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Everything posted by Giantfan13

  1. Thanks to all the posters who have supplied some great info for us. We will now look into a hotel in the port area and we will definitely check out that tour company that has been mentioned. We are not opposed to doing things on our own, as I am a semi avid photographer and like to sort of hang out for a particular pix at times, but we will consider all options as our time is so short. Are there any good walking tours for Barcelona or are things too spread apart? Cheers Len
  2. Hello fellow cruiser. We ARE also on the Rhapsody, Dec 8. I know many on the ship booked the cruise before from Venice, but we are doing an 11 day MSC cruise before the Rhapsody. Cheers Len
  3. WE have a sort of unusual situation. We are doing a Mediterranean cruise from Nov 27 to Dec 7, round trip from Barcelona. The next day, Dec 8, we board another cruise, trans Atlantic, back to the USA. So we have really limited time in Barcelona. Questions We need a hotel for one night so where should we look?. We are really on a budget but we do have some points from Hilton. Are any of their hotels around the area?. I would think we should we stay around the port area, as we need to go back there the next AM.?? If we do, are we far from the 'main' attractions? Since we have never been to Barcelona, figuring we should be able to get off the ship by 9AM, what can we do with our luggage till we can get to a hotel? And what would be the most interesting things to see in that short time frame? Thanks for any advice and help Cheers Len
  4. Thanks again Roger. We'll have to let this sit for a bit and we will decide which way to go. If we do decide to do the train, how do we buy tickets--by a machine? ca we use a credit card? and which train would we take? Cheers Len
  5. You have already gotten the BEST advice. Take it a run with it. There are excellent sites on line to download walking tours of Tallinn. We did that and followed it all along, with some of our own deviations. We also wrote to each cities Tourist Bureau, requesting maps and such and for the most part, we receive wonderful things back. Public transportation is easy to use and I always tip my hat to the wonderful people here, from those cities who always provide excellent advice on the exact way to do things. As was said, Tallinn is so easy to walk from the ship to the old town. Sorry it took John Bull 25 minutes. I'm old and it only took me 15. :D:D:D:D. Stockholm, we docked at Frihamnen and we took the HoHo buses to get around. Helsinki, we shared a tax and you must get to Market Square, about a 10 minute ride, and everything hubs around that. People in Helsinki are great. We were trying to get to the Church in the Rock. we were standing on a corner, looking at a map. This gentleman, just walking his dog, came over to us, asked s what we were trying to find. When we told him, he basically took us by the hand and escorted us to where we wanted to go. Just couldn't thank him enough. Cheers Len
  6. To the OP. I understand where you are coming from. When we travel, we also try to save money wherever possible. My DW has always had the theory of just get us on a ship, and never worry about all the other frills. We try and tour on our own whenever possible and if we can save on tours, we go for it. Now that I've said that, there are times when, if you feel you may never return to a place, REALLY. do not try and cheat yourself out of fully enjoying it. If just doing a sightseeing drive by is OK for you, then by all means do that. But, in reality, you really need to get off the bus and experience many of the things St Petersburg, (and other cities) have to offer. Seeing Peterhoff, Catherine's Palace, the Hermitage, Church of Peter and Paul and so many other sites just by driving by, sorry, but you really will be missing the experience. Again, I'm not trying to lecture you, but when we did our Baltic cruise,. paying $300 a day for each of us WAS an expense, but we do not regret one penny of it. We did all the other ports on our own so we saved a bundle doing it that way. Even if you have to go over your budget a bit, go for it. You will not be sorry. Please don't try and see this wonderful city on the cheap. Cheers Len
  7. Thanks again Roger. If we were to forgo the auto and just want to do Valldermosa and Palma on our own, thru whatever public transportation there is (if there is), is this a doable thing and fairly easy. If it gets complicated, I'd rather go with the auto, but driving in strange areas isn't my forte. What do you think? Cheers Len
  8. Roger I just finished reading the other thread about DIY. It does sound intriguing. So a few more questions. If we were to rent a car for the day just to do Valdermossa and then Palma De Mallorca, how are the roads between the two areas.? Is this highway, or other type of roads? Is the signage pretty good, so it would be hard to get lost? Also, if driving around Palma, is there parking at the main venues. Myself, I am slightly handicapped and have a handicapped tag that I bring when I travel if I want to rent a car. Does that give me any special parking privileges? Part 2--If we decide not to rent the car and just wanted to do this on our own, is that a good thing, and where would I start? I read about public buses, is that the way to get to Valdermossa ? Part 3 I also read about several places where our ship may dock. We are on the MSC Sinfonia, docking on Nov 29, 2018. Is there a place or link where we can find out exactly where the ship docks? Again, thanks for your time and advice on these matters. Cheers Len
  9. We are from right outside NYC and it is the same here, Just a worldwide problem. You have to be vigilant at all times. Cheers Len
  10. Thanks for the responses. We are from the NYC area and LOVE the cool to colder weather. In fact we are looking to relocate to Vermont or New Hampshire. I like a nice nylon waterproof jacket even in the coldest months, so 50ish is still warm for me. :D:D:D Since we have never been to this area ever, we would like to concentrate on the main areas and probably forgo any train trips. Saving them when we return. :cool: A tour of Valdermossa and Palma de Mallorca would probably suffice for this time. Looking at this, it really sounds wonderful and our anticipation is growing. Cheers Len
  11. Roger We will be in Palma de Mallorca on Thursday, Nov 29 2018 from 9AM till 9PM. What type of weather (temp) should we expect around that time? About what time does it get dark at that time of the year? Looking quickly at a guide, it says about 5:30PM, so what might one do after dark if we are there until 9PM. Are many tour companies and other places closed that late in the season. I tried a couple I found on Trip Advisor and they show nothing after mid November. Is that the norm then? Cheers Len
  12. Hey John Went to Newark and didn't ring me up? Disappointed. :(:(:(:( Cheers Len
  13. Thanks Roger You and I will become friends as I have more questions. :D:D:D:D The tour you put up from Expedia--are there private tour companies that you might recommend? What about the HoHo bus? What can we expect from that? Ourselves, we really aren't big on an enormous amount of facts and figures, preferring to see the beauty in things without all the numbers. Would that make, say the HoHo more of a good choice, or can we get more from a tour? Cheers Len
  14. We will be stopping here off a cruise at the very beginning of December. Since this is our first time here, we would like to know what we should be seeing and doing?. We are seniors, who are not into adventure, but more seeing the sights and I am an avid photographer. What is the best way to see this island and what are the things that can be labeled 'shouldn't miss'? I've looked at some of the tours recommended on this thread, but really we don't know where to start to optimize our time here. Also, would going at the beginning of December make any difference in what tours may be available? Cheers Len
  15. When we toured several years ago, I never remember having to pay for the toilet, bottled water. The tours usually make stops for bathroom breaks and supply bottled water. As for the person who mentioned ice cream, again, I never remember having t he time to stop for ice cream or even a place to buy it. Maybe my memory is short, but again, we really saw no reason to exchange for any rubles. Cheers Len
  16. We just got off our sailing on the Grandeur. Being on this site for a while, the Grandeur doesn't get as much love over here as she should. She is about the oldest ship in the fleet, but she is continually sold out and sailing her is like being with an old friend. This is our second time on her and it was a wonderful experience. I won't go into each day and detail. just a few comments and if anyone has any questions, I'll be glad to try and answer. Ourselves, we didn't spend very much time by the pool or in the hot tubs. We preferred to just lounge around on Deck 5, taking in the great weather we had and just chilling out (if they still do that today). First thing, we sailed on the Grandeur before she went in for rehab, but except for some new carpeting and new theater stuff, she still needs some good work on the outside. Rails were missing, and others needed to be replaced. Deck chairs showing their age and chairs in the MDR were older than they should be. But, we don't cruise for minor details. Our itinerary wasn't the best, Charleston, Port Canaveral, Bahamas and CoCo Cay, but we had great weather and we enjoyed all the ports, though we stayed on the ship in Port Canaveral. We ate as many meals in the MDR as possible. We do anytime dining and never had to wait one time for a table and we shared when it was possible. Food was a bit lacking. We do not eat meat, only fish and vegetarian dishes. The fish was hit and miss. We ordered Salmon several times and it always came over cooked. I asked the waiter if they could undercook it as it will cook when it stands, but I was told it is cooked one way. Again, we are salmon freaks and for the most part it was always overcooked. The rest of the meals were fine, with a good variety and still have those delicious cold soups. What we found the best on the Grandeur was the entertainment. This was our 20th cruise and this cruise had, without a doubt, the best entertainment we have ever had on a cruise. Not even close to anything else. It started on day 2 with a Lionel Ritchie tribute by Derek Floyd, to the production shows that were OK, to a great orchestra show. Then they had an illusionist, Jason Bishop, whose personality was so so, but his talent was absolutely great. His ending to his show, well, I'm still scratching my head as to how he did that. But the best was a band called Rookie, a sort of 50s/60s tribute, high energy band, and high energy is putting is too mildly. They were the best band act we have ever seen on a cruise ship show. In all our years of cruising, we never had an act do an encore, but the audience wouldn't let them off the stage, they had to do one. If you ever have the chance to see this band, do so, no matter what music you like, these guys were absolutely great. And last, a word about the Captain. I think his name is Anton, from Sweden. Without a doubt, he needs his own show. He is hilarious in his daily announcements. He comes on, says it's going to be partly sunny with some clouds, then, well, maybe cloudy with some sun, no maybe a lot of sun with some clouds, and this goes on and on. At the 'meet the officers thing' in the theater one day, he could do his own stand up act. We sort of bumped into him one evening while looking at the shops, and he graciously stopped and chatted with us for a good 6-7 minutes. Just a very personable and funny man. Anyway, that's was our cruise. Was it the best, not really, but it was good enough to want to go back. Cheers Len
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