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About vistaman

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Hapag Lloyd
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    south france

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  1. I you really do not need many drinks , maybe Oceania is a solution - sometimes Oceania is promoting cruises and you do receive a choice of several items - on board credit, excursions drinks packages , gratuities - a choice must be made As widely described Oceania is very expensive with drinks and wines and is demanding 18 % service and if you do leave ex Spain or Italy addtional VAT - I never do excursions but Oceania is expensive with those as well also with airport transfers. Food is far better on Oceania as on Hal Maybe you can have a look to Hapag Lloyd as well - however it is another approach as the companies you did mention but it is not all inclusive Or Ocean Viking -
  2. Mid september the MS Europa 2 is going into drydock I was told Hapag Lloyd ordered to rebuild the very popular Yacht Club with a wider place to store more - a wider choice - wines upstairs.
  3. I am sorry for ignoring the Crystal Harmony, it was indeed 1990 - 4 years before the Tivoli in 1994 There was no cover for Tivoli on the ms Vistafjord - i am very sure about that , however by giving a gratuity an eventual second visit was easier
  4. I hope I may add some more history : all those speciality restaurants on cruise ships started with a Paul Bocuse restaurant on board the Royal Viking Sun in 1989 - in those days at a hefty charge of 45 $ ( no free visit ) the very first Italian speciality restaurant started in 1994 on board the ms Vistafjord "Tivoli" with extremely classic Italian dishes and a rather basic wine list ( Soave , Verdicchio , Chianti even a Bardolino ) with a few wines not very well known yet : Tignanello, Sassicaia at 47 $ and the S was mid 50s $ priced … times and prices are changing. In that period the Cloudy Bay hype started as well. Now we cannot imagine a cruise ship without a speciality restaurant anymore - exception is Seadream
  5. I moved to Crystal in 2002 - the Vistafjord was gone and I was not so fond of the Seabourn Sun , in those days already with complimentary wines what I did not enjoy. I did like the small Seabourns when a port was involved nearly every day - sea days were very boring for me . So for me when Crystal became AI , it was quite a shock. So I moved to Hapag Lloyd with occasional Crystal, 18 done so far. Despite all my comments I find Crystal still the best in the "luxury" section after HL - the problem for me is spring - the 2 Hapags are in Asia or Oceania ( the continent ) and Crystal is on World cruise or similar. In that period I really do search for a bargain .
  6. May i add life on board Hurtigruten is extremely expensive especially for drinks - it is Norwegian also the prices on board!!
  7. I found one on Saga - however on one of the brand new ships - but Saga ( actually is rated 3 star + by Berlitz the new ships maybe 4 star) is not luxury. Also you must be over 50
  8. I was also in a PH and I made 3 reservations as I do not eat Asian - so no red Ginger. Caused my a minor problem I had to cancel Toskana - no chance to get another reservation ( i am single ) until the last evening at a very unpleasant late hour. I also met people who were in the Italian twice … not in PH And I do refuse to pay the silly high prices for La Reserve , also for the Dom Pérignon dinner 295 + 18 % service.
  9. I still find the charge for an additional visit regrettable however I also noticed some pax ( non PH ) were in those speciality restaurants on a nearly daily base before it. Once a Belgian group partially TA were only in the MDR for in those days "formal" evenings.
  10. I hope for Piero Selvaggio his new business is going well !! The Vistafjord - great memories as well - I only did 1 Sagafjord to 20 on Vista , i did not like the atmosphere on Sagafjord and it was a very closed society of repeaters .
  11. Chatkat, you make me very melancholic - Valentino unfortunately is closed for ever... From 1994 tot 2000 I always ( missed one year ) did the reposition cruise Los Angeles Miami on Vistafjord and later on Seabourn Sun. The cruise was always on offer - I admit it but it gave me also the opportunity to eat at Valentino. The first time I was looking into the wine book to white Burgundies and the owner said why not trying something very special from my country , what i could not refuse. I had marvellous evenings at Valentino. great memories !! Yes it is of the thread but recipes of Valentino were served in Prego for years.
  12. Keith is right about the monitoring from the bridge - however on several companies I noticed the people driving the tender "sailors" are not so careful neither : going full force through the swells of the tender in the other direction , not taking distance from other boats ( especially seen in South France ) , not waiting until a bigger ferry is leaving. Once in Caribbean with extremely smooth seas a driver needed 4 attempts to bring the tender to the platform ( was not on C ), causing quite some panic . Despite all the help and kind assistance , some people should be advised not to use tenders when it is really choppy. Last time in St Barths a heavily overweighted person could not step up - 4 crew members had to - sorry for the word - haul up that person out of the tender...
  13. Beside Jacques there are some other good items on O as well : the breads and the breakfast rolls, pastries and even brioches on a daily base. On the lunch buffets the cheeses are decent , the cakes are very good . MDR is a lot better on Crystal for sure. I noticed longer waiting times on O as well. Prego is superior to the Italian restaurant on O , what is far too large and in general far too much sauces are added . I do not eat Asian , so I cannot compare .
  14. My TA went to see her in Rotterdam , he told me a lot of items including some heavy furniture were still loaded
  15. contrarely to Hapag Lloyd , Ponant does have its own thread Ponant is considered as premium - maybe "upper "premium
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