Author Archives: Ralph Grizzle

There are 396 articles by Ralph Grizzle published on this site.


Wow! We were impressed and encouraged while listening to Michael DaCosta, CroisiEurope’s General Manager, North America. Mike spent an hour with us talking about CroisiEurope’s return to cruising. River cruisers and barges are back in business, with no incidents (knock on wood). Capacity is limited to 75 percent, and dining is done in two shifts, unlike the single seating on CroisiEurope’s ships during normal times. In this informative webinar, Mike outlined several itineraries currently operating and discussed protocols. If you want to feel good about the future of cruising, check out our replay of Wednesday’s webinar. Read the rest of this entry »

Replay of a chat with four of Scenic Group’s top cruise chefs. Learn what it takes to create the top-quality dining options enjoyed by guests on Scenic and Emerald Waterways river cruises as well as on the world’s first Discovery Yacht, the ultra-luxury Scenic Eclipse. Whether it is dealing with the variety of special diets, operating eight restaurants on one ship for 228 guests, producing five-star meals in a kitchen just a little bigger than a postage stamp Read the rest of this entry »

Replay: On Wednesday, July 15, at 2PM, we will be joined by a panel from American Cruise Lines. During the webinar, we will hear about what American Cruise Lines offers travelers looking to cruise within the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

Replay: On Wednesday, July 8, we will be joined by a panel from Crystal River Cruises. During the webinar we will be joined by the Vice President of Crystal River Cruises, Walter Littlejohn, along with the company’s Director Of Shore Excursions and Vice President of Entertainment. Read more about my voyage on Crystal Bach this past October. Read the rest of this entry »

When will AmaWaterways resume cruising? Late August hopefully. Check out our Happy Hour with AmaWaterways’ Executive Vice President and Co-Founder Kristin Karst, along with Leo Starico and Wade Korzan, who head AmaWaterways’ Basel office, and Madalina Caldaruse, a cruise manager who has sailed on many Ama voyages. Hear how Ama is preparing to return to cruising, as well as what we can look forward to for 2021 and 2022. Read the rest of this entry »

This informative session will appeal to all walks of travelers, including solo travelers. Riviera offers 20 itineraries on 10 rivers and waterways, including exclusive departures for solo travelers with no single supplement. Moreover, Riviera hangs its hat on exceptional value, promising never to add hidden surcharges or fees. Riviera also doesn’t automatically include gratuities or drinks, so the choice is up to guests. Read the rest of this entry »

Silversea Cruises prepares to take delivery of new ship Silver Origin, following a great display of resilience, determination and fine European craftsmanship from Dutch shipyard De Hoop. Despite the global lockdown, De Hoop implemented rigid safety procedures, reduced its workforce, and devised ingenious ways to overcome posed challenges, including a world-first during the ship’s sea trial. Read the rest of this entry »

 

On May 6, our panelists included representatives from the French Atlantic Ports. We can’t promise champagne delivered to your doorstep, but we can promise an informative discussion with official reps from river cruise and ocean cruise destinations, including Rouen, Le Havre, Nantes-St Nazaire, La Rochelle and Bordeaux. Let’s get ready to visit France virtually. Read the rest of this entry »

Looking Toward The Future Of Cruising

Special guests joined us from AmaWaterways, Avalon, Riviera, Silversea and Teeming River Cruises to discuss the future of cruising. Here’s the replay from April 7, 2020. Read the rest of this entry »

Should You Stay? Or Should You Go?

 

For those of us who are on river cruises soon, a prevalent question can be summed up in the first two lines of The Clash’s 1982 hit, Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

It’s an easier question to answer for hesitant travelers who stand to lose only fractions of their substantial investments than it is for those who will lose all that they spent on their holidays if they cancel. In case you’re wondering how some travelers stand to lose only part of their investments should they cancel, we’re referring to Cancel For Any Reason travel insurance. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheatsheet: Is This Included In My River Cruise?

 

Knowing what’s included in your river cruise (and what’s not) can sometimes be a deciding factor as to which river cruise company to book.  While our comparisons identify much of what’s included, sometimes the answer requires more than a simple yes or no. For example, while most of the river cruise companies that we write about offer complimentary shore excursions in ports of call, some charge for “optional” excursions. Read the rest of this entry »

On average only 6 out of 10 American’s take a vacation every year and for some that might be because they don’t feel they can afford it. If you are wanting to plan a cruise but need to save money while doing it, then you are in luck. We have plenty of tips and ideas to help you do just that.

Keep reading to learn about how to save money on a cruise. Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Alaska Cruises For 2020

Oftentimes when people think of cruising they think about Caribbean getaways and beach trips. Maybe they think of Europe and cruising the Baltic. Or maybe they think of crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner as their relatives did in the past. There are many regions to cruise, but today I want to focus on one region alone. One that just so happens to be right in our backyard.

Alaska has always intrigued me. It’s part of the United States, yet it feels so disconnected. Maybe it’s because of the weather, but then again there are snowy landscapes and cold temperatures in many US states. Maybe it’s the landscapes. Maybe it’s the wildlife. Likely it’s a combination of all of these things. Read the rest of this entry »

CroisiEurope to Cruise the Nile in 2020

Beginning in February 2020, discover the mysteries of ancient Egypt along the Nile River with CroisiEurope Cruises on board the luxurious Steigenberger Royale. This new port-to-port, eight-day cruise takes passengers through over 2,000 years of history across the Land of Pharaohs, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience. Read the rest of this entry »

The Top 10 Best European River Cruises For 2020

Many of the best river cruises in Europe get overlooked by the average consumer. We’re going to make it easy for you to choose a spot, whether it’s your first time on a river cruise or you’re a pro. Here are the top 10 European river cruises for 2020. Read the rest of this entry »

One big surprise during my cruise on Crystal Bach was the Moselle. It wasn’t my first time on the river, but the weather and the time of year conspired to make the Moselle Europe’s most beautiful river – at least in my view.

On Crystal Bach, we cruised from Amsterdam along with sister ship Crystal Debussy. In Koblenz, Crystal Bach docked with its nose pointed up the Moselle, while Debussy docked in the direction of the Rhine. We each departed, and after a few hours of sailing, my feeling was that we got the better end of the bargain. Read the rest of this entry »

Live From Crystal Bach: First Impressions

Last Thursday, I stepped aboard Crystal Bach in Amsterdam. Today, docked in a vineyard on the Moselle midway through our 10-night voyage, I sat down to pen my initial impressions of Bach and Crystal River Cruises. Here are three things that stand out for me – so far. Read the rest of this entry »

River Cruise 101: Viking River Cruises

You’ve probably heard of the company founded by Torstein Hagen in 1997, which earned a Guinness World Record for christening the most ships ever in a single day, a whopping 16. In fact, Viking has more river cruise vessels operating in Europe than any other company, with more than 50 in the fleet.

Established in 1997, Viking River Cruises acquired KD River Cruises in 2000. The California-based company now operates a remarkable fleet of more than 60 river cruise vessels throughout Europe, Russia & the Ukraine, China and Southeast Asia, and Africa. And, that doesn’t include Viking’s award-winning ocean-going vessels Read the rest of this entry »

River Cruise 101: Where To River Cruise

Europe has more navigable rivers than any other region in the world, and arguably more diverse cultures along its river banks than almost any other region. Cruising the entire length of the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers alone—made possible thanks to the Main–Danube Canal—exposes travelers to 10 countries. Along the way are charming villages, fabled cities, fairy-tale castles, vineyards and more—all accessible from your floating hotel. However, this is far from the only inland artery. Germany also boasts the Moselle, Neckar and Elbe rivers, while France showcases the Loire, Seine, Saône and Rhône, and these are but two countries. Then there are rivers that even intrepid travelers may have never heard of Read the rest of this entry »

Last week, in the first of a series, we presented a live Q&A about river cruising. If you missed the webinar, you’ll find a recording of it below. We found the webinar format to be an excellent way to connect with our readers (and river cruise company representatives – Mary Murrin from Tauck, for example, joined us live to answer a few questions). Read the rest of this entry »

I felt like a kid opening a Christmas present last week when my AmaWaterways cruise documents arrived. The docs are for an upcoming cruise on AmaMagna and a christening ceremony on July 11. Three things that excite me about this trip:

  1.  AmaMagna itself, which is nearly double the width of traditional river cruisers. That extra width gives the new ship more in amenities, public rooms and space, resulting in a lot for us to explore and write about.
  2. I’m traveling with my daughter, Britton Frost, who is, of course, the host of Avid Travel with Britton Frost. Have you heard her latest, An Interview With Samantha Brown?
  3. And TV host Samantha Brown, who, as godmother of AmaMagna, will send a bottle of bubbly smashing against the hull of the new ship on christening day.

Our cruise itinerary is called “Melodies of the Danube.” Read the rest of this entry »