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Everything posted by dogs4fun

  1. Agree with SoccerMom - I packed a light-weight down jacket, hat, gloves and scarf when traveling in the Baltics in April/early May. Some days were quite mild, some very chilly.
  2. Good question. I assumed it was a Seine River Cruise (Normandy) and not just the cruise of the Seine from Paris. If just a cruise of the river from Paris: We booked the Seine River Cruise (dinner) in Paris with Bateaux Mouches - it was wonderful! They offer several choices - not just the dinner cruise.
  3. Yep - you are right. From the ships listed in my signature, Nautica had the least number of passengers. I forgot (as I am prone to do ever more frequently).
  4. We need a little more info ... What ship? Itinerary?
  5. Ocean vessel - Oceania Marina River cruise - Monarch Baroness (136 passengers on Danube cruise)
  6. You are correct on both counts. Legally, payment must be in the national currency and you are right - one of the big tour operators is in trouble for accepting payments in foreign currency and failing to pay taxes.
  7. Since you will be there on a Friday evening, you could give Waverley Market at Waverley Station a try (it is only a 10 minute walk from the castle). Every Friday, there are a variety of Scottish vendors selling everything from sweets to hot food (also gifts/souvenirs). It is open every Friday from 11am to 7pm and the stalls (there were about 40 - 50 stalls when we were there) offer some pretty good street food. If you google Waverley Train station in relation to the castle, you can see how easy it is to reach. We have not tried any of the street food vendors mentioned in Tartan's link - hope to check them out during our next visit. Caveat - we visited the market in 2017 - perhaps the locals can provide updated info as to whether or not it is still in operation.
  8. Right you are - there were bargains to be had after 9/11. I also recall some good deals on cruise fares after the stock market fiasco/financial meltdown of 2008 (somewhere in the time frame of 2009 - 2010) - particularly if one waited to book until after the final payment was due and the cabins were sold at deeply discounted rates. These ships were still full because the price point was much lower than average. I recall one of our "steals" - a 13 day TA. MIA to BCN for a little over $400 per person (inside cabin).
  9. When we last arrived via cruise, the X80 was not yet in operation. Cruisemom is correct in that the walk to the metro is longer than 15 minutes - if memory correctly serves, it took us about 30 minutes walking at a fairly brisk pace. Some in our group opted to purchase bus (#40) tickets at the kiosk and meet us at the metro station - their bus arrived at approximately the same time as we reached the station so taking the bus was a wash in terms of time saved (but very convenient for those that have issues with walking long distances). If the X80 is running when you are there, I believe this would be your best option. If not, the metro is a viable alternative. Info (including port maps) on X80 here: https://www.athenswalkingtours.gr/blog/index.php/2016/06/13/new-bus-line-connection-piraeus-port-to-syntagma-x80-enables-you-to-join-the-athens-walking-tours/
  10. It probably was a mistake rather than a bait and switch. However, it was their mistake - not yours. I believe that it is in the best interests of maintaining good customer service/relations for the hotel to honor the initial quote. JMHO
  11. The Acropolis station is closer to the entrance. We also love the National Archaeology Museum (we took the metro) and the Acropolis Museum. We visited in October and the weather was perfect. We arrived at the Acropolis before the tourist hordes and had the place to ourselves for about the first half hour. When we left, it was packed!
  12. I frequently fly Lufthansa and occasionally fly Air Canada. LIke you, I always carry a backpack for necessities & meds. My backpack and purse have never been weighed on either carrier. Can't help with TAP as I've no experience on the carrier. However, I have seen people in various airports removing items from their carry-on luggage to meet the weight requirements - they usually wear the removed items. Actually, a light-weight travel vest with lots of deep pockets might be a way to get around the weight limit on TAP - the airlines don't weigh you - they weigh your luggage. Your charger, ipad, ipod, iphone, etc. would all easily fit in a travel vest.
  13. We took the metro about 4 years ago - it was easy. There is also an express bus (X80) that you can take from the port to the city - it has a stop at the Acropolis Museum from where it is a short walk to the Acropolis.
  14. I agree with the posts by the locals. Last time we attended the Tattoo (we were not on a cruise tour - we were staying in the city) we booked Saturday night as we wanted the see the extended fireworks display. The queue extended some distance down the Royal Mile (door don't open until 45 minutes before the performance and you need to be seated 15 minutes before the start of the Tattoo). It would be my assumption that your tour group would need to queue shortly after arrival and I suspect that you may not have time for a proper dinner before the Tattoo.
  15. Ah, I thought that the total weight limit could not exceed 230 pounds. I weigh 99 pounds - nowhere near 230 (yikes!) but the 3 of us exceeded a total weight of 230 pounds.
  16. Not sure if they all use the same standards as we have not flown on all international airlines. You can check with the specific airlines in which you are interested. The ones on which we have flown have used roughly the same standards and carry-on luggage dimensions do include the wheels.
  17. We have been on three repositioning cruises and all three were sold out.
  18. Every time that we have had the pleasure of visiting Edinburgh, we always pop into Deacon Brodies Tavern for lunch on one of our days (sometimes on more than one day) - we love it! Convivial atmosphere, always busy, good food - really cool historic pub (been around since the early 1800s I am told). From the castle, it is a mere 5 minute walk down Lawnmarket. If you go, check-out the ceiling. The ales are also very good. Fun factoid: the contrast between the public persona of Deacon Brodie (a cabinet maker by trade and respected guild representative) and his hidden darker side (burglar) was supposedly the inspiration for Stevenson's novel, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. On the Royal Mile you can find Brodie's Close where Brodie and his family actually lived. Alas, the poor chap met his untimely end by hanging. Yep, really love Deacon Brodies Tavern. 😎 https://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/restaurants/scotlandandnorthernireland/deaconbrodiestavernroyalmileedinburgh
  19. Our flights are connections with Lufthansa so fortunately we have never been faced with the bus issue. We arrive at A (usually from Russia but occasionally from another european country enroute to the US), walk down the length of A, stop in the common area to have a snack and continue the trek on to Z. Unfortunately, our departure gate always seems to be near the end of the concourse. It is quite a hike for us but nothing that we cannot easily handle. Our last flight (from Budapest) had us arriving MUC and then on to the US. We much prefer MUC and, bonus, there was a very short layover (45 mins). Unfortunately, a few weeks before our return flight, our flight was changed from MUC to FRA with a 6 hour layover. Huge disappointment but there was little we could do.
  20. We regularly fly Lufthansa and are very comfortable with 2 hours connection time in FRA - in fact, we are very comfortable with 1.5 hours. It is a large airport and our flights always depart FRA from gate "Z" (international flights) - quite a hike from our arrival gate. We have had no issues in making our departing flights - even have time to stop for a quick snack (this is with a 1.5 hour connection time). Relax - you have plenty of time.
  21. You'll have better luck posting tour shares on the roll call for your sailing.
  22. I do the same with my iphone. I create PDFs of notes, directions, tours, etc and load on my phone. Also have apps installed including maps and the Rick Steves Europe app (free walking tours). I no longer have to carry a large folder of paperwork. The only issue with the phone is reading for pleasure (i.e., books) - much more easily read on my ipad.
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