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Old June 22nd, 2004, 10:52 AM
ggo
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Default Re: Re: Re: amsterdam to basel cruise

>Can you get coffee, tea at any time?

As I recall, it was available pretty much all day in the lounge. Maybe not at 3:00 a.m., but wasn't up at that time, so I'm not sure.

>Is there ice available anywhere on the ship?

There are ice containers in your room. I think the stewards refill them. I don't recall seeing an ice machine in the public areas. Again, I never looked and we never used any.

They do provide ice water in the lounge during the day. It is in a small container and, when everyone returns from a tour on a hot day, can briefly run low. If you mention it to the staff, however, they will refill it promptly.

>What time are meals?

Breakfast is a buffet that generally starts around 6:30 or 7:00 and runs til 8:00 or so, depending on what time the day's tour is supposed to start. You can also order certain items from a menu, such as pancakes, omelets, etc. Allow a little extra time for that. Lunch is around noon, although it also may vary slightly if the tours are long. There are two options for lunch -- a buffet in the lounge or a sitdown meal in the dining room. I never went to the sitdown. The ONLY difference is that the sitdown offers one additional entree and the buffet has small sandwiches. Menus are posted in the morning, so you know your options.

>How formal do you have to dress for dinner?
Most nights, a collared shirt and slacks (such as khakis) for the men. Equivalent for the women. Shorts and jeans are not appropriate. (BTW, we'd read on this board that shorts weren't allowed for breakfast or lunch. That was NOT true on our ship; people did wear shorts to meals other than dinner.) On "formal" nights, most men wore a jacket. Some also wore a tie. Some wore a tie and no jacket. None wore tuxes. Very few wore suits. For the women, a cocktail dress is too dressy. Khakis too casual. A "nice" dress or dressy slacks are fine. There are two "formal" nights on a 12-night cruise.

>Can you regulate the heating/cooling in your cabin?
Yes

>Is there adequate storage space for two people?

Depends on how much stuff you bring! Seriously, we were fine. Suitcases can be stored under the bed unless they are really huge.

>If you don't like the dinner choices is there a standard steak choice like on ocean cruises?

Yes. Each meal offers 2 entrees -- one is always fish and the other usually some form of meat (steak, pork, chicken, etc.) Not a lot of vegetarian dishes. The food is not particularly ethnic -- I would describe it as Americanized-European. Generally quite good.

They offer Caesar salad, grilled chicken and grilled steak (rib-eye) at all dinners. We found the steak particularly good.

I would encourage you, when possible, to eat some meals in port. Germany has great food that is not all that expensive. IMO, eating at the same restaurant for 3 meals a day for 12 days gets old, no matter what they serve.

A few other things that may or may not interest you: we were one the Viking Danube (which may now have been renamed) which had a small swimming pool. Very limited exercise equipment -- pretty much a stationary bike and a rowing machine. However, there is always the option of walking and running in port.

Ship's tours depart ON TIME. When they say the tour leaves at 8:00 a.m., that means the buses pull out at that time. If you appear at 8:05, you will miss the bus (or walking tour). Ditto for pickup times in the city returning to the ship. So be prompt.

You have the option to tip at the end of the cruise. They leave an envelope in your room. If you choose to tip, you put the envelope in a box at the reception desk. If you prefer to charge your tip, you can do so at the reception desk. If you decide not to tip, no one will notice. They "recommended" $10 per person per day. Given the status of the dollar, it might now be 10 Euros. However, tipping is purely optional -- we did tip b/c we thought the service was excellent.

You can bring your own wine aboard. There is a corkage fee of $7 per bottle, as I recall. Sometimes they'll waive it -- didn't happen too often on our cruise. There are no refrigerators in the rooms.

If you have add'l questions, please ask. There's no way I can guess at everything you might want to know.
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