Relaxing(?) at Sea

Trip Start Nov 10, 2013
Trip End Dec 04, 2013

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Flag of Sudan  , Red Sea,
Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 2 at sea. The ( ? ) in the title refers to the problem of "relaxing" as there is a lot to do on board while at sea. There have been lectures on the cultures of the countries we have/are visiting on this cruise. There is a retired NASA rocket scientist who is giving a series of lectures on the past and future space programs which have been so good that even Yvonne has attended a couple of them. There are art lectures, games to play ( we won trivial pursuit yesterday and I came in 2nd place in a game of "corn hole"-bean bag toss for those who are not from the Midwest), entertainment every evening, lectures on health, jewels, etc, and things we haven't even had time to participate in- like playing "kings on the corner" with our travel companions. Before we know it, it is cocktail hour and the day is gone....

I may have made a mistake in selecting this cruise line....Yvonne may not want to travel with the cruise lines we normally travel with now that we have tried this more up-scale line. What makes it different?

The positives:

~ not a photographer in sight
~ the "suite"( they don't call them rooms) are about 50% larger than rooms on other ships and include a walk in closet.
~ all the gratuities are included
~ no bar bills to sign, drinks of any type are free (unless you feel the need to order a $300 bottle of wine).
~ there is a refrigerator in the room stocked with anything you want
~ no extra charges for specialty restaurants of which there are three
~ no charge for shore excursions, except for a few special ones
~ 700 passengers on this ship
~ free airfare and, in some cases, a free hotel night the first night, depending on the cruise.
~ table clothes on the tables in the buffet area and when you order something from the grill they make it fresh and bring it to your table. Servers fill your coffee and water. The crystal used is of a finer quality.
~ basically everything is included; you sign for nothing except in the shops and spa.

Speaking of the food. It has been fabulous; maybe the best we have had on a cruise- creative, top quality, varied. The coffee (any type) is real and made fresh by the cup.

Now all these amenities do come at a price. The cost of the cruise is more than the other lines we frequent. I have not done a detailed comparison, but a fellow passenger told me he estimated it to be about 10-15% more.

The entertainment is only average. The boutique is small with limited selections. The casino is almost non-existent.

So, is it worth the extra expense? Not sure yet. It is a different level of experience and we have to admit we like it.
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Ron on

I'm going to guess the Normandy beaches.

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