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SpringBreakMom

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About SpringBreakMom

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    Michigan

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  1. Thanks so much for the feedback! We don't mind crowds as long as they aren't so big they interfere with seeing whatever we are there to see. Sounds like for the most part it won't be an issue 🙂
  2. Fabulous blog! We are thinking of the same trip next July, but my only worry was possible crowds. From your photos it wouldn't appear it was an issue for you. Did you run into any issues with overcrowded ports? Thanks!
  3. Thanks so much for that explanation! Sounds like a great way to do things.
  4. When I look at the GCT website, it mention traveling in a group of 38-45 aboard their ship that carries 140-162. Exactly what do they mean by that?
  5. You are so right! There are many things to consider. I actually created a spreadsheet so I could compare the total prices based on our specific preferences. The differences, or lack thereof can be surprising! Neither of us drink much, so included alcohol doesn't matter much to us. For others, I could see this being a much bigger point. Those bar tabs can add up! Willingness to do an air deviation if air is included, or size of credit back will be a major factor as we plan to do some traveling pre-cruise. For that, we prefer to do independent travel so I really don't want to add a tour extension package. While Scenic does total out a bit more expensive, I am really drawn to their excursion options. For us the port experience is second only to affordability, that may tip the scales. Great food would be a definite bonus as we find it really adds to the entire experience!
  6. Thanks for the input, especially on the tours! Scenic does sound great. We are just trying to decide if the price difference is worth it to us.
  7. "Foodie" can sound pretentious can't it? We both just love food, and hubby loves to cook so I am not sure what to call us LOL On previous cruises we have really enjoyed chef's table and galley tours. I did look into the Culinaire itinerary, but the actual ports didn't sound like what we are looking for, especially as neither of are really wine drinkers. For this cruise the ports are priority one, but we have found a good regional meal adds so much to the overall experience. I hope the Culinaire experience is everything you hope for. I hope perhaps you might write a post about it when you return. Enjoy!!
  8. Agree on the regional food, it is part of the whole experience! When my daughter told me she was eating McDonald's while she was backpacking through Europe I almost cried.
  9. Thanks for the input! Sounds like we just need to keep our fingers crossed for good chef and tour director!
  10. Not sure if you wanted to avoid hundreds in general, or just on tours. I have done two Med cruises both on the larger lines (Celebrity was my favorite!). For us, the key to an amazing experience was arranging private tours. I never went on one arranged by the cruise line. As the ships are so much larger, there are usually active roll calls for each sailing. I made lots of friends there and we all filled out private tours with people on our roll call. Typical tour size was about ten people. It was no more expensive that taking the ships tours, but it does take a lot of planning and research up front. For me it was worth every minute!!! One tour on the Amalfi Coast I have done twice. After our tour we visited our drivers family compound which has been there since the 1600's. We had bread his mom made, along with homemade salami and limoncello. Our group all agreed that this day was one of the top highlights of our cruise. Whatever you decide, enjoy!
  11. Thanks so much for the feedback. I would say that the fact you are on Scenic cruise #8 speaks for itself!
  12. So sorry for your experience on the Douro! Thanks so much for sharing both the good and the bad!
  13. Thanks so much for your reply Fran! It really was very helpful. Fingers crossed we get an inspired chef 🙂 Since you have sailed on both Emerald and Scenic could I ask you another question? Did you see any great difference in the excursions? I know many more are included with Scenic. I am just hoping they are of comparable quality. I do know that those too will vary with the guide for the day.
  14. We are looking at itineraries on both lines. After extensive research it seems most people find the food on Emerald "good". Nothing to complain about, but nothing to excited about either. Reviews for Scenic seem to be more enthusiastic. Hubby and I really enjoy a good meal, so food quality may be a deciding factor for us. If AMA was sailing our preferred itinerary next year they would probably be our top choice. I know taste is subjective, but I would love to hear others opinions. If you can include ship name as well it would be great, as I know sometimes there is variation ship to ship. TIA
  15. We are thinking of sailing AMA in 2020. We also plan to do independent travel before and after sailing. It doesn't appear we can take advantage of free air if we also do independent travel. Does anyone know if they issue some sort of credit for unused air, or would we just miss out all together?
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