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vplsh

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About vplsh

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Northwestern NJ
  • Interests
    reading, travelling

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  1. I decided to book for my birthday, July 13, rather than Richard's.
  2. We're on September 11. Enchantment was the first ship we ever sailed on and we got hooked!
  3. We used Best Guides for the All St. Petersburg Grand Tour and had a fantastic two days with Olga. As expected, it took a while for everyone to clear customs on day 1 (we slipped through early while ship excursion people were disembarking and had to wait for quite some time for the other family in our group to make it out), but on day 2 we met on the ship and were through in no time.
  4. We did the small tour with Best Guides and there were only 7 of us, my husband and me along with a family of 5 from the same ship. We were able to get in and out of places quickly and didn't have to wait in any lines. I highly recommend them!
  5. We were on the same cruise and really enjoyed it as well. We were in an oceanview cabin on deck 4, which is a great location when getting on and off the ship. Our only complaint was with the diamond lounge and its concierge. The room is small, an area that they created by blocking off an area of the Viking Crown Lounge, and didn't have nearly enough seating for all of the people who chose to use it. We arrived one night and there were no seats. When I mentioned it to the concierge (Francisco) he didn't even know as he'd been at his desk on the computer with his back to the room. I asked if he could open the door to the VKL, but he said he couldn't, it was company policy. He then walked us out of the room and blocked the entrance. Later in the week we saw him open the door to the VKL for another group. He was very disappointing and nothing like any of the other diamond concierges we have had before. We had a 5 night specialty restaurant package and ate twice each in Chops and Izumi and once in Giovanni's. All three restaurants were excellent, and we enjoyed them as a break from the MDR. We had a table for 2 for late seating and were seated at the very back of the room, where there were several 2 tops. Our servers were excellent and we found the food to be very good. There were a lot of kids on board but we found most of them to be well behaved and supervised. As this is a very port-intensive cruise, I think they were always pretty busy. We thought the orchestra was exceptionally good, the singers and dancers not nearly as good as we've seen (and that's being polite!), the headliners fabulous (particularly Pete Matthews and Beatle Maniacs), and Cruise Director Mike outstanding! We used Best Guides in St. Petersburg and were fortunate enough to share our tour with a wonderful family of 5. Our guide, Olga, was great at providing us with information and getting us through any crowds easily. Our tour, St. Petersburg Grand, included lunch at sit down restaurants both days and they were great opportunities to try Russian food. In Helsinki and Copenhagen we took local food tours, which provided us with a walking tour of each city along with nice food tastes. We walked around on our own in Tallinn and Skagen, and took the HOHO boat in Stockholm to the VASA and ABBA museums, then walked around the old town and ate in a restaurant on the square. This was our first visit to Amsterdam and we absolutely loved it. We had the same experience as Sue with the train tickets- we thought it was because our credit cards didn't have pins to go with the chips. We took a train out to Zaanse Schans to see the windmills, and did a food tour and red light district tour, as well as the Anne Frank house.
  6. We used ATMs in Barcelona with no problem. In planning for our Baltic cruise, my husband has been unable to find an ATM in Amsterdam that is reciprocal with Bank of America. We don't want to have to pay ATM fees as well as the exchange rate. Guess we'll order them at home.
  7. We are booked in C706 for a cruise next year on the Island. I was wondering what you meant by feeling like you were walking past someone's room? Not sure I understand what you mean. We were recently on the Ruby with the new menu and liked them, although many did not. Food is subjective, for sure, but I know what you mean about the changes in cruise line food. Thanks for the info.
  8. So excited to follow along as we are on the same cruise leaving Amsterdam on July 3. We fly direct to Amsterdam with two days before the cruise and plan to visit the local spots as well. Can't wait to hear about the ship and the stops! Have a great time!
  9. We had an excellent experience renting with Enterprise in Monterey as well. We walked to their office (it's about a mile and a half, but an easy walk) and got our car. When we returned, the agent drove us right back to the tender area. Very easy. We opted to pre-pay for gas, $20, but ended up wishing we had not. We drove the 17mile drive but didn't use that much gas. Not a problem but just an fyi.
  10. Ship: Ruby Princess Class: Deck: Emerald (8) Cabin # 630 Category Obstructed OV Port/Starboard/Bow/Stern Connects With Cabin # Accessible: No Quiet: Not really (see below) Balcony Size: N/A View: Decent; no real obstruction out Privacy Issues: None Wind: N/A Soot: N/A Problems: When tenders are raised or lowered, there is a significant amount of noise. Also lots of noise at odd times from outside somewhere. There was also a constant sound, like a foghorn, that was regular throughout the entire trip. Comments
  11. Thanks for the review. We are on the Ruby next week and have a car reserved with Enterprise to do the exact same thing! I'll remember to look for the shuttle from the pier!
  12. Thanks for the great review! We board Ruby this Saturday for the coastal cruise! Cannot wait!!!
  13. We're both working and have been doing 3 a year (during school vacations as I'm a principal). Planning to retire at the end of this year and then, who knows???
  14. We sailed that itinerary on Vision in 2015 and loved it! The ship is just the right size and the ports were fantastic! We did several tours with a family whose kids were 9 and 11 and they enjoyed it as well. Not sure how younger children would enjoy the stops tho.
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