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About notentirelynormal

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Oak Park, CA
  • Interests
    Cruising and grandchildren
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Tahiti and Med

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  1. I agree. I would book now. They are extremely popular and booking a year in advance with them is the norm rather then the exception. I was 1-1/2 years out when I booked my tours. They customize for you so sometimes there is some back and forth to get is just like you want. I know a lot of the tour companies that I have contacted are getting extremely busy.
  2. Yup, we are also going to have lunch in a medieval village but I forgot the name. Was yours near Pisa?
  3. Yup - Montserrat is Day 1 and Park Guell and La Sagrada Familia is Day 2. Barcelona Day Tours has worked super hard for me too. We plan on going to a Chocolate Factory and the kids will be taking a lollipop making course there. It hasn't been easy to find not just kid stuff but educational and something they wouldn't normally do back home and not repetitive. Swimming every where we go doesn't make it special but booking our own boat instead of a group tour boat does make it more special. Add a little dip in the Mediterranean and you have a lovely few hours in Istanbul before to
  4. BennyBear – Yes – we will be going to the museum in Knossos. I have to take back the stupid things I said about the Greek guide recommendation. It was user error. Apparently I was too stupid to scroll down. I was looking at the cover page. DUH!! She came up with incredible ideas. The tour of Athens will be phenomenal and I can’t wait to do it. Her name is Anthia with Athens Insiders. She is putting together tours for all four cities: Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. Each tour is unique. Crete will be the Knossos Palace, Cave of Zeus & Local food and wine ta
  5. By the way, I agree with the planning is fun. It is for me, anyway. I have the spreadsheet and binder to prove it. 🙂 Also, though, I get a lot of satisfaction over seeing everyone having fun. I have been planning group cruises for family and friends for over twenty years. Up to 26 people. They all just let me plan and they show up, I tell them how much and they pay. We are leaving when? Okay. See you at the airport. Most of those cruises were the Caribbean so easy because it was one water event or another. The catamaran or the speed boat. Europe though.
  6. I tried that. I asked each kid to come up with something to do in one port. I didn't care which port or what to do. Only the 16 YO responded. Of course, the 13 YO is autistic so she really has no opinion. Her reasoning doesn't work that way. You have to say "do you want to do this" or "do you want to do that" and then she can decide. The younger two, like I said, live in Seattle so the parents need to get involved and they did/will not. So, it is all up to me.
  7. Unfortunately we can't watch movies as two kids live in Seattle and two in Greater LA area. We will have one day together before the trip. BUT - we did watch Mr Peabody last summer. It was an awesome movie for visiting Europe. It was filled with history and we watched it together and the kids were laughing and looking forward to seeing those sites. The two sets of kids are very different. The two oldest are very much into live theatre with devoted parents that spend a LOT of time with them. Dad works two jobs but he is still up close and personal with them. Mom al
  8. Great. I will give them an email and see what he/they have to say. So far the recommendations for Greece have not been helpful. One that was highly recommended by Mladan gave me a tour suggestion like this: Crete Heraklion - A family-friendly Knossos guided tour followed by a pottery class with a local clay artist. You may then enjoy some free time in Heraklion or extend your tour with a food tour or a visit to the Heraklion museum. This is useless to me. There is no time limit, no price and what exactly does "family-friendly" mean? What are you showing me? She g
  9. Love the pictures. It gets me excited to see this cute city.
  10. Okay BennyBear Are you happy now! (just kidding here). I contacted your guy Mladen at mtours in Montenegro. I gave him the same spiel that I give all my guides. Our ages, our restrictions and the kid friendly part. Usually I get a response of the guide simply copying and pasting directly from their website. It makes me crazy. So I have to write back to them and ask them to read the email I sent again and can they offer me what I've asked. But not Mladen. He immediately came back with a response that I absolutely loved. He suggested we take a boat ride around th
  11. I promise I will check out Levant Solmaz in Kusadasi. Also m tours. Montenegro is a port I know nothing about. They are already on my list for tomorrow.
  12. I may have over simplified. After the last cruise it has been difficult to find people currently booked or actively posting in ports. I believe I looked up the ones you suggested but you will have to remind me. It is like I am starting over every time. I really do read every post, copy it to my xcel spreadsheet and then one by one go through the comments. If you gave it to me, I checked it out. I was able to transfer some of my tours such as my Marseilles tour. I forgot which one I lost that I really liked but I got him from a recommendation. Can you remind me which ones you
  13. I have tried searching the boards. The problem is - no one is cruising and so no one is posting hardly. I have spent many hours just trying to find threads, let alone ones that have any info that I need. That is why I have to come right out and ask for help when I find a CC name that I know and trust. One recommendation from someone like Cruisemom42 is worth more than 10 from someone that is either new to the boards, has only traveled once or not at all. I already know their standards. Just because there is someone on my roll call - doesn't mea they know what they are talking
  14. Which is what I learned after countless hours going back and forth with several companies. It is why I went with Blackberry. Since they also go to Southampton and their price was almost exactly the same I saw no reason not to stay with them.
  15. Any help would be appreciated. I've only been to Kusadasi and Athens once before and that was 25 years ago and we used a Princess tour. We still need guides for: Genoa, Italy Crete (Heraklion), Greece Kusadasi, Turkey (for Ephesus) Istanbul, Turkey Mykonos, Greece Athens (Piraeus), Greece Santorini, Greece Kotor, Montenegro
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