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Old 09-26-2016, 09:47 AM   #21
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For those wanting to look online for cruises available, I watch the VacationsToGo.com website. Virtually every cruise in the world is posted there.

Sometimes the prices are good, and sometimes we can beat their deal at Avoya Travel where we have an independent travel agent.

On our last Celebrity cruise out of Rome, it cost us $1,299 per person (12 nights). We received $475 ship credit which covered all gratuities (room & waiters) and left quite a bit to spend in the ship's store. We also got free drink package which was over $700 per person. We got 2 free upgraded meals (birthday & anniversary), and it wasn't even our anniversary. If we received any more freebies, they'd have been paying us to go on the cruise. Deals are not like this every day, however.
Bamaman (May I call you "Mr. Tide" ) -

Do you usually book last minute on Vacationstogo.com to get the best deals?
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:32 AM   #22
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That's a pretty good deal - where did you manage to find it at that price?
Email from them. Email takes you to this webpage:

West Indies to Iberia - San Juan to Barcelona

They called it their end of summer sale. Ends today of course...
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:48 AM   #23
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We used Windstar to go from Venice to Rome via Croatia and Sicily. Very nice trip on a much smaller ship. I think there was less than 200 passengers total. Because the ship was smaller, we could get into small ports which got us away from some of the cruise-touristy type places. I don't think we paid more than $2000 each for a week. Very nice cabins and a fun itinerary.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:52 AM   #24
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Email from them. Email takes you to this webpage:

West Indies to Iberia - San Juan to Barcelona

They called it their end of summer sale. Ends today of course...
That actually looks like a very good deal - thanks
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Old 09-30-2016, 11:26 AM   #25
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Costco lists a western Med cruise, but it seems to me that much of each day would be spent dis/embarking, with sightseeing/exploring getting short shrift...
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:20 PM   #26
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Costco lists a western Med cruise, but it seems to me that much of each day would be spent dis/embarking, with sightseeing/exploring getting short shrift...
Not sure what you mean.

The two cruises I saw on costcotravel.com were from NCL. The times in port looked reasonable. Typically arrive 7-8 AM and leave 5-9 PM. Ship travels over night in most cases.

These times are similar to the western med cruise we took on Viking. Leave plenty of time to take an excursion and still have time to poke around town on your own - if the ship is docked w/in walking distance of town. That works in, for example, Majorca, Toulon, or Valletta, not so much in places like Rome or Florence.

Looking at their offering, does NCL offer a "default" excursion for free or do you have to pay for all of them?
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:31 PM   #27
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Not sure what you mean.



The two cruises I saw on costcotravel.com were from NCL. The times in port looked reasonable. Typically arrive 7-8 AM and leave 5-9 PM. Ship travels over night in most cases.



These times are similar to the western med cruise we took on Viking. Leave plenty of time to take an excursion and still have time to poke around town on your own - if the ship is docked w/in walking distance of town. That works in, for example, Majorca, Toulon, or Valletta, not so much in places like Rome or Florence.



Looking at their offering, does NCL offer a "default" excursion for free or do you have to pay for all of them?

As you mentioned, depends on the port, but getting off/on the ship, and on/off/on/off buses, plus any transit times, adds up to a fair bit of overhead.
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:00 AM   #28
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So....

Because of this discussion we ended up booking this for next February/March

Pretty good deal at $1999 each for a balcony room (well there aren't any rooms on this ship that don't have a balcony). It should be fun to see how we like being at sea for a week. Luckily their WiFi is excellent and you get all the wine/beer you can drink at meals. It's the same ship we were on last winter in the Mediterranean so we know it's comfortable.

We're going to tack on a couple of days on the front so we can get a wee bit of beach time in Porto Rico.
Glad I stimulated you in a positive way
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Old 10-01-2016, 07:21 AM   #29
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Bamaman (May I call you "Mr. Tide" ) -

Do you usually book last minute on Vacationstogo.com to get the best deals?
I watch VacationsToGo to see when the prices drop. The last week or two before a cruise, the lines know if their ships are going to be a sellout. Their goal is to fill the ship up completely.

For example, when we were paying $1299 earlier this year for the Greek Isle cruise (including drinks & tips), Celebrity dropped the inside cabin (without the drink package or freebies) to $565 per person--for 12 days in the Med which is a super bargain.

Being variable is the most important way to get the best deals. If you can leave on a minute's notice or if you can get a decent airfare, the best prices can be taken advantage of.

We've recently found the best prices (including freebies) through an independent travel agent that is associated with Avoya Travel. I just watch Vacations to Go because their computer system is superior to anyone else's and virtually every cruise in the world is listed there.
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Old 10-02-2016, 09:20 AM   #30
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+1 for Windstar. Greatly prefer the smaller ship experience. Can get into smaller ports and disembarkation is quick. Trade off is not as many nightlife options on the ship but that isn't important to us.

Have also heard good things re Oceana. Ships much larger than Windstar but still small compared to RC, NCL, Celebrity.


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Old 10-02-2016, 12:53 PM   #31
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I was just looking at Windstar online, and they look to be a solid value.

My sister went on Oceana each of the last 2 years, and they really loved the foodie experience. They were in one of the owners suites, and their butler still calls her at home from time to time. They threw a party one night for about 50 people and the butler handled all details including printed invitations.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:48 AM   #32
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We have done a couple of windstar cruises and the one thing to be aware of is that they are more weather dependent. Bad weather (waves and headwinds) can cut their cruising speed quite a bit and necessitate cutting ports. We did the Athens-Istanbul trip and had to miss one of the island stops due to choppy conditions - but we saw an alternative one instead.

The 2nd one from Barcelona to Lisbon had bad weather and we overnighted in a port (very good call based on talking to passengers on a bigger ship that sailed through it) which meant we needed to skip one port.

We like the small size and the ports they can go to the the big ships can't but there is a downside.
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:19 PM   #33
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We have done four Med cruises in the past. We have also done numerous independent trips to Greece, Turkey and a three week trip to Sicily.

Comparing both in terms of our preferences, our travel style, value, and ability to see the country we have much preferred our independent trips. We enjoyed our cruise stops in Malta and Sicily so much that we returned for 8 and 20 day trips respectively to both of those areas. We keep returning to Turkey and Greece. We plan to go back to Sicily again. Cruises are wonderful and are a wonderful introduction/overview but you do miss out on so much if you confine yourself to a cruise experience.
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:57 PM   #34
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Pacific Princess-"Venetian Connoisseur" cruise; Venice RT; 12 days/10 ports. Great itinerary.

There are a couple choices in the Fall of 2017
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