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PelicanLvr

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  1. If booked thru an agent of any kind, I believe you (the traveler) do not have the ability to make many changes directly with the cruise line. If you want to change your stateroom or get the benefit of a price change, the agent must call. Only they (not you) can make changes to the reservation. I have called myself and tried. I was told to have the agent call that I was unable to make certain changes. Frustrating. But, some of the deals offered by big agencies (small ones too I guess) can't be beat! Losing "reservation altering rights" with the cruise line is (to me) the big trade off. Anyone else have that experience?
  2. Some of the most beautiful music that most would recognize (if they heard it) is from ballet....Swan Lake, Nutcracker to name a few. Give it a try, you might be surprised how much you enjoy it. I think adding ABT is an improvement and hope it expands.
  3. Here is an almost identical thread from 2017. Take a look. Has many good suggestions that have not changed. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2630955-first-time-to-europe-anniversary-trip/?tab=comments#comment-56715204 My post from the above (#22): For a first time in Europe cruise I suggest you do "Europe's Greatest Hits!". Summer is quite hot. May & Sept should be beautiful. October and Nov can be rainy. Long ago we did a Venice to Barcelona itinerary. Stops should include: Venice, Rome, Florence, Monte Carlo & French Rivera, Barcelona. Great introduction to some of Europe's great sites. As suggested, stay a few days in the cities of embarkation and disembarkation. Also, if time permits, flights and trains in Europe are very cheap and it's all so close. After Barcelona get on a train to Paris for a few more days. ONE IMPORTANT SUGGESTION: When you pick an itinerary look at what day of the week you are in each port. Many top museums are closed on Monday and the Vatican Museum (Sistine Chapel) is closed Sundays. Don't be there on those days!
  4. Last morning is a feeling of "hurry up and get off". Don't expect much.
  5. OP should know X is an early dinner dining crowd. Restaurants are emptying out at 9:30pm. Our usual reservation in the specialty restaurants is 8:30 pm and we usually close the place down. Have been in Madrid and restaurants OPENED at 9 pm. That's late even for us New Yorkers! Don't expect that on X. You will NOT be able to eat dinner on "Spanish Dining Hours". As said above, lunch options at 3-4pm are few. Watch for "afternoon tea" at 4pm in the buffet. They put out tiny sandwiches. We combine the meats of several on one bread for a late lunch snack sometimes.....but not much food around anywhere in the 3-4 pm time frame. Dinner after 8:45pm in specialty restaurants is not recommended. Never been in Blu, but would just say to check how late you can arrive. Just because it's open until 9pm may not mean to come in then. You may be rushed and end up alone in the restaurant. Uncomfortable. That's the way we've seen it both in North American and Europe on X.
  6. In January (2019) sailaway on Summit was 8:30pm and drill was 4:45pm. We had just boarded after spending most of the day on the beach. We really just made it. So many people were missing. Don't know what they did as we were in ports the next 10 days. IMHO, it was a really dumb time to have it. Several years ago we did a BtoB from San Juan on Summit and both drills then were 7:45pm. X is still figuring it out.
  7. OP - This is a "don't sweat the small stuff" moment. Remember the hotel is probably giving you the price for their car and driver....always much more than a taxi. Suggest when checking in you speak to the front door bell staff and ask if they can get you a cab to the airport at checkout. See their reaction, and if (as I suspect) it's a "no problem" just go with that. Remember everyone want to make a living....the bell staff (tip) and the cab driver (fare to airport). I believe you will have no issues just getting a cab...like in most major cities. Barcelona is a wonderful city. Enjoy!
  8. Great current info. Thank you!
  9. Latest "revolution" of M-class ships greatly shrinks the size of the locker room areas (where the "free" sauna was). Rooms now exist where the men's sauna was. I fear that great sauna with the window may be gone. Summit's new deck plan is below:
  10. Shop around! Best deals are not with booking directly with X, even onboard. Here in the USA we regularly get a better deal than you mentioned from the big-volume websites. Community rules here prevent us from giving you names......but (as I said to start), shop around, you may be able to do better.
  11. Yes Murano is the most romantic and elegant. Also, since it is an important event, I would speak to the Maitre d at Murano and the F&B Manager (food and beverage - that's the head of all the restaurants) and ask how they can make the evening extra special (maybe even at an extra cost).
  12. Not exactly "boarding info" but it may help: Several years ago we arrived by air in Venice at about 7:30am. Took cab to pier and was able to drop luggage with the porters around 9 or so. Not able to board that early, but left everything but valuables and went into Venice for the day. We were overnight in Venice that night.
  13. I think a key difference is the included shore excursions on Viking. Do you want to be in that group setting or do you want to "do your own thing". In Europe, the itineraries are port intensive, since visiting them is perhaps the most important features of your trip. Since it's OP's first time in this area, they may want to comfort and convenience of included group excursions. Others will not want to be part of that. Finally, 2021 is still a long way off and I believe OP will get a much cheaper price on X if they are patient.
  14. Stay put in the FV. Best balconies on the ship. Aft AQ balconies are not nearly as good as the FVs....especially if you have a corner FV.
  15. Have a pre or post dinner drink in St. Mark's Square listening to the orchestras. Sounds like a lovely unforgettable evening.
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