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tfred

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About tfred

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Delray Beach
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Crystal River, Celebrity, Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Med

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  1. you probably have to be at the airport at 12;30 or so. I would also an hour to get there via taxi or train. You really don't have that much time to go on an organized tour - probably why they don't offer one. You could do a specific event - Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank house (need reservations!) and then go to the airport
  2. part of the issue is that given the money spent on a river cruise (compared to ocean) there is an expectation of very high standards on board. Like all ocean cruise lines, there are big differences in what the experience is on a river and if you will like it. It is almost impossible to know that beforehand unless you know someone who has taken a cruise and knows your tastes There are people I know that love NCL - wouldn't be my cup of tea. Obviously, many people like and sail on Viking Viking does a great job advertising in the USA and you wouldn't even know there was another choice. We went on Crystal last year (and another this Xmas) and loved it. Fit our style, food was great, great staff. Crystal had roughly half the passenger count on the same size ship. Viking was considered, but after all was added in, Crystal was within the price range and just looked better
  3. this could turn into a "why did Celebrity change what i liked" thread from long time X cruisers the new Celebrity is clean and modern vs the more traditional cruise ship. Some people don't like that . Marriotts don't look the same as they did 10 years ago either and they are doing well depending when you travel and how long will somewhat skew the demographic. In general it will be RCCL type without the kids running around. I would think that you would enjoy the cruise line in general, as they are looking for folks your age to start migrating to X
  4. We did Crystal Rhine last summer and are doing Crystal Danube this winter. Obviously we liked the river concept of docking in town and the vibe of river cruising. The food and service on Crystal blew us away The Esprit yacht interests us due to its open concept and service food. Our friends went it (early 50s) and loved it.
  5. My wording was off. I agree with you. The CD is important after the first cruise
  6. I am not sure that the CD is relevant to non Crystal or "never took a cruise before" pax. Once you are a Crystal regular it may be. Crystal can only poach so many existing peer cruise pax (SB, regent Silversea) or get some trade-ups from Celebrity suites. They have to find upscale, younger travelers who are taking primarily land based, high end vacations and convince them that Crystal is a viable option. Yes, it is a cruise, but it is equal or better than what you would get at a high end hotel/resort, so forget the old school thinking of what you think a cruise is. The Ritz Carlton ships are a natural extension of the Ritz hotel concept. Easy for travelers to understand what that ship experience would be. They are trying to get the next generation of Crystal customers on board - once they do that they probably stay
  7. My only vacation experience on Crystal has been River - it was fabulous. I did work with a concessionaire on board Ocean years back and was impressed. I can see where Crystal wants to attract the next generation of loyal customers to its line. They are trying not only to get the trade up market, but also people who have never cruised but are looking for the "Rosewoods" experience in a different format Every cruise line is thinking the same - Celebrity is a prime example with its ship within a ship configuration. They are actively trying to pick off the upscale consumer with separated rooms and retreats but with the shops, shows and space that a big ship can offer Difficulties with Crystal Ocean (from our perspective as mid 60's just retired) is that we don't want the trip to the ship to be an adventure in its own right. Its great that Crystal goes around the world, but chasing the ship (especially when i was in my 50s) would not be a great start if i was still working. I wouldn't want to spend half my vacation trying to get someplace to meet the ship, no matter how lovely it is. the River and Yacht experiences seem to be on target for a younger demo. We know people who took Esprit (mid 50s professionals) and loved it
  8. i would think that Viking and Azamara would be closer to the O experience Larger ships (MSC, Cunard, X) are heading to the Ship within a Ship experience. Dedicated, closed off areas where suites and classes have private restaurants, bars, pools. The advantage is that you can get small ship attention and have large ship common events. You may or may not like the idea of 3,000 pax outside your private retreat
  9. it is way too early to book airfare to europe. wait a while, but check once a week or so to check trends Norwegian is an option but they are on the edge of being financially unstable. I would book close in, but i would be leery of far out bookings. also, the real pricing on Norwegian is closer to mainline carriers once you get baggage and seat selection priced in
  10. river cruises are almost by definition more "strenuous" than ocean cruises once docked. River cruises dock close to or in town, so pax can walk and explore. There are excursions, but they usually involve walking around a town square or path with uneven ground in a 1,000 year old city. With ocean cruises, many pax don't even get off the ship, That would not be true on river. There are some ships reviews of river pax using the terms "forced march" during an excursion. I don't think that is true, but the pace is generally constant and not many times built in for rest periods
  11. Look at the Blu menus that are on a variety of web sites. Google it and look under "images". The menu changes along the way but it would give you an idea of what to expect. They always have a set menu of steak, chicken and salmon. They can make reasonable accommodations (gluten, low salt) , but it isn't a gourmet restaurant
  12. i don't think that you have to wear formal - smart casual is OK. Taking extra clothes for one or two nights seems to be much. Airline weight restrictions might dissuade you once you see what your luggage weighs If you don't use it often enough then it isn't worth it (especially if you have to leave the everyday clothes out)
  13. I stayed at the Paris Opera Marriott last summer, not part of a Viking tour. Nice hotel overall but wasn’t thrilled with the AC system in July. Viking had a big table set up. Breakfast was pretty good as a Plat ( now Titanium). Concierge lounge was functional with breakfast and nice nibbles at night. Some very good restaurants within a few blocks behind the hotel. Easily walkable.
  14. Viking can probably give you some locator number that Marriott can use. Call Marriott 800 # here in the US and they could put it on your Bonvoy account. what hotels are you staying at ? Not all Marriotts have a lounge - you might end up with a free breakfast. In Europe that is a good thing as they are MUCH better than what you see here
  15. all great looking food and pix as well. We are on Ravel this November, so I enjoyed your blog and the menus we were on Debussy last year and the food (while not these dishes) was similar in concept and execution. No one is going to go hungry
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