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About sbjornda

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  1. I've read that it's not a particularly pretty route, lots of communist-era buildings and industrial operations. I can't confirm since I haven't done it myself. Sterling
  2. Scenic offered a choice in Nuremburg. We chose the one that had a quick bus tour of the WW II highlights, then a walking tour of the castle, and lunch and free time in the city square - including some amazing sausages. Regarding the uncertain sailing times: The key to enjoying a river cruise is to be able to "go with the flow". The river does what it will, the locks do what they will. Having one to two day's notice is about all you can count on, except for the ports that you stay in for more than one day (e.g. Vienna). Sterling
  3. We're scheduled on that one in July-Aug (Amsterdam to Basel). One curious thing about the itinerary, though, is that it is Amsterdam -> Antwerp -> Veere -> Arnhem -> Maastricht …. Watching the ships on line last year, they have to do a very quick back-and-forth up and down the Maas. I wonder why they don't do Veere (or Antwerp) -> Maastricht -> Arnhem, using the Albert Canal to get to Maastricht and then simply down the Maas to the Waal/Rhine to get to Arnhem? It would seem to me to be more efficient. Anyone have any ideas as to why the Albert Canal might not be suitable? Thanks, Sterling
  4. I don't suppose this vulcanism is related at all to the Andernach Geyser? Looks like Andernach is quite the busy place, geographically speaking. Best regards, Sterling
  5. Scenic, Amsterdam to Basel with Moselle, sailing July 31st, followed with their 4 day coach tour of Switzerland.
  6. Agreed. On our Scenic 2 week cruise we literally could have left our wallets at home once the plane landed in Amsterdam. But we chose an upper level cabin with unlimited laundry service, otherwise we would have either done sink laundry or paid for the laundry service. Tips were most definitely covered. We paid for souvenirs, and meals at the airport waiting for flights pre- and post-trip. That was it.
  7. One thing to keep in mind with Scenic is that if you upgrade to a Junior Suite or one of the Royal suites you get extra amenities. The most useful for us is room service. Depending on how gregarious you are, you might want to take some quiet evening meals away from your shipmates once in a while. For us, this is more likely to be the case on longer trips (such as yours at about 23 days). Or if one of you is under the weather, it's handy to have your meal brought to you.
  8. I've seen a few news reports about heavy snowfall in parts of Europe, but do we know whether any of that has fallen in the headwaters of the Rhine? Would that help replenish some of what was lost in 2018? Sterling
  9. Scenic Tours, and probably some others, provide a free GPS/Guide unit that you can use either on guided tours (receives broadcasts from the shore guide's microphone into your headset) or use the built-in guidebook for self-guided tours. When cruising along the river it can narrate a couple of minutes on each town and castle you're passing by.
  10. Yes, most people follow it, but not all. There's going to be at least one person who wants to make some sort of statement by wearing a T-shirt and well-worn jeans to meals; no one makes an issue of it. There will be a few events where a gentleman may wish to wear a coat or even a tie (special meals and concerts) but no one enforces it. Most people go with "smart casual" most of the time, but the whole range is represented. For port excursions jeans and shorts are fine.
  11. The impression I get is that the butlers are more solicitous and take more initiative with the higher end cabins. With the lower end cabins you need to make a point of reaching out to them if you want something (e.g., drinks, laundry pickup).
  12. Looks like it's been in Frankfurt all day today. http://www.anyoverip.de/scenic/index.php?ship=Opal
  13. Not according to their web site and my one cruise with them in 2015. Butler service for all cabins, yes, but full in-suite dining only for the high end cabins. Other cabins have a "beverage service". If you have other information I would be happy to know of it.
  14. Scenic offers full room service only to it's high-end suites (Royal and Junior). Other suites have beverage service (coffee/tea/alcoholic drinks are all-inclusive). All suites have access to butler service, but the high-end suites get more perks (e.g. daily canapés and fruit skewers) so tend to see the butlers more often. I've read comments that some people in the cheapest staterooms never saw their butler, but then it also looked like they never picked up the phone to ask for him/her.
  15. On Scenic, if you pay for the high-end cabins (Royal or Junior suites) you can get room service from your butler. It's nice to socialize, but it's nice to get away from the crowds and be pampered once in a while too.
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