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Everything posted by FuelScience

  1. They also offer some intriguing itineraries that are generally not available to North American (English-speaking) cruisers.
  2. You've picked a good line and a good itinerary. We did this a few years ago. We did the northbound version. The big change I see from our trip is that the cruise now starts in Port-Saint-Louis, whereas our cruise began in Arles. You might want to start with the reviews here on cruisecritic to get an idea of what to expect. I highly recommend the Pont du Gard excursion! I also left the Avalon tour of Lyon and took in the Roman museum on my own and walked back to the ship. https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/getreviews.cfm?action=ship&ShipID=822
  3. I think you'll be OK. When we did Avalon' Paris to Amsterdam they loaded our luggage onto a truck at the hotel before we left for the train from Paris to Luxembourg. No one really checked, and we put 3 or 4 pieces onto the truck. In fact, DW decided to put her carry-on onto the truck at the last minute and almost sent her train tickets via truck! I carried my backpack on the train.
  4. It looks like their remaining ships are: MS Bizet on the Seine (built 2002) 120 passengers River Chanson on the Rhone (built 2001) 86 passengers River Aria (built 2001) 162 passengers River Adagio (built 2003) 162 passengers River Harmony (built 1999) 140 passengers Given the age of the ships, they should be close to being fully depreciated. This plus the fact that GCT doesn't use travel agents should make them a low cost operator. Is your ship showing it's age? How well has it been maintained?
  5. I understand how local residents are upset. Personally I wish that more lines would explore some of the other river routes on the continent. Unfortunately, this might require a move to smaller ships to navigate some of the rivers. Certainly veteran river cruiser would be interested in new routes. We chose a Nicko cruise earlier this year which allowed us to see some of the Saar and the Neckar, rivers that aren't generally available on many of the North American centered lines.
  6. Have a great trip, and as the others have said, let us know how it goes. The Po cruise hasn't been described too often here.
  7. We did Avalon's Burgundy & Provence cruise a couple of years a go and enjoyed it. It goes all the way up the Saone to the little village of St. Jeane de Losne, giving you some extra sailing. Avalon is one of the few lines to offer "cruise only" options for those who want to skip the typical Paris or Nice excursions on either end.
  8. It's a 20 minute train ride, and they leave every 30 minutes. You can find scheduled trains on the bahn.de web site. The trains are a local carrier (RNN), and it looks like a ticket good for travel all day is 12 Euro.
  9. Why don't you post the dimensions of your luggage, and maybe someone who has sailed on Crystal with the same sized cases can tell you whether they fit under the bed?
  10. I was attracted to GCT for these very reasons. Their Seine cruise is a one-way, 11-night cruise instead of the typical 7-night Paris-to-Paris itinerary. Also, the ship docks in Honfleur rather than busing passengers there. We're doing a pre-cruise extension in the Loire Valley, and it's our understanding that the PD accompanying us on that extension will be our PD for the entire cruise. You mentioned the Forums on the GCT site. They don't seem to be very active. Interestingly there are only 6 reviews of our cruise on CruiseCritic, whereas there are over 500 reviews of the same cruise on GCT's web site.
  11. Thanks. I don't have questions right now, but I suspect that I'll have some as the departure date approaches.
  12. We've just scheduled our 10th river cruise and our first with Grand Circle. There doesn't seem to be a Grand Circle focused thread, so I'm starting this one. I don't see a lot of GCT cruisers on the Forum, but maybe this tread will encourage more postings and reviews.
  13. The other alternative is buying a European SIM card for your phone. For instance, here's a 14 day, 20GB card for $50 and a note from Rick Steves on the option. https://orange.simoptions.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1ajPjabs5AIVCovICh2RlAtdEAQYBCABEgLAG_D_BwE https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/phones-tech/cell-phone-europe
  14. I've used a TEP hotspot in the past and been pleased with it. Each ship is different, but we've found that at peak times--like when everyone has just returned from an excursion--the internet is often unusable. I think that a lot of people send photos without bothering to reduce the size. We've found that we could turn the hotspot on--they typically connect up to 5 devices--and get good internet when the ship's internet connection was "saturated."
  15. CPT Trips, it worked! I messaged GCT on FaceBook and got the following reply. Thanks again for the suggestion! ============================ Normally we dock in Honfleur,; however there were a few departures this summer where the local authorities diverted us to Le Havre. It had to do with changes in the way the port is classified by the French government.The issue has been resolved and we’re back to docking in Honfleur. Most European river ports are controlled by a government entity, and they do have the right to make changes without prior notice. It doesn’t happen often, but it is best if travelers allow for some flexibility.
  16. We were able to upgrade American flights a few years ago even though Avalon had booked our flights.
  17. Thanks! Good idea. I've posted the question on the forums, and I've reached out to GCT via their FaceBook page. I'll let you know what I find out.
  18. YellowMini may want to clear this up, but I believe that they weren't sailing with Teeming. The Royal Emerald is leased by several companies throughout the year, and I don't think that theirs was a Teeming cruise. When we had our troubles, the Paglialongas did everything they could to accommodate us, including moving back to the noisy cabin themselves and putting us in one of the mid-ship suites.
  19. Sorry to hear that you got the "upgrade." I can't believe that they did that to you. Hope you're able to get your money back without too much trouble.
  20. One more question. In going over reviews on the Grand Circle website, I found that one or more cruises in April of 2018 and 2019 docked in Le Havre rather than Honfleur. Does anyone know why this would happen. I suspect that it has something do do with river levels, but I didn't see a specific explanation of the reason for diverting to La Havre.
  21. Thanks CPT Trips. That's the direction we're looking at. For reservations made this month GCT is offering free air for the trip, making it even more attractive.
  22. Thanks for the responses. I’m looking seriously at the Grand Circle trip. They sail one-way, and theirs is a 12-day trip. All the nights are spent on the boat (MS Bizet) except for the last night. That night is at a hotel close to CDG in preparation for the trip home. The bus trip from Honfleur back to Paris includes a visit to the Peace Memorial Museum in Caen. The ship is docked in Paris for the first two nights, so plenty of opportunities for Paris sightseeing. They also appear to do a significant amount of day-time sailing which we enjoy.
  23. We're thinking about cruising the Seine, and were wondering which lines actually dock in Honfleur. From a search of the forum, it seems that Scenic, Vantage, Croisieurope, and Grand Circle dock there rather than docking nearby and busing people to Honfleur. I also noted that Grand Circle and Croisieurope do one-way cruises. So, 1) are there other lines that dock in Honfleur?, and 2) Are there other lines that do the Seine as one-way tours rather than Paris to Paris? Thanks!
  24. Sorry you're having trouble finding what you need. I would suggest using the search function and search for the word Christmas, searching only on the River Cruise forum and looking in titles only. I've not done a Christmas Markets cruise, but perhaps the most important thing I've seen from other posts is to make sure that you don't start too early or too late. Make sure that you understand the dates the markets open and close.
  25. You might also check Avalon for similar itineraries. Their ships have a similar configuration where the front part of the sundeck is significantly lower than the back part. Also they have a nice open area in the front of the ship just in front of the lounge (similar to Viking's Aquavit Terrace).
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