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About hawkshoe

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. We opted to tour Istanbul on our own. It was extremely easy to do. They have a tram that goes from the cruise ship area directly to the points of interest. We went to Topkapia Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the underground cistern, the spice market and a few other spots. We were able to do it at a nice leisurely pace and still get back to the ship in plenty of time.
  2. We too questioned the need for a guide at the Vatican. In the end we opted to do it (split between a group of 6 it wasn't bad). We are so glad we did. The Vatican was very crowded (the most crowded place we visited). We would never have been able to navigate it and see half as much without the help of our guide. She was wonderful.
  3. We used Rome in Limo. They were wonderful. We had a small group of 6 and the cost was quite reasonable. We toured Pisa and Florence. I highly recommend them.
  4. When we were Italy I was very vigilant as I had heard much about pick pockets and bag snatchers. I used a running belt that is concealed under my clothes to carry cash and credit cards. I also had a camera bag which is about the size of an average purse. In that, I kept a very small amount of cash. I had no problems. In fact, my friend (who carried a cross body bag) and I did not notice any pick pocketing although a fellow traveler did mention someone tried to take something out of his pocket and he stopped them.
  5. We were there in September and the line for pre purchased tickets took under 5 minutes.
  6. We spent the day exploring Toulon. The Marine Museum is actually quite good and worth an hour or two of your time. Additionally, the cable car is quite enjoyable and the views from atop are quite beautiful. There is also a museum there but we did not go inside as we were limited on time. Toulon itself is a quaint town with some interesting shops and nice places to grab a bite to eat or drink.
  7. I don't know if you are set on using a guide or open to other options. We chose to do Istanbul on our own. With some pre-planning we found it very easy to navigate and were able to see everything we wanted to with plenty of time to spare.
  8. We used Rome-in-Limo for a 1 day tour of Rome and the Vatican. They were wonderful. I highly recommend using them and having them book a private guide of the Vatican. I don't think we could have seen half as much had we not had the guide.
  9. We used Rome-in-limo for a tour to Mt. Vesuvius, Sorrento and Pompeii. They were great. I will say that if I had it to do over again, I would opt out of Mt. Vesuvius. I found it to be disappointing. I would rather have had the extra time in Pompeii.
  10. We did Vesuvius and Pompeii (along with Sorrento). Personally, I would skip Vesuvius. In my opinion, it just wasn't worth it. Since you said your wife might have problems climbing, I would definitely skip it (although you can pay to get a ride in a vehicle to the top). Our time would have been better spent utilizing more time to see Pompeii.
  11. I recommend Rome-in-limo. We used them and they were great. I am sure they would be able to accommodate your request. We did Mt. Vesuvius, Sorrento and Pompeii. If I had it to do over again, I would spend most of my time in Pompeii. It is amazing.
  12. Another vote for just doing Ephesus and the terrace houses. Skip the House of the Virgin Mary (unless you are very religious) and go enjoy a nice Turkish lunch.
  13. We stayed at the Hotel Papadopoli. It was a great location with the need to only cross one foot bridge which is nice when you are carrying your own luggage. The room was nice and the bed very comfortable. The staff was very friendly and helpful. The breakfast buffet was decent but not great. I would stay there again.
  14. Book now if you can. I have done both cruise line tours and private tours. I personally like the private tours better. You can get info on them on the boards or on trip advisor.
  15. I had the same problem with booking Cagney's. It didn't appear online. I had to call NCL and got a customer service representative who was able to book it for me.
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