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  1. All the tour companies we've seen offer Ephesus tours, but don't allow much time (if any) to visit the Terrace Houses, while you are there. That's what we want to see and we could see ourselves spending an hour or so, just at the Terrace Houses, and 2 hours at the Ephesus site. Most of the tours rush you through Ephesus and that's not what we want. We don't care about the house of the Virgin Mary or Sirince or the other religious sites (we are not religious, those places have no special significance to us) and we do not want to visit any carpet or leather factories. So I am looking into the details of doing our selves. We either take a taxi or the bus from the cruise port to the top entrance of Ephesus. Rent our audio guides Walk down through Ephesus, visit the Terrace Houses, and then then at the lower end, return the audio guides and figure out how to get back to the cruise port. Who has done this? And how would we do this on our own? Any shuttle companies you recommend? How much would it cost to go by taxi?
  2. Update to my previous post: Just looked at my itinerary from back then. We booked a 12:30 pm tour of the basilica. So got out of the Doges palace at noon. Grabbed a quick sandwich from a street vendor by the water and then checked in at the Church entrance for the 12:30 pm tour.
  3. Back when we were there in 2016, the going rate was €80 for a half hour. the price is pretty much standard. But the quality of the gondolier may vary. Find a gondolier off the grand canal and away from ST. Mark's Square. Find a gondolier in a side canal. We hired Alex Hai, because back then she was the only female gondolier and she got good reviews and the prices for an hour ride were good. She will meet you near the Fenice Theater, which is a short walk from St. Mark's square here's the website showing tours and prices: https://alexhaigondolatours.com/tours She is now a he, but the ride and price she offered was worth it as she had great reviews. We did not tip as tipping is not customary in Italy.
  4. We did the same thing you are thinking about. We booked the Secret Itineraries tour at 9:55 am and spent a good 2 1/2 hours, found a quick lunch on a side street away from piazza San Marco and then did our booked tour in the early afternoon around 1:30 - 2pm. The tour we had was not just a skip the line ticket but a tour both in English and Italian that got us separate entrance, with no waiting. The guided tour was worth it. Otherwise you are just walking around and wondering what you are looking at.
  5. Planning our Santorini day. Only two ships in port in September. We want to visit Akrotiri but the day we are there, a Thursday, the site is only open until 3 pm. so we will visit Akrotiri first. We will take the Cable car up from the dock to Fira, walk to the bus station and take the bus to Akrotiri, have lunch at Melina's tavern and then take the bus to Oia. But here's the question. It seems the buses all go to Fira, and then you have to transfer. So we pay and take the bus from Akrotiri to Fira, and then we have to get off and find the bus from Fira to Oia. So do we have to pay again? To take the bus from Fira to Oia? Or can we buy a bus ticket from Akrotiri to Oia and change buses without paying again? Your experiences riding the bus is appreciated.
  6. We stayed at the Hotel Olimpia and loved it. We'd stay there again in a heartbeat. Great buffet breakfast and very nice hotel. Two doors down is the Hotel Arlecchino, which lots of other people like. These two hotels are a short walk from the Piazzale Roma. We had no problems wheeling our luggage from the bus area across a very short bridge. The canal and area where these two hotels are located are fine and we did not hear any noise from the buses. Other people recommend the Hotel Santa Chaira, but that's very close to the bus area. You'd want a room that faces the canal, if you stay there.
  7. see attached satellite view of the White Bay cruise terminal. I have circled and labeled the ferry dock. I have also added the walking route that you have to take, as fences prevent you from walking directly to the ship. The walk is flat. Hope this helps.
  8. Yes, I've been on the tour and there were no tight spaces. There was a steep, narrow staircase, but its a passageway and you only travel through.
  9. The distance from San Diego to San Pedro is 122 miles. That's going to be one huge Uber bill. have you considered the train (Amtrak) from San Diego to Santa Ana station, and then use an uber to the San Pedro? Or to Long Beach, where there may be an Amtrak bus that connects from Long Beach to San Pedro, and then an uber ride to the port.
  10. Hi GloriaF, We booked the 4 day cruise with Coral Expeditions https://www.coralexpeditions.com/au/cruises/?region=GBR&date= It's not cheap, but it was a wonderful experience and great way to see the Great Barrier Reef and get to snorkel or dive in several places. The coral was alive and colorful in the spots we were anchored. It's a small ship, so you get to know your fellow passengers. The cabins are small, but have en suites. The food is excellent and one of the highlights of the trip. Since it's a small vessel with 20-40 passengers, there is no night life, so everyone is asleep or quiet by 10 pm. And after a day of activities, we didn't need late night evenings. They had some lectures after dinner from the marine biologist, but that was the extent of the evening activities. They did have a trivia quiz after dinner on the last night there. At The spots they anchor to visit the reefs, we were the only boat there. The boat provided all the gear, (except stinger suits- you purchase those from them and get to keep it, if needed during stinger season) They have a glass bottom boat, for those who aren't swimmers or have had enough time snorkeling. And the glass bottom boat takes you to shore on their included excursions. We did both snorkeling and the glass bottom boat, and you do see a lot of things from the boat, so even if you aren't a swimmer, you won't miss out on seeing the reef marine life. One of my favorite spots, was when they anchored off Lizard Island and took us to the beach, where we could walk into the water from shore to snorkel. This was a nice easy introduction to snorkeling for those of us who weren't strong swimmers. They had beach chairs and food and drink set up on shore, so we could snorkel, rest, snack and then snorkel again. We stayed on the beach to watch the sunset before they brought us back to the ship for dinner. It isn't all about snorkeling. We took a guided walk in Cooktown to the museum. They had hiking opportunities to a peak on Lizard Island, which we did one morning instead of snorkeling. They have diving instruction also. If you are looking for a luxurious, relaxing and extended visit to the GBR, this is the way to go. We highly recommend it!
  11. When our cruise ship, the Sea Princess, visited Milford Sound, it just went in halfway, then turned around and cruised out. If your cruise description is scenic sailing and not port stop, it's not going to stop anywhere in Milford Sound. I doubt a ship that big could dock in Milford Sound.
  12. We had booked with Shore Trips and Tours at Tauranga for Hobbiton and Rotarua, but our ship encountered a cyclone and had to cancel that port stop. The company knew before the passengers did that the ship wasn't going to make the port call and emailed to tell us and gave us a full refund, no questions asked. We had great customer service for that incident!
  13. My two cents and recommendation is Darling Harbor. Read my sydney review for more:
  14. From the Travel Lodge Wynyard, you would walk over to Wynyard station and take the Wynyard walk over to Kings Wharf. Once you reached the water, turn left, walk about 300 feet and the King Street Wharf ferry dock is right there. Very easy. Very walkable from your hotel. On embarkation days, Captain Cook Cruises runs frequent ferries to the White Bay Terminal. If you want to see their schedule, go to the Captain Cook Cruises website for a more up to date schedule. but if I recall they ferries were running in the morning starting around 10 am (we could board our ship at noon) It's cash only. $AUD 9 per person. No credit cards. You buy the one-way tickets from the ferry conductor(?)/agent/service person who is there on the dock. NO need to pre-book. You will, be hauling your own luggage on/off the ferry, so you need to be able to manage your luggage by yourself. The ferry ride is very short. About 15 minutes more or less. The ferry goes to White Bay ferry dock. You will wheel your luggage up the ramps towards the dock exit, and then you will wheel your luggage 200 feet to the road way, then 350-400 or so feet along the roadway, through the parking lot to the entrance of the White Bay Terminal, where cruise ship personnel will be there to take you luggage and you go check in. The location of the White Bay Cruise Terminal is in an isolated location, so this is not the place to drop your bags off and then go back into the town for sightseeing via taxi or the ferry back to Kings harbor. Hope that helps.
  15. We stayed at Hotel Olimpia. That's my vote! Loved the hotel. Get with the breakfast option. The breakfast buffet was plentiful and good! Two doors down is Arlecchino. Santa Chiara is right by the Vaporetto stop. All are good choices.
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