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Host Jazzbeau

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About Host Jazzbeau

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    New York
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    Jazz, food, wine
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    the next one
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    Farther
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  1. We are on the second day of a Ponant cruise in Iceland. The welcome presentation was in French and English (switching every sentence so you had to keep listening throughout). The Captain's announcements have also been in French and English (switching only after he's done). Shore excursions are booked as either French or English. All crew speak flawless English. Restaurant menus are in French and English. Announcements are very few, and it's only two languages [we are sailing on MSC later this year and understand that announcements there are in six languages. Oy!] Many Ponant cruises can also be booked through Tauck or Backroads – in which case you have special meetings and all excursions in English only organized by that group.
  2. Just to update this thread: Scenic's First Ocean-Going Cruise Ship, Scenic Eclipse, Sails Inaugural Voyage
  3. I like it too. My comment started in response to one that implied that most pro-suites comments are bragging and wanted to emphasize that Celebrity's non-suite product has gone downhill so much. I also understand how a class-free ship invites more socializing – when all drinks are free, it's so much easier to get together with new acquaintances and not worry about an awkward moment when the bill comes. On Crystal we were even invited to a birthday party for a fellow guest: easy to arrange when there's no cost! So there are many choices out there – even if Celebrity non-suite is no longer one of them (for us).
  4. I haven't been reading the Celebrity forum lately, but my recollection was that most of the suite-life discussion revolves around complaints that the non-suite experience on Celebrity has been going downhill with cutbacks and the focus on attracting a younger clientele. Celebrity has turned into two completely different experiences, and in order to have anything like the old, beloved Celebrity you are forced to book a suite. At which point Azamara's pricing becomes much more competitive.
  5. The 'best of the best' dinner is a published perk of these suites. Very different from needing to grease the palm of the maitre d' to get something that should be available to everyone.
  6. It is a major guideline violation to mention travel agents by name, or to ask for info off line.
  7. As you consider a second river cruise, based on the above I highly recommend the Rhône. Spend several days in Lyon at the beginning or end and you will find shops and ateliers making/selling the most wonderful silk!
  8. I really don't understand how river cruise companies worked out a promising business plan for ships designed for either the Elbe or the Loire. Both 'rivers' seem to resemble gravel pits more often than not...
  9. Thanks franski – I think this is a great idea and the right place for this thread. Perhaps it would be a good idea if posters identified which line or vendor they are taking, as that will help shape the questions and comments.
  10. Last Thursday was the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Let it all hang out, baby! [Of course, at my age a lot more hangs out than it used to! ]
  11. Thanks for coming back goorawin. Continuing coincidences: I'm posting this from Reykjavik, where we arrived yesterday for a Ponant cruise. And walking around the old port today, we saw one of the Windstar (ex-Seabourn) triplets – which we will be sailing next year [in 1.5 form after the expansion]. Really glad to hear that things are settling down and that this ship will - in general - be everything we had hoped. When your trip is complete, I would really like your comparison of Eclipse to Ponant.
  12. New article on Cruise Critic: American Cruise Line's Second Modern Riverboat Sets Sail on Mississippi
  13. You have gone back 4 years – obviously Flyertalker has changed his avatar. Maybe in response to my comment!
  14. That's why I hadn't copied those ships from the Berlitz guide into my database.
  15. The Rhine is often recommended as a good first river cruise itinerary, for the reasons that Roz mentions. It's also only 7 days – while most people love river cruising, there are a few who realize early on that it's not for them, and it would be terrible to have 12 more days staring you in the face if that's the case! Rhine cruises end in Basel – your enjoyment will be even greater if you can spend a few days afterward in Lucerne and Zurich.
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