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 Celebrity Equinox Anyone?

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4 Leaf Clover
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4 Leaf Clover

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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2008 10:44 am

Host Ivanova, are you going to have any pre-cruise packages for this sailing? Meaning the August 8th sailing.
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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2008 2:26 pm

4 Leaf Clover wrote:
Host Ivanova, are you going to have any pre-cruise packages for this sailing? Meaning the August 8th sailing.

The plan is to have a pre-cruise package in London and a post-cruise package in Rome. How long and what will be offered will be determined by the folks that ultimately book into the group.

My personally thinking is that we need a couple of days in London to get over our jet lag. And of course sightseeing while we're there is a "must." queen Also, I cannot imagine getting off a ship in Rome and flying straight home (it almost seems criminal lol! ). But not everyone will have the same amount of time to work with, around work & school schedules, etc.

So once folks have booked into the group space, I will work with the group to determine how much time they want in London and how much time in Rome. We can then look at hotel options in both locations, as well as putting together other package components, such as tours.
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DCDuncan
Resident Expert - Italy
Resident Expert - Italy
DCDuncan

Number of posts : 71
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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2008 3:16 pm

HelenB wrote:
DCDuncan wrote:
Hey that's Great Helen and might I add Welcome to the Boards! Welcome

I'm John the Resident Italy expert, if you have any Italy related questions, I'll be more than happy to answer.

Thank you, I might! We've traveled and cruised in Italy before, but not since before kids (i.e. a looooong time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.....). And Rome is a new city for me, so I'm really looking forward to that! We'll probably be staying after the cruise for a few days. Let's see, any suggestions on a family-friendly hotel that is well-located for travel around the area? I haven't investigated at all so I'm not even sure yet if Rome has a subway system or if we'd have to rent a car.

What about airfare? Any suggestions on how to book from the US most cheaply? At the moment I'm thinking of r.t. tickets to London, plus a one-way from Rome to London on the way back.

Helen one of the family friendly hotels I'd personally recommend is the Rome Cavalieri Hilton, and, Susan it might be something you'd like to check into for group rates as most Rome hotels are VERY small and this one has around 300 rooms. It's over by the Vatican and, it does have a pool. This might not sound like a big deal but, Rome in August is going to be very hot and I'm sure many will be glad to have this feature as so few hotels in Rome actually offer swimming pools. And, I'm not sure if they still do this but this specific hotel used to offer shuttle service from the hotel to Piazza Barberini.

Now, as far as a rental car, if you don't plan on venturing outside of Rome, it's in your best interest not to attempt getting a car. Parking is impossible and frankly the Romans are crazy drivers, nothing, not even New York City can prepare you for the traffic in Rome! Just getting across the street is a challenge.

And, yes, Rome has an excellent subway system BUT be warned and I'll tell you this from now until we cruise - be mindful of your wallets, backpacks and pursues on all Rome public transportation. Pick-pocketing is a way of life. Be especially aware of people traveling with babies or other distractions. If someone "accidentally" bumps into you, immediately check to see if you still have everything with you and keep cameras hidden until back out on the street. However, the good news is that the subway is fast and efficient and as long as you're aware of the pick pockets, you'll really have no troubles.

As far as air, I'm sure Susan will have a much better answer than I will for that one Very Happy
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Charlie Tuna
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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2008 3:28 pm

I have to express another opinion, I'm actually holding off booking until I see which trip meaning Solstice or Equinox is going to offer the better European experience. I'm going to go with the one that has the most seamless vacation offer. In other words, hotel options, sightseeing as well as the cruise itself. So, I think it's great that you're starting to discuss this so I can make a decision soon!
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Miriam R
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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2008 4:14 pm

The way my vacation is timing out, I'll probably be booking Equinox rather than Solstice and, I have a few questions/concerns.

This will be my first trip to Europe and, I'd love to stay a few days in Rome after the cruise. I'd feel safer if I also had the "seamless" experience, complete with English speaking guides in Rome. So, I'm holding off from booking until I see the package offered.

My questions are:

- Will you be arranging transportation from the pier to Rome?
- What type of hotel accommodations can I expect. I've heard not every hotel in Rome has air conditioning. So this is a concern.
- Will you be offering tours in Rome?
- Will you be making arrangements for hotel to airport transfers?

Looking forward to your answers!
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HelenB
Resident Expert Family Cruising
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HelenB

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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeMon Apr 21, 2008 4:52 pm

Thank you for the suggestions, John! That's great to know about the subway system because it's what we would prefer, especially having children with us (carseats are a big issue if we rent cars). We're used to the pickpocket issue in other places, but I appreciate the warning.

Susan, we would be interested in seeing what you have to offer as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2008 3:03 am

Miriam R wrote:
My questions are:

- Will you be arranging transportation from the pier to Rome?
- What type of hotel accommodations can I expect. I've heard not every hotel in Rome has air conditioning. So this is a concern.
- Will you be offering tours in Rome?
- Will you be making arrangements for hotel to airport transfers?

Miriam,

Besides whatever Celebrity offers (in the way of transfers, excursions, etc.) we will offer options that group members can pick and choose as it fits their needs:
* we are looking into private transportation options from the cruise port to Rome, as well as from the cruise port direct to the airport (for anyone not staying in Rome after the cruise), and from the hotel to the airport
* we will be offering private tours in Rome - we are geting input from Cruise Freek's resident Italy expert
* we are also looking into some private tour options in the various ports during the cruise
* DCDuncan has already recommended one hotel (with AC and a pool), and he might have some other suggestions for us as well
* For the pre-cruise in London we'll also be looking into some private tour options there as well, and transfers (airport to hotel, hotel to cruise port, etc.).
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DCDuncan
Resident Expert - Italy
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DCDuncan

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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2008 11:21 am

Yes, I am working on a list of hotel suggestions, places to see and visit and restaurants. What everyone needs to realize is that August is vacation time in Europe and Italy is no exception, so, it's going to be a challenge to find places that are open and of general interest to the majority of the group. I will do my best to keep all budgets in mind but, also remember the Euro is much stronger than the Dollar, so expect to pay $200 - $250 per night bare minimum for a hotel that has air conditioning (not all do). Smile
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Jill T
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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2008 3:46 pm

Is that $200 - $250 bare minimum dollars or euros?
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DCDuncan
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DCDuncan

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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2008 3:49 pm

Dollars.
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Jill T
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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2008 4:09 pm

And what type of hotel would that be for that price?
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DCDuncan
Resident Expert - Italy
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DCDuncan

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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeTue Apr 22, 2008 4:52 pm

MAYBE something like the Crown Plaza by the Vatican - all depending on the group rate that can be obtained

http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hotel/romsp;jsessionid=G5XYSGS2IWFSACTGWA0SHPQKM0YBCIY4?_requestid=132944
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MichaelCT
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PostSubject: Re: Celebrity Equinox Anyone?   Celebrity Equinox Anyone? - Page 2 Icon_minitimeWed Apr 23, 2008 11:00 am

I've actually stayed in that Crown Plaza, I'd stay there again but, it is just slightly out of the way.  That's the only real drawback.
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