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In your experience, are the excursions on ACL ever done with pocket receivers and headphones? Specifically for the Lewis and Clark/Snake-Columbia trips, but I suppose generally as well. Just asking because the earbuds they provide don't work in my ears, so  I'd like to bring along my own headphones.

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On 5/5/2021 at 3:47 PM, TouchstoneFeste said:

In your experience, are the excursions on ACL ever done with pocket receivers and headphones? Specifically for the Lewis and Clark/Snake-Columbia trips, but I suppose generally as well. Just asking because the earbuds they provide don't work in my ears, so  I'd like to bring along my own headphones.

I can’t speak to other trips, but I am on the American Jazz doing the Mississippi and none of my tours has had pocket receivers and headphones. It could be a Covid thing but I will ask the shore excursion manager on board if they normally do the pocket receivers .

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I checked with the Shore Excursion manager and she said that they normally don’t have the pocket receiver and headphone option on tours. However, if someone really needs it , they can normally provide that option.

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On 5/8/2021 at 5:32 AM, TouchstoneFeste said:

Good to hear - one other thing I won't have to pack! Thanks so much for checking on that. Hope you're enjoying your trip.

The trip was wonderful; finished up in Memphis this morning.

i think that you might want to bring your headphones with you because one of your tours may have a pocket receiver. Someone on my bus to the airport this morning said that their tour at Graceland had that.  It may be that one of your tours might make use of those.  Better safe than sorry .

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Thanks for that update (and let me echo others who have thanked you generally for your very helpful insights).

 

The receiver-headphone thing seems (in my limited experience) for places that get very crowded, so Graceland makes sense, I suppose. As you say, better to throw them in than not to have them.

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The 'QuietVox' or 'Whisper' devices are so great on river cruises in Europe, especially for photographers who can stray from the group without getting left behind and also for those of us whose hearing isn't what it used to be.  I'm surprised they aren't widely used on US river cruises.

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ACL will need to "up it's game" .  They will have major competition from a very large European River Cruise company in 2023. I am booked on the ACL Alaskan Juneau to Juneau in June 2021.

We have traveled on over 30 cruises;  river, mass market cruises, and premium ocean cruises .

I am very disappointed to learn ACL is not furnishing robes in the cabins for guest, VOX for tours, or even ice in the cabin. Guest need to carry the ice bucket down to the ice machine in a lounge.

I was also informed that ACL alternate main dish for lunch or dinner is a hamburger.

I am feeling that I have booked a luxury priced cruise with Comfort Inn Amenities.

I am looking forward to small ship cruising in Alaskan waters.

 

 

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You have some facts wrong. The lunch hamburger. I was the one who mentioned this in an earlier post. I was on an ACL cruise and there was a family with several kids. The kids asked for burgers, pizza, mac & cheese off menu for lunch and ACL was fine with that. I’m sure if you wanted something off menu that was more upscale, they would do it.  Burgers are NOT their standard alternate meal item.  ACL did get a little upset when the kids stopped at Taco Bell on the way back to the ship and brought the tacos to dinner!

keep in mind he ships are US registered with US crews that are paid much better than 3rd world crew members on non-US cruises. Interested in seeing how Viking deals with some of these issues when they start their Mississippi cruises. 

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3 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

The 'QuietVox' or 'Whisper' devices are so great on river cruises in Europe, especially for photographers who can stray from the group without getting left behind and also for those of us whose hearing isn't what it used to be.  I'm surprised they aren't widely used on US river cruises.

I have the same appreciation for the listening devices, especially being able to step a bit away from the group, plus my husband has hearing issues. We have a fall 2021 cruise with ACL booked, after numerous European river cruises. We’re looking forward to an enjoyable cruise but not expecting the same level of luxury.

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We will find out how Viking does the Mississippi; we are booked.  Also booked for BtoB on Great Lakes expedition cruises. I know that ACL must pay wages under US Laws but that does not keep ACL from having "Vox" for tours, robes for guest use in the cabins or furnishing ice in the cabins.  We also are looking forward to an enjoyable cruise in the Alaskan waters, especially without the Mega ships. 

I know that Viking really studies the market before putting a boat or ship in a new literary.

I would not be surprised to learn that Viking has sent members of their team on some of the cruises in American waters and rivers.

 

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On 5/10/2021 at 10:33 AM, MSEm said:

ACL will need to "up it's game" .  They will have major competition from a very large European River Cruise company in 2023. I am booked on the ACL Alaskan Juneau to Juneau in June 2021.

We have traveled on over 30 cruises;  river, mass market cruises, and premium ocean cruises .

I am very disappointed to learn ACL is not furnishing robes in the cabins for guest, VOX for tours, or even ice in the cabin. Guest need to carry the ice bucket down to the ice machine in a lounge.

I am looking forward to small ship cruising in Alaskan waters.

Small ship cruising suffers from the principle of "economy of scale."  Your "very large European River Cruise company" will probably have 20-times more passengers (maybe a lot more) than your small-ship cruise, so they can offer a similar product at far less cost. But the advantages (to us) of having fewer passengers on a smaller ship are obvious.

 

If ACL were to add such luxury amenities as bathrobes and pre-filled ice buckets, our already-high cruise fees would be even higher.  Speaking just for myself, I find these amenities to be of little value.

 

But I do agree with you that VOX receivers would be worth the expense.

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2 hours ago, DaveinCharlotte said:

Small ship cruising suffers from the principle of "economy of scale."  Your "very large European River Cruise company" will probably have 20-times more passengers (maybe a lot more) than your small-ship cruise, so they can offer a similar product at far less cost. But the advantages (to us) of having fewer passengers on a smaller ship are obvious.

 

If ACL were to add such luxury amenities as bathrobes and pre-filled ice buckets, our already-high cruise fees would be even higher.  Speaking just for myself, I find these amenities to be of little value.

 

But I do agree with you that VOX receivers would be worth the expense.

This is incorrect.  European river cruise ships hold between 110 (Crystal, at the high end) and 190 (Viking, highest density - NB same size ships, all limited to 135m by size of locks).  Their crews are mainly Eastern European and come under EU labor laws.  So not so different to US river cruising.  Viking will bring a new level of quality to the Mississippi river, and the existing lines will have to either up their game or settle for the niche market of paddlewheel nostalgia.

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1 hour ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

This is incorrect.  European river cruise ships hold between 110 (Crystal, at the high end) and 190 (Viking, highest density - NB same size ships, all limited to 135m by size of locks).  Their crews are mainly Eastern European and come under EU labor laws.  So not so different to US river cruising.  Viking will bring a new level of quality to the Mississippi river, and the existing lines will have to either up their game or settle for the niche market of paddlewheel nostalgia.

Ah, you are correct.  I was (mistakenly) comparing ACL with "European Cruise Lines" instead of "European River Cruise Lines."  My apologies to MSEm!

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