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Venice Pre-cruise

Discussion in 'Europe' started by BruinSteve, Oct 15, 2002.

  1. BruinSteve

    BruinSteve Guest

    Last European cruise, we booked our own airfare and left ourselves 2 nights pre-cruise in Copenhagen...

    I prefer NOT to fly 17 hours and 10 time zones to merely catch the ship exhausted, jet-lagged and not having a chance to even see the departure port...

    But, this upcoming cruise on Celebrity Millennium, the deal on air fare was TOO GOOD to pass up...and I really don't mind the idea of the cruise line handling all the transfer details for me...especially in a foreign city...

    So, my inclination was to inquire about doing a cruise line sponsored pre-cruise night or two in a local hotel in addition to the air...even though they do tend to overcharge a little bit on those things...

    Well, fast forward to the 2003 Celebrity Europe brochure, page 89, "Sea & Stay Hotel Packages"...

    I quote: "Special Sea & Stay hotel packages are an ideal way to extend your Celebrity vacation. You'll stay at top hotels for one, two or three nights before or after your cruise. In Barcelona, you'll have more time to explore...While in Dover you'll discover historic..."

    They go on to list 5 hotels in Barcelona, with prices ranging from $149-$239 per person for one night to $459 to $699 per person for three nights...They list two hotels in England at $209 for one night to $519 for three nights...

    No mention of Venice whatsoever... until you get to the very small (like 4 pt.) print:
    "Please consult your travel agent on Sea & Stay hotel packages in Rome, Stockholm and Venice".

    Well, I consulted my TA and she said Celebrity has nothing showing for Venice, but she will continue to monitor the situation for me and as soon as they start coming up with something, she'll get back to me...

    But, I'm an impatient guy...Even 9 and a half months ahead, I'd rather be able to plan...I know I can get a deviation...but that means I pay $75 per person, find my own hotel and deal witth all the connections...So, let's say I get a hotel for $200 per night for two nights, add the $150 for the deviations and figure $50 for cabs and other transportation (Water taxis? This IS Venice), I'm in the same price range as what they're charging for a two-nightSea & Stay ijn Barcelona...And, again, I'd prefer, all things being equal , to have Celebrity handle everything...

    Now, I also note that finding appropriate flights or combination of flight to get from Los Angeles halfway around the world to Venice and to aim it at a particular time is not easy...So, I also find great interest in the line in the Celebrity brochure that says: "Guests from some cities may be required to travel on red-eye flights or arrive up to two days before sailing" (page 90)...Now, I REALLY don't mind arriving two days ahead...but same day red-eye sounds like a nightmare...

    In any event, it sounds like an adventure...

    Now, not having ever cruised on Celebrity before, I am not sure what to expect...
    I know how I'D DO THINGS, if I were in charge...

    So, the questions are:

    *** What should I expect from Celebrity?
    *** Has anyone done a Sea & Sail with Celebrity to Venice before? What was the deal, how did they handle everything?
    *** If they never come up with any hotel choices (is that possible?), then whatt should I expect with their air arrangements? Will they really (please) fly me in a couple of days ahead of time? Outside of paying for a deviation, is there any way to request this?
    ***Anyone have any idea on timing as to when they should be coming up with alternatives for Venice?

    Thanks to all...
     
  2. Nanatravel

    Nanatravel Guest

    First, I have never been to Venice, but have sailed on the Millennium in Europe. Take their reduced airfare but do a deviation (which should get you on the best air arrangments just a different day.) Know what exact flights you would prefer. Call your TA and ask them to "check out" what airline arrangements you will get for a deviation fee. You do not have to accept what they offer. You can accept it if it meets your approval. Don't agree to do a deviataion until you are comfortable with the flights. You may also check on-line or with your TA for a hotel recommendation. I understand there are not too many large hotels in Venice. My boss just came back and is a world traveler. He stayed at the Il Palazzo @ the Bauer - Superlative Hotel - very pricey but well worth it! Check it out. Also, during our cruise many people who booked pre-cruise through Celebrity were placed in hotels miles outside the city. They were very upset but that is Celebrity's right and listed in the fine print. Get what you wish to pay for.
    Bon Voyage
     

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