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WallyNDiane

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  • Content Count

    175
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About WallyNDiane

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Greensburg Pa
  • Interests
    History, Photography, fishing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity Royal and NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Belize Laminae tour - best ever

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  1. WallyNDiane

    Rhodes

    Short walk into walled city from the dock. We purchased a combo ticket to tour the Grand Masters Palace and Archeology Museum. The combo ticket was inexpensive. We got off the ship early and made the walk to the Grand Masters Palace. We purchased the combo ticket there. We then walked to the Archeological Museum. They were self guided tours and we enjoyed them. If something was not interesting we just walked by. After the museum tour we walked around the extensive shopping district. It was a very enjoyable day.
  2. I live in western Pennsylvania. Giant Eagle is the grocery store that sells gift cards and Get-go is the gas stations where you get the discounted gas at. May I ask, is there any advantage in using credit cards for cruise payments? I.E., vacation insurance protection, etc. We always buy travel insurance that covers the trip plus some medical evacuation services which we all hope are never needed.
  3. A local grocery store owns gas/convenience stores. They sell Princess Cruise Lines gift cards. Buying gift cards lower the price of gas at those gas/convenience stores. We paid our deposit via credit card. Has anyone used Princess gift cards to either pay for the cruise or to pay your final settlement after excursions, drinks, specialty restaurants, etc? Being retired, getting a fuel discount is a nice perk. But I don't know if there are any pitfalls in using Princess gift cards? Any advice?
  4. I never would pay for a balcony. I have had free upgraded balconies and I did enjoy sleeping with the door open. That was enjoyable, However after 10 cruises, we have found that we are only in our room to sleep. We always find outdoor areas (other than the pool area) to kick back and relax. We get up early typically around 6 am and go to bed around 11 pm. We are on the go the rest of the day and only use our rooms for BR breaks, showers and changing our clothes. I go for the sun too, but not from a balcony. So just search out the ship for some happy places. I always have one for reading, pool areas, bright lounges, one for people watching, one for napping. We just booked a 14 day cruise. We booked an inside cabin. Our freinds are going with us and one is a bit claustrophobic and needs a balcony. They paid just a bit more than double than what we paid. Now they enjoy sleeping in and hanging out in their room. To them the balcony cost is worth it. So be on the look out for some outdoor or bright happy spots. They are out there, all you need to do is find them.
  5. We have 10 cruises under our belt, 2 Celebrity, 5 NCL, 2 Carnival, 1 Royal Caribbean. We just booked the 2/2/20 Princess Caribbean Princess 14 day cruise out of Ft Lauderdale. Couple questions. 1) Are the Specialty Restaurants on the Caribbean Princess worth the upcharge? 2) Does Princess post the specialty restaurant cost and menus on their website? 3) We have selected anytime dining. Our last cruise with Celebrity used the second level of the main dining room for the anytime dining. Does Princess do the same? 4) For those that have recently sailed with Celebrity, how does the Princess main dining room food compare to Celebrity? 5) Does Princess offer any specialty restaurant multi day packages at a discount to the daily upcharge? Enough Princess questions for now. I had planned to go on a NCL 14 night cruise but switched to Princess just 3 days ago. So never having cruised with Princess before and just a bit of experience with their website, I have many questions. Just one question on the ports, this cruise stops at Trinidad (never been there). I knew nothing on Trinidad Port of Spain. I was shocked to see the safety concerns and the lack of cruise critic posts on the Trinidad board. Now I am surprised that Princess even stops there. Any Trinidad comments are welcomed. I selected this cruise because it had 3 ports I have never been to (Bonaire,St Kitts,Trinidad). Now Trinidad has me concerned. Thanks all!
  6. We stayed at Hotel Lleo just off La Rambla and it was 20€ for two people to the port. That was back in Oct 2018.
  7. We cruised Oct 17-29 2018. We had pool time every day. Highs were in the low to mid 70's. We had a brief shower in Mallorca and it was overcast in Santorini with afternoon rain. Mykonos, Rhodes and Malta were cloudless days. It was very windy in Rhodes. It was mostly cloudy in Athens but it was a warm day. In Messina it was sunny in the morning and partly cloudy in the afternoon. We took our light gortex rain jackets designed for warm weather. We also took a light fleece pullover but we didn't wear it at all. Unless you are going up in altitude such as Mt Etna, plan for a light rain jacket and highs in the low to mid 70's, Because we weren't going into many churches, we lived in shorts and a light top for 12 days. Our ship (Celebrity Eclipse) was very comfortable temp wise.
  8. Hotel Lleo was perfect for us. Very short walk to Metro to visit the La Sagrada Familia and to the nearby La Rambla area. Great breakfast as well. Staff was really great as well. Room was a bit tired looking but large and clean. We would stay there again.
  9. I would recommend 2 itineraries. First one is a Barcelona to Greece cruise. We did the Celebrity Eclipse cruise last October. Mallorca, Messina, Mykonos, Athens, Santorini, Rhodes then Malta. 4 sea days. Most ports were easy to see in one day. We went in mid Oct. Our next European cruise will start in Venice and end in Rome. We will stay 2 days precruise in Venice and 4-5 post cruise days in Rome. The large European cities simply have too much to see in one port day. I have already been to Rome and Venice (4 days Rome, 2 in Venice) and I want to see more.
  10. We loved Hotel Lleo. Great location and breakfast. Clean rooms and quiet. Close to Metro to La Sagrada Familia. Easy walk to La Rambla and the old city center.
  11. In October '18 we paid 30€ for two of us from the airport to Hotel Lleo which was just off of La Rambla. I think the fare was 29€ and we rounded up to 30€. Post cruise, it was 39€ from the port to the airport. The taxis we used were very clean.
  12. We landed at BCN around 7:30 am and were at our hotel (Hotal Lleo) by 10. They held our luggage for us at no charge and we walked La Rambla and a part of the old city area. We checked in around 1 and went out again immediately for more walking the area. We caught the metro near the hotel for our 5:30 Sagrada Familia guided tour. We only had one night in Barcelona and we wanted to see as much of it as possible. We got a few hours sleep on the plane and with the adrenaline flowing at the start of the tour, we were hyped up for siteseeing. Our cruise had 4 days at sea so we slept in then. I can sleep anytime, vacation time is too precious to waste it sleeping.
  13. I thought about taking the tour in the link last year. But I chose to catch a taxi to Taormina. We were off the ship very early for the ride to Taormina and Mt Etna was perfectly clear. We enjoyed the day. https://www.getyourguide.com/-l1518/-tc48/?cmp=ga&campaign_id=753575680&adgroup_id=39364005814&target_id=kwd-438822327790&loc_physical_ms=9006093&match_type=b&ad_id=355468091951&keyword=%2Bboat %2Btaormina&ad_position=1t1&feed_item_id=&placement=&partner_id=CD951&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzoPejdPG4wIVF4TICh2I4gtmEAAYASAAEgL9S_D_BwE
  14. WallyNDiane

    Rome

    We have done an Italy land tour which included 3 full days in Rome. Three days was nearly not enough time for all our must sees. Preplanning is crucial in maximizing your time there. I recommend getting Rome Tour books (I thought Rick Steves Rome book was the best for us) as well as getting a good Rome map. Armed with those tools (and the web as well), I would divide the city in geographic areas and then research things to see/visit in each geographic area. That way you aren't spending too much travel time in getting to each area. Unless you LOVE museums, I would only do the Vatican museum. It was an excellent museum of 2000 years of art and scupture. You end by seeing Raphael's Rooms and then walking through the Sistine Chapel (bring binoculars for better views). If that isn't enough, you then enter St Peters. That is one heck of a tour. Plan to limit wait times. Lines can be long at the Vatican/St Peters and the Colosseum. So having an efficient plan avoiding lines is critical for a shortish stay. We did an evening walk from the Spanish Steps (actually just a photo stop unless you like to people watch) all the was Piazza Navona including stops at the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. It was great. Try to get a night tour of Rome if you can. The lighted buildings and monuments were stunning. So preplanning is crucial to see what you want to see. Get a list of what interests you and organize the sites by geographic area. Use maps and Google satellite map view for help. Rome is a large congested city however it is full of superlative world class sites. Good luck.
  15. We booked the Full day in Athens tour via PK on our Celebrity Eclipse Oct '18 cruise. Our guide was very knowledgable and she was with our group at all stops EXCEPT for the couple hours she set us free shopping at Plaka. She did an excellent job in historic narration at the Acropolis, the New Acropolis Museum, the old Olympic stadium and the changing of the guards. Unless something changed in the last year, the PK guide went in to every historic site with us. I would email PK travel to get the latest info on where their guides can go. We signed up for the tour via our rollcall group. We made reservations with PK as instructed by our roll call group. There were two small bus groups on tour (2 buses and 2 tour guides). Buses held maybe 20 people each. They were very clean buses. I learned a lot from our guide. BTW, both groups post tours gave kudos to each guide. Each group traveled independently which actually was nice as it kept the groups small and very manageable,
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