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help please


silverwillow
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Which itinerary do you think is better? I'm asking because I have the Princess cruise on hold and the hold runs out in 22 hours. The balconies all sold out and then one came back and the price immediately went up for a substandard position. There are only two cabins left in the category I want and there is $3000 off at the moment. (third passenger $999) The cruise agent has said they can't hold it any longer and the sale ends very soon. Supply and demand has this cruise almost full. The same cruise in July is out of our price range.

 

My issues are:

 

1. I would like to see Venice which the Princess cruise does not do. Is there a reasonably cheap way to get back to Venice from Barcelona or Paris? We will also be looking to stay in Paris, London and Barcelona regardless of which itinerary we choose so we will have to be budget conscious. If we did the Hal cruise we could also consider a few extra days in Rome and Florence.

 

2. The Emerald Princess one is 4 nights longer and $800 cheaper but the Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam is in a larger stateroom. (both inside cabins but I think its so port intensive that we won't be in our room much other than to sleep).

 

3. We are Platinum on Princess and know the kids clubs are good. We don't have any experience with Holland America. Are excursion prices cheaper on Hal, kids clubs ok ect? (we are travelling with our then 9 year old daughter).

 

4. The Princess cruise leaves in May so it should be quieter and cooler weather but we will return to our winter, yuck. But the Holland America leaves in mid July so we will skip our winter, nice, but prices will probably be higher across the board when we are doing independent travel in France and England not to mention airfares. Plus I think trekking up to the Acropolis could be crowded and hot??

 

5. Please help we live in Australia and we have never been to Europe and this is a bucket list trip for me. I haven't been to any of these places so not sure if one itinerary outshines the other? We won't be able to go back for a second run unless my lotto ticket wins (I should start buying lotto tickets )

 

Emerald Princess 28 night:

 

 

Barcelona, Spain Saturday, May 9 depart 7:00 PM

Marseille (Provence), France Sunday, May 10 7:00 AM 5:00 PM

Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy Monday, May 11 7:00 AM 7:00 PM

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Tuesday, May 12 7:00 AM 7:00 PM

At Sea Wednesday, May 13

Kotor, Montenegro Thursday, May 14 7:00 AM 6:00 PM

At Sea Friday, May 15

Athens (Piraeus), Greece Saturday, May 16 4:00 AM 8:00 PM

Santorini, Greece Sunday, May 17 7:00 AM 6:00 PM

Crete (Heraklion), Greece Monday, May 18 8:00 AM 5:00 PM

Rhodes, Greece Tuesday, May 19 8:00 AM 5:00 PM

Kusadasi, Turkey (for Ephesus) Wednesday, May 20 8:00 AM 5:00 PM

At Sea Thursday, May 21

Istanbul, Turkey Friday, May 22 8:00 AM Overnight Stay

Istanbul, Turkey Saturday, May 23 11:00 PM

At Sea Sunday, May 24

Mykonos, Greece Monday, May 25 7:00 AM 10:00 PM

At Sea Tuesday, May 26

Valletta, Malta Wednesday, May 27 7:00 AM 5:00 PM

Messina, Italy Thursday, May 28 7:00 AM 5:00 PM

Salerno, Italy Friday, May 29 7:00 AM 5:00 PM

Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Saturday, May 30 5:00 AM 6:00 PM

Sicily (Palermo), Italy Sunday, May 31 10:00 AM 6:00 PM

Tunis (La Goulette), Tunisia Monday, June 1 7:00 AM 6:00 PM

At Sea Tuesday, June 2

Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy Wednesday, June 3 7:00 AM 7:00 PM

Genoa, Italy (for Milan) Thursday, June 4 7:00 AM 6:00 PM

Toulon (for Provence), France Friday, June 5 7:00 AM 4:00 PM

Barcelona, Spain Saturday, June 6 5:00 AM

 

 

or Nieuw Amsterdam 24-DAY MAGIC OF THE MEDITERRANEAN:

 

Day Date Port Arrive Depart

0 15 Jul 2015 Venice, Italy 04:00 PM

1 16 Jul 2015 At Sea

2 17 Jul 2015 Katakolon, Greece 08:00 AM 03:00 PM

3 18 Jul 2015 Piraeus (Athens), Greece 08:00 AM 05:00 PM

4 19 Jul 2015 Cruising The Dardanelles CO

4 19 Jul 2015 Istanbul, Turkey overnight 04:00 PM

5 20 Jul 2015 Istanbul, Turkey 05:00 PM

6 21 Jul 2015 Lesbos, Greece TR 11:00 AM 06:00 PM

7 22 Jul 2015 Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey 07:00 AM 07:00 PM

8 23 Jul 2015 Thira (Santorini), Greece TR 07:00 AM 04:00 PM

9 24 Jul 2015 Argostoli, Greece TR Noon 06:00 PM

10 25 Jul 2015 At Sea

11 26 Jul 2015 Venice, Italy overnight 01:00 PM

12 27 Jul 2015 Venice, Italy 09:00 PM

13 28 Jul 2015 At Sea

14 29 Jul 2015 Dubrovnik, Croatia 08:00 AM 11:59 PM

15 30 Jul 2015 Kotor, Montenegro 08:00 AM 05:00 PM

16 31 Jul 2015 Kerkira, Corfu, Greece 11:00 AM 08:00 PM

17 01 Aug 2015 At Sea

18 02 Aug 2015 Naples, Italy 08:00 AM 06:00 PM

19 03 Aug 2015 Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy 07:00 AM 08:00 PM

20 04 Aug 2015 Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy 08:00 AM 08:00 PM

21 05 Aug 2015 Monte Carlo, Monaco 08:00 AM 11:00 PM

22 06 Aug 2015 Marseille (Provence), France 09:00 AM 06:00 PM

23 07 Aug 2015 Barcelona, Spain ON Noon

24 08 Aug 2015 Barcelona, Spain 06:00 AM

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We've done a Barcelona to Istanbul aboard Princess and loved it.

 

The major factor on your choice is the Med is a lot hotter in July than in May, so may not be as enjoyable.

 

The Princess itinerary looks better to me. But, as you say, it doesn't include Venice, which was really nice for our cruise.

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Don't forget everybody in North America and Europe has school holidays in July and August so tourist sites are very crowded combined with the heat, easy choice.

Look into taking a train to Venice or a cheap flight from London or Barcelona.

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I'd go with the Princess cruise for cooler weather and less crowded places since it's in May. You'd also get 4 more nights for less money. In terms of food, service, and atmosphere, I've found Princess and HAL about equal.

 

I took the train from London to Venice via Paris several years ago. It was a great way to travel and very affordable at the time. It's about 11 hours. I think there are also some economical flights between the two cities.

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I am sure you made the best choice. All those cities will be hot at that time of year. I did Venice once on a cruise, and it was just ok - then I went back and stayed overnight at a hotel, and loved it - much more relaxed than the quick tour we did in 6 hours!

The local bus is the water taxi - cheap and a great way to sea the whole area - sort of like a hop on hop off - I got a day pass and started very early in the morning when the locals were going to work and the kids to school. Took in some local markets that were only open from 6 - 10am.. Did a lot of walking, and loved it - it is a completely different atmosphere at night.

Barcelona - usually get a transfer from the ship into the main area of town, but I did the hop on hop off bus there because it gave me an overview of the whole city. Stayed at a bed and breakfast (more like a mini hotel) near the university, and loved it.

Love all the med - great touring! Lots to do without breaking the bank. Enjoy!

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If you travel lightly enough, I would suggest a rail pass. so that you could

do Venice, Paris, and London. Train, to Paris, and London is easy, nowever, Venice, requires one or more changes on a train. However, flying with a child might be better. Try Air Berlin, or

Brussells Air, Ryan, is limited for cases, and airports location. If you are flying BA they have a several Eurpoean city pass. Sometime long haul

carriers, have deals for several cities.

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I think you have made a good choice. I would not do the Mediterranean in July/August simply because of the heat and the HAL cruise does not include Santorini or Mykonos which were our favorite Greek Isles. Enjoy your trip and hopefully you will find a way to spend some time in Venice---it is awesome!

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If you travel lightly enough, I would suggest a rail pass. so that you could

do Venice, Paris, and London. Train, to Paris, and London is easy, nowever, Venice, requires one or more changes on a train. However, flying with a child might be better. Try Air Berlin, or

Brussells Air, Ryan, is limited for cases, and airports location. If you are flying BA they have a several Eurpoean city pass. Sometime long haul

carriers, have deals for several cities.

 

 

I agree that the train might be your best option. Go to eurorail website and check out the multiple country passes that would probably work for you. You can do a 3 country pass to get from Spain (Barcelona) to Italy to France.... In any order! Good luck.

 

 

Sent from my iPad

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Have a wonderful time in the planning, anticipating and cruising! So many great ports - Venice will have to be included in your second visit to Europe...

:D

 

Haha I wonder if that will wash with Hubby! :p

 

Thanks again I am checking the train option. :)

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Thank you for your help. We have booked the Emerald Princess cruise in May. :)

 

Great choice Silverwillow! It will be not as hot and not as crowded in May and you will have two days in Istanbul, one of our favorite cities! Enjoy your cruise.

 

Hendrika

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