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We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-05-2006, 09:11 PM   #1
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We're Back From Our Cruise

Mrs. Grumpy and I have just about recovered from the jet-lag. Our cruise to Italy and Greece was great. We spent two days in Rome prior to the cruise and two days in Venice afterwards. We stopped in Monaco, Livorno, Naples, Santorini, Kusadasi (Turkey), Mykonos, Athens, Katakolon, Corfu and Venice. Here are a few pictures:

(darn, still having problems attaching pictures)

Here is are links to two slideshows:

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...8AYtXDNs0cNmET

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...8AYtXDNs0cNmEg
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Monaco.JPG (22.2 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg Rome - Trevi Fountain.JPG (27.9 KB, 45 views)
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File Type: jpg_thumb Monaco.JPG_thumb (30.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg_thumb Rome - Trevi Fountain.JPG_thumb (37.8 KB, 0 views)
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-05-2006, 09:18 PM   #2
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Welcome back . . . but how are you going to stay grumpy after a wonderful trip like that?
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-05-2006, 09:32 PM   #3
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Thanks for sharing... beautiful pics
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 06:12 AM   #4
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Those are great pictures, how long was the trip? And did it include Pompie? It looks like it from the pictures.
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 06:55 AM   #5
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

NIce trip. The pics are poignant for me, as we were in Rome last March & after 4 days our camera was stolen.

Hey, maybe I can paste my & DW's heads in your shots!
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 08:33 AM   #6
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Great pics. Was there any special meal, restaurant, wine that you had in Greece or Italy? Or did you just dine onboard? How is Venice? I've always wanted to go there, but I hear it's just too touristy. Any comments?
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 09:57 AM   #7
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Great pics. Was there any special meal, restaurant, wine that you had in Greece or Italy? Or did you just dine onboard? How is Venice? I've always wanted to go there, but I hear it's just too touristy. Any comments?
I went to Venice 22 years ago and am going back in May after a bike trip in Tuscany. Venice is one of my favorite places. It is so other worldly that it feels like a huge theme park. I could walk the streets and sit in the cafes for weeks. Come to think of it, when DW finally fully retires maybe we can look into renting an apartment there for a couple of months and take Italian lessons. Normally I would worry that things have changed in 22 years, but I can't believe that will be true of a place that dates back hundreds.

Here is on of my favorite photos from Venice. You won't be able to see it well in this thumbnail image but I caught the old lady's head in a perfect cameo in the mirror hanging on the wall. You can see a larger version here.

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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 10:03 AM   #8
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Nice pictures Grumpy. They reminded me how much I liked Rome. We are going to spend a couple of days there on our upcoming trip.
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 10:10 AM   #9
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outtahere
Those are great pictures, how long was the trip? And did it include Pompie? It looks like it from the pictures.
The trip was 18 days in all - 2 days in Rome, 12 day cruise, 2 days in Venice and 2 days of travel (ugh!). We spent a half day at Pompeii with a guide. I enjoyed Pompeii a lot more than any of the other ruins we visited. Because so much was preserved by being buried in volcanic ash, it was easier for me to imagine what life must have been like there. At other sites (Roman forum, Ephesus) much less remains intact and I found it much more difficult to picture it.

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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 10:16 AM   #10
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

I would love to go to Rome and the ruins and Pompeii especially, I just have to get dh to fly (sigh).
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 10:25 AM   #11
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle43
Great pics. Was there any special meal, restaurant, wine that you had in Greece or Italy? Or did you just dine onboard? How is Venice? I've always wanted to go there, but I hear it's just too touristy. Any comments?
The highlight meal of the trip was a simple lunch (panini) we had at an outdoor cafe on the edge of the cliff in Santorini. The weather was beautiful (low 70's & sunny), the views were spectacular and we still had half of the cruise remaining. We often eat out at the top restaurants in the D.C. area and the dinners on the ship were the equal of any of them. The service was also outstanding. This was our second cruise on Princess and the food has been first rate.

We loved Venice. It is unlike any other city. We will definitely plan a return trip to spend more time there. I spent a whole afternoon just riding up and down the grand canal on a vaporetto (the water equivalent of a city bus) with an all day pass, getting off at any stop that looked interesting and exploring. The city was very crowded the day we arrived (a Saturday) because there were three other cruise ships docked there too. Those ships all departed the next day and the crowds thinned out. It is quite expensive. Our hotel (nothing fancy but located a short walk from St. Mark's Square) was $180 Euros a night (about $220). A water taxi from the hotel to the airport was 100 Euros. I made the mistake of totalling up the cost of the whole trip when we got home. Ouch!

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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 11:20 AM   #12
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Thanks for the virtual vacation, Grumpster. I spent the summer in Italy 26 years ago (eiye - can I be that old?). Would love to go back.

You don't look at all grumpy in the photos - I think it's time you became "the retiree formerly known as Grumpy."
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 02:02 PM   #13
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

We did a similar trip last fall. We started in Venice but ended in Barcelona then motored for 3 weeks in Spain. It was just a teaser and we want to go back to Tuscany and rent a villa and a car for a month. Here is the front yard:


The front windows overlook a deep valley with several other villas.
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 03:37 PM   #14
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Grumpy,

Thanks so much for posting your photos. I agree with a previous poster, you don't look grumpy at all. Maybe it is time for a new name.

My husband and I just booked a cruise in the same area, many of the same stops for Sept. 2007. We will be doing 12 days and an addition day in Zurich on the way over and 3 extra in Rome after the cruise. Until then I can just pull up your photos and dream! Thanks again for sharing them! And welcome home.

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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 04:32 PM   #15
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Wonderful pics! Thanks for sharing. Would you recommend a cruise for a first visit to Europe over city hopping/rental car?
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 04:40 PM   #16
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Quote:
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Wonderful pics! Thanks for sharing. Would you recommend a cruise for a first visit to Europe over city hopping/rental car?
Laurence,

After seeing how they drive in both Rome and Athens, I was VERY glad I wasn't driving. In many places cars are either not allowed or just not practical due to the very narrow streets. Many people ride cycles or motorscooters but their "kamikaze" driving techniques are not for the faint of heart. This was our first trip to Europe. We got an easy, brief exposure to 11 different ports of call and will consider a land tour with more time in a few places for our next European vacation.

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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-06-2006, 07:52 PM   #17
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Thanks for sharing those pictures, Grumpy. They are great!

We are taking a similar cruise next spring out of Barcelona and will visit many of the same ports. Your pictures are an inspiration!

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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-07-2006, 03:33 PM   #18
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Go to cruisecritic.com for great advice on planning your trip. We got to meet cyber friends before our trip, and even booked some private shore excursions with them. There was a free meet and greet party on board for the cyber friends.

As a result we hired a Mercedes Van with driver to do Amalfi, Pompeii with lunch in Revello. Plus a guided walking tour of Rome.
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-07-2006, 05:07 PM   #19
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

I second kcowan's cruisecritic.com recommendation. It has been more helpful than our travel agent in planning cruises. In fact, for this cruise we opted to go with Costco since they offer very nice amenities, such as wine baskets, robes, etc. as well as a Costco gift card. Our travel agent doesn't offer these things.


We also have reserved drivers/guides in several ports, like kcowan did. They are quite expensive, but with limited time, they seem like the best option.

Kcowan, did you also have a guide for the Vatican?
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise
Old 11-08-2006, 10:20 AM   #20
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Re: We're Back From Our Cruise

Quote:
Would you recommend a cruise for a first visit to Europe over city hopping/rental car?
Another option, if you can travel without a lot of luggage, is to use the trains. European trains are relatively inexpensive, go almost everywhere, and make a car unnecessary.

I spent a month in Italy / Vienna a couple of years back -- took trains throughout Italy and a sleeper to Vienna. Can't wait to do it again.

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