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Posts posted by loriva

  1. Two hours for transfer in Frankfurt is fine--PRESUMING your incoming flight is on time.  Check on FlightAware to see the records (on-time or average delay) on the flights you are considering through there.  For us, flights out of Orlando to FRA average 40-60 minutes late (afternoon storms in Florida are daily events) so that would drop that connection time to 60-80 minutes.  Given the huge size of FRA and the likelihood you will be changing terminals from the international to Schengen flight, that time gets tight quickly.


    If you plan on traveling to Europe more frequently in the future and using FRA, you can register for their trusted traveler program.  You do need a long layover (4 hours) for that as you need to leave airside to go to the German border police office in the airport to register and then reclear security and travel back to your gate area.  It allows you to use the e-gates for passport control, potentially much quicker.  (We registered back in December and will test it in October.)

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  2. 1 hour ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

    They sure didn't offer me this option on a recent attempt to book a second Viking Ocean cruise – even when I told their phone rep that I wasn't going to book with the terribly early FP date he mentioned.  No flexibility whatsoever – lost them a booking and all future interest from me!


    So sorry to hear that.  As you know, many folks here report getting different answers from different agents.  But why should we have to do that?


    Really looking forward to hearing your experience with the Scenic Unforgettable Douro cruise next month.  We are booked on AmaWaterways for the Douro at the end of a TA cruise in 2025 as they (and Viking) are the only ones offering 2025 dates yet.  Also hope that Scenic's IT and customer service have improved--we loved the Scenic experience onboard last year but it was painful getting there.   

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  3. 3 hours ago, JosieCat-MN said:

    I did call Viking and this is what I was told.  How accurate it is - is anyone's guess.


    Once your Viking form is finished (mine isn't as I'm still waiting for my passport renewal), at any point, they can assign you to flights - which they will e-mail you.  Once you are 300 days out, then you can use the Air Plus to try to improve on those.


    At 150 days out, those will show up on your My Viking Journey and you can make changes directly in there.  


    But I was told that even after that point, if I absolutely hate them, I can cancel the flight portion and get that portion credited back (minus the Air Plus fee) and book my own.


    Thanks everyone!


    Not my experience--but that seems to be the norm, i.e., there is no norm!


    I did not receive an email once flights were assigned (nor did my TA).  They just showed up in MVJ--and much earlier than 150 days out.


    Good to hear you can cancel air even after final payment.  Viking removed all of our air-related charges--maybe because we just cancelled the flights and did not attempt to change them?


  4. 1 hour ago, JosieCat-MN said:


    So that translates to me being completely screwed?  I guess I booked my cruise too early.  My final payment date is the end of next month, when I'm not even sure flights for October of 2024 will be available.  Right now, Delta for example, is only showing dates going through July.  So it stands to reason that at best, next month they may go through August.




    Since Viking has such an early payment policy (until you've cruised with them and/or have another cruise on the books--which you can book currently for a $25 deposit--and then ask for a later payment date on the previously booked cruise), I'm not sure if they have a policy where a client can ADD air after the payment date.  We had to pay at the end of 2020 for our first cruise with Viking River in December 2022 (almost two years out).  As in your case, no flights were available to book at that time--airlines do not release flights until at most 360 days out.  So, there would seem like there would have to be some accommodation for this--but I don't know.


    Again, what I related in my post is my first and only experience with Viking Air.  I hope some of the more-experienced Viking cruisers will weigh in on your question.  And, probably worth a call to Viking Air or an email to TellUs@Viking.com to ask and receive (I hope--answers can vary among agents) an official answer.


    The good news in this is you are able to fly out of MSP.  As a major hub for Delta (which gobbled up Northwest Airlines many years ago), MSP seems to have good nonstop and one-stop availability to Europe (and Asia).  We travel frequently with my sister who flies out of MSP and she frequently has much-better connections--nonstop or one-stop flights that leave later and arrive earlier than ours while still having decent connection times on the latter.

  5. On 7/14/2023 at 9:04 AM, JosieCat-MN said:

    So, when do I have to decide?  I’m assuming I can still cancel Viking air at this point – or any point up to when I make my final payment which is the end of September – without have to worry about getting a credit.


    Can I change my mind and book my own flights AFTER I see the flights they’ve given me.  I’m assuming that’s also when you would get Air Plus involved – if you don’t like the flights you’ve been assigned?


    I get that booking Viking air offers a bit of protection in case of flight changes.  I’m just trying to make sure I know what my options are. 


    Thanks everyone!!!


    We just had our first experience with Viking Air, so hope this information helps you.


    To answer your first question, you can cancel Viking Air at any point up to the final payment date.  We just did.


    We had added Viking Air Plus to be able to travel early and to select our flights to Budapest and return from Bucharest at the 300-day mark (at the END of your cruise or tour).  I called Viking Air on that day and discussed the routes I wanted, starting with the only one-stop route available.  (Orlando has very limited non-stops to Europe and some are seasonal only.)  Viking wanted a $2K/pp supplement for the one-stop route.  All of the other--all two-stop--routes also carried upcharges of about $400/pp each.  The agent said it was "too early--flights were expensive."  I found this a strange answer as my experience tracking airfares over the past two years has seen prices only go up, but we decided to wait.


    By chance, I checked My Viking Journey over the past weekend and found an air itinerary--there was no notification from Viking.  (Not sure if that is normal or not--again our first experience with Viking Air.)  The itinerary included two stops on both the outbound and inbound and did not include any of the routes I'd asked the agent about.  The inbound had a flight from Bucharest to AMS (with a 4 1/2-hour layover) then to London Heathrow with only a 95-minute layover--much too tight for my taste at that airport.


    I had been tracking air options (Google Flights and Skyscanner are good ones to try), so I knew I could buy air on my own for about 2/3rds the price Viking was offering.  I really had been holding out only to see if they could offer the non-stop MCO to FRA to make a one-stop route for the quoted price.  Since they could not, I purchased air on my own and then had my TA call Viking to cancel the air.  A new invoice showing it removed showed up later in the day.


    Viking only provides transfers from the airport when you fly in the same day as their program starts or ends.  So that part of the Viking Air would only apply to half of our travel in any case (we are flying out on the end day).  My experience (again, only once) with using air from a cruise line (Regent) is that they provide limited help in the case of flight issues.  We faced this last year when Hurricane Ian closed MCO the day we were to return from a British Isles cruise.  The cruise line could not fly us out until three days after the airport reopened as that was the first day they had contracted seats with the airline--although there were seats available on flights from the airline earlier.  The hotel nights, meals, and transportation to the airport while we waited for the flight were all at our expense.  I'm sure others have positive stories about help provided by using air booked through the cruise line, but this may or may not be your experience.  In the end, it is a personal decision based on how much you are willing to be responsible for travel and any potential problems and whether the savings (which could disappear if you do face problems) are worth it to you.

    • Like 1
  6. 8 hours ago, rallydave said:

    There was an agreement several years ago in Florida with all Florida based cruise lines that any money specifically listed for port fees or taxes had to be refunded if the money was not given to the government agencies.


    Regent and Oceania both signed that agreement.  The kicker is that the money had to be broken out on the invoice to make it mandatory refunded and both Regent and Oceania do not break out these port fees and taxes thus they do not have to and have chosen not to refund to the passengers when ports are missed.


    By the way Seabourn another luxury line breaks out the port fees and taxes and thus refunds for missed ports.  On a recent Seabourn cruise actually got a $0.37 credit for fees not paid.


    Thanks for this information @rallydave.  To follow-up, we live in Florida and our invoice from Regent includes a line for "Gov't fees and taxes."  I would think--but do not know--that this would include port fees and/or taxes.  It is a lump-sum figure for the full cruise, not broken out by individual port--but that is the way I also remember it being on mainstream cruise lines.


    That said, I do not recall a refund from Regent for missed ports on our most-recent cruise with them, a British Isles in September 2022.  MAYBE they were refunded to our onboard account and we spent the money?  I don't remember.  Will try to remember to watch on our upcoming trips.

  7. On 5/10/2023 at 11:20 AM, Jennefer Teegen said:

    Please note that no taxis or private cars are permitted to enter the berthing facility in Fusina.


    @yvesvn Please note the portion quoted above from RSSC staffer Jennefer Teegen earlier in this thread.


    Everyone has to go to the Marittima Cruise Terminal in Venice for check-in and then Regent transfers us to the ship docked in Fusina.


    And welcome to Cruise Critic!  There are roll calls for the trips out of Venice in October if you want to check them out and join.

    • Like 1
  8. 3 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

    I think I would like to become a Viking Ocean Guest Lecturer but wanted to see what topics fellow cruisers would find interesting before I do the initial work to prepare a sample lecture.  I am an Architect so that would need to be the jumping off point. 

    Would travelers be interested in modern Architecture? The Oslo Opera House for instance and the story of how it came to be?


    or is historical architecture more of what fellow passengers would want to learn about?


    or should I focus on the personal stories behind the Architect?


    or all of the above


    or not at all-who cares about architecture?😂


    thanks for your input!


    On our Viking Homelands itinerary, there was a professor from the UK who did a series of lectures about the architecture in the cities on the itinerary.  They were well attended.


    But it was all about the historical architecture--Gothic, Baroque, architectural styles in the Hanseatic League cites, etc..  Personally, I would love seeing takes on the more-modern styles from Bauhaus to Brutalism to MCM to contemporary, etc.  All of the cities on the Viking Homelands itinerary or on your recent itinerary have stories to tell on these styles.


    I also agree about finding a personal angle to each lecture.  Some tie to each style discussed or to the architects who created those styles.  Maybe Frank Lloyd Wright is your uncle, maybe your family left Germany with the exile of the Bauhaus creators, etc.  I know these are just thinking out loud, but there is definitely a reason you chose to be an architect and who inspired you.  IMHO, I think people would be interested in hearing those stories to bring the styles and creators alive.

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  9. 4 hours ago, TayanaLorna said:

    However the Chefs Table is a set menu venue with the foods paired to a particular wine or liquor.  Often the entire menu other then dessert and the palate cleanser contains some sort of meat, fish or fowl.  If the menu items are changed, then it is no longer a true Chefs Table wine pairing experience. 


    That's what I thought as well.  But we found repeats of the wine pairings with different menus--both the included and the premium.  As @Peregrina651said, this may reflect differences in staffing on the various ships,

  10. 3 hours ago, Mickey111 said:

    We have reservations for chefs table but no indication of the menu on those days. Can they be changed if we don’t like the menu eg soft shell crabs or octopus etc?


    This was the one area where we felt VO dropped the ball on our first cruise with them on Jupiter in May.  We had two members of our traveling party who were vegetarians--noted on their MVJ prior to cruise.  It was obvious this was in the records as the staff in the restaurants would ask about our vegetarians when we sat down.  Instead, the staff would bring in something already prepared from Manfredi's.  Sometimes pretty disappointing--a plain salad instead of the interesting appetizer the rest of us enjoyed.


    After this happened to us a couple of times in the CT, we spoke with the restaurant manager.  The chef came out and offered to make something special for the vegetarians--it would only take an additional 45 minutes to prepare.  Our dining companions declined and were brought a plain salad from Manfredi's instead.  We were left wondering why if the chef COULD make a vegetarian alternative why this wasn't done in advance.  It seemed like it would have been easy to count up the number of vegetarians dining that evening and make alternative dishes for them--even just separating out a portion of the dish before adding meat.  Or tossing in some tofu instead.


    We also found we needed to be careful at the buffet.  Dishes that sounded like they were vegetarian--a lentil salad, for example--turned out to have meat in them.  Viking is, however, on the ball here and has a little card by dishes that lists ingredients.  You just have to be diligent in reading them.

    • Like 2
  11. On 5/5/2023 at 12:58 AM, loriva said:

    An update to my original post from staff on Jupiter:

         --The ABBA Songbook will be folded into a show on the pool deck--a show to allow people to get up and dance.

        --The Beatles show folds into a classic rock show--50s, 60s, and 70s; Stones, Fleetwood Mac, others.

         --There will be a new show, Southern Sounds, which is country western.

         --A second new show will be show tunes--more of a traditional production show onboard cruises.


    Variety shows and guest entertainers will also continue.



    Well, I got three out of four correct when I started this thread!  Missed "Duets" and some of the names.  (In my defense, I was trying to figure out how to get a bean bag into a cornhole target from the stairway in the Atrium as I was listening to the information from the entertainment staff on the new shows...  I know, excuses, excuses!)

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  12. 10 hours ago, MarEll1 said:

    Just an update - husband called the Hilton Anchorage. They told him they have no reservation for us and wanted a confirmation number which we don’t have. They also said they don’t have any reservations for RSSC. I may try again in a few days and hopefully get a more informed clerk.


    This has been my experience as well--with both Hilton and other hotels and with Regent and other cruise lines.  Hotels cannot link my loyalty account to group reservations or even find the latter.


    What has worked for us is what others have said.  We make an independent reservation with the cruise line's hotel for the day (or days) before the included night.  I note in my reservation that we'll also be staying another night/s under the cruise line reservation.  About a month out, I send an email to the hotel notifying them again of the double stay and asking them to link the reservation.  They usually reply in the same way as the clerk at the Hilton Anchorage did--that they cannot find a group or individual reservation for the subsequent stay.  BUT they also usually say they have made a note in the reservation I have booked independently (and for which I have a confirmation code) about the extra time at the hotel.  And, of course, when we check in, I remind them again of the double stay.


    I've had luck with this strategy at Hilton (where I'm a Diamond member) and other hotels.  I try to book the same (standard) category as the cruise line or just one additional category higher and we have been able to stay in the same room for the duration of both our individually booked and group reservation.  (I'm not sure if it would work if my independent reservation was for a suite or other significantly higher category than the cruise lines book.)  Of course, as always, past performance does not guarantee future results and YMMV.

    • Like 1
  13. On 4/6/2023 at 8:01 AM, pappy1022 said:



    It isn’t that uncommon these days for airlines to change flight schedules, equipment or routes after you have booked a flight. Given that deviated flights can be booked 210 days out, I would think that this issue occurs. Having experienced those changes, but not on a Regent booked flight, what is the Regent process when an air carrier makes significant changes that will impact your schedule, route or even seat assignment because equipment is changed?  Will Regent notify you of such changes? What does Regent do for the customer to help them get new flights and does this type of change require another deviation fee? With the new Regent air coordination policy, does the customer have a different avenue to talk to a Regent air coordinator, or do they wait in the queue to talk to an agent. Does the TA get involved any more with regards to air planning?


    Our flight to Sydney booked with Regent Air changed itinerary--a direct flight going to SFO via EWR is now going via IAD and will have a departure time 40 minutes earlier.  (Airlines usually only consider any change over two hours as "significant," triggering a free change or refund.)


    I discovered the change in my account on the Regent website, on the air schedule under Custom Air.  Neither Regent nor my TA (big box) had notified me of the change.  The airline might have notified me of the change, but I had not yet input my passenger record number and linked the reservation to my frequent flyer account to trigger that.


    So, in my case, there was no notification by Regent of the change.  As others have said, I would not expect them to notify us of any changes in equipment or seat assignments.  And, echo others in recommending checking constantly with the airline's website on your flights.  I do this monthly initially, then change to weekly when closer to the flight, and then daily the final week.  (Which is probably overkill, but I have the time to do it and it doesn't hurt me or anyone else.)  I'd also recommend checking historical records for your flights in FlightAware to determine the timeliness of flights and setting flight alerts.  I do the former for the itineraries I'm considering to determine if connection times are adequate.


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  14. 1 hour ago, GoNavyFamily said:

    For an Indonesia visa, US and other specific country citizens can purchase a Visa on Arrival at the Denpasar airport near Bali, or to avoid that queue, purchase it prior to departure through the government site. I found this article linked below very helpful regarding travel to Indonesia and I also confirmed the information on both the US State Department and Indonesian government web sites. This article gives a great overview with links:




    Thanks for this information and link.  There appears to be one error about the VoA you can obtain via the Indonesian Government website:   https://molina.imigrasi.go.id/.  The Bali Holiday Secrets website author says application for the visa starts at 14 days prior to arrival.  The government website, however, says it is good for 90 days after entry.  (And now enough off topic on Regent flights!)

  15. I had to look it up:   Fyrstekake (or Norwegian Prince's cake) is more of a tart with a delicious soft filling of ground almonds (and rum!) that makes you want a second (or even third) slice.  On my list to try when we do this itinerary in two years.  (Tried the Success cake and waffle on our first VO cruise in May.)  I think the crab cake is new since our sailing (or I just missed it).

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  16. 13 hours ago, PaisleyMello said:


    Was this flight through Regent? Do they contract with Turkish Airlines?




    Regent does have a contract with Turkish Airlines.  At least I was offered their flights when trying to determine an itinerary for a cruise next year. 


    Regent may not have seats on all flights, however, or the airline may have sold all the seats in the restricted class for the contract.  When we lost our flight due to a hurricane last year, we had to wait three days until there were flights with the correct fare category for rebooking by Regent.

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  17. 5 hours ago, Flgreg said:


    @Loriva----could you please tell me exactly where the Air Schedule appears in My Account?


    Thanks very much.


    When you open your Booked Cruises, open the one of interest with "Manage Cruise."  Scroll down and you should see a bunch of items under "Customize my Cruise."  Under "Roundtrip Airfare," you should have a line "Review Air Schedule" in blue.  Open that link and your booked flights will appear.

  18. 2 hours ago, LindsayC said:

    We are booked on our 2nd Regent cruise next year March going from Rio de Janeiro to Lisbon. As we are from Belgium we don't get included business flights when booking with Regent. But at the time of the booking Regent offerd us flights in economy for a really good price with an included forced overnight in Rio. We agreed on these flights and about a month ago we received the flight schedule from our travel agent. As soon as we got the schedule I wanted to book seat reservation for the long flight to Rio but I couldn't. I asked our travel agent and he said that because this is a group booking they can't make seat reservations. Is there any way I can make the seat reservation now or do I really have to wait untill check in? Maybe someone at Regent I can contact? Hope someone here can help me out!


    As others have said, you will not be able to manage your flights on the airline's website until Regent has ticketed them.  This is around 60 days prior to embarkation rather than as soon as you make final payment, per Regent's Air Department.  We made our final payment for our upcoming cruise over a month ago, but they are still showing on the Lufthansa website as not ticketed.  Our 60-day mark will be in another three weeks. 


    Regent's Air Department also told me they do make seat reservations when they initially book your flights.  For me at least, the seats do not appear on my Air Schedule in my account on Regent's website nor were they on the itinerary sent to me for review and approval.  I was able to obtain the seat assignments by calling Regent--and it did not trigger the $75 fee. 


    This MAY not apply to all airlines.  We had air from Regent to LHR on British Air and return on Virgin Atlantic last year and I was able to manage my reservations on their websites as soon as the flight was booked, long before it was ticketed.  I've only booked air through Regent twice, so not sure if this was just an anomaly or if different airlines have different policies on how bookings made by third parties can be managed.

  19. 1 hour ago, Buckeye@sea said:

    Loriva ... we will be on the same sailing ... very interesting itinerary ... very late in the season with less crowded portsQ


    We have a roll call going.  Not very active but come on over and say hi if you wish.


    Busy trying to plan.  It will be only the second time for DH in Venice and Athens, so trying to come up with ways to maximize our time there (which includes just wandering aimlessly in Venice!)  All the other ports except Kusadasi will be new to us.

  20. On 7/21/2023 at 2:46 AM, ginny123 said:

    I know the aluminium bottles have been discussed numerous times but am looking for a picture of the in-room bottle.  Need to know if my alkaline filter/pouch will fit...


    I thought the drinking water on the ships came from a desalinization process?  And then the Vero water is supposed to be filtered after that?  So, the water should not have any of the heavy metals, chlorine, or fluoride the alkaline filters are meant to remove to begin with.

  21. Slightly off topic, but what are the days and hours when the Viking Air Plus department is open?  I can find their phone number (1-877-523-0580) on the Viking website, but nothing on when they are open.  Our date to book air is this Saturday (310 days before we embark).  Is the department open that day or do I need to wait until Monday to call?  

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