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About JPH814

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Huntingdon Valley Pa 19006
  • Interests
    Cooking, wine, music
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    I have enjoyed all I have sailed on. Prefer Seabourn, Uniworld and Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. On our Uniworld cruise starting in Antwerp, we had the ship transfer from the airport. A crew member took our bags from the car to the lobby. The hotel director took us to our room. 3 minutes later the bags were delivered- by the Captain! Such is the life on a 100 person ship with a small crew.
  2. We did his cruise in late September and had a wonderful time. From Montreal to Boston. HOWEVER- there was virtually no fall color on the trees. Why? Most of the trees along the trip are evergreens.
  3. We have done 5 Uniworld cruises over the past 6 years or so . We have also done three Seabourne cruises with a fourth planned. I have read similar threads about declining experience on both. And probably other lines as well. I wonder if it is just perception. The first cruise on a line is eye popping. “Look at all the options on the buffet!” “So many excursions-I don’t know what to pick” “ I love the chocolate on my pillow”. “The staff knew my name by the second day”. “ Everything is so bright and shiny and clean” The cruise exceeded your expectations. You come home telling everyone how great it was and you write a glowing review on Cruise Critic. Then a year or so later you book another cruise with the same cruise line. Your expectations are understandably high - probably even higher than your first cruise. But this cruise does not wow you. You raised the bar. And things that you might not have even noticed the first time jump out at you. Your experience was “good” - even “very good”. But “gee - service/food whatever- is not as exceptional as my first cruise.” “Does anybody really care about a chocolate on their pillow?” “The carpets looked a little worn.” “No variety in the dinning room”. “Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great time. Maybe a 7 or 8. But that first one was a 10. Is my cruise line slipping?”
  4. I will admit I did not read all 7 pages of this thread so excuse me if this was mentioned: Regarding the “salty chicken”- we had a great opportunity to spend about half an hour in a private discussion with the head TK chef on board a Seabourne cruise. I asked about the chicken. He told me it is brined for up to 24 hours prior to cooking. So yes. It will be salty. It is also why it maintains the moisture and flavors from the brine. I loved it and will order it again. Just realize, it is salty on purpose.
  5. I have been on several HAL cruises with a piano bar. The place was packed every night and would be the last bar closing down at night. Might not be your thing, but this 65 year old loves it.
  6. Maybe we have been lucky - or you unlucky.
  7. We have never had any issues and the turnaround is usually within 24 hours. And my wife is a wizard at packing the bag!
  8. Not criticizing, just a comment: When I spend over $20,000 on a vacation (cruise, airfare, tours, etc.) I am not going to waste any part of it doing laundry when I can spend maybe $30 for a bag of laundry that is cleaned, ironed and folded. That is a rounding error in my budget.
  9. May or may not be related to the original post: i was just informed that my may 2020 reservation on Quest has been cancelled. We are given an option to book the Ovation which has a similar but not identical itinerary. But get this: this Ovation itinerary is a newly revised one that is different from what is on the Seabourn website. Apparently the Quest and Ovation are having multiple schedule changes. Supposedly they will be announcing them within the next few days.
  10. We were just informed that the May 2020 cruise on the Quest has been cancelled. We are offered an alternative (similar, but not the same) itinerary on the Ovation. Our previous trip was 11 days - this on is 14 days. They are giving it to us at the same price and with an additional $200 in on board credit. I like the new embarkation port (Monte-Carlo) and we still end up in Dover. We add two stops in Spain but miss a stop in Belgium (my only real complaint). We also can choose another 14 day or less itinerary and will have a 10% discount to any cabin we pick. I am still waiting to see the new itineraries before making up my mind. We must decide by august 31..
  11. During a cruise in October, the Philadelphia Eagles were playing the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. I mentioned it to the cruise director and asked if there was anyway to get the game n a public tv. The day of the game I was told that there would be a tv set up in the card room. I showed up with about 6 others. There was a beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks laid out in front of a large screen TV. Gotta love it - (and the Eagles won!)
  12. Anyone have any experience with a tour guide that would pick us up in Dunkirk and take us on a tour of Bruges? We are not the adventurous types that would take a train.
  13. Yes. It was a bummer. I hope to warn others.
  14. DO NOT BOOK WITH LIMO IN ROME! I do not say this lightly. I have used Claudio Caponera's company in the past - about 15 years ago - and had a good experience. We booked his company for a tour from Rome to Sienna and Tuscany in October of 2018. It was supposed to include a "licensed tour guide". We had a driver, who did not act as a guide. He sat in the car when we were on our own in Sienna. He did not even provide a map of the town. We were supposed to "visit a winery for wine tasting and the cellar where wine is aged in oak barrels." We were taken to a town where there was a store that had samples if you purchased wine. We were supposed to go to " Pienza, the town famous for Pecorino cheese and wine. Time at your leisure for shopping in the little store, artisan shops and for tasting one of the most famous red wine in Italy, the Brunello '. The driver got lost, drove in a huge circle and ended up back where we were 45 minutes prior. No cheese, no shop, no tasting. When we contacted Claudio he did nothing to apologize, but he did admit that his website was "not well specified." Not only did this waste $650 (for 4 people), it wasted one of only 3 days we had in that region. A once in a lifetime opportunity ruined You can see from my profile and past reviews, I am not one to criticize unless there is a very good reason. Please do not patronize this company.
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