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About martyap

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Bellmore, Long Island, NY
  • Interests
    reading, traveling, my four fantastic grandkids
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity; RCCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Have to disembark in Livorno the day before our cruise ends in Rome. Need a transfer from the port to Florence ( with or w/o a 30 minute stop in Pisa.) Any suggestions? We are 2 adults + 2 teens + luggage. One tour company quoted 375e which seems like a lot. Would a taxi at the port be an option? Appreciate any suggestions........thanks
  2. Thanks Ine.....I have read many of your posts and appreciate the help. Maybe it's me but I am confused by the transportation system. If I am correct, the cashless system requires the purchase of an anonymous OV chipkaart and that can be used on trams and buses or I can buy a 3 day Travel Ticket. I feel that most of our daily sightseeing within Amsterdam will be done walking so not sure what to get. I think we will most likely take a taxi from the hotel to the Ambassade; Uber from the Ambassade to Centraal for our Paris train (will buy one way ticket well in advance.) So what is best for us for (1) train or bus to Zaance Schans (2) an occasional tram ride (3) train to Delft or Utrecht
  3. Thank you for your advice....the Ambassade gets very good reviews and the location seems perfect even though it is a little further to Cantraal Station.
  4. We are planning our first visit (5 days) to Amsterdam September, 2019 followed by six days in Paris. We have been to Paris before. Our planning was going along great with air fares and Paris hotel but we did not realize that our stay in Amsterdam coincided with the very large IBC convention. Although we started planning last November, many hotels were booked or only offering non-refundable rates.......we travel with insurance but prefer the option of canceling/changing. We were able to reserve two hotels......Kimpton DeWitt and Ambassade on Herengracht......refundable rates. We know the Kimpton is closer to Centraal but it is on a busy street; the Ambassade was actually a few euros less AND included breakfast AND a canal view. The Kimpton seems to have easier access to trams but I imagine we can easily walk to most places. Going with the Ambassade unless others have contrary advice. Just beginning to research transportation options. We realize the metro goes from the airport to Centraal but is it fairly easy to just get a taxi from the queue? set fare? metered? To return to Centraal for our train to Paris we could Uber or taxi.....going to be fairly early on a Sunday morning. I know we plan to go to Anne Frank; Dam Square; Portuguese Synagogue/Jewish Quarter; Rijksmuseum; Delft; Zaanse Schans. Should we just do a la carte or are there museum cards /transportation cards we should look at? Thanks for the help
  5. The Freedom is now sailing out of San Juan.....the OP must be thinking of a different ship. There was nothing wrong with the Freedom but we liked the Oasis class more. We had recently disembarked the Symphony out of Barcelona so it might be unfair to compare. The food and service on the Freedom were fine; the ports were great; the ship is in great shape........just hard going down a class for us. The vast majority of passengers on the Freedom were Puerto Rican residents and my Spanish is asi, asi.
  6. We just returned from the 12/2 Freedom out of San Juan. Our last three previous cruises were on the Symphony and Allure twice. Although the Freedom was OK we missed Central Park, Solarium Bistro, better entertainment, larger Promenade, more specialty restaurants, etc. The great Southern Caribbean itinerary on the Freedom is a good reason to select the Freedom. We love San Juan and would suggest staying in Puerto Rico a few days pre or post......either at the Marriott Stellaris or La Concha....both great resorts in Condado. My vote would be only one week on the Freedom + a few nights in San Juan.....or.....9 days on Harmony......NOT two weeks on Freedom! Nothing negative but one observation......we have sailed out of San Juan twice before and this sailing on the Freedom had the least diverse group of passengers.
  7. We too just returned from the 12/2 Freedom and enjoyed our cruise. Our last three cruises have been on the Symphony 10/18; Allure 6/18 and Allure 4/17. The Freedom certainly lacks the additional food venues and top rate entertainment the Oasis class offers.....we missed Central Park, CP Cafe, Solarium Bistro and the more varied entertainment. We always stay in Old San Juan and the Decanter Hotel was a good choice. The taxi to the Pan American Pier is a set fare as is the taxi from the airport............zone 1 to zone 4......$21 + $1 per bag.....airport adds $3..... Embarkation was chaotic........they took our bags and they were all placed haphazardly on the sidewalks rather than placed immediately on the luggage trolleys........I guess they got to the stateroom around 4:30. Getting aboard was not so bad and we went to the Windjammer which was fine. Got to the cabins a little after 1:30. Muster was around 5:30 We took private tours in three of the four ports that included some touring and some beach and they were great......Irie in Curacao; Sonny Binns in Aruba and Thenford Grey in St. Kitts........if you don’t plan on shopping for t-shirts or diamonds....plan an excursion! They were all great and not that $$. We had an 11:30 return flight SJU to JFK. Self assist debarkation was also disorganized.......huge line already when we got down to deck 4 at 6:45.......line started moving at 7:00 and despite the system used on the Freedom we were at SJU, through Agricultural Screening, checked bags, through security and at the gate by 8:05am. We do have TSA pre check so that did help. SJU is well organized but can get quite busy so we prefer getting there on the early side.....lots of food choices and duty free shopping as well. Enjoy the Freedom......nice ship and great ports.......and the service we encountered was excellent
  8. Where does the Freedom dock in St. Thomas? Thanks
  9. Thanks Any advantage booking onboard?
  10. Are there any Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions planned? Online booking.......is it possible to access the more expensive refundable deposit fares? Used to be a split choice but I am not seeing that now. We will be on the FOS in a few weeks.........are there still advantages booking onboard? (even with the refundable deposit option)
  11. I use Viber app for my WiFi calling...........Viber to Viber calls and texts are free Viber to non Viber calls are pennies. My elderly mom only has a land line, no WiFi and I was in touch with her every day on our recent two week European trip for less than $3. I put our phones in airplane mode and never took it off. We did sign up for Verizon Travel Pass but never used it.......just made our calls on the ship via their WiFi.
  12. Any idea about the best time to get to the Pan American Pier to board the Freedom? Have not sailed from PR in years and that was on much smaller Celebrity cruises. Set Sail Pass indicates 12:30. Don’t remember it being very organized on our previous sailings. Staying at the Decanter Hotel in OSJ.........any wine shops you could suggest? thanks
  13. Have not sailed from San Juan in quite a few years and that was on smaller Celebrity ships. I remember the Pan American Pier not being especially organized. Any suggestions on what time would be best to get to the pier for boarding? Set Sail Pass indicates 12:30. The Freedom is certainly larger than our past San Juan cruises. thanks .
  14. Need some advice. We have been sailing RCCL for the last few years and just got off the new Symphony, 9 day Med cruise. Actually have the Brilliance of the Seas booked for a 12 day Baltic 8/23/19. We were on the Brilliance many years ago and our thought is that going from the amenity loaded Oasis class Symphony to the somewhat tired Brilliance might be hard. The Princess Regal has a similar sailing on 8/28/19......The itinerary and price are similar for the Regal Princess and that might be an option for us. The Brilliance leaves from Amsterdam, the Regal from Copenhagen. Both have two days in SPB. Not sure if we have more flight options from JFK>AMS or CPH? Any thoughts? Advice?
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