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Everything posted by Jacqueline

  1. You are correct. Did you use a travel agent, or book directly through them? Whoever it is, I would call them and ask for an explanation. I tried dealing with the New York HL travel agents and they were such idiots, that I dealt directly with Germany. The ladies there even went so far as to check in with the captain of the ship on a question I had regarding air conditioning in the Amazon Cruise. The morons in New York thought that I had to buy excursions for Antartica!
  2. Like any other cruiseship, there is a turnaround day...and this is it. the flight arrives early In Ushuaia so there you go! Everything with HL is well organized and goes off like clockwork. They have been running Antarctic cruises more frequently and longer than most other lines, My experience was identical to that of lake diver. If you are not a german language speaker, read below. What will happen at the airport upon arrival, is that the native or preferred English speakers (who in our case where one Australian couple, one couple from the Us and assorted Danes, and folks from
  3. We had a fantastic time on our Hapag Lloyd cruise to Antartica! They did a wonderful job. We have the Inspiration on a wishlist for Kamchatka peninsula way out in the future!
  4. I agree that they have some very interesting itineraries. I have indicated an interest to them in the Inspirations 2021/2 sailing to the Kamchatka peninsula. Very few options here on a ship that’s not an old icebreaker, Silversea runs here now and again, but they aren’t really genius at expedition cruising, especially outside the polar regions and Galapagos.
  5. In terms of food, let’s keep in mind that sources food products is not always that easy! Onboard kitchens will not always be able to provision fresh produce. We were on a 20 day cruise to Antartica then onto Brazil. how they managed salad is a wonder. Hapag Lloyd did an amazing job and did not repeat a menu.
  6. I’m not sure where the “do not expect the same level of service “ came from. Regardless of the nationality of the staff, it is the training that counts. I was on an A&K ship and the service was terrific. Local people. Just fantastic. Warm and caring.
  7. It is free and called Che Bateo. Download it before you leave and set the language to English.( You will need to now where you are departing from and where you are going first.) It will tell you which line(s) to take, how soon they are coming, to duration of the journey and the number of stops. It also will provide the platform letter which is important at busy stops near the cruiseship piers and at San Marco. Locals recommended this to us on our first day and during our two weeks, I have used it several times a day. its very intuitive but you can save your mental energy by play
  8. We visited the site of the new museum back in March. That area is pretty heavily covered by security, too. i guess all I can say is you just never know. A local girl was killed in the Sri Lanka bombings, and I was at her wake last week. She passed away on May 4 as a result of injuries sustained. She was at the hotel with other member of the US Commerce department having brunch, when the attack occurred. She just finished two years or so in the Peace Corps inTanzania. If I had to bet, her parents were probably more worried when she was in a moslem majority country with a history of
  9. NotThe Monkey, exactly. i don’t know why we can’t just leave it at that. This post has dragged on and on. Who cares what some company says on their website? If people are going to be dropping thousand(s) of dollars a day on a cruise, I think they can dive a bit deeper, especially now that we have the internet.
  10. I think Berlitz makes a good stab at it, with a methodology, Just like Michelin starred restaurants, there can be a difference of opinion. And for wine ratings, Robert Parker prefers a style of wine. It is impossible there to be a totally subjective ranking of these products, but it does give one an idea of a category. Once in the boards I heard it said that Berlitz is a language company, how can they review ships. And I would answer, Michelin is a tire company!
  11. To your point, when I met a little girl from Johannesburg, she asked me why children get shot in school in the USA.
  12. I just want to chime in and encourage anyone on the fence to go to Egypt now. We had put the trip off for quite some time and are glad that we did it before all the crowds are back! Also had the opportunity for many hotel upgrades, early check in land late check outs along the way. in our case, we opted to do the Sanctuary Sunboat IV as part of an independent trip arranged by A&K who is the owner of the ship. (As in I am not recommending a travel agent, but booked through the owner of the river boat, like booking directly thru vIking, Uniworld, etc). The main advantage was that for al
  13. We are looking to go next January! Still investigating the ship and whether we should do four or seven days on the boat, due to the low water levels.
  14. Having returned from nearly three weeks in Egypt the only word I would say is GO. As you noted, the state department has no trouble with us on the Nile River. We also traveled to Sharm el Shekh which was fanatistic. The four seasons there is mind blowing. i DID NOT want to go to Egypt, ever. I was sure I would get sick, be disgusted by the garbage and poverty and crowds. All I can say is, I would return, when the new Cairo museum opens and also hit a few places we missed. Security is excellent everywhere. Each airport we were patted down twice and our bags xrayed twice.
  15. In fairness I did just go to the Crystal Cruises website and they do say that they have six star service. It’s a fact, not a bash.
  16. It’s probably easier to identify what not a top level cruiseline! Its fair enough to say that there are certain minimum requirements for a luxury line and within that category, it is all personal preference. Some people prefer AI’s others don’t. Some like included excursions, other don’t. Certainly with food there is a level of quality of the product itself, but preparation and so forth leads to differences of opinion. And then there are the intangibles that create a feeling or vibe within a brand!
  17. Thank you so much for your suggestions. Once we return from this years big trip, I will focus on planning 2020. We will be in Egypt/ Botswana for most of March. Egypt has been delayed and rescheduled on our part, but it looks like we are finally going. We are spending a week on the Sanctuary Sunboat IV.
  18. New ships can be a headache. Last year the Silversea ship didn’t make the maiden/first trip to Antartica due to engine problems,. They had some problems on the transatlantic that they thought had been worked out and then there was the bad weather that they tried to blame things on. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty disappointing to get all the way to Ushuaia and then have to go home.
  19. And Paul Gauguin has just one ship. There are the same few posters there that sail the ship over and over with the occasional new person.
  20. Once they start offering longer voyages, I would be interested. It is not a bad idea to shake things out with the current plan. They have a lot of days in ports which takes some pressure off the staff. Starting with a new crew on a new ship there will be a lot of shaking out.
  21. With one ship coming on next year, sailing four and five night cruises. Please. How does that happen and Hapag Lloyd still has no board?
  22. Nasser Al Mazrui is an excellent guide with a comfortable vehicle. He has a lot of good reviews online. I was very happy with his services. We used him for two days.
  23. What a great idea to book the earlier cruise as well. I didn’t think to look at that. A small part of me thinks I should add Machu Pichu post Amazon as the return flight is out of Lima anyhow. I didn’t add it to my Galapagos cruise, so this is my second chance.
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