Hillier - Answered a Question by Broughton (22 Oct 07 12:14)

Hi - we will be onboard on Sunday also. Haven't been on this ship before but have done a few cruises. Our advice would be to choose one or two special organised trips and get around on your own the rest of the time as they are very expensive. You'll pick up lots of tips on board from more experienced cruisers and the staff are always very knowledgeable. Look forward to seeing you there.

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Gwendoline - Answered a Question by Broughton (19 Oct 07 20:04)

I would assume that the trips on the Gem are very similar to those on the Jewel, which also does the western Europe cruise. On a personal level, if there is one to Rome, this is a long day and very crowded. If I were to do this one again I would do a D.I.Y. As you have two children, I feel it would be more fun and adventurous to do it this way. If Greece and Istanbul are on your list, think about this also, both of these were spoilt by getting stuck in traffic for most of the day. I would suggest taxis would be more viable. If Venice is on your list, then go for it. The port is crowded, but a trip would be better particularly if going near the Rialto. All the best to you all.

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Robertson - Answered a Question by Broughton (20 Oct 07 02:37)

I do not know your ports of call but for Rome you can get a train form the Port for nine Euros return. Also for most locations you can do your own thing if you are going to Pisa/Lucca again the local train runs you can check this out on the web. Also Monte Carlo is easy to get to by train. The secret of cruising is to do your homework first and enjoy your holiday. We even went by train to Florence this year. All I can say is enjoy relax and make it an adventure for the kids. In Rome by the Forum they can even pretend to be the Romans and then Gladiators in the Colosseum. The trips are expensive and you may find that you are restricted I.e. when the kids can have a rest, drink, something to eat. You will most probably find the nine year old will enjoy following a map. I must admit I get the Dorling Kingsley Books the Eyewitness ones and decide what to visit before we even leave the ship. Give yourself plenty of time to get back to the ship. There will be loads of people doing their own trips and you will find once you get on board people are more than willing to offer advise on how to get to places. If you let me know your destinations I can help you with further information. trish.robertson@hotmail.co.u.

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graham - Answered a Question by Broughton (20 Oct 07 07:50)

Hi, afraid I do not know the answer to your question however have a great time. We are traveling next July on Norwegian Jade with 2 kids 11,8 so would love any tips on your return. bon voyage.

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Drewett - Answered a Question by Broughton (20 Oct 07 10:03)

I have just returned from the Norwegian Gems first cruise, and the ship is fantastic, you will have a great time. Unfortunately your cruise doesn't stop at many of the places we stopped at. However we found the trips to be hugely expensive and not very well organised. If you want to do rome, its less than five minutes walk to the train station ,with trains every 30minutes costing 10euros and not the 150 dollars they where charging just for coach transfer. At other places, we found the quirky tours such as mussel farms, jeep safari to be far better than the mass crowds of tours to famous sites where you get almost no time to yourself. Hope you have fun,.

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BEARDSLEY - Answered a Question by Broughton (23 Oct 07 14:39)

Hi, We are going on this cruise as well, we have a nearly 3 year old. I get the impression you can leave them on the ship and go on tours without them. They may have more fun. I would not do this with my nearly three year old but yours are older. May be worth checking when you get on board. I have heard things about Morocco and their liking for blond children from friends who have been. We have been to some of the ports on the list before but not with this cruise company,(we have been with Ocean Village, Princess,Cunard, P&O) trips can work out expensive when you have a big group or children who fall into the adult category.We have hired a car in the past and done our own thing. Sometimes though when you have added up the entrance costs to places and added car hire it works out about the same. It depends what you want to do and how adventurous you are.Waterparks/zoos/shopping/beach etc are always good with kids. We tend to do short morning or afternoon trips and not all day trips. You can then get back on board and feed the kids etc. Might see you in the kids club!

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Murphy - Answered a Question by Broughton (23 Oct 07 22:06)

The orgainised trips are always overpriced, but if you are new to cruising, you may be better off using the ship's tours. When you've done a few cruises, you'll realise that you can do the tours yourself much cheaper. However, if you do go it alone, just make sure you give yourselves plenty of time to get back to the ship because if you're late, it won't wait for you. Have a wonderful time.

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