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About ak1004

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  1. We were on Riviera last September and enjoyed it very much. I cannot compare it with Crystal/Regent (yet), but I cannot imagine anyone coming from Celebrity or Princess and not enjoying it. I also cannot compare to what it was 10 years ago as it was our first O cruise, but compared to Celebrity or Princess, it's a different league. We thought the food was outstanding. But I agree regarding activities, this was the only weak spot. Internet was not the best, but not the worst either.
  2. The comparison is NOT apples to apples since Regent includes business class and Oceania includes Premium Coach. If you upgrade Oceania to Business class, it might actually be more expensive. On the other hand, not everyone needs drinks package or all excursions included. Some prefer to pay only for what they really need.
  3. Ken, I'm curious - how is it to sail on HAL/Princess after trying Crystal and Oceania? And how would you compare Oceania and Crystal? Also, I have a feeling after reading different boards, that those cutbacks are not unique to Oceania. Just look at Celebrity board. Would you agree? Does it apply to Crystal as well?
  4. Melodies of the Danube would definitely be our first choice. The reason for the debate is that we have been in both Prague & Budapest, but only for 2 days each (with Gate1 tour 3 years ago). We would gladly come back, but Lucerne & Zurich extensions which are the "icing on the cake" of the Rhine cruise are new for us. So now the big question is: are the places on the Rhine cruise itself nice enough to visit, and sacrifice coming back to Prague & Budapest (plus couple another nice places on Danube cruise)? On both cruises, the extensions look very attractive, can we say the same about the ports of the cruise itself? This is the main dilemma: the ports on the Rhine vs. the ports on the Danube? Yes, I can definitely see it. Although when you compare it to good ocean lines like Oceania, and consider all costs included, the difference is not that big.
  5. Hello all, After 14 ocean cruises, we are planning our first river cruise for June 2020 (probably the first half of the month). After doing some research, we decided to go with Ama. But selecting the exact itinerary is a challenge. We are debating between the following 4 options: Enchanting Rhine 11 nights 2 Lucerne 2 Zurich https://www.amawaterways.ca/destination/europe-river-cruises/2020/enchanting-rhine/dates-prices Captivating Rhine 11 nights 2 Lucerne 2 Zurich https://www.amawaterways.ca/destination/europe-river-cruises/2020/captivating-rhine/dates-prices Melodies of the Danube 12 nights 2 Budapest 3 Prague https://www.amawaterways.ca/destination/europe-river-cruises/2020/melodies-of-the-danube/dates-prices Gems of SouthEast Europe 13 nights 2 Vienna 2 Brasov 2 Bucharest https://www.amawaterways.ca/destination/europe-river-cruises/2020/gems-of-southeast-europe/dates-prices The first two (Rhine) are basically the same, just different direction. Any pros/cons between those 2 options? The last two are on the Danube. Prices are the same for the cruise and slightly different for the extensions. Any advice/tips would be appreciated.
  6. Thank you so much @Keith1010really appreciate it! It's a 10 nights cruise with 2 BTO nights. I guess a nice black suit with a dress shirt and no tie should be fine.
  7. Hello all, We will be taking our first Crystal cruise in December (from Caldera to San Diego) and I wanted some clarifications about the dress code. I know that this has been discussed, so please excuse me if some questions repeat. Crystal casual: Is my understanding correct that for men jeans are not allowed, has to be "dress" pans? Black tie optional: The guidelines say "For men, this includes a dark suit with tie, or tuxedo;" but I read somewhere that tie is not required. So which one is correct, and what percentage of men (approximately) wear a tie? I like to dress up to a degree, but don't like ties. So will dark suit with nice shirt be okay? Just don't want to feel wired if 90%+ wear ties. For women, what kind of dresses they wear? Are those usually cocktail long dresses, or less formal evening dress is fine? Thank you in advance, and my apologies again if this has been discussed in other topics. Looking forward to experience Crystal!
  8. We like it very much. A different league. But I'm not so sure about kids. I don't think Oceania is kids oriented.
  9. You seriously believe they reversed the decision because of this thread? I can guarantee this is not the case. And no, none of us touches the TV during a cruise. Not for free movie or any channel.
  10. Reversing the removal of movies was an easy decision and probably not too expensive. Obviously investing in things like better food ingredients is much more costly and not worth the investment. The simple truth is that as long as the ships sail full, they couldn't care less, no matter how much you or me mobilize. At this point we have three cruises booked for 2020 and 2021, none of them on Celebrity. Celebrity reached a point where increasing prices and decreasing quality make the price difference between Celebrity and Oceania so small and the quality gap so big that it makes no sense for us to book Celebrity.
  11. I have a negative attitude because I disagree with your opinion? Cruise critic represents very small part of total number of cruisers. Definitely not representative.
  12. It is still one total budget, and they still need to prioritize.
  13. We are travelling with three couples. We met lots of people in the buffet, excursions etc. And discussed different aspects of the cruise experience including free movies. I have no idea if those people are representative selection.
  14. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2694997-reflection-from-amsterdam-to-barcelona-first-impressions/
  15. No it's my belief that once they cancel the cut on the movies, they will need to cut somewhere else. It's a simple math. All departments get money from the same budget, and it's matter of priorities. If they want to cut the expenses, it has to come from somewhere. My personal priority would be that the cut will come from stateroom amenities like movies and foot stools, and not food or service. In our current cruise on Reflection, we already have seen some things getting worse compared to our previous cruise in June, on the same ship. That's just 3 months.
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