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Everything posted by djh1959

  1. We are Australian and are on our first Scenic cruise next month. We were assured that no further tips were necessary, and for my part, service would have to be exemplary for us to pay any more. The trips aren't cheap in the first place and it is supposed to be all-inclusive. Luckily we do not have a tipping culture here, and it is an Australian company so I am sure all staff are paid properly. Tipping is the one thing that we hate when we visit the US, so much so that we probably won't go back.
  2. Heartfelttraveler, we are on our first Rhine Cruise next month and are spending some time in Basel post cruise too. We have booked the Hotel Krafft, and have a river view room with a balcony for a very reasonable price. Obviously I can't comment as we haven't stayed yet, but happy to let you know once we are back at the start of November.
  3. Thanks so much for that link notamermaid. Looks like we have no holidays on the river cruise week, and there is one during the week we are spending in Vienna, but we knew about that one luckily. Your posts on the Rhine have made the anticipation even better, only one month to go now until we leave!
  4. We travel from Amsterdam to Basel on 14th October, so hopefully will get to see some beautiful autumn colours. Do you know if there are any public holidays on that route during the week 14th-21st October please?
  5. I second the suggestion of Blackberry Cars. We have used them a few times on London trips and they are good value and very reliable. A cab or Uber could end up horrendously expensive if you get stuck in traffic.
  6. You will find plenty to amuse you in Lyon for a couple of nights. We spent three nights there early last year and also in Avignon. We stayed at the Mercure Lyon Beaux Artes which was great and in a wonderful location. Not sure how close to the riverboats though as we were on a train journey. It is considerably cheaper than the Sofitel and still very nice. Don't miss the food markets - they are amazing, as are the Roman ruins and the wonderful paintings on building walls.
  7. Can't you separate and doing your own thing for a couple of hours? We went to Anne Frank on our last trip to Amsterdam, and loved it, sad though it was. This trip we have already got our timed tickets for Van Gogh. I haven't purchased for the Rijks yet, but I will. I just think it is such a shame if there is something one person wants to do to have to miss out as the other doesn't like it. We are a strange couple in that hubby loves to shop and I hate it. We almost always have a couple of hours apart and he shops and I do something that I like, even if that is just sitting in the hotel checking sites like this, or visiting a museum that interests me. Just a suggestion.
  8. Thanks from me too. Have loved reading all about your Scenic cruise. Makes me so excited that ours is less than 8 weeks away now. Thanks again.
  9. Thank you TravelerThorn. You are correct, we will be on Scenic and I believe docking in Mannheim.
  10. @TravellerThorn, thanks for the explanation. We are only doing Rhine Highlights for 7 nights, so Strasbourg is on our itinerary. We were only there in January, but we loved it so happy to spend another day there. I think we will be going to Heidelberg, glad that it is just over an hour, I can just manage that. It is when it gets to 2 hours plus that I have problems.
  11. Notarmermaid, how long would you expect the ride from Kehl to be? We were in Strasbourg at Christmas and were told it was around a 15 minute tram ride, so I assumed the bus wouldn't be too long. I have some issues whereby I can't cope with long bus rides, hence why I am asking. It will help be plan.
  12. Your St. Chappelle photos are stunning! We got lucky at L'Orangerie a couple of years ago and had the water lillies room to ourselves. Made for great photos. Best reason to travel off-season.
  13. It was mentioned in the Australian newspapers that the government had cancelled all the nighttime cruising a few weeks ago. Today in the paper, it stated that the government ban has been lifted and it is now up to individual cruise lines whether to do them or not.
  14. I have never done a Christmas cruise, but we have visited the England, Scotland, France, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic and Salzburg over the Christmas New Year period for the last few years. Weather varies greatly, but we have never had that. In fact, this past Christmas we had five days in London and four in Paris and had sunshine the entire time! It was drizzly during our five days in Strasbourg, but not particularly cold. We had snow one day and it was gorgeous. And I agree with the decorations, Strasbourg and Colmar were simply stunning!
  15. We are planning a trip there next year, so am about to look at it now. Thanks.
  16. I think HOtel de Lutece, and another one in that stretch, are all owned by the same owners at Saint-Louis en L'Isle. I haven't stayed in the others though. There is also another more expensive hotel further down the street, opposite the church. Le Saint-Regis is my favourite place for breakfast anywhere in the world! We ate there every day during our three stays on the Island. Their omelet with herbs and the eggs benedict are incredible, particularly the hollandaise sauce. We were in Paris for three nights back in January and stayed in Le Marais for a change, but we did have to walk over the Le Saint Regis for one breakfast. I must say though I was shocked how much the prices had risen in two years. Certainly couldn't afford breakfast there everyday these days. There are so many good restaurants in that area.
  17. We too like the Left Bank, but our total favourite is Ile St Louis, the Island between the Left and Right banks, so for us a perfect location. We have stayed on the island a couple of times at Hotel St. Louis en L'Ile. This is their website: https://www.saintlouisenlisle.com/en/ We generally like the top floor room, both because it is considerably bigger but it also has great views of the local area. It is a small boutique hotel, in a wonderful street, lined with cute shops and restaurants, as well as a fromagerie, a boulangerie and a wonderful wine shop. It also has an elevator, albeit very small, but they all are, and air conditioning.
  18. We spent three nights in Avignon early last year and absolutely loved the town. We weren't on a river cruise, just a normal European trip. As Peregrina651 states, the Bridge is wonderful with some good views. We did enjoy the Palace, but just did it on our own, not a tour. Their is a wonderful food market, lots of churches and shops and just some nice wandering. We did go to the Pont du Gard though and found it amazing.
  19. There are so many great hotels in Paris. What part of Paris did you want to stay in?
  20. I read about this in our newspapers last week here in Melbourne, Australia. Apparently it is nothing to do with the cruise ship captains or lines, but a new rule brought in by the powers that be in Budapest, due to overcrowding on the rivers. I can't understand how Crystal can still be doing it if what I read was true. We are going to Budapest by train after taking a Rhine Cruise, so were always planning on doing our own thing with Legenda. They appear to get excellent reviews.
  21. What time of year are you going jpalbny? I have been doing some research for our planned trip next year, and unfortunately there are no cruises from Porto to the Douro Valley after early October. Apparently the dams all get maintenance during the European Winter, so the cruises do not start again until March each year. We plan on going at Christmas, or shortly after, so will obviously not get to cruise. There are day trips by both car and train though and once you get past the dams there are short cruises that run all year.
  22. I had a look at the website last night, and it seems quite expensive. For the top level cabin for a four night cruise it was over $2000 AUD, which is an awful lot of money. There don't appear to be any private balconies. There don't appear to be any drinks included, other than tea and coffee. $4000 per couple for 4 nights is a lot but I will wait and hope that a trip report is forthcoming that might justify the price. As an example we are paying $10000 for our 7 night Rhine cruise with Scenic in October, but that is totally all inclusive and in a Junior Suite. This is exactly why we tend to always travel overseas, holidays in Australia are very expensive.
  23. This is a fantastic review with wonderful photos. We are planning a trip to Spain, Lisbon and Porto later next year, not a river cruise, just a regular trip. Your photos have made it even more exciting to plan! You mentioned restaurants not having chicken available but lots of seafood. I don't eat shell fish but I love all other fish. I would imagine that there is plenty of fish, is that right?
  24. Thanks for the great photos. I am from Melbourne, Australia and am reasonably ashamed to say that I know very little about this cruise. It would be wonderful if you could come back when you have more time and give us a little review. Glad you enjoyed yourself, did you travel during our winter?
  25. Thanks, I will be looking forward to it. Have a wonderful time.
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