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About hxhbk

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Travel, Photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL, Clebrity, Oceania
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  1. I think in your message you mean "from the port Civitavecchia to the train station". There is a shuttle service (free of charge in my case with Oceania cruises) from the ship which will drop you at the location where you can either walk or take a bus to the train station. The charge for this bus ride is 2 euros per person and the bus will drop you right at the train station. It appears to run frequently during days when cruise ships are in port. This was my experience last month.
  2. I think your itinerary is doable. We also used Tuscany Bus last month from Livorno to Florence and the arrival/departure time is quite similar to yours. The bus arrived at the parking lot next to the Florence train station. We pre-booked tickets for the Academia at 12N and at the Uffizi for 2PM. We walked fast, spent about 1 hour at each museums. We had time for a walkby the Duomo (not inside) and Ponte Vecchio.
  3. When I was planning for our most recent Med cruise share the concerns that mapleleaves expressed above. However, my experience was very good. We dis-embarked in Civi on Aug 14 2019. Beside our Oceania Riviera, there was a MSC ship at the dock. Our plan consisted of going to Bologna after disembarkation. Because of the concerns that I had similar to mapeleaves, I only pre-booked the train from Rome Termini to Bologna, and I selected a ~12 noon departure. The rest we go with the flow. And the flow was actually pretty smooth in our case. We self-disembarked at 8am and our shuttle bus to the port entrance left at 0820. There, we paid 2 euros per person for the bus to the Civi station. It was full after we boarded and several couples were forced to wait for the next bus. The bus ride took about 5 to 7 minutes. At the Civi train station, we had the option to book the regional train or the Freccebianca train to Roma Termini. Either options will take us to Termini way ahead of our ~12 noon departure for Bologna. We bought our ticket for the Freccebianca, and had 2 seats next to each other. I was prepared for the situation of separate seating due to this last minute purchase, but it did not happen. One party that was left behind when the bus to Civi Station was full showed up about 15 min later, also waiting for the Freccebianca. We had almost a couple hours to kill in Roma Termini, grabbed some lunch, but the key is that I had no time pressure.
  4. For what it's worth, the drive from Ha Long to Hanoi is now about 90 minutes compared to the ~ 3 hours it used to take. This is due to the opening of a new highway between the 2 cities about 1 year ago.
  5. One way to fond out is to do a dummy booking on AA.com for the exact flight that you have in mind and see what class of services pricing (economy, premium economy, business, first) do they have for that flight.
  6. The key difference between the 1st and the 2nd tour is the visit to the Cai Be Floating Market offered in the 2nd tour. The floating market scenery is accurately described but only can be fully experienced if you are there during its peak hours which is around 5am to 8am. This detail is usually not mentioned in the travel program so the visitors may have the incorrect expectation that it is a morning long or even a day long affair. In my opinion the Cai Be Floating Market, due to its location next door to the city of Can Tho, is best visited when you have a stop in Can Tho city as part of a land trip. You overnight there and get to the pier the next morning around 430am and even if you have not pre-arranged for a water taxi, there will be plenty of folks there offering a ride to the see and record the sights and sounds of the market before the first ray of sunlight. It is a true experience not to be missed. Back to the OP question, I would suggest the free tour unless you are really keen to see the floating market at its closing stage (with your expectations properly set).
  7. This is a picture from the local news (dateline Dec 28 2018) of the Millenum docking at the new cruise terminal in Ha Long bay.
  8. Especially on the 14th of each lunar calendar month, Hoi An celebrates its lanterns by closing motorized traffic on the street lining the river, and put out a quite nice show with lanterns lit all over town and people float their lanterns out in the river.
  9. I am not sure when you trip will be but according to the local news, the Ha Long-Hai Phong highway is supposed to open this year and being connected to the Hai Phong-Ha Noi highway, the travel time between Ha Long and Ha Noi is supposed to be reduced in half. http://vietnamtourism.com/en/index.php/news/items/13583 I agree that you should not miss the opportunity to see Hanoi.
  10. Belfast and Dublin are both dockside ports.
  11. Agree. In our last Celebrity cruise earlier this month, the instruction stated that laundry bag picked up by 9AM will be returned the following day. So we put our bag out for pick up in the evening to make sure that we meet the 9AM next day pick up criteria. Worked as promised.
  12. I just got off the Celebrity Eclipse and we were in Lerwick last Thurs May 17. It was a tender operation to get ashore.
  13. In your situation, I think taking the Narita Express train from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station is the way to go. The train station is in the basement level once you are in the public area of the arrival hall. You can buy ticket there or at ground level (as soon as you exit from customs, look for the Narita Express desk). You can google Narita Express to get additional details An alternate mode is to use the Limousine Express (fancy name for a bus transfer service) to go to Tokyo, but here you need to do some research to determine which hotel in Tokyo you want to be dropped off and pick up, since the Limousine Express service operates on a hotel destination basis for price and schedule. In my opinion, this is not what I would use because you also have to factor in the potential for traffic jam depend on the time of the day. Your 12-hour layover should give you at least 4-5 hours of sight seeing time. I would caution to budget some extra time in case the line for passport control is long. I found some good ramen place in the Shinjuku area as well as in the main street next to the Asakusa Kannon/Nakamise dori area. I don't think you can be wrong with sushi anywhere in Japan. Even train stations have good sushi places for my taste.
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