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About JohnKen3

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    Cool Cruiser

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    London, UK

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  1. JohnKen3

    Private Charter

    European Rivers are not big enough for large yachts. The challenge is too little water or too much water (to get under bridges). River boats are built to optimal specifications. Yachts will struggle. An interesting option is a yacht along the Adriatic coast. Lots of small picturesque towns to stop at and the experience is not too different from a river cruise.Its where tv/movie film crews go to for outdoor shoot of medieval Venice or similar locations. You could also hire the entire river boat for private use. Some firms like Crystal only take 110 passengers as a maximum and is fully crewed with great chef, waiters and butlers. Crystal and other river firms have been known to cancel cruises and take on charters for corporate events, etc. It really depends how much your clients want to spend. Forward planning is required for this
  2. JohnKen3

    Vienna and Budapest - How Many Days For Each

    Yes. Vienna is in Austria uses the Euro which is stronger than the dollar and has always been part of the Western political and social world. Being first world, it is expensive. Budapest uses its own currency (it is not joined the Euro as yet) and is a former Soviet block country and still developing. That is why many Hungarians work in EU countries since the salary for the same job is higher. It is cheaper for the comparative equivalent; from food to accommodation. Vienna is rich with history. Budapest has current experiences and sights. There are many things to do in both. The Sofitel is in a splendid location and is right next to best located hotels, The Four Seasons and The intercontinental. Ideal for views, restaurants and shops. The centre of town is about a 10 min walk away.
  3. JohnKen3

    Crystal/Genting Shareholder Benefits?

    I short they don't. Genting HK is a small company listed in Hong Kong with about 10% of shares held by institutions/privately. The rest is owned by the Crystal's chairman and his family. There is Genting Malaysia the money earning casino group which Crystal's chairman and his family also owns but is completely separate from Genting HK. The only connection is the Crystal's chairman being Chairman of Genting HK as well as Genting Malaysia. He earns the cash from Genting Malaysia and invests into Genting HK. Hence why there is no shareholder benefit. He already gets free travel on Crystal but referring to it as work.
  4. JohnKen3

    Disembarkation in Singapore

    Bear in mind - Singapore is one of the busiest ports in the world and there isn't much land mass. That means any passenger have to manoeuvre around all the container ships some of which may be moving. I was on the same cruise as Roland4. The ship had to back in quiet a distance at it had to dock in a narrow water passage between Sentosa Island and Singapore Island. All of this takes quiet a while. I vaguely recalled being docked closer to 8am than 7am.
  5. JohnKen3

    Card and...

    in the UK, I got a Crystal pocket-book diary.
  6. JohnKen3

    Crystal Ravel 13-20 Dec 2018 ....kinda 'live'

    Crystal tends to provide congee for breakfast for all river and ocean cruises, irrespective of passenger composition. Who did you have as Entertainment Host?
  7. Please remove Dec 23 (YES181223) St. Martin R/T – JohnKen3 (Ken/John) Rather late cancellation due to medical reasons.
  8. Just a reminder that on the Mozart, the butler provide a free iron service. Useful to know after you use the self serve laundry. Suspect it is the same on the other river boats.
  9. JohnKen3

    Crystal for 3, with parents plus 18 year old?

    the sofa in a Penthouse is longer than a regular suite. Sofa in a Penthouse is a 3-person seater (three cushions long). Sofa in a regular suite is a 2-person seater (two cushions long) but I must say, I find it very uncomfortable when the two of us try to sit at the same time the sofa at the same time. And neither of us have large bottoms.
  10. JohnKen3

    Crystal for 3, with parents plus 18 year old?

    Now tall is your 18 year old? The sofa is fine for a child of 8 or 10. No Murphy beds for sure.
  11. JohnKen3

    questions re: Crystal Mozart

    Only you can decide that. You and I may have different priorities. Are you happy to sit in the public area (lots for space for that) and just return to the room to sleep or do you want to spend time in the room. Also, are you good with steep stairs. All the public areas are on Deck 3 with the sun deck being on Deck 4. Yes, there is one lift but boy, is that is very slow. The pool/spa is on Deck 2 along with the laundry room. Gym and exercise room is on Deck 1. Self Service coffee and hot water machine (which I live on) is on Deck 2. Bistro service is on Deck 3. There is a price difference in the room grade for a reason. My only comment is you get what you pay for.
  12. JohnKen3

    questions re: Crystal Mozart

    The Mozart is a much nice river boat because it is double-width. Feels more like a ocean ship with lots of personally seating areas. There is an additional lunch venue; Blu which is at the back of the promenade deck accessible by a short outdoor walk on the promenade. The French balconies on the Mozart are so much nicer as it really gives the feeling of bring the outside in especially when sailing. The half windows on the lower deck rooms are really miserable and small. The S1 premium is worth it. Yes, you get butler service in all stateroom but you will notice the difference. That is why you do not get the half windows with the eye level view of the swans swimming on the Crystal purpose build river boats. You will be below water level up to your shoulders/head in a W1; hence with the half windows.
  13. There is really not a lot in Bratislava. Its just about ticking another country in Eastern Europe. The drive is about an hour each way. Krems is lovely. There is lovely wine tour (very well done; a bit Disney-sque) near there 30 mins drive (?) at a spa resort.
  14. JohnKen3

    Nespresso machines

    Julius Meinl is a brand of tea/coffee that is big in Austria/Vienna. Crystal started using them on the Crystal Mozart and they seem to have made in-roads with Crystal. As Patty says, they are getting a "volume" deal.