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Everything posted by cruisewmn

  1. Looking forward to hearing how you like Crystal Bach. We had a fantastic time on the same cruise this past summer. I’ve followed your travels on the Crystal Oceans board and enjoy living vicariously through your blog. Hope you have a wonderful trip!
  2. Crystal’s ships have plenty of two tops!
  3. The cruise was wonderful from start to finish. Boarding was effortless. We were greeted at the ramp and immediately shown to our rooms and handed our keys. No lines, no waiting. This proved to be the rule, not the exception for the trip. Arrive for dinner and you’re shown to a table. Disembark for an excursion, and you simply walk off the ship and on to a bus. Sit down for a drink on the top deck/lounge/palm court and a server immediately approaches and takes your order. The staff know your name and preferences within a day. It’s mind blowing. Service was attentive without being intrusive. Suites are small. We normally get larger rooms or suites and were nervous about the smaller size. However, Crystal’s suites are incredibly well designed. We had plenty of closet space and room for our luggage under the bed. The bathroom is perfect - more than enough counter/shelf space and fantastic under cabinet drawers. Nice size showers, too. If ocean cabins were this well designed, I’d never book a big suite again. Food was outstanding. I have severe food allergies and they were able to accommodate me. 24 hour room service was always available, too. The ports on the Rhine are pleasing, but the ship was the star for us. Strasbourg and Heidelberg were the only places that really stood out for us. Still, we had a great time each day and would sail the Rhine again in a heartbeat. One thing we enjoyed more than we expected to was meeting the other guests. We all became friends and would chat on excursions, at pre-dinner cocktails, etc. I’ve already had lunch with people I met on the cruise who are from my hometown. You don’t have to socialize if you don’t want to, but it was one of the unexpected highlights for my family. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
  4. Sailed on a sold out Rhine River cruise on Crystal Bach last month. Wowed us on every level. Booked a Danube cruise for next summer on the Mahler. Prices are not discounted one bit. I think it might depend on the time of year you’re looking at sailing?
  5. Keith- I’ve so enjoyed reading about your time on the Mozart. We’re eagerly awaiting our upcoming cruise on Crystal Bach this summer (our second Crystal cruise, but first river cruise). We had already identified a cruise for next summer on the Mozart to book while onboard. You’re trip report confirmed our feelings that this would be an amazing ship and itinerary. With the recent news, we’ll have to start checking out other Crystal river itineraries. Still, you’re detailed recounting of your experiences have reaffirmed our decision to sail with Crystal this summer and in the future. I hope you and Anne Marie enjoy the remainder of your cruise. Honestly, with your positive attitude and joie de vivre, I can’t imagine you wouldn’t! Safe and happy travels!
  6. Just saw the news that Mozart is leaving the Crystal fleet: http://www.seatrade-*****/news/news-headlines/mozart-to-exit-crystal-fleet-for-new-genting-venture.html
  7. We used Blacklane last summer in Barcelona for the exact same transfers. I booked using the app and was quite pleased with the service. On time, professional, and clean vehicles. Highly recommend.
  8. I think there are some excellent TA’s out there. Unfortunately, I’ve never met one. I’ve used TA’s three different times and always had difficulties. One took days to respond to calls and emails (although I did get a nice discount), and two messed up flight seats and hotel bookings. Never again. I’ve taken over 40 cruises and booked all but one myself. I call the cruise line directly. I’ve been able to negotiate $600 OBC on each of my recent bookings. I like having control of my reservation.
  9. Keith- I just finished reading your latest blog post and it greatly moved me. The appreciation you and your wife have for the blessings in your life remind me of me and my DH. We have a wonderful life filled with challenges (health issues, severe food allergies, an autistic adult son, high pressured job, etc.), yet each day is a gift and a new adventure. We know we’re lucky to travel the world seeing amazing sights, meeting interesting people, and doing it in comfort both on land and at sea. The best part is that we do it together. I see that in you and your wife. Thank you for sharing your journey. Wishing you continued joy in life and travel and congratulations on your milestone.
  10. After gaining a better understanding of “call for availability” and “available” rooms (unlike what I thought, Crystal wasn’t simply teasing a few available rooms while holding back others from the website), my frustration with the website diminished. I started occasionally checking for availability on the cruises I had been interested in booking. Glad I did. Rooms opened up on a river cruise and we grabbed them. Thanks to everyone for setting me straight!
  11. Always enjoy your Live Blogs. Sorry you got an HA room at the Ritz. That’s where we always stay before a cruise and appreciate the regular bathroom. Also, that entry and hallway is pretty typical of all of their rooms - nice and big. Hope you were able to enjoy a drink at the hotel bar. Great bartenders and some tasty drinks. Wishing you a wonderful cruise on the Edge!
  12. Thanks to both TER777 and Keith for the quick replies! This is one occasion where I'm happy to be wrong. I must pick very popular cruises (both ocean and river), because they're all almost sold out. While disappointed that I'll miss those sailings, I'm glad Crystal is selling out. In fact, they're doing better than the competition, which still has plenty of availability for the summer cruises I've been looking at. Good for Crystal. That said, maybe they could take a cue from other lines which say "sold out" or "wait list" for those cabin categories. It would avoid any confusion.
  13. After reading earlier in in this thread that we could once again book and check cabin availability online, I got excited. Finally, I’d be able to book a Crystal cruise without a TA, as I’ve done for my other 40 cruises (with the exception of my Crystal and SS cruise. At least I could easily see SS cabin availability at online cruise booking sites - I only had to call SS to book). Alas, my excitement was short lived. Only one or two cabin catagories are shown as able to book for any of the cruises in which I’ve been interested. All the other categories say “call for availability.” Ugh. I don’t want to spend time on the phone researching something that I can find online for all other cruise lines in less than a minute. Crystal needs to enter the modern era and have a website that functions and actually makes it as EASY as possible for the customer to book a cruise.
  14. We’ve been lucky enough to stay in a PH on the S Class ships three times. My DH and I travel with our college age son. You couldn’t pay me to travel with another couple in the PH. It’s one thing to have my son on the sleeper sofa, but it’s completely different to have non-family members there. Your friends would have zero privacy. Just the normal things of getting ready in the morning, showering or changing clothes for dinner, blow drying hair and putting on makeup (no outlet or countertop in guest bathroom), would be difficult or done in the living room area. The closet barely fits the small amount of clothes my son brings on the cruise. If they stored things in the master closet, they would have to come in and out of your bedroom to access it. Plus, the sleeper sofa isn’t very comfortable (my son complains, but I tell him to suck it up for a vacation paid for by mom and dad). Your friends would not find it comfy for two people (or romantic). Obviously, it’s only my opinion, but I’d keep the rooms separate.
  15. Yes. Other forums are opening slowly, but do eventually open. The Celebrity forum often fails to load completely. This is the first time I’ve been able to load it in about 5 hours.
  16. I’m inside the building and have been waiting an hour and a half to board. 800 passengers have boarded, but the winds got so bad that they had to remove the gangway. The Coast Guard won’t let anyone board the ship and the building is at capacity, so no one else is allowed to enter. Ugh.
  17. Wonderful live blog. Thanks for taking the time to post!
  18. Arrived at Heathrow T5 twice this summer on international flights. First flight landed mid-morning. The FastTrack line took over an hour. Second flight landed early evening. FastTrack took 5 minutes. Transit from gate to customs was 5-10 minutes. Luggage was immediately available for both flights. We used BA Transfer and were very happy.
  19. I’m sailing on the Silver Muse from Barcelona to Rome. 40th cruise, but first time Silversea guest. Wow. Simply wonderful. I booked this trip with some trepidation. We like luxury cruising, but appreciate a varied age range and international mix of passengers. We’re solidly middle-aged (early 50’s), but have sometimes felt like the kids of the ship on our other luxury cruises. What a great mix of families, older couples, younger couples, and multigenerational groups. The ship feels alive and vibrant. I’ve met people from every continent — and it’s only day two. The Muse is stunning. Crisp and clean, sleek, yet comfortable. Beautiful public areas with plenty of spaces to relax both inside and out on deck. Although I’ve only eaten four meals so far, food has been exceptional. My party is made up of one foodie, one picky eater, and me, a person with numerous food allergies. No problems for any of us, yet! For others with allergies, I have to add that Silversea has been proactive in making sure my meals are safe AND delicious (unfortunately, a rare combination). I preorder my meals in restaurants. My butler has been making sure all room service items are accurate. They say the goal is to have me eat just as well as any other guest onboard and to not feel like I sacrificed anything. It’s working :) Finally, this has to be the warmest crew at sea. Always smiling, always eager to please. I was addressed by name by a passing officer not 30 minutes after boarding. Amazing. Suffice it to say, I’ve found my new favorite cruise line.
  20. So very helpful! Although cruise veterans, this will be our first SS cruise. It sounds like SS makes disembarkation a far more relaxing experience than most cruise lines. Thank you!
  21. Absolutely loved reading about your trip. Great photos, too! One question - We’re sailing on the Muse later this summer and the cruise also ends in Rome. I’ve booked a private transfer from the port to our hotel, but wondered what time you docked/left cabin/disembarked. I want to make sure I’ve arranged the pick-up time correctly. Thanks!
  22. Thanks for starting this live trip report. Hope you have a wonderful cruise!
  23. Please let us know how you like your cruise. We’ll be Silversea first timers on the Muse this summer and are thrilled to see any and all coverage of the ship. Hope you have a wonderful sailing.
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