabins would be sold that quickly?
  15. Hi, we will be staying in Rome two days after the cruise. We fly out of Rome to Munich, at 8:50am FL 8886, Saturday, October 26, fly out of Munich at 11:50am, FL 8459 getting to Denver 2:25pm, Saturday, Oct 26. The the only thing I am a little worried about, is that we will have to get up really early in order to get to the airport 2 hrs before the flight leaves! Several folks told me that flying out of Heathrow will really escalate your fare costs due to the taxes? But then again, I’ve heard DEN does the same thing! FYI: Our flights (4) were all “United” flights, but Lufthansa operates the European portions and each airline has a different confirmation number. Yikes, I just hope we get there!! And back!!
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