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Everything posted by sbjornda

  1. The Scenic Jasper was supposed to be in Regensburg today, but she appears to be stuck downstream at Passau. My guess is there's a ship swap happening. Sterling
  2. Here's a rather large map of Europe's inland waterways. You can zoom in and see where the locks are along that stretch. https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/main/sc3/AGN_map_2018.pdf Sterling
  3. Scenic's ships are likewise split level. That's the only company I've used so far, so I thought that design was common. Just goes to show that I still have one or two things left to learn in life. 🙂 Thanks, Sterling
  4. I haven't done it myself, but I have seen some folks who were not feeling well stay on board. Apparently often those stretches of sailing are through territory that is industrial or otherwise uninteresting to most cruisers, and/or going through several locks (including possibly waiting hours in a queue). I'd rather explore a European town, but if I had a sprained ankle or something I can imagine far worse ways to spend time than being waited on while reading a good book aboard a river cruise ship.
  5. I tracked the Scenic Jasper on that route last month, and it arrived in Basel at 1:30 a.m. Of course as other posters have said, there are a lot of variables. If you have the time and money you could spend a night at a hotel in Basel or Zurich that would give you a bit more control over your timing. You could also consider using Scenic as your travel agent for booking the flights; then they have a degree of responsibility to help you out if things go bad. Sterling
  6. Interesting - when I've been tracking Scenic's ships on that route they appear to dock close to the Three Countries Corner, which is downstream from the Mittlere Brücke. Now I'm curious. Thanks for digging that up. Sterling
  7. Bamberg! Rauchbier! Dozens of competing breweries! But the one thing in common: They all taste like beer plus bacon. Mmmmm. OK, it`s a bit of an acquired taste. 🙂
  8. I've only been on one Scenic cruise so far, but I didn't feel compelled to tip anyone at all. There were some folks for whom that simply felt so "wrong" that they convinced the cruise director to accept tips that would be divided amongst the staff and crew. I don't know how common that is on Scenic cruises; our second one is coming up this summer and I'll be interested to see if that happens again. I did not see or hear of any direct tipping; certainly not the bus drivers and city tour guides. I think the butler would have taken it as an affront. Folks may have left a tip in their cabins for the hotel staff but if so they weren't talking about it. If you time your laundry right, or are in a more expensive cabin with unlimited laundry, you truly do not need your wallet from the time you're picked up at the arrival airport to the time you're dropped off at the departure airport. Unless you want some souvenirs, or need premium spirits from the bar. Our experience was that they were very much a first class customer service focused group of people.
  9. We really liked Scenic and made use of all the amenities. We like the way the balconies can be configured in the suites - there are inner glass door and an outer window that can roll down, so the space can be either part of the cabin or closed off from it - handy if one of you wants fresh air and the other doesn't. They truly are all-inclusive; you could leave your wallet at home except for souvenirs or airport expenses before you get picked up or after you get dropped off. Not cheap, but we think they provide good value.
  10. All Diamond Deck passengers get an invitation to the "Table La Rive" degustation meal. If you're not excited about a fancy meal with wine pairings - or if you find the price difference between similar cabins on those two decks is more than you would pay for a fancy meal in a restaurant - it's probably not worth it. That being said, we had 14 nights in a Royal Suite on the Diamond Deck and only heard noise above us a couple of times. So we're going to do it again!
  11. Do Rhine mosquitoes carry any diseases to worry about? Here in Saskatchewan we have a growing concern with West Nile Virus; in neighbouring Manitoba there is also long established Western Equine Encephalitis. Just wondering if we should be bringing insect repellent with us. The last cruse, Amsterdam to Budapest, we barely ever laid eyes on a flying insect, and no mosquitoes. The upcoming cruise is Amsterdam to Basel with side trips down the Maas and Mosel, departing July 31st. Thanks, Sterling
  12. On our first Scenic cruise when the Cruise Director did the straw poll, the guests were 75% Aussies, followed by Kiwis, Brits, Canadians, then a few US couples.
  13. On Scenic's "Romantic Rhine and Moselle" there's one day when the ship leaves Cochem early in the morning and arrives at Bernkastel about 7 pm, sailing slowly up the Moselle. I've been tracking the Scenic Jade on this voyage right now (we'll be sailing the same on July 31st) and it looks like she made a 1.5 hour stop in Traben-Trarbach in the middle of the afternoon, which is not documented in the itinerary, but my guess is for a wine tasting opportunity or maybe a quick tour of this small town's highlights. So maybe it doesn't really count as a true "sea day", but it's advertised as one at any rate. I think it sounds lovely and I can hardly wait! Sterling
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. Scenic, Amsterdam to Basel with Moselle, sailing July 31st, followed with their 4 day coach tour of Switzerland.
  19. Men rarely wear a jacket or coat to the normal dinners. If they do it's usually just functional, to provide layers. A cardigan would do as well. It's very much as described in the literature. There are a few occasions where one may wish to dress up a bit more. But ties are rare as hen's teeth even in the more formal settings, in my experience. Jeans and shorts at dinner are also rare, though not entirely unheard of. And no one makes a fuss about any of it. Regards, Sterling
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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).
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