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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. We stayed at Hotel Lleo. Very conveniently located just off Placa Catalunya. Clean rooms, great breakfast. Metro close by as well. It also was very reasonably priced.
  2. I don't know any of answers to your questions. We did only the guided tour and I didn't pay attention to others with audio guides. I must say that there were people around us in every stop that were not in our tour group, so I doubt we went to any "secret" spot. You may want to contact the church via email with your questions. It was nice to ask our tour guide questions. She was very knowledgeable and articulate. I thought that asking questions was a large benefit of the guided tour. Our tour guide invited everyone in our tour to revisit on our own any location we wanted to see again. We were not pressured to leave the church. Good luck.
  3. I used Google maps, satellite view to research Mykonos. It really helps getting to know the land. Mykonos is quite small and it is tough to miss anything there. I also used Tom's Port Guides for tips and suggestions. Below is a link to his Mykonos guide. https://www.tomsportguides.com/uploads/5/8/5/4/58547429/mykonos-08-01-2011.pdf
  4. We did the boat ferry to Oia with a return to Fira for 15€ Per person last October. We caught the first tender off the Celebrity Eclipse and purchased our Ferry / bus tickets on the small dock area by the cable car station. We were in Oia by 8:30. We walked around and took plenty of photos. We were shopped out after a full day of shopping on Mykonos so we caught the 11 am bus to Fira. We walked around Fira for a short time and caught the empty cable car back to the dock. No line at all. We ate lunch on the ship and enjoyed the rest of the day relaxing at the pool overlooking Santorini. There was only two ships in port that day (Eclipse and a small Costa cruise ships). I was surprised on how many people were in Oia and Fira. Oia got crowded around 10am. So I can see how that cable car line can be large. So we made Oia a stress free destination by getting there early and leaving early. We ate dinner that night with a couple who had been to Santorini many times. They said they always walk down the donkey path thus avoiding the cable car, They said they love that 15-20 walk down. So if you are ok walking, the donkey path is always an option.
  5. We were in Barcelona last October. We did a 5:30 pm guided tour of La Sagrada Familia. It was sunny that day and the low evening sun bathed the church in reds and oranges via the stained glass windows. The church was stunning. On the eastern side of the church, the stained glass windows were blues and greens for the morning light. The western side has red and orange stained glass windows. You cannot preplan the weather, but seeing the church on a sunny fall day was particularly stunning. We arrived at the church around 4:30 to see the exterior and views of the church from the park across the street. The guided tour lasted about 45 minutes and we walked around the interior of the church for 1/2 an hour after the tour. We caught the metro back to our Hotel Lleo while it was still light enough to see. Bottom line, the church is well worth seeing anytime. Hot weather should not be a factor in late October. But seeing the church with low light coming through the windows was magical.
  6. hkto is correct. The church's website lists multiple tour options with timed starts. We did the guided tour option and it was excellent. You can also stay in the church after the tour for more investigation. Our tour started on time. We purchased our tickets online. We started looking at the site daily starting 90 days from our tour. The October '18 schedules were available around 75 days before the tour (many here said 90 days but that wasn't my experience). We also walked La Rambla. We really enjoyed the old gothic quarter and we loved the old cathedral. Many love Gaudi and search out his work. There is a large Picasso museum if you like his work. We only had 1 1/2 days before our cruise so we couldn't see it all. But we did enjoy our limited time there. Enjoy.
  7. WallyNDiane

    Flight Times

    Good info on the VAT refund Kokopelli-az. BTW, the VAT tax was 21% not 25% in my original post. I was told the same before our cruise. I went to the Guest Relations counter on the Eclipse and asked them for the VAT refund form. They sent us to a jewelry shop on the Eclipse for the form as they had no forms (they said they never had any). We went to the jewelry shop as directed and they didn't have any form either. They told us to go to the VAT refund counter at the Barcelona airport. That line was very long so we ate the tax which wasn't much. Bottom line, research options for the VAT refund so you get what is deserved.
  8. WallyNDiane

    Flight Times

    We had a 10:30 am flight on our October '18 Celebrity Eclipse cruise on Delta. We did our own taxi transfer to the airport. We carried our bags to the designated disembarkation area in the ship and were off the ship at 6 am. We caught a taxi costing 39€ for the two of us to the airport. We waited almost an our for Delta to open up their counter area. So we had plenty of time. The only area of concern is in the VAT tax refund line. We went over to the VAT tax area and the line we huge. We didn't make that many purchases so our refund was small. Do your homework on the VAT tax refund process to see what options you have. That area is before the security line so you can't rush to your gate. If you make large purchases that Value Added Tax is 25% so it can be a very large refund.
  9. We did an Amy Pace tour in Malta. Mdina and Valletta walking tour including St John's Co-Cathedral. The tour was great and less expensive than the ships excursion. We did this tour from our ships roll call. In Messina, we shared a taxi to Taormina. We went as soon as we were cleared to get off the ship. It was a clear day and the views from the Greek Theater of Mt Etna was outstanding. By 11am clouds moved in with almost no view of Mt Etna. So get there early and go to the Greek Theater asap for the best views of Mt Etna. Then do your shopping in Taormina. The church in Messina is worth the short walk from the ship. Unusual astronomic clock is just outside of the church. Messina didn't have much Italian charm tho. The views of mainland Italy and the straights of Messina were really great from the ship.
  10. We took a taxi last October from the airport to our hotel (Lleo). It was 30€ for two of us. Very easy. Our taxi driver spoke great English so communication wasn't an issue. Anytime I travel Internationally, I take an index card with all the hotel information on it just in case English is a barrier. We loved Hotel Lleo. Inexpensive, centrally located including the metro which we took to La Sagrada Familia, and they had a great free breakfast buffet. It was 20€ from the hotel to the port for both of us. We had euros so I didn't pay attention to credit card capabilities in the taxis.
  11. We stayed at Hotel Lleo. Very convenient to metro to see La Sagrada Familia and to La Rambla. Very short taxi ride to port as well. Inexpensive hotel with nice rooms and a great breakfast too.
  12. We stayed just off La Rambla. We started siteseeing at seven am and walked the old Gothic Quarter. We were able to go in and tour the old Barcelona Cathedral which we really enjoyed. We saw the old city gates as well as most of the major sites in that area. We arrived back at our hotel at ten fifteen. We then packed and checked out right before eleven. We caught a taxi to the port and we were on the ship just before noon. We ate lunch on the ship and hung out till one forty five when they announced that rooms were ready. So we were able to get almost three hours of siteseeing in on cruise day. Certainly taking just off La Rambla helped us to do that.
  13. We did it on our own. We caught the first tender to the dock below Fira. That dock area is very small so you can't miss anything. It was 15 euros per person for the boat and bus return to Fira. Much less than the ship excursion ($58 US if I remember correctly). We were in Oia early before it go crowded. Very nice place to walk around without crowds. We spent a little over 2 hours in Oia as we are not big shoppers. We got shopped out in Mykonos so I didn't need another all day shopping excursion. We walked around Fira a bit and then returned to the ship with no wait at the cable car.
  14. On our Celebrity Eclipse October ' 18 cruise, people directly across from us had their door decorated for Halloween. However that was the only door that we seen decorated.
  15. We were on the Oct 17, 2018 Celebrity Eclipse cruise. We did the boat to Oia with bus return for 15€ pp. We were one of the first tender to the Fira dock. We purchased our boat tickets and took a seat on the boat. There was a total of 15 of us on the boat. The wait time to leave was less than 10 minutes and that was for only 15 of us. The boat was 2/3 empty. We had almost three hours to walk around Oia and we caught the first bus back to Fira. We walked around Fira for maybe 1/2 hour and then we caught the cable car back to the dock. No line and we walked right on the cable car. BTW, there were 2 ships in port the day we were there. The other ship was a smallish Costa cruise ship. I would do this again.
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