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4774Papa

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    13,274
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About 4774Papa

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Saint Simons Island, Georgia
  • Interests
    cycling, history (especially ancient), reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, NCL, Vantage, AMA
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Med

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  1. We did St. Petersburg while on a land tour and river cruise. We had four days in St. Pete. I highly recommend visiting the following places 1)Peterhof 2) Catherine's Palace 3) Hermitage 4) City tour including Then Peter and Paul Fortress (where many of the later Czars are buried) 5) Church of Spilled Blood 6) St. Isaac's Cathedral There is more== My Son did the Baltic cruise and used Red October Tours and said they were great.
  2. We have been looking at Gate 1 more, due to their low prices. Wish they had a Nile River cruise.
  3. I strongly recommend doing Kyoto pre-cruise. We did a three day tour from Tokyo that included Kyoto and Nara. It was great. We had two full days in Kyoto and half a day in Nara. There are so many places to see in Kyoto. Do some research to decide which ones that you want to see.
  4. We have done more Celebrity cruises on the M class than the S. The layout of both classes of ship are great. We like the fewer number of passengers. The main area where the S class excels in design is in the buffet.
  5. Nick, We had friends that did and said the food was the worst fool they have had on any cruise.
  6. My $799 tour included the VistaDome train, all entrance fees, great food (had to buy 2 meals in 4 days), a private guide, all transportation, etc. I did have to pay for the Lima to Cusco flight RT $148 pp. Not sure if the Celebrity tour was in during a cruise or before/after a cruise. We were on the Eclipse from San Antonio to San Diego. The people that took the MP tour missed a portion of the cruise to go on the MP excursion. They still paid almost f our times what we paid. When I select a tour or cruise, budget is always a factor, but itinerary and ship are as well.
  7. Another reason never to buy the bev package. NCL has done this for three years and when we cruise on NCL We decline the bev package and bring our own wine. NCL doesn't have an elite happy hour like Celebrity.
  8. Sorry, I can't imagine why someone would choose the very, very expensive Celebrity option to visit Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. We paid $799 pp for a wonderful tour, with a PRIVATE guide for all but the small group of 6 we had for the Cusco tour. We had an overnight at MP, we visited several ancient sites near Cusco and in the Sacred Valley. Is it true that the Celebrity excursion was $3700 pp?
  9. We have not been to the Galapagos Islands. We have been to Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Peru is wonderful, we had been to Lima for a day while on a cruise in 2011 and wanted to go back and see more of Peru. We loved the cuisine in Peru and the friendly people. Our 4 day tour was a real bargain. It was with Peruagency.com We had 4 star hotels (hotel in Cusco was in a 250 year old historic hacienda), most of our meals, a private guide for all but one day of the tour. Machu Picchu was wonderful. Only thing, was getting used to the altitude. We are in our early 70s and active, but going up and down all the hills at 8-12,000 feet is somethings else. Still, we loved our tour. There is so much history to see. Our tour cost $799 per person. This did not include our airfare from Lima to Cusco and return. Airfare was about $150 pp. We did the tour in late March, just prior to picking up a cruise in San Antonio, Chile that went up the west coast of South and Central America and Mexico, ending in San Diego. The Rainy season for the Cusco and Machu Picchu area runs from November until the end of March. You don't want to go in December, January or February. We pushed our luck going at the end of the rainy season. Our luck prevailed, it didn't rain our our parade. What is amazing was the cost that we found others paid for touring that area of Peru. Our cruise line charged $3700 for an excursion for a three day tour (and you missed part of the cruise). We talked to others that paid two or three times what we paid.
  10. We have done two Royal cruises in the past year and a half as well as 11 on Celebrity and 7 on NCL. For the MDR Royal does almost as good as Celebrity (I think is the best). NCL is below Royal and Celebrity. Royal's buffet is weak in places and some buffet food we had last June on Serenade (moussaka and lasagna) were awful. Celebrity's buffet is great and they tend provide more health food choices. NCL's buffet is average.
  11. We have done 11 Celebrity, 7 NCL and 2 on Royal. We prefer Celebrity, Royal and NCL in that order. I still like to compare cruises, since price is important as well as itinerary. Royal and NCL have better entertainment than Celebrity, but service and dining is best on Celebrity. NCL does tend to have a younger age average on their cruises.
  12. Sorry it didn't work for you. We have done 11 Celebrity cruises including 4 on Infinity) and the dining on each has been excellent. We also cruise Royal and NCL but prefer Celebrity. The last cruise we did was on Royal and the dining was not far from Celebrity level. Not sure that I agree with all your complaints. We like excursions or tours that go all day. Also, we enjoy taking our time while dining. Perhaps next time it will work for you.
  13. We did the Russian River cruise with Vantage World Travel, which provided five star hotels in Moscow and St.Pete. We loved the river cruise portion, especially Kitzi Island in the north. We met more Russian people on the river cruise than in the big cities. Vantage doesn't offer this cruise anymore, but there are several that do, I think Viking for sure. Here is my review: Russia, Kiev and Baltics http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1478384
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