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Looking at '7-Day Greek Isles from Venice' with a few questions

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I'm looking at booking the 7-Day Greek Isles cruise (Sept 2021 to celebrate my 40th!) on NCL Dawn, and have a few questions. 

With the free-and-reduced air.. Is this good? We're thinking about driving to SFO area to drop off our kiddos with the grandparents. It's $300 less than our home airport (SLC), and a 10-12 hour drive to the grandparent's. With a cruise starting on a Sunday, and having a commitment on that Thursday (I'm a local school board member, and we'll have a meeting that Thurs before), plus driving to CA. Will we have enough time to fly across the world? lol 

Also, I have a Delta CC and would prefer that airline. Should I book my own flight for slightly more and more control? Or do the reduced air and no control? 

Second question - If we booked an oceanview it comes with 2 extras. We know we want the drinks. But would you choose the $50 shore credit/port, or the wifi (specialty dining isn't appealing to me as a vegetarian and GF.. but maybe it is a good option?). 

Any other advice would be awesome. 

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Are you going to take NCL excursions?  If you do then $50 a port can add up to $250 or $300 in saving which is more than the WiFi package which would cost you $105 for 240 minutes.  If you are doing private excursions or self guided explorations then take the WiFi.  

 

I have never taken their air fare.  You are restricted to their choice of flight and seats.  You also cannot upgrade the seats.  I would rather pay more and control my flights.  

 

Regardless of what you choose, you should have a wonderful time on an amazing cruise!

 

Eric

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If you plan to book excursions exclusively with NCL go the $50 credit is a good deal. I always select it, unless I need to use the extra guest free.

 

Now, you mentioned kids. If you need to stay in touch while onboard that maybe a better choice for you. Once onboard you should be offered an opportunity to upgrade to an unlimited option. 

 

You will have a higher likelihood of getting Delta out of SLC than SFO.

 

If you can make local arrangements for the kids things would be much simpler. Even flying the grandparents in to stay may be worth a look.

 

Enjoy your trip and planning. 

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6 minutes ago, Ciref said:

Are you going to take NCL excursions?  If you do then $50 a port can add up to $250 or $300 in saving which is more than the WiFi package which would cost you $105 for 240 minutes.  If you are doing private excursions or self guided explorations then take the WiFi.  

 


That's a good question. Usually we do the shore excursions. But I'm not sure it's necessary on this one. I'd be happy lounging on a beach and strolling the towns. 

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7 minutes ago, Ciref said:

Are you going to take NCL excursions?  If you do then $50 a port can add up to $250 or $300 in saving which is more than the WiFi package which would cost you $105 for 240 minutes.  If you are doing private excursions or self guided explorations then take the WiFi.  

 

I have never taken their air fare.  You are restricted to their choice of flight and seats.  You also cannot upgrade the seats.  I would rather pay more and control my flights.  

 

Regardless of what you choose, you should have a wonderful time on an amazing cruise!

 

Eric

You can absolutely upgrade seats with the NCL air. Because airlines charge for seats we get to select our own. Delta is great about Medallion upgrades and that policy will apply. I get complimentary upgrades, even on a miles ticket.

 

OP call Delta if you have specific questions. 

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11 minutes ago, EMOSEA said:


That's a good question. Usually we do the shore excursions. But I'm not sure it's necessary on this one. I'd be happy lounging on a beach and strolling the towns. 

I am not familiar with your itinerary, but I am planning our Mediterranean cruise and the port isn't always near the city so you may want a transfer and some assurance that the ship will wait for you (traffic, accidents, flat tire, etc.). For our trip Rome and Florence are over an hour away from port.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Nola26 said:

I am not familiar with your itinerary, but I am planning our Mediterranean cruise and the port isn't always near the city so you may want a transfer and some assurance that the ship will wait for you (traffic, accidents, flat tire, etc.). For our trip Rome and Florence are over an hour away from port.


It looks like Venice to port is 20 mins by land taxi or water taxi for about 50-60 mins. 

And looking at the shore excursions, there are several that I'd like to do. So, getting the excursion credit looks like the way to go. 

Edited by EMOSEA

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23 minutes ago, Nola26 said:

 

Now, you mentioned kids. If you need to stay in touch while onboard that maybe a better choice for you. Once onboard you should be offered an opportunity to upgrade to an unlimited option. 

 

 



I'd like to keep in touch with the kids. But since we'll be in ports every day maybe I can add international calling to my T-Mobile plan for $5 a day instead of paying for the wifi. I like to add pictures to my FB as much as anyone, but it can wait, lol. 

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6 minutes ago, EMOSEA said:



I'd like to keep in touch with the kids. But since we'll be in ports every day maybe I can add international calling to my T-Mobile plan for $5 a day instead of paying for the wifi. I like to add pictures to my FB as much as anyone, but it can wait, lol. 

AT&T has that too, but that's good on land. I can buy a different AT&T plan for onboard the ship.

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1 hour ago, EMOSEA said:


It looks like Venice to port is 20 mins by land taxi or water taxi for about 50-60 mins. 

And looking at the shore excursions, there are several that I'd like to do. So, getting the excursion credit looks like the way to go. 

What are your ports? Many Med ones are easy to DIY, but others are a bit more complicated.

 

If you let us know the itinerary, and what excursions you were looking at then we may be able to give some advice, assuming you are generally happy to go it alone.

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If you're doing Santorini (which I expect you are) I would definitely want an NCL shore excursion so you can skip the cable car ride up. Tendering plus waiting for the cable car can take a bit out of your day, so shore excursions are the way to go with that one. 

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1 hour ago, KeithJenner said:

What are your ports? Many Med ones are easy to DIY, but others are a bit more complicated.

 

If you let us know the itinerary, and what excursions you were looking at then we may be able to give some advice, assuming you are generally happy to go it alone.


I attached the itinerary. Thanks! 

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 8.30.48 AM.png

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42 minutes ago, cloud_nine said:

If you're doing Santorini (which I expect you are) I would definitely want an NCL shore excursion so you can skip the cable car ride up. Tendering plus waiting for the cable car can take a bit out of your day, so shore excursions are the way to go with that one. 

Thanks.. I could go either way on committing to shore excursions or not. If it's recommended that that's the way we go, I'll snag that $50 off deal. It seems like that's the best way to go if I can add international calls to my t-mobile plan to check in with the kiddos while on land. 

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3 hours ago, Nola26 said:

You can absolutely upgrade seats with the NCL air. Because airlines charge for seats we get to select our own. Delta is great about Medallion upgrades and that policy will apply. I get complimentary upgrades, even on a miles ticket.

 

OP call Delta if you have specific questions. 

Nola may be right  however I spoke to NCL about upgrading seats on a flight they booked on Wednesday of this week and was told by NCL hat while you can change the seats you will lose the NCL discount and have to pay the full amount for the seat.  I would ask Delta directly because I have been given incorrect answers on several occasions by NCL reps.  

 

Eric

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1 hour ago, Ciref said:

Nola may be right  however I spoke to NCL about upgrading seats on a flight they booked on Wednesday of this week and was told by NCL hat while you can change the seats you will lose the NCL discount and have to pay the full amount for the seat.  I would ask Delta directly because I have been given incorrect answers on several occasions by NCL reps.  

 

Eric

FAQs for the airfare perk state NCL doesn't assign seats as airline charges fees. 

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OK.. I decided: 

1. Book our own flight on Delta so we can have the flight schedule we want + CC benefits (luggage, choose seats, upgrades, etc) & miles. 

2. Choose shore excursion credit (+ open bar), and if I'm feeling like I just want a beach day there are transfers to the beach excursions for cheap that the credit can almost cover. 

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Great times for Santorini and Mykonos.  We had the same times in October of 2018.  The sunset in Santorini is absolutely beautiful.  As for Mykonos, we went to Delos and the earlier time beat some of the crowds.  You get time to walk around town afterward when you return.  We were more focused on cultural absorption than leisure ... such are the Med cruises we enjoy.

 

Venice is worth an extra day (or two).  Read about VCE - some report challenges.

 

Buy insurance ... and check the “fog season.”

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4 hours ago, EMOSEA said:


I attached the itinerary. Thanks! 

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 8.30.48 AM.png

If you are happy on your own then Venice, Kotor and Dubrovnik are very easy to do by yourself.

 

Ive not been to Argostoli, but I agree with the view that a tour may be best in Santorini. Mykonos is ok for beaches, although I understand that the best ones are a little way away (I’m not a beach person myself).

 

Corfu probably requires transport of some sort. We walked into town from the port, but it was quite a way. Probably not a bad place for a tour of some description.

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Argostoli has some nice beaches too (although the one with the fabulous view is quite far out). We're doing this itinerary in August.

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Thanks for the help everyone. 🙂 I am 99% sure this is what I want to do for my big 40th. I was planning on a trip to Europe for my birthday and fell in love with cruising. Plus, I get  to check off three of my top 10 places I want to visit (Italy, Greece, Croatia). (Side note, we're going to Cuba in Jan for our anniversary which is also in my top 10, also excited for that!) 

So, I put a hold on it to sleep on it for a few more days. And I picked the shore excursion credit + the unlimited open bar. 

This will be my first NCL cruise and I'm excited to try it out! (Previously on The Big Red Boat [a loooong time ago, thanks mom and dad] and Carnival on a little weekend trip to Ensenada). 

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I can’t think of a better way to ring in your 40s! As for the free airfare, check to see if it’s really, truly free. All the international ones I saw under “free” came with a reduced fare of around $600-800 pp! You can just about match that your self independently and get a second perk of your choice. Also, it’s way too risky IMO to fly in the day of the cruise. If you book your own, you can fly the day after your meeting and know you’ll get Delta and enough time cushion before your cruise. Good luck, and have fun!

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3 hours ago, cruisequeen4ever said:

I can’t think of a better way to ring in your 40s! As for the free airfare, check to see if it’s really, truly free. All the international ones I saw under “free” came with a reduced fare of around $600-800 pp! You can just about match that your self independently and get a second perk of your choice. Also, it’s way too risky IMO to fly in the day of the cruise. If you book your own, you can fly the day after your meeting and know you’ll get Delta and enough time cushion before your cruise. Good luck, and have fun!


Yes, I was thinking I would want to spend a couple days in Venice. If we flew on Friday, get there on Sat, and the cruise leaves on Sunday that would work well, plus another day in Venice before we leave. 

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