italian fall trip

Jan 17th, 2008, 09:54 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
italian fall trip

hi, we are thinking of going to italy either by cruise with celebrity azmara, which is 2 weeks total, including 2 days each at venice, florence and sorrento.........or grand circle tours for 18 days, rome, sorrento and montecatini.......any thoughts or suggestions, my 60th bday is in HELP, pleease, joy1948
joy1948 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 10:26 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 738
The answer is - it depends.... I'll tell you what we did when faced with the same question.... We wanted to go to Rome, Florence, Sicily and Venice and a couple Greek Islands. I started looking at land tours, and all I could think about was pack and move, pack and move, pack and move - OR we could take a cruse (happened to be Crystal) that started in Rome, and went to Sicily, Venice, some other city in Italy, Turkey, Santorini, Mykonos and Athens. I gave up Florence, but I added Turkey (which was actually my favorite stop) and I never had to pack and move, pack and move.... Ours was a 2 week cruise, plus we had a few days extra up front in Rome (LOVED it)... I would vote for the cruise - and my birthday is in March, too - and I'm not very far behind you.....
Debi is offline  
Jan 17th, 2008, 01:28 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
hi all, i am new to this, thanks to joan; she told me the best way to do it....so, here goes, looking for anyone who has gone to italy by cruise and or land tour......there are so many choices out there and it is so hard to decide which one would give the best bang for the buck........our 2 main choices were grand circle tours and celebrity azmara cruise, both are 2 weeks or more.......thanks,any feedback would be great....joy1948
joy1948 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 03:58 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
I have done 6 Med cruises and 17 land trips to Italy, though I do not take tours as I enjoy planning for myself, choosing my own hotels and having flexibility.

The downside to a cruise IMO is that you miss the best times of day at ports of call, that is the time before the daytrippers pack the place and after they are gone. My favorite things to do in Italy include long walks in the early mornings watching the cities and towns wake up, stopping randomly for a cappucino, etc. In the early evening, sitting at a table on a piazza sipping a glass of wine and people watching is priceless.

The food and wine in Italy is superb and far better than cruise ships food, though Azamara is said to be good. Still, why go to a place like Italy and then take your meals on a cruise ship?

If you are looking for some structure and don't want to do Italy on your own then Grand Circle would be a better option IMO.

Bang for buck is relative. We are recently back from a 2 week visit to Venice, Florence and Rome and spent no more than an Azamara cruise would cost. As for the packing and unpacking, we traveled carry on only (4 couples) and this was not a hassle at all. It was twice in 2 weeks and we daytripped from Florence to the wineries and other small towns in Tuscany.

I would not trade sunsets on our terrace overlooking room with a bottle of wine and some lovely olives and cheese for racing back to the ship to meet the schedule. That is a hassle, IMO and IME.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 05:31 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
hi kfusto,thanks you so very much for the most interesting reply......i agree with you completely about the meals on the ship, that is a definite CON; actually we are leaning towards a land tour, would you be able to suggest any that have no less than 2 nights at each place......amalfi coast, sorrento, capri, rome,venice and florence are a must... grand circle seems like a decent tour co., there are soooo many it is quite overwheming.......would you know anything about donna franca, or go ahead, globus, etc.???? thanks again, joy1948
joy1948 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 04:19 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
Joy, I am not a tour person so cannot help you with that. Perhaps a new post with that specific title would be helpful?

I do think you should consier a more slow travel approach though. Package tours usually use hotels not so well located and out of the center and chains more than small and special. And cramming in so much means not really experiencing anything.

If it were me, I would enlist the services of a GOOD travel agent who knows Italy (ask around of everyone you know or post on slowtrav.com). Choose your top 3 destinations, determine a budget, then plan to stay in each for 4-5 days and daytrip. Even better, pcik your cities and then use this forum to research great places to stay in your price range.

It is already late to be planning for some months of this year (you do not give dates but hopefully you are not forced to travel in summer).

That "if it's Tuesday it must be Belgium" stuff is just not the way to do anything but scratch the surface.

I would only choose a tour if you are really nervous of traveling independently.
kfusto is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 06:28 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
hi kfusto, we are not planning to go until sept. of 2008, or the following spring........this is our first time to italy, which is where my husband's parents were from, outside of naples, fountain of roses...however, they are all deceased now, and, i think your way sounds ideal, but as a first timer a tour, however, may be the best way........very confused........i will check out that site and thanks for your input, want a job?????LOLOLO........joy1948
joy1948 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 12:15 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
We are going again in October 2008 and have already booked the group's hotels and air (12 couples). If you were winos I would ask you to join us!
kfusto is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 05:22 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 7
kfusto, too bad, i would really like that but 2 glasses at dinner is plenty for me.........would't be able to wake up the next morning,LOL!! thanks, very sweet of you.......joy1948
joy1948 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:03 AM.