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Everything posted by Giantfan13

  1. We are leaving for Alaska next Wednesday (Aug 28), flying into Anchorage. We have rented a car and will be in Anchorage for 3 full days and need some advice what to see and do? We are not going to Denali as it is too far a ride for one day and we cannot stay over. I don't mind driving so I was wondering how to plan our 3 days there. We don't have to stay in the Anchorage vicinity. I am an avid amateur photographer and we just love to view spectacular sites. We are seniors and don't mind doing some short hikes but nothing really strenuous. Any and all suggestions will be appreciated. Cheers Len
  2. Looking at the routes, we are staying in the Las Rambles area, without getting off, about how long is each route, time wise? Cheers Len
  3. Reading some of the info, seems parking is a major headache. Say we just want to drive around Stanley park, stopping as we go, is there parking available all over, only in certain areas> I also have a handicapped plaquard, would that help me be able to park in places. I know, when we were in Quebec, displaying that plaquard, allowed me to park on the street, at meters without having to pay. Is this the same in and around Vancouver? Cheers Len
  4. Thanks for the wonderful suggestions. We did decide to book the late flight and will rent a car. We will take the advice offered by some here and see what we can see in Vancouver, return the car and fly home. Hopefully we will have a wonderful day in this lovely city. Cheers Len
  5. Thank you so much for all this valuable info, If I may add on, if we look to do the rental, and want to avoid a lot of the city stuff, what might you recommend for a day out? We really aren't museum type people and love scenery and I am an amateur photographer so I love taking pix. I don't mind driving either. One other point, on looking at 'other' airlines, I see I may be able to get a flight out of Vancouver at 12:30PM. Would we be able to make that flight from the cruise? We are seniors and carrying our luggage off is really not a very good thing for us. We could ask for an earlier dismemberment though. I would assume taxi's are readily available at the airport. I am not one to 'want to cut it close'. If this might, in any way, be 'cutting it close' then I would rather avoid it and enjoy our vacation and not have to worry if we might miss our flight. If you think this is 'plenty of time' we might go for it. And again, thanks for all your suggestions and help. Cheers Len
  6. We are arriving Vancouver on Sep 9 (Monday) off a cruise and we have a very late flight out 11:30PM. Since we have never been to Vancouver and would like to see something, rather than sitting at the airport all day, what options do we have? We were seriously considering renting a car for the day (about $30 US) and seeing what we can see, then returning to the airport, drop off the car and proceed to check in for our flight. Is that a reasonable plan? What might we want to see in our short time there? How is the driving in Vancouver and will our GPS device help us to get around? I was reading about a HoHo bus and that is a decent option but what do we do with our luggage? From the cruise terminal, where would be the closest place to catch a HoHo and does it stop anywhere near the airport, or do we have to taxi around also? Thanks for any and all info. Cheers Len
  7. Once again, thanks for all the helpful suggestions. Cheers Len
  8. Giantfan13


    Sorry if I have to ask another question, this time about Anchorage. We are flying into Anchorage and need a hotel there for the night. Looking at several of the hotel sites, most of the hotels seem to be about 2-3 miles from what they call 'city center'. Should we try and be right in 'city center'? We don't plan on having a car and we were looking at a hotel about 2.3 miles from city center that has an airport shuttle. So, I guess my main question is again, do we want to be right in 'city center' and if not, is there transportation to get us there if that's where we want to be? Would it be more beneficial to rent a car in Anchorage and try and stay some where out of the city where the rates are much cheaper? We will have 3 nights before our cruise and we thought of spending one night in Anchorage and maybe 2 in Seward. Would it be better to spend 2 nights in Anchorage and one in Seward? Again, thanks for any help and suggestions. Believe me they are much appreciated. Cheers Len
  9. Thank you all so much for the help with this port. One more thing, as I asked before, if we wanted to book something, a tour or whatever, when we disembarked the ship, are there 'vendors' looking for people to tour with them around the port area? Cheers Len
  10. We have been to Alaska twice already but this is our first time in this port. We are seniors and we were wondering what are the things to do in this port?. We have done Alaskan whale watches already, and we really don't want to 'break the bank' just trying to do things in this port. We have all day here, from 7AM till 6PM. If we just wanted to wander about the town is there enough to do to occupy a full day or is getting around a must?. Is there any 'must' do things here?. We will be having quieter days in Juneau and Ketchikan so we wouldn't mind a tour but not with the cruise line. Are there 'vendors' around when you disembark the ship looking for people to do tours? And any recommendations would be much appreciated. Cheers Len
  11. Last time, about 8 years ago, we rented a car in Skagway and drove to Emerald Lake. We are again visiting Skagway in early September and would like to, once again, rent a car and drive somewhere. First, since I am getting older and don't remember where we rented this car and from whom, what are our choices in Skagway?. If whatever memory I still have, I seem to recall there being an AVIS place, is that still the main car rental. Are there other choices? Our time in Skagway is from 7AM till 5PM. We don't mind doing the Emerald Lake drive again, but we would also like to maybe see a different drive and other sites. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Cheers Len
  12. Thanks for all the great advice. I know it's a bit late, but you've got to do what you got to do, when you can. Can some one recommend a bus company that goes from Anchorage to Seward. I googled it and only one came up, which leaves Anchorage late afternoon and arrives after our ship has sailed. Are there other options by bus/shuttle? Cheers Len
  13. We are flying into Anchorage, last week in August. We are booked on an NCL cruise Sept 2 southbound Seward to Vancouver. We plan on renting a car in Anchorage and driving to Denali. My questions Is it best to rent a car right at the airport, or might it be cheaper in town. Is there a preferred rental place that some would use and does anyone have any codes for discounts on a rental? We plan on getting to Seward a day early. From Anchorage, what are our options to get to Seward?. Private car or taxi are just a bit too expensive. Is there a train or bus we can sue and if so, where can we find a timetable? Appreciate any help with these questions. Cheers Len
  14. We just did an MSC cruise in December and stopped in Livorno. They also, like the other cruise lines, offer a shuttle to the city center, and like the others, it wasn't free. Is anything free these days from the cruise lines? Cheers Len
  15. We were in the Vatican on a weekday mid December last year. We were told it was an 'off' day, not as crowded as a busy day.' I have never seen so many people crowded into this place as when we were there and if this was an 'off' day, I would hate to see what it is like on a crowded day. We had a Vatican tour booked and my DW got separated from the tour. Trying to find her thru that crowd was impossible. Lucky we had those head buds and I was able to tell her where to be thru the microphone and we were all reunited. In the Sistine Chapel it was like cramming little sardines into a small can as to the amount of people in that room, again, on an 'off' day. Maybe the latter you go will be better, but certainly not in the AM. Be prepared for mass crowds and we are from NY and suppose to be used to crowds. Cheers Len
  16. Add another vote to going to see Florence. We did a day trip there, off our pre cruise stay in Rome about a year ago. We downloaded several free walking tours, places to see and visit, for free, and we were prepared for everything and anything. Florence is just a wonderful city to just forget your cares and woes and just wander about and enjoy everything, from the narrow side streets to the glorious buildings. On another note, we had a cruise stop in Livorno in December off an MSC cruise. We chose to go to Pisa and Lucca, but a word on this if you want transportation to Florence. At the port there are many, and I do mean many, taxi's and vans, and the like, all offering to take you where you might want to go, like Florence, Pisa, Lucca and others. I cannot say if their prices are good or not as we didn't use them, but I would assume they would be better than any private tour or ship's tour you would want to book. If you think this may be your one time to see Florence, go for it. You won't be sorry. Cheers Len
  17. You have to get to Civi eventually, so why waste time traveling back and forth. Staying in Rome is the smartest thing to do and take an early morning train or taxi or whatever to Civi the day of your cruise. Rome is pretty easy to do on your own, but two days is hardly enough time to see everything. Not sure if this helps, but if memory holds, the cost of a ride from the airport to say mid Rome is about $45 and from Rome to Civi about $75, give or take a few dollars. Cheers Len
  18. Here you go. We were in Rome about a year ago and on the first Sunday of every month, most of the paid attractions are free. WE felt why pay for something that we can get for free, even if we have to wait a bit to get in. So we decided to go to the Colosseum and Forum. We arrived at the Colosseum about 8:30 AM and the line was so long I really couldn't believe it. When I asked some one, they said about 2 hours to get in. My DW went on line as I am slightly handicapped and cannot stand for long periods in one spot. After about 15 minutes, I approached the gate where they were letting people in and inquired about their practices for handicapped. They immediately took me to the head of the line and was ready to let me in right then and there, but I had to get my wife. first. When she got there, they let us in a special entrance and we were thrilled. I do walk with a cane, so, I guess, that helped. After the Colosseum, we went across the street, to the Forum and the lines were just as long and this was about 11:00. We again inquired about handicapped entry and again, we were taken to the front of the line and allowed in. I can't say enough good things about the Italians and their treatment of handicapped people. So, if you want to take advantage of the free day, I would suggest you get there maybe at 7AM. I don't know if you can buy tickets from a private vendor and skip the line, maybe some one else can help with that. If not, prepare for a very long wait. Cheers Len
  19. Thanks for all the great advice. We figured about 4 days pre cruise, maybe 5 if we can swing it. Last time we were in Anchorage, we were only there for one day and, as I said, had to change plans and fly home from there. It ended up working out great as we had a midnight flight out of anchorage, took some advice form CC and sat on the left side of the plane and we were treated to an amazing display from the Northern Lights. Yes, I know people say you won't see them at the end of August, but we did and it lasted for almost 45 minutes. Again, thanks for the advice and any more would love to have. Cheers Len
  20. Good question. Isn't there a bus that runs from Anchorage to Seward? If not, any suggestions would be appreciated. Cheers Len
  21. Spend a hour or so reading some of the threads on this forum and you will immediately not want to book anything thru the ship. EVERYONE on this forum will recommend a private tour company over anything the ship can offer you. It's as easy as that. Do some research, contact several of the major tour companies and see which one you feel more comfortable with. They all do about the same thing and people choice their particular one because they felt more comfortable after speaking with them. You just can't go by the recommendation of one person as to whom you might choose. We used SPB Tours because Victoria made us feel so at ease, others use ALLA for many of the same reasons and it just goes on. And, YES, you cannot get off the ship on your own unless you have a Russian visa. The companies, as well as the ship supply you with a temporary visa for 72 hours so you can tour with them, but you always have to be under their watchful eye. You never know when Putin might be eavesdropping. LOL Cheers Len
  22. This is very true. But often Tallinn is the day before St. Petersburg, so you should bear that in mind when deciding what is best for you. I read a review of a family who spent all day walking around Tallinn, and then their teenagers were tired and refused to get off the ship on day 2 in St. Petersburg. The mom wasn't comfortable leaving them in the kids club by themselves, so she stayed behind too. But for physically fit people, this is a lovely walk both ways, and Tallinn is beautiful and lovely to explore on foot. But I honestly wouldn't push it if you are concerned about your strength (we had a 3 year old so it wasn't up for debate. Without him, we probably easily would have been able to complete the walk). What, teenagers tired and didn't want to get off the ship, what is this world coming to. I am 72 and we had no problem walking from the ship to Fat Margret gate and then up the hill, down the hill and all over town also. Then we had the nerve to walk back to the ship, get up early the next couple of days and see St Petersburg. It is a very easy walk from port to ship and YES, unless you have mobility issues, it should be no problems walking anywhere in Tallinn. Teenagers tired from walking--WOW. Cheers Len
  23. We were on the Rhapsody on a TA in December. We really do not gamble, so we didn't spend much time in the casino, but it is there. It is not large, but it does have just about whatever you might want. Cheers Len
  24. Even with MTD, you can request to be seated in a certain section, even the same table, if you like the wait staff and others dining with you. Make a reservation for the time you think you will be eating most nights. It is just a reservation. If you feel like going earlier or later, you certainly can, but may have to wait a bit until tables open up. We like to share tables, but we found people who wanted tables for 2 usually got seated first, when you have no reservation or are at different times. Cheers Len
  25. We also have done over 25 cruises and most have been insides. I can understand some who must have a balcony who might be claustrophobic, but otherwise, to us anyway, the cost outweighs the thrill just to hear the ocean at night. We are in the same category as many here, who just use our room to shower, change and sleep. We prefer to be with others, all around the ship, and not hibernate in our rooms when there is so much to do. Yes, I would love to be able to get up at dawn and watch the sunrise from our room, but we value cruising more and we can do 3-4 cruises for what others pay for 2 cruises because they need their balconies. Again, this is just us. Insides are a bit more cramped, but the sleeping is great. We usually leave the TV on, on the ships camera station, So, at night, it is completely dark, but in the AM, we can see what's doing outside. To each their own. You cruise to make yourself happy, so do what you feel would make you the happiest. Cheers Len
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