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  1. Just checked to the the name for you...it's Highlights of Normand & the Seine.
  2. I guess the main thing depends on how much you drink. We sailed Avalon, they also have free flowing wine & beer for lunch & dinner, and would fill you up before you left the dining room so you could go to the lounge after (or sun deck, or room). During the port talk they had a happy hour where drinks were 1/2 price. Drinks were quite reasonable - we had 2 beer the day we sailed by the castles, and I think it came to $8.00 CDN (as per my cc statement). Can't drink for that at home! Usually you are on tour in the morning, then sometimes just free time in the after noon to wander around the town or there will be an optional tour, so unless you really wish to remain on board, you don't spend much time on the ship until dinner time, except for the day you cruise through the middle Rhine. We went Amsterdam to Basel, and on the first day of cruising we arrived at Colonge around lunch time, but not sure if you will have any more going the other way.
  3. When cruising the Rhine, there is one section that you cruise during the day - the castles! As Mike says, the top deck is the best viewing area, however I have back problems and can't sit comfortably on the lounge type chairs that they have on the top deck Avalon had a few straighter chairs, but they were taken quickly, and the day we cruised, it was very sunny, so I needed shade. Best spot for us was the smaller area in the front - most people forgot about it, and for a while we had the whole area to ourselves...and nice and close to the bar for when we wanted more beer. 🙂
  4. We pre-paid our tips on Avalon last year, as we didn't want to have to worry about it on the last day. We then gave those who we felt gave us extra service a bit more. We were told (by the Cruise Director) that the tips were split by all employees and hers was not included as she wasn't considered an employee - I guess she was contract. I felt that they must take care of their staff quite well, as there were several family members (brothers & sisters, cousins etc) on our crew and we had a great time with them, even meeting them while out on tour - we were able to buy our room attendant a drink one day, an extra way to say thanks. I'm hoping that we have the same feeling among the crew on our next cruise, it was nice to feel as if we were among friends.
  5. When we flew to Amsterdam last year, I measured & weighed both our carry on's and our personal bags (both back packs) to make sure we fit the declared standards. Got to Montreal to check in, and we were told our carry ons were to big...no, they measured them and they were actually 1" shorter than their guideline. During the mix up, our personal bags got mixed up...and so then they said we had to weigh them...well, DH's bag was a bit heavier than mine because he had all the electronics, but his case was lighter. They weighed DH's personal bag with my case, and we got told we had to check. Ok, did that, and once we got on the plane, we were glad because it was an older one and the overhead luggage areas were quite small, and we would have had fun trying to fit our bags in. Coming back, we just automaticly checked, only to find out we had a newer plane (yeah, roomier seats!) with larger overhead storage, so we could have held onto our bags.... Guess you never know until you actually get on the plane. We did once have a bag miss (not for a cruise though), fortunately, we had just had a friend return from an ocean cruise who had no luggage because his bag was lost, and I had our clothes mixed up in our cases, so we didn't really have much problems other than having to do unexpected laundry.
  6. thunter, as long as it doesn't have to be refrigerated, wrap it well in baggies (in case it breaks) and pack it in your checked luggage. I think you may be ok then. If you are thinking of your carryon, it will have to be in clear plastic bottles and fit in the little bag you use for toiletries.
  7. Here's the website : https://www.mahartports.hu/en One warning I am finding while researching about taking public transit in Budapest...if you buy individual tickets, make sure you validate them. Everyone is complaining about "not understanding" how public transit works, and getting an 8000 HF fine. If you have the 72 hr pass, it is validated when you purchase it.
  8. Depends on what you wish to see. If you want to see museums etc, figure out which ones, and plan 1/2 day per museum to give you lots of time to enjoy. You can get a good walk around just to look around town in one day (ok, 6 hours including lunch, at least that's what it took us). If you wish to go to the flower auction, figure a morning. I would suggest researching just what you wish to see, and planning time for that. We had 3 days - 1 to wander, 1 to see Zuiderzee, and one for Keukenhof and boarding....and then a day planned by our cruise which was a canal tour & another walking tour. I can go back no problem 🙂
  9. Hi. Our Rhine cruise last year had passengers who ranged in age from 70's to 50' for the majority, with one young couple possibly in their mid 20's and two sisters travelling with their parents who probably would be in their 40's. Everyone mingled very well, and I would think if you chose one of the active cruises, the passengers would be closer to the 50's or be young at heart. The optional excursions are just that, not included in the cost of your trip, but we took a lot and they were all great. Wine, beer and sift drinks are included with meals only, but Avalon gas a half price happy hour during the nightly meetings, and you are welcome to take a wine or beer with you when you leave you meal. Otherwise alcohol is an extra expense, but since you are off the boat for most of the say, you may not end up with much of a bill. We bought 2 beers the say we cruised the valley, and I think it cost $8.00 total. As for the staterooms, we were on Imagery ll, on the 2nd level and really didn't hear any noise. I am awake usually around 3:00ish and can't say I really heard much, actually slept better on the boat than I do at home. Mind you, different noises are more noticeable for some people than others.
  10. Had the same experience with Avalon...they would bring my food and make sure that I knew the ingredients I didnt' care for were not included. It almost turned into a joke, as when I would order and say please skip the "whatever", they would say "already done" with a big smile. Also, whenever we would try something new, they would come back and make sure we did like it, and let us know we could order something else if we didn't. Bo, I'm sure the lines you are looking are can handle vegan as well as vegetarian, it's wise to check though (you can always try messaging their facebook pages or twitter accounts), as I know that Avalon and most of the lines I have heard others talk about go out of their way to accommodate your preferences.
  11. RTLS, there may be an option to purchase a transfer, but it could be costly. Just make sure you check with your bank as to the fees for using the foreign ATM...some of them can be costly for a small amount. If you are taking a taxi, some of them do take credit cards, and make sure you have the boat call the cab, so you don't get scammed. The ones that only take cash may take Euros...you could always check before hitting the ATM.
  12. On our Rhine cruise with Avalon, there were some 2 top tables, however they were away from the windows (one person would have their back to the window), and very close together, so although you have your "own" table, you don't have the privacy you would normally get. The first night we sat down at a table for 6, and one other couple joined us. We were sitting on oposite ends of the table, so we could chat but still have our own privacy...I think we were actually further apart than those with the two tops. We pretty much stayed at that table with others joining us for dinner so it was nice to meet others and discuss the different tours we went on.
  13. Most will have *vegetarian* dishes each night on their menu, however to be vegan, you may have to discuss with the chef to ensure you are getting your requirements. I think food is subjective, and also very much depends on the chef onboard....I've seen good and bad meal reviews from almost every line.
  14. We sailed the Rhine on Avalon, had a cabin on the middle deck. It was about 200 sq feet with a sliding glass window that went almost all the way across the end of the room (I think there was about 3 feet or so that didn't open). It was comfortable, with room for a small 2 seater sofa, a table & chair as well as the bed that faced the window. The bathroom was quite a good size, sink with lots of counter space to put your stuff on when you neede it. Shower was a good size as well, no banging elbows trying to wash my hair. The closet had room to hang pants & shirts, with some shelving to store folded clothes. Here is probably the best pic I can find to give you an idea as to how they utilise the space : The window opens to the chair :
  15. seashell, this is what I have (mine is a bit older, had 3 "plugs", but they have improved it), I am assuming that Magnolia has something similar.
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