HELP Quick! - Cruise or Guided Tour

Mar 27th, 2001, 07:43 PM
  #1  
Melissa
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HELP Quick! - Cruise or Guided Tour

Never been to Europe. Traveling with hubby and 9 year old daughter. Have a 7 night Mediterranean RCI cruise on hold until Friday. You seem like a experienced group (best I've found!). Have any of you done both and what do you recommend? What kind of prices if going on guided tour or just heading out on your own. This one is about $6800 for the three of us leaving out of Nashville which ran up the airfare. This one leaves leaves out of Barcelona, goes to Villefranche, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Naples, and Valleta.
 
Mar 27th, 2001, 10:28 PM
  #2  
Joyce
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HI Melissa, I am a cruise fan, have never done a tour. A friend of mine received an email from Renassaince ,14 day European tour at $100. per person a day, check the web site. I am sorry the info is sketchy. It was just mentioned in conversation. j
 
Mar 27th, 2001, 11:03 PM
  #3  
Lu
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Yep...I'm cruisin the boards tonight too! See my post to you on Frommer's.

One thing to add to that post...your daughter will probably like the cruise better if there are other children. The cruises I've been on (with 6 children in our family ages 5-19)... they liked going to the children's/teen's hang-out at night. (You may want to check that out for your particular ship.) It'll give you and hubby time alone too!

I did the Met cruise with Princess 2 years ago and totally fell in love...that cruise hit a lot of ports of cities that are worth seeing.

But it was just a taste....I'll be back!

Happy trails!
 
Mar 27th, 2001, 11:06 PM
  #4  
Lu
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Yep...I'm cruisin the boards tonight too! See my post to you on Frommer's.

One thing to add to that post...your daughter will probably like the cruise better if there are other children. The cruises I've been on (with 6 children in our family ages 5-19)... they liked going to the children's/teen's hang-out at night. (You may want to check that out for your particular ship.) It'll give you and hubby time alone too!

I did the Met cruise with Princess 2 years ago and totally fell in love...that cruise hit a lot of ports of cities that are worth seeing.

But it was just a taste....I'll be back!

Happy trails!
 
Mar 28th, 2001, 08:11 AM
  #5  
John
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Will also be on RCI cruise 5/26 out of Barcelona on same itinerary. We've never been to Europe before and the reason we chose the cruise was to have a "home base" to come back to every night - a safe haven, if you will. In addition, we won't have to pack up every morning to bus to the next stop.
we've sailed RCI twice before and our teenage daughters really enjoy the teen club at night and as one of the other posters mentioned, it gives us time alone.
I'm a firm believer that you can't beat the economics of a cruise when you factor in food, shelter, transportation and entertainment.
 
Mar 28th, 2001, 08:52 AM
  #6  
Leo
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Do the cruise. Although I have never done a tour (so I can't add anything on costs), I have seen lots of tour groups at tourist sites. They appear mostly to be an older crowd, with few if any children.

Your daughter will love the cruise. They usually have activities for the kids, special rooms for them to meet other kids. We've been on three Europen cruises (HAL, Orient, and NCL) with our extended family including kids between 8 to 20 (in different summers). The girls had a much better time than the boys. The kids can even stay behind on the ship for the day, if you want to tour by yourselves. $6800 for all meals, transportation and room is reasonable. You could not do what a cruise does for that price, but you wouldn't want to. One summer we all escaped to a castle in Tuscany for about a fourth of the cost of the cruise. However for a first tour of europe, the cruise is so convenient.

The extras will of course be the day tours. From Livorno to Florence, or Civitavecchia to Rome, the day tour may cost over $100, per person, $30-40 for just a transfer. They may have a schedule of tour prices and costs for you to examine on the cruiselines website, or another cruise line. they all offer similar types of tours. If you investigate this forum you will find lots of suggestions on how to do the tours yourself to same the money.

And Renissance is over 18 only (we still have 1 year till that)
 
Mar 28th, 2001, 02:05 PM
  #7  
Linda
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I've done both. Everything else being equal, I'd do the cruise any time. The only drawback I find is that I can't spend nights in the port, therefore lose out a little. But you get the same from the ship-offered tours as you get from a tour guide, don't have to worry about unpacking/repacking, and the extras given by a cruise (i.e., entertainment, a place to kick back and relax, and excellent food, make it worthwhile. Besides, there is more of a chance for there to be other kids your daughter's age on a cruise than on a tour, IMO.
 
Mar 28th, 2001, 03:59 PM
  #8  
Bob
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For your first trip....do the cruise. It is a great way to see Europe with little hassle. Next time, venture out on your own with a car and you can really get the flavor. But for a first trip with a child, the cruise is great.
 
Mar 29th, 2001, 04:55 AM
  #9  
leo
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to the top for melissa
 
Mar 29th, 2001, 05:50 AM
  #10  
charlotte
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If you're talking about your typical guided bus tour - I can't imagine that a 9 year old would enjoy it. The schedule is set - often including long days on a bus.
Many of the cruise lines seem to do a good job with activities for children. In any event, what you do with your days on a cruise is much more in your control than it would be on a bus tour.
If airfare from Nashville (instead of some place like Boston or Chicago) is a big factor, could you plan to travel to a larger city on your own - best to do this a day in advance in case of delayed or canceled flights?

If you just plan a trip on your own, airfare will probably be the biggest expense - especially if your trip is during the summer months. Beyond that, what you spend is pretty much up to you. If you rent an apartment in one city for the week, you may spend less. If you want to travel to several cities and stay in business class hotels, some sort of package tour will probably work out cheaper. (If you want to look at other options, you might want to check www.frommers.com)
Good luck!
 

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