Author Topic: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris  (Read 4244 times)

Offline steve L

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steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« on: August 28, 2011, 02:18:50 PM »
ok where to start I know it is better to put each city in its respective cities but many things overlap and may just do that after i write the whole report
This trip report should be helpful for people thinking of flying with a baby:)
background
I flew with my wife and 6 month old baby on 1st class lufthansa into rome . I used 200k amex points ( this was b4 they increased the pts for 1st to europe).On the way there we got the a380 which is gorgeous. i got the bassinet seat for the baby which if anybody wants to know the bassinet is tiny and barely held a 6 month pld weighing 15 pounds but worked out fine.

We worried abt ppl being pissed abt a baby in 1st but everybody was nice and the stewardest were quite helpful and was dying to hold the baby. So flight was good. However, the stopover in frankfurt is crazy because it is so big and just to get into another terminal you have to go to security which was a pain. (only had a 2 hr stopover , went to terminaal b lounge which is quite nice) . No ride in porsche but got a ride in one of those go carts which did the job.

Rome
8/15-8/18
rome is gorgeous and amazing. Every block you  turn is another gorgeous statue or building. I stayed in the westin excelsior. I paid for a junior suite and got upgraded to a 2bdrm suite which was gorgeous. The problem with Italy in August was that it was so hot and humid ,so you have to plan accordingly and do less and just go back to the hotel midday to take a shower and then go back out.
1)We did the underground colleseum tour which was not so special and a disaster with a baby because of the heat and stairs.
2)I really enjoyed the captoline museum which had amazing statues and pictures going back thousands of years. quite nice
3) The great synagogue of Rome is just amazing and so beautiful plus the museum downstairs has such beautiful artifacts

Food in rome was great too and was o convenient having all of them lined up in the ghetto

Venice
8/18-8/21
we took the train from rome to venice thurs afternoon which was smooth and easy

Venice was so beautiful and has to be seen once in your life .We stayed in the Gritti and was upgraded to a junior suite. In all of our hotels they had cribs waiting for us. Honestly the gritti was not so nice and for them to be a class 7 on spg is pushing it . HOWEVER, they are closing soon for a 6 month repair so maybe then it will be nicer . Ok now onto venice itself. Yes it was a pain with a stroller but we managed.However we would have loved it more if it wasnt so hot. Also, quite annoying is by the gritti and i believe the westin too unless u walk to san marco , you have to take local waterbus which takes forever and stops every 5 seconds

Next, Shabbos at Gam Gam. It may have been nice if it was in may when dan went however, in 95 degree heat plus 400 ppl there i truly didnt enjoy it. I tried to buy food fri afternoon but they ran out and wouldnt sell me much bec they wanted it for the free guests ( i know abt the donations) But let me tell you when it is 95 degrees and no air conditioning in the shul and then you have to push with hundreds of ppl for a peice of chicken it is not worth it. The 2nd shift started at 11pm fri night and with a baby and my wife that was not happening. It is an experience to meet jews from all over the world but Gam gam is not a good situation when they have so many tourists.

In venice itself we just really walked around like by san marco and went for a cpl hours to murano where we got beautifuk jewlery like cufflinks for me and necklaces for my wife

Paris 8/21-8/24

Next we were off to paris via easyjet which costed me 100 bucks each . I wanted to fly direct to paris so paid for this.

Everything dan says about the park hyatt is true. i paid for a junior suite and they upgraded me to an executive suite. 2 full baths Bdrm living room, toys for the baby , baby bath for her too it was just amazing and my wife wanted to move in indefinatly.

At this stage of the trip we took it easy no versailles just some relaxation. I am no art guy but the louvre was so nice to see and we skipped the line bec of the baby
We had tickets for the eiffel tower at night which was night but it was so packed and everyone pushing for the elevators is no fun but the view is to die for. In general we walked around to just take in the beauty. one setback was that alot of places was closed. I tried getting the famous chocolate nad spent a 30 euro cab ride to find out both places were closed but no biggy

Overall i had an amazing time and would like to thank everbody on these forums for their help
Breakdown on point usage was 200k amex for flights 110k spg for rome and venice and 99k hyatt for paris( paid for a suite bec no reg rooms available and well worth the pts)
Now with all the point changes this trip would cost easily 100k more
If anybody has any questions feel free to ask and i apologize for the length just its my 1st time and wanted to be in depth as mch i can to help others as they have done for me  :)



« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 01:10:49 PM by Dan »

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2011, 03:17:33 PM »
Nice report thanks.

Confirms my opinion that Venice isn't made to be visited in mid summer.

Offline Dan

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2011, 01:10:27 PM »
Great report!

Definitely seems that when we went to Europe in May it was the ideal time.  Venice was beautiful then in the 75 degree temp and there were just a couple dozen people at Gam Gam then which was perfect.  Hard to imagine how any institution can manage to host hundreds of people without a ton of professional help.
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Offline steve L

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2011, 02:00:01 PM »
Great report!

Definitely seems that when we went to Europe in May it was the ideal time.  Venice was beautiful then in the 75 degree temp and there were just a couple dozen people at Gam Gam then which was perfect.  Hard to imagine how any institution can manage to host hundreds of people without a ton of professional help.
i agree the only thing that upset me at gam gam was that on fro afternoon they wouldnt let me buy food bec they wanted it for the ppl for shabbos. and i understand what they are trying to accomplish but i was trying to give them cash. not such a big deal

Offline twentie4hrs

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 05:24:49 PM »
how long is the train btwn france and italy?
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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 07:03:58 PM »
Great report.

--You said you "paid" for a suite in Paris, but then you say you used 99K in Hyatt points?

--Where did you buy your tix for the Eiffel tower?

--Were things closed because of the lateness of the day or because of a "bank holiday" or something like that?
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Offline twentie4hrs

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 07:12:42 PM »
btw-@AJK
we might be adding some stopovers in paris to italy
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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 07:15:10 PM »
btw-@AJK
we might be adding some stopovers in paris to italy

What days?

Also, how can you add a stopover? Didn't you buy the KLM-mistake ticket?
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Offline steve L

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 09:51:16 PM »
Great report.

--You said you "paid" for a suite in Paris, but then you say you used 99K in Hyatt points?

sorry i meant i used 33k per night bec no reg rooms were available
--Where did you buy your tix for the Eiffel tower?

straight from the eiffel tower website just pick date and time

--Were things closed because of the lateness of the day or because of a "bank holiday" or something like that?
things were closed in paris bec it was the summer and locals took off for vacation but no problem for you now

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2011, 12:04:37 AM »
Executive suite for 33k/night. Niiice. Seems like a great redemption (4cpm!).

Did you see the light show at the Eiffel Tower? Worth it? Do you know what time it's at?

Glad to hear about stuff being open later in the winter.
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Offline twentie4hrs

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2011, 07:34:28 AM »
What days?

Also, how can you add a stopover? Didn't you buy the KLM-mistake ticket?
yes, I called them up and wanted to see if I could add a stopover and they are allowing me to do it for if it is not more than 24 hours stopover and $150.00
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Offline steve L

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2011, 09:35:01 AM »
Executive suite for 33k/night. Niiice. Seems like a great redemption (4cpm!).

Did you see the light show at the Eiffel Tower? Worth it? Do you know what time it's at?

Glad to hear about stuff being open later in the winter.
it was the nicest room i was ever in. 1 bdrm 2 bath living room , everything i needed for baby.

the day i went to eiffel tower was rainy so wasnt that good but i believe the light show starts at sunset but not sure if that is true with the winter when it is so early

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Re: steve's trip report on rome, venice and paris
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2011, 12:36:25 PM »
yes, I called them up and wanted to see if I could add a stopover and they are allowing me to do it for if it is not more than 24 hours stopover and $150.00

Hmm... right now we're just popping through AMS for an hour two. Would love to be able to extend it so I can see a bit of AMS. I might consider it for $150...

When will you be in Paris?
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