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Ray in NH

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About Ray in NH

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Southeastern, NH USA
  • Interests
    Cooking, Wine, Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, HAL, RCI
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anything In/Out fo Boston

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  1. After completing almost 130 cruises (ocean and/or river), on a number of different cruise lines, we have been asked this question many times. However, I can not come up with one definitive answer. Best I can come up with a choice of two. One is our voyage to Antarctica (aboard Orient Cruise Line's Marco Polo) in January 2003, when we were able to make several landings (via zodiacs) and commune with thousands of penguins, and meet some of the scientists that were living there (at least temporarily), unlike the penguins. The second memorable voyage was aboard Holland America Line's Prinsendam (November 2010). This voyage went to the Southern Caribbean (not exactly memorable) then continued south to Brazil and up the Amazon River, all the way to Manaus -- the river and shoreline is so diverse and immense, it has to be memorable. On this itinerary, we also stopped at Devil's Island, which even today is aptly named. Two very different itineraries -- both very memorable, and so vastly different, as to defy direct comparison. This why whenever asked "What is your favorite cruise itinerary", I always give my "top two". I hope this helps. NRayH
  2. The Meridian was also our first Celebrity cruise (May of 1993 -- to Bermuda). Yes, tied up at the Dockyard. Loved that ship, even though it did not have all the "bells and whistles". NRayH
  3. Having a difficult time convincing her about an Azamara cruise -- an extended land tour may be an insurmountable undertaking. Perhaps she might reach the same conclusion that you did (extended land tour), after a successful cruise? One step at a time. Time will tell NRayH
  4. Currently trying to convince my lovely wife to try the South Africa itineraries. It is proving a "tough sell", as was Antarctica an number of years ago (when we could actually make landings there) -- today, she recalls it as one of our favorite itineraries. We shall see what turns up. NRayH
  5. After having, just taken "the plunge" our selves (aboard the Quest) to Alaska last month, we would whole-heartedly suggest you give it a try. We thoroughly enjoyed our first Azamara cruise, despite a couple of "hiccups". We are considering when/where to take our next Azamara cruise. This is based upon having previously completed well over a hundred cruises (over 1300 days) aboard various cruise lines, to all seven continents. NRayH
  6. It is possible, depending on time of year and itinerary. NRayH
  7. I tried to respond this earlier, but my reply seems to have evaporated?? Our last ACL cruise was in April (2019) aboard ACL Constitution. This was our first experience with the "extended" Happy Hour. On some evenings there was announcement that "the Dining Room is now open", but not every evening. If one stayed on for the "extended Happy Hour", there was usually someone in the Dining Room directing those getting there later to tables to fill them is an orderly manner -- this would help with the issue of joining tables that had already ordered. Not every one took advantage of this effort. Some headed to empty tables, especially if near a window. We saw some take an empty table and tilt the chairs up, as expecting others to join them . That frequently did not happen. We did not observe any of the discombobulation cited previously, but then again, we were not looking for it either. If folks were put out by the mis-matched seating patterns, hopefully they mentioned it to the Hotel Manager and/or the Cruise Director, so that remedies could be sorted out. I think the servers would appreciate that also. NRayH
  8. I can appreciate where you are coming from. We grew up in Philadelphia, but have been here in New Hampshire the last twenty years. Not fan of heat/humidity, but put up with it to traverse the Panama Canal and also to cruise up the Amazon River , or other very interesting venues. The ship will be air conditioned. To us, your choice would be very difficult. We have done Iceland and Greenland, but not the upper Mississippi (yet) -- it is on our, it seems, of "never shrinking" list of places still to see. NRayH
  9. Thank you for the time reference. Based on conversations with other guests on the cruises we have done with ACL, things are better now than when they first started. We have noticed improvement(s) over the last two-plus years. ACL's dining room and room stewards are not as polished as the large main line cruise lines. Having said that … we are happy to keep returning to ACL, for the over-all experience. You stated you saw some improvement two years after your first encounter. It has been another three years, maybe worth another try? Might be getting close, or even meeting your standards? NRayH
  10. We will be cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers with ACL in October, but aboard a different ship. We will be cruising aboard ACL's Song. Hopefully, you will post a review of your experience. I intend to do one after we complete our Northwest Pioneers Cruise. NRayH
  11. Sorry to hear about the poor service you received. We have completed five cruises with ACL and have not ever had to deal with that type of service. We have experienced some delays, at times, but nothing to make us "miserable". True they do ask for lunch and dinner preferences at breakfast, so as to have some idea as to how much of each to be prepared to serve, but that is to ensure there are enough portions of each entrée, without needing to make enough of each entrée, without having to waste the surpluses. Delays in service have been minimal and infrequent. In answer to your last question, as to "Has service improved since then?", it is difficult to answer since we have no time-line mentioned to reference our experience against. Our cruises, with ACL, covered the time-frame of March, 2017 through April 2019, covering five different itineraries, in various geographic regions. NRayH
  12. That would work. We are still "working toward" a minimalist mode of packing, and try not to take anything that we can easily do without. It is still "A work in-progress". NRayH
  13. Just off the Quest on 14 June. We had both binoculars and umbrella in our cabin. I would, somewhat, agree with Phil about the usefulness of the provided binoculars. Poor quality, but not entirely "useless". Never bothered with attempting to set/use the clock. My watch, phone and cabin TV made time checks very easy. Wake-up calls can be easily arranged. NRayH
  14. Sounds as though we will be doing the same itinerary, only we are scheduled to do it this October (10-21). I will try to remember to post our impressions after the cruise. This will be our sixth cruise with ACL. As you may have surmised, we enjoy the product. No, they are not perfect, and could improve certain aspects -- but then again I look in the mirror and come to the same conclusions. Happy Cruising, NRayH
  15. Thank you Bonnie, We are really looking forward to it. Only four "wake-ups" until we are on our way. NRayH
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