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  1. Drewlin

    What makes you think river cruising is boring?

    We did an Emerald Waterways cruise down the Rhine, Main and Danube, Amsterdam to Budapest. It was fantastic! The ship was beautiful, the food wonderful and the crew brilliant especially the wine waitress at dinner who kept trying to refill my glass with the words 'you drink, I drive!'. The sighs and excursions were interesting and informative with local guides who all spoke excellent English. In the evenings there was relaxed entertainment and visits from from local bands or craftspeople. We never had a moment to be bored!
  2. Drewlin

    Inside MSC Cruises First Meraviglia Class Ship

    We're booked on Meraviglia this June and can't wait. Our only experience of MSC was on Preziosa last June but we were in Yacht Club and it was fantastic. We've just got a balcony this time so will be interesting to check out the difference.
  3. Drewlin

    Koningsdam goes Forth

    You wait for ages for the opportunity to have a ship’s tour, then two come along at once. This week we had the pleasure of travelling up to the capital God’s country for a tour of the Koningsdam, moored on the River Forth at South Queensferry. After a good night’s sleep, in the Premier Inn, Drew was up early in the hope of getting a photo of the ship and the Forth Bridge in the dawn light. he just managed to get a picture before the mist rolled in and completely obscured them from view. Like our tour of the Silhouette, this was a self-tour, with the freedom to go as we pleased. Like the Silhouette this tour was mid cruise so we were pleasantly surprised to be told that a couple of cabins were available for viewing. We were impressed with the balcony cabins, in particular, although compact, were well appointed. I particularly liked the reading lights, and the shower looked excellent, with Elemis toiletries as standard in all the cabins. Having been impressed with the Silhouette we were particularly keen to compare it to another “Premium” cruise line and the Koningsdam doesn’t disappoint. For what they class as a mid-size ship it had the feel of a ship much larger than the 99,500 tonnes. The seating in the bar areas looked comfortable and the sofas in the “Crow’s Nest” in particular looked great and when tested were comfortable. Whilst the windows don’t have the same panoramic effect as the Yacht Club on MSC’s Preziosa, you could appreciate the scenery whilst relaxing in comfort with a drink. Also on deck 12 was the “Retreat”, the ship’s luxury sun deck with cabanas and loungers for the sun worshippers looking for a really special area to relax. The Greenhouse Spa and Salon is split over two decks (10&9) with the fitness centre at front of deck 9. Moving aft on both these decks is the Lido Pool area, whilst not as plush as the “Retreat” you would be more than comfortable here, and with the “New York Deli and Pizza” on hand on deck 10 or “Dive In” on deck 9 for burgers, you could spend all day there, whilst at sea perfectly happy. The ‘Lido Market” is the place if you wanted a wider selection for lunch. We had passed “Canaletto”, the Italian Speciality dining option (evenin) and it took a minute or two to realise that this was the ship’s buffet area. The tables are set with glasses and cutlery, which certainly raises the standard compared to more popular cruise lines. All too soon it was time to make our way to the main dining room for lunch, but not before we checked out the sea view bar and pool. The lunch menu consisted of Sea Food Platter, followed by Tomato and Basil soup then a choice of Barramundi or Tenderloin of Beef (our choice) followed by Chocolate and Peanut Tart, with Rum and Raisin Ice Cream. All were delicious, the Tenderloin in particular, and the Tart and Raisin Ice Cream certainly did not breach the Trades Description Act as it had a definite alcoholic kick to it!! As I am diabetic, unfortunately, I have to avoid such sugary treats but the waiter was quite happy to provide me with some sugar free ice cream. After lunch there was a presentation by the sales team, although there was no need for a sales pitch as the quality of the ship and lunch had convinced us that we would have no qualms in booking a cruise with them in the future. With half of their fleet dedicated to Alaska, the combination of their expertise there and quality of their ships, if the Koningsdam is a good benchmark, would make them prime candidates for a cruise in that region. We concluded, as we made our way back to shore, that a couple of hours certainly weren’t long enough. I doubt a 7 night cruise would be either. Whilst we normally look to cruise further afield, at anchor in the Forth next to the railway bridge in wonderful sunshine, the option of sailing in the UK on such a beautiful ship certainly gives food for thought.
  4. We did a ship's tour of Koningsdam in South Queensferry and can agree with everything that you have said. She is a beautiful ship, very elegant in an understated way. I'll put our review up soon too.
  5. Drewlin

    YC1 suite MSC Preziosa

    Some photos of our suite in Yacht Club on MSC Preziosa (June 2016) Complimentary Mini bar Walk in wardrobe Dressing table/desk
  6. Drewlin

    Military On Board Credit

    Royal Caribbean also give a military discount.