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CastleCritic

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Everything posted by CastleCritic

  1. As far as Im concerned being able to get away from the crowds and noise and STILL sit outside is a huge positive. Ive taken a good number of cruises on river ships in porthole class but I always make an effort to try to get a balcony on ocean ships.
  2. I found the performance to be very very good (8th deck balcony slightly back from the forward elevator). Norway cruise earlier this month.
  3. not sure if it wouldn't be less "doesn't work" and more "cruise ship said I couldn't bring it on board"
  4. The net is kind of worthless, but I really liked that it wasn't crowded, was one of the places I spent most of the time on sea days. Wouldn't want a pool back there.
  5. Pfft go big, replace the nets on 16 with slide entrances and have them go all the way down to the deck on 7(?) ...sure the suite owners might not like the view but the ride would be good!.
  6. I would hope they would take a look at it before it becomes an issue My one interruption in river trips so far was the result of just that. The 2021 floods, come September and a barge and Viking ship both grounded themselves in a narrower than expected Rhine and THEN they decided to dredge it causing further disruptions. (for me it was minor bussed from Basel to embark in Strasbourg instead and then leaving early because it was still 2 lane but before that it looked like a real mess )
  7. I always use a site called marinetraffic to see where the ships are. Cerainly will leave some interpretation a few days out but hopefully your cruise company will communicate before you leave as to what any changed plan is.
  8. Not having tattoos I had never given a thought to specialties. Makes sense. working With some of those old tattoos has to be a challenge though.
  9. I joined the cruise as well today. It's certainly been interesting so far. That boarding process..umm..told to show up at 11, then to sit in an empty waiting room, then through security to a NOT empty waiting room and the onto the ship. The key lunch was good, again like most say, probably nothing to hang your hat on. Luggage took quite awhile to show up (to the point it was departure time before it came) considering it had been there for 5 hours, guess it wasnt loaded in the order it was received. Waiter and assistant waiter didnt seem to be talking to each other, both would inevitably ask every guest for their drink order. but otherwise dinner went well, and was done in an hour, just in time to come back up on deck and see the lock.
  10. I wouldn't expect that. And I very much come from the school of thinking you are referring to. At least before I decided it wasn't worth my time to care about what other people do when it doesn't affect me, whether I would like the answer if I knew or not what it was that they were doing. As I said "come from", no you cant help if someone is going to be upset\not go over a "may happen". I did a virgin cruise last fall knowing that regardless of what I may or may not like, it was probably happening somewhere on the ship, I didn't seek out any activity that wasn't my "style", and none was "forced on me". I know the Diva was there...I never saw the Diva. I know there was 'adult humor" I just didn't go to those shows...for the most part (the occasional "joke" is one thing, a show based around it? no). I had fun, everyone else seems to have fun, we all went home happy. I have 2 more planned. You cant force people to change, you also cant shame them into changing, they just get backed into a corner and fight back. As far as I'm concerned "acceptance" means that I dont necessarily agree with you, and thats ok, but that works both ways, you cant be mad that I DON'T agree with you and expect me to change my view. I did run into a passenger on Royal Carribean today who was afraid to take a Virgin cruise but the concern seemed to be more around "party atmosphere" than social issues,
  11. Gonna level with you, most of us haven't been out of the states before we come for a river cruise. When the guide in Vienna says that the "new church isnt worth visiting" hes talking about something that was built before we declared independence and it just confuses us(ok I think thats off by a few years but there is a large 1800s church/cathedral near the port that is "to insignificant to visit"). It goes well beyond that Ive heard a lot of people asking about some of the ....social difference with things like healthcare and retirement as well...A LOT.
  12. Well to sell and both unsell AMAMagna in the same post.... It is the one ship where the elevator does reach all the areas. The other AMA ships the elevator either exits to the 1st floor rooms or the 1st floor restaurant, not both. (but again this only applies if you have a first floor room, one of the non-balcony ones, though on the other ships there are "a few" steps still involved in a lot of cases to get to your room from the elevator like...3... HOWEVER the sun deck opening for it is gone, or at least when I tried to pace it out it was under the squash ball court pavement. As for the stairs, on Ama they are usually wood and they can get slick. You may embark and disembark from any deck, including the sun deck (which yes means you have to get up those steps) sometimes thats level with the ship and dock (but then you can see the ramp from the dock to shore) sometimes its not, this is dismbarking from one deck higher to an old barge that is now the dock at that port in Serbia
  13. English and their native language. Which could be just about anywhere but on the ship I was on out of Athens it was largely Philippines. There will be no scheduled announcements outside of getting people to do the muster and disembark, and all the emergency ones were in English only.
  14. I can see how that would go, I was solo and seated with 5 strangers. Another solo (though I think his wife was on board and didn't want to come?). The main singer for the show and her boyfriend and a Virgin HQ employee and her mother. its a LONG meal if there is no discussion going on. In our case we had a lot of conversations, and basically ended up with the entire menu to try, and the singer remembered me when I ran into her the next day in port. I am NOT a social person and that was the only meal I ate with anyone else but Im not sure I can see doing it alone unless the time could be hugely compressed. And yes it's a REALLLY noisy venue....pretty much every table is playing. drinking game at some point so ....kind of comes with the territory.
  15. Yes they fully chartered the ship, and put a magnetic logo on the side when they did it. Im pretty sure they have a few of the ships the entire season as they never appeared in any of the AMA schedules. Some others like AMAMagna (the doublewide ship) APT shows on their site that spend most of their season being booked by AMA.
  16. echoing what others have said, basically you pick one, and as long as it wasn't a terrible experience, most tend to stick with them. For me that means AMAWaterways where I'm up to 5 at this point with another (though in Egypt) next year.
  17. Best way to describe it. table for 6 around a central grill, you will be seated with other people most likely. the waiter will take your order, usually for grilled meat and or vegetables. you will play a "drinking game" (non-alcoholic alternative available I just drank raspberry juice). appetizers will show up. the main dish food will show up raw and the waiter will cook everything one or two items at a time in front of you dividing that thing up amongst everyone who ordered it. they will offer desert not a thing to do if you are in a rush, while there will be sauces its very much an "eat grilled thing plain" kind of meal. (I suspect there was rice but Im not 100% sure)
  18. Ive been on both AMASerena and and AMAPrima of this ship type. They are good ships. Spent a lot of time at the bow end of the lounge just watching the rivers go by.
  19. Im there with you, if a person is bothered with the possibility of seeing something they might not agree with, Virgin probably isn't for you. I knew what I was getting myself into. But the "be yourself" aspects aren't really in your face, at all. Some male crew in very short shorts at embarkation is what I would call the 'worst' thing that I saw all trip (and I mean that in the most productive way,,,what someone chooses to wear is in the same category as other things they do...you be you). I didn't see the Diva...even once (granted that was largely because I had dinner reservations booked for the same time as sailaway Im sure the Diva was there for that). I didn't go to any shows that weren't my brand of humor or entertainment. I did my thing other people did theirs, we all had fun. There were all sorts on the ship to be sure, including the YouTubers Ben and David. I think we had about 3/4 full ship but other than a tender return there was never a line for anything. I have plans to go back with the new ship in 2026 to Panama and probably Alaska too.
  20. If you haven't looked again, check now, I was playing around with the Panama cruise and started to see a few suites pop up (they look expensive to me but Im not a suite cruiser) and it looks like some have appeared on other sailings as well.
  21. Hardly an expert in this space but I imagine its one of two things. I have a feeling it was financial, maybe they felt it would cannibalize passengers for the other ships when they weren't getting the load factor they needed to be profitable on those ships already. I assume they have enough cash on hand to finish out the fitting/hiring process for the ship so it shouldn't be that. Or they couldn't get the port slots they wanted for the itineraries they had in mind consistently.
  22. I believe they are still using the AMAWaterways ships this year (that relationship is ending) so the ship part will be just fine. Cant speak for their excursions.
  23. I got mine back the next day last year on a cruise out of Athens. I waited until the last day before you had to pay for same day as Im sure a lot of people did
  24. good to see, Im on the sailing after this weeks and was slightly curious why she was still in that dry dock this morning.
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