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  #1  
Old June 25th, 2012, 01:09 PM
bobpell bobpell is offline
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Smile Anyone used Jerry VanDyke river cruise?

Any one been on the Rhine with this company?
my email address is...bobpell54@hotmail.com
Potential first timers with a bunch of questions!!
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  #2  
Old June 25th, 2012, 03:29 PM
Baybear Baybear is offline
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Isn't that Dick Van Dyke's younger brother???
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  #3  
Old June 25th, 2012, 03:41 PM
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tinylady tinylady is offline
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Hi my friend travelled with them a few years ago and raved about their experience. It was their first river cruise. This year my hubby and I are doing our first river cruise, I looked into Yan dyke because of their experience, however, decided to go with Scenic. This decision was not based on cost as both were comparable, although the cruise with scenic is a little shorter so i guess you could say it was a bit more money. The pull out beds and tiny cabin was a deal breaker for me. Even though people say you don't spend a lot of time in the cabin I do like to have the option. I felt a lot of your money on VD was for handholding, I.E. they arrange your car to the airport. Age may be a factor here, our transfers are included even though we didn't book flight with Scenic and I can call for a car to airport. Scenic has great excursions all included, tips are also included. I choose Scenic because it suited us the best, you may have different preferences. There are many good companies out there, Tauck is another excellent one that is also all inclusive.
Less inclusive but also excellent, another friend just back loved it, is Uniworld. If you talk to a river cruise specialist they will be able to help find what is best for you.
Bottom line after making my own decision I felt my friend could have done better for the money they spent, just my opinion.
What part of Ontario are you from?

Last edited by tinylady; June 25th, 2012 at 03:44 PM.
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  #4  
Old June 26th, 2012, 09:20 AM
bobpell bobpell is offline
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Yes they are related!!
We are from the GTAA Tinylady
Thanks for info on Scenic and Uniworld
I will start my research now
Tiny cabins aren't my forte!!
Bob
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  #5  
Old June 26th, 2012, 11:42 AM
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tinylady tinylady is offline
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Check out Tauck also, on par with Scenic. With Uniworld the size differs depending on which riverboat you are on, their new Anntoinette looks beautiful and I believe it does the Rhine.
Just one thing, when comparing add up all costs. Transfers, tips, wine with meals and other drinks if you are so inclined, what are the included excursions like, are all included or just a basic walking tour with the more interesting ones as options. All of this extra stuff can really add up so make sure you compare total costs you are likely to incur.
Scenic 2013, I assume that is what you are looking at, has even more inclusions plus all but their French and Russia ships/boats will have a balconies that transform at the push of a button to an enclosed sun room type area, nice if you are traveling at a cooler time of year. Alas I won't get to enjoy this feature. River cruise cabins are not that big in general, not always avoidable but Pullman beds certainly are avoidable.
The three I have mentioned are far from an inclusive list and I have based these on your original choice. They offer different styles so at that point it is down to personal style and which offers the itinerary you prefer. I believe I would, and may, travel with any of them. May do the Rhine next year myself.
Hope this helps.
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  #6  
Old June 26th, 2012, 06:39 PM
franski franski is offline
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Bob - did the Rhine with Uniworld (Christmas markets) and truly enjoyed it.

Did a Tulip Time with Scenic... also good.

Scenic really is all inclusive, but the cost reflects that. I would travel with them again in a heartbeat - if I could find a good sale.

River boat cabins aren't large - and the size of the bed really impacts the final "space". Our cabin on the River Queen was adequate - but the space was rendered quite a bit smaller when the refurb added a larger bed.

I will not travel with Pullman beds - so immediately rule out any ship that has them.

I looked at Jerry van Dyke when someone from my church mentioned they were thinking of booking with them. I do agree that the increased price seemed to be for the luxury of managing all details. We do not need (nor enjoy) that degree of "management" so would not book with them. But, that is a personal choice...

Fran

P.S. We are also from the GTA...
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  #7  
Old June 27th, 2012, 01:28 PM
bobpell bobpell is offline
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Thanks Fran
Any suggestions on what sites to peruse for a good deal?
Bob
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  #8  
Old June 27th, 2012, 01:59 PM
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newfirsttimer newfirsttimer is offline
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Also from the GTA! We went with AMA last year Prague to Paris and really enjoyed them. Good sized cabins, no pullmans. We are going with Scenic this year Amsterdam to Budapest and looking forward to the all inclusivity without over management. We are taking the Acquarium class cabin this year since it was the 'air included free' cabin choice. They are still in the early booking sale phase, as are most other cruise lines, for the 2013 offerings. You should check out all the websites or call them direct. Everyone on these boards has a favourite line and I am sure they are all good, enjoyable and fun. You have to research based on what is important to you in a cruise.
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Scenic Emerald-Paris to Barcelona Sept 2013
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  #9  
Old June 27th, 2012, 02:48 PM
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tinylady tinylady is offline
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Hi FirstTimmer, I am also from Milton.
I notice that you have gone with Oceania I am thinking about 2013 and thought I might try the smaller ships, just so I have tried all types. Looking at Regent and Oceania. Although I think river is going to be my favorite and may just repeat that. What did you think of Oceania?
Sorry Bob if I have taken things of course, back to river cruising. Judy have you received info from Scenic or are you looking on the website? Free flights sounds good to me, I have to be in the Uk in August 2013 and was hoping to combine with cruise.
Thanks
Mary
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  #10  
Old June 27th, 2012, 05:09 PM
franski franski is offline
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Bob -

I signed up for e-mail notifications from all of the major players. That gives me an idea of what a "regular" cruise will cost me, and then watch for a sale.

For Scenic - they advertise quite extensively in the Toronto Star, so look for their adverts (usually full page, on the back of a section - not usually the travel section...). I snapped up a great deal on the Tulip Time itinerary that way.

Fran
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  #11  
Old June 27th, 2012, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinylady View Post
Hi FirstTimmer, I am also from Milton.
I notice that you have gone with Oceania I am thinking about 2013 and thought I might try the smaller ships, just so I have tried all types. Looking at Regent and Oceania. Although I think river is going to be my favorite and may just repeat that. What did you think of Oceania?
Sorry Bob if I have taken things of course, back to river cruising. Judy have you received info from Scenic or are you looking on the website? Free flights sounds good to me, I have to be in the Uk in August 2013 and was hoping to combine with cruise.
Thanks
Mary
Hi Mary
I absolutely loved Oceania, loved the smaller ship, the Horizons lounge at the front of the ship and the uncrowded feeling, and no dress up nights. Would go with them again in a heartbeat!
I attended a Scenic roadshow in June 2011 and was very impressed with the organization and the product offerings so we booked the Amsterdam to Budapest 15 day cruise for Sept 2012. At the time I had not yet taken my first river cruise which was in Sept 2011 with AMA Waterways. That one was 7 nights from Prague to Paris and it also was very enjoyable. I attended another Scenic roadshow this year and have booked with them, 19 days Paris to Barcelona, leaves Augus 25? 2013.
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Scenic Emerald-Paris to Barcelona Sept 2013
Freedom OTS-E. Caribbean March 2013
Scenic Emerald Amsterdam to Budapest Sept 2012
Emerald Princess-S. Caribbean Jan 2012
AMA Amalegro Prague to Paris Sept 2011
Oceania Insignia Venice -Barcelona -September 2010
Coral Princess Panama Canal FLL to LA Dec 2009
Emerald Princess Baltic Aug 2009
Caribbean Princess S. Caribbean B2B Nov 2008
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  #12  
Old June 27th, 2012, 05:39 PM
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tinylady tinylady is offline
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Thanks Judy,
I guess I should have looked into those info sessions. Paris to Barcelona sounds absolutely amazing. Did you get a good Ebd this time? I have just downloaded the new bouchure and am looking forward to looking through it. Based on your experience, when do you think is the best time to book with both Scenic and Oceania? Also, was therea particular reason you choose Oceania over Regent,
Thanks for the great info, I'm sure it is useful to Bobpell too.
Mary
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  #13  
Old June 27th, 2012, 09:12 PM
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newfirsttimer newfirsttimer is offline
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I chose Oceania for the itinerary. I had never been to Italy and the cruise was from Venice to Barcelona with a lot of stops in Italy and we did a 5 day pre cruise in Tuscany. The smaller ships can get into smaller ports. Never considered Regent because felt it was too high end for my budget. With respect to Scenic, the EBD was included air. I looked at many cruise lines for this French cruise but not all did a Barcelona extension and the tours/inclusions offered by Scenic appear to be better than some of the other lines
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Scenic Emerald-Paris to Barcelona Sept 2013
Freedom OTS-E. Caribbean March 2013
Scenic Emerald Amsterdam to Budapest Sept 2012
Emerald Princess-S. Caribbean Jan 2012
AMA Amalegro Prague to Paris Sept 2011
Oceania Insignia Venice -Barcelona -September 2010
Coral Princess Panama Canal FLL to LA Dec 2009
Emerald Princess Baltic Aug 2009
Caribbean Princess S. Caribbean B2B Nov 2008
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