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Richard M Nixon

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    Secretly recording conversations, gastronomy
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  1. If you'll be joining me on the 2020 Crystal 'Delightful Danube' river cruise that departs Dec 14th from Budapest, be aware that it has experienced a port change. The final two days were to be spent in Regensburg, Germany but will now be in Vilshofen, Germany. It's a shorter trip from the previous port and about the same distance from MUC. They haven't announced shore excursions yet but it's believed to include a trip to Salzburg to visit Mozart's birthplace.
  2. Thanks for the level of detail. This makes me feel better.
  3. That sounds great - what kind of incentives does your TA provide?
  4. This thread is for posting what kind of miles/rewards you've earned from booking a river cruise (or any other cruise from a cruise line that offers river cruises). I'll start us off. I just booked a Crystal river cruise. I booked through the United airlines portal and earned 25,000 miles for booking a 7-9 night cruise (they also offered 50k for 9-11 nights and 75+ over that). I also received 4 miles per dollar spent on the cost of the cruise (which goes up to 7 if you have a United credit card). The travel agent was going to apply United's $250 onboard credit, but when I mentioned that I was paying with my Amex Platinum, she told me that I could get a $300 OBC plus $200 to use towards shore excursions. This turns out to be 65k United miles, which are worth about $1,400, plus the $300 OBC and $200 excursion credit. That's a pretty great deal.
  5. Thanks for the replies. I'm still looking for an answer to the question of whether there is a luggage storage system on the ships.
  6. I'm not sure. I have seen at least one review complaining that their suitcase was too tall (assuming they oriented it correctly) to fit under the bed. I'm preparing for that case.
  7. I know that the staterooms on river ships are quite small and I've heard frequent complaints about the crystal cruises in particular not having a lot of space for luggage. That concerns me as I'm traveling with at least two 27" suitcases. Can I rid myself of them once I'm checked in? I assumed that my stateroom attendant would be able to store them somewhere but I realized that there may not be a luggage storage area on such a small ship.
  8. Ha - I guess my question is more 'is the muster drill the only thing I have to be there for and I'm free after 6:30?' Are there any interesting onboard activities planned for the first night, like an overview of the week?
  9. I'm a first time cruiser putting together my pre-cruise itinerary before a Danube cruise on the Crystal Ravel. Embarkation is from noon to 6pm and the boat remains at the port overnight. I'd like to go into the city and spend the evening there. Will I be able to? I understand that there will be a mandatory muster drill at about 6:30 but is there anything after that? I assume I can just leave the boat after the drill and come back whenever I choose.
  10. OK, so each outing really is self-contained and will end back at the boat. That's what I was looking for. If the morning excursion is a little late coming back, does the afternoon one wait for them?
  11. First time cruiser here. I've booked a Christmas Danube river cruise on the Ravel. A few ports offer shore excursions in the morning and afternoon such that I could fit two in a single day. How does this work in practice? Will I need to make it back to the port in order to begin the afternoon excursion, or will there be a way to 'transfer' to the first stop of the afternoon? I would imagine that I won't be the only person double booked like this, so I was curious if Crystal would do something like have a small van pick up those of us continuing onto another excursion and taking us to meet up with the rest of the group whom may have forgone the morning trip.
  12. I strongly recommend taking the Narita express in their premium cabin. Part of the experience of visiting Tokyo is seeing the expansive scenery and watching the transition from Japanese countryside to sprawling metropolis. You won't get those views from a car. The cabin is spacious and comfortable and feels very private. Trains leave very frequently so you won't be waiting long, and car hires are absurdly expensive.
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