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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252489 01/18/20 04:45 AM
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Has anyone started looking at tours on the Budapest to Vilshofen trip? Only excursion to Salzburg is from Vilshofen on last full day and is 9 hours; I am sure most of that in a bus.

Marc



Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252490 01/18/20 03:45 PM
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we won't be doing Salzburg for sure......agree much of that is probably on a bus and I don't do 9 hour tours if I can help it. It also appears as if Vienna might be like 45 minutes away, not sure, but one of the tour descriptions mentioned a 45 minute bus ride to begin exploration of Vienna.....so no just getting off and wandering, but when possible thats what we prefer to do.


JoAnn
Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252496 01/21/20 04:09 PM
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Someone just emailed me about the only changes to the Mahler itinerary since we switched from the Mozart. So I thought I would share this with you as you may not have even noticed.

Passau Germany
• Original schedule we were leaving at 8.00 pm
• New schedule we are now leaving at 11.00pm

Final Port
• Original schedule was Regensburg with a half day port time and departure the next day. Transfer to Munich airport is one hour.
• New port is now is Vilshofen with a full day and it is closer 45 minutes closer to Salzburg which is a good thing as that is popular and a long tour. Saves 1 ½ hours in the bus.
Transfer to Munich airport is one hour 30 minutes.

As to the time between cruises from debarkation on April 19 to arriving in Budapest on April 23 (night before embarkation) I am still waiting for word from Crystal on a special 4 night program, probably to Slovenia. There are many options as getting pretty much anywhere in Europe from Amsterdam is pretty easy. I know many are planning on using this as an opportunity to visit somewhere in Europe they have not been before as it is just about the perfect time to spend in one of Europe's many great cities. We can all do "our own thing".


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252499 01/22/20 09:33 PM
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Ngaire - do you know where the ship docks in relation to Vienna?


JoAnn
Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252501 01/23/20 12:36 AM
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The river runs right through Vienna and I do not remember a long transfer at all. I know we took a bus into town, saw a few things like the horses and then had free time and stopped at a fantastic coffee shop. Too many trips to remember I am afraid I think my brain if FULL.

I just looked it up online about 12 minutes from cruise dock to downtown Vienna so I guess my brain is remember well enough!


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252502 01/23/20 02:22 PM
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Oh thats great.....thanks. Really excited for this trip....so loved the river cruise in 2018. Talked Jack, Laura and Jill into it as well.

Add us to the roll call for the Danube portion please Marcie

Frank and JoAnn 206
Jack and Laura 209
Jill 210


JoAnn
Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252558 02/07/20 05:24 PM
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Well well.
Just found out Jan's brother Jeff and Helen will be joining the Danube portion of the cruise.!!!! #208


Jim

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: Jim B] #252560 02/08/20 12:13 AM
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Fantastic, Jim! Reuniting from 2016 PALM!


"Life is dull without a Cruise to look forward to!"
Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252561 02/08/20 04:47 PM
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Mary Ellen and Jim. B2B

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252562 02/08/20 05:27 PM
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This is wonderful news !! I just added you to the roll call.


Marcie

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #252563 02/08/20 06:12 PM
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Wonderful news M'ellen & Jim


Jim

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253162 04/18/20 02:39 PM
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Has anyone started looking at air? Anyone using Crystal air?

Excursions appear to be open for booking; from past experience, are there capacity controls on the free excursions such that we need to choose soon (now)?



Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253166 04/19/20 01:48 PM
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Following this Marc. I'm assuming Crystal Air works similar to Regent Air ?? Unlike Regent, we have zero status on Crystal so not sure if it includes transfers ? Is it competitively prices? Can you you pay extra to select your own flights? Thanks for sharing any info you have.


Marcie

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253169 04/19/20 06:00 PM
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Crystal air is available but last time we did a Crystal River cruise the fares were the same as you can get on your own. They do have "personal service" similar to Regents "custom air". $100 per person non refundable fare. I think everyone did their own air on the last Crystal cruise. Of course things do change it could be better now we would have to check but too early yet. I believe they do air no earlier than 10 months ahead of the cruise date.

However, your CRUISE ONLY FARE includes pick up at the airport on embarkation day and also transfer to the airport on disembarkation day. If we do a Crystal land program in-between of course transfers would be included.

I have not heard anything new on the land program they said they were looking at for our group. It was a 3 night Slovenian package, as well as a 4th night additional night in Ljubljana. I looked up Ljubljana it looked great. But now with the Covid-19 situation it seems all normal business has come to a standstill. Still plenty of time of course.. They will have to come out with that before air is available.


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253175 04/20/20 04:21 PM
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Thanks for the update Ngaire. Look forward to seeing what Crystal River Cruises comes up with.


Jim

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253176 04/21/20 05:43 PM
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I was able to go in and book excursions for the Tulip cruise yesterday. Lots of good choices.

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253183 04/22/20 08:47 PM
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Has anyone looked at their booking information and filled out the immigration forms??
After looking at the form I filled it out the best I could. They don't have my legal passport name correct
and not really sure how to correct that since there does not seem to be a way to do it.
Also signed up for our excursions while on line.




Jim

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253188 04/23/20 04:26 PM
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Excursions all booked. Filled in forms; curious why they wanted to know if I wanted to buy transfer from ship to airport as website says that is to be included. Looks like we will go into Budapest several days early as lots we want to see.

Marc



Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253192 04/25/20 12:48 PM
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Booked excursions this week, forms were still current from the one we took in 2918 so nothing to do there.. We plan to go to Budapest early as well having never been there. Not sure what to do yet about air, but we have a good amount of United points, so may be able to use points on them or a partner carrier but I think its too early yet.


JoAnn
Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253193 04/25/20 01:23 PM
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The Marriott is a great location in Budapest. From there you can walk to all the places you'll want to see. Lots of good restaurants in the area.

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253194 04/25/20 01:47 PM
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Does anyone know of a good guide service in Budapest? One day I would like to get a driver and guide to Kisvarda; I think about a three hour drive. Another day I would like to get a driver and guide to Bratislava as that has been taken off itinerary. We will also do one of two days on our own in Budapest, looking for private tours.

thanks,

Marc



Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253195 04/25/20 03:05 PM
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We have used Tours by local a couple of times and been very happy.
Not cheap, but felt well worth it.


Jim

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253196 04/25/20 04:29 PM
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I second Jim's recommendation of the Marriott! Great location. Here's some pictures of the the view from our room when we were there in 2014:

[Linked Image from filedn.com]
[Linked Image from filedn.com]
[Linked Image from filedn.com]

Also recommend the Segway tour - it was a blast!

[Linked Image from filedn.com]


Cindy

“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.” - Anthony Bourdain

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253198 04/25/20 05:30 PM
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If you have Hilton points, the Hilton by the castle in Budapest is amazing. We have stayed there twice.

Favorite thing to do in Budapest— if you are into medical history—is to tour the underground Hosptial that was used during WWII and after. It is very cool.

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253199 04/25/20 09:07 PM
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We liked the Marriott as well. Last time we decided to stay closer to the main downtown area and regretted it. Marriott is on the river and really only a few blocks to the main area. Never looked at the Hilton we have points for both will check that out.

Love talking about upcoming trips right now! So looking forward to travelling again.

My son in law and granddaughter flew DFW to Orlando on Sunday. She was with Disney and they furloughed almost her whole department and as a intern she was not full time so her internship ended. She was just starting to apply for a full time position with Disney when the virus struck. So they had to go get all her stuff in Orlando and drive home. On the plane were 5 people and a dog. DFW to Orlando. Wonder what the profit margin on that flight was! Amazing they still continue to fly. Super cheap flight as well.


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253200 04/25/20 11:23 PM
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Thanks for the Marriott recommendation.....looks really nice and Frank is lifetime Titanium so will really consider it. Right now can't even look at rates assuming they like everyone are closed as it shows no rooms available but it is also probably too soon as well.
I am right now just hoping we can do our rescheduled trip to Hawaii in July....I really don''t want to have to go through all that again.
Sorry to hear about your Granddaughter's Disney situation Ngaire, as I know from conversations with you how much this was her dream. Do you think when they re open she will get that opportunity back??


JoAnn
Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: cruisinfanatic] #253201 04/26/20 02:25 AM
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She got excellent reviews and a great letter of recommendation. Two awards during her internship. She absolutely loved working for Disney. There were so many people let go who knows maybe she will get back there again. I am sure she is going to try once things settle down. Right now no sense in looking for a job she will just have to wait this out like so many other people in even worse situations. She can stay at home and help her parents until things start to get back to normal. Luckier than many young people.


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253202 04/27/20 01:33 AM
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My friends at Disney are worried that they will be shut down here in So Cal for the rest of the year. They have all been furloughed. Many have worked there for more than 30 years which really makes them essentially unemployable anywhere else. This is for the Parks, maybe corporate and studio will be back in biz before that? Hoping for the best for all.
————————
Helen

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: Ms Understood] #253203 04/27/20 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Ms Understood
My friends at Disney are worried that they will be shut down here in So Cal for the rest of the year. They have all been furloughed. Many have worked there for more than 30 years which really makes them essentially unemployable anywhere else. This is for the Parks, maybe corporate and studio will be back in biz before that? Hoping for the best for all.
————————
Helen


If Disneyland, where they can do some "social distancing" just by limiting attendance (e.g., one family unit to ride vehicle) is to be closed all year, what are the hopes for cruises? waah



Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253205 04/27/20 10:48 PM
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Supposed to get a plan for the trip in-between the two river cruises tomorrow. Flying into Ljubljana Airport, Slovenia with visits to Postonjna, Bled Lake, Portoroz, Piran, Koper and Lipcia, Ptuj ending in Budapest
Never heard of any of these places so will start researching and anyone that also want to do some research can check this out also.

The hotels being used are the Kempinski, Portoroz - 3 nights

https://www.kempinski.com/en/istria...p;utm_content=gmb&source=S308962248P

Intercontinental Ljubljana - 2 nights

https://www.ihg.com/intercontinenta...C-_-SI-_-LJUHA#scmisc=nav_hoteldetail_ic

Arriving in Budapest the day of embarkation.

No idea of pricing or any details on the destinations we are visiting but I just looked up the towns they look great. All quite close. This will be a great visit of Slovenia. If you have been to Budapest before this will be good but if you have not been to Budapest you may want to spend time in Budapest.

This is a PRIVATE tour for our group so if the majority wanted to make it four nights instead of five nights with one night in Budapest we could always make that change. Once we have more details i will be in touch with everyone.



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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253207 04/28/20 04:06 AM
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Look forward to hearing what they say.


Jim

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253208 04/28/20 02:07 PM
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We may be interested if it's 4 nights. We've never been to Budapest before but 5 nights there seems too long. Tom wants to know if Melania Trump will be with us in Slovenia 🤣


Marcie

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253209 04/28/20 03:38 PM
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I am already thinking we should cut out one night and arrive in Budapest the day before embarkation. Just seems to rushed to go straight to the ship and not have anytime to regroup even if you have been to Budapest before.

Just need to figure out the best way to do this and make it work as well as possible. I am also a bit worried about pricing as Crystal is insane with the paid shore excursions but looking at their Prague (3 night) and Vienna (2 night) they are priced like all the other river cruises price them so it may be okay. I know I will not be getting pricing today just the overview of the itinerary proposed. As this is private we can make changes to the program. Once we decide our plan then they will price it - this is just a suggested itinerary as a starting place.

Slovenia looks wonderful based on the towns mentioned in the email last night. But this is all about what you want to do. Please feel free to email or post here your thoughts. I have no set plan.

Slovenia is a place not many of us have been so it seemed like a good plan but I am not stuck on Slovenia
Crystal did 5 nights as that is the time frame in-between but we can do whatever we like.
We could do a three night program in Slovenia or elsewhere and spend 2 nights in Budapest.
We could all go to one city - pick a great hotel and there are always tours offered by the hotels and all do our own thing or in small groups.

Lot of options have to start somewhere!!



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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253210 04/28/20 06:06 PM
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Only thing that could be a problem with 2 days in Budapest is when we get on the boat I believe we don't leave that day and actually have excursions in Budapest through the cruise line.
With that said I would probably recommend 4 days of touring and arrive Budapest the day before we get on the boat.
Since Jan & I have never been to any of these places we are really open to anything the group decides. Well as long as Crystals price is not to far out of line.


Jim

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253211 04/28/20 06:39 PM
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Actually Jim great minds think alike that is the conclusion I came too as well.

Julie pulled this together for us. She put it on a web page so we could adjust it as we started working on the tour.

This is what has been presented by Crystal. I have already figured out how to do this in four days and will send that update to Julie soon. I am still working on it.

https://www.keeneluxurytravel.com/hosted-trips/2021/slovenia_land_pkg.pdf


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253212 04/28/20 08:51 PM
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Okay here is my 4 night program arriving in Budapest the night before embarkation.

On the Crystal version we were backtracking after Lipica and Postojna Caves to return to the Hotel Kempinski. If we carried on to Ljubljana it saved time and made more sense. Most things are just an hour apart except for the last day driving to Budapest. We have a visit to a winery and lunch on the way so that will break the journey and the final drive is 4 hours, we will arrive around 5.00 pm. Bring your ipad with a movie to watch that is what I have been doing lately on longer bus rides. The roads are supposed to be good.

Did not know a thing about Slovenia except when we visited Trieste and Koper I loved those cities. Been interesting researching all of this.

All I have cut out is the walking tour of Ljubljana and the Ljubljana Castle. We will probably get to Ljubljana around 4.00 pm each day and the castle stays open until 6.00 pm. So if anyone wants to see the castle or walk the city center they can squeeze that in. Everything else that was in the program is still included

Starting at 9.00 am each day no 7.00 am starts that is NO FUN.

https://www.keeneluxurytravel.com/hosted-trips/2021/slovenia_land_pkg.pdf

If you have any other suggestions for this time between cruises or comments on this proposed trip, email me or post here and if this meets with approval I will get it priced.


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253213 04/29/20 12:44 AM
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Crystal showed us arriving at the Ljubljana at 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm. So I assumed we would leave Amsterdam around noon. I decided to look at flights.

The only nonstop does not fly everyday it is a 737 but it leaves at 6.30 am around 8.30 am. All connecting flights take too long 6+ hours. No way!

So I went back to Crystal to check this very important detail. My guess is they did not look at this from AMSTERDAM but from some other city.

It is called "back to the "drawing board"


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253214 04/29/20 12:56 AM
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Wow! The plan looked good but Jan and I both were wondering about the 3:00 - 4:00 airport arrival and wondered what that meant.
Maybe we will need to bus the way. ??


Jim

Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253215 04/29/20 01:12 AM
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I know!! After researching all of this I was really quite excited about Slovenia. Flight times can change by an hour and it was a full year away so that did not surprise me at all to see 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm. Flights not out yet.

There is a flight from Amsterdam via Rome to Trieste and from Trieste to Portoroz it is only a 30 minute drive. But still 4 hours travel time - 50 minutes layover in Rome. That worries me so tight if we missed that plane WHAT A MESS.

The non stop flight from Amsterdam to Ljubljana was 2 hours and then it was a 2 hours bus ride to Portoroz.

So time wise about the same travel.

I will go back to the drawing board and see if I can come up with an alternative. Not sure Crystal would do anything anywhere BUT Slovenia as they really have no land programs in areas that would work.


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Re: Roll Call for RIVER Crystal riverboat(s) 4/12/21 & 4/23/21 [Re: petlover] #253216 04/29/20 01:41 AM
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I have ANOTHER PLAN - will work on it tomorrow. Well it is tomorrow now and below are my thoughts.

I would have no reservations at all doing a land program with Crystal, but looking at Crystal's website they are not offering many land programs, 2 night Zurich and 3 night Prague. The reason I picked Slovenia in the first place was because Crystal used to offer that. To do any other destination we would have to hire a company to handle buses, guides etc. KLT does not do land programs and the only firm I feel confident with would be Ker & Downey but they will not do something this short. The issue is I could pick a tour company get this done, pay our deposits then Covid-19 could put them out of business. I would feel responsible and I am not prepared to take that risk.

Slovenia would have been very good but getting there for the first day is a nightmare. This is the best air option, The same route is available on KLM/Alitalia but only a 50 minute layover in Rome (too short) and the same flight Rome to Trieste. The drive from the Trieste airport to Hotel Kempinski is 30 minutes. Not not sure many of you would want to that - 3hr 25m hours of flying with a 3hr 15m minute connection - total travel time of 6hr 40m. Arriving at the hotel about 7.30 pm.

Amsterdam (AMS) to Trieste (TRS) — Mon, Apr 19

Amsterdam (AMS) to Rome (FCO) — Mon, Apr 19
Alitalia 107 Dep: 11:55 am Arr: 2:10 pm 2h 15m Airbus A321 Business (D)

Layover in FCO 3h 15m

Rome (FCO) to Trieste (TRS) — Mon, Apr 19
Alitalia 1359 Dep: 5:25 pm Arr: 6:35 pm 1h 10m Airbus A319 Economy (Y)

There is a nonstop that leaves at 6.30 am arriving about 8.30 am. SO EARLY and it does not fly everyday and checking it right now NOT MONDAY that we need.

So for now it is best if everyone does their own thing. Those on the single trips can easily do a pre or post cruise individually. Prague post from the Danube Mahler cruise with Crystal I would recommend. Not showing yet but they usually do that land program just not out yet. The people on the back to back have to come up with a plan to fill in those 5 nights and they have plenty of time to handle that as it will not affect their international flights.

Sorry about this I had high hopes for Slovenia but it appears it is not meant to be. I know that I will at some point now go to Slovenia as it is a country I would now like to see.


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