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About coljack

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Colorado Springs
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Regent SevenSeas
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  1. Thank you, Surmy! That was very useful info and we will do it as you suggested. Always wanted to see Hells Canyon, drove near it several times but never had time to stop. This is our first river cruise in the USA--always been an ocean cruiser or on European rivers. I always found Cruisecritic to be very useful in the past, but there don't seem to be nearly as many users of the boards for USA cruises. On the Regent boards, if someone asks a question, there is frequently a raging battle of opinions within a few hours. (-: Thanks again.
  2. I would appreciate any opinions on this tour. Is it a wild ride? I saw a video from one company that looked pretty wild. If it is, how long is the wild part; the overall tour was six hours--surely not six hours of that pitching and yawing? Also, how does it fit into the American Empress cruise? I know it is offered as optional but we are considering getting to Spokane a day earlier and taking it then on our own. If we do that, will we be twiddling our thumbs the first day on the ship? We are on the June 2, Clarkston to Vancouver. Thanks in advance for anyone taking the trouble to answer.
  3. I am quite tall and was very uncomfortable on tenders from Mariner and Voyager. I recently sailed on Explorer and didn't give comfort a thought when shuttling on the tenders. I do believe they were a little roomier than the others. I see that some disagree and they may be right, but it seemed better to me.
  4. One of our favorite excursions anywhere was in St Pete: Night with the Czars, or something like that. It was a premium excursion but well worth the extra charge. Visit Katherine's palace in the evening, with very few fellow tourists. Spend as much time in the Amber Room as you like instead of a few seconds, as it is during the day. Special entertainment throughout the evening besides all the normal places to visit in the palace, including a string quartet. Dinner at a Russian restaurant on the way back to the ship. Don't miss it.
  5. coljack

    First time river

    Glad to read your review. We are experienced ocean cruisers and European river cruisers but will be doing the Columbia cruise next May on Empress. Are there any tips you have for us, since we are used to the other cruises and this is our first time on AQSC. We learned a lot of lessons the hard way on our first cruises and would appreciate any tips from your point of view. Thanks!
  6. coljack

    Cruise Directors

    We don't have the experience of many of you but in our dozen or so cruises we have had the great pleasure of having Tammy and Andy Heath as our CD(s) twice and they are, for us, by far the most personable, friendly, and all around best. It seems the CD is important to many of you, and you need not worry if you encounter the Heaths.
  7. Thanks, Dave. What are the things you thought were better on ACL?
  8. Thanks for the idea, Dave. Hadn't heard of Un-Cruise.
  9. Hi, All, We are experienced European River and Ocean cruisers, but are planning the Columbia/Snake cruise for 2019. We were looking at ACL but cruise critic postings led us to believe it might not be best for us. Gallo table wine was one turnoff. Can any of you AQS experts give us an idea if the cuisine and wines served are a little upscale from ACL? We don't expect Regent Seven Seas, but we would hope for something close to Viking River. Is that a reasonable expectation? We would really appreciate your opinions. Thanks in advance! Also, we noticed some concerns on posts about thin walls on Empress. Any advice on quietest cabins?
  10. New ACL poster here but a fan of Cruisecritic from other boards. We are planning to take the Columbia River cruise in 2019. Never been on ACL. Our traveling companions are wine gourmets. I've been reading lots of posts on this site and believe our friends would not be happy with the table wine served (described as Gallo.) Would they be allowed to bring their own wine and would the serving staff open it for them? In your opinion, would this look like a big deal to our fellow passengers? Appreciate any opinions. Thank you.
  11. Ray, We are planning our first cruise with American. We, too, are experience river (Europe only) and ocean cruisers. We have learned so many lessons, some the hard way, with each cruise line. Could we trouble you for a short answer with some of the lessons you have learned on American? You seemed like the best poster to ask. We, too, are planning AAC category, most likely. I am troubled at the lack of info put out on the size of the cabins--this makes it hard to choose. Are there any clues to choosing location of cabins? Are the ones in the stern noisy? Any real worries, like noisy under the pool deck or under a sun deck on the ocean liners? Thank you in advance for any time and trouble in sharing advice. Also, anyone else who can chip in, thank you! John
  12. Let me address one point: breakfast before excursions. Remember room service is always free on Regent. We love dining out so we only used room service for breakfasts before early excursions. On five cruises they have never let us down. Breakfast is always served within fifteen minutes early to on time based on the time we request on the menu we hang on the doorknob. I don't have experience with NCL so I'll let the veterans answer the other questions. I hope you have a great cruise!
  13. TC, I'm curious if you have tried Viking Ocean since we are considering giving them a shot. Thanks.
  14. coljack

    Splendor design speculation

    Poss, We've been looking forward to meeting you on the Norway cruise. I've always enjoyed your posts. Hope you decide not to jump ship, but wish you the best either way. John and Helen