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papa B me

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About papa B me

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Knoxville, TN
  • Interests
    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Uniworld, Silversea, Oceania
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Venice

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  1. Dave, Thanks for the great blog. We did Milan to Venice 2 years ago June and had a great time. Thanks for bringing back the memories. Thinking about Eastern Europe cruise for 2021. It looks like a great trip. Brian
  2. Of our three Uniworld River Cruises this is still our favorite. Here are my thoughts to add to the wonderful advice you've already received: We chose the Castle Volrads and really enjoyed the history and the tastings. It's always a tough decision when there is a hike due to the fact we love to hike but it wasn't offered on our cruise and I think I would have still chosen Volrads We chose the "Do as the locals tour" in Strasbourg and again a really enjoyable tour. We had a wonderful guide. In the afternoon we chose to enjoy the top deck of the ship instead of shuttling back into town. We also use the pool on this afternoon which was quite fun with the jets on to jump in front of them and let them push you to the end of the pool. We had a warm and beautiful afternoon that day. The Alsatian village day was one of our favorite days. We did see a great many storks which really was a highlight. They are touristy but we found them fun and probably did the most shopping for souvenirs on this excursion. The Vinegar tasting was probably our single favorite event and I almost talked us out of it but due to rave reviews on CC I stuck with it. So glad we did. We used our Amex OBC for both Marksburg and Heidelberg and thouroughly enjoyed both. Marksburg was our first castle to tour since we started traveling extensively about 6 years ago. We have been to quite a few since and it is still our favorite. In my opinion the great thing about this cruise is there really isn't a bad choice. So you aren't going to go wrong no matter what you do and it gives you a good excuse to go back and do the things you miss(that's what I keep telling my wife). We sailed in June as well and it was wonderful weather the whole trip. Hope the same for you. Have a great time.
  3. We are booked in an Owners Suite for a cruise next year. We booked it through a large on line TA. My understanding is that the suite comes with $300 OBC. It doesn't show on the Voyage Planner that I can find. Do they wait until final payment to post the OBC? Also where in the Voyage Planner should it show. Any help appreciated. Brian
  4. Thanks again for all the responses. I've read so many horror stories on CC about cruises where there was a partial charter that I had a moment of concern. But I realize the horror charters are usually companies who have chartered the ship and people are sailing for free and feel entitled to act like they are at a college frat party. I'm really excited about this cruise since in reality I've planned it twice. Now the long wait till September next year.
  5. Thanks! I'll look for your report. Have a great trip! Charleston's one of my favorite places.
  6. Thank your for the responses. That is what I thought the responses would be but wanted to ask the CC family. Almost all of my closest friends are golfers. I'm the odd ball. So my initial thought was great there are going to be a lot of enjoyable couples on this cruise. Thanks again. Brian
  7. I have booked a cruise for Sept 2020 for a port intensive Portugal/Spain cruise. I had a similar cruise booked for last September but had to cancel due to other commitments but still want to sail this itineary. I didn't realize it at the time but this is a "Perry Golf" cruise. We are not part of Perry Golf and are not golfers at all. For those who have sailed on this type of cruise(both part of and not part of Perry Golf), does it substantially changed the dynamic of the cruise? What percentage of the guests would you estimate are part of the "Perry Golf" experience? Will we find it difficult to access certain aspects of the ship due to a large group sailing together. I don't know anything about the Perry Golf cruises so don't know if basically they take over the ship or if much of it is when they are off the ship. Any input would be appreciated. Brian
  8. Has anyone stayed in the Club World Owners Suite on the Pursuit? If so, can you help me with some questions? #1. Does it have a half bath? I was previously booked in this suite on Journey but had to cancel. I know they took the half bath out on the Journey. But a few pictures I've seen and the layout looks like there is a half bath on the pursuit. #2. It appears the mini bar is complimentary. Is this just sodas and water or does it include beer as well #3. Are the balconies on deck 6 slightly deeper then on decks 7 or 8? #4. Does Azamara still have the special dinner in the Library for the Owners suite guests? #5. Can you order from any restaurant for room service or just a room service menu? #6. When you make your dining reservations when you board is it best to make them through the Butler or directly? #7. Is there reserved seating for suite guests at the shows? #8. I read another thread that Azamara now assigns embarkation times. Is that true of suites as well. On the website it says priority embarkation/debarkation. What does that actually mean? Sorry for so many questions. I just reserved suite 6091 for a cruise next year. It is almost an identical cruise that I had reserved for last year on the Journey and had to cancel. So excited about this cruise and trying to figure out what has change since my planning a couple of years ago and the differences with the Pursuit. Any other thoughts or suggestions on the Club World Owners Suite is greatly appreciated.
  9. From talking to staff it is pretty common to have choppy seas. Not fall down choppy but there were a night or two that you would sway a bit while walking and certainly it was felt throughout the ship. So low and mid-ship is definitely a good idea if you are sensitive to the movement. There was one night where the concierge said that a number of people he had talked to were staying in their room for the evening as they weren't feeling well from the movement. I would highly recommend the cruise. Good luck in planning.
  10. Both Maui and Kauai had shuttles but if I recall they only ran till about 8 pm for Alamo. It is possible to find overnight parking fairly close to the ship. It may cost $20 a night or so. If you decide to do that just ask the shuttle driver when you are picking up the car where they would recommend you park it. It's also possible that maybe Budget has a drop off place and a box to drop the key but the lot itself is closed so no shuttles after 5. If that is the case it would be fairly easy to drop it off then Uber back. I used Discount Hawaii rentals which handles all Islands and all rental companies. They have a number you can call with questions and/or an email you can use for questions. I think they can probably clear up the confusion. Good luck
  11. No, there isn't any need for a sports coat or tie. I didn't take one. Slacks and a dress shirt are fine for every venue. There is a night that they announce is dress up on night on the ship and I saw a few with jackets/suits and more formal dresses but they were really in the minority and the announcement made it clear it was optional. This was by far the most casually dressed ship at all times that I've been on. Shorts, tshirts, polo shirts, etc... are the norm in all venues except the two that do require the long pants and collered shirt. After a long day of touring it was nice to not have to spend a great deal of time dressing up. Have a great trip.
  12. There is no curfew for the overnights. You can come and go as much as you like from the time they announce they are docked and open until the all aboard time. I would highly recommend a car for your first night. It really provides a great deal of flexibility to adjust to weather and the experiences you want to have. Have a great trip.
  13. It is a player piano and can be played manually as well. I can't say it was bolted down with certainty but I can say we had some pretty choppy seas and it didn't move at all. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed the piano. Good luck with your planning.
  14. Robin, We are in agreement with the "bigger" issue. Their loyalty discounts of the past made it difficult to consider a different line such as Crystal or Tauck. So I will definitely look at them as well when looking at 2020. To be fair, over the past couple of years I've followed a number of cruise companies on Cruise Critic in the "luxury" classification for Ocean Cruises and it seems that many of them are pairing back loyalty discounts and perks. My best guess is that with the expansion of the other lines into the "luxury" space these CEO's feel their not getting the bang for their buck that they once were when there were fewer choices. I also think that due to the fact that there is more of an emphasis to travel agents(especially internet based) they assume that travelers are getting some perks from them(I know I have). I also agree with your view of the price manipulation but it seems that is the norm with most lines now. I've never found their air deals to be worth it. I think those of us who are travel "researchers" will continue to be disappointed with changes made because we are fully aware of them. I'm shocked how few people who cruise river or ocean ever take the time to go on cruise critic, trip advisor, facebook, etc...So the companies can continue to make changes to their products, loyalty programs, etc... in attempt to create a stronger bottom line and have a very small minority upset since most people never take the time to research themselves. Time will tell if the move away from "loyalty" based marketing to "new cruiser" based marketing is sustainable. Until then, my loyalty will be to the best product for the money and not to a specific company. Sorry if I got two deep in the woods on this. I love analyzing all of this from both a consumer and a business perspective. Brian
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