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About Babcia7

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Travel, snorkeling, gardening, cooking, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Uniworld and Crystal
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Hi Lois, glad that you had a wonderful time on your trip! Uniworld's Gems of Northern Italy continues to be one of our favorite cruises (so much so that we took it twice)! We really enjoyed exploring the Venice lagoon in depth, and the visits to the various islands. We've booked Uniworld's Grand France for late March/early April which combines their Paris and Normandy trip with their Burgundy and Provence trip. Our first river cruise was on the Seine with Uniworld, and although the river will be a repeat, many of the excursions offered are different from that first trip. We're especially looking forward to the trip to Mont St. Michel!
  2. We were on Crystal Bach's Enchanting Moselle. It was a wonderful itinerary, with several nights spent in ports so we had lots of time to explore on our own after the guided excursions. The trip included was round trip Amsterdam and included stops in Dusseldorf, Koblenz, Bernkastel, Cochem, Trier, ( and Luxembourg), Bonn, and Arnhem. While docked near Trier we had the opportunity to take and independent excursion to the Eltz Castle...one of the highlights of the trip!
  3. Thanks for sharing! We were on the Moselle this summer and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, the beautiful towns and the history. The Moselle is so much more serene and peaceful than the Rhine.
  4. We had no problem fitting our two large (soft sided) suitcases under the bed on our Crystal Bach cruise.
  5. We were on Crystal Bach's Rhine and Moselle cruise this summer. All of the excursions we took were great and we especially enjoyed being in small groups...never more than 15, and as few as 8 people on a couple of tours. We had several overnights in ports, which would allow you time if you wanted to venture on your own for lunch or dinner. That said, we found that most meals on board the ship were delicious and offered specialties of the region.
  6. Have a wonderful time! We enjoyed this cruise so much we did it twice (both times on the River Countess). Some of the best advice I got from the guides was to "get lost in Venice" by just walking around rather randomly and exploring on our own. I don't know if they still offer them, but the guided bike ride and mussel harvest/lunch in Chioggia were two of our favorite excursions. There is a nice little shop in Venice that sells authentic Murano glass jewelry (one of the ship's guides recommended it), and they have some beautiful items at very reasonable prices. Uniworld used to offer an after hours tour of St. Mark's exclusively for passengers of the Countess, and that was a wonderful, intimate experience. Although it technically is not much of a river cruise, the itinerary stands out as one of our favorites! Enjoy!
  7. We will be taking Uniworld's Grand France cruise in March. Would anyone share recent copies of the daily programs/schedules for that cruise or the Paris and Normandy or Burgundy and Provence cruises (Grand France is a combination of the two)? We would like to know how much time we'll have in each port in case we want to explore on our own.
  8. We'll be taking Uniworld's Grand France cruise next March, combining their Paris - Normandy cruise with their Burgundy and Provence cruise. The first part of the trip will be a repeat (with some different excursions offered), but the southern part of France will be a new place for us to explore! Just a note for those with mobility concerns: We were on Crystal Bach this summer and witnessed the compassionate care by the staff for a 94 year old gentleman who used a walker on all of the excursions. For instance, on our tour of Luxembourg, he was escorted by a staff member (one-on-one) for the duration of the trip, allowing the gentleman to enjoy the excursion at his own pace. When buffets were the venue at breakfast and lunch, a staff member would walk through with the gentleman, carrying his plate and serving him whatever he selected. We really appreciated the extra care crew offered to all passengers, and especially those who need a little extra.
  9. Our stops along the Moselle: After Koblenz, we were docked in Bernkastel, then Mehring which gave us access to Trier. We were docked there overnight until 6:45 the following day. We took the excursion to Burg Eltz on the first day we were docked in Mehring. On the second day, we took a full day tour to Luxembourg. We were happily surprised when we woke up the next morning already docked in Cochem. We weren't scheduled to arrive until 2 p.m., as apparently there can be major backups going through the locks. That gave us a morning to explore on our own before our tour of Reichsburg Castle. So glad we had the extra time before the crowds arrived! After Cochem, we returned to the Rhine for our next port, Bonn.
  10. The ship did not offer an excursion to Eltz Castle. The couple we went with had booked the taxi before the cruise. I think the van that we had cost around $300, and we split the cost. The van could've easily seated one or two more couples. Admission to the castle was an additional 10 euros. Well worth it! I thought the food on Crystal and Uniworld was very similar in quality. If anything, I thought Crystal had more intricate presentations (lots of flower petals, herb leaves, etc. embellishments) which were very beautiful. My husband thought our food on Uniworld was better, especially the eggs benedict and cheese selections. I'm not sure he appreciated the work that went into the artistic presentations of food on the Bach 😋! We did enjoy a delicious Tapas dinner one night at the Bistro, and that was a fun change from dinners at Waterside. The only bad course I had was my entree on our final night (unfortunately). I ordered Venison, and it tasted more like liver. The other person at our table who ordered venison agreed. I prepare venison at home, and what the Bach served tasted nothing like any venison I've had. On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed all the offerings of herring!
  11. Hi Bo, we've been on several river cruises, and 3 different lines and have always booked the least expensive cabin category, mostly because we spend very little time in the cabin, and also because it would be very disappointing to spend thousands of dollars more for an upgraded cabin, only to have the view blocked while rafted to another ship (which happens frequently on some cruises). That said, we did love our cabin on Crystal Bach with the floor to ceiling retractable window. All of the cabins that we've booked seem small at first sight, but somehow we manage to find space for all that we bring on board. The Uniworld ships that we've been on have not had refrigerators in the cabin, which gives us more drawer space. We've had sufficient closet space on all of our cruises, but I think we had a little less shelf space on the Bach. We managed, though! On Crystal it was nice to have the fridge, but not at all necessary with easy access to the bar and also room service included. The bathrooms that we've had are tiny, with room for only one at a time, unless one is in the shower! On Bach, the upgraded cabins seem to have more bathroom space (2 sinks instead of one), but I don't know if the floor space is significantly larger. Some on this board seem very put off by the interior decor of Uniworld's ships, and although I wouldn't decorate my home the same way, the sometimes extravagant designs never bothered me. Mostly I found the atmosphere elegant, but not stuffy. Also, the beds on Uniworld are probably the most comfortable I've ever slept in (including my own)! Our Cabin on the Bach:
  12. We just returned from our Enchanting Moselle cruise on the Crystal Bach.This was our first experience with Crystal, though we've taken several European river cruises with Uniworld, and one with Viking. We were anxious to see how Crystal compared to our Uniworld cruises. (Our one and ONLY Viking cruise left lots to be desired, and we will not sale with them again, no matter how much they inundate us with their mailings). Both my husband and I, as well as other passengers on Bach who had previously sailed with Uniworld, felt that our experiences on both lines were very comparable. We loved many things about the Bach: staff, service, food were all outstanding for the most part. Our excursions were all led by knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides, and most of our tours were in groups of less than 15 people. Our cabin was not the largest, but we had ample room to store our clothes and suitcases. We loved the floor to ceiling window, and the fact that we were able to retract the top half. On our particular cruise, we were only rafted up to another ship for a few hours one afternoon, so we were able to enjoy the views from our cabin for most of the cruise. Although we have been on the Rhine several times, this was our first voyage along the Moselle River. It was our favorite part of the trip. The scenery was beautiful and there was much less traffic than on the Rhine. It reminded me somewhat of the landscape we viewed along the Douro River in Portugal, though on a smaller scale. One of the highlights of this trip was an independent excursion we took to the Eltz Castle (which Rick Steves considers the most beautiful in all of Europe). Early in our cruise, we met a couple who had planned to take a taxi to the castle by themselves, but asked if we'd like to join them when they learned of our interest. The setting of the castle looked like something out of a fairytale, and the interior was amazing. We were so happy to have had the opportunity to see such a spectacular sight. We enjoyed exploring several other castles during the trip, but the Eltz was by far the most magnificent. Probably the only slight disappointment in our cruise were our entertainment hosts, Olivia and Joseph. Although they were both very talented, their music was geared toward listening pleasure, and although the Bach had a nice dance floor, it was rarely used I think mostly because of the type of music that was being performed. Many nights there were only a handful of people in the lounge after dinner. I'd be happy to share more of our experience if you have any questions.
  13. Really enjoying your detailed blog and posts. Reading about your experience onboard (and off) the Mozart is making me all the more excited about our upcoming voyage on the Crystal Bach! Again, thanks so much for taking the time to share!
  14. Love all the details in your blog! Thanks for taking the time to share. We'll be interested to hear your thoughts on your upcoming river cruise on the Mozart.
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