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Everything posted by austinetc

  1. It now seems to me that when the ship discovered the positive result, they contacted the Coast Guard and/or the local authority, who then reacted in a way contrary to what the central government expected. I suspect if it happens again Viking will contact the Icelandic Health Authority and let them decide how to handle/distribute the news.
  2. This is sarcasm! It's unbelievable that Viking didn't visit every village and ask, "if one person on board tests positive for Covid, even though that person has been vaccinated, do you think passengers, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, should be allowed to come ashore?" Moreover, why didn't the Icelandic government think to do this? I would not be at all surprised if someone actually did ask this question, and the villagers, anxious for tourist money, said "oh, that'll be okay". Then when reality hit, they did some reconsidering.
  3. This event has got me thinking about the Spirits Package. If there's a chance that I'll spend most of the cruise on board, I don't want to do it sober. When life gives me lemons, I make lemon drop martinis. (I apologize for making light of your predicament.)
  4. We have been on a Viking River Cruise where things did not work out due to low water. Viking gave everyone a 50% credit, which I frankly thought was more than we deserved. I had a great time in spite of the inconveniences. I'll be curious what Viking will do for Sky's Passengers.
  5. Were people allowed off the ship on the own? Could they still be ashore?
  6. We are booked on the Shores and Fjords cruise in 2023. We were booked on it for this year, but . . ., you know. I've been on the lower deck of Viking's riverboats and never noticed engine noise. I've also sailed in one of their two-room suites on the upper deck. Having a room to relax in while my SO naps was a nice option, but frankly it wasn't worth the cost for us. Regardless of the room, you should really plan to spend every daylight hour on a deck that gives you a view of both sides of the river. Distance up to the sun deck without an elevator could be a significant factor for the less mobile. One unfortunate aspect of the cruise is the limited time in Amsterdam. It's a fantastic city, and though we've been there before, rushing from ship to riverboat without a full day to wander will be a disappointment. Last suggestion: You might consider the sun and shore when deciding which side of the ship to select. We're going north to south, so we've picked the left side of the ship to hopefully see more of the shoreline and the sunrises.
  7. I remember that post too! I tell the story to people all the time. I encountered one couple who also did not normally read the trip documents ("don't have time to read all that") and walked through Machu Picchu in light sandals (in the rain).
  8. I do wish Viking would offer alternatives, such as "Free Air or $XXX off room cost." I'm not suggesting a one to one ratio, but they could at least throw a bone to those who can't take advantage of the free air incentive.
  9. I did a lot of research before my cruise was finally canceled and was intrigued that some cruises did not have any price increase and others did. In my own situation, the 2022 cruise was the same price as 2021, but the airfare incentive had gone down. I hadn't paid Viking for airfare on the cancelled booking, but added it to my rebooking. The 25% paid for it. Inflation and increased demand are things that happen. I don't think Viking is out to fleece the customer.
  10. We are dependent on three things: 1. The USA has to get its s**t together and reduce infections. Vaccination or not, I don't see other countries allowing entry of ships full of Americans if 50,000 infections a day are the norm. 2. Viking has to say No shot, No boarding to both passengers and crew. If I have to wear a mask on board 24/7, I won't be on board. (BTW, I'm doing my part to reduce infections, but I loath the mask!) 3. Countries will have to accommodate tourism beyond any bubble. Viking does have excellent tours, but they all have "free time" built into them. If I can't experience some parts of a country in my own way, what's the point of going?
  11. If I had bookings on the ships that advertised low prices and mega-sized ships, I'd be asking for refunds vice credits, regardless of any incentives. But I'm not terribly worried about Viking.
  12. I immediately called and rebooked for the same cruise in 2022. Prices have increased, but even so, the 125% credit pays for most of the new booking's Viking Air cost, which we had opted out of for this year. I can't fault Viking for their customer service either, as the representative did the booking even though I was ahead of getting the actual credit voucher.
  13. At a time like this, it's best to listen to Sidney Freedman of Mash: "Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice: Pull down your pants and slide on the ice." On a plus side, I suspect the grumpy people of the world will continue to stay home. Only optimists will risk a cruise.
  14. I think the key issue for us will be excursions. It these are curtailed or limited in scope, we'll have to postpone. I travel to Travel, not sit in a stateroom. Kudos to Viking for all their efforts, which seem to vastly exceed other cruise lines, but the virus is calling the shots.
  15. Until I learned to ask, the advanced payment deadline was my primary pet peeve with Viking. Now I automatically ask and I get six months. Now my pet peeve is back to the normal one: the other passengers. LOL.
  16. On all the cruise lines I've been on, Viking is hands down the best once I get on board. Their shore-based staff can sometimes frustrate those who expect to have their hand held. But that only shows that they focus their expertise on the ship experience. I highly recommend you give Viking another chance.
  17. The process is not much different than Viking River, just more buses. You will be assigned a bus. Each bus has a letter/number designation. It's important to know which bus to get on. The guide for that bus will have a list of who's assigned. As they'll tell you in the initial brief, you can ask to be reassigned if you'd not with friends, though obviously they'd like that request made before the morning. Based on experience, I suggest you try to share the same bus with friends. We didn't care enough to swap, but because of the guides had very different experiences. It made for a confusing dinner conversation.
  18. I have to add this amazing example of the "Viking Touch" at check in. I drove a rental to the ship in Porto, Portugal, being in the midst of a circular drive around the peninsula. I parked at the nearest spot. At check in I asked if she knew of an inexpensive parking garage nearby. She didn't tell me where it was. She WALKED me to the entrance, about five minutes away. Then she took me to the nearest ATM. I should add the desk wasn't busy at the time, but even with nothing else to do, I thought it was service way beyond expectations. Back on topic, I didn't have a CC on file and their IT was disabled. She just asked me to come by during the cruise and they'd get the card loaded into the system.
  19. There are two subjects: Do you need the shot or waiver, and will you be let into the region without one or the other. For the first, The CDC has an exhaustive web site discussing the subject. Bottom line, they recommend the shot for the falls but have provisos based on age. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/yf.html For the second, I was in Bolivia in March and our tour group recommended that we either get the shot or get a doctor's waiver. I got the shot (aged 65) and had no ill effects. (Alarmingly, I was told that I could have a reaction as long as 21 days after the shot.) As it happened we never entered the eastern part of Bolivia where our documentation would have (probably) been checked. This bummed me out a bit because the shot was expensive ($240). I'm going to the falls next month, where I kinda hope they check so the cost won't be in vain. But we were told in Bolivia that the situation is fluid. One never knows whether they will check or not, so I'm not sure that prior experience is a valid source of knowledge.
  20. I'll hijack this question ask this: Has anyone experimented with giving a portion of the tip to your room attendant in advance? Did you get noticeably better service? As I've never had cause to expect more from a Viking attendant, I don't know how an early tip would help, but I've wondered about it. (I would not want more attention from a restaurant server. That would put them on my lap!)
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