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Rome - from Edward50

Monday, April 25 and Sunday May 1 are national holidays in Italy. Several modes of transport may be closed or have reduced schedules. Transportation and tours may have added a holiday surcharge to their regular rates.

April 25 - May 1 there are a fair number of citizens taking holidays so hotels and transport might be more difficult to book at the last minute.

May 1 is also observed as a national holiday in other European countries. For instance Germany observes the holiday on the Sunday May 1 and Ireland will have the day off on Monday, May 2.


Rome - from CathyCruises

For those of you staying in Rome post-cruise, and especially for those who have spent some time there before, I wanted to mention that my favorite museum in the whole world is the Capitoline Museum at the Roman Forum. It is adjacent to the Campidoglio Piazza designed by Michelangelo. The museum is full of treasures, the most amazing of which is an enormous bronze statue of Marcus Aurelius on horseback that is 2000 years old, which used to stand in the middle of the Piazza. Some years ago an addition to the museum was built to house it indoors and a replica now stands in it's place. You can also see portions of ancient Roman structures that have been exposed by time, and many beautiful pieces of statuary and amazing works of art.

A fun thing that I found out from a Rick Steves book is that when you have seen the museum, if you walk across the Campidoglio and up the large flight of stairs, and go through the last door which I believe is number 10, you come out at the lovely café at the top of the Vittorio Emanuel monument (aka the Wedding Cake) with an amazing view out over the entire Forum. It's a great spot to enjoy a cappuccino after your museum visit. Just a thought!

Cartagena - From Edward

For those on a strict budget or just want a slow easy day, Cartagena is also a port that has many sights within walking distance of the ship.

We were there on a Sunday and although a fair number of venues were closed, the Roman ruins, hilltop views of the city, great restaurants some very interesting shops were open. Should be even better on a week day. A beautiful city just to walk around in and some great sites and attractions very close tot he port.


Bundle Packing Video

Gadgets & Electronics

Room Temperature (magnetic)

Cord Keeper

Collapsible Water Bottle



Airlines tend to update shedules 6 months out. If you booked your flights early - check after the 6 month window for schedule changes. They sometimes DO NOT send you notification, its up to you to check.


Edward50: I will be returning home via Frankfurt, Germany. I was able to successfully bid on a 5 star hotel for $80 US on www.Priceline.com If you are not familiar with Priceline, it is the one that uses William Shatner as their spokesperson. Who doesn't trust a Canadian? We often big od 4 and 5 start hotels and have great scucess. To help with bidding on Priceline go to www.betterbidding.com. at this site you can look at recent successful bids in the city that you are interested in. It also has great advise on bidding or securing great discuounts on hotwire and pricelin.

European Traval options - trains or planes

I just found this website and thing it's great! You enter where to want to go and where you start (all within Europe) and it compares your options and pricing for plane, bus, train, car, etc. I have no idea whose site this is, but I've been playing with it a lot lately.



Barcelona - from koko1

If you have not been to Barcelona before & plan to take the HOHO be aware there are 2 different services. They are Barcelona City Tour & Barcelona Bus Turistic. They have different routes so study the itineraries of each if you plan to buy tickets ahead. The routes are listed at the bottom of the web pages below.

The one that stops closest to the port is Barcelona City Tour. It stops at the Columbus Monument on it's west route. Personally, this route is less interesting than the east route but that's just my opinion. If you want to take the east route you need to get off & changes buses at Placa Catalunya. If you do this & want return to the Columbus Monument by bus you will need to ride the east route back to Placa Catalunya & switch over to the west route. This does make for a long bus ride but you will cover all 18 stops. (Of course you can always take a cab back to the port at any point.) This is the information on Barcelona City Tour


The other service is Barcelona Bus Turistic. Their central point of departure is Placa Catalunya. It has 3 different routes. If you are a walker you can walk the entire length of Las Ramblas to reach Placa Catalunya. It is about 2 miles. The lower end of LR, nearest the port, is fairly seedy & it is a very crowded area so you do need to be watchful as pickpockets abound. The information on this service is below.


You can buy tickets online for both services but it is not necessary. You can pay on the bus but you need to have the exact amount. Naturally, if you buy tickets for one HOHO service you can't use them for the other company.

Tenerife - from Edward50

Tenerife: Here is a link to information on a free port shuttle. http://www.whatsinport.com/Santa-Cruz-Tenerife.htm

Travel Tips from Gabriel - CamilVH

Dear fellow passengers,

my name is Gabriel, I live in Germany. As I did the same cruise last year I can probably give you some informations. I have to admit that I am a solo traveler who loves especially reading and writing on sea days on the balcony, having no duties at all (I prefer to eat in the self service restaurant even in the evenings) and walking on the port days. So I normally try to find out what I can do by my own feet or save money by using public transport.

BTW: Lisa was so friendly to post some of my pictures on her wonderful website, see „Gabrielles Photos“.

- In the port there are rental cars available to drive around, even pure electric ones!
http://ecarsrentacar.com/en/ (but how far can they go?)
- If you like modern art and a modern museum I can recommend the TEA, within walking distance from port. www.teatenerife.es
- Of course the beautiful concert hall, built by Calatrava is worth a visit.
- The tram to La Laguna is a very easy way to visit La Laguna. The station is very near.
- On the other side one must admit that there are more beautiful cities than Santa Cruz…

- Huge cathedral, Picasso museum and beautiful city center are in walking distance. Beware of pickpockets on the paseo parque on the way to the center.
- Last year opened the „Centre Pompidou Malaga“ only a few meters from the port. I want to go there this year, as I have been in Granada (definitely worth a visit) last year.
- If you are interested in art there is a museum which is part of the Eremitage: http://www.coleccionmuseoruso.es/ (and a car museum adjacent)

- The ships docks very close to the city. A visit to the Roman theater is worth a visit. From there you have a wonderful view to our ship.

- One time I walked from the ship to the Mirador de Colon, where the first metro station is (at the beginning of Las Ramblas, calles „Drassanes“). It is about a 30 minutes walk, but is not to recommend: Trucks quite fast and loud passing you most of the time. Only to recommend to make a foto of the „Reflection“ from the bridge. Shuttle bus is easier.
- Metro in Barcelona is fast and clean. I like to use it. You can reach:
- „Sagrada Familia“ - for me an architectural miracle, unfortunately obviously not only for me. If you want to visit the Cathedral on your own I would recommend to book a ticket for a certain hour in advance. The museum is highly interesting, the towers narrow and crowded.
- Modernisme in Barcelona means not only Gaudi: If you want to visit a site less crowded I recommend the Hospital Saint Pau, not far from the Sagrada Familie. www.santpau.es I loved this place. In my picture collection you will find some fotos.

Villefranche sur mer:
- Such a beautiful and quiet place. One would love to stay there! Unfortunately it was raining in the morning last year. So I only walked around, found a wonderful even more quiet beach. This a place to relax.
- Nice is very fast to reach with the train. The train station is only a 15 minutes walk from where the tender boats arrive. Nice should be worth a visit.

- I took the tour „Florence on your own“. I had time enough to visit some sites. But Florence is even more full of tourists (okay: I have been one of them…). And although I had ordered a ticket for the Uffizi-Museum I had to stay in line.
- The churches will not be allowed to visit because it is sunday morning – they have services. And during noon they are closed anyway…

At the end of the cruise I had to go back home, so I can't say anything about Rome.

If you have questions you think I could answer, I will do my best. You can also write an Email to:
Gdessauer@t-online.de. And in case you see a tall 60-year old man hanging around on the ship with a camera and a book doing definitely nothing, it's probably me. :-) Please say hello! :-). See you on the ship!






Updated March 6, 2016