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Spain Monaco & Italy with Britannia 11 April 2015 (15 nights)

Spain Monaco & Italy with Britannia 11 April 2015 (15 nights)

Mar 23rd, 2015, 08:31 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 18
Spain Monaco & Italy with Britannia 11 April 2015 (15 nights)

The Britannia looks amazing. Can anyone tell me which is the best affordable inside cable?

I am from Auckland New Zealand, it would be a long way to get to Southhampton. I am thinking maybe I should arrive 1/2 night pre cruise to get over jetleg.

I am on a tight budget so can anyone recommend a clean and affordable accommodation please? How much am i looking at?

B&B, perhaps?

I'd also love to hear people's favourite off shore excursions please for this cruise

Any tips and recommendations would be warmly received and appreciated

Thank you very much.
alwayslucky14 is offline  
Mar 24th, 2015, 01:26 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,317
I wish I had seen your earlier question in Jan.
Have you booked already? It looks as if most inside cabins for that cruise are sold out.
Are you going by yourself? Singles are pricey. That is true for any cruise.

Yes to always arriving a day or two early so you are rested and can enjoy the cruise right from the start.

For excursions, join the roll call for your ship and cruise, on cruisecritic, to join other people from your ship and do small group excursions. Save money over the cost of the ship's excursions.

If you have not booked, and can wait three or four weeks for your trip, look at cruises on vacationstogo.com. Many of the ships that do the Caribbean in winter, leave for Europe sometime in April and you will see many great cruises in late April, May and June. Many are much cheaper and even a 3 or 4 star ship can be fine if most of your days are off to see great sights. If it is just to be on the ship, then the ship is more important.

You might even find some itineraries that are more interesting than that one. Barcelona is great, but Gibraltar, Alicante and Monaco are not, IMHO, top draw sights. Also, realize that Rome and Florence are both quite far from the ports and you will use a good bit of time getting from the ship's port to the sights and return to ship. While the ship is new and does look amazing, you might find some less expensive cruises that are better as to ports stops.

If you have not booked, I recommend departing from some fantastic, major city like Rome or Venice and going there for a few days before the cruise to explore, and ending in another city of great sights, and staying a few days. That way, you could even take a shorter cruise, but see more of Europe.

We love cruises. It is important to decide what you want from the trip. Lots of great sightseeing, time relaxing on the ship, warm beaches, great food, etc. A 4/5 star ship may be more important if food or luxury is a priority. Even a 3 star can be fine if the itinerary and sights are most important.

In Europe, one thing you do miss by cruising is night life in European cities. A Caribbean cruise in winter is a great intro to cruising.

If you have not already booked, we can suggest some other cruises. If you have, then we can suggest things to do in those ports.

Jojn cruisecritic. Look at travelzoo, and, of course, vacationstogo.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 25th, 2015, 07:41 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,317
I realized I did not answer your first question. Usually, if you have any kind of motion sickness, the best inside cabins are on center decks, mid-ship, as you will experience the least movement, but look at the deck plans. It is best to have cabins above and below you, not clubs with music all night or restaurants where there will be early morning noise, or open deck with deck chairs being moved about for cleaning over your head.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 26th, 2015, 05:00 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 18
I have not booked for the cruise as I was uncertain about the ports because they seem to sound so interesting.But I realise it could be just "Advertising talk". I am new to cruising so I know I have a lot to learn. So I am testing my assumptions.

I love your recommendation to depart from a major city like Rome, going for a few days to explore so I could take a shorter cruise. Interesting ports and itineraries are more important to me than food or a balcony accommodation. Well, I just need a clean place to sleep at night and a shower.

I shall be most grateful to you if you recommend other cruises please.

What do you think of "fly/cruise" packages? They sound like a good deal. You see, living in New Zealand we have to pay so much for airfare to travel anywhere.

I see some amazing deals from vacationstogo website. But I assume that by the time with expensive airfares, it is not cheap anymore.

You know what?I will ring vacationstogo next time when I see an interesting cruise special. No harm in asking as I may be pleasantly surprised.

Thank you so much for your ideas and recommendatons: so comprehensive and thorough. You are so kind.

I look forward to hear from you about other cruises.
alwayslucky14 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2015, 06:33 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,317
You are correct in that sometime the airfare is as much or even more than the cruise.
I have never done the "fly/cruise" package for a few reasons. I find cheaper flights, I want to go at different times, I want to go a few days before the cruise or stay a few days after, or I am going someplace else before or after the cruise. You would have to price flights by themselves and then see how much the package costs.

All those prices are for one person sharing a cabin. If you are by yourself, you may pay nearly double for a cabin, although a few ships have single cabins, and a very, very few do not charge a supplement. This is a big money concern - paying for two when you are only one. How do you feel about that, or do you have a companion to share expenses?

When looking at costs, be sure to add in Gratuities, usually $11.00 - $15.00 per day per person. So a long cruise with lots of days at sea will add to the cost without adding to your sightseeing. P&O charges only about $7.50 a day, and some very high end cruises include gratuities in the cost of the cruise. Port fees and taxes are usually included, but not always. Ask. There is a possibility of a fuel surcharge, but I have never experienced that.

Excursions will add to your costs also. Some may be included with high end cruises, but ship's excursions will be expensive.

Besides vacationstogo.com, look at cruisecritic.com, cruise.com, travelzoo, etc.

If the ship experience is less important to you than the ports, then look at itineraries that stop in ports that you are super anxious to see, and do not worry about how many stars the ship has.

When looking at itineraries, it is really important to see how long the ship is docked at the port. Given that it takes awhile to get off the ship and you have to be back 30 minutes or so before departure, it makes a big difference in how much time you have for actual sightseeing. Some have nice long days, 7:00am-6:00pm, etc. giving you 9 hours or so for sightseeing. Others may dock at 9:00am and depart at 1:00, giving you no more than 4 hours.

Cruises give you only a little taste of an area. They are good for getting you to a major site you have always wanted to see or for visiting a small town or village that can be seen in a day. One day in a major city has to be well planned for you to get a lot out of it.

In the next day or so, I will try to point out a couple I think are interesting, but if you see some you like, post them as a separate thread and get advice from some of the cruisers who are more well traveled than me.

If you wanted beaches and relaxing, not so much sightseeing, Caribbean cruises are great for that.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 27th, 2015, 07:39 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 18
You point out a few expenses that I "know" but clearly forgotten. Of course, the Gratuities. Well, 46 nights round the wolrd cruise have to wait a bit longer then ;-)

You are absolutely right about spending a few days before and after cruises - one day at a port does need careful planning.

If you would point out interesting cruises to me, that would be lovely. There is nothing better than other cruisers personal experience.

Thank you so much, I have learnt a lot from you ;-) ;-) ;-)
alwayslucky14 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2015, 01:40 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,051
Always, you can sign up for the vacations to go newsletters - each week they send a summary of what discounts are on offer, plus often give interesting info about ships, places etc.
I've also found their staff to be most helpful when you phone them - they operate in Aussie time zones, and it's either a free or local call cost (can't remember which!) Di
di2315 is online now  
Mar 28th, 2015, 06:27 PM
  #8  
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 18
Thank Di.

I am glad to hear such great feedback about vacationstogo as I initially thought it sounds like it is too good to be true. Now I am confident to use it.

I will ring them in future - there is a Toll Free number to ring for New Zealand.

Once again, thank you very much for your recommendation. Now I have a new mindset about cruising - I can afford it.
alwayslucky14 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2015, 06:35 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,317
Always, do look at cruisecritic and travelzoo also. I have booked with vacationstogo, but sometimes after looking at lots of the web sites, I end up booking directly with the cruise line. They often give a little more credit - money on your ship board account that you can use to pay part of the gratuities, in the ship's specialty restaurants, shops or excursions.
Sassafrass is offline  
Mar 30th, 2015, 10:00 PM
  #10  
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Oh, that is a very helpful tip. I did not know that. Definitely will look at the cruise line directly from now on.

I joined treavelzoo, they have some amazing deals!!!!
Thank you so much for all help ;-)
alwayslucky14 is offline  

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