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About firstimer2009

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    SF Bay Area
  • Interests
    wine, fine dining, planning trips!

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  1. We were in Rome last year after a Venice cruise and stayed at Albergo del Senato for 5 days. I can't say enough good things, including the rooftop bar only for guests. And if the weather doesn't cooperate they open a small bar downstairs just for guests. People speak perfect English too. There is a restaurant to the very right of the hotel, Hostaria Pantheon, that has outside seating looking over the Pantheon. Great food and friendly staff. We had many afternoon cocktail hours there then did our final night in Rome dinner. Loved the area so much we are planning a Rome to Rome
  2. I bet that people were having 3-4 glasses each during dinner at the MDR instead of buying a bottle of wine so they want to recoup some money. Or deter people from ordering it there. We only ate once at the MDR on our trip for lunch. I did have two glasses of the white and our waiter had to get it WAY across from the room. It took so long when she delivered the first one I ordered a second. During dinner people likely order multiple glasses at a time.
  3. I noticed it and commented on it. I did have both the red and white on our Sept. cruise. I always say cheap reds are better than cheap whites and this was the case here. The Sauv Blanc was not good. And now to push it out of the free wine is ridiculous. Guess I will be bringing a 6 pack of wine on board my next cruise.
  4. We were on the Star in 11572 this September. We went upstairs to see what was above us and it was the covered seating area at the pool with the couches and chairs. Honestly I think it could have been worst. Every morning there was scraping of chairs as the crew rearranged everything and of course we always knew when people were moving things around too. But I didn't think it was that bad. EXCEPT for the one night time party they had at the pool that didn't start until 10pm because of leaving Mykonos that late. Why in God's name they have a party that late when the next day's
  5. Hold it. The thing I noticed is the East/West Norwegian wine is now $17 a glass. Doesn't that push that out of the Open Beverage Package??? That upsets me more than the fish.
  6. We used to live in Bay Area but moved to Sacto a few years ago. We flew out of SFO on the Sept trip but flew back to Sacto. We could definitely do a round trip next time out of SFO. I will look into this! You have been so helpful.
  7. I could deal with that. Especially for Cannes. Yes, we had 3 in a row. Not fun. I was so grateful to get to Arigostoli Greece and just walk off the ship. Hmm...guess it's time to look into this! I won't tell my husband. He will think I lost my mind.
  8. Thank you for the great review. I did the Star out of Venice in September and swore I prefer land vacations better than cruise vacations but the Epic has always appealed to me. Also sounds like you eat like we do - specialty or the buffet. Sometimes I just want to serve myself and don't want to deal with a sit down dinner. One thing I didn't like about the Star was the many tender ports and also said I would only do a ship with mostly docked ports. Was this Epic cruise like that? I know you stayed on the ship but thought you would still know. Also it took us 25 hours to get
  9. I like good coffee so tested all the instant ones I could find. Found that Starbucks Via House Blend tastes and smells like real drip coffee. All the other Starbucks instants either smell awful or taste awful. At least to me. You might want to test out some of their Latte versions. I didn't try those but they have lots of them. My husband went to the buffet and got hot water from the buffet or we had a pot delivered with breakfast room service for free. This route would be much cheaper than getting the upgrade beverage package. And you could splurge on a real latte whenev
  10. I would have a lot in common with you. I took photos of every drink and meal we had on our recent Venice/Rome trip and cruise on the Star to the Greek Islands. Thank goodness my husband doesn't mind. Also love deuces wild and have never hit a Royal. Congratulations! I did hit $1500 playing a few different slots on the Star and took that home. Makes for a wonderful vacation!
  11. Yes I agree with all of that. I traveled the U.S. for 25 years full time in my prior job and have been sick and encountered bad weather everywhere. Including European vacations. So I'm not a novice to any of it. After the cruise ended we took a train to Rome and was there for 5 days. I was just much happier there. For me, being on a ship has much less options then being on land. I prefer more options.
  12. I misspoke. The restaurant was The Premiere. Too much Sudafed I think. A pic with the owner and my husband.
  13. We loved Argostoli. That was where my cold bug was the worst and found a kind restaurant employee that helped us get to a Farmacia. We went back to there to have a fantastic meal. The restaurant was The Empire and they have a sister restaurant in Chicago near where my friend lives. Small world. My husband and I decided if we ever wanted to spend a month chilling out on a beautiful Greek island with wonderful people and food it would be here.
  14. @soccermom104 So sorry your husband was sick and quarantined. I have such mixed feelings about cruising. I enjoyed it but realize too much of it is out of your control. Like illness and weather. Also fellow passengers. There was a huge fight above us the first night on the pool deck around midnight then it came into our hallway. I think it was the two adjoining cabins next to us. Then of course two doors down on the balcony were the people taking naked pictures of themselves with Santorini in the background. And doing other things.... All in all I'm glad we did that cruise
  15. For what it's worth, we bought two bottles of wine in Venice and had them in our carryon boarding bag. No one flagged it for the corkage fee. We think it was just a busy day at the port and was missed. We did keep them in the room so never paid the fee in the dining rooms.
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