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About bellagirl

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Moncton, New Bruswick,Canada
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  1. Also, if you turn right coming out of the hotel, there is an alley that will take you to a vaporetto stop- Giglio I believe it's called. It's very handy for getting around. Shelly
  2. Grego- I stayed at the same hotel a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Lovely breakfast, spacious room (for Europe) and nice service. It's also located in a great space. Close to San Marco but not noisy. The best part is it's got its own water deck meaning that a water taxi can take you right there. I only found this out after I had schlepped my bags over bridges, people's feet, etc. I wish I had done my homework before but it was nice having the luxury of a water taxi to return me to the ship. One bit of warning that I, again, learned the hard way. There are no screens on the windows so don't make the mistake I did in lying down for a nap with the windows open!! I was covered in mosquito bites from head to toe. Enjoy your stay!! Shelly :)
  3. As mentioned before, one definitely needs a guide for the Vatican. We had Sarah with RIL and she was fabulous. She whizzed us around the many groups that were there and really took her time explaining everything we needed to know. It was a great investment and I can't imagine ever going there without a guide. The rest of the sites are pretty easy to navigate on one's own. Shelly:)
  4. If I recall correctly,cabs were not allowed into the port area itself but you may want to check on that. you will love Brugges!
  5. I'm. going to be a Debby Downer on this one and say that of all the stops we had last yr on our transatlantic, Brugge was THE worst in terms of getting out of the port. We had booked a van but in the utter confusion and chaos of being told where to go (by Celebrity) we somehow missed our van and ended up walking to the nearest village. From there we called a cab(along with two other couples who were in the same mess) and got to Brugges. Later that night,people were very upset as they believed that Celebrity had deliberately misled them. All I know is that I had never seen such a mix-up in my life. BTW,I know you're not travelling Celebrity but just thought I would share our experience. Brugge is absolutely charming. We were there on a Sunday so other than some touristy shops,not much open but it is worth a trip. I would not take the train. Shelly
  6. Although we didn't go as far as Dover, we did stay at the Charing Cross Hotel in order to board the train to Sevenoaks for an overnight stay. The location was perfect as we had several tube stations nearby plus the train directly underneath the hotel. Hope this helps a bit! Shelly
  7. You still have lots of time. Things will pick up on your rollcall. I've been in the same situation in organizing tours and things have always worked out--organized several through Rome in Limo too!--with people being very satisfied. Good luck and have fun! Shelly:)
  8. This hotel worked wonderfully for us as we used the tube on one side and the train station for travelling to Kent on the other. we didn't take the breakfast pkg as there were cafes all around. great place and I would definitely return
  9. In Bari, we did a tour of Alborabello and Matera (where the Passion of the Christ was filmed). It was hard to say which one I enjoyed more. Matera was absolutely beautiful and seeing the neat houses of Alborabello was really something! Shelly:)
  10. We just completed a TA on Infinity in April of this year. While any cruise is a good cruise for me, I would have to say that next time, I think I would prefer a newer ship. It's not that Infinity was dirty but I think I would prefer something more polished. On the subject of cabins, we had a balcony close to the front of the ship, and the movement really bothered me. My hubby was ok, but I was forced to wear the wristbands throughout the voyage. Again, not a big deal, but just something to make note of. By the way, the wristbands really do work! Our itinerary was Ft. Lauderdale-Harwich, England with stops in the Azores, Brugges and France. Shelly
  11. We had Sarah as a tour guide and she was wonderful. If I remember correctly, she was an Art and History major, so she was able to bring everything to life for us. I found that, even though I had read up on the history of the place, it immediately flew out of my head as I walked through the doors. For me, it was nice to have her there! Shelly:)
  12. Hi--if I remember correctly when we signed up in May for the 3 restaurant specialty pkg, the first night was at Qsine (on an assigned night), and the other two nights we could choose whenever we wished. the only stipulation was that it had to be at USS. only one night at Qsine with this pkg. We really enjoyed the USS restaurant. Qsine was nice too for one dinner but wouldn't go more than once. Shelly
  13. We were there in November and had gloriously sunny weather. Hydra is one of my all time favourite places in the world. The people are extremely friendly and we had a lovely lunch while there. I would love to return and stay for even longer next time. As for what would be open that time of year, all the shops and restaurants seemed to be flourishing when we were there. Shelly:)
  14. They sure do have an ice-top bar. My hand got stuck to it while waiting for a drink:D
  15. Thank you, Terry for this article on Donna Leon. She is my favourite mystery writer and her detective, Brunetti seems so real to me. So real in fact, that on our last trip to Venice, I literally stalked his hang-outs with the help of the book-Det. Brunetti's Walks in Venice. I don't know the author (it may be Donna Leon) but boy, that book kept me going for days around the city! My hubby was convinced I had lost my mind, but after awhile, he just shrugged and enjoyed the sightseeing!! Thank you again for this article! Shelly:)
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