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About jsn55

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    san francisco
  • Interests
    horses, water colour, books
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Other than American Cruise Lines which is horrid, I like 'em all.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Western Europe

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  1. We sail March 24. We like cool weather ... but I wish we had chosen the next sailing. I'm not sure that Monet's house will be open yet. We toured it years ago, but it's that kind of place you can return to every year. I am quite disappointed that Avalon refuses to print details of shore excursions, such as what time of day, duration, etc. We want to do the optional to Honfleur, for instance, but not if it leaves at 830am!
  2. Versailles is always a zoo. Last time, I just did the gardens and the Petit Trianon without any waiting for anything. Gazing at the facade of the palace on arrival is a wonderful experience and you can buy a book full of photos to read later.
  3. Are you river or ocean? Our Avalon ship for Rhine/Mosel moored very close to the Doubletree Hotel (fabulous place to stay) and not too far from the train station. Easy walk, but we took a taxi with our luggage. If you walk the opposite way from the Doubletree, there's a great market along there to pick up whatever you need ... I love cheap German sparkling wine.
  4. Terrific shot with Tour Eiffel in the background - thanks so much!
  5. 'Cause it's interesting to learn things and exchange ideas.
  6. Exactly, Nita. I know that I can count on Carol 1000% if trouble arises that I can't deal with properly. Gotta remember that TAs who are cruise experts have access to LOTS of stuff that we don't. Yesterday, Carol's husband was in the hospital and the NCL sale was ending at 5pm my time. Everything about the cruise was perfect for us, and for once perks were offered that would really save us money. I knew I could book whatever and transfer the booking over to her agency. And she's already looking for a "better" cabin that wasn't available on NCL's web. Based on my one phone call to NCL when the guy couldn't even answer a simple question, nor did he give a rip, I'll take a little delay in communication any day. I'm an advocate on Chris Elliott's travel forums, so I'm probably aware of ten times more bad travel stuff that can happen than most travellers! In my mind it's the same thing as doing your own taxes vs a professional. Sure, I could do my taxes on my computer, but I'd much rather pay a pro ... in case of an IRS issue, I do NOT want to have to deal with them.
  7. Well, your TA must add value, and mine does. I never call anyone for anything (except the call I made to NCL yesterday which was infuriating). So emailing my TA with questions and having her come back to me within an hour or so suits me just fine. I do all my own research and my questions are usually minor. Here's a good example: We just sailed on Queen Victoria to Norway and she found a cabin at the same price of all the others that had 20 or 30 more square feet. Once she pointed it out, I could see it o the deck plans, but wouldn't have figured that out for myself.
  8. Most passengers would benefit by using a travel agent who is a cruise expert. They can find you just what you want and tell you the price in a way that is easily understood. Cruise lines pay TAs a nice commission, so it's to your benefit to use their "free" services to help plan a cruise. And TAs often come up with extra goodies. I had no idea how beneficial a TA could be until I met one and she's booked our last 5 cruises. The cost to me is nothing extra, the cruise line pays her agency a commission for my booking.
  9. Well, if you've called and looked online and are getting the same price ... what exactly are you looking for? I just called NCL about a smoking question on their Dawn. The guy didn't know where the areas were and had no interest in finding out. I couldn't believe it. He wasn't rude, he was just stupid.
  10. Thank you Fran! This is exactly what I was looking for. Merci beaucoup.
  11. As far as included shore excursions, I have to remind myself that an ocean cruise generally requires payment for most of them. A river cruise generally has an included SE every day, with options to pay for more. This makes a big difference when it comes to evaluating total costs of the different vacations. I'm still curious where Avalon has docked in Paris in the past, if anyone remembers the location.
  12. We stayed a week up at the Hilton on the hill close to Fisherman's Bastion; it's built into an ancient building. Loved it. The open-top tourist bus came right by, so we were able to go see all the sights and hop off whenever we wanted. I do a lot of research on trips. We ended up at Hiltons in Prague and Budapest because the language was not sticking in my mind at all, I couldn't remember details of hotels more than 2 minutes. I had avoided Hiltons for years because they are all so stark and ugly. But after experiencing the Hilton staff, we became hooked. Hilton has gotta have the best training program in the world.
  13. We're booked on this cruise in 2020. Can someone tell me the general area where Tapestry will be docked in Paris?
  14. We are booked with Viking for November. I am reading all kinds of conflicting info on the Emerald. She is referred to as "leaving the Viking fleet, recently refurbished, needs refurbishment, etc". If anyone has cruised on her in the last year or so, what is her condition? We sailed on a river ship who was changing ownership at the end of our cruise ... there were many unpleasant things and I'd like to avoid that experience. Many thanks for any input.
  15. "The book" lists all the cruises for the 3 queens. Cruise lines publish them every season. Except for Viking, of course, who publishes something three times a day as far as I can tell. I would have used Cunard's website while onboard, but I travel with a little laptop ... she doesn't like the internet much!
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