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Everything posted by dkata

  1. Anna, When you exit the luggage tent, you turn right and walk about 600 feet. The ride shares pick up on the curb behind the taxi's. near a blue sign that says berth 92. There were signs and cruise personnel who were directing where to go for ride shares
  2. I just want to report back on my Uber experience from LAX to San Pedro on 2/14/2020. Despite all the doom and gloom news I've read about here on the forum, my experience using Uber from LAX to a San Pedro Hotel was easy, efficient and inexpensive. I'd use Uber again at LAX. If you are an experienced uber user (as I am) there are some different procedures at LAX, so note the differences. If you are new to UBER, here's information that might help you decide to use Uber rather pay more for a taxi. First, I landed at Terminal 1, so after exiting terminal one with my luggage, I turned left and walked 3 minutes (about 500 feet) to the LAX-it lot where the ride shares, taxi's and some shuttles converge. If you are in another terminal, take the free shuttle to the lot. Once, there, I opened my Uber app and typed in my destination to get a price and a car/driver. Here's where the Uber app at LAX differs from requesting a car/driver in other areas: When you request a ride and get a price range and confirm, the app gives you a 6 digit PIN number and you are told to go get in line at either lanes 2, 3 or 4. There are good signs showing which lanes uber uses and there is uber staff to direct you. One staff member told to go to lane 4 as that had the shortest line. Once in the lane, I got in the line. I was 7th in line. An uber usher, directed the person at the front of the line to the uber car that is in the front of the line. The next person was directed to go to the second car, the third person to the third car and so on.There were 5 uber cars all lined up waiting for passengers. They filled up and left with their passengers in less than a minute. After those 5 cars departed, 5 more cars pulled up. . I was directed to the next available car in the line. The driver got out, put my luggage in his trunk and I got in. Here's where it differs: I gave the driver the 6 digit PIN number that was issued to me when I confirmed my ride.. The Uber driver entered the PIN number into his phone, and the rider/driver connection was made and the driver saw my destination and the map route on his smart phone and drove off. So total walking time from Terminal One: 3 minutes, Time to enter destination on app,: 1 minute, One minute to walk to Lane 4 and 2-3 minutes to get into a car, load the luggage, and give the driver my PIN number. My cost in the mid-afternoon from LAX to San Pedro Crown Plaza hotel was $37.15 plus a tip. My experience at LAX using Uber was quick, efficient, organized and a decent price. I wouldn't hesitate to use them again at LAX. The return trip from the ship at San Pedro to LAX was not as efficient or quick due to the normal procedure of looking for you car/driver and waiving them down as they approach. Lots of other people doing the same thing, but it all worked in the end. Return ride was $30.00 and tip. Hope this post gives some real world information to those trying to figure out how to get from LAX to the cruise terminal.
  3. I also recommend staying near the Piazzale di Roma for convenience. We stayed at the Hotel Olimpia and recommend it.
  4. Pre-cruise, We stayed at the Hotel Hera and recommend it. The Rick Steves tours all stay here. Great location within a short walking distance to the Acropolis entrances and to the Plaka. We booked a transfer with Welcome Pickups to take us from the hotel to the port dock. We also booked Welcome pickups to pick us up at the Athens airport to take us to the hotel. We'd use them again. After the cruise, we booked a private tour/transfer service with Michael's Tours to pick us with our luggage from the ship around 830 am. We did a day trip to Corinth before the service dropped us off at the Athens airport - Sofitel hotel around 4 pm (we had a very early flight the next day). Well worth the expenses.
  5. 25-35 minutes or longer depending on how fast you walk and how hot it is and how much donkey dung you need to avoid. When we were there, another couple from our ship, decided to walk down at the same time we got in line, and maybe they beat us to the bottom by 10-15 minutes, but we were both on the same tender back to the ship.
  6. The first quote in Sippican's post is mine, so I won't repeat my experience on what we did. But a couple of notes, most tours leave mid- morning (10-11) from Paihia, which gives you ample time to take the ship tender's to the dock and then the free shuttle bus to Paihaia. The tour got back around 3 pm, so that gave us about an hour to walk around the town before catching the shuttle bus back to the tender dock. Because of that schedule we didn't have ample time to visit the Waiting treaty grounds nor did we feel like paying the AUD$50 admission price.
  7. We booked a 4-6 hour private tour with Vicky of Santorini Skyline travel and she customized the tour to what we wanted to see. We told. her we didn't want to stop at the winery. You will have to take the tender from the ship to the dock below Fira and then the cable car to the top of Fira. We arranged to meet Vicky at 9am. So we were on the first or second tender from the ship (for the DIY passengers) Vicky's tour company met us outside the cable car terminal with a sign and walked us over to where the car was parked. She took us first to Oia to avoid the crowds, then to Akrotiri ruins and then around the island to Red Beach and Black Beach where we had lunch. Then she dropped us off in Fira, where we had time to walk the pedestrian path with shops in Fira to the cable car terminal. There isn't any way to avoid the cable car back down to the tender dock, unless you want to walk. It took about an hour in line to get back down. The cost was worth the private tour. Since Vicky knew the shortcuts, she saved us time. We didn't have to figure out how to use the bus to get from Oia to Fira, the Fira to Akirotiri and back to Fira. If you have a large group or family the price becomes cost-effective. The company advertises on Trip Advisor but we just emailed her at santoriniskylinetravel@gmail.com and inquired.
  8. We used an Uber from White Bay to the CBD. no problems at all. Cost us AUD$20 to our Hyde Park area hotel. We also used Uber from the airport to our hotel in Darling Harbor and then from our Hyde Park hotel back to the airport. No problems. I can't say if it's the best choice, but it was a good choice for us.
  9. Please let us know how it went. I am also considering this Day pass for February. How did you get there? How much did cost? What was provided? Details please. Thanks!!!!
  10. We did the Jacobite Dinner package in August and recommend it. Pricey but a great experience. The price also varies depending on which section you want to sit in for the show. We were in Section 13, on the side in the middle about 10 rows up . Wherever you sit will be a great view. For our Saturday 7:15 performance, we met at 4 pm at the entrance of the esplanade (yes, you have to walk up to it). You are given a wrist band. From there you are escorted (walk) up to the top of the castle to the Queen Anne room where the dinner is, and that is a steep walk. (They may have had a golf cart for those who needed assistance. You'll have to check.) You sit in tables of 8. I think there were pre-assigned seats, so if you want to sit with other people you know, you book at the same time. After dinner, they escort and walk the group down from the Queen Anne room through the gauntlet of bagpiper groups playing Scotland the Brave, to your seats. A really memorable experience! You can rent seat cushions, and I think blankets were available to rent. When the performance is over, you exit towards the Royal Mile (you have to walk downhill) and the area is crowded with fringe festival tourists and a line of people waiting for the 10:30 show.
  11. Three hotels that are mentioned regularly that are near the People Mover and Piazzale Roma (the bus area) are Hotel Olimpia, Hotel Arlecchino and Hotel Santa Chiara. We stayed in the Hotel Olimpia and loved it!. We'd stay there again in a heart beat.
  12. Just in case you won't take my word for it...... https://visitpearlharbor.org/faqs/much-baggage-storage-pearl-harbor/
  13. NO BAGS that exceed 1.5" x 2.5" x 5.5" are admitted at Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. That size is practically all purses.You will be directed to the bag storage shack to the right side just past the bathrooms The fee is $5 per bag.
  14. We are SF Bay Area based and We had to make the same decision for our Mexican Riviera cruise next February. We decided to fly down to LA on SouthWest and depart from San Pedro rather than SF. We did the calculations and it was cheaper for us to do that. We also felt the extra 2-3 days from SF to LA was not worth it, time wise. We can only play so many games of trivia on the ship. So it all depends on what you expect to do on the ship for the 2 extra days and whether you want your cruise to be about the Mexican Riviera and not the time it takes to get there, plus the cost.
  15. Also, i recommend the shaka app for maui. Download it to your iphone or android phone before your trip. Bring a charging cable. The app gives turn by turn instructions and info about where to stop to see good waterfalls, where to eat, where the restrooms are.
  16. We got the timed tickets on the nps website and paid the nominal fee plus the fee for the narrated headset. Earliest tix were 1pm. We got there at 1030, to see the free museum and use our headsets. When went to retrieve our 1:00 pm tix, the desk attendant told me to exchange my tixs for an earlier time of 11:00, which they were handing out for free. No refund on the reserved tix, though. So we had a half hour to wait. After the boat ride, we used our headsets to visit the free musuems. So it just depends on the crowd that day.
  17. I just visited the Arizona memorial last week. Don’t take an overpriced tour. The main site is free as is the boat ride out and around the memorial. Its still closed to the public, so the boat ride out to see it, is the best that you will get. take the #42 bus from downtown waikiki or take an uber or taxi
  18. Because you will be dizzy and exhausted from the trip back from Hana. What month are you going? Sunset is at around 7 pm today. You will be driving on windy roads down the mountain in the dark. Can Hana and Haleakala be done in the same day? Only if you are a masochist. the trip to Hana is about the journey, not the destination. Hawaiian time is laid back. thats my advice, ignore it if you want, but a tired driver is an unsafe driver. And you won’t be driving fast anywhere on the road to Hana or haleakala.
  19. NO. Driving to Hana and back is a 4 to 6 hour trip, assuming you want to stop and look at stuff. Its a windy road with lots of one lane bridges, and you’re going to want to stop and get pictures of the waterfalls and view. You would not have time to do haleakala before the park closed.
  20. All the tour companies we've seen offer Ephesus tours, but don't allow much time (if any) to visit the Terrace Houses, while you are there. That's what we want to see and we could see ourselves spending an hour or so, just at the Terrace Houses, and 2 hours at the Ephesus site. Most of the tours rush you through Ephesus and that's not what we want. We don't care about the house of the Virgin Mary or Sirince or the other religious sites (we are not religious, those places have no special significance to us) and we do not want to visit any carpet or leather factories. So I am looking into the details of doing our selves. We either take a taxi or the bus from the cruise port to the top entrance of Ephesus. Rent our audio guides Walk down through Ephesus, visit the Terrace Houses, and then then at the lower end, return the audio guides and figure out how to get back to the cruise port. Who has done this? And how would we do this on our own? Any shuttle companies you recommend? How much would it cost to go by taxi?
  21. Update to my previous post: Just looked at my itinerary from back then. We booked a 12:30 pm tour of the basilica. So got out of the Doges palace at noon. Grabbed a quick sandwich from a street vendor by the water and then checked in at the Church entrance for the 12:30 pm tour.
  22. Back when we were there in 2016, the going rate was €80 for a half hour. the price is pretty much standard. But the quality of the gondolier may vary. Find a gondolier off the grand canal and away from ST. Mark's Square. Find a gondolier in a side canal. We hired Alex Hai, because back then she was the only female gondolier and she got good reviews and the prices for an hour ride were good. She will meet you near the Fenice Theater, which is a short walk from St. Mark's square here's the website showing tours and prices: https://alexhaigondolatours.com/tours She is now a he, but the ride and price she offered was worth it as she had great reviews. We did not tip as tipping is not customary in Italy.
  23. We did the same thing you are thinking about. We booked the Secret Itineraries tour at 9:55 am and spent a good 2 1/2 hours, found a quick lunch on a side street away from piazza San Marco and then did our booked tour in the early afternoon around 1:30 - 2pm. The tour we had was not just a skip the line ticket but a tour both in English and Italian that got us separate entrance, with no waiting. The guided tour was worth it. Otherwise you are just walking around and wondering what you are looking at.
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