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  1. Pre-cruise, We stayed at the Hotel Hera and recommend it. The Rick Steves tours all stay here. Great location within a short walking distance to the Acropolis entrances and to the Plaka. We booked a transfer with Welcome Pickups to take us from the hotel to the port dock. We also booked Welcome pickups to pick us up at the Athens airport to take us to the hotel. We'd use them again. After the cruise, we booked a private tour/transfer service with Michael's Tours to pick us with our luggage from the ship around 830 am. We did a day trip to Corinth before the service dropped us off at the Athens airport - Sofitel hotel around 4 pm (we had a very early flight the next day). Well worth the expenses.
  2. 25-35 minutes or longer depending on how fast you walk and how hot it is and how much donkey dung you need to avoid. When we were there, another couple from our ship, decided to walk down at the same time we got in line, and maybe they beat us to the bottom by 10-15 minutes, but we were both on the same tender back to the ship.
  3. The first quote in Sippican's post is mine, so I won't repeat my experience on what we did. But a couple of notes, most tours leave mid- morning (10-11) from Paihia, which gives you ample time to take the ship tender's to the dock and then the free shuttle bus to Paihaia. The tour got back around 3 pm, so that gave us about an hour to walk around the town before catching the shuttle bus back to the tender dock. Because of that schedule we didn't have ample time to visit the Waiting treaty grounds nor did we feel like paying the AUD$50 admission price.
  4. We booked a 4-6 hour private tour with Vicky of Santorini Skyline travel and she customized the tour to what we wanted to see. We told. her we didn't want to stop at the winery. You will have to take the tender from the ship to the dock below Fira and then the cable car to the top of Fira. We arranged to meet Vicky at 9am. So we were on the first or second tender from the ship (for the DIY passengers) Vicky's tour company met us outside the cable car terminal with a sign and walked us over to where the car was parked. She took us first to Oia to avoid the crowds, then to Akrotiri ruins and then around the island to Red Beach and Black Beach where we had lunch. Then she dropped us off in Fira, where we had time to walk the pedestrian path with shops in Fira to the cable car terminal. There isn't any way to avoid the cable car back down to the tender dock, unless you want to walk. It took about an hour in line to get back down. The cost was worth the private tour. Since Vicky knew the shortcuts, she saved us time. We didn't have to figure out how to use the bus to get from Oia to Fira, the Fira to Akirotiri and back to Fira. If you have a large group or family the price becomes cost-effective. The company advertises on Trip Advisor but we just emailed her at santoriniskylinetravel@gmail.com and inquired.
  5. We used an Uber from White Bay to the CBD. no problems at all. Cost us AUD$20 to our Hyde Park area hotel. We also used Uber from the airport to our hotel in Darling Harbor and then from our Hyde Park hotel back to the airport. No problems. I can't say if it's the best choice, but it was a good choice for us.
  6. Please let us know how it went. I am also considering this Day pass for February. How did you get there? How much did cost? What was provided? Details please. Thanks!!!!
  7. We did the Jacobite Dinner package in August and recommend it. Pricey but a great experience. The price also varies depending on which section you want to sit in for the show. We were in Section 13, on the side in the middle about 10 rows up . Wherever you sit will be a great view. For our Saturday 7:15 performance, we met at 4 pm at the entrance of the esplanade (yes, you have to walk up to it). You are given a wrist band. From there you are escorted (walk) up to the top of the castle to the Queen Anne room where the dinner is, and that is a steep walk. (They may have had a golf cart for those who needed assistance. You'll have to check.) You sit in tables of 8. I think there were pre-assigned seats, so if you want to sit with other people you know, you book at the same time. After dinner, they escort and walk the group down from the Queen Anne room through the gauntlet of bagpiper groups playing Scotland the Brave, to your seats. A really memorable experience! You can rent seat cushions, and I think blankets were available to rent. When the performance is over, you exit towards the Royal Mile (you have to walk downhill) and the area is crowded with fringe festival tourists and a line of people waiting for the 10:30 show.
  8. Three hotels that are mentioned regularly that are near the People Mover and Piazzale Roma (the bus area) are Hotel Olimpia, Hotel Arlecchino and Hotel Santa Chiara. We stayed in the Hotel Olimpia and loved it!. We'd stay there again in a heart beat.
  9. Just in case you won't take my word for it...... https://visitpearlharbor.org/faqs/much-baggage-storage-pearl-harbor/
  10. NO BAGS that exceed 1.5" x 2.5" x 5.5" are admitted at Pearl Harbor Visitors Center. That size is practically all purses.You will be directed to the bag storage shack to the right side just past the bathrooms The fee is $5 per bag.
  11. We are SF Bay Area based and We had to make the same decision for our Mexican Riviera cruise next February. We decided to fly down to LA on SouthWest and depart from San Pedro rather than SF. We did the calculations and it was cheaper for us to do that. We also felt the extra 2-3 days from SF to LA was not worth it, time wise. We can only play so many games of trivia on the ship. So it all depends on what you expect to do on the ship for the 2 extra days and whether you want your cruise to be about the Mexican Riviera and not the time it takes to get there, plus the cost.
  12. Also, i recommend the shaka app for maui. Download it to your iphone or android phone before your trip. Bring a charging cable. The app gives turn by turn instructions and info about where to stop to see good waterfalls, where to eat, where the restrooms are.
  13. We got the timed tickets on the nps website and paid the nominal fee plus the fee for the narrated headset. Earliest tix were 1pm. We got there at 1030, to see the free museum and use our headsets. When went to retrieve our 1:00 pm tix, the desk attendant told me to exchange my tixs for an earlier time of 11:00, which they were handing out for free. No refund on the reserved tix, though. So we had a half hour to wait. After the boat ride, we used our headsets to visit the free musuems. So it just depends on the crowd that day.
  14. I just visited the Arizona memorial last week. Don’t take an overpriced tour. The main site is free as is the boat ride out and around the memorial. Its still closed to the public, so the boat ride out to see it, is the best that you will get. take the #42 bus from downtown waikiki or take an uber or taxi
  15. Because you will be dizzy and exhausted from the trip back from Hana. What month are you going? Sunset is at around 7 pm today. You will be driving on windy roads down the mountain in the dark. Can Hana and Haleakala be done in the same day? Only if you are a masochist. the trip to Hana is about the journey, not the destination. Hawaiian time is laid back. thats my advice, ignore it if you want, but a tired driver is an unsafe driver. And you won’t be driving fast anywhere on the road to Hana or haleakala.
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