A 10-day Mediterranean cruise aboard Holland America’s Noordam

We just returned from a 10 day Mediterranean cruise aboard Holland America’s Noordam with our adult children Scott (28) and Amanda (26) and her significant other Matt (26).

I’m happy to report it was perfect.  A cruise is the way for a family to travel.

With five people, it was absolutely essential to do some excursion planning well before we set sail or end up spending more money than necessary.

After checking several websites, we found Trip Advisor to be the most helpful and used it to find our driver/guides.  We picked the top two or three rated in the major cities, read the reviews, then communicated via email to obtain rates and discuss options.  All returned our emails within about eight hours and the ones we ultimately chose were excellent.  (More details to follow in future posts.)

By using a private driver/guide, rather than the ship’s tours we saved a lot of money and got to customize the tour.  In many cities, there are two ways to go.  Take a driver who can tell you about the sites, but can’t go into the attractions.  Or hire a driver and a licensed guide.  While more expensive, the guides, who have to go to “guide school” for up to four years, added so much insight and pointed out things we would have missed if left on our own.  It’s important to verify, prior to booking if you are hiring a driver or a licensed guide who can go on site.

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