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DaveinCharlotte

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About DaveinCharlotte

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    Charlotte NC
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    Europe

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  1. Just said "rail station," not Penn Station -- sorry for not being clear. We are planning on taking the MTA Light Raillink from BWI to the Convention Center station on Pratt St, which is just 0.9 miles from Pier 5, a lot closer than Penn Station. This will be at mid-day, so don't see a safety issue. But I see your point. Thanks for the input.
  2. RRF - Regarding your departure from Baltimore: Where exactly was your embarkation point? We will be leaving Baltimore on holiday Chesapeake Bay cruise Dec 23. Got paperwork from ACL saying "Pier 5" -- then came a letter saying "disregard previous instructions, ship will now be leaving from...Pier 5" (?!). OK, guess it's Pier 5. But we will be trudging on foot over a mile from the rail station with carry-on luggage (maybe through the snow!) and Pier 5 looks to be pretty big on google maps. BaumD - Have been thinking about Jacksonville-based cruise for several years. It was only earlier this year that ACL web site changed to that ambiguous "Amelia Island/Jacksonville" phrasing. Glad to find out debarkation is still Jacksonville.
  3. An excursion, I would guess. On our Mainz-to-Budapest cruise, one of our first tours was a day ship from Rudesheim through the Rhine Gorge. We shot a lot of castle photos that morning.
  4. Wouldn't these caveats apply to ANY river cruise line, here or in Europe? I do sympathize with your complaint, however. Several years ago we signed up for a Charleston SC - to Charleston SC cruise specifically because we wanted a cruise that started and ended at the same port, within driving distance of our home. ACL subsequently cancelled that itinerary. More recently, we signed up for the Complete Mississippi River Cruise, specifically on America, because we wanted a reasonably-priced cabin next to the Magnolia Lounge. ACL just cancelled that itinerary too, and we will be put on the Harmony, on a cabin nowhere near the Magnolia Lounge. But unpleasant surprises could occur on any cruise line, I think.
  5. You got me curious, wondering how expensive ACL insurance was versus Seabourn. Did a dummy booking with ACL, roughly equivalent to the cruise you took (AAM level, $1140 insurance, etc.) ACL's insurance came out to about 12.75% of the portion of the cruise cost they reimburse. Then did a dummy Seabourn cruise, Veranda suite, 11-day cruise (couldn't find a cruise as short as your ACL cruise). Seabourn wanted $1350 insurance for that cruise, which came out to just 8.5% of the portion of the cruise cost they reimburse (which is, as you say, 100%). So yes, as with the cruise cost per day itself, ACL insurance is indeed higher than Seabourn.
  6. ACL has an open bar from late afternoon on, no tipping, and all cabins except the very cheapest level are in excess of 300 sq.ft cabins with balconies. I assume you were on Harmony. You didn't mention how long ago you took the Seabourn cruise, or how much you paid for the SeabournShield insurance plan. ACL has already given you your refund, but Seabourn hasn't yet?
  7. Your experience might not be the same, but on all our ACL cruises the transfer to the local airport took place between 8:00am and 8:30am, and we were at the airport shortly before 9:00am.
  8. Fortunately for us, our ACL Grand Puget Sound cruise this past May experienced few of the problems OP encountered. Note to dfb: ACL is not your only choice on the Hudson River. Check out Blount (blountsmallshipadventures.com).
  9. I'm aware of three cruise lines that sail the Great Lakes: The fore-mentioned Blount Small Ship Adventures, Victory Cruise Lines (a recent acquisition of American Queen Steamboat Company), and Pearl Seas (an affiliate of American Queen Steamboat Company). Our only cruise on the Great Lakes was with Blount ten years ago. I concur with rafinmd's assessment; crew was great and on-board historian/naturalists were excellent.
  10. Voyages to Antiquity web site still shows Sept 4 cruise on schedule, although that doesn't necessarily mean much. But MarineTraffic shows the Aegean Odyssey has finally left its repair location and is currently moored near Athens -- that's a good sign. For the first September cruise, the ship has to be near Rome by September 7th, and that should certainly be doable.
  11. I believe in all cases it is the cruiser's responsibility to get FROM the airport to the ship or to the cruise hotel. On our first cruise, years ago (Great Rivers of Florida, Jacksonville), we had to pay to get the shuttle TO the airport from the ship. But for all ACL cruises we've taken since then, transportation has been provided TO the airport, free of charge.
  12. Toofarfromthesea: If that was your intent, you've succeeded! stoneman56: Good question. Sometimes, it's necessary to indicate which post is being responded to, but 90% of the time it's not. And for that 10%, I don't think folks realize they can keep a few lines of the quote and delete the rest, or they don't care to take the time to do that. Just MHO.
  13. Mandalay was our favorite WJBC ship, sailed several times in the late 90s/early 00s (Capt Matt most of the time). Hopefully you'll post after your trip letting us know how things are going nowdays.
  14. When we cruised on America (Grand Mississippi) and Constitution (Grand New England), we never had a problem with slow service that I can recall. But on our latest cruise on Constellation (Grand Puget Sound), we indeed encountered problems. Once for breakfast and twice at dinner we experienced just the situation you described -- quick service for some, super-slow for others. On the earlier cruises, ACL used an "everyone come to eat more or less at one time" approach. For example, after 45 minutes (say) at happy hour, the rep would announce "dinner ready" and most would file out for dinner. This meant the tables would fill up pretty much at once, and our wait person would begin the usual routine - taking drink orders, serving drinks, taking food orders, clearing appetizer dishes, etc. etc. So the whole table was in sync, and when a tray arrived from the galley it was everybody's food. But on our last cruise, things changed. No fixed times, no happy-hour announcements, just filter down to eat whenever the mood struck. This meant very staggered arrivals at tables. The waiter would start the routine for the first two, then the next few, and so on, and would tend to lose track of where they were with each. So sometimes delays would occur. But I should point out that even so, we only had trouble on three occasions, out of 32 (I think) meals. Speaking of hot weather, in a moment of temporary insanity, we signed up for the 22-day Mississippi in August of 2020. I wonder what New Orleans will be like then!
  15. Just returned from Grand Puget Sound cruise on the Constellation, twin ship to Constitution. For some reason (perhaps due to the flooded balcony problem on our Grand New England cruise -- posted elsewhere here) we were upgraded from 232 to 510. This room is adjacent to the Fitness Center and the passenger laundry room. Happy to report that we heard absolutely nothing from either source! What we did notice, though, was the occasional strong odor of fabric softener, from the laundry exhaust on the side of our balcony. This cruise was, like all our other ACL cruises, excellent.
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