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leighuf

Past Millennium & Mediterranean Cruisers- tell me

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I'm planning on booking a May 2006 cruise (when the dates/prices are available). I'm leaning toward the Millie & her 12-13 day cruise from Barcelona-Venice or Venice-Barcelona. I have some questions, though . . . hoping some past cruisers can help me out!

 

1. WHEN did you book? (How far in advance)

2. How much & which room (any regrets on room choice?)

3. How about airfare? (Celebrity or bought your own . . . how much? And when did you buy it)

4. Where did you stay in Venice (if you did)?

5. How much did the WHOLE trip cost you?

 

Thanks . . . I'm trying to budget and preplanning is what I do. I'm going on a 7 Day Splendour of the Seas Med cruise next October so I'll get a feel for some of the Med. ports. I'm taking my husband (hopefully) in 2006 sooo it'll be more expensive since in 2005 I'm splitting the costs with a friend.

 

ps- any recent reviews?

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Leigh - You'll probably be getting replies from people who have done this cruise much more recently than me, but here are my answers to your questions:

 

1. We booked in March 2003 for our May 23, 2003 sailing.

 

2. We got a really, really good deal on this cruise: $1,534 TOTAL FOR BOTH including all taxes, fees, etc. -- Bookings were still slow for Europe a couple years ago and the war was just starting in Iraq. We were in Cabin 8119, an inside. Loved the location as it was mid ship very close to the elevators.

 

3. Booked our own airfare as we went a week early and toured Europe on our own. Our airfare San Antonio-Atlanta-Munich (going) and Barcelona-Paris-Atlanta-San Antonio (coming back). It was booked through Delta (AirFrance return). There were some VERY ANGRY people on our sailing who had booked through Celebrity and everything got screwed up and they barely made the sailing (involved a very long bus ride for some reason). They missed one whole day in Venice!! Our round trip airfare was approx. $800 roundtrip per person.

 

4. We stayed one night pre-cruise at a wonderful little hotel in Venice called La Locanda di Osaria. It was about 1 block from the train station. Only had 8 rooms and breakfast was delivered to our room. It was very reasonably priced for Venice.

 

5. We did not do any ship sponsored excursions and took the train into Rome, Florence and Athens. Our biggest expense was an all day private driver in Naples (along Almalfi Coast) and Pompeii. His name was "Mario" and he was with Sorrento Limo. I think it cost us approx 300 Euros for the two of us...had we another couple, it would have been cheaper per person. We booked it through the internet. You can do Santorini on your own (you must ride the donkeys!), Dubrovnik on your own, Athens CAN be done on your own but make sure you do your "homework" first. We probably spent another $300 (besides Mario) on trains, taxis, other transportation, admissions, food and sourvenirs, but we frugal spenders.

 

In MY opinion: This is a very port intensive itinerary and the days are long because you're trying to cram so much in (at least we did). You WILL be so tired when you arrive back to the ship every day. For that reason, I can't see spending the big bucks on a balcony cabin or even an outside for that reason.

 

I prefer the Venice to Barcelona route as the sail-away from Venice is absolutely breath-taking.

 

I would start praying that the Euro starts coming down (or the dollar gets stronger). When we went the exchange was 1.18 and now it's over 1.30. Makes everything alot more expensive.

 

If you have any more specific questions, I'll be glad to answer.

 

Marty

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1. WHEN did you book? (How far in advance)

2. How much & which room (any regrets on room choice?)

3. How about airfare? (Celebrity or bought your own . . . how much? And when did you buy it)

4. Where did you stay in Venice (if you did)?

5. How much did the WHOLE trip cost you?

 

I did the Millennium on a 13 night Venice to Barcelona in August 2003...you can find my full review at this site:

http://www.cruise-addicts.com/reviews/readreview.php?id=0000002441

 

1) I originally booked about a year in advance...rates went down, though, and my TA rebooked me later at lower rates...about 7 or 8 months in advance...

 

2) We booked a Cat 12 Guaranty to save money...ended up with a Cat 9 inside (#8123)...we had no qualms...it was a great cabin in terms of location and we don't spend much time in the room...especially not on this port-intensive itinerary...

 

3) We did airfare through Celebrity--they had a deal for the air we couldn't pass up...The entire cruise portion--CRUISE PLUS AIR from LAX cost us under $4500 TOTAL...for TWO!!

 

4) We booked hotels in Venice for two nights and in Barcelona for two nights through Celebrity (approximately $1300 for two for the four nights in hotels and transfers...probably could have saved money on our own, but it was so nice to have Celebrity handle everything and have no logistics to worry about)...In Venice, we stayed at the Carlton...it was very nice and conveniently located right on the Grand Canal near the Piazza Roma, the RR Station, the Vaporetti and lots of restaurants...In Barcelona, we were at the Gran Havana...

 

5) All told, we spent the $4500 and the $1300 mentioned above...plus about $1800 on shore excursions...that's $7500, plus another $1000 or so on Airport transportation at home, tips, bar bill, meals while in Venice and Barcelona, souvenirs, lunches in port while not on an excursion, gifts and miscellaneous...So, the GRAND TOTAL for a 13 night cruise plus four hotel nights...a 17 night, 18 day vacation for two was actually just UNDER $8,500...

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1. We booked in July 2003 for June 2004.

 

2. For room an inside was $1860, aft balcony was $2360. (The balcony was up over 1500 more when we left)

 

3. We used Celebrity since it covered transfers and I couldn't get much lower price on our own, $1125

 

4. Didn't stay in Venice. Stayed in Barcelona, the Gran Havana -ditto what Bruin Steve had to say.

 

5. Remeber there were 4 of us and the Euro was up from when the previous posters went, but not as much as now, cost us about 18,000. That included 2 Nights precruise, 4 private guides. We didn't have a bar bill. Includes some souveniers.

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We booked September 2003 for an August 2004 on the Millennium.

 

We had an outside Cat 6 room, with air and pre-curise hotel in Barcelona (the Majestic)

 

All in the lot cost us £3,200 ($5,600).

 

We did Monte Carlo and Monaco on our own using the train.

We did a ships tour of the Tuscan Countryside

Rome we again did on our own, as also we did with Naples, Pompeii, Sorento and Capri.

Malta we were met by friends off the ship and had a tour of the island with them.

You can do Santorini on your own (but I'm not sure on the donkeys!, we didn't and wouldn't and lots of our friends said they were very scared (i couldn't print what one of them said)), Dubrovnik we did on our own.

 

We had a fabulous time and it didn't cost us the earth and we met some fantastic people.

So much so that we have booked again for 2005. The prices have shot up though and the new Celebrity policy means that there simply aren't the deals around, but the ship seems to be booking up fast.

 

We booked in September and got a deal before Celebrity repriced, but now it seems that the cruise is $5800 (£3250), cruise only. Once again, we got cruise and air and post hotel accomdation for less than this.

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Thanks for the great info.I have been planning on booking our Med cruise in June while we are on the Century.I was wondering if a balcony would be necessary,like in Alaska.Now I will go for the inside room and save money.I hope they have the schedules out by then.I am planning on going late May as well.We will also book precruise tour and air at that time.

Thanks again

Ann

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We went on the May 21, 2004 Venice to Barc. I booked in Dec 2003; used *****.com and got a balcony (I think it was a 1B but might have been 2A) it was a room 8xxx, I think. I paid just under $4200 for both of us total including all taxes and fees. this was about 600 less than I could have gotten thru a normal TA (or travelociy, yahoo, etc.). Since I have beaucoups of mile on Delta, I didn't have to worry about that. the only problem is you don't get the hand holding that you might with a local TA. but we didn't need that. The TA also got us one of the rooms with an oversized balcony.

 

I would highly recommend Cruise Compete. Basically, you tell them when you want to go, what ship, and what kind of cabin. They send the request out to a number of high volume TAs who send you quotes. these people do a lot of business, so can discount their commissions. the travel agent I had used in the past said he couldn't touch the price.

 

Cigar

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I'm planning on booking a May 2006 cruise (when the dates/prices are available). I'm leaning toward the Millie & her 12-13 day cruise from Barcelona-Venice or Venice-Barcelona.

A warning -- DO shop around. This is one of those cruises where real $ can be saved, contrary to Celebrity's new pricing policies. While I don't see fares posted yet for 5/06 cruises, to give you an example, here are prices that I do see posted for the 6/8/2005 sailing, 12 nt, out of Barcelona:

CC $2,659.60

2B $2,289.60

06 $2,119.60

Those rates include all the taxes and port charges. If you've been looking at Celebrity's prices for similar European trips (especially, I've noted, the early trips to the north vs. those in the Med), I think you'll be amazed at the difference between Celebrity's web prices and what's actually available.

The moderators get testy about pointing each other to specific sites for prices, so I'll just suggest that you do a google search on those prices and see what comes up by way of comparison. Google requires that you put quotes around strange stuff like that, so you'd need to be looking for something like "$2,659.60".

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I haven't done this cruise yet -- we're booked for Oct/05 and booked this week. I use Crucon.com for all of my cruises since I get great service (from Laura) and price adjustments when/if they occur as well as good pricing. We, too, booked an inside this time, due to the port intensive itinerary, and plan to book non-Celebrity excursions when we can.

 

Sheila

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