Holy Land cruise

Old Dec 7th, 2009, 02:12 PM
  #21  
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I will let you know once I get back but Charli was just there not that long ago so she might have more insight.

I am not sure what you mean by tough terrain for younger travellers. If it is tough terrain, it would be tougher for the "aging" travellers.
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Old Jan 18th, 2010, 07:25 PM
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I am looking into that same crusie, but a different date.
I have traveled Holland and Princess. Holland is definately several cuts above princess. Holland only has one sail date in October and does'nt work for me.

My son-in-law took 10 day land tour (spring 09) and was not subjected to any problems.

Any comments on holy land & egypt for persons with mobility problems? For those of you that have been, would a wheelchair be duable?
Thanks, lindac1
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 04:01 AM
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After sailing the NCL Gem... unless the cruise is a "steal" and the ports are great..I'll go back to Celebrity..which we are. Although we did buy a coupon for a cruise on NCL again.most likely the Spirit from Boston.. Check out here my review of the NCL Gem....fair and balanced I think as did other cruisers we met
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Old Jan 19th, 2010, 09:47 PM
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Hi Lindac1, good to hear that there is no problem in the area. DW is really looking forward to this trip.

The Pacific Princess is a small ship, 600 passengers and only 30,000 tons. I heard some larger ships are sailing there but not necessary visiting the same ports. We have checked out Celebrity and others but DW have ultiamtely decided on the Princess, mainly for the ports itenary.

Since I have not been there, I am not sure about the wheelchair access. I can safely say that wheelchair acess is fine on the ship itself but since some ports are tendered ashore, those could be challenging. Also, a wheelchair may post a problem on some shore excursions.

Best way to find out is to check out the shore excursions available and see what level of activities are offered. You might want to specifically ask about the tendered ports how they will handle wheelchairs.

ParrotMom, we have not cruise NCL for years and based on what we have heard from everyone, I have no great big desire to try them out again, even on a "steal". You get what you pay for. However, if it is offered to me for free ... I might consider it.

We were on the Celebrity Mercury last fall and have seen many cut backs, which is unfortunate. Our impression of Celebrity is lower now, especially the food. Having an inattentive and forgetful cabin steward didn't help either. We'll still go back to Celebrity, but only on their newer ships.

So far, we have very good luck with HAL and Princess. No major complaints despite the fact that Princess lost our luggage in Alaska on our very first voyage with them! We can be very forgiving on mistakes if the effort is there. No one is ever perfect.
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Old Jul 21st, 2010, 06:18 AM
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WE returned from this trip on Pacific Princess.. Boat could not tender in Sorrento due to rough seas. We went to Naples, and then we were able to take the cheese tasting excursion by bus. Others went to Naples or Pompeii as they could not cross to Capri.
In Patmos, we took taxi one way to the top to see the monastery and walked down to St. John's grotto and then walked the donkey trail to the bottom.
In Kusadasi, we took an excursion to Mary's shrine and Ephesus. Great tour and learned much about Ephesus.
In Israel, from Ashdod, we took a tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. When we arrived in Bethlehem, our first top was a gift shop for 30 minutes. Bummer.. When we arrived at the Church of the Nativity, the lines were too long to see the actual site. Lunch at the kibbutz in Jerusalem was good. Wailing wall and Via Dolorosa was awesome.
Next day, Went to Galilee, Nazareth ,Capernum, Mt of Beatitudes, Tagda, all very impressive. Lunch was not as good as the previous day. Did not encounter any problems, felt safe even in the market place in Jerusalem which was very crowded as was the wailing wall.
Spent overnight in Egypt, Four Seasons, excellent choice. Cruise on the Nile , ok, breakfast no so good. Cairo is very crowded and dirty and I would not want any free time there. Shopping included as well, not happy about that.
Trips to the pyramids was great, night show could have been better, but it was great to see them lit at night.
Lunch one day at the Marriot, next day at some converted palace and dinner the following day. Satisfactory.
Santorini is a small island, bus to the top and we took a bus trip, and just a chat. More shopping time, by this time I did not want to see another shop, so I opted to get back to the ship. I decided to walk down the donkey trail as the wait for the cable car down was long. It took me about 40 minutes. Very careful walking, steps slippery and donkey poop too.
We arrrived at the port in Athens and I arranged for a taxi to pick us up and I did not want to wait in a line and the prices were less. Watch out, the taxi drivers will try to overcharge you.
We stayed at the Parthenon in Athens, which was very very close to the acropolis and the museum. Very good 2 days, we did lots of walking and did take a taxi to some longer distances.
Great trip!! loved all of it!
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Old Jul 21st, 2010, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for your hints. We are doing the Celebrity Equinox from Rome on 10/18... First in Jerusaleum/Haifa.. four of us are sharing a private guide.. In Cairo we are going to the Pyramids just one day private tour. the next day take it easy for the strenuous Israel tour Naples and Sicily we haven't anything planned and in Corfu we are going to roam the streets.. I do want to do Sorrento or Capri on our own.. unless I can share a ride.. BTW we were on the Pacific Princess through the Amazon and the experience of the ship, etc. has stopped me from every cruising Princess again..Celebrity is so far superior....lol
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Old Jul 21st, 2010, 04:09 PM
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ESCHEW....We cruised the Soltice in April and I must say (read the review on t his site)...that it was the most magnificent ship.. complete with the lawn (yes, it works) and the Corning Glass show..it would be worth it just to cruise to check out the art on the ship.. By wild chance we were in AQUA class/handicapped cabin..Have never had a bathroom so big that I could hold a party in. yes, cruises have changed the food in the MDR was not what I had expected...but we ate in Blu, the dining room for Aqua guests and Murranos... to die for..Food on ALL the cruise lines is not what it used to be..at least on the "premium lines". We have been cruising for well over 25 years and there was a noticable difference on the Soltice.. There is no way i can explain how incredible the service was...at 11;00 pm the night before we were leaving.. my husbands rollator lost a screw.. We called down and a repair man was upstairs within five minutes fixing it.. Two days earler discovered our plane tickets were missing.. a call to the Conceirge resulted in a copy of our tickets being outside our door within 48 hours.. The word "No or Can't be done".. is not in their vocabulary. The major problem that particular week was a problem in the show room and after they flew a crew in to fix it... another came up..the entertainment for this cruise is not what we expected on any cruise ship....horrible. Just for the record... this week Travel and Leisure put Celebrity #7 and Princess #10
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 05:35 AM
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PM: We are looking for a similar cruise in Oct. 2011 on Celebs new ship the Silouette. I hope its as good as yours was.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 09:49 AM
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Cecitom, great report. I am really looking forwaard to the trip. We are doing the reverse. We will board in Athen and disembark in Rome. We will spend 2 days in Athens before boarding and 3 days in Rome before heading home.

How's the ship? How about food and entertainment? Since it is a smaller ship, I knew they have a cabaret rather than a theatre. Did the rough sea affected the ship much?

We have not finalize all the excursions yet but I think what we have picked is close to what you had, with the exception of overnight at Ciaro.

Have you heard anything about visa requirements? I don't think gthere is any. Our passports are due to expire Jan 2011 and our TA suggested that we should get our passport renewed before we go. But we will be back home before the end of October so I am not sure why we need to renew it now.

Well, ParrotMom, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I had a really bad experience with Celebrity Mercury last year that DW did not want to get on a Celebrity ship even again. I am a bit more forgiving and willing to give them another try.

I am glad that at least you agreed with me that the Celebrity food quality is not what it used to be. It used to be better than half decent. The entertainment is another story.

With the price held steady and inflation, quality will have to go down. I expected that. Except on the Celebrity, it was more ovbious and the drop is beyond the expectation.

I don't subscribe to Travel & Leisure as I have cut up my Diners and AE cards year ago. You might notice that there are more Celebrity ads than Princess ads on the mag?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 03:10 PM
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True, lots of ads but they offered me a yr. for only $10.00.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 03:35 PM
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JACKETWATCH... check out the trans/atlantics of Celebrity, especially the Eclipse, Equinox, Siloutte, and Soltice. Wouldn't it be a blast to be on the Siloutte together.. so far that ship and the Soltice are #1 and #2. We get our magazine subscriptions through a local subscription service outside of Boston and their price are always less then the magazines are offering..We don't have a Diners or AE card...We use right now Discover and any other card that pays us benefits for using..
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 03:48 PM
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ESCHEW..WE will be in Rome mid-October and have a great hotel they tell me..have not been to Sardinia or Mallorca, but I can tell you if you haven't been there Lisbon is an absolute delight.. So, we may meet after all.. but won't be booking until cruise month in February
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 04:08 PM
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As much as I would love to meet you and Parrotpop it wouldn't be on a trans Atl. cruise. I mean we get edgy with too many sea days. Sorry hun. Some other place would be fun as I am sure you are.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 07:21 PM
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Have you ever done a t/a? We find the days at sea sooo restful and we are able to p ick and choose from activities. Our Holyland cruise is Rome to Rome.. wish I could take the back to back.. but leaving my p ets for almost a month I'd be miserable and Ive found that after 14 days on a ship...and a pre-night cruise are about all I can do.. We are at the age where we do not appreciate a port intensive itinerary..nor a seven day one...the Silhoutte is only 11 days which is the least we would ever do now..but then again..there is Rome.... ah Rome..Jacketwatch.. let you in on a big secret.. we will be in Rome on our 55th wedding anniversary and I want to spend it in front of the lit Trevi Founain... how much more romantic is that...
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 05:40 AM
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I luv the way you think!! You go and do it. As for the T/A yes we have thought of it but once we had two consecutive days at seas and about we bonkers. for us the fun is seeing new palces and being in a new port almost every day. As for the Holy Land I know some ports will be intensive but we plan to play it by ear and just take it easy in other ports. For example if we go to Santorini we'll take the cable car to the top of the mountain and back, stroll around and so on. However for Alexandria as its two days and I've heard its a long ride into the city I thought about getting a hotel over night. Did you go there?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 02:02 PM
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In Israel luckily we had booked a guide for Jerusaleum and Haifa. Besides the usual there on my bucket list is the Chagall Windows...In Cairo/Alexandria..there is a private tour for just one day...the next day we will rest.. just discovered we do have a private tour of Sorrento and Capri.. Corfu we just might walk around.. and Naples.. well, we'll figure how to get out of there..At this p oint we are older and we love the days at sea to unstress..and on the Equinox for me..now banned for the rest of my life for sunbathing I'll spend my extra time reading or zonked out in the adult only Solarium.. Don't know if your retired, but we are and i can honestly say..we don't have a day off.. we are ALWAYS on the go and I'm exhausted..
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 03:55 PM
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ParrotMom, I know we will miss each other by a couple of days in Rome. Transatlantic is not in the books at this point. Way too many sea days. It is relaxing but DW wants to see places other than just water. She wants to have 7 stops on a 7 day cruise (which is not going to happen).

Lisbon is nice and it is cheap. Bike tour on the country side if you have time. Bike rental is reasonable.

The family discussion so far is Mexican or Caribbean for Jan 2011, maybe Alaska again in May or June and undecided for November. Could be a trip to India. (Larry talked me into it)

Other options included Peru and the Amazon. There are so many places that we haven't been to and yet so many places that we liked to re-visit. Only so munch $$$ and vacation time. We can afford to travel while I am working. Once I'm retired, it's fixed income and trips will be less frequent.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 06:47 PM
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We did the Pacific Princess through the Amazon last April, it was in my bucket list.Did a boat tour (through Princess) of the meeting of the waters, saw the giant lily pads, visited a native village and had a fabulous buffet lunch in the middle of the Amazon. Dominica...the absolute joy of going through and over the tropical forest by tram and then walking along the floor of the jungle. For a moment I felt like Auntie Mame when we had to cross this huge steel bridge which reminded me of the River Kwai..and oh yes.. the ride to the jungle on the winding roads was heart stoppers...St.Barts, boy, could I write a book about how snobby.. St.Lucia..which I had looked forward to revisiting...now another tourist trap..Devils Island...I swear every pore in my body was pushing out sweat...unbearable..Eschew.. we went to Macchu Picchu back in 1986 I think before there were five star hotels.. we stayed for a week between Lima, Cuzco and the ruins..Now,if we were to go back..I'd certainly avoid Machu Picchu and visit the other ruins..In Lisbon we took a private tour to Sintra one day and the next we did a tour of the monuments.. As for bike riding...those days are gone forever.. we are fairly inactive seniors..lol.. Seven ports in seven days...much too port intensive for me...that has stopped us from a few cruise lines like Oceania.. We have done Mexico..there are only two ports that interest me..Hutalco and Zilhianto.. although I have to admit that the Cliff Divers in Acalpulco are a sight to see..and yes..if the cruise included the San Blas Islands and Cartegena.. I'd be on the ship.
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 03:00 PM
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Machu Picchu is on my bucket list. So is Angel Fall, made famous by the ecent movie "UP" and Conan Doyle's book. Tibet is on my bucket list too but I can't crusie there. I have also been told taht it is highly commericalized.

A young friend of mine had the Great Wall of China on his list. But he wanted to travel from one end to the the other (3000 miles?) He finally finished it last year. He did it a section at a time on his vacation. After a little bit more than 10 years, he finished the trek.

I can't do bike tour anymore as DW doesn't bike. Did it when I was younger and more able body, I think I am still in good enough shape to do that again even though I'm 60+, but then I don't know if my kdis would go with me as DW won't.

Caribbean and Mexico destinations are for the kids. We have been through there but the kids have not. The only way we figure we can convince the kids to travel with us is to warm places in the winter months so anything on my bucket list is out for them.

I love history and mythology so I am interested in "old" places that have a bit of a history and story. When I travel to Mexico, I don't stay at beaches, I go visit Mayan ruins and the mountain villages. I guess every world heritage site would be a candidate for my bucket list.
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