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  1. I have never sailed into or out of Venice (but was on a land vacation there decades ago), but I agree with the ban. The canals of Venice should be limited to boats smaller than cruise ships. There is nothing wrong with docking nearby (Trieste or the industrial dock) with trips into Venice. If you want to glide up and down a canal to see the sights, there will be plenty of options to do so on a smaller boat that will create less damage to the city's infrastructure.
  2. Very helpful information; thank you for posting.
  3. I am sure many people have had bad experiences on MSC but a quick check of any of the other cruise boards will show people have had bad experiences on all the cruise lines--including the luxury lines. I have been on a lot of the cruise lines (Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Cunard, Holland America, NCL, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Silversea) as well as MSC and have found MSC to be as good as the main stream lines--better in some areas and not as good in others. I have been on two MSC cruises so far (Divina and Poesia), neither in Yacht Club, and enjoyed both. I am scheduled for a YC cabin on Seaside and am looking forward to the great experience I read about on these boards, but I like every cruise I have been on and my cruise next year will be on Princess (regular cabin--I cannot afford a suite). If you don't want to sail on MSC, there are a lot of other choices, but I think you will find the cruise lines largely the same--the main difference are in the passengers. More kids and young people on Carnival, NCL, and Royal Caribbean; more experienced cruisers on Cunard and Crystal; more non-Americans on MSC. I like the passenger mix on MSC and the slight differences from the American cruise lines as a nice change of pace.
  4. The NCL solo cabins get very good reviews, but that line has made an effort to appeal to solo cruisers with its special lounge for the solo cabins. In terms of whether the 200% cost is fair, the cruise line actually loses money on single passengers staying in regular cabin because they make so much from the on-board spending from passengers--excursions, drinks, specialty dining, spa, shops, casino. If they can sail to capacity, they will not be offering discounts to solo passengers and with all the new and larger ships being built, it looks to me like the cruise industry is able to fill its ships to capacity regularly. I always sail solo and would love a discount but am reconciled to the fact that I will have to pay full fare, meaning 200% of single fare, if I want to cruise.
  5. Thank you! Just what I was looking for.
  6. Can anyone provide the hours of operation for the Yacht Club restaurant and Yacht Club Grill and Top Sail Lounge bar. In another thread someone posted Daily Programs with hours of operation for every restaurant and bar except in the Yacht Club.
  7. Do you need cash/coins for the tokens? I would like to know whether to bring change?
  8. This is a great thread; thank you for sharing your experiences. Perhaps you can clarify something for me; I am confused by the dining times for Concerto (Club Class)--it lists dinner as 5:15 for First Seating and 7:30 for Anytime. If Anytime diners can only go at 7:30 it is not really Anytime, but a Second Seating. Can you explain this; I wanted to have some flexibility in dining time.
  9. I always travel solo and on occasion have had trouble getting a solo reservation online when the reservation is available when I check on booking for 2 people. (I actually always book through a travel agent but do bookings online (book until passenger info is requested) to determine the cost.) I learned on a different board that some lines have a quota of cabins available for solo passengers. As a poster above noted, the cruise line does not make as much money with one person in a cabin as it would with two people because of all the extras sold on board (excursions, drinks, spa, casino, specialty dining, etc.). The farther out you book the more likely you can get a solo cabin. It is annoying but this is a business so I can't really argue that the cruise line is being "unfair"--it is making the most of the product it has to sell. I would not boycott Princess over this; other cruise lines do this as well.
  10. I sailed on Carnival Pride a few years ago on a Baltimore to Bahamas (and Florida) cruise. I enjoyed it a lot. I have been on a lot of cruise lines but this is the only Carnival cruise I have been on and I found it about the same as the other main stream cruise lines. I fun atmosphere; good food (particularly in the specialty restaurants), entertainment was enjoyable. There were more kids/families on than some other cruises, but there was also a drag group on my cruise, so you never know what the passenger mix will be. I have not been on the Grandeur of the Seas, so I can't compare the two ships, but I enjoyed the Carnival Pride and am thinking of sailing the ship again because it is so convenient to where I live.
  11. To add to my earlier post--a lesbian cruise company (a company that charters ships and markets to the lesbian community) is Olivia Lesbian Travel.
  12. A gay cruise (or gay and lesbian cruise, I guess; I have not heard that term) probably is used to mean a cruise organized by one of the companies that charter an entire ship and markets to the LGBTQ community. There are two companies I am familiar with: RSVP Vacations and Atlantis Events. There are other companies that organize gay groups (Pied Piper is one) to sail on a regular cruise. They are not usually called gay cruises. There are also meetings of LGBTQ people organized by a lot of different cruise lines (sometimes referred to as "Friends of Dorothy" meetings). These are not gay cruises but just a get-together on a regular cruise. I am not sure which type of cruise you and your husband would enjoy most. Good luck.
  13. You may be right, but I find it hard to take seriously advice about scones from someone calling himself "dude." Advice on California cuisine, no problem.
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