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About fabnfortysomething

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  1. Tring experience with ships tour being that cheap is not the usual experience with cruise ships excursions which is why so many of us go for private tours which work out much cheaper NCL certainly didn't have a tour less than 3 figures and very limited free time as someone suggested river boat excursions don't include added costs of tour company arranging visa waiver
  2. btw don't use the term fannypack in Europe-refers to a different part of [female ] anatomy
  3. that is true however many of us have used companies that have provided us with great days out with pick up and drop off at port and getting us close to main sites with entertaining commentary throughout the fact that they cant actually accompany you on to the sites is not a big deal IMHO however this particular driver definitely needs to be avoided
  4. if that was directed at me I was merely trying to avoid you some grief with the moderators by getting a slap on the wrist for violating board guidelines
  5. just checking when you say London that you are likely to actually be sailing from Southampton on South coast about 90 miles from London and will need to factor in cost of transfer there are a few cruise ships which do sail from London Tilbury which is much closer but only accessible to smaller ships actually some ships sail from Harwich which is also well out of London but sometimes advertised as such
  6. we used this company a couple of years ago to take us on a tour post disembarkation and drop us off at airport and advertising secure storage of our luggage in the van my backpack containing laptop and travel documentation was stolen from van whilst we were touring and driver was originally very dismissive over his responsibility to look after our posessions Barcelona day tour eventually paid out a "goodwill gesture" but I would never use them again
  7. you may not be aware being a new poster that you are breaking the cruise critic rules by recommending a tour company you have not yet travelled with have Alla promised you a discount if you post a review /recommendation on here? if so you should email them back that they are risking you getting a warning by doing so its a dog eat dog world amongst the various St Petersburg tour companies and whilst they all get rave reviews many of them resort to underhand tactics to get publicity
  8. I think you are being too kind to the cruise lines over the years it has been clear that all cruiselines use the same confusing language to make it sound like your only choices are ships tour or independent visa whilst failing to mention the 3rd option of using a private tour company
  9. Alilaguna which is the other company that does water bus services has a 3 island semi guided tour to Murano Burano and Torcello leaves from a few hundred yeards to right of St Marks as you face Guidecca canal was about 20 euro a few years ago
  10. husband has walking difficulties and sometimes uses scooter buy didnt take on cruise I would suggest contacting a taxi company beforehand so as to work out best plan can recommend John Lopez
  11. this weekend has been cold and wet whereas this time last year we were in middle of heatwave today has been blue skies and sunny but going to deteriorate this week with months worth of rain predicted on 1 day Wednesday
  12. Don't worry Alla and all the private tour companies are well aware of situation and will wait for you-after all most companies don't actually take your money till day 2 of tour when you think thousands of people on the ship are all wanting to get off ASAP but it takes at least a couple of minutes per person to be processed through immigration it leads to long delays on first day a couple of years ago the ships companies succeeded in getting official priority to get their excursions through first and private tour companies aren't allowed into port until 90 mins after ships buses[widespread speculation as to how much money changed hands!!] However by starting your tour a little later on day 1 and missing worst of immigration queues you can finish day 1 later and still get to see everything as the guides know how to avoid busiest times at places like Hermitage and indeed the smaller parties can sneak in ahead of large groups day 2 is much quicker through immigration so can start earlier if you want to bottom line you will not miss your tour
  13. we are fans of wine and would happily substitute this stuff for anything else[including non alcoholic] fortunately we usually have the UBP as a perk so can leave this unopened at end of cruise
  14. the trick is to get together a group on your roll call to really drive the price down per head over the ships big bus tours' having said that our first St Petersburg tour for 3 of us and slightly shortened to accommodate husband s mobility issues was slightly less than ships tours and our last one with party of 5 was much less
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