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Host Jazzbeau

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About Host Jazzbeau

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    Cruise Critic Host & 10,000+ Club

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  • Location
    New York
  • Interests
    Jazz, food, wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    the next one
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
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  1. Host Jazzbeau

    Crystal Panomax Camera Available On Crystal Serenity

    Fixed it for you
  2. Host Jazzbeau

    Concerned about Recent Serenity Reviews

    To clear up a misconception, Viking Ocean includes one excursion in each port and availability is guaranteed to all passengers. They also offer the typical range of optional excursions, which may fill up or be cancelled for lack of interest as on most ocean cruise lines. At the time we booked on Viking Ocean the value proposition only worked if you calculated the 'cost savings' of the included excursions – and we ended up not taking a single one as they are all very basic 'panoramic' bus rides or walking tours of the port city. But the ship, the food, and overall experience were very good on Viking Ocean.
  3. Host Jazzbeau

    Huge price difference on cabins

    When we started cruising we did Insides and had a great time. The Azamara ships have lots of public spaces for lounging, and it will help you meet other passengers and learn about small-ship cruising and why they love it. OTOH, if an ocean view cabin doesn't cost much more there's no problem with that – but I would advise against the 06 and 04 categories as they are located at the front of the ship and you will feel more movement there. 08s are midship but with partially blocked views [still a lot more view than an Inside!]. 05s are midship and low for a very smooth ride.
  4. Host Jazzbeau

    General question about excursions and ETA/ETDs of boats

    Water levels on the Rhône don't usually affect river cruises, but the Saône can be a real problem in high water because of low bridges. I would be especially leery of booking private excursions for the portion of the cruise above Lyon for that reason.
  5. Host Jazzbeau

    X cruiser sails Azamara to Cuba Jan 15 to 24 2019

    Those are Cyrillic letters. The make is "Moskvitch" = Russian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskvitch Will never be a classic car...
  6. Host Jazzbeau


    I will second the recommendation for the Flam railway excursion. You can do the RR by yourself, but you have to take it back down to Flam. Only by booking the excursion through the ship do you get the further train ride on the main line, tea at the Stalheim Hotel [with postcard views] and the bus ride down the twisty road to the pickup point in Gudvangen.
  7. Host Jazzbeau

    General question about excursions and ETA/ETDs of boats

    Our ship excursion in Tournon was a walk across the river to Tain-l'Hermitage and the vineyards and tasting room of M.Chapoutier. At the end the guide gave us directions to the Valrhona chocolate museum and tasting room, which was only a short detour on the way back to the boat. Wine and chocolate: heaven!
  8. Host Jazzbeau

    Costa Maya and Cozumel Excursions

    Our chef was not allowed to make purchases at the market we toured, but another chef went into town and bought provisions from a 'certified' vendor. [The market in Cozumel is very small, so the quantity needed would have wiped out the vendor's supply.] The local guide who actually led us through the market did arrange for those who wanted to buy empanadas, and he later bought everyone frozen fruit treats. The tour had started with a chocolate factory that included tastings, also a tequila tasting place, and included lunch at a restaurant in town. The chef then cooked our group a special dinner on board that had all Yucatan-themed recipes and was really really good [and lots of food – it was a 'tasting' menu but with full entree-sized portions!] So at the end of the day we felt we had gotten our money's worth. Note that when Celebrity offers a 20%-off sale on shore excursions they do include the Chef's Market Discoveries, and the list price for the tour was lower when it was first posted – so jump on it as early as you can!
  9. Host Jazzbeau

    Do I really need a travel Agent?

    Which means, when comparing prices on Vantage and Grand Circle against other river cruise lines, you have to add the value your TA would give you. Another line for the spread sheet!
  10. Host Jazzbeau

    Status Match

    Well, if you plan to sail MSC more than once, getting Gold gives you a big leg up toward Black.
  11. Host Jazzbeau

    Millennium Revolution -

    Since Luminae isn't open for lunch on port days, it would be a good idea to have their staff work the Retreat rather than other venues since they already know the suite pax. Also they were chosen for Luminae because they are the best of the best
  12. Host Jazzbeau

    For those who know Russ

    Still, Russ plus Crystal should be a terrific combination. Azamara's loss...
  13. Host Jazzbeau

    River Cruises where you can walk off the ship and into town

    It depends on when your ship sails. Sometimes they sail as dinner is being served. Other times they may stay later. And this may change from sailing to sailing as the Lock Masters determine when the Captain has to get in position. I can give you our experience [on AMA sailing south from Lyon to Arles in 2015]: • We started with an overnight in Lyon, so you could do whatever you wanted • The next night we left Lyon at 6 pm and arrived in Belleville-due-Saône at 11:30 pm [there was an excellent French chanteuse performing after dinner, but she had finished by the time we docked] • The third night we had a free evening in Vienne from 9:30 pm • The fourth night we had a free evening in Tournon from 5:45 pm [but there was an excellent classical music group entertaining onboard] • The fifth night we arrived in Viviers at 8:30 and there were evening tours [a select group of us went to a boulangerie and helped make baguettes!] but you could also wander freely • The sixth night the ship stayed in Avignon until 5:45 am • The seventh night the ship stayed overnight in Arles. So depending on how late you want to be out, you could have had an evening walk every night on that cruise.
  14. Host Jazzbeau

    Ponant dress code - comments?

    Take the sheet off your bed: toga party!
  15. Host Jazzbeau

    Costa Maya and Cozumel Excursions

    Hello from across the bay [in Fairhope]