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Host Jazzbeau

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About Host Jazzbeau

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    New York
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    Jazz, food, wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    the next one
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    Farther
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  1. Just to update this thread: Scenic's First Ocean-Going Cruise Ship, Scenic Eclipse, Sails Inaugural Voyage
  2. I like it too. My comment started in response to one that implied that most pro-suites comments are bragging and wanted to emphasize that Celebrity's non-suite product has gone downhill so much. I also understand how a class-free ship invites more socializing – when all drinks are free, it's so much easier to get together with new acquaintances and not worry about an awkward moment when the bill comes. On Crystal we were even invited to a birthday party for a fellow guest: easy to arrange when there's no cost! So there are many choices out there – even if Celebrity non-suite is no longer one of them (for us).
  3. I haven't been reading the Celebrity forum lately, but my recollection was that most of the suite-life discussion revolves around complaints that the non-suite experience on Celebrity has been going downhill with cutbacks and the focus on attracting a younger clientele. Celebrity has turned into two completely different experiences, and in order to have anything like the old, beloved Celebrity you are forced to book a suite. At which point Azamara's pricing becomes much more competitive.
  4. The 'best of the best' dinner is a published perk of these suites. Very different from needing to grease the palm of the maitre d' to get something that should be available to everyone.
  5. It is a major guideline violation to mention travel agents by name, or to ask for info off line.
  6. As you consider a second river cruise, based on the above I highly recommend the Rhône. Spend several days in Lyon at the beginning or end and you will find shops and ateliers making/selling the most wonderful silk!
  7. I really don't understand how river cruise companies worked out a promising business plan for ships designed for either the Elbe or the Loire. Both 'rivers' seem to resemble gravel pits more often than not...
  8. Thanks franski – I think this is a great idea and the right place for this thread. Perhaps it would be a good idea if posters identified which line or vendor they are taking, as that will help shape the questions and comments.
  9. Last Thursday was the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Let it all hang out, baby! [Of course, at my age a lot more hangs out than it used to! ]
  10. Thanks for coming back goorawin. Continuing coincidences: I'm posting this from Reykjavik, where we arrived yesterday for a Ponant cruise. And walking around the old port today, we saw one of the Windstar (ex-Seabourn) triplets – which we will be sailing next year [in 1.5 form after the expansion]. Really glad to hear that things are settling down and that this ship will - in general - be everything we had hoped. When your trip is complete, I would really like your comparison of Eclipse to Ponant.
  11. New article on Cruise Critic: American Cruise Line's Second Modern Riverboat Sets Sail on Mississippi
  12. You have gone back 4 years – obviously Flyertalker has changed his avatar. Maybe in response to my comment!
  13. That's why I hadn't copied those ships from the Berlitz guide into my database.
  14. The Rhine is often recommended as a good first river cruise itinerary, for the reasons that Roz mentions. It's also only 7 days – while most people love river cruising, there are a few who realize early on that it's not for them, and it would be terrible to have 12 more days staring you in the face if that's the case! Rhine cruises end in Basel – your enjoyment will be even greater if you can spend a few days afterward in Lucerne and Zurich.
  15. River ship cabins were traditionally small, but the newer ships are mostly 135m long (rather than 110m) and the more upscale cruise lines have fewer passengers on their ships so they can make the cabins (and public spaces too) bigger. River cruise cabins traditionally also offered a choice between the fixed-window type on the lowest deck and 'French balcony' cabins on the higher decks. The latest trend is to either enhance the French Balconies with horizontally-opening windows [this is where Celebrity got the idea for Edge], sometimes with the bed facing the window, or to go for real balconies that you can sit on. On AmaWaterways' recent classes of ships most cabins are 210-235sf and feature a 'twin balcony' where half is a French balcony [doesn't steal space from the cabin and can be used in all weather] and half is a real balcony. [There is no reason to accept a 135sf cabin on any river ship – there are better alternatives.] There are good arguments for booking the 'Aquarium class' cabins on the lowest deck, since there is little daytime cruising on most itineraries and when there is you should be on the top deck with 360° views – and unlike ocean ships there is no class system on river ships so everybody gets the same treatment in the dining room and on excursions. But DW and I prefer to get a French Balcony cabin on the middle deck – less expensive than the top deck, avoids possible noise issues from the sun deck above, and we really enjoy the full-wall picture window even if we never open the sliding pane. Bottom line is that both are good choices.
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