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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-11-2007, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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We will get to Venice the day the ship departs. I think maybe you could arrange your own transfers and hotel cheaper than that offered by Holland America if you wanted to get there early. We wanted arrive early but just couldn't so I hope to see some of Venice before we have to board. I was even thinking of joining other passengers for a gondola ride time permitting of course. It won't be long now!
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 04-11-2007, 05:59 PM
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Travelpony,

$450 is a lot of money but then again this is Venice. We like to stay in one of the quiet neighborhoods where the Venietians actually live. We are staying in a very nice hotel right next to the grand canal for $200 a night. I am not sure if you are considering taking HAL's transportation to Venice but there is a very reliable set of buses that depart every half an hour for about $5. Just a thought. Have fun and don't be afraid to go off the beaten path.

John
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2007, 08:59 PM
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My husband Tom and I will be on the Veendam leaving Venice June 8. We are traveling just the two of us and thought it would be great to connect to someone else who will be on board. We are actually visiting some of my husband's family in Dubrovnik the week prior. if you have never been it is a wonderful city!!! We are very excited for 25 days of excitement. We've been to some of the ports but most of them will be new. We are checking out the excursions and trying to decide which places we will do on our own or do the HAL tour.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2007, 05:49 AM
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Hi KrisandTom! my husband and I will also be traveling alone on the veendam. Our first trip to Europe. Only 6 weeks away and we can't wait.
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2007, 10:37 PM
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It would be great to meet up with you and your husband on board. Maybe we can meet in one the lounges the evening we set sail. We are busy looking at excursions and trying to plan some of it in advance. What excursions are you doing? I think we decided to forget getting a visa to explore St Petersberg on our own and plan to do excursions there. We will definately be going to the Hermitage. In La Havre we are doing the excursion to Giverny. My husband and I were in Paris last May and we weren't able to go and I have always wanted to go back there. In Gibraltar we definately want to take the cable car up and are trying to decide to do the City Under Seige tour or the Top of the Rock on your own tour. That's about all we have planned so far. It would be great to swap ideas!
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 04-28-2007, 11:28 AM
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KrisandTom
We would love to meet you on the cruise. We will have to coordinate the times before June. So far we booked the Eternal Rome and Vatican visit through HAL. Also, we booked a private introductory tour of the Louvre for the day in Le Havre. Will take HAL transfers into Paris. I'm a little worried about time constraints but hubby always wanted to see at least some of the Louvre so that's what we will do. I think we will go into London and take a city bus tour that day. We are on the European Tapestry cruise so we will have to depart on day 15 at COpenhagen. That's all we have planned so far. I can't wait only 5 weeks & 5 days away! Nice to find someone to talk to about this fun time.
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 04-29-2007, 11:31 AM
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Hello Diana,

Would you like to meet boarding day at 4:00 pm in the Explorer's Lounge? What seating are you and your husband having dinner at? We chose the late seating. You will enjoy the vatican and eternal rome. It is such a wonderful city and hard to do on your own unless you have been there before. Plus they will get you past all the lines! My recommendation for Louvre are to make sure you see Mona Lisa (which is surprisingly small for the first time you see it and always has a crowd. I usually make my way there first to make sure it is seen, Venus de Milo, Marly Horses, the Winged Goddess and the royal french jewels are a sight. I am a huge fan of the impressionists so the Musee D'Orsay is my favorite as it is on the Seine and is in a large converted train station. Paris is very easy to get around on the metro and will take you most places quickly. You should be fine with time. Plus I imagine the transfer should drop you off towards that area as it has the most attractions nearby.The double decker buses in London are worth it. You pay one fee and can get on the number of buses and choose different routes depending on what you want to see and get on and off when you want. Some include a free boat cruise of the Thames which is spectacular to go under the London Bridge. The London Eye is also a wonderful sight and you don't even notice you are moving, however lines can get long for that attraction. For Dubrovnik you will definately want to get to the walled city. It will be packed but it is a wonderful sight. For a fee you can walk along the wall. My husband and I have booked most of the excursions we researched and felt we really wanted to do. In St Tropez we decided to do it on our own. Marseille we are doing the highlights tour. It leaves at 1:45 pm so we figured we can explore on our own beforehand. In Barcelona we are doing the Gaudi tour. Gaudi's architecture defines Barcelona. My husband and has never been and I thought it would be the best way to show him this city, plus it gives us the afternoon to explore on our own. Gibraltar we are doing the City Under Seige tour. I am looking forward to the cable car up to the top and to see the monkeys as nasty as they are supposed to be. In Lisbon we decided for the Lisbon Sights, Sintra and Cascais. Neither of us have ever been there and we thought it was the most inclusive tour. In Vigo we are doing the Cambarro and Mussel Farming tour. We thought that seemed most interesting and different from our other plans. So that's about it. Let me know if you have any particular questions regarding Rome, Paris, London, Dubrovnik or Venice as we have been to those cities a number of times. My husband and I are so excited for the trip! It sounds amazing!!!
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2007, 11:10 AM
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Hi KrisandTom, We would love to meet you two in the Explorer's Lounge on boarding day. We are flying into Venice that day from Florida arriving around 11am so we may be a little jet lagged. We have chosen the 8pm dinner. I have been checking some more tours through HAL. I see that some already have a waitlist so I better get busy. I will let you know which we have decided on. Can't wait to get to Venice and looking forward to meeting you.
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-2007, 03:32 PM
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Hi Diana!

This is Tom Rinear, Kris' husband. We too arrive in Venice at 11:00 AM on June 8. We are coming in from Milan after visiting family in Dubrovnik. Are you using HAL for the transfer from Venice airport to the ship? We are as we figured it was the easiest thing to do.

Yes the tours are filling up fast! We are doing 14, and are waitlisted for 1 other.

Kris and I are doing the 8:00 PM seating as well, and maybe we can sit together? What are your full names?

We look forward to seeing you at the airport and on the ship.

Best,

Tom
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 05-10-2007, 06:42 AM
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Hey Kris and Tom, Our flight arrives in Venice at 11:15am and we will be taking the HAL transfer to the ship. Maybe we will all be on the same Transfer, that would be great. We are Bud and Diana Berry and this is the first trip to Europe for both of us. We are excited! We thought this would be a great way for us to get a taste of a variety of European cities with plans to hopefully go back to the ones we enjoy the most sometime in the future. Yesterday our cruise ticket packets arrived and I finished booking tours. We will be taking some of the ones that you mentioned. The only tour that I booked not by HAL is the Louvre tour through Paris Muse. We are looking forward to it. Hope we get back to the ship on time! This is not our first cruise but is on Holland America. I've read good things about HAL and am looking forward to a great time.

See you in Venice! 4 weeks, wow!

Diana
 
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