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15 day Greek Isles, Italy and France on the Spirit

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Our family is looking to do the 15 day Greek Isles, Italy, and France cruise on the Spirit in October 2019. We were on the Spirit earlier this year on a Canary Islands cruise and enjoyed the Spirit (and the cruise). My question has to do solely with the itinerary. The ship leaves from London and ends in Venice. It appeals to us as we can see London pre-cruise and it has a 1 day stop in Paris. Those are 2 major cities we want to see. Also, we have always wanted to see Venice so we can stay a few days post cruise there. Has anyone done this itinerary before and what was your opinion of it.

 

Paul

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Our family is looking to do the 15 day Greek Isles, Italy, and France cruise on the Spirit in October 2019. We were on the Spirit earlier this year on a Canary Islands cruise and enjoyed the Spirit (and the cruise). My question has to do solely with the itinerary. The ship leaves from London and ends in Venice. It appeals to us as we can see London pre-cruise and it has a 1 day stop in Paris. Those are 2 major cities we want to see. Also, we have always wanted to see Venice so we can stay a few days post cruise there. Has anyone done this itinerary before and what was your opinion of it.

 

Paul

 

15-day family cruise? God bless you.

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It is a great itinerary. You will love it.

 

Don't know how big your "family" is but the excursions can be very pricey. I suggest that you look at private excursions where you can get a van or bus for all your folks and it may work out to be much cheaper than the per person excursion rate NCL charges. There are lots of private excusrsions available at all the major ports. In Italy, we are partial to romeinlimo.com

 

You have several options for Venice. You can stay in Venice proper or you can stay in Mestre on the mainland where the hotels are very much cheaper. Getting to Venice from Mestre is an easy 5 minute, 2 euro bus ride. Having said that, staying in Venice (which is totally a walking city, no cars at all and only water bus public transportation along the main canals) is very nice. Venice is not a night city, only a restaurants are open in the evening,

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Pete,

 

Thank you for the response. Our family consists of my wife and I and 3 sons (early to mid 20s). We always book our tours with independent operators as opposed to going through the cruise line. There is much more selection, the tours are usually private or a small group, and the price is always way better than what the cruise line charges. We were in Rome a couple years ago and did a 1 day tour with Romeinlimo. We are familiar with them and it was a great tour. Thank you for the advice on Venice. This cruise would certainly be a “bucket list” one for our family.

 

Paul

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Our family is looking to do the 15 day Greek Isles, Italy, and France cruise on the Spirit in October 2019. We were on the Spirit earlier this year on a Canary Islands cruise and enjoyed the Spirit (and the cruise). My question has to do solely with the itinerary. The ship leaves from London and ends in Venice. It appeals to us as we can see London pre-cruise and it has a 1 day stop in Paris. Those are 2 major cities we want to see. Also, we have always wanted to see Venice so we can stay a few days post cruise there. Has anyone done this itinerary before and what was your opinion of it.

 

Paul

 

Just be aware that you will probably just have a few hours to explore Paris, as the ship will be docking in the port at Le Havre which is located about 2195 km/120 miles from Paris. So it is a long drive each way. The Spirit have many really interesting itineraries, and this is one of them. If you decide to book, then all I can say is ENJOY! :)

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Just be aware that you will probably just have a few hours to explore Paris, as the ship will be docking in the port at Le Havre which is located about 2195 km/120 miles from Paris. So it is a long drive each way. The Spirit have many really interesting itineraries, and this is one of them. If you decide to book, then all I can say is ENJOY! :)

Not to pick nit but Le Harve to Paris is about 190 kms and takes about 2 hours one way. The tour is short but you get the highlights and photo ops. No time for museums but they may include the Eiffel Tower but, that changes. You get about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs free time as well.

 

There is also a ship tour that just takes you to Paris and you are on your own.

Lastly, as the OP already knows, there are lots of tour operators that have tons of options.

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Just be aware that you will probably just have a few hours to explore Paris, as the ship will be docking in the port at Le Havre which is located about 2195 km/120 miles from Paris. So it is a long drive each way. The Spirit have many really interesting itineraries, and this is one of them. If you decide to book, then all I can say is ENJOY! :)

 

Not to pick nit but Le Harve to Paris is about 190 kms and takes about 2 hours one way. The tour is short but you get the highlights and photo ops. No time for museums but they may include the Eiffel Tower but, that changes. You get about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs free time as well.

 

There is also a ship tour that just takes you to Paris and you are on your own.

Lastly, as the OP already knows, there are lots of tour operators that have tons of options.

 

Yes, I must admit that my calculation for the distance was "a little" off - it is definitely shorter than my estimate!!! :D:D:D What I wanted to write, was 195 km (without the number 2 in front). Sorry!!!

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I have been fortunate to cruise Europe multiple times though not on your exact itinerary. I have sailed out of Southampton 3 times and stopped at LeHavre twice. I have been to every port on your itinerary except Split.

If Paris is important to you, I would do it pre-cruise and split the time with London.

Flying into Paris and making your way to London via the Eurostar would not be difficult with 3 strapping young sons. Pre-booking the Eurostar in advance is quite affordable at about $70us per. London to Southampton is easily done. Save the LeHavre stop for the D-day visit/lesson that would humble your sons.

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I have been fortunate to cruise Europe multiple times though not on your exact itinerary. I have sailed out of Southampton 3 times and stopped at LeHavre twice. I have been to every port on your itinerary except Split.

If Paris is important to you, I would do it pre-cruise and split the time with London.

Flying into Paris and making your way to London via the Eurostar would not be difficult with 3 strapping young sons. Pre-booking the Eurostar in advance is quite affordable at about $70us per. London to Southampton is easily done. Save the LeHavre stop for the D-day visit/lesson that would humble your sons.

That is an excellent idea. I never considered that. This way we get to see Paris and London and Normandy all in the same vacation. Thank you for that suggestion.

 

Paul

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The Eurostar is great (been on it several times) but there are also flights between Paris and Southampton that are even cheaper and would save you the trouble of coming down from London to Southampton. You could also consider taking the night train (sleeper cars) that runs daily between Venice and Paris if you wanted to put Paris on the end of your trip rather than the beginning. The cost is a wash since you don't have to pay for a hotel room for that night. I like the train because it takes you right from the Grand Canal in Venice (Santa Lucia Station) to the heart of Paris - no airport security or cabs to deal with.

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Did you end up booking this cruise?  We are on it and another couple of friends.   We are busy planning our excursions at each port - most will be private tours.    We are looking for fellow cruisers to join a tour of the American-focused sites on the Normandy beaches and general areas at our Le Havre port stop.

 

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Last year in Le Havre we rented a small SUV right at the port and drove and explored the DDAY beaches ourselves.  While of course we did not get the commentary as one would with a tour, I found the driving and navigation extremely easy and going at our own pace was great. 

 

Having said that, our main goal was the Juno beach museum and area - which was fantastic. 

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Thanks for sharing this option.   I think we would greatly benefit from the commentary of the tour guide though and security of having them "know where they are going" for low stress trip:)   Thanks again!

 

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4 hours ago, hollarts said:

Did you end up booking this cruise?  We are on it and another couple of friends.   We are busy planning our excursions at each port - most will be private tours.    We are looking for fellow cruisers to join a tour of the American-focused sites on the Normandy beaches and general areas at our Le Havre port stop.

 

We actually did book this cruise.  For the Le Havre stop we have contacted Overlord tours for a tour of Normandy.  We are waitlisted on the 9B tour on October 12th.  This tour is limited to 18 people and we are the first 5 to have signed up for this tour.  It takes 8 reservations for the tour to officially “open.”  This company comes highly recommended so if you are interested contact Rebecca at Overlord tours.  Hopefully  we will meet up on this cruise.  We are also booking most tours through private companies.

 

Paul

 

 

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29 minutes ago, pjo said:

We actually did book this cruise.  For the Le Havre stop we have contacted Overlord tours for a tour of Normandy.  We are waitlisted on the 9B tour on October 12th.  This tour is limited to 18 people and we are the first 5 to have signed up for this tour.  It takes 8 reservations for the tour to officially “open.”  This company comes highly recommended so if you are interested contact Rebecca at Overlord tours.  Hopefully  we will meet up on this cruise.  We are also booking most tours through private companies.

 

Paul

 

 

Thanks for the update Paul.   We are also looking at Overlord tours, but #9 which is the private tour for 8.  We are a group of 4 and I just found another couple to join us today on CC, so hoping we can identify 2 more to join us and make our 8.   This makes this tour only 12.50 higher than the group of 16 and we can do more with our day.   Glad you thought they were a good choice too  - that makes me feel better with our selection of this company.  Reviews were great.  Enjoy your tour and see you on the ship.   

 

As a note, we booked private tours/transportation in each port in Italy and at Athens if you need any recommendations. 

 

Tamie

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Looks like a great itinerary. Have you seen the buy one get one 50% for your sailing?  It’s available on the Ncl new zeland site for the least amount but need to book in nzd. The ncl India is booked in usd and also has 50% off 2nd passenger.  some other ncl sites also have the 50% but cost a little more in usd. Benefit of 50% off second passenger is obvious but know that you can’t transfer to a ta for anything extra and zero perks meaning no 3 & 4th free if you’re planning on everyone in same room. Great deal for suites or really any room if you’re planning on 2 to a room and not interested in the beverage pkg /are diy with ports. Might be worth a look. 

 

Here’s a link for the ncl sites in the different countries. 50% is good for India, Australia, NZ and a couple others. 

https://www.ncl.com/international-offices

Edited by littlelulu01

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41 minutes ago, hollarts said:

Thanks for the update Paul.   We are also looking at Overlord tours, but #9 which is the private tour for 8.  We are a group of 4 and I just found another couple to join us today on CC, so hoping we can identify 2 more to join us and make our 8.   This makes this tour only 12.50 higher than the group of 16 and we can do more with our day.   Glad you thought they were a good choice too  - that makes me feel better with our selection of this company.  Reviews were great.  Enjoy your tour and see you on the ship.   

 

As a note, we booked private tours/transportation in each port in Italy and at Athens if you need any recommendations. 

 

Tamie

Tamie,

 

Thank you for the reply.  Hopefully we can all meet up on this cruise.  We are coming in to London 5 days pre-cruise so let me know if we can meet for dinner in London.  It looks like you are all set for Le Havre.  We have been to Barcelona several times before so we are free lancing there as we have already seen the most important sites.  In Italy we have booked Romeinlimo for Livinoro, Rome and Naples.  We have used Romeinlimo before and they are nothing short of excellent.  Let me know what you are doing in Santorino and Athens.  In Split I think we are doing a Segway tour.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Paul

 

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10 minutes ago, pjo said:

Tamie,

 

Thank you for the reply.  Hopefully we can all meet up on this cruise.  We are coming in to London 5 days pre-cruise so let me know if we can meet for dinner in London.  It looks like you are all set for Le Havre.  We have been to Barcelona several times before so we are free lancing there as we have already seen the most important sites.  In Italy we have booked Romeinlimo for Livinoro, Rome and Naples.  We have used Romeinlimo before and they are nothing short of excellent.  Let me know what you are doing in Santorino and Athens.  In Split I think we are doing a Segway tour.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Paul

 

Paul - we are also booked with RomeinLimo at all 3 locations (Rome Highlights, Florence/Pisa, Naples/Pompeii) based upon reviews here and Trip Advisor.   Athens we booked PK Travel for Full Day Athens Tour.   Santorini might be a taxi to Oia then back to Fira - not sure yet.  Split we plan to walk around the palace and city since its so close to the port. We only have 2 days in London for free time before the cruise (flying Tuesday, sightseeing Wed & Thur.).  We plan to do a double-decker bus tour and since we are staying at the St Ermins, we can walk to most key sites for additional viewing.    Not sure our plans for 2nd day yet.   We are staying 3 nights in Venice after the cruise before heading back home too.  We have just started researching what to do there too.   

 

2 weeks in October, might even get to watch a football game with you (assuming they show them) if your Patriots play our KC Chiefs again in their regular season matchup during that time.  They haven't published the schedule yet, but we are ready for rematch:)   Take care....

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