Sistine Chapel

Apr 1st, 2004, 11:41 AM
  #21  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 662
well, thank you to everyone! we will not be going on the private tour after all. the cost for the students is prohibitive and explorica will not pay for it. i tried, as did my co-leader. here for all of you who are wondering is the quote from joyce who was mentioned above (and was very, very helpful regarding timing,and ready to accomodate us in every way possible, etc.)The rate for the private visit is Euro 2.052,00. The rate for a english speaking guide is Euro 124,35 (max. 3 hours - max. 20 pax). then there is admission cost and so the saga sadly ends here. We are only a group of 10 so it is too much.
Re explorica: of course, we knew explorica would have budget accomodations and lousy food, etc. and my cohort and i were willing to rough it. what we did not know about was the company's last minute changes (hotels, itinerary). we are prepared to still have fun (and educate -we teach ancient civ)and will go to the catacombs instead on sunday. i will definitely push for the pope's blessing also. I do not think explorica will be going out of their way for me since i have been in their face about this. we started out very diplomatic, but if i hear that disclaimer one more time!

kybourbon: i know you are right about the students taking it in stride, but that is why these companies stay in business! when we return i will post a quick report for all the parents on this board. i have travelled quite a bit with my husband and always used this board. it is really good as all you have demonstrated again! i am off now to buy a hairdryer! they didn't even put us up in a hotel with hairdryers!we found that out yesterday! we leave tomorrow am with hopefully no more problems! ps the hard rock is indeed a very good idea!
wondering is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 01:30 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 242
One more suggestion for Rome. We were just there with teenagers and they loved the Colosseum having all seen "Galdiator" It is closer to the center of town than the catacombs and is now open on Sundays. We went from there into the Forum which surprisingly for me, they enjoyed immensely. Have a great trip. My daughter just stayed in a hotel in Rome without a hair dryer and bought one in a shop near the Campo Fiori for $15. Now she says she must go back to Italy to get her money's worth out of it. Not exactly the Trevi Fountain, but it is an incentive.
TravelsWithStDavid is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 06:49 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,303
Wondering,

It's a shame about missing the Sistine Chapel.


Something that your students might find interesting is the church of San Stefano Rotundo, a round church with the walls filled with huge frescoes of the martyrdoms of various saints.
Most of them are what the young people I know would call gross and/or cool. The church isn't well known; our taxi driver had never heard of it but followed us inside and wandered around gazing at the pictures in a bemused fashion before shaking his head and going back out to his car.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 07:49 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Wow! That's a pricey tour. Sorry it isn't going to work out for you. Explorica shouldn't have any problem taking you to the Sunday Blessing since St.Peter's is part of your intinerary that day. I'm not so sure you will have time for the catacombs as you are also scheduled to tour the forum and coliseum on Sunday. I don't think the catacombs are open very long in the afternoon.

Kids don't pay attention to details so make sure they get a card from the hotel so they will know where they are staying if they get separated from the group. I'm always amazed at how many don't have a clue about their hotel.

Have a good trip! I love 3 of the places on your tour - Rome, Pompeii, and Delphi. Spring in Italy - what could be better?
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 09:49 AM
  #25  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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just an update for all you helpful fodorites! in the end we were offered our choice on monday morning to go to either the sistine chapel or pompeii. the tour group split up and took separate buses to the ferry in bari. we chose pompeii, as all of our group had decided we would at some time return to rome on our own. one word of caution: do not go to rome during holy week if you can avoid it. the crowds were unbearable. our tour leader was a native of roma and she had never taken a group in such a crowd. we had fun anyway--although the metro, which i find nerve-wracking any day, was a bit scary with teens from california! thanks again for all your help and feedback. i would do a studnet tour again with explorica despite this mishap.
wondering is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 09:51 AM
  #26  
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p.s.i would do a student tour again with explorica if i could have the same tour guide. she was absolutely fabulous and we did not have an easy group to please! she has agreed to do a "best of italy" with us, but i do know you can never be sure with explorica. all our guides at each sight were excellent.the hotels were from very nice to poor, the food was from adequate to excellent...all in all, it was a good bargain.....
wondering is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 10:48 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3
Wondering, my daughter arrived home from her NETC trip on Good Friday and had the time of her life. They arrived in Rome early enough the first day to spend the day wandering around the Vatican (their hotel was within walking distance) and they stumbled upon a youth gathering in St. Peter's square, so spent the afternoon with teenagers from all over the world....and saw the Pope give a speech. She was close enough to get pictures of him. She also has hundreds of pictures of ruins of Greek and Roman theatres for her IB Drama portfolio. I'm curious about the difference in cost for your trip since someone pointed out in an earlier post that EF and Explorica were considered the budget student tours. Our school system always uses either NETC or ACIS after being displeased with the hotel locations on an EF tour. Her trip cost $2200 from Atlanta and she spent less than $200 for lunches and "stuff". She did end up buying a lot more film--she used ten rolls.

Glad you had fun--I've decided I'm going next time when my younger daughter goes with this teacher. She is an IB Latin student, and she's already saving her money. Guess I'd better start saving mine!
momontherun2001 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 11:30 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 188
HEY! Maybe Rex was having a bad day, he's 99% of the time very polite and
helpful. He has help me alot on many
of my questions.
bye.!
mile is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 12:37 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,523
momontherun2001- You can compare prices of the various student tour companies on line. In the past NETC has not listed their prices on line but will send you a catalog. NETC is much more education oriented than any of the other student tour companies. They arrange hands-on in-depth activities that the other companies just don't provide. Think of NETC and ACIS as Ritz Carlton and EF and Explorica as Motel 6. You get what you pay for. As you compare the companies you will notice that ACIS and NETC include high-speed trains and chunnel transfers instead of ferries etc. They also include admission to places that cost as opposed to all the free places that EF and Explorica include.

The web sites are:
www.acis.com high quality
www.educationtravel.com high (NETC)
www.passports.com mid quality
www.cha-tours.com mid
www.eftours.com budget
www.explorica.com budget

I would stick with NETC, ACIS, or CHA.
The most recent complaints I am hearing about EF and Explorica are the terrible flight connections. Students aren't arriving until late on day 2(as late as 6pm) and missing a day of touring. So a 9 day tour ends up being 3 days of travel.

You do not have to be a teacher to use these companies.
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 06:32 PM
  #30  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 662
mom on the run: our tour from sdiego was $1795- the acis equivalent from sdiego is about $1,000 USD more-we did have paid entry into all the sites and specifc guides at each site (that part i was very happy with...also our tour guide taught us italian and greek and gave history lessons on the bus , so we felt our kids got plenty of education) in light of the significant pricing differential you can see why we went budget...
wondering is offline  
Apr 12th, 2004, 07:41 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,523
Prices for 10 day Italy/Greece for May out of Cincinnati
explorica - $1725
cha - $2119
acis - $2579
These prices don't include air taxes, registration fee but will give you an idea of the difference in price between the companies.
kybourbon is offline  

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