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Vivere LaDolceVita

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About Vivere LaDolceVita

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  1. You're welcome. No, I wouldn't worry. I never consider that a high priority in Western countries. I'd rather focus on getting the best/most authentic experience, rather than simply the "gayest" one. In places like some corners of South America or Asia/Africa, I would definitely seek a gay-friendly place out, but you're good to go in most of Europe. :)
  2. Again, we didn't specifically look for a gay-friendly hotel, but found ours was just fine. We stayed at the Boscolo Exedra on Piazza della Repubblica. It was amazing but pricey -- we got a great rate thanks to a happy mix-up on Expedia's part, and it really set a nice tone for the start of our trip. Other commenters have suggested Hotel Barocco near the Spanish steps. I've checked it out on tripadvisor and it has stellar reviews. Think we'll be staying there next year.
  3. Last time I was in Rome was in 2007, but I'm scheduled to return next year for a Celebrity cruise. I can tell you that in 2007, I was there on my honeymoon and found that the city in general was very laid back and accepting. We had some difficulty finding gay bars/clubs as our guide books appeared to be out of date. But I suspect by now, finding up to date info is much easier, not least because of the advent of the iphone and the ability to search for businesses in your area via internet/GPS. With the exception of 1 bar, we never went anywhere just b/c it was gay. Despite that we never got a sideways look, from waitstaff, hoteliers, etc., even with our open affection.
  4. Sorry to hear your 1st experience was not so great. You were brave to put yourself out there and I hope this doesn't turn you off cruising in the future. I definitely would recommend going with PP next time or a similar charter. I had 2 friends who were solo (no friend/bf sharing the cabin) on my last cruise with PP on the Celebrity Silhouette, and they had a blast. It helped that they had friends on board but they each met new friends on the ship.
  5. Wise advice. Go for the food and service; there will be plenty of queens around. I live in the heart of the theater district (HK) and some of my favorites are: Maria Pia on 51st b/w 8/9 Aves. -- Italian Viv - 9th Ave b/w 48/49 -- Thai Becco - 46th b/w 8/9 -- Italian Pio Pio - 10th Ave. b/w 44/45 -- Peruvian Medi - 9th Ave b/w 52/53 -- Mediterranean
  6. It's a fun show but the food is God-awful.
  7. My partner and I will be on the Equinox, sailing from Rome to BCN -- sail away exactly 1 year from today! Going with a group of 6 friends. Can't wait!! :D
  8. We booked regular veranda on Reflection last year and when the price dropped after final payment, the difference between our current cabin and Aqua was about $35, so we upgraded and were very happy with the switch. No problem at all with paying to upgrade, and plan/hope to do the same thing this year on our sailing on Infinity in October. Currently in Concierge and hoping Aqua drops to within range of our current reservation price. (Unfortunately, so far, it's gone up.) :rolleyes:
  9. It probably wouldn't be worth it to upgrade solely for wine, since, as someone already noted, there's not a whole lot of difference in the selection available under the premium package that isn't available under the classic. And neither selection is all that great. If you're a big wine person, just stick with the classic and pay for special wines/order your preferred bottles separately.
  10. I think it may come down to a matter of perspective. On my 1st cruise on =X= in 1999, I remember thinking the food was amazing. However, I was also 19 and at the time, my taste buds were constantly being assaulted by borderline poisonous college cafeteria food. On my next cruise, for my honeymoon on RCI, I thought the food was good but nowhere near the level of =X=. Although, by that point, I had already been living in New York for several years and as my then-husband was a pharma sales rep who often took me out with his clients, I was used to dining in some pretty swank places. My next/last cruise on RCI was in 2013 and I got the distinct impression that the food had actually improved in the intervening years, while on my next =X= cruise later that same year, I thought the food had declined. However, on my most recent =X= cruise, I was surprised at the high quality of the food in the MDR and BLU. So, in short, I think a lot has to do with changing/evolving expectations and perspectives. My general feeling is that food quality is very good on both RCI and =X=, with =X= having a slight edge (as it should, since it styles itself as being in the "premium" market). I very much doubt you would be disappointed in either experience, so long as you go with the right mindset and relax. :)
  11. We sailed on Reflection in Nov 2013 and Silhouette in Nov 2014. They're sister ships and honestly, there is very little difference. Molecular bar is smaller on Silhouette. There are other minor differences, which, IMO, make Reflection a slight improvement over Silhouette. Bottom line, if you enjoyed Reflection, you should enjoy Silhouette.
  12. Grand Cayman was an absolute nightmare. We decided not to drive ourselves crazy by queuing up and trying to get off as early as possible, ended up getting a ticket for group #41 and after 2 hours of drinking by the pool (thank God we had the bev package) finally tendered at about 1:45 p.m. Took a taxi and got to the beach at about 2:30. Since all aboard was at 5:30 and it took 20 mins to get to the port, we had about 2 hours total at the beach. Kind of sucked because the following day in Jamaica was totally overcast. (In fact this was the 1st cruise where I didn't come back with a deep tan.) We made the best of it but what a waste of a port day!
  13. It depends on the line and itinerary. Never had a problem on RCI or Celebrity on 5 or 7-day itineraries. Went on a 4-day Spring Break cruise on NCL to the Bahamas last March where we confronted a lot of ignorant people. In retrospect, we should have expected it, given the timeframe and destination. Lesson learned. Here's my review of the experience for a cautionary tale: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2009337
  14. I know I have often seen the price of Atlantis anywhere from 50% to 200% greater than a regular booking. For example, I paid 1149 for the A2 cabin on the PP PT on Silhouette. The 2/1 Atlantis cruise on Silhouette in A2 is 1899 (over a 60% increase). Yes, itineraries are different (actually fewer POC on the Atlantis), and dates are not identical (but regular cruise fares on Silhouette in late January are very similar to Nov/Dec, give or take $50). So I still maintain that Atlantis comes at a significant premium, especially if you take into account the fact that unlimited drink packages are unavailable (and, like me, you make good use of that perk).
  15. I was actually referring to the Atlantis cruises -- should have been more specific. I have no experience with booking/shopping for RSVP or other gay charters (other than PP). Where in NY? I'm in Hell's Kitchen. :)
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