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Everything posted by PelicanLvr

  1. Don't depend on the ship to do something automatically. You will only be disappointed if they don't. Quietly talk to whoever seems most competent in the DR a few days before and tell them you're celebrating and what you would like done/what they can do. In our experience they are the folks that really want you to be happy. Talk to them...I expect it will work out great.
  2. Cluso: Yes, you can make a reservation for ANY day of your cruise for the specialty restaurants when your sailing date is 60 days out. You don't have to wait until the day you want is 60 days out. All reservations for the entire sailing open for you 60 days from your sail date. Also, the same person(s) will seat you in the Main/Grand dining room each night you dine there. I suggest you quietly tell them the first evening that you always will need a table for two and they will gladly accommodate you. On our Sirena sailing last November, the staff kept a separate list of 2-top requests (if none available) and they let you know when it's ready. The management staff in the dining rooms were outstanding. Just let them know what you need and they will do their best.
  3. Staying at the Sanctuary Lodge at MP is key. Don't know anything about either trip you are considering, but that is a must-have on a top-quality tour. It is the only hotel at the top of the mountain at MP so you are first-in at opening before the crowds. Everyone else stays down the mountain in Aguas Caliente.
  4. Feta - Thanks for posting this. How did you learn about this Flash Sale? We get loads of O emails and the mailed brochures are endless....but nothing about this sale. What's your secret?
  5. If you go to the beach, upon return, head directly to the outdoor showers by the pool or the spa showers to "de-sand". Keeps the sand out of your stateroom!
  6. In a "perfect world" your plan is doable. But I would suggest you enjoy Sorrento on your own and save Capri for another time...or do a ship tour to Capri. Just too many moving-parts doing Capri on your own that can go wrong.
  7. Has your travel agent ever been to Santorini?
  8. Check the other ships' departure times. Are you staying late? Departure times may well define when the lines are longest. Maybe the other ships will be gone before you have to be back. Santorini is so worth it. But we have not been there on a cruise with so many other ships.
  9. Let the disembarkation staff on cruise #1 know your changing ships and ask for the latest disembark time. Take your time getting off and getting out to the curb. Suggest you know or find out what an airport fare is and tell the cab driver(s) up front that you will pay that fare. They certainly don't want to wait in the taxi line for an intra port fare. By the time you arrive for cruise #2 the terminal should be open.
  10. Does it really matter what we all say will happen? Why leave the fate of your trip to the check-in staff at the pier? Denied boarding will not be covered by typical insurance. Check out your options to get a new passport in time. We just renewed ours last month by "expedited service & return mailing" and had them back in our hands in 16 days. But it's too late to go that route now. You can also look into making an appointment to get a fast renewal. Passport services can do it quick .... but at a cost. Maybe there are other options too?? Whatever route you go, I hope it works out!
  11. Does the cruise line offer a "transfer to Paris". We have done these in Rome and Granada, Spain. It's just a bus transfer there and back with free time in the city. That way you are on a ship tour and a bit less concerned with "getting back" on time. Just don't miss the departure time for the bus back to the ship. Otherwise I agree that you should save Paris for another time. There are some interesting sites closer to the port.
  12. Thank you for the very informative & balanced review. Would appreciate your thoughts on a cruise vs. land tour of Japan. Did the cruise allow you to experience the culture sufficiently? Thanks (in advance) for your thoughts and insight. PL
  13. We experienced the same problem with the specialty restaurants on Sirena in November, 2023. They open at 6pm (with lines waiting to get in) and are closing down by 9pm. If you go after 8pm it's a rush-job to get you out fast! We like to eat later around 8:15 - 8:30 and we couldn't go anywhere except the MDR. Specialty dining rooms were dead and the buffet closed at 8:30. Fortunately, the Maitre D in the MDR was "Alex" and he took great care of us. He helped us "make the best of it."
  14. Another good travel ins site is: Insuremytrip.com I know they had an option for pre-existing coverage if purchased before final payment. I needed that once too. Expensive, but was available.
  15. About 5 years ago when we first renewed Global Entry we had been to Cuba. Both DW and I were called in and interviewed again (separately) and all they wanted to know about was "what were you doing in Cuba". We fortunately had been on a US government approved trip and had all the needed paperwork so it was no problem. Have to renew again this year....hoping for an easier go-round.
  16. Jim - Be sure to look for the "large book" option at the top of the passport renewal application. You will get the most pages possible. Same fee. Just sent our in for renewal.
  17. OP - Welcome to Cruise Critic. I see this is your first post. If your budget permits I really recommend two cabins. X has insides directly across the hall from balconies, which might be a good solution. 4 people in a non-suite room is alot....one bathroom. Tight...not "comfortable" at all.. Even a smaller suite would be crowded at times. Tip - One or more can use the spa locker room showers/sauna before dinner. I always head there while DW has the stateroom & room-shower to herself to dress for the evening. Spa is always quiet at that time, bigger showers and a sauna too! Don't let my secret out!
  18. Was last in BCN in November. Great City. Rick Steves has two good self-guided walking tours on his free app. Sagrada Familia is a must-do. Book early and book going up in one of the towers. Great view and you get up-close with the facade. Picasso Museum is also outstanding as Pablo was a young artist there. Madrid for the day will be a long tough outing. Suggest you reconsider unless there's something there you can't miss. Enjoy BCN, it's our favorite city in Spain!
  19. Suggest you speak to the dining room Maitre D on a night before you arrive in Aruba and make a late dining plan. That way, they can't say you're too late as long as you follow "the plan". OR Aruba has some lovely restaurants and a late departure makes dinner at one a great possibility. We have done that in Aruba at Passions on the Beach. Toes in the sand dinner. Great fun!
  20. We always travel with a multi device charging station. Neater and lots of ports to use!
  21. Since the OP has an evening flight, think about a shore excursion excursion that ends with an airport drop-off. Years ago we did an Everglades tour and airboat ride on departure day with a drop off at FLL.
  22. Think about taking a cruise that starts already in the Caribbean. X used to do departures out of San Juan and many still do. Also some lines use Barbados and St. Martin etc. Embarking already in the Caribbean means lots more ports in a 7 day cruise with a younger demographic. Just a thought......
  23. Rick Steves is a great source of info. Almost as good as us! LOL Seriously, Rick Steves has a great free app with excellent pod casts. Check them out!
  24. Agreed. Dubrovnik also is a small very-walkable old town.
  25. First, WELCOME to Cruise Critic. Lots of great info here! Transportation company in Rome = Romeinlimo. We have used them for transportation and private tours and they are highly recommended on these boards. Great company & very reliable. Good for your transfer from ship to Rome. Port of call Boards are located under "categories" on these boards. Also, check out the "roll call" for your specific sailing - also under categories. This is where people from your specific cruise talk, exchange info, and set up private tours etc. Since you are a large multi-generation group, you will really benefit from private tours as they will be much cheaper per person & a smaller total group. Much more personal attention. Another suggestion in Rome and Venice - Walks of Italy. Excellent walking tours to places not open to the public in places like the Coliseum. We also took their after hours tour of the Sistine Chapel and that was outstanding. See it without the crowds! Check out their site. Hotel - How many rooms do you need? - With that group, you should really think about an apartment. We have rented apartments in both Venice and Rome and it would be great for you. So much more space for everyone and yet you could all be together with a living room etc. Just a thought. OK, that's enough info for now. Happy planning!!
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