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Everything posted by deadzone1003

  1. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo is my go to cheap wine for dinner. By itself, it leaves something to be desired. But somehow it goes with food. By itself, have to get higher end Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. I don't think Princess have it by the glass, maybe by the bottle. It is finding a white wine by the glass to your taste that is the hunt in futility.
  2. Isn't it all about perceived value? If you are wine drinker who normally drink higher quality wines, then the Plus package will taste like "swill". By going to the Premier package, are you getting that value? Everyone has different perceived value by going the package route rather then purchasing by the bottle or bringing your own plus paying the corkage. If you find the plus package wines acceptable and you drink alot of it, then the value is there. You really don't know until you start drinking those Plus wines that it is of acceptable value to you or not. Everybody has different taste.
  3. The wine list for Princess is quite decent, but the selections for the Plus package is quite poor. The whites are terrible. The Premier whites were just a tad better. I had the plus package on a Panama Canal cruise and I found the Malbec and Carmenere drinkable thought it is unlikely I would ever buy them at home. I started buying premier wines by the glass and paying the difference, but I found I was not happy with their choices unless I was picking the really higher priced premier wines. I ended buying 3 bottles from their wine list which were good but expensive. In the future I bring my own wines and pay the corkage or buy them at the ports or pick from their regular wine list. No plus/premier package for me. If you are a regular wine drinker at home, you are not going to be happy with their plus package choices.
  4. I was there in summer of 1973. I thought that Venice was crowded then. It was the most crowded place that I visit during my 10-week tour of Europe.
  5. Then would you skip Venice because of the crowds? It is such a beautiful place that it is difficult to say no. Best way to see Santorini is to fly there and stay for 2 or more nights. Going on a cruise ship is a little bit hectic and crowded. We went back to Santorini for a 4 night stay last September.
  6. When there are over 10,000 passengers in port that day, the only sensible path is to book a ship's tour which bypasses the cable car going up, but drops you off at Fira when done. However, depending on your ship's departure, you have the option of either walking down the donkey path to the tender or wait until evening when most of the ships have departed and catch the cable car going down. The latter is an option if you wish to see the sunset from Fira. Go to cruisetimetables.com and check port schedule to see when all your fellow ships arrive and depart, and plan accordingly. Do not skip Santorini if you have never been there before. Would you skip Venice because of crowds if you never been there? (Last tip, you have to properly assess your physical ability to walk down that donkey path plus if you have the proper shoes as well as not rushing down that path.)
  7. If the Sun Princess had gone, you would have a not very positive experience. We were there in 2010 and there were about 3 panamax ships, around 6,000 passengers, and it was crowded then. We were there last September for 4 nights - one of those days there were cruise ships with a passenger count exceeding 10,000, it was like Venice. On days like that, you can only hope to get a taste of Santorini because you will be waiting in line to get up and down the cable car. Though early June doesn't have the summer heat yet, there is really no shade in Santorini so it is effectively hotter than the listed temperature. Crete is no substitute for Santorini, but Santorini should be done at a leisurely pace so coming to Santorini by a cruise ship is perhaps your worst option (unless you can find a cruise ship that comes for an overnight, unfortunately, I haven't found one yet).
  8. If you are going on the Sun Princess or Star Princess, they have the "American Strip Steak" in the MDR - American Diner (deck 8). So, it is likely, you can get that steak on MDR - Traditional (deck 6) or MDR - Anytime (deck 7). It is sounds like a striploin so it may be a little tough and has more gristle. They also have the Country Fried Steak on deck 8 if you like that.
  9. The plus package didn't work for me. Even with paying for premier wines by the glass less the $15 base price, I was never happy with the wines offered. I ended up buying wines by the bottle for I think a 20% discount. It just didn't work for us. However, I do support other people getting the plus/premier package. There's a lot more drinking on the ships since the package came out. The ships are a lot livelier especially towards the end of the evening. Before the plus packages were offered, the ships were becoming quite quiet after 9pm.
  10. The title says " Currents List of Wine on Board", but so far I've only seen wine list by the glass, doesn't anyone have a current wine list?? Will be aboard the Pursuit in September. Have alot of OBC so deciding to whether to spend it on overpriced wine or overpriced excursions. The overpriced excursions are losing as I've seen all the excursions offered. Will be in Croatia so I may just buy wine on land and pay the corkage.
  11. Yes you will receive a discount, 20-25%, but it is a bit of a rip-off. The only reason I bought bottles was because I really didn't like many of selections that were offered. The bottles that I bought were ones I really like from a wine tasting on the Emerald Princess. I would only buy bottles unless I discover the wines by the glass that were offered on the ship were ones you would normally would not drink.
  12. They are better than the Plus selections. However, even with the plus package I ended up buying a couple of bottles of white wine from Sabatini - they gave me a 20% discount which was quite inadequate. For my next cruise with Princess in April, I do not have the plus package - plan to bring 2-3 bottles of wine with me aboard and, maybe, buy another bottle from the paid venues which seem to have a different wine list.
  13. Wine by the glass is limited. Unless you like to drink 2 or more glasses of Caymus Cabernet a day, I would recommend the plus package and pay the difference on the premier list of wines (you pay the difference between the price of the glass of wine less $15). We found that many of whites on the plus were not very good and reds were just a touch better, though the cabernet & camenere were quite drinkable.
  14. To Padua, it is possible. However, Google Maps says you have a much greater chance of hitting the rush hour traffic jams in Padua. It is possible that you could miss your scheduled train. Going to Venezia Mestre may have just a slowdown in traffic. The additional cost for leaving from Venezia Mestre is quite minimal. Check it out yourself for Google Maps, just make sure you depart at 8am on a Tuesday. The ship appears to be arriving at 7am instead of 6am. Might be difficult to set an earlier departure. My wife and I are going to Innsbruck, then Salzburg, and finally to Munich for Oktoberfest. We had visit Milan back in 2019 when we traveled to Venice for Carnevale.
  15. Most trains for Milan from Venezia Mestre stops at Padua 11-12 minutes later. During my research Google Maps shows a longer taxi ride to Padua due to the rush hour. So, logistically, it is about the same. Getting a taxi might not be as easy as you think, you will probably have to reserve one and hope he doesn't cancel last minute. Going through Azamara and Viking forums about Chioggia, there doesn't seem to be too many taxis except for reserved ones. Right now, I put you down as sharing my van for 2, so we have a total of 4. Also, have a confirmed reservation for the van for 6. It is unlikely we will go to 6 as luggage always seem to be a problem. Best to contact me at jameshom1003 @ comcast.net (no spacing). Have a good time at Uganda!
  16. Hi Susiesan, We have to be at the Venezia Mestre Train Station for a 10:10am train. What time is your train? Do you want to share a van to the train station? The problem with Tronchetto is that it is a distance to the Venezia Santa Lucia even if using the people-mover. I booked a van for an 8am departure (can change it to 8:30am). The total cost is just over 140 euros (though it is not confirmed, still processing). Are you interested? Jim
  17. There is no "medallions waiting in the rooms" option for Princess. You have to pick them up at check-in else you don't board.
  18. Try La Plage Tours. If you rent their Champagne Boat, it comes with a driver/guide. It can be pricey for 2, but it can hold up to 12. We had 6 in our boat, but 8 would still be very comfortable. It ended up to be the best tour we ever did in Bora Bora (or anywhere else with the exception of visiting Coron Island in the Philippines). Because it is a private tour, you set the itinerary. Most people just go around the island and let the driver/guide set the itinerary.
  19. Transpacific. Excluding the Alaska/Japan route, most transpacifics tend to go through tropical waters so they are much warmer than transatlantics unless you do the Europe to South America repositioning cruises.
  20. In the past they start letting people into the terminal around 11am. People queue up next to building, but there are benches nearby where the elderly and the young could sit while you stand in line. However, if it is sunny, it might get a little warm sitting on the benches while people queuing will be in the shade.
  21. Granted, Azamara is not geared for kids - if you pick a very port intensive itinerary, like in Europe, the kids will really don't have much free time. Sort of like a cross country travel by car - how much time do your kids will interact with other kids, especially if every day is a new day to explore? If there is alot of sea days, pick a different line.
  22. No such animal as "Ipanema Street Party". She may be referring to Banda de Ipanema - that gay group bloco which is the biggest bloco in Ipanema - you can buy one of their t-shirts and join the parade group, we were there in 2017 and we still have their t-shirts. However, they move at a snail's pace, like many popular blocos in Rio. Problem with many popular blocos, they are crowded like a Tokyo subway during rush hour. Amazing atmosphere is right, but crowded. If you are covid-shy, don't bother with Carnival.
  23. Running into "gale strength winds or heavy swells" in French Polynesia would be a very, very small probability. Don't talk yourself out of something just because you think you are most unlucky person in the world.
  24. There is really no advantage to either hotel as to how close it is to the metro. The area around both hotels is flat (just go to Google Maps and look at the exterior/360 option and see how flat the area is around them). I wouldn't be surprised if both are build on landfill. One major recommendation is that since both of you are in your mid-80's and you will be quite near the equator, I recommend taking a taxi to the Gardens. It is a somewhat of a long walk from the metro station to the entrance of the Gardens. The temperature will be in 80's, but it is the humidity that will exhaust you. Stay at the Bliss Hotel so you can easily afford taxis, LOL.
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