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About Needzavacation

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Dallas, Texas
  1. Needzavacation

    Article on low water levels

    An article and photos in the New York Times on the low water levels on the Rhine and Danube: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/04/world/europe/rhine-drought-water-level.html?action=click&module=In Other News&pgtype=Homepage&action=click&module=&pgtype=Homepage
  2. Needzavacation

    At home but should be on Empress..

    Also check to see if your credit card includes an insurance benefit. We had to cancel a cruise last year the day before sailing, and hadn't purchased trip insurance. Then I remembered my Citi card has a trip insurance benefit. We had to send in a letter from a physician, but within 30 days, we got a full refund.
  3. We cruise on Royal and Regent both, but for different occasions. We typically do a holiday cruise with extended families on Royal, which is a good choice for us because of the wide range of ages. But we do "adult" (50s) on Regent, and we really enjoy Regent for different reasons. Your first Regent cruise can give you sticker shock, but the experience justifies the cost (for the most part). Regent staterooms are quite large and quite comfortable; dining is significantly better than a mainstream cruise line; and everything is included, including open bar, most excursions and WiFi. The smaller size of a Regent ship is also an advantage if you're on a port-intensive itinerary, since you're not competing with thousands of passengers to disembark in a port. And the level of service on Regent is just above and beyond anything we ever experienced on a mainstream cruise line. We also took my mother (80s but active) on Regent a few times, and she loved every minute (and she joins us on Royal Caribbean every holiday). So we enjoy them both, but for different types of vacations and for different reasons.
  4. Needzavacation

    Aperol Spritz

    For those of you who enjoy an Aperol Spritz on a Regent ship: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/17/style/aperol-spritz-drink-summer.html
  5. Needzavacation

    Can anyone recommend a hotel in Amsterdam

    Another vote for Banks Mansion. We've stayed there three times now.
  6. Needzavacation

    Passau to Prague

    We arranged a private car through our hotel in Prague (Aria Hotel), and it was just under $300. We sailed with AmaWaterways, but were not on the post-cruise land program. However, we could have paid extra to join their group transportation to Prague, but we wanted to go direct without any stops in between so we'd have more time in Prague.
  7. Needzavacation

    Dressy crops

    We’re currently on Explorer, and we’ve seen a couple of women in white jeans during dinner, and more than a few men in what I’d call “dress jeans” - not denim, but twill or another fabric in a style that most of us know as jeans. Doesn’t bother us at all, but it did make us take notice.
  8. Needzavacation

    Strikes in Europe 2018

    We encountered this situation during the train strikes a few years ago. The night before we were supposed to take the TGV from Paris to Lyon, I went online and reserved a rental car. We ended up driving to Lyon and dropping the car at the train station in that city. Definitely not my first choice, but once we got out of Paris, it was a very easy drive.
  9. Needzavacation

    Will overtourism affect river cruising?

  10. Needzavacation

    Viking or AMA Waterways?

    Another consideration is how the company handles issues when things don't go as planned, such as water levels that are too high or too low. Spend some time reading the reviews - AMA tends to shine here (and we experienced it first-hand on the Rhine). Our tally is 6 river cruises with AMA, so they obviously get our vote.
  11. We had stayed there many times pre-cruise, and had a tower reservation confirmed when it was still a Hyatt. In reading reviews, we discovered the tower is still closed post-hurricane, but they hadn't been informing anybody in advance. On arrival, they were putting guests in marina rooms without adjusting the rate for the downgrade. We cancelled. The reviews on TripAdvisor are essentially terrible.
  12. We always put half a dozen bottles of water in each our suitcases, and they always come straight to our stateroom door.
  13. Needzavacation

    Mobile Passport App

    We have both and have used both. SIx of one, etc. With the mobile app, there was no line. The Customs agent looked at our passports, looked at the app, and sent us through - took all of about 30 seconds.
  14. We had a very creaky suite on Mariner several years ago. It sounded like it was coming from the ceiling panels, and one night when I couldn't sleep due to the sound, I reached up to try to pushthe panels ... and noticed that whoever was there before me had inserted toothpicks into the spaces where the panels met, in an obvious effort to stop the creaking sounds.
  15. Needzavacation

    Pier 66 Ft. Lauderdale

    There are a couple of recent reviews on Tripadvisor since the hotel re-opened, and they're not too favorable at this point.