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About PaulS

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Louisville, KY, USA
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity and Royal Caribbean

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  1. I think I just ordered our luggage tags online but did not receive any kind of confirmation once I entered the mailing information and clicked the order tab. Guess I will find out in a week or so if it worked if the tags arrive. By the way, in order to find the “Before You Board” tab on my reservation, I had to click the “Manage My Reservation” tab and not the “Cruise Planner” tab. Thanks for the information on ordering. Celebrity does not make it too easy to find.
  2. We used this option on an upcoming cruise on the Equinox. Before final payment for the cruise and the air, changes were permitted without a penalty. I, in fact, called to see if we could change to different flight going to Florida. The change was made without any penalty. You would, however, have to pay any difference in airfare if the new flights are more expensive. by the way, this is not so new. Princess has offered this option for quite some time.
  3. Does anyone know if the Equinox is to be refurbished at the Grand Bahama shipyard? If so, I wonder how the accident with the Oasis might alter the schedule for the Equinox.
  4. Mike: My deepest condolences to you on the loss of your beloved Carol. My wife and I had the great pleasure to sail with you and Carol in 2004 on the Jewel of the Seas. One of our best memories is the bus excursion that you arranged for about 40 of us in Belfast to the Giant’s Causeway. It was a wonderful day. May your memories of all the good times you had together sustain you during this difficult time. Paul
  5. We are also booked on those cruises and we wondered the same thing. Our travel agent spoke with Celebrity yesterday and advised that they had no information to share. We are not getting a good feeling right now.
  6. Deval: The Sofitel is in a better location than the Kempinski. It is right on the river with great views of the castle. We stayed in the Intercontinental, which is next to the Sofitel, while on an Avalon cruise several weeks ago. Too bad you will only have one night in Budapest. It is a great city. Hope your cruise goes well.
  7. Our cruise was actually a replacement for the same cruise we were to take in August. In August, 4 days before we were to leave we were notified that we would have to be put on a smaller ship and were were given the option to cancel. We cancelled and were refunded all of our money. Luckily, we had booked air and insurance through Avalon. We decided to rebook for late October because we thought the water levels would be higher by then and they offered a discount. WRONG! This time, we were notified 5 days before we were to leave the US that the ship could not get to Budapest and we would have an extra night in Budapest and one less night on the ship. As compensation, they are to refund 50% of one night’s cost of the trip. So far, we have not seen the refund. This time we were not given the option to cancel. However, apparently some people were since there were only 57 of us on the trip.We met a couple from England who were given the opportunity to cancel even though they chose to travel. So, the offers to cancel may be selective. The bus trip to Regensburg from Passau took about 1 hour and 20 minutes. The medieval section of Regensburg is not very big and we had plenty of time to walk around. They were already setting up for the Christmas market on one of the squares. It was not a big area like they have in Nuremberg and Munich for the market. Both Bratislava and Linz were setting up for Ch istmas markets too.
  8. We just returned Teuday from our Avalon Illumination trip from Budapest to Prague. Five days before we were to leave, we were notified that the ship could not get to Budapest. Consequently, we spent one additional night in Budapest and then went on a bus to Vienna. Before we left Budapest, our cruise director told us that the ship could not get to Nuremberg and the cruise would end in Passau. Those who had not cancelled before leaving home were offered the opportunity to cancel with a refund for the unused nights. As it was, there were only 57 people on the ship which could hold 168 people. On the way to Vienna, we stopped in Bratislava for a guided tour. Since our sailing was ending in Passau, the itinerary was slowed down. We stayed in Vienna on Saturday night and Sunday and were offered the optional concert excursion for free. Sunday night we sailed for Dürnstein and were there Monday morning. Monday afternoon we sailed to Melk (do not miss the abbey and church), and Monday night we sailed to Linz, Austria. We stayed in Linz Tuesday and Tuesday night where they ran the tours to Salzburg and Cesky Krumlov. On Wednesday morning we sailed to Passau. It was a beautiful day and the scenery along the way was spectacular. Wednesday afternoon we toured Passau and Thursday we went on a bus to Regensburg. Friday morning we left for Prague by bus. The bus time from Passau to Prague was about the same as it would have been from Nuremberg to Prague. All in all, we had a great trip. We went to see the towns and cities and were not disappointed. It certainly was not like an ocean cruise with a lot of downtime, but we did not expect it to be. The service on the ship was outstanding. There were only 57 of us and there were about 50 crew members. We were disappointed that we did not get to Nuremberg, but we saw Bratislava and Linz which we did not expect to see. I hope our experience will give you some idea of what you might expect if the water levels remain low. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
  9. Our cruise on the Avalon Illumination ended on November 9 when we went to Prague. At the time, the crew was all leaving for about 10 days at home before the first Christmas cruise. It was my understanding that the ship was going to stay in Passau until the crew comes back this week.
  10. We are currently in Prague after our cruise on the Avalon Illumination which was to be from Budapest to Nuremberg. Avalon could not get the ship to Budapest so we had an extra day in Budapest and then were bused from Budapest to Vienna with a stop in Bratislava. We boarded the ship last Saturday and were advised that the water levels were too low to get to Nuremberg so the cruise ended in Passau. The itinerary was slowed down and we docked in Linz overnight Tuesday and then sailed to Passau on Wednesday. On Thursday were were bused to Regensburg and then Friday we bused to Prague. Even though we did not get to Nuremberg, we have had a wonderful time and there were only 57 passengers on the ship. Service was great and the food and wine were good. When we departed the ship on Friday in Passau, the ship was going to stay there for about 10 days until the first Christmas markets cruise. The crew was all going to go home for a brief vacation.
  11. We got off the Equinox this morning and are at the Miami airport waiting for our flight home. There were no customs forms. The agent gave a quick look at our passports and waived us through. There were no questions about whether you had anything to declare.
  12. The date that I typed was actually wrong. Avalon notified us on Friday, August 10, which was 4 days before we were to leave. Sorry for the mistake
  13. We were supposed to fly to Budapest on August 14 for two days before getting on the Avalon Impression for a cruise to Nuremberg and then finishing up with 3 days in Prague. On August 12, we received an email from Avalon advising that because of low water, they could not get the Impression to Budapest and would have to do the cruise on the smaller Avalon Luminary. They offered the option of continuing on the Luminary with a refund of $200.00 per person or cancelling the trip with a full refund. We chose to cancel the trip because we felt that a major portion might have to be by bus instead of ship, and we received a full refund to our credit card several days later. I have been following the Progress of the Luminary on the cruisemapper website and it appears that the ship made it up to Vilshofen which is quite a way from Nuremberg, so I guess that many of the tours may have been by bus. Because of the way that Avalon handled the situation and provided the option for a refund, we rebooked the same trip for late October. Although the weather may not be very warm then, hopefully the water levels will be higher. We were lucky that we booked air through them and were able to get a refund or we would have had to go on the original trip. Best of luck on your trip.
  14. We use a product called a FlexSafe. It is a small bag with a combination lock on a flap that will secure the bag around a beach chair. You can find it on theaquavault.com or on amazon. It works pretty well for a few small items.
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