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About acwmom

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Northern KY
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    photography, craft beer
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  1. I've never looked at solo pricing. It appears to be about double? (We had friends who had looked at an early November departure on the Venice cruise, and it seemed like it was ~$1800/person for them). I think the bottom-line, moral of the story is, their prices have really gone up.......And, in doing dummy bookings, these cruises aren't booking quickly, so it isn't a supply and demand issue. The onboard service and product are outstanding, but not THAT outstanding:-) Robin
  2. And this is what Roz and I have concerns about, I think. When we booked our 2018 cruise in the fall of 2017, our TA was able to get us a "Labor Day" special, with an extra % off, plus the River Heritage Discount, plus the !0% off if we paid in full (this has always been an offering with Uniworld) Plus, as RHC members, we were entitled to a one class upgrade, based on availability. We booked aquarium class, and the total for 2 of us was $4100. Now, only some sailings have a small RHC discount, they advertise the "10% if paid in full" as some special offering, and our TA can no longer discount, but can give us a gift card once we sail. For the 2020 sailing, the price is $3179/person plus port fees (they are offering "free air" but I"d rather use miles. I'm not sure if they would discount for not using this, my guess is "not" given their current way of doing business.) On their Rhone cruises, "free air" looks to be about a $700 value, as the free air cruises are priced $700 more than the cruises without free air. I guess some people are foolish enough to pay those prices, and fall for these marketing tactics. But, there are too many other choices out there. Robin
  3. St. Mark's private night tour was definitely a highlight for us as well. Sitting in the dark, and the lights coming on, one by one...... Another favorite itinerary of ours!! Robin
  4. I was thinking about you yesterday, glad you enjoyed it! That was our first "river cruise" so will always be special. Uniworld's onboard experience has always been top-notch for us. (Right now, it's the corporate shenanigans we aren't pleased with) The Venice itinerary is certainly unique, but the scenery can't be beat, especially with good weather. Where's your next one? Robin
  5. It is the same on the American site, and, I agree, the prices are very reasonable. I would much rather pay for the shore excursions I wanted, and have my drinks included onboard Robin
  6. Very interesting! Will definitely add them to our list. Robin
  7. Depending on which line you're traveling, you may be able to drop them off at the ship, and they will look after them for you. Robin
  8. All of the above, and maybe even go for a dip in the pool. We would always go to the bar and have a few drinks and listen to the musicians. Pasta may be a little harder to have consistently, but if you do other starches, like rice or baked potato, you should be fine. Chicken is a standard "always available" option on every line whose menu I have seen, and certain soups and salads also seem to be "always available" options. I would recommend emailing Ama in advance (or working with your TA, if you're using one), and seeing if you can set up a meeting with the restaurant manager and head chef to discuss your limitations at the start of your cruise. They often shop locally, so could find things to meet your needs. It varied from day to day. Our first day, in Breisach, we went to Freiberg in the morning, and had a choice of Colmar or Kaysersberg/Riquewihr in the afternoon. Our next day, morning in Strasbourg, and optional trip somewhere i the afternoon, or Strasbourg on your own; other days were similar. Honestly, the days are pretty full with excursions, exploring on your own, or scenic sailing. Uniworld has books and board games. Both Uniworld and Avalon have done wine tastings. We walked about 10 miles a day, so were content to spend time at the bar and head to bed around 11/11:30. This can also vary, depending on which port it is, and what the lock schedules are. If not close to docking (this can vary with this itinerary) then at least somewhere during your "free time" Hi AF-1, another queen city resident here:-) See my answers, in red, above. I've not traveled on Ama, but have done the Rhine itinerary. Robin
  9. In most cases, yes, we change between tours and dinner. Occasionally, we didn’t have time. On our most recent Paris-Normandy Cruise, we had signed up for the limited seating dinner the same day that we went to Mont St Michel. We were late getting back to the ship, and our butler met us at the door and told us they were waiting to start the dinner, due to our later than expected arrival. I explained that I really should change, and he reassured me that I was fine:) Since Uniworld has arrive whenever you want dinner, you should have plenty of time to change and freshen up, if needed. Also, Uniworld does have self-service laundry on the Countess, so you can get away with packing a little lighter and doing some laundry onboard (if you want) Robin
  10. JP has already answered, but I’ll confirm. Yes, someone will take your bags onboard. It may even be the captain:). with regard to attire, if you’re a Capri type, you may want to pack a pair. It was warmer than expected when we went. Robin
  11. Lois, I love your enthusiasm😁 Enjoy!!!! Make sure you eat al fresco on a cruising night, it is one of our favorite memories from that cruise. Robin
  12. Perhaps it is dependent on the city. We left from Vienna, and the ship's location wasn't "in town," so to speak. But, they were very explicit in their directions to us (we had been in Europe 3 days already) to not go directly to the ship.
  13. Roz, I agree about your assessment re: Uniworld, and am also looking at other lines. With regard to boarding Avalon, my one experience with embarkation (and what I've read others reporting) is that Avalon arranges a meeting at a local hotel, with luggage drop-off and check-in. This is usually early in the day, with the hope that everyone will have "checked in and dropped off" by 1pm? The luggage is then delivered to the ship from the hotel, and then to the stateroom. Passengers meet at the hotel at a later time, and are transported to the ship, as a group. This process may be different depending on the point of embarkation, but may explain why there was no one to assist with suitcases (since the above poster had been in Amsterdam, doing DIY "stuff") Robin
  14. Why not buy a Skyroam unit outright? Or, which cellular provider do you use? T-mobile has free service in Europe, according to others who have posted in the past. We have AT&T, and for the same daily price as a mobile hotspot, can have text/talk/data. Robin
  15. Another fine choice, and since I've done it twice, have covered nearly all excursions😁 Paris is definitely a favorite for us. Robin
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