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Host Jazzbeau

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About Host Jazzbeau

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    Cruise Critic Host & 10,000+ Club

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  • Location
    New York
  • Interests
    Jazz, food, wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    the next one
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
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  1. Host Jazzbeau

    Palma de Mallorca - DIY?

  2. Host Jazzbeau

    Amsterdam to Basel on Uniworld’s S S Antoinette

    I would add the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam to your list. It's much smaller than the Rijks, so if you're pushed for time it would be a better bet. Or get the Rick Steves book and follow his guide through the highlights of the Rijks rather than getting lost in all the so-so works. In Lucerne, the Lion [which is kind of on the outskirts IIRC] is absolutely worth the visit. Walking around the old town is an obvious choice. And I recommend the golden tour of Pilatus that's in your plans: I think it's better to go up via the cog railway, because the gondola views are better going down.
  3. Host Jazzbeau

    How do river cruise boats get fresh water?

    I hope you swallowed! A new version of Creme de Menthe!!!
  4. I have never seen a cruise line – river or ocean – that was 'fully inclusive.' There are always top-shelf drinks that are extra [although some lines consider as 'top-shelf' brands that are included on more luxurious lines], spas are never included [except for some special 'spa' suites], casinos [on ocean ships]. What a spreadsheet won't tell you is the quality of the inclusions. All river cruises include meals, but the quality of the cuisine varies from low-cost ingredients to much higher budgets and membership in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Similarly with excursions: one per day with large groups, or several choices per day with smaller groups. And when someone says "well, food is so subjective" – that's a cop-out that makes it impossible to judge the differences between lines. Please describe the menu offerings and your detailed reactions ['food porn' pictures are also useful] – or at least tell me that you only want steak and potatoes, so when you say that the Chateaubriand was 'ruined' by the Bearnaise sauce I know how to weigh the report. And there is one objective measure of food quality when comparing cruise lines: the cost of ingredients. The Berlitz guide reports this.
  5. Host Jazzbeau

    X cruiser sails Azamara to Cuba Jan 15 to 24 2019

    That's how real Jazz works [as opposed to Smooth Jazz] – they are a very good jazz band – and "Isn't She Lovely?" has become a jazz standard. Give it a chance, you might discover you like it!
  6. Host Jazzbeau

    Beer served on MSC out of Genoa

    NY = 'soda' Midwest = 'pop' South = 'co-cola' or 'RC' Boston = 'tonic'
  7. Host Jazzbeau

    Steaks on Board

    We had the NY strip in Luminae on Edge in January and it was terrific. Didn't see a written description because this was just before they decided to print up the Luminae 'everyday' menu choices. Definitely tasted like Prime.
  8. Host Jazzbeau

    Palma de Mallorca - DIY?

    Hi Roger, We will be on MSC Seaview calling at Palma on Friday, Oct. 4 from 1:00 pm to 10:30 pm. We have been to Palma before and spent our time in the Cathedral and walking around the old town, so this time we want to see more of Mallorca. My original plan was to try to take the train to Soller [there is a 1:30 train - cutting it close?], explore a bit, then take a taxi to Deia, Son Marroig, Miramar and Valldemossa, have dinner at Casa sa Miranda, and taxi back to the ship. First question: is this reasonable? If yes, how many taxis? Second question: is it more reasonable if we rent a car from Arash? [We would be driving back from Valldemossa after dark.] Third question: I picked the above sights because travel books highlighted them, but through this thread I learned about the hike to Fornalutx. In your opinion, would it make a better day to go to Fornalutx, hike back to Soller and then back to Palma? Final question: if we stay with some variation of the first plan, would we get a better meal at Casa sa Miranda or at a restaurant in Palma? Thanks again for all your great advice on this thread!
  9. Host Jazzbeau

    Crystal Panomax Camera Available On Crystal Serenity

    Fixed it for you
  10. Host Jazzbeau

    Concerned about Recent Serenity Reviews

    To clear up a misconception, Viking Ocean includes one excursion in each port and availability is guaranteed to all passengers. They also offer the typical range of optional excursions, which may fill up or be cancelled for lack of interest as on most ocean cruise lines. At the time we booked on Viking Ocean the value proposition only worked if you calculated the 'cost savings' of the included excursions – and we ended up not taking a single one as they are all very basic 'panoramic' bus rides or walking tours of the port city. But the ship, the food, and overall experience were very good on Viking Ocean.
  11. Host Jazzbeau

    Huge price difference on cabins

    When we started cruising we did Insides and had a great time. The Azamara ships have lots of public spaces for lounging, and it will help you meet other passengers and learn about small-ship cruising and why they love it. OTOH, if an ocean view cabin doesn't cost much more there's no problem with that – but I would advise against the 06 and 04 categories as they are located at the front of the ship and you will feel more movement there. 08s are midship but with partially blocked views [still a lot more view than an Inside!]. 05s are midship and low for a very smooth ride.
  12. Host Jazzbeau

    General question about excursions and ETA/ETDs of boats

    Water levels on the Rhône don't usually affect river cruises, but the Saône can be a real problem in high water because of low bridges. I would be especially leery of booking private excursions for the portion of the cruise above Lyon for that reason.
  13. Host Jazzbeau

    X cruiser sails Azamara to Cuba Jan 15 to 24 2019

    Those are Cyrillic letters. The make is "Moskvitch" = Russian. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moskvitch Will never be a classic car...
  14. Host Jazzbeau


    I will second the recommendation for the Flam railway excursion. You can do the RR by yourself, but you have to take it back down to Flam. Only by booking the excursion through the ship do you get the further train ride on the main line, tea at the Stalheim Hotel [with postcard views] and the bus ride down the twisty road to the pickup point in Gudvangen.
  15. Host Jazzbeau

    General question about excursions and ETA/ETDs of boats

    Our ship excursion in Tournon was a walk across the river to Tain-l'Hermitage and the vineyards and tasting room of M.Chapoutier. At the end the guide gave us directions to the Valrhona chocolate museum and tasting room, which was only a short detour on the way back to the boat. Wine and chocolate: heaven!