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30th anniv cruise from Venice to Greece - help us be more independent

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Feb 24th, 2007, 01:41 PM
  #1
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30th anniv cruise from Venice to Greece - help us be more independent

We still get together with a lot of our college friends. When we realized that a number of us would be celebrating our 30th anniversary this year, we decided to celebrate by doing something special. We started to explore options and have booked a cruise in October.

It is a Royal Caribbean cruise, and here is the itinerary:
Sat - Venice
Sun - cruising
Mon - Mykonos, Greece
Tues -Athens (Pireaus) Greece
Wed- Katakolon, Greece
Thurs - Corfu, Greece
Fri - Split, Croatia
Sat - Venice

We decided that a cruise would allow us to be together, yet independent too. Although we are going the cruise route, we hope to do many (most? all?) of the excursions on our own. I hope to pick your brains as we make our plans. The bad part about the cruise is that we'll have such a limited amount of time in each port. We are adding some extra time before and after in Venice.

Question #1: We will be flying in to Venice and possibly staying at the Hotel Guerrato.
www.pensioneguerrato.it

Does this sound like a well located hotel to be able to explore Venice and to get to the boat? Will we need to take a train from the airport to old Venice and then the vaparetto to the hotel area? Or will the water taxis go all the way from the airport to the hotel area? I did check these boards and saw that the water taxi would be about 80 E.

We are OK with schlepping our luggage somewhat - but it will be somewhat awkward to go pull it for long distances.

We are all arriving and leaving separately, so we'll be arriving in pairs.

Debbie
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Feb 25th, 2007, 07:33 PM
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Question #2 - We just found out that that hotel is full already for our dates.

Does anyone have a suggestion for a reasonably priced hotel near the Hotel (Pensione?) Guerrato?

Thanks for your help.

Debbie
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Feb 25th, 2007, 11:48 PM
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Debbie - I think the location of the Pensione Guerrato would have been fine. We stayed at the Pensioine Accademia (near the Accademia Bridge instead of the Rialto - just a couple of vaporetto stops further down the canal toward San Marco. Price at Accadmia was a bit more I think, but very nice (with front and back gardens and courtyards).

I'd try to get to Venice at least two days before your cruise so you have enough time to enjoy Venice - it's a magical city.

KC
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Feb 26th, 2007, 05:08 AM
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Mykonos and Corfu--I don't think that you need to take any excursions in these towns. They are both very walkable.

Definitely schedule the extra pre and/or post cruise days in Venice. Again, you can easily explore it on your own.

Athens--you may want to plan an excursion or guided tour. Pireaus is 45 minutes-1 hour from central Athens. You will need some type of transportation into the city.

I have not been to Katakolon or to Split
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Feb 26th, 2007, 05:24 AM
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We had almost the same cruise last year in Easter.
We didnít ever get in the organized excursions but we did all of them by ourselves.
Especially in Athens (Pireaus) you can walk about 15 minutes a take the underground to the old city: it will cost you 0,90 euros each way. You arrive exactly at the bottom of the hill of Pireaus. If you leave as soon as you can from the Boat you will arrive before the organized buses, as the streets are very crowded, and have a chance to have a better visit. Bring a good guide book with you.
Split is very small. You will arrive in the port that is in the center. The greatest attraction are the walls. After you buy the ticket you will be able to walk on the top for kilometers: the view is gorgeous.
Be sure you take comfortable shoes and a wind proof jacket.

Let me know if you need more info.
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Feb 26th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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in Zorba's post, does he mean, you will arrive exactly at the bottom of the hill of PIRAEUS?!? Or does he mean at the foot of the Acropolis?
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Feb 26th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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Sorry, I meant the Acropolis
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Feb 26th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Thanks for all of your responses.

We fly in the morning before our cruise so will have that afternoon and evening. Afterwards, we are staying two nights so will have part of the disembarking day and a full day. My husband were in Venice for a day and a half once before, so know our way around a little.

Next job is to pick the hotel.

Knoxvillecouple - Thanks for the information on the other hotel. I'll check it out. One good thing about not getting into the same hotel as our friends, this way we can all look at each other's places.

takemealong - Thanks for the insight on Mykonos and Corfu and the tip on a tour in Athens. Since we have such a short time there and so much to see, we are considering a tour.

zorba01 - It is great that you went on almost the same cruise. I am looking forward to picking your brain. I had just recently read that there was a Metro from the port to the town and had wondered how well it would work. Since we aren't familiar with these places, we are trying to figure out what is doable.

Thanks again!

Debbie
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Feb 27th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Traveler2005 -

You may also want to check the bulletin boards at cruise critic dot com. There is a wealth of information regarding Mediterranean cruises, with all the different cruiselilnes/ships, ports (including recommendations for private guides, etc). We did a Med cruise last summer on Celebrity Millennium and I found that resource to be very useful.

KC
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Feb 27th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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We are doing the same cruise in late November (week of USA Thanksgiving) to celebrate our 40th. Looking forward to it. Good information here from everyone.

Try venere.com for hotel ideas they have lots in Italy. We have booked the Hotel Ala which is hooked up with Best Western and gets good reviews on Trip Advisor. It is close to St Marks. It runs about 110 Euro. We have been to Venice before as well and are arriving a day ahead of departure. After the cruise we are renting a car and driving to Florence, Cinque Terre, and then ending in Milan to return home (no no not in one day!). We have not been in Italy since 1994 so we are really looking forward to our return.
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Feb 27th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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I'll check out cruise critic - It's a good time we have until October, because I am really going to enjoy doing all the research.

I'll also check the Hotel Ala. That sounds like a good price and I'm glad to know you've already done some checking out of reviews on it.

Debbie
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Mar 3rd, 2007, 03:25 PM
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We're doing the exact same cruise as well - sounds like we'll be on the same ship with Curt, as it's the Thanksgiving week sailing!

Looking forward to researching this one, and we'll be checking out the Venice hotel recs listed above.
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Mar 4th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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We're doing the same cruise in August. I'm curious if you all are planning to do the RCCL excursions or go on your own.

J
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Mar 4th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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We'll do our own excursions/tours - nothing through RCCL if we can help it. We're pretty comfortable wandering around on our own, having researched a lot beforehand obviously. You just spend SO much money on the ship excursions - it makes me ill.
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Mar 12th, 2007, 01:32 PM
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nycgirl1 - I have examined the shore excursions offered by the ship and none seem all that great. I did read the one can take the underground/metro/subway whatever they call it in Athens right form the port to the Acropolis area and then just explore on foot. Lots of research to do yet but I suspect that in each port we will just do everything on our own. We are really looking forward to this cruise - we have read pretty good reviews of the ship and we do really like Royal Caribbean shipe anyway. We have never had a bad experience on them.

If you find any good things to do post it over on the cruise chat area.
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Apr 13th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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We'll be doing this same cruise 10/6
on RCL.
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May 22nd, 2007, 03:58 PM
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We haven't decided about the optional tours. I am leaning towards thinking that we'll do them on our own. However it might be convenient to take one in Athens, for instance, since we don't have much time.

We booked the Locanda Orseolo for before and after the cruise.

Debbie

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