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School group (n = 40) searches for cheap hotels in Paris and Rome

School group (n = 40) searches for cheap hotels in Paris and Rome

Old Oct 15th, 2009, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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daunO - Thanks so much for providing the link to the blog. There is always more to learn and I certainly appreciate the opportunity you have provided.

Aly4 - It is great to hear from people who have actually used facilities like these. We don't expect the Ritz at all. We need clean, safe and comfortable (hopefully with a good location too) for a reasonable price. We don't really stay out too late because we usually have a 6:00 a.m. wake-up call. Thanks for the details about closing times and the courtyard. I appreciate you sharing the results of your research with everyone on this message board.

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Old Oct 15th, 2009, 09:50 AM
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Unless your travel agent is very experienced in arranging pilgrimage tours or has some other special pull with the Vatican, I doubt he or she is going to be able to arrange a private audience with the Pope. I believe that Benedict XVI has discontinued the practice (popular with JP2) to meet with a select group of people immediately following the Wednesday general audience. Private audiences, which are rarely private but more like a small group, can occur on any day the Pope schedules them. I think the best shot at getting a private audience with the Pope is for you to have your pastor, or better yet, the bishop of your diocese, write to the Vatican and/or the Office of the North American College of Bishops and submit a request on behalf of your group.
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Old Oct 16th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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I would think any worry over taking high school kids to Europe would be the 16 year old and unenforced often even under that, drinking age. 16 in Italy i think for beer and wine - buying in stores or at caffes. France has just raised the legal age to 18 but IME enforcement may be very lacking - my French son was buying hard liquor at 14 he now says even though the age for that was 18 then. At Carrefour - huge chain store there were no checks.
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Old Oct 16th, 2009, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Go to and send through an email to the manager David. He will help you out. I know that he has one apartment block with about 6 apartments in it. All at very good prices eg.55 euro/night +. Very good areas close to transport etc. Self contained - might help you keep costs down a bit. We've just booked there. Yet to stay there, but it looks fantastic.
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Old Oct 16th, 2009, 10:42 AM
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I have to agree with Christina about Hotel Marignan -- I think this would be perfect (stayed there several years ago). But they seem to fill up early and stay pretty full so you need to book early to get as many rooms as you need. And there are all kinds of rooms -- with full bathrooms, partial bathrooms (one room had toilet/sink ensuite and shower right outside the door) and separate toilets and showers on every floor. And I saw several large rooms that could accommodate 5 or even 6 or 7. And what a PERFECT location! You could walk to 3/4ths of the places you want to visit from here. The FIAP is not bad but, as you said, not the most convenient (I took a french class here). I don't understand Aly4 saying the Marais was a "bit of a metro ride into the city" -- that is the CENTER of Paris! And, I've used euroCheapo and found their descriptions generally accurate.
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Old Oct 18th, 2009, 05:58 PM
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Grinisa - I appreciate your response to my questions about an audience with his Holiness. My request to the travel agents was "tongue in cheeK". Never in my wildest dreams would I expect to actually be able to come closer than hundreds of meters from Him. We are not a Catholic school, so it would be challenging for a local Priest of Bishop speak on our behalf. Several years ago (when we were visiting London, England) I wrote to Buckingham Palace and made a similar type request to meet Queen Elizabeth II. I received a very polite letter from one of her ladies-in-waiting explaining how busy Her Majesty was and that the timing wasn't optimal for her. I sometimes work on the premise 'It's better to be asked and turned down, than never to ask'. Thank you again for your counsel. We may write to the Vatican to be put on the waiting list for March 2011.

Palenque - Your concerns are absolutely valid. I am sure we will face similar situations. Some students have a "sense of entitlement" wherein they believe they have a "right" to consume alcohol becuase it doesn't break any European laws. Unfortunately for them it is in contravention of our school board policies and there are consequences upon their return. Generally we have had good fortune with student travellers in the past. I tell them it is a lot more sensible to save the cost of the trip and purchase alcohol at home. We also get acknowledgement from parents that they will pay for a one way air ticket home if a situation develops.

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Old Oct 19th, 2009, 12:23 PM
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teach Canada - i once 'chaperoned' a group of high school grads - grads on their graduation trip to Spain - thank God they had graduated - our bus to the airport was stopped on the way out and some one came aboard and told everyone to cough up all the stuff they had pilfered from the rooms - ashtrays, towels, etc. They said we ain't going anywhere until they did and they did.

It seems you are dealing with more responsible and responsive kids and will have a great great time - and have good plans in place in case some do get out of hand.
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