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About mapleleaves

  • Rank
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About Me

  • Location
    Redmond WA
  • Interests
    DIY land travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    W Med

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  1. mapleleaves

    A day post cruise Barcelona for large family

    I have no experience with them, but in my research of past trip reports I've seen Barcelona Day Tours mentioned. They'll pick you up at the port and do a city tour or day trip to Montserrat Monastery or elsewhere. Have you looked at the Barcelona forum on tripadvisor? If you're interested in DIY for the day, you could check out the Left Luggage or Luggage transfer services. Or look there for tour choices. Good luck.
  2. mapleleaves

    Post cruise Land Tours - July 2019

    You can DIY by car, RV, train or bus. How do you want to travel ? It would be easy enough to do the arrangements yourself given that you're only talking about a couple of nights. Having a vehicle gives you access to lodging choices other than the large cruisetour hotels near the park entrance. ie stay in a group of small cabins or rent out an entire B&B or rent the house plus cabins at McKinley Creekside. Chamber of Commerce site for the Denali area: http://a1cms.com/_dcc/accommodations/ HERTZ is the only vendor in Seward and a one-way is pretty pricey, so you could either rent a few cars there OR take the train, bus or a transfer to Anchorage to pick up RT rentals. If you don't want to drive, you can take use the Alaska Railroad or the Park Connection Bus, OR, take the train one way and the bus the other. (the train only has one departure per day, the bus has 2 so a little more flexibility). If you want someone else to make the arrangements, the Alaska Railroad has package tours and the bus company also has pkg tours or will customize. https://www.alaskarailroad.com/travel-planning/packages/summer-packages https://www.alaskatravel.com/
  3. mapleleaves

    Wonder Lake R/T from Denali bus depot(WAC)

    I've taken the shuttle to Eielson several times and it stays very close to the published 8 hrs. On a couple of trips we were 'delayed' by numerous wildlife sightings so we shortened the lunch break at Eielson by 10 minutes. I've bought tickets to WL a few times, hoping for good weather, but it wasn't, so I hopped off at Eielson. My reasoning is .... if I WANT to go to WL, I have the ticket in hand, as opposed to trying to find a seat to WL on a sunny day when a dozen others might have the same idea.
  4. mapleleaves

    Info on Joy

    there are several videos on youtube...... search on NCL Joy H6.
  5. mapleleaves

    Venice hotel?

    the people mover runs between Piazzale Roma and the cruise port ( and then to a parking island). So are you saying you prefer to stay near P Roma ? That would be easiest if it's important for you to take the People Mover. In that case look at the hotels in this link (if you need an elevator be sure to look in the details). Be prepared for sticker shock. https://europeforvisitors.com/venice/bridges/piazzale-roma.htm OR you could stay anywhere on the island then on cruise day, walk or take the water bus to P Roma to catch the monorail. I've stayed at 3 different apts near the Rialto Bridge (owned by the owner of the Pensione Gueratto). The smallest unit might work for you. ... the apt is modern but if I remember correctly the bldg is 12th century. Love that area. Close to everything and has personality. Good luck with your research and planning !
  6. mapleleaves

    Easiest transportation from Seattle to Vancouver?

    Some of your options are: flight withAlaska Airlines, a rental car, Amtrak Cascade train or bus , cruiseline transfer, Greyhound bus, Bolt Bus, and Quick Shuttle. With the buses and train, you need to be mindful of the depot locations as it may require a taxi in between. Quick Shuttle's summer schedule isn't up yet, but a couple of their runs are direct from Canada Place to SeaTac Airport, other runs can have several stops and take much longer. You'll need to look at your arrival time to Seatac to see which works best for your situation. Maybe roundtrip won't be the best answer.
  7. mapleleaves

    Venice hotel?

    rather difficult to answer since you don't indicate how many people or budget. Also, can you manage your luggage for a few blocks, or on/off a water bus , or over a bridge or 2 ? do you need an elevator ? With 3 nights I'd choose an apt over a hotel. We really enjoyed having the little kitchen for drinks, snacks, simple b'fasts. If you have too much luggage you may want to stay by the Piazzale Roma (where buses, taxis, shuttles drop off their passengers). There are a few hotels that are right on the plaza so you won't have to move your luggage, or there are several hotels that require a small bridge crossing. This link will help with your search: https://europeforvisitors.com/venice/venice-hotels.htm
  8. mapleleaves

    Cannes - port shuttle ?

    here is a YouTube video of tendering in Cannes. Not the EPIC but it gives you an idea. As previous poster said, tenders are lifeboats. They can be a bouncy ride ..... I'll be taking my seasick meds !
  9. yeah, I hear you about the extra fees, but on a 10 hr flight, it's $90 well spent. I paid the fee on Virgin Atlantic because I wanted seat selection ( to avoid the infant area ), plus I had an extra suitcase that I was leaving in England. I ended up with a great seat ! I checked frequently and in the last week I moved to an aisle seat with an empty seat nextdoor. I didn't think there would be a last minute single and sure enough it stayed empty. Did the same thing on the way back. Plus the bank of bathrooms were behind my row so there was no one sitting back there, and an extra 2 ft of empty space for pillows, blankets etc. My family members all paid the extra, so I guess that's why they were so happy with Norwegian. The only issue I have with Norwegian this yr is their limited schedule. They only fly a few days a week and the return flight gets me back too late to catch the connection to my home. But my trip isn't until Sept so hopefully a connection will become available, or maybe there will be a substantial fare drop with the other carriers. Sure.... I went with an inside cabin for this cruise. It's so port intensive I didn't think there would be enough time to enjoy it, except on the one sea day and the late arrival to Palma. I wouldn't get my money's worth from a balcony. I'm basically a budget traveller anyway. Good luck !
  10. mapleleaves

    Epic Med Ending in Rome Question

    11:15am wouldn't be in my comfort zone. Hope everything goes smoothly for you. Look over the first few pages of the ITALY ports of call forum and you'll find past threads about transportation options; whether it be a bus, shared car service, train, etc. If you choose a car service, post on your Roll Call to find someone to share the cost .
  11. mapleleaves

    shore excursions

    I responded to a similar thread in the ITALY forum and listed several of the vendors I've found in my search. The typical price for a driver is about 400-500e for an 8hr day. Some of the vendors provide the ability to share the tour with others which enables you to divide the cost between 4 people 6 people or even 14, OR, you can find people on your ROLL CALL who will be happy to share the cost with you. You have to look closely at the details of each tour to see if they meet your needs. ie some Amalfi Coast tours sound like they're going to spend some in Positano but really it's just a photo opp at the top of the hill. Same thing with Rome ... do you want 5 minutes outside the Colliseum for a photo or would you rather get dropped off so you can do a tour inside? Good luck with your research !
  12. NCL airfare is $499, but then you have to add in the cost of your cabin upgrade. If you compare that total to an airfare you can find in skyscanner.com or some other site, is it a substantial savings? Sorry to hear about your Norwegian flight. Various family members had different flights to/from London last yr on Norwegian and they LOVED it. (I had a great fare on Virgin Atlantic which I loved, but this yr they're about $500 higher so I will be using Norwegian. )
  13. mapleleaves

    Alaska 2020

    depends what your interests are. You need to look at the Visitor Information sites for each location and see which port best supports your interests. ISP doesn't interest ME in the slightest. Skagway was interesting. I'd love to visit Sitka as it would be new and I would like to see the Fortress of the Bears, Raptor Center, the Russian Dancers. https://visitsitka.org/
  14. mapleleaves

    Venice - Celebrity Cruise ship organized watertaxi?

    I'm sure Celebrity will have a shuttle available. It will be a money-maker for them. But find out if you pay for each trip or if it's an all day pass. St Marks is only 15-20 minutes away by boat so you will have plenty of time for sightseeing during your day in Venice. If this is your first visit I highly recommend taking a water bus (vaporetto) down the Grand Canal. It's a wonderful way to enjoy the architecture (and see how their world operates without cars ! ) From the ship you walk a couple of blocks to the People Mover (monorail) for a 3 minute/ 1.5 E ride to Piazzale Roma. From P Roma, you walk another 2 blocks to the Grand Canal and you'll see a Vaporetto stop to your left. 7.5E for the ticket. I have no sense of direction. It took me 3 or 4 hrs to find my way from the port to our hotel near PRoma. Luckily I wasn't under a deadline, but it was frustrating to waste the time. I think it should only take 30-40 minutes. (On the plus side, being lost provided a memorable ride in a traghetto across the canal which was a fun and inexpensive experience.) The attached web site provides info about the walk and signage: (it's a great web site in general if you take the time to read thru it) https://europeforvisitors.com/venice/articles/finding-your-way-in-venice-directional-signs.htm So my recommendation would be the People Mover plus vaporetto, then wander around for several hours. As you wander you can also determine what kind of gondola ride you want and where ..... on the busy Grand Canal with famous sights in the background? or a quiet romantic side canal ? After a full day of wandering, make a quick return to the ship via their shuttle or the Alilaguna,. Enjoy !!
  15. mapleleaves

    Alaska 2020

    Go to the ALASKA forum in Ports of Call. At the top of the page you'll find several years worth of detailed trip reports. Various cruiselines, various ships, cruisetours, one-way/RT, Seattle/Vancouver departures, etc. Some are detailed photo journals with photos of the room, public areas, excursions, activities and even meals. They will be a great resource for you. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/33-alaska/ As you compare itineraries, pay close attention to the port times. So you need to have an idea of what you want to accomplish at each port. ie what can you do in Ketchikan if your port time is 6am - 1pm ? realistically what time will you be up, showered, fed, and off the ship? then you need to return by 12:30. Glacier Bay is not a stop .... you spend several hours cruising by the glaciers. A Ranger comes on board to talk about this National Park. https://www.nps.gov/glba/planyourvisit/cruise.htm Some people LOVE Icy Strait, others think it's a wasted stop. You need to do a little research and determine if it's right for you. Google visitor information for Icy Strait Point and for Hoonah which is the actual town.