We are experienced ocean cruisers as you can see from my signature. The past 6 cruises/years have all been on Oceania and we believe this is a great fit for us (not too fussy, but still classy, and wonderful ships and itineraries). That said, we've decided to give river cruising a try. We have booked the Crystal Debussy from Basel to Amsterdam (7 nights) for next July. I've heard Crystal ocean cruises are quite nice and similar to Oceania, if not more upscale and these new ships look very nice. Here is the cruise we are taking: http://www.crystalcruises.com/voyage...msterdam-8s12r
A few questions so we can get the most out of this...
1) Laundry? We pack light (1 carryon each) and do laundry frequently. Is this an option and is it prohibitively expensive or similar to what one would pay on a cruise ship (e.g. around $5-10 to wash a shirt)? We are spending 10 days in Switzerland hopping around before meeting the cruise so we will need to do laundry upon embarkation most likely. Also, this will be our first time with a butler (we usually cruise in verandah cabins) - do they typically press your clothes if you ask?
2) Dress Code? What kind of dress code for evenings on ships of this level for men? We are hoping to avoid schlepping our sports jackets around. I know there are some onshore fine dining experiences at night included on this cruise (they say Michelin star level stuff). Would it or would it not be prudent to bring the coats or can we get along without them?
3) Roll Calls? Given how each port has a variety of included excursions, I don't really see the need to start or join a roll call (and the ship is only 84 people). Is that a correct assumption? I always join or start one for Ocean cruises as we typically organize our own small group tours with other passengers - but this does not seem necessary on this cruise.
4) Activity Level? When a tour description says "moderate" for the intensity, it seems to correlate to just long periods of walking. We are relatively fit, however DH has had knee surgery that can act up sometimes. The real issue would be long periods of uphill walking. For example, we just recently walked up to the top of the Acropolis and that was pushing it for him, though do-able.
Thank you for your help. I'm actually looking forward to *not* having to plan out all the details for this cruise as I usually do with Ocean cruises or land trips and just kicking back and "going with the flow" for a week.
2016 - Oceania Nautica- Beijing to Hong Kong (4 Days in Beijing prior, 3 days in Hong Kong post)
2015 - Oceania Marina - Sydney to Auckland (5 Days in Sydney prior, 3 days in Auckland post)
2014 - Oceania Marina - Southampton to Southampton around the British Isles (with 4 days in Amsterdam prior)
2013 - Oceania Marina - Stockholm to Copenhagen (4 days extra on each end)
2012 - Azamara Quest - Rio to Buenos Aires (4 days extra on each end)
2011 - QM2 - New England & Canada
2010 - Celebrity Millenium - Alaska
2009 - Carnival ??? - E. Caribbean
2008 - Carnival Conquest - W. Caribbean
2007 - Celebrity ??? - E. Caribbean
(COLLEGE & STARTING CAREER )
1997 - Cunard QE2 - E. Caribbean