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  1. You could look at flights from Fort Lauderdale. We’ve been to Miami and flown out of Fort Lauderdale and vice versa. It’s not hard or very expensive to go from one to the other.
  2. Thank you, Keith1010, for that picture of the balcony with the solid lower wall. We have booked one of those for January. It looks quite good enough for us! Carl
  3. My wife and I (in the US) just watched all four episodes the other night (binge watch, I guess!) and it really interested us in Regent. We were already considering it and we found the entertainment and dining to be quite appealing. Yes, the constant reference to cost and the staged drama (“will they pull off the grand buffet?”) was eye roll inducing, but that goes with the territory of reality TV. We we have inquired with our travel agent yesterday about a cruise next year on the Splendor. We might have done that anyway, but this helped for us.
  4. We’ve found the vibe on SS to be to our liking. Yes, it is more formal than Seabourn but that’s OK with us. The butler can be good and helpful. If not, or you don’t need him/her (which is usually our case), it’s no big deal. We really enjoyed the food and dining options. We we found the other pax as friendly and approachable as on other lines. There are always a few we click with and a few we don’t in any cruise.
  5. I should clarify my earlier post. We have not been on Crystal ocean, but we were on the Crystal Mozart on the Danube this summer. The service was very nice, as were the excursions, but it’s a much different experience in general on a river cruise. (We are booked on the Serenity in January for the first leg of the world cruise and are very much looking forward to it!) Following up up on the trivia—we’re not trivia fans but trivia was more midday and was quite well attended on our cruises. I think that may be part of the difference in ship size on SS. Some are around 600 pax, others half that. I haven’t been on the smaller ones but the experience has to be different than on the Spirit and Muse.
  6. Kieth, your posts have been very helpful to me over the years, so I hope I can help you regarding TripIt. I use TripIt for all my trips. It’s great for planning and organizing, and I can share access with my wife so she has everything as well. It syncs with the calendar on my iPhone too. It it is free, although there is a premium version that I think is $49/year. That gives you more alerts about flight delays, etc. It doesn't access your mailbox, you forward travel-related emails such as flight and hotel confirmations and it imports them to “build” your itinerary. It’s quite accurate as well and handles almost every type of email confirmation.
  7. Most of the 50 threads will be old, so I think it’s a good question. I also note the original poster is new to cruise critic so how about an insightful response? I can’t comment on Crystal but I have been on three Silversea cruises, on the Muse and Spirit. I have found the service and food to be very good to excellent. We’re not big on the evening entertainment on any cruise so I can’t really comment on that, although the lecturers were very good on a transatlantic cruise last year. It can be more formal than Crystal from what I understand. Some of the Silversea experience will depend on the ship since the sizes vary considerably. All are smaller than Crystal unless you sail on the Crystal yacht. While some have taken issue with the specialty restaurants on Silversea, we have found reservations and availability to be very good, it certainly not with 100% success of getting the day and time we wanted. Crystal also has a reservation system for specialty restaurants too. I hope others can can weigh in with recent experience too. @ivyleaguegent, what’s important to you on a cruise?
  8. We didn’t get a 10% offer, only 5%. It was credited quickly. I’m not sure what happened behind the scenes that we got our rebate on schedule.
  9. Another vote for VIA Rail. We went from Montreal to Toronto last fall and it was quite nice.
  10. Another vote for Larry’s Limo! We used them from Fort Lauderdale to POM in April. On time and a safe driver.
  11. Crispy46–we live next door in South Portland!
  12. I posted a review here: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=660132 It was an excellent trip. I’m happy to answer questions. Or you can read the review here: We took a week long river cruise on the Mozart and enjoyed it greatly. The food and service were excellent. The ports and included excursions were also very good, and the scenery along the Danube was spectacular! Just by way of background, this was our second river cruise. Our first was on AMA, on the Rhône. We’ve done 22 ocean cruises, although none on Crystal. We boarded around noon and our room was ready. We had a room on deck 2 with a French balcony. The room was small, like most river cruise cabins. With the closet by one side of the bed it was really impossible for both of us to access the closet and get dressed at the same time. The room looked too small to have in-suite dining so we didn’t do that. The restaurants are just one deck up and with very convenient times so it wasn’t necessary anyway. The bathroom was small and the storage space was down low. The toilet seat cover was set up to automatically raise when it sensed nearby movement. After the first couple days, the novelty wore off and I asked the steward to turn it off, and she did. We hardly used the TV. There was an iPad in the room that had some magazines and we could access our account. We could access our account on our iPhone as well after we logged into their WiFi. The WiFi worked well throughout the ship. The outlets all required an adapter for US devices but there were a number of USB ports for recharging. We did not interact with our butler, Adrian, very much. He did not make himself very present but we weren’t in our room much so that was fine. The food and service in Waterside was very good to superb. Agnes was our sommelier most nights and she was very knowledgeable and helpful, and always with a smile. Lunch was always a buffet in Waterside and very well done with main entrees, a soup, salad options plus desserts. Servers were consistently available to refill water (still or sparkling) and for wine and beer. We went to Blue a couple of times for lunch. There is no buffet and a small menu with items made to order. The food and service were very good there as well. The top deck was open almost all the time except when going under a low bridge (only twice). There was bar service there as well. The scenery was spectacular! The great weather helped. It was quite warm some days but sunny with bright blue skies. The castles, vineyards and small towns make for a beautiful milieu. The included excursions were very good. The Audio Vox listening devices are a huge help (make sure they are fully charged though!). The busses were not full and the guides were very good. There are a variety of activity levels offered. I’m sure we could have booked our own guides in most towns but our tours were more than satisfactory. We were traveling with a group of 20 people that included Karen MacNeil who authored The Wine Bible. She hosted two excellent enrichment presentations on wine. The other enrichment activities were not that interesting. The pianist in the bar before dinner was good. Dinners were uniformly excellent. The service was very attentive without being overly so. The included wines were interesting and generally local, and others were available upon request—just ask for the wine menu. There were multiple options each night and the menu changed nightly. We were very fortunate that the Danube was at a perfect level for our cruise. Please note, however, the Danube is not blue!I would certainly recommend this cruise for anyone considering a Danube cruise. Five stars
  13. Notamermaid—we actually have two more nights. We overnight in Vienna tomorrow and debark Saturday. It’s been a very scenic and wonderful cruise so far!
  14. Water levels between Vienna and Budapest are fine. We’re on the Crystal Mozart now, heading back from Budapest to Bratislava. Weather has been quite hot though and no rain so levels will probably be lower in a couple weeks.
  15. Hi Cyber Kat! I have a photo. We thought the window washing equipment was hardly an issue. If you were on the balcony you had to look almost back and to the right to see it. I don’t have a photo of the inside of the cabin. The pole was on the right side of the bed, my side, and it wasn’t an issue for me at all getting in and out. The pole was towards the foot of the bed. There were two loungers and a table on the balcony if I recall correctly. We we really enjoyed the cabin and the location. It’s a bit of a walk to the public areas but a few extra steps were fine with us. Dining in Luminae was quite nice. I hope this helps!
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