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Everything posted by vistaman

  1. excluding the port wines - in September there were no wines from Portugal.
  2. I did visit the Ms Europa 2 in my hometown last monday : the major refit is done in the Yacht Club. ( and a lot of new carpets ) On one side - close to the Sakura - high tables and chairs are set up - the display of the food did change a little bit : in the evening the various seafood and lobsters oysters are on display next to the ice cream fridge the lights are also brand new - blue colours are used for the seats. however the choice of food - i only saw the dinner - remains as luxurious as before. House Champagne Duval Leroy Brut is replaced by Jacquart Mosaique . Also the fitness area it seems - however that is not my favourite department
  3. It seems Berlitz once again granted a five star + rating both to ms Europa 2 as to ms Europa . ms Europa 2 is the best ship for another year ...
  4. During my last cruise there was no party as there were not enough guests CC however some years ago there was a party and i was the only guest showing up....not fun! Despite all the Crystal people were friendly and kind , that is not the intention at all !
  5. MsSommelier, feeling very sorry for you and the cancellation based upon your nationality. And I agree with you in full concerning your comments on Seabourn and the Hal relation. It is true HL is another approach as the "luxury" companies mostly frequented by US passengers ; I recently was a week on the Crystal Serenity what was very good - especially the service for sure - but cannot match the quality of the food ingredients on HL. Especially the continental breakfast items cheeses and cold cuts. One example - I like to drink Champagne , on Crystal exception made for the all inclusive Jacquart Brut Selection - a cheaper brand in the Jacquart family as the Mosaique what was poared until recently - no single Champagne is available by the glass ( the others are all sparkling wines ) - even if you want to pay for it - on the Europa 2 up to 6 by the glass…a different culture in drinks attitude?? On the HL ships very few people drink "martini's" - and those are great on Crystal. I was told aside of the German speaking counties British and Belgian passengers are the highest input as international guests. HL is also present on several travel and cruise fairs in Belgium and most of the time in Antwerpen port functions are organised.
  6. With a few exceptions the time of "great" French restaurants " the old style" with lots of cream and butter is nearly history; After the passing away of Paul Bocuse and the refurbishment of his restaurant, several dishes on the menu for nearly 30 years are gone and replaced by lighter creations by the actual chefs. A brasserie should be great or an Italian also open for lunch and something rather informal for dinner - a better steakhouse maybe - should be great - like the Bistro with some hot dishes.
  7. i tried to book 3 cruises as usual - just 1 possible in cat 1 - 2 , i am not going higher - so waitlisted for 4 hoping to receive one morz i cannot believe this : i think pax on board did received already some information before the announcement - not to me as i was on board in June and on the ms Europa in August and honestly i was not expecting the announcement so soon - t thought late autumn now i DO have questions as well !!
  8. Last week on the Serenity , there was coke zero caffeine free available - maybe safer to put a request to be sure.
  9. I also was on that particular cruise last week and it was a full house; there were a lot of TA some with families and several groups. My stewardess from Serbia was excellent and being Belgian I always offer some chocolates from my country. I told her my preferences for the mini bar and I always had plenty of those. I never had bad experiences with cabin service on Crystal - once on Seabourn Odyssey she even said she did not like to work at all on that ship , and once on Oceania in a PH not willing to change sheets after bleeding caused by a small injury "because it was the last night"
  10. During my cruise on the Serenity last week another complimentary Champagne by Jacquart as the Mosaique was poared; it was Jacquart Brut Selection , not as dry as the Mosaique and in retail some 5 EUR cheaper.
  11. Last week somebody on my table at Prego was able to order pasta Amatriciana what is not so complicated if pancetta and tomato sauce and onions are available before Waterside headwaiters were doing that in the MDR as a special.
  12. i only can confirm what Keith said yesterday there was a short delay in Civitavecchia in the disembartkation caused by very heavy rain showers . immigration and clearance is not the most easiest in that port.
  13. I am afraid Silversea - together with Cunard and Saga - still does have the most "old fashionned" dress code.
  14. for instance :TA reaching a very high amount on a particular cruise line are invited on a annual "gala" gathering on board in my early years of cruising I wanted to book a Vistafjord ( i bought the Berlitz in London )- Belgian TA tried to deviate me to a company now exceling in giant "mega ships" - so i booked it in London
  15. I am afraid some TA are only looking for the - luxury - company granting the highest commission ... 2 and 3 % difference is making quite an amount on an "extremely upmarket" booking.
  16. Me as well, however it must be said that even in the most precious restaurants ( 2 and 3 michelin starred ) on land that policy seems to be nearly finished as well. There are a few exceptions and maybe on cruiseships the Grills on Cunard...
  17. Sea days were very boring on Silversea - I really was looking forward to the daily trivia in the early evening. The wine list is cheaper on SS and is very European especially good choice in Champagnes and Italy, however as there is - aside of the speciality resturants - only one sommelier , sometimes the waiters threated the special bottles like "soda's" : too much wine in the glasses. Despite friendly service on SS , bartenders on Crystal are a lot better. Lectures were very boring on SS. The basic cabins on the Wind are extremely small , the same for the bathroom.
  18. This weekend there was an article in a Belgian newspaper about " over visited and over touristic " towns in Europa : Reykjavik : 1.6 millions visiters pro year Amsterdam : 19 millions as from 1st january 2020 group visits to red light area are forbidden Barcelona : 30 millions no more group visits to famous market on Friday and Saturday Bruges : 8 millions Venice : 30 millions ( locals dislike cruise pax ) local tax of 3 € a day is not reducing the number Dubrovnik : 2 millions Mallorca : 10 millions no information about Greece was involved
  19. How much does Crystal charge for the Champagne lunch?
  20. I prefer not to mention my numbers of days and night I spent on luxury lines and I admit in full I am not a PH passenger. I cannot comment on Regent because I never sailed on that company, only that I was not attracted by 2 visitors lunches and that I do not want to pay the onerous single supplements and for excursions I will not join for. After done so many cruises I was far more annoyed by groups of drunk people - several times on various companies - as by children making some laughs and fun.
  21. That is very true , on the MS Europa regular announcements are in German only, however when safety or an emergency is involved it is done both in German and English ( like smoking forbidden also in smoking designed areas or a medical case )
  22. Me as well : the Med in spring or fall is the best period - I will go to Serenity next week and I am aware it is probably still too hot for me. Monaco , i do not like the place and the Serenity is there on a Monday so no flower market in Nice and in Villefranche there are constantly "mega" ships . Grasse is also worth a visit . With the small Seabourn triplets I was also in smaller ports Le Lavandou, Port Vendres , Sète , Cassis and Bandol I like Sorrento very much , for the gastronomy : 7 starred restaurants in and around Sorrento aside the many trattoria's , but I do not like a ship is calling in Capri instead of Sorrento .
  23. I am afraid Hapag Lloyd also have to change some items on board - and add warnings on the menu cards ( as for eating raw meat or fish ) - one of the public room managers told me the team on board is having quite a job on preparations before the first call in US.
  24. For me the various cruise companies may skip Santorini, maybe the biggest tourist trap in Greece. I agree it is wonderful but it is over used. A pleasant place was Nauplion and Volos was a very friendly call. In Livorno passengers easily can go to Viareggio ( was only once there when the ship actually was in Viareggio ) and Forte di Marmi instead of Florence, what is super hot in summer . Also in France Antibes is far more friendlier to cruise ships as St Tropez, with people of local Tourist Office speaking English and German. And I never was on a cruise ship in Eilat so far , maybe it is too difficult to organise Petra . And in my own country Zeebrugge is an unpleasant cruise port despite Bruges is great however not in full summer and when 2 giant + 2000 pax cruise ships are in port. And Rotterdam is friendlier ( and cheaper ) as Amsterdam. There are many alternatives for over used ports.
  25. I intended to say it as well - but you did it … Next week I 'll go to an all inclusive - Crystal - so i will subsidize partly the other pax by not drinking complimentary wines, - but ordering from the list - however I will order some complimentary drinks ( no wines by the glass ) in the various bars. I am not drinking onerous wines anymore - everthing has a limit , but i do like something better as the complimentary ones.
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