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  #1  
Old November 14th, 2011, 09:43 AM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Default Viking 'Footsteps of the Cossacks' (Ukraine)

Calling all cruisers past and present who have taken this cruise to join in an all-inclusive discussion of this Viking itinerary. I'm hoping that this will become the 'go-to' thread for all things Viking Ukraine.

DH and I are looking to book this trip for May or June, 2012. I have plenty of questions that I know can only be answered by those who have taken the trip--and I hope to find you and bring you to this cruise.

Let me start this rolling with a couple of question:
  • When is the best time to take this trip?
  • Any suggestions on flight arrangements? There is nothing direct, so tell us about your flight arrangements and how you thought they went.
  • What about visas? Do we need them?
  • What about finding ATMs?
  • Can I drink the local water or should I stick to bottled water?
  • For the most recent cruisers, tell us about the ship and the cabins.
  • Please, share your reviews, photos and travelogues. Do you travel blogs and photos on other websites? Would you share the link here?
Cruise Critic members are THE BEST source of information and I thank you all in advance.
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General discussion: VIKING/UKRAINE- Footsteps of the Cossacks -- Ship photos

General discussion for
Viking's China itineraries: PART 1 (read-only but still helpful) and PART 2 (the active discussion continues)

PHOTOS: CHINA'S CULTURAL DELIGHTS • VIKING CHINA PHOTOBLOG • BUENOS AIRES TO VALPARAISO • BALTIC CAPITALS/St.PETERSBURG • FOOTSTEPS OF THE COSSACKS PHOTOBLOG •

JOURNALS: CHINA WITH VIKING • Footsteps of the Cossacks (Ukraine with Viking)

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• 2010 --Viking River Cruises 'China's Cultural Delights' • Viking'Footsteps of the Cossacks


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  #2  
Old November 14th, 2011, 12:05 PM
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loum140 loum140 is offline
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Hi...we're booked on this trip for early June 2012 and I have lots of the same questions you do. There have been reviews of this itinerary on Cruise Critic but they're somewhat dated, so would like to hear from 2010/2011 travelers.

I can answer one question that you posted. Ukraine does not require Americans to have visas. Also, we're taking Viking's air.

This will be our 4th with Viking, including Waterways of the Czars, so we know and trust them to do a great job. Still, current comments are always appreciated and CC members always come through!
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  #3  
Old November 14th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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Hi loum140. Glad you are joining the conversation. I'm just about to call the TA to book this trip; we haven't picked a date yet and will depend on what is available. In the meantime, I'm working on gathering information about the cruise and getting more people to come to this thread to talk about it.

Andrea

PS -- feel free to contact me via e-mail. My address is in my sig file.
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  #4  
Old November 14th, 2011, 02:38 PM
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Default Photos and blogs

It took some doing but I finally found a CC post with links to photos and a blog: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showp...78&postcount=6

Facebook also has some links for photos and blogs on its FB page. It also has a discussion forum similar to CC and there are a couple of good threads for Footsteps. It is a good place to read but I'm not happy with the lack of privacy. At least here on CC were aren't posting with names and addresses that can be looked up on Superpages.

Last edited by Peregrina651; November 14th, 2011 at 02:40 PM.
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  #5  
Old November 14th, 2011, 03:37 PM
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Andrea,
Looks like you're off to a quick start.
Some of the questions you posted are answered in the journal -
Will be available - hope we can help.
Diane & Jerry
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  #6  
Old November 15th, 2011, 08:41 AM
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RE flight arrangements- I posted to the other thread.

I couldn't get close to Vikings price on my own. Use one of the booking websites to see your options.
.
I prefer flying into & out of Newark. But from Odessa to EWR required 2 plane changes so we are returning to JFK- 1 plane change.
I thought there would not be a lot of options for you, we booked the last room on our June trip.
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Last edited by sitraveler; November 15th, 2011 at 08:52 AM.
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  #7  
Old November 15th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coasters View Post
Andrea,
Looks like you're off to a quick start.
Some of the questions you posted are answered in the journal -
Will be available - hope we can help.
Diane & Jerry
With your help! The link above is to one of yours posts. I started reading your journal last night and I am taking notes like crazy!!
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  #8  
Old November 15th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sitraveler View Post
RE flight arrangements- I posted to the other thread.

I couldn't get close to Vikings price on my own. Use one of the booking websites to see your options.
.
I prefer flying into & out of Newark. But from Odessa to EWR required 2 plane changes so we are returning to JFK- 1 plane change.
I thought there would not be a lot of options for you, we booked the last room on our June trip.

It is complicated to get in out of Odessa. I want to fly direct to Europe before changing planes, so it might take us three hops to get to Odessa and two hops to return from Kiev. I haven't really started tackling the flights yet. That's next. I want to stick with Star Alliance flights, if I can, so that maybe I can upgrade the transoceanic legs using miles.

Which June cruise are you doing?
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  #9  
Old November 15th, 2011, 03:06 PM
altiva altiva is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrina651 View Post
Calling all cruisers past and present who have taken this cruise to join in an all-inclusive discussion of this Viking itinerary. I'm hoping that this will become the 'go-to' thread for all things Viking Ukraine.

DH and I are looking to book this trip for May or June, 2012. I have plenty of questions that I know can only be answered by those who have taken the trip--and I hope to find you and bring you to this cruise.

Let me start this rolling with a couple of question:
  • When is the best time to take this trip?
  • Any suggestions on flight arrangements? There is nothing direct, so tell us about your flight arrangements and how you thought they went.
  • What about visas? Do we need them?
  • What about finding ATMs?
  • Can I drink the local water or should I stick to bottled water?
  • For the most recent cruisers, tell us about the ship and the cabins.
  • Please, share your reviews, photos and travelogues. Do you travel blogs and photos on other websites? Would you share the link here?
Cruise Critic members are THE BEST source of information and I thank you all in advance.
hi Peregrina651,
I have never took this cruise, but, your questions are not about the
cruise but other things, that is why I am answering.
When is the best time to take this trip?
Ukraine is the huge plane with the humus covering all its surface
(that is why Germans during the WW2 imported the soil to Germany,
it's so fertile). There are little mountains (Carpathian and Crimean),
the rest is a flat as a table. It means that the temperature depends
on the cyclones. If the cyclones come from Africa, it's hot. You can
get as much as 15 C (59 F) in December. The very next day, it can be
blowing from North, Antarctic winds, and be as cold as - 10 C (14 F).
So, it depends on your likes. In late April/May it's nice and warm.
Odessa is full of blooming acacias (the signature tree), and Kiev -
of chestnuts, white and pink. In June, July and August it can be +50
C (122 F), without any warning, and the air conditioner is only in
large stores and tour buses. But, then, again, it can not. Last
summer it kept +27 C (32 F) all the time, and was tolerable. The
summer before, it kept +50 C (122 F) all the time, and one felt like
dying. If you do not like it too hot, the best is late April (after
15th), May, and then early September.
Any suggestions on flight arrangements? There is nothing direct, so tell
us about your flight arrangements and how you thought they went.
You can't fly directly to Odessa, alas. You will have to make a stop
somewhere. The most important companies are Austrian Airlines, LOT
Airlines (Poland), and Malev Airline (Hungary). As you can guess, it
means a stop in Vienna, Warsaw or Budapest consequently. I used Malev
and LOT because they were much cheaper than Austrian Airlines. Like
twice cheaper. I was satisfied both times, and found the service
adequate to what they charged me for tickets. But, if you seek a VIP
service, maybe it's better try Austrian Airlines (again, I never used
them, but for what they charge, it seems that you can fly around the
world, so they are bound to be good?). Some people try to fly through
Kiev and then they take a domestic flight - I found it too long,
cumbersome and not worth doing.
What about visas? Do we need them?
You did not state your citizenship. Citizen of the most European
countries, Canada and the US do not need any visa to enter Ukraine.
They only have to fill a form upon entering and have their passport
stamped. The forms are giving out on the plane, so, if you do not
want to stay in a long, long line at the customs, have a pen with you
to fill them on the plane and be the first one to go (it's amazing
how many people travel without a pen!!).
What about finding ATMs?
Plentiful. There are more ATMs than rubbish bins around. Just notify
your bank that you are travelling abroad, because some people did not
do it, and then their banks froze the card, believing it to be
stolen. Prepare, too, for foreign withdrawal fees, charges by your
bank (contact your bank and ask what these would be). As well you can
pay with your cards in restaurants, supermarkets, malls.
Can I drink the local water or should I stick to bottled water?
I have never met a person in my life, who drank tap water (maybe they
all died out, who knows - a joke). It stinks with chlorine. Locals buy bottled
water or get it from special buvettes and then boil it. Many
foreigners come to Ukraine and seek the bottled water they are used
to - Perrier, Evian and so on. This is sold in all the big
supermarkets, but is really expensive, because of the local tax on
imported goods. Instead, try for local bottled water. Bear in mind,
that there is mineral bottled water and drinking bottled water.
Mineral bottled water is supposed to be for people with ailments
(stomach ulcer and such). It has a specific taste (salty, sulphurous
and so on). Then, there is drinking bottled water with gas or without
gas. Dobra Voda is good to drink, and not expensive (about 50 c per 2
liter bottle). The other one I like is called "Regina", it's from a
real mineral spring, but without any strange taste, and it has silver
diluted in it (naturally).
Please, share your reviews, photos and travelogues. Do you travel blogs and
photos on other websites? Would you share the link here?
Yes, look up my thread here, and the photos, and on the trip advisor,
as well.

Last edited by altiva; November 15th, 2011 at 03:09 PM.
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  #10  
Old November 15th, 2011, 10:30 PM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Altiva -- Thank you so much for your input. It is nice having someone local to help answer questions about the country. I'm just starting to learn about the cities we will be visiting and I am sure that I will have more questions over the next few months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by altiva View Post
hi Peregrina651,
I have never took this cruise, but, your questions are not about the
cruise but other things, that is why I am answering.
When is the best time to take this trip?
Ukraine is the huge plane with the humus covering all its surface
(that is why Germans during the WW2 imported the soil to Germany,
it's so fertile). There are little mountains (Carpathian and Crimean),
the rest is a flat as a table. It means that the temperature depends
on the cyclones. If the cyclones come from Africa, it's hot. You can
get as much as 15 C (59 F) in December. The very next day, it can be
blowing from North, Antarctic winds, and be as cold as - 10 C (14 F).
So, it depends on your likes. In late April/May it's nice and warm.
Odessa is full of blooming acacias (the signature tree), and Kiev -
of chestnuts, white and pink. In June, July and August it can be +50
C (122 F), without any warning, and the air conditioner is only in
large stores and tour buses. But, then, again, it can not. Last
summer it kept +27 C (32 F) all the time, and was tolerable. The
summer before, it kept +50 C (122 F) all the time, and one felt like
dying. If you do not like it too hot, the best is late April (after
15th), May, and then early September.

Just like New England!! The weather is constantly changing and never what you expect for the season. Does it rain in lot? I hope that when we arrive in May everything will be in bloom and the sun will be shining.

Quote:
Originally Posted by altiva View Post
Any suggestions on flight arrangements? There is nothing direct, so tell
us about your flight arrangements and how you thought they went.
You can't fly directly to Odessa, alas. You will have to make a stop
somewhere. The most important companies are Austrian Airlines, LOT
Airlines (Poland), and Malev Airline (Hungary). As you can guess, it
means a stop in Vienna, Warsaw or Budapest consequently. I used Malev
and LOT because they were much cheaper than Austrian Airlines. Like
twice cheaper. I was satisfied both times, and found the service
adequate to what they charged me for tickets. But, if you seek a VIP
service, maybe it's better try Austrian Airlines (again, I never used
them, but for what they charge, it seems that you can fly around the
world, so they are bound to be good?). Some people try to fly through
Kiev and then they take a domestic flight - I found it too long,
cumbersome and not worth doing.
I have been researching flights all afternoon. There are so many combinations and permutations that my head is spinning! Most of all, I don't want to arrive at the ship after dinner on the first day; I'll be cranky and that is no way to start an adventure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by altiva View Post
What about visas? Do we need them?
You did not state your citizenship. Citizen of the most European
countries, Canada and the US do not need any visa to enter Ukraine.
They only have to fill a form upon entering and have their passport
stamped. The forms are giving out on the plane, so, if you do not
want to stay in a long, long line at the customs, have a pen with you
to fill them on the plane and be the first one to go (it's amazing
how many people travel without a pen!!).
I always carry a pen. How else can I keep a journal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by altiva View Post
What about finding ATMs?
Plentiful. There are more ATMs than rubbish bins around. Just notify
your bank that you are travelling abroad, because some people did not
do it, and then their banks froze the card, believing it to be
stolen. Prepare, too, for foreign withdrawal fees, charges by your
bank (contact your bank and ask what these would be). As well you can
pay with your cards in restaurants, supermarkets, malls.

The banks are getting better at credit card fraud. I got a call today because the bank wanted to confirm a charge. I've learned about calling the bank before traveling and about not carrying the same credit cards as my husband (just in case one of us gets robbed, we have the other credit card to fall back on). I also have a separate cash account for when I travel; it has just a little bit of money and is not connected to my checking account. If my ATM card is compromised, the most they can get is the little bit I put in the account for traveling cash.


Quote:
Originally Posted by altiva View Post
Can I drink the local water or should I stick to bottled water?
I have never met a person in my life, who drank tap water (maybe they
all died out, who knows - a joke). It stinks with chlorine. Locals buy bottled
water or get it from special buvettes and then boil it. Many
foreigners come to Ukraine and seek the bottled water they are used
to - Perrier, Evian and so on. This is sold in all the big
supermarkets, but is really expensive, because of the local tax on
imported goods. Instead, try for local bottled water. Bear in mind,
that there is mineral bottled water and drinking bottled water.
Mineral bottled water is supposed to be for people with ailments
(stomach ulcer and such). It has a specific taste (salty, sulphurous
and so on). Then, there is drinking bottled water with gas or without
gas. Dobra Voda is good to drink, and not expensive (about 50 c per 2
liter bottle). The other one I like is called "Regina", it's from a
real mineral spring, but without any strange taste, and it has silver
diluted in it (naturally).
.

Very helpful! I'm the one who would get the mineral water--and the unpleasant surprise.
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  #11  
Old November 16th, 2011, 08:07 AM
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Andrea, you might want to ask GREATAM for her help on flights on the Cruise Air part of CC. She is very helpful and probably the most knowledgeable on the air questions.

Sharon
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  #12  
Old November 16th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Default Pre/ post cruise Kiev

Quote:
Originally Posted by H2Otstr View Post
Andrea, you might want to ask GREATAM for her help on flights on the Cruise Air part of CC. She is very helpful and probably the most knowledgeable on the air questions.

Sharon

Hi, Sharon, good to see you here. I forgot about GREATAM! She has been very helpful to many people--and not just with air arrangements.

But, I think I have it all worked out and now it is just a question of how 'custom' I can get with custom air.

All of this gets me to my next question. Has anyone extended their stay in Kiev (either on your own or with Viking)? What did you do? Are you glad you had the extra days? Would you do it again? How is getting around on your own? All the signs are in Cyrillic; did you manage? This last question is particularly directed to folks like me who have trouble decoding foreign alphabets. Did anyone hire a private guide to take you around? Have I forgotten anything?

My family emigrated from Kiev (a hundred years ago, before the Revolution) and I think that I might want to spend more time there, even though I know that EVERYTHING has completely changed and that I probably will not find any family in the area.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 05:12 PM
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Perigrina,
I hope you have a wonderful cruise. We did this cruise in 2008 and my posts are scattered through these threads. We would have been happy to spend some extra days in both Kiev and Odesa but our schedule didn't allow it.
I am no linguist but I persevered in learning the Cyrillic alphabet so I could decipher place names and street signs and read maps. This made it quite easier to navigate and catch public transport when we were exploring on our own in several eastern European countries.
A private guide, who will take you to the places you really want to see, might be a good investment. Jerry might be able to help.
Enjoy!
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Old November 16th, 2011, 10:39 PM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDS View Post
Perigrina,
I hope you have a wonderful cruise. We did this cruise in 2008 and my posts are scattered through these threads. We would have been happy to spend some extra days in both Kiev and Odesa but our schedule didn't allow it.
I am no linguist but I persevered in learning the Cyrillic alphabet so I could decipher place names and street signs and read maps. This made it quite easier to navigate and catch public transport when we were exploring on our own in several eastern European countries.
A private guide, who will take you to the places you really want to see, might be a good investment. Jerry might be able to help.
Enjoy!

Hi, HDS. I've seen your posts on other threads and I'm glad that you are joining the conversation here.

As for the alphabet, I guess now that I have a deadline I might actually learn it--and if all I have to do is match the symbols, I should be okay. Just don't ask me to read it out loud.

Looking into a private guide is next on my list and Jerry will be my first stop. I have his trip journal printed out for reading after Thanksgiving.
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  #15  
Old November 17th, 2011, 12:41 AM
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This link to a blog was posted in the Viking forums on Facebook. It is a warts and all review from 2010.

http://theblacksea.wordpress.com/cat...uncategorized/
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  #16  
Old November 17th, 2011, 08:48 AM
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Old Pete Old Pete is offline
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Hello Everyone

I did The Footsteps Cruise in May 2010 - you can find my musings on it at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...1#post31362071

Couple of things I want to mention here without repeating what I said in the above post (as based on some questions):

1. Air - I booked my own. There is no direct flights to Odessa so be prepared for at least one hop. In 2008 I flew Aerosvit (Ukrainian airline) JFK --> Kiev --> Odessa (and reverse going back). The price was dirt cheap (and probably is still the cheapest on the market) but the whole experience was SOOOOO BAD (plane delays, the condition of the planes, the service....) that I vowed NEVER to fly that Airline again!!!!
So for the cruise time I got Delta-affiliated partners. I flew Czech Airlines JFK --> Prague --> Odessa and then Air France Kiev --> Paris --> JFK

2. Local water - I spent a week in Odessa prior to the Cruise and stayed in town for 10 days in 2008. The water is FINE! if you want to drink bottled water - there are plenty places to buy some available throughout the cruise (and they provide a bottle of water in your cabin every day free... and I am sure that if you ask for another - they will give it to you)

3. Extensions - again we spent a week in Odessa pre-cruise. had a WONDERFUL Time. Would've LOVED to spend couple of extra days in Kiev as well but the schedule didn't allow it (as it was - we already were vacationing for 3 weeks, so it was time to 'get back to reality' )

My photos can be found at http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/...leid=en_US&h=1
I dont know why but it looks to me that the order got all jumbled. If you can get past that (and the fact that there are 804 of them ) you'll see what to expect.
Actually - I just figured it out (its not as bad as I thought) - start from pic 223 (JFK Delta Club) go to the end and then "wrap around to 1". The cruise-related pictures start at 390

Hope this helps to a lot of folks.
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  #17  
Old November 17th, 2011, 09:00 AM
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Old Pete Old Pete is offline
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Originally Posted by Peregrina651 View Post

As for the alphabet, I guess now that I have a deadline I might actually learn it--and if all I have to do is match the symbols, I should be okay. Just don't ask me to read it out loud.

Looking into a private guide is next on my list and Jerry will be my first stop. I have his trip journal printed out for reading after Thanksgiving.
1. The "beauty" of the Russian language is that there are no spelling surprises - the way you write it is the way you read it and say it (the way I always quip about it is that "there is no gh in daughter )
The easiest things to get into would be the words that are the same in English
Ресторан - Restaurant (pronounce Res - toh- rahn)
Кафе - cafe (Kah - feh)
Кофе - coffee (Koh - feh)
Метро - metro (Met - roh)
Пицца - pizza (same)
Водка - vodka (Vod -kah)
Вино - Wine (Vee - noh)

2. There are 2 outfits that I worked with while in Ukraine as far as Tour Agencies\Private guides.
The Empire VIP Club (lena@empire-tour.net) in Odessa and
Sergey Tsarapora (
sergo22yalta at gmail.com) in Crimea
I had great experiences with both and wholeheartedly recommend their services.
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Regards,
Allan


July 1971 - Black Sea - Rossyia (Black Sea Fleet)
June 1973 - Crimean Penninsula - Taras Shevchenko (Black Sea Fleet)
September 1991 - Eastern Caribbean - Azure of the Seas (Admiral Lines)
May 1996 - Western Caribbean - Seabreeze (Dolphin Lines)
September 2006 - Alaska - Vision of the Seas (RCCL)
May 2010 - Ukraine - Mikhail Lomonosov (Viking)
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Old November 17th, 2011, 03:15 PM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Location: Boston MA
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The easiest things to get into would be the words that are the same in English
Ресторан - Restaurant (pronounce Res - toh- rahn)
Кафе - cafe (Kah - feh)
Кофе - coffee (Koh - feh)
Метро - metro (Met - roh)
Пицца - pizza (same)
Водка - vodka (Vod -kah)
Вино - Wine (Vee - noh)
That's all I need! The essentials in life! Thanks for my first lesson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Pete View Post
2. There are 2 outfits that I worked with while in Ukraine as far as Tour Agencies\Private guides.
The Empire VIP Club (lena@empire-tour.net) in Odessa and
Sergey Tsarapora (
sergo22yalta at gmail.com) in Crimea
I had great experiences with both and wholeheartedly recommend their services.

Again, thank you. Not just for these recommendations but for all the helpful hints in your prior post.

Last edited by Peregrina651; November 17th, 2011 at 03:17 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 04:38 PM
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Old Pete Old Pete is offline
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Sure thing!
of course NOW I can "warn" you that some of the signs are in Ukrainian and that uses slightly different alphabet and sometimes have totally different words

but, HECK - as long as you know vodka, vine and cognac (Kohn - YAK) I think you'll be A OK!!!!!

Listen, seriously - I am more than sure that you'll have a wonderful time. We had folks on our cruise that constantly complained...and then there were some that said - "we are BLESSED with being able to see and do this". Go with an open mind and right attitude. Nothing in life is "perfect" but things are only what we make of them
I also believe that current itineraries of Footsteps skip the horrible monuments to Soviet Industry (i.e. Dniepropetrovsk & Kremenchug) and give you an extra day of cruising and another one in Embarkation Ports. You are only "better off" for it - like I said in my original post - I have NO IDEA what we were doing in those places!!!!!

here is something else to ponder on as far as airfare goes if you want to do it yourself. Like I said - there is NO WAY to fly to\from Odessa non-stop but it IS possible to do so as far as Kiev goes. (Borispyl - Kiev's Airport - is much bigger and the traffic is "accordingly")
So... the consideration then is do you want to do Kiev - Odessa or Odessa - Kiev cruise. IMHO - I would do the latter and then catch the N\S flight home (just my personal preference)
__________________
Regards,
Allan


July 1971 - Black Sea - Rossyia (Black Sea Fleet)
June 1973 - Crimean Penninsula - Taras Shevchenko (Black Sea Fleet)
September 1991 - Eastern Caribbean - Azure of the Seas (Admiral Lines)
May 1996 - Western Caribbean - Seabreeze (Dolphin Lines)
September 2006 - Alaska - Vision of the Seas (RCCL)
May 2010 - Ukraine - Mikhail Lomonosov (Viking)
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  #20  
Old November 18th, 2011, 10:48 AM
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Peregrina651 Peregrina651 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Listen, seriously - I am more than sure that you'll have a wonderful time. We had folks on our cruise that constantly complained...and then there were some that said - "we are BLESSED with being able to see and do this". Go with an open mind and right attitude. Nothing in life is "perfect" but things are only what we make of them)
I've been to China with Viking and I have been following the discussions on Facebook for various other itineraries and I already know that this cruise will be nowhere as well run as our China adventure. China has figured out the tourism game and supplies a top-drawer product while the states of the former Soviet Union have not. I don't expect the guides to be as well trained or as knowledgeable. I don't expect the facilities to be up the European standards. I know that I am getting a small cabin with narrow twin beds and a "yacht-style" bathroom (hey, we had one like that in a 3 star hotel in Rome). BUT, we are getting to see the land and country that our ancestor fled over 100 years ago and so we will put up with the inconveniences. Now, if when the temps soar and I get out of sorts, if someone would just kindly remind me of what I have just said!

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Originally Posted by Old Pete View Post
I also believe that current itineraries of Footsteps skip the horrible monuments to Soviet Industry (i.e. Dniepropetrovsk & Kremenchug) and give you an extra day of cruising and another one in Embarkation Ports. You are only "better off" for it - like I said in my original post - I have NO IDEA what we were doing in those places!!!!!)

Kremenchug (and Kaniv, where Grandma was born) are both part of the family history and I would have loved to see them even though I know that there are no traces of family geography left (or that I would even know where those traces had been). However, it seems these towns are just not yet ready for tourism and Viking was wise to drop them from their itinerary. I will make sure that someone points out Kremenchug and Kaniv as we pass by and if it is daylight, I'll snap a few pictures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Pete View Post
here is something else to ponder on as far as airfare goes if you want to do it yourself. Like I said - there is NO WAY to fly to\from Odessa non-stop but it IS possible to do so as far as Kiev goes. (Borispyl - Kiev's Airport - is much bigger and the traffic is "accordingly")
So... the consideration then is do you want to do Kiev - Odessa or Odessa - Kiev cruise. IMHO - I would do the latter and then catch the N\S flight home (just my personal preference)
We are doing Odessa to Kiev only because that is what was available in May. Now that we have booked it, I see the wisdom of being able to get home with just one stop not two or three as we would have to do from Odessa. There aren't any non-stop flights Kiev to Boston and I have learned that I really hate hanging around US airports waiting for a hop after I have flown 8 or 9 hours. I'm cranky. But, from Kiev there are multiple choices and not all of them have us leaving the hotel before dawn. Moreover, I have heard enough bad things about Aerosvit that nothing would induce me to fly trans-Atlantic with them.

I've been looking into flights because I know that we are going to do either custom air or air deviation (depending on whether we extend in Kiev or not). There are only four flights per day from Kiev to Odessa and two of them are in the evening which is later than I want to arrive so I kind of gave up on that idea. I did see one itinerary through Frankfurt and Vienna that might work (but only if we can overnight in Vienna because of the short amount of time between flights there) .




Last edited by Peregrina651; November 18th, 2011 at 10:50 AM.
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