Our Favorite Hotels:
Hotel near train station: Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel
Hotel near Museums: Best Western Apollo Museum Hotel
Our Favorite Museums and Attractions:
Van Gogh Museum BE SURE to purchase tickets before you go. You can do this at: https://tickets.vangoghmuseum.nl/activity
Anne Frank House BE SURE to purchase tickets before you go. You can do this at: http://www.annefrank.org/en/Museum/Practical-information/Online-ticket-sales/
National Maritime Museum
Red Light District
Our Favorite Restaurants:
Brasserie Van Speyk located at Spuistraat 3a, 1012 SP Amsterdam www.vanspeyk.com
Lamour Spanish Restaurant & Tapas Bar located at Stromarkt 4, 1012 SW Amsterdam www.amsterdamtapas.com
The Pancake Bakery located at Prinsengracht 191 1015 DS Amsterdam www.pancake.nl
Day in Athens for Independent Cruisers:
Exit ship as early as possible and walk (25 minutes) or take taxi to Piraeus Subway Station (Metro). Be sure taxi meter is on. Purchase a 3 Euro 24 hour train pass.
To walk to the Metro, just turn left at end of Port Entrance and follow shore line road until you reach the Metro Station. Get on the Green Line heading toward Athens. Ride takes about 25 minutes.
If you want to see National Archeological Museum, get off at Victoria and go to museum. It opens at 8 am and the closer you can get to that time, the better you will be.
If going directly to the Acropolis, get off at Thission.
After you see museum, you can get back on subway (now take red line to Acropolis Station.) Exit station look to your left and see big stone thing–yes the Acropolis, head toward it. Buy your ticket and go in. Then walk down the hill through the Plaka–stopping for lunch at our favorite restaurant: Iov Yappa. (The Old Tavern of Psara’s) 16 Eretheos & Erotokritou streets, 105 56 Plaka, Athens.
After lunch, continue to wander down through Plaka to take Green Line train to Piraeus getting on either at Thission or Monstiraki Stations.
Give yourself 1.5 hours from “back on board time” to get back from Athens to the ship via Metro/walking to the pier.
Cab Driver: Athens Airport/Cruiseport/Downtown Athens. Nikos Ioannou +30 6980511795 firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Take only City Cabs . Others will rip you off. Have your hotel or ship arrange for them, when you need a cap.
2. St. Gellert Thermal Baths and Swimming Pools are great. www.gellertbath.hu You can use a credit to pay for the entrance fee. Bring your own towel. Rentals are hard to do and costly. There are lockers to store your things. Do not take a lot of cash with you to the spa.
3. Be should be sure to see St. Stephan’s Basilica (on the Pest side) They have organ concerts on Fridays at 8 pm. Web: www.organconcert.hu . Check with hotel concierge for other times.
4. Be sure to eat at Komedia’s Kavehaz located at 1069 Budapest, Nagymezo u. 26 (its well known by the locals). Web: www.komediaskavehaz.hu
They have piano and violinist and outdoor seating when weather is nice.
5. In the major shopping district on the Pest side, there is a restaurant called- LaPorta Taorimina, located at 1052 Budapest, Pesti Barnabas u.6. Web: http://ristorantetaormina.hu . Their chicken paprika is amazing! They have indoor/outdoor seating. Their house red and white wines are very nice.
6. The public transportation system is a bit difficult to get used to. No English. If you have a Budapest Card which includes unlimited public
transportation, you should be fine. But purchasing of individual tickets is not easy. You have to find where they sell them and if you change
trams, subways, busses you need new tickets, etc. Just very confusing when nothing is in English. And, unless you understand Hungarian (a
very complicated language) you will be frustrated.
7. If you like Hungarian food and like to cook, don’t leave without buying Paprikas and Goulas Paste (they come in tubes like toothpaste). Be sure to pack tubes in checked luggage or security will remove them from you.
8. On the Buda side of the river, is Budapest Castle. That is nice to visit, great views over the city. There is also a St. Stephan’s church there
which is lovely.
9. You should also tour the underground caverns under Buda Castle. There are many restaurants and bars in the caverns.
If you are cruising out of Rome, your port is Civitavecchia. Arriving a day early and taking the train to Civitavecchia is a nice alternative for people who have been to Rome in the past. It takes about 2 hours by train, with transfer and stairs involved. You can avoid the stairs if you take the Leonardo Express Train into Rome and then transfer to the direct train to Civitavecchia from there. We can give you detailed information about these options, when you book.
Civitavecchia has a beautiful beach, lots of cafe’s and shops. Its a working town, with a nice waterfront area. The hotel choices are restricted to mostly 2 star accommodations, but at the right price. One nice option (unless you have limited mobility) is Hotel Traino. We can arrange a hotel stay for you. If you like to walk and don’t mind lugging your suitcase uphill (sidewalks) you can. Or you can take a cab for Euro 20 from train station to the hotel. The hotel will provide a free transfer to the cruiseport and offers an included breakfast. Hotel staff are fluent in English and very accommodating.
A walk along the beach and a swim in the warm Mediterranean Sea, is a great way to unwind from a long airplane ride. If you cannot wait to dig into the “history part” of your trip, the Town Museum located in an 18th century building that belonged to Pope Clement XIII. The museum is a few steps from the Port entrance.
Favorite Things To Do:
Walk the city wall
Go sea kayaking or snorkeling: Adventure Dubrovnik www.adventuredubrovnik.com
Have strudel at City Caffe
Dubrovnik Treasures handmade jewelry, located at Celestina Medovica 2. Web: www.dubrovniktreasures.com .
The City Caffe great for coffee/breakfast/lunch. Best apple strudel ever! Located at Pred Dvorom 1 Web: www.mea-culpa.hr
Mykonos: see the windmills, take a 1/2 day tour to Delos, see little Venice and shop at Apospis arts and crafts for handmade jewelry (Ag. Anargiron 21, Little Venice), have lunch at Paraportiani Restaurant, Chora, Mykonos. Web: www.paraportiani.gr
Rhodes: shop for Greek cotton clothing at Asteria located at 26 Themistokleous Street (Old Town).
Santorini: take an island tour to Oia, Red Beach and Winery with Demitri. (call Born to Travel to book). See the sunset from Fira.
Navplion: take a half-day tour to Mycenea. Visit Maria A. Gonidou’s shop for hand-woven textiles. Located at 10Ath. Sickou, Nafplio. Web: www.gonidou.gr
Favorite things to see and do:
Wake up and get on deck when ship travels through Fjords on the way to Kotor.
Walk through Old Town Kotor
Take cab/tour to Buddva and spend time at a beach. (You can arrange at the pier. Cost 80 Euro for half day)
Book a 1/2 day adventure tour with Adventure Montenegro. Web: www.adventuremontenegro.com
Favorite things to see and do:
Church of Santa Maria Maggiore (near Termini Train Station)
The Piazza Della Republica–is a road circle with a statue in the center. It is kitty corner to the Termini train station. Follow the sidewalk all the way around that circle and you will find Roman Baths, and a church right next to them which I think is often overlooked. Also you will find The National Roman Museum Palazzo Massimo Alle Terme –located across the street from Termini train station. It is very small, so does not take a long time and it has fabulous representation of all things Roman including some awesome tile floors and frescos dug up from earlier cities of Rome.
You can start at the Spanish Steps, walk through the mega shopping streets toward Trevi Fountain. When facing the fountain the streets to the left
lead to the Piazza Novana–one of my favorites and The Pantheon and Piazza Venezia are both just off the Piazza Novana
You can start at Santa Maria Maggiore and walk down Via Cavour to the Coloseum, then to Tempio Vesta, and the Forum Romano.
Having dinner outside at any of the restaurants on the Via Veneto is a real treat.
After the Vatican you can walk toward the river and visit Castel S. Angelo.
An Illuminated Rome Tour is a great end to a perfect day in Roma.
Favorite things to do:
Trip to the Murano Glass Factory–your hotel can make arrangements for you.
Gelato at the store that, when facing St. Mark’s Cathedral is on your right hand side, and coming away from St. Mark’s church is I believe the second Gelato shop, but it is the one with a very long curved glass case, with all the choices visible, you order at
the glass case, you do not enter a store. Strawberry and lemon are to die for.
Visit San Marco
Save money and take public gondola across the canal instead of booking a private one for $100.00.
Airport to Cruiseport Transportation Company: Elite Autonoleggi Web: www.autonoleggi.it Cost in 2013 Euro 60 per car (seats up to 6)
Favorite Museums and Attractions:
Horse drawn carriage ride
Visit Lipizzaner Spanish Riding School or see Stallions Perform web: www.srs.at
See Royal Jewels and Treasures at Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien web: www.kaiserliche-schatzkammer.at