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About franski

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Ontario, Canada
  • Interests
    Travel (obviously....) - love the planning as well as the actualy experience!! Quilting, gardening,
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Most river cruise lines - although Avalon "fits" us these days....
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    I love any trip that takes us to Budapest....

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  1. Jazzbeau… could you explain the comment about the banned word?? Thanks. Fran
  2. franski

    Egypt 2020

    Hoping you will post a bit more about your trip... We have been able to pre-book a hot-air balloon ride (realizing it may be cancelled if the weather conditions aren't good...) - so am pleased about that... We have also booked a tour to Garbage City and St. Samaan Church - and are hoping to get to the Coptic area of Cairo. Just a little over 2 months to go.... Fran
  3. If you have some flexibility for dates, and aren't set on the company or cabin category, you can wait a bit (IMHO). I would suggest you start looking at what you want - and figure out what the current prices are (and what it includes...) - then watch for a sale. Also - start looking at the costs of flights - as this may affect your final cost (ie: some are offering discounted or free air - which may or may not be a benefit depending on the initial cruise cost). Not sure where you are located - different countries have different specials. I do know that Avalon has some fly free offers for next year on the Canadian website. fFy free does help - as most flights to Europe are over $1000 pp. Fran
  4. Debbie - We did Budapest to Nuremberg with AMA Waterways the first time - and that itinerary included a day in Budapest to start, and a few days in Prague at the end. The 2nd time, we did it with Scenic. Did a few days in Budapest on our own - and stayed in Nuremberg at the end for a couple of days - also on our own. For the other end of the Danube (Passage to Eastern Europe) we did it with Viking. We stayed an extra 2 days in Budapest on our own at the end. We are going back with Avalon next October. This itinerary includes one night in Bucharest, 2 nights in Brasov (Transylvania) - and then 9 nights on the Danube... We actually get to Km 0 on the Danube - so a part of the river we have not seen before. At the end, we are going by train to Poland (Krakow) for 3 nights. We are not loyal to any one company. We look for itinerary, then dates - then prices. We have discovered that the package Avalon offers suits us well - less formal than some of the other companies, although some may prefer to have some of the perks offered by other companies (all inclusive, butler service etc...). We have also found that there are often options for the excursions with Avalon - so we can cruise the same river, and have a different experience. Fran
  5. We were in a an N2 on the Kong Harald - and the pictures seem to indicate the rooms are similar in layout. We stored 1 suitcase in the closet, and another just up against the bathroom wall. We did not find it impacted our use of the space at all. Fran
  6. I wouldn't purchase overseas - then you are stuck with a plug that only works in the country (or area) you purchased it. I always travel with my curling iron. My "daily driver" is one that is designed with dual voltage... automatically selects whatever it needs. That way, I only need a plug adapter. I have never had an issue - and have had a dual voltage curling iron for more than 15 years. I have 2 sets of adapters - that way, I can take more than 1 for whatever region I am visiting - and am not fighting with my DH to use the adapter -- or having to set up an elaborate schedule so everything is charged when needed. Fran
  7. Some companies do a 7 night cruise (Luxor - Aswan - Luxor) - and some do a 4 night cruise (Luxor - Aswan --> fly back to Cairo). The cruise may or may not include a trip to Abu Simbel. But, often is it available at an extra cost. We did lots of research into the options - and decided we wanted a 7 night cruise. We had pretty much decided on Uniworld, but they had not confirmed their extensions for 2020 - and, by the time they did - the basic cruise price really jumped. We figured we would be waiting for a sale - but then found a small company that would give us the Nile/Cairo - plus Israel & Jordan - for what we were looking at before Uniworld raised their prices. We leave in about 2 months... VERY excited. Fran
  8. Hi - We have done both... the Danube twice, and going back to Eastern Europe for a 2nd time next year. Both "return trips" are with a different company for a different experience. It really depends on what you are looking for. The Nuremberg to Budapest will most likely be busier - as that is a favourite itinerary. It is good if you have an interest in WWII history, as there is lots to discover - especially in Nuremberg. If you choose that one, I would look for an itinerary that stops in Bratislava - a wonderful town, walkable from the boat. I would spend extra time in Budapest - but do it on your own. Prague is a good extension - but a little more difficult to get to by yourself. So, I would suggest starting in Budapest - spend a day or two ahead of the cruise - and visit Prague after. If you don't book something with a Prague extension (but it is an option) ask about tagging along on the transfer --> there will be a charge, but it would be easier to get there with a group. But - Bucharest to Budapest is also a great itinerary. If you choose that, I would suggest starting in Bucharest - and take a trip to Transylvania before boarding the boat. We did not do that last time - so booked an itinerary this time that includes it. Bucharest is still recovering from the oppressive rule - and so starting there, you cruise from the "have not" area towards areas that have pulled themselves up a bit further financially. And - I would suggest extra days in Budapest at the end. Budapest is one of our favourite cities in Europe... We have been there 3 times - with another visit next October. Lots to see & do there - friendly people, not as expensive as many other cities in Europe. What ever you decide - have fun planning!! If you have further questions... ask away!! Fran
  9. We are going in January - booked with a tour group, travelling on a Movenpick boat (the MS Sunray). I will be able to report back when we return - but that may not be soon enough for you. Fran
  10. No, bags are not checked... but - about bags. There is *no* place (at least that I found...) where you were given a plastic bag - you had to purchase one. We shopped at a grocery store a couple of times along the way - and, so had purchased a couple of bags. We just made sure we took them along with us when we left the boat - in case we wanted to buy something. Of course, you could always take a reusable bag with you. I actually wished I had thought to bring one (I have a few of them - but didn't pack any...) Fran
  11. I read the thread posted above by hallasm... our experience on the Kong Harald was a bit different in that there was no charge for either the washing machines or dryers. (We travelled last month.). Apparently the tokens/detergent system was a bit of a nightmare, so you just put your clothes in the machine - chose the cycle (hot/warm/cold) - and hit "start". The detergent dispenses automatically. We didn't have any problem getting a machine when we wanted to do our laundry. Fran
  12. I got the same e-mail... and almost had a stroke when I read the price!! The itinerary is good, but you can do most of it (except for St. Pierre/Miquelon) easily as a land tour. Fran
  13. There will be lots of sales coming up - just watch the websites. G.M.T has some good thoughts/suggestions. If you have a specific date/itinerary in mind, your options might be a bit more limited. But, if your Mom doesn't have any specific "must see" destinations - and just wants to experience a river cruise - then you should be able to find something for the date/price point you are interested in. Companies will often waive the Single Supplement if they have a sailing that they want to fill. September sailings often (at least in my experience) will be sold out - so you might have better luck with an August sailing. But, this will probably depend on the company, and the itinerary. Enjoy your planning!! And, feel free to ask any questions you may have... We have a great deal of collective knowledge here - and most people are very willing to offer opinions and suggestions. Fran
  14. Hi there... Update. What a difference a day makes... (Or, maybe it is that "visibility" on spaces such as Cruise Critic helps to provide a gentle nudge....) Avalon has now reinstated the credit. They kept trying to say that the EBD should not have been applied (and, perhaps it shouldn't have been - due to the other credit they gave us - but they offered it up, so we didn't argue!!). So they removed it.... They kept trying to say that they notified us that it was removed - but, no such notification was received. And, no updated invoice even though they said they notified us 6 months ago. If they had notified us at the time of booking that the EBD could not be used (most companies will not let you compound discounts), or had notified us within a few days that it was an error - that would be a different situation. But, to let us go 6 months - and only find out by accident when we asked for the booking to be transferred - is not acceptable. The rep in Toronto has apologized for this situation - saying that they had to look into what had transpired before the credit was reinstated. We have an absolutely *AWESOME* TA who would not let this go. She has been working on this since last week - I am sure she has put +++ hours into clearing this up. This just confirms (at least to me....) that a good TA is absolutely worth their weight in gold. Anyway, wanted to update. As I said in another thread, I still believe Avalon offers a quality product --> it was the booking process that caused so much grief. Hopefully there will be some process improvements made to prevent this from happening to anyone else. And the take away here.... always keep all correspondence, and read *everything* when it arrives in. Our TA did send the booking packages out to both of us to review - it would have been a nightmare if we didn't review, only to discover the $1200 discrepancy at time of final payment. Fran
  15. Thanks.... I do keep everything - and my husband laughs when I read all fine print - and confirm all calculations. In times like this, my "e-mail hoarding" is a positive thing!! We have an awesome TA - that we have dealt with for almost 15 years. Can't imagine trying to deal with this without her support. Fran
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