A post to Tom Ogg: I took your advice and after much research, I found a deal for a Rhine River Holiday with Grand Circle, leaving on Dec. 30, 2005 for Amsterdam and Germany during the Christmas holiday on the MS Ravel with a 3 night post-cruise stay in Heidelberg, Germany. We are very excited about this trip as this is our first riverboat trip. Hope we were not foolish to go in the dead of winter, but the price was right. If you or anyone can enlighten us about this itinery or the boat itself, I would appreciate it. We have out-cruised the Caribbean. Thanks
Geri, First of all, I apologize for not responding to your post before now. I just found it. I have not cruised on Grand Cirtcle's river boats, but have heard from experienced river boat cruisers that they are the best of the best. Your itinerary is interesting and you should expect wonderful ports and sightseeing. I am not sure I would plan too much time sunbathing on the sun deck however...VBG.
Plan to dress in layers and you will have a great cruise!
Traveling Lady, I am on her the sailing before you and can't wait to see the changes sine the last time I cruised her about a year and a half ago. I understand that there have been many improements made. Be sure to visit the Maitre d' to see if he can sit you with other singles in your age group.
Have a great cruise on the Lirica and be sure to write a review when you return.
I wanted to take the opportunity to write back about our cruise on March 26th - Eastern Carribean aboard the MSC Opera. The chats and reviews really helped us get a sense of what to expect. For example the wine package as described was a great deal! 7 bottles of wine and 7 bottles of water for approx. 90 USD!
Regarding the experience I wanted to post a review but the site is not up at this time. So in this chat space I'll say that this cruise was the highlight of our vacations! We have stayed at numerous resorts and were a little concerned that a cruise would have less activity and a limited age range of passengers. This cruise had a variety - I would say a third older, and the remaining a balance of some families, mid range couples, etc Not a whole lot of children but enough that if kids go along they would find a group to hang out with. One American travel agent felt the cruise could have kept more of their Italian touches. I would say that based on American reviews the ship has tried to incorporate some of these touches. I would say the ship now has a balance of this and they need to keep the Italian flare which made us really enjoy this experience. We were on the cruise over Easter and the beautiful Italian Easter breads, the availability of a Sunday church service, etc made the experience so special.
The ship is very clean and new. This is great because everything is so pristine. The brass was constantly being buffed and the glass spotless. The rooms are clean and well maintained. The casino is small but had enough space that I could get in to play at the tables when desired. Also lots of slot machines if that is your thing. The entertainment is top notch and we went to the later show after the later dinner sitting. If you do not want the sit down dinner option the buffet on the top deck had all the dinner options. However, we had the sit down and it was just wonderful - the food was great and the service really good. Sugar fee options are available - tasty but limited variety on desserts. The chefs are fantastic as far as cooking the steaks, meals etc as requested.
The size of the ship is what I really liked- the size lets you navigate to various locations and to move about from lounge to lounge with a nice walk between locations but not too far for ease. The workout and relaxation room with glass surround facing the open water are such a nice touch. Getting on and off the ship was very smooth. All in all, this is a cruise company that we will use again!! We returned to reality in Canada and told our friends about this great find!