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Everything posted by rogerdawhip

  1. I was on the Harmony and it looked brand new. The captain said the engines, generator, and other mechanical facilities were replaced and/or upgraded two years ago.
  2. I’m currently on GCTs Rhine and Moselle presidents cruise (my 14th). I had a talk with the president of GCCL about the companies selling their boats (two more sold this year). He replied the will now have only three ships doing the Rhine, Moselle and Danube cruises plus the two ships in France. With all the competition, they feel they can put out a better product with fewer ships. Personally, I’ve had no problems with their product for the last 18 years.
  3. Sue - All of the cruises I mentioned in the previous post were for 14 days. Tom - I would love to take one of GCTs last minute deals but I travel as a solo and these deals are only available for double occupancy. This have been quite a bone of contention of the OAT and GCT travel forums.
  4. I made a very unscientific search for river cruise prices on various lines. I chose the Amsterdam to Budapest itinerary with no air in May/June looking at the cheapest (Aquarium class) cabins. Here are my findings. GCT $4195 Vantage $5195 Avalon $5199 Viking $4299 AMA $6699 Scenic $5695 Uniworld $7199 Tauck $7399 Again, these are my findings and may only be accurate at the time I researched. Disclaimer: I have been on 15 GCT river cruises since 2001. When I started cruising, GCT, Viking, and Uniworld were the only lines around for US marketing. The only other line I cruised on was AMA is 2003, their first year in business.
  5. I have traveled on HAL twice in the past two years and will jot go back. I do not like their restricted buffet dining times and the ship seem to go to bed after 9 PM. During the day is seems like a rest home waiting area (IMO).
  6. First was the old Fair Princess in 1994. 10 Mexican Riviera out of LA. The air conditioning broke half way through the cruise and many of us slept on deck. My favorite ship was the original Star princess but it now the Ruby.
  7. I'm another promenade deck junkie. I finally booked a cruise on the Regal last fall and regretted not have the wraparound promenade deck. The Sun and Sea had the best promenade decks with room for loungers.
  8. Grand Circles single supplements are not sales gimmicks. They have been a flat rate for years. On their Great Rivers trip the SS is currently $745 whether your pay $3800 or $5500 for their cruises. I didn't say much about Grand Circle in my prior post but I have enjoyed every cruise with them. My first trip was in 2001 and I have another booked for next September. Their ships are older and have Murphy beds in the cabins. Many people are put off by this but everyone looks for something different in a river cruise. I also have a Tauck trip booked for July. I am paying no SS for a category 1 cabin. Saying this, it is still about $600 more than a similar Grand Circle trip with a supplement.
  9. I have traveled on 12 grand circle river cruises, all as a solo. Their supplement is a flat fee, usually about 15%. The lines that tout single cabins are fooling you. A double on vantage is $700 less per person than a single pays for the cabin next door .... thus a $700 supplement. My new preference is Tauck. As noted above, no supplement on lowest deck.
  10. I followed your many adventures on Carnival with the kids. I’m enjoying this thread just as much. I’ve been on the Royal and agree with your assessments so far.
  11. I was in aft cabin M727 on the recent TA and had terrible soot problems. To make things worse, they only cleaned it up once on a 14 day cruise. Cabin is near center so maybe it gets more soot.
  12. I do not appreciate being called a lair....I should have take pictures. Another poster said Princess has not built a ship with a promenade deck in decades. The last was the Ruby in 2008..my favorite ship. More people than not must like the Royal class because Princess is currently only building them. My comment on Asian food not being normal was wrong. But I still thing there was too much of it available.
  13. I was on the Regal for it's recent Transatlantic crossing from Copenhagen to NYC. I booked this cruise because I've had not been on a Royal class ship yet and the itinerary looked fantastic. I delayed booking a Royal class cruise because the ships did not have a promenade deck. This is only one of the many reasons I disliked the Regal. They have a walking/running track on deck 18 but cannot be used when raining or in heavy winds. I usually spend 5-6 hours a day on the promenade decks walking laps and just reading. The Horizon Court and Bistro were a disaster. Even after 14 days it was confusing as to what was where. The had to much Asian and exotic foods and not enough "normal" food options. The only good meal was breakfast. I normally eat later than most, 2 PM for lunch and 9 PM for dinner. At those times most of the better food items were gone and the rest was cold. The Piazza atrium was one of my favorite places on Grand Class ships but on the Regal is was very noisy due to aerobics, line dancing, and loud music/dancing each night. These activities ware usually done in the Vista Lounge where they didn't bother anyone on the Grand class. I was upgraded to an aft balcony but this was mistake. There was always soot on everything and the steward only cleaned it once in 14 days. Both chairs were broke. I let housekeeping know immediately and they were not fixed until the 10th day. The only good thing I found on the ship was Alfredos. The pizza and calzones were fantastic. But even Alfredos had an occasional glitch. I travel solo and a couple times I have to wait 15 minutes for a table even though it was only 25% full. Couples were seated much quicker. I'm not a novice cruise having been on over 40 cruises, 30 with Princess but from now on I'll stick with Grand Class ships.
  14. I have tried the getting in the DR early strategy in the past. This had worked sometimes and caused major problems on a few others. Once I sat at an empty table for six and a group of passengers came up and said this was their table. The complained to the Maitre'd and he made me move. I was very angry so I just went up on the sundeck and skipped dinner. The hotel manager saw me up there and asked why I'm not at dinner. I told him the situation and he also became very upset. He asked me to come and sit at his table to the rest of the cruise.
  15. When I started river cruising in 2001, open seating was never a problem for me. I am a solo traveler and enjoy meeting other travelers. On my last few cruises I dreaded dinner time. Many times I had to ask 5+ times if a seat was taken only to be rebuffed. When I did finally get a seat, many times I was ignored and treated as an outsider. Travelers today do not seem to be as friendly as in past years.
  16. GCT requires 10 people for a group booking discount which gives one passage free. This can be split 10 ways. They have a department dedicated to group bookings.
  17. Hopefully they will bring back the wrap around promenade deck.
  18. I prefer June/July. It may be a little hot and crowded but I enjoy the longer hours of daylight. It is nice to go on deck or into town after dinner and still light.
  19. I love the cruising on the canal leaving Amsterdam. To me it is not dull and very scenic, much better than the two hours approaching Cologne. I have departed Amsterdam six times so far and have enjoyed everyone of the.
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