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Everything posted by vistaman

  1. … for BA the food was good it is true during the last year the catering on BA improved ( in Club and First ) even on a short flight Brussels to London. sometimes you cannot avoid to fly BA like Barbados and other Caribbean Isles - or if you have tons of miles "avios" i recently flew First upgraded with miles- on Lufthansa to Miami - the lounge in Munich was far better as the Concorde on Heathrow with much higher quality of food and a superior amount of - quite extremely expensive - drinks. You only can go into the lounge if you flying First so not if you are Gold or higher status and flying business. I was escorted from my connecting flight to the lounge by a small limo and when leaving an attendant was willing to bring me to the gate what was within walking distance. The service was very personal and attentive. On the other side the Lufthansa group must share a lounge at Miami airport from a particular South American airline - overcrowded and very basic. There are only 8 people in the First cabin LH , there is still a caviar service . On the other side even if you book quite in advance: a First ticket on LH is somewhat the double as on BA and very"foolish" the Club on LH is cheaper as on BA.
  2. many thanks for the daily reports - also on Vienna where I was the last time some 18 years ago. I did visit quite some river ships in my hometown from extremely basic ( bathroom limited to a zinc and toilet ) up to the Crystal Bach I always thought it was not for me -so far Reading your reports and blog , I maybe must give it a try on Crystal as service seems to be similar as on the ocean ships.
  3. in March I stayed one night in the Intercontinental , only acceptable for one night pre cruise - despite prompt service for bringing luggage to the room and delivering for boarding the ship - the hotel needs a "revamp" but OK for one night - due to convenient location. my flight back was rather late and i took a day room at the Pullman hotel ( previously Sofitel ) near the airport what was just OK The Mandarin Oriental was a lot better and i also was very pleased with the Mondrian on the other side of Sobe
  4. i was able to visit several times ships from Ponant in Belgian ports - sometimes with a lunch - i could not qualify it as luxurious despite the newest ships are beautyful. It is not because you have some extremely high level wines ( including a great display of Ch Latour first growth ) the company does provide full luxury. "All inclusive" but if you do leave the "basic" spirits rather fastly supplements do occur. I find Oceania quite Ok concerning the food but it is no luxury. The speciality restaurants are quite good. on a Caribbean cruise i did not regret it but i never intend to cruise in Europe on Oceania. The hefty prices for better wines on O are my most serious complaint. ( at least 50 % higher as on some luxury lines ) and canapes served daily in penthouses are very basic. in luxury levels details are counting !
  5. It is an Austrian sparkling wine Szigeti
  6. many thanks for posting the above in my hometown we all hope the Inspiration will be ready on time ... are you going to Beste on ms Europa ?
  7. until a few years ago many cruises ex Athens were calling in Turkey … for that reason ( Kusadasi , marmaris …) and it seems Spain does have something similar i was told - years ago short cruises ex Barcelona were doing a call in Collioure -Port Vendres in France .
  8. i saw that ship a few times - she was also once in my hometown but in those days i could not visit her.
  9. I had 12 wonderful cruises on 2 of the 3 sisters - i never was on the Spirit very homesick for that period and also for the great days of the defunct Royal Viking (until Cunard took over in 1994)
  10. I truly hope you did enjoy it ! A final "wine comment " Dom P is IMHO far easier to drink as the Cristal champagne...
  11. I must agree with Vince in full. Different food etc is done on Cunard in different dining rooms and on those companies with separate area's like on MSC NCL … It must be said that in the luxury all inclusive segment Crystal maybe is serving the best complimentary wines and i must agree with Keith concerning another company where the complimentary wines are extremely (very) basic ( will not mention the name ) Crystal never was cheap with the wines and I wonder if all those big names are necessary on a cruiseship - probably Crystal does have occasional clients for those +1000$ and more wines. On every wine list there is space for improvement - a better Meursault is maybe appropriate and a more pleasant Pouilly Fumé but as always : personal opinions. Comparing a cruise ship with a plane is difficult( completely different) : Emirates is mentionned . For the moment a First class Brussels to Dubai does cost more as 10 times the fare in coach … 7 hours around 5000€ (cheapest return) some Dom Pérignon is maybe warranted?? I simply think it is out of the question to serve better wines to PH and higher on Crystal as all the passengers are served in the same restaurants. ( and not in different area's as on planes )
  12. i cannot afford those however if i may choose : probably the greatest "treasuries" are the Mouton 1982 and the Ch Latour 2000
  13. i took taxi "costas" several times otherwise you can try mydriver or suntransfers - i do not know they are operating in Greece. usually there a lot of taxis in Piraeus but ensure the airco does work ! the drive can take an hour or even more in "difficult" traffic - it is quite a distance and it is only go fast from the moment you are out of the center of Athens
  14. and years ago a hotel in Belgium must have a shop ,store or boutique - or several - to obtain a 5 starred rating ... and michelin starred restaurants must have ample choice of half bottles of wine and champagne and cristal glasses
  15. there is another author on cruises and he does grant 6 starred ratings
  16. and in some brochures HAL is pretending 5 starred aspects ….
  17. years ago i had a so said "secret booking" for the one and only reason that i was speaking French fluently ...
  18. i was 20 times on Vistafjord and only once on Sagafjord - the Sagaford was a very closed society despite the ships were small they both were very deep in the sea and rather difficult to manoever - the Sagafjord had very weak power on the thrusters - the Vistafjord was needing quite often several tug boats especially when a particular captain was on duty - in Antwerpen he needed 3 tugs in 1992 ( i still have the pics ) in the mid nineties another captain did cancel Tangier with a rather moderate wind , pretending the tugs were far too weak , however he avoided the tugs as much as possible - he simply did not want to go into that place i was on Devils Island with the Vista in 1993
  19. many thanks for posting - i will do the pre Christmas on Esprit around Dubai
  20. I am not working in the travel industry at all. The Berlitz was always very sensible to a variety of breads , quality of cheeses , fruits and other small details - I still have copies from the nineties of last century and the author is pointing those details quite often. On p 127 of the 2019 edition he is opposing the fact cheeses on buffets - both on SB as on Seadream are pre-diced. ( what is not done on Oceania - seen 3 weeks ago ) And exception made for the older Mein Schiff 2 , he does grant higher ratings for food to the Mein Schiff ships as to Seabourn. I cannot deny that is probably also the more European opinion on F and B operations . However the changes on SB are a fact , as are the changes on Cunard . A Queens Grill on QE2 in the nineties and a Queens Grill on Queen Victoria now … CCL i presume .
  21. Actually the F and B operations - buying suplies and what to serve - is decided by the seniors of HAL - confirmed by several officers last year during a ships visit - i cannot put the names on it , neither of the HAL people ( despite i am aware of some )
  22. Is there a difference between Seabreeze PH on Symphony and those on Serenity? I am booked on a Seabreeze on Symphony for Alaska an i am considering one for next year on Serenity... is it not forbidden to smoke pipes and cigars on Crystal exception made for the C Club ?
  23. there are several in YouTube there is one rather long one some 40 min but made by a TA
  24. I am feeling sorry to hear all the above - I was intending to book the original maiden voyage however as I am a "german speaking" but no resident in a German speaking country , I got the information too late and I did noit intend to book the second cruise. I was once booked on a cruise with Europa's beste on the Ms Europa - I think in 2010 - when the entire cruise was cancelled due to engine problems and elementary repair in Singapore . ( Hapag Lloyd was not so generous in that period : 15 % discount on a next cruise - was another CEO in that period ) - the problems with the flights I had to resolve by myself - i think twice some 80 € - ( on my own account ) It must be terrible for all the people who were looking very forward to this experience as the christening of the Inspiration is announced in Antwerpen there is already some fear for the next expidition ship ...on time or not ??
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