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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 4th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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Default Booking a european cruise

My husband and I would like to book a northern european cruise for next spring. Has anyone gone on any of these cruises with Celebrity or RCCL ? Should we book our own air? Has anyone been on the Constellation or Jewel? We are more concerned with itinerary than ship. Which cruiseline should we use? I am favoring Celebrity with the tour that includes Finland, Germany and Russia. RCCL does not include Germany. However an RCCL cruise would make me a Platinum Crown & Anchor. Would I get discounts on future cruise more than a Gold. Any other recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 20th, 2004, 09:46 PM
bubbadog
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Default Re: Booking a european cruise

well my vote is for jewel,ive had my eye on this cruise for awhile now ,and i prefer the itinerary,but both would good and the answer is yes to platinum,always book our own airfare we get better price ))))))),just jump in and go for it))
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Old October 21st, 2004, 10:25 AM
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Default Re: Re: Booking a european cruise

You might also consider taking a look at Oceania. We have a hold on a balcony penthouse cabin with butler service for $2450 for a 12-night cruise. This beats Celebrity's pricing for 2005 Baltic/Russia, and Oceania is a much more upscale line, so the price is excellent. Another bonus is 3 days in St. Petes instead of 2. But check out Oceania carefully. The shows/entertainment is not as good, there are no formal nights (although you can dress up if you want to), and it caters to those who are interested in quiet, elegant luxury and the ports. The food is also excellent, and there is no charge for the premium restaurants. It's just perfect for us but may not be for others.

We've done this itinerary before and can answer any questions that you might have; it's great, so I hope you have a wonderful trip.
Donna
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Old October 21st, 2004, 11:05 AM
AR
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Default Re: Booking a european cruise

I doubt that you could go far wrong with either cruise. Took the Connie last May on that run and really enjoyed it. There has been a disquieting run of posts about a decline in food quality lately on RCL which you might want to check out. Haven't been on them in two years so I can't comment personally.

While the general rule is that you'll do better with airfare on your own, occasionally flights to Europe are the exception (along with open jaw itineraries). So you'd do well to comparison shop. It's pretty much certain that there will continue to be European fare wars next year. A lot depends on your travel dates and when you book the air.
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Old October 21st, 2004, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Re: Booking a european cruise

Oops--meant to say above that Oceania is a 14-night like Celebrity. I think RCCL does 12-night.

We thought we were the only ones who have been on the Dolphin ships! We took our first cruise on Dolphin over 14 years ago in the Bahamas and were hooked! We've been at least once a year since then.
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Booking a european cruise

Don't forget to factor in the airfare. RCCL and Celebrity don't include air with their prices, and I've found their prices slightly higher than if I were to book the flights on my own, despite their presumed ability to negotiate lower prices as a travel agency.

Oceania's offering an early booking promotion that throws in free R/T airfare if you book by Oct 31.
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 09:59 AM
chez
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Default Re: Booking a european cruise

The ports in this part of the world are great. No need to book ships tours, they all offer something when you just able arround. We were on Constellation in August & didn't have to pay any port transfers to the towns.

Russia is a must, it is so beautiful, again don't do the ships tours as you will miss loads of things out with timewaisting of 60 people getting on & off the bus. We went with red October, but I believe others opperators are just as good. Had a fantastic time, the guide was excellent, they had us back to the ship in plenty of time both nights (early start 7.30am), but YOU choose what you want to see. Only thing I wouldn't recommend ins the lunch. Take something from the ship. We read about people being kept behind by guards etc on the boards, but to be honest they never checked our bags on both days & never saw them checking anyone elses.

Have a great time, buy a digital camera, unless you want to be carrying loads of films around with you. Between four digital cameras in my family we took over 700 picture alone in Russia.

Chez
:-)
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Old November 3rd, 2004, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Booking a european cruise

We were just on the Enchantment and tried to book the Jewel for 2005. The ship is pretty booked up for summer 2005. We have a busy summer with weddings, graduations and etc. so we have a booking for 2006. I will keep an eye out for 2005 just in case something opens up. Otherwise we may jump on another ship to the Caribbean in 2005, I would hate to skip a year of cruising. Thanks for all of the advice!

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Old November 5th, 2004, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Booking a european cruise

I'd be sure there is a stop in Estonia. It was a very unexpected highlight of that itinerary.
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:09 PM
chez
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Default Re: Booking a european cruise

yes i have heard that estonia is a great place to visit, for some reason our cruise was 12 nights, the previous cruises were 14 nights and included Estonia (my husband has been there on business and wanted to show us around). The also spent overnight in copenhagen, which I also would have like as it was such a beautiful city.

So basically choose the cruise carefully, we were locked into that particular week as my sister is a special needs teacher and works within school holidays.

chez
:-)
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