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JimmyTheSaint

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  1. On our last cruise visit to Valletta we took a taxi to Mdina to beat the crowds on the coach tours. There was a line of taxis at the port gates. We paid 20 Euros, got to Mdina nice and early, had a leisurely walk around the town and were leaving as the tours, HOHO buses, etc, were arriving. We took the local bus back to Valletta to visit the Cathedral, the main shopping area, walked to the Barrakka Gardens ( great views of the harbour ) and then took the elevator down towards the ship. Valletta is very easy to DIY, you have a choice of walking in to Valletta or using the taxis and HOHO buses that are waiting at the port gates to take you to other parts of the island. Valletta is a very scenic port of call to sail in / sail out from as it's a narrow entrance passed the castles and fortifications into the harbour, well worth spending some time on deck.
  2. Rhodes is so easy to DIY, the ship docks beside the walls of the old town. We walked to the Street of the Knights of the Crusades and visited the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights. The old town is very walkable with lots of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. A very nice place to spend a day.
  3. The city of Barcelona sets a fixed rate for taxis for the Cruise Port / Airport journey, currently 39 Euros. As the hotel you're interested in is very close to the cruise port this should be a good guide as to the cost of a taxi from the airport. Plus a taxi will take you to the front door of the hotel, public transport will not. I haven't stayed in the Grand Marina Hotel, out of my budget range, but I don't like the location as to me it's always appeared to be isolated. It's built at the end of a jetty sticking out in to the harbour, there is nothing else near the hotel. I prefer staying somewhere with amenities nearby.
  4. We've walked the steps down in Santorini ( never been to Lindos ) without any issues. The cable car queue was at least 1.5 hours and we really didn't want to wait that long in the summer heat. The walk down took us about 20 minutes, as mentioned above wear sneakers.
  5. Having been to Athens a few times we've used taxi, metro and bus to get from Piraeus to the centre of Athens. In our experience the quickest way is via taxi. There are taxi's waiting outside the cruise terminal building and can take you directly to the entrance of the Acropolis. Last time we were there was two years ago and we paid 30 Euros for 4 people. The regular city bus leaves from just outside the cruise terminal building ( as do the HOHO buses ) but you'll have an uphill walk to the Acropolis when you get to Athens. The metro ( subway ) will be the slowest way to get to the Acropolis as you'll first have to walk for about 25 minutes from the cruise ship to the metro station - trust me, we've done it and it's not a pleasant walk in the summer heat.
  6. Just an alternative suggestion; when docking in Livorno our favourite place to visit is the town of Lucca. It's smaller than Florence and Pisa, is less well known and therefore less busy but in our opinion much prettier than Pisa. It's a very walkable with some really good views from the fortified walls looking down in to the town. As it's a few miles north of Pisa it's sometimes offered by tour companies as a half day in Lucca and a half day in Pisa.
  7. As you mention that you're interested in religious sites I would recommend you visit Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore on Via Cavour, close to termini train station. We came across it as we were staying in a hotel on Via Cavour and we walked past it a couple times. It's a truly stunning building and very historic. You can walk to it from Termini in about 5 minutes.
  8. Sorry I can't answer your questions but I just felt compelled to reply as our first cruise was on Legend leaving Venice for Barcelona in 2013 ( I think it was 2013, time flies ). We had a fabulous time, so much so that we've done at least one cruise every year since. Not all with Carnival but enough that we're getting close to Platinum status. The cruise we took departed Venice in the afternoon and was truly memorable sailing past the sites, waving to the people and followed out in to the lagoon by lots of small boats. I hope you have a great cruise.
  9. The short answer is No. It's illegal to smoke or vape indoors in any public building and that applies throughout the British Isles. Most bars and restaurants try to provide some sort of designated area out the back or front of the building for smokers.
  10. I'm a huge Formula 1 fan so the title of your post interested me as Mallorca has no connections to F1. I've attended a couple of races and have booked to go to the Japanese Grand Prix in October of this year. I book through the official F1 website and I can tell you that the company you mention have copied the layout, fonts and logos of the official F1 website. I have no experience of the company you're looking to do a tour with but personally I would avoid any company that fraudulently tries to associate itself with a global brand.
  11. We did a motorhome tour in Spain & Portugal last September and October spending a few days in both Cordoba and Cadiz. Have to agree with the comments above, Cadiz was lovely but Cordoba is on another level. Another vote here for Cordoba.
  12. There appears to be a fairly even split on this thread of people who couldn't care less about the CD one side and on the other side people for who the CD is a central factor in their enjoyment of the cruise. Personally I couldn't care less about the CD.
  13. Mrs Jimmy and I absolutely love Ji Ji's. We've sailed on Vista and Horizon and really enjoyed Ji Ji's on both. The food and service were excellent and certainly the best value per $ on board. So good we went twice on both sailings. Ji Ji's is used at lunchtime as the Mongolian Wok ( no charge ) which I would also recommend. Our next Carnival cruise is on the Radiance transatlantic and we were actually annoyed when we discovered that Radiance has a Cucina but not a Ji Ji's. That's a wrong decision in my opinion, I'd much rather have Ji Ji's.
  14. Pre clearance in Dublin is for all travellers, not just US citizens, and it's brilliant. You are pre clearing Customs and Immigration so you avoid the queue for these when you arrive in the US. A couple of years ago we booked a flight from Dublin to San Francisco with a layover of about 4 hours in Chicago. There was an option of an earlier flight from Chicago to SF but we gave ourselves the 4 hour option to allow for a delay from Dublin. We arrived on time in Chicago and walked straight off the plane to the check in desk for the SF flight and were able to get on the earlier flight.
  15. It's a straightforward city to DIY. Most cruise ships dock within 5-10 minutes walk from the main shopping area around the Praca do Comercio. From here you can take a taxi, tuk tuk tour or HOHO bus tour. It's a very hilly city so not ideal for a walking tour of the major sites. There are two famous tram routes; number 28 goes up the hill to the cathedral and castle, number 15 goes from the Praca do Comercio out to Belem. We used Uber to take a taxi out to Belem and from there took another Uber up to the castle. For me Sintra is much more interesting than Cascais. Sintra has a lot of historical sites to visit including the Pena Palace, Castle, etc whereas Cascais is a beach resort for the residents of Lisbon.
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