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djh1959

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About djh1959

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests
    Travel, Aussie Rules football, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Scenic
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://v2.travelark.org/traveller/djh1959

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  1. We disembarked in Basel last October on a Scenic Cruise. We were staying overnight in Basel, but not at their hotel. Even though they had transfers going into town to their hotel and the station, we were not offered one but needed to get a taxi. They did call the taxi for us though. The cost was 50 CHF.
  2. Thanks for that 4774Papa. I have heard some good things about Gate 1. I don't mean that we would miss every tour, I agree some are worthwhile, but a lot of them were too rushed and too early to be enjoyable. For example, Strasbourg was going to be a 90 minute bus ride to have an hour in Strasbourg, as the ship changed its docking location at the last minute. We had spent five days in Strasbourg only six months earlier, so that simply didn't seem worthwhile. Instead we had a leisurely breakfast and spent a couple of hours wandering around the little French town not far from where we docked.
  3. I have to say that we did our first river cruise on Scenic last October. While we enjoyed it, we also learned that it is not really a holiday that we would repeat, and if we did we would try one of the European lines or Crystal. We really did not like the 7:00pm dining. We never eat that early and home and often didn't want to on board either, but there was simply no choice, it was made very clear that everyone was expected to eat together. We had a junior suite on the top (Diamond) deck and were told that we could have room service, so our idea was to do that when we didn't feel like eating at 7:00pm. The trouble was that there was literally nowhere to eat, other than a small glass coffee table or an even smaller plastic table on the balcony, so that idea didn't work either. We had one room service breakfast which we ate sitting on the bed, not really ideal. To us it felt more like what I imagine a bus tour must be like, except the hotel came along too. By the end of the week, we just stopped doing the tours and did our own thing which is how we generally travel. We preferred that but of course we wasted a lot of money as all the tours were included.
  4. Pearl had only been refurbished earlier last year, so you may well be right. In fact the room we had booked was previously not a Junior Suite. They added two extras Junior Suites to the Diamond Deck last January. We were very happy with the size of the bathroom and shower. From what we were told the original bathrooms were shower over bath, which I would not have been to impressed with.
  5. We have only done one river cruise on Scenic Pearl last October. Our cabin was top deck at the front so I can't comment about noise at the back. We were definitely docked next to other boats occasionally, although not too often, probably because it was later in the year. We had boats either side of us the entire time we were in Amsterdam.
  6. Thanks JP. It is still such a long way away! Lots of fun planning though and your trip report has helped a lot.
  7. I am not sure why my photos posted like that but never mind. Rachelfran I think I commented on your post on another site, but we too had a Junior Suite on the Pearl in October. We were in 304 on the Diamond Deck. Unlike Jeb_bud, we didn't find the shower too small, but having said that we haven't been on any other rivercruises, so maybe it was smaller than usual. We stayed in four hotels on that trip though and the shower seemed the same as in those hotels. I posted the photos to give you some idea, please ignore our washing hanging in the shower!
  8. WE too appreciated all your information last year before our cruise in October - Scenic Amsterdam to Basel, so thank you notamermaid. Like Jeb_bud, we are not cruising this year, but I still read the forums every day. We are travelling to Europe later this year though, but this time to Spain and Portugal. We are doing a self organised land trip, as one thing that we learned from our cruise is that we don't really like too many organised activities, and really don't like "dinner at 7" every single night. I would love to do another but it would have to be on a ship with a little more flexibility.
  9. Yes our Rhine cruise was in Strasbourg on a Sunday so everything was closed. Luckily we had spent a week in Strasbourg earlier last year, so we just stayed on the ship. It would have been very disappointing though if we hadn't been before.
  10. I have been to all three cities, Lucerne and Zurich in very early January and Basel in very late October. While we did enjoy Basel, we only had one day and that was plenty. Admittedly there are lots of museums, but we didn't really want that, just a simple walking tour of the old town which was great, but only took about two hours. We had an overnight in Zurich and there was plenty do to, the lake, the Rhinefalls, lots of churches, shopping and general old town walking about. In Lucerne we stayed for four nights and never ran out of things to do, although we did do two day trips to mountains. You probably need to decide exactly what you want to do for your couple of days. Just be aware that all three cities are quite expensive by European standards.
  11. That picture shows it well. I haven't been able to find any like that. It is pretty similar to a lot of the balconies we have had in European cities. We had them in Venice and Rome, no room for a seat, but you can stand with a drink and drink in the view. Worth every penny! I think there is one room level above Grand View Balcony, but in winter it is probably not worth the extra money.
  12. Thanks JP, as it will be winter, it will probably be too cold to sit for long, but it's nice to step outside with a glass of wine or port (or coffee) and take in the view.
  13. We just spent five nights at the Marriott Budapest and loved every minute. We have never stayed with Marriott before, they aren't "a thing" in Australia, so not sure if it was better than normal. We had an Executive Room, which in itself had stunning views across the Danube, with the Chain Bridge and the Castle. The M Club lounge was very good, with a terrace with totally stunning views, and of course drinks and snacks and so on. I very much recommend the hotel.
  14. We were there for almost a week in late October and I agree that most places did accept cards. There were a few things though, such as some market stalls in the Central Market that were cash only. The big one was a restaurant that I really wanted to go to on our last night. We had booked before leaving Australia and had spent virtually all of our cash, and didn't want to withdraw more because you lose so much if there is any left. The restaurant texted me to say that they didn't take credit cards. We had to get the hotel to find us somewhere else. Luckily they did and it was fantastic. Funnily enough when I cancelled our original booking they suggested we could eat and transfer the money when we got home to Australia! It all seemed a little dodgy to me. Cash is definitely needed however. Even our airport/station transfers were cash only.
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