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About mhb1757

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    Cool Cruiser

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    HAL, Viking

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  1. You might want to look at Viking. Norway is their home turf and they do it very well. The Midnight Sun Cruise is spectacular. Shore excursions in all ports are included. The ships accommodate 900 or so passengers and are certainly not small but might be much easier to navigate for your in laws. Fewer passengers means a LOT less wait time on and off the ship, at meals, etc. initial price looks high but when you consider what’s included and do the math there’s not as much difference as you might think (excursions, internet, wine with meals, spa, specialty restaurants etc are included and all cabins have a balcony).
  2. Can’t speak to the baggage issue but as long as you have a same day boarding pass for business you will have lounge access in MIA and EZE.
  3. We have done 3 river cruises with Avalon and 3 with Viking. We just go with whoever is doing the itinerary we want at the best price. Love both lines. No complaints with either of them. I have never gone solo but on our last Avalon cruise (Tulips of Northern Holland in early May) there were quite a few solo travelers. I have traveled on the Danube Dreams itinerary with my sister and 20 something daughters and we had a ball. On the Holland cruise there were probably more 50 something guests than any other age group. The river cruising crowd always seems quite friendly and such an interesting group. Can’t imagine an easier way to travel solo. We always stay in the least expensive cabins on Avalon and have never had any issues with engine noise or vibration. And btw, if you are interested in the Netherlands I highly recommend that Tulips of Northern Holland trip. So very interesting with stops in lots of places very untouristy and certainly off the beaten path for river cruisers. We LOVED it!
  4. Haha. Pictures are from a bus. 😂😂. So I’m guessing from piecing things together here that they did 2 days via bus tours, then swapped ships and continued on? I’ve certainly heard worse stories. I had lunch yesterday with a friend that took a Viking Cruise mid July - Lyon to Avignon and a lady at their dinner table the last night was ranting about how she had already contacted her attorney because It had been over 100 degrees for the first 5 days of the cruise and even though they still ran all excursions she felt it was too hot to safely be outside for extended periods so she had remained on board. Viking (gasp with horror) was not offering her any compensation for the hot weather that “prevented” her from enjoying “any portion of the cruise”. Whats with those Viking folks? First they claim they can’t control water levels in rivers and now they seem to be claiming the same thing about the temperature and perhaps even lock conditions. 😂😂😂
  5. Our last bus driver in Amsterdam told us the bike lanes were red for a reason... colored with the blood of tourists 😂😂😂
  6. We have stayed in 3038 and 3043 and have never heard anything from Torshavn or anyplace else while in our cabin. We loved the location and have 3036 reserved for an upcoming cruise.
  7. This really isn’t anything unique to Viking.... we have been booked with HAL, Oceania and RCCL when prices went down after final payment and HAL has been pretty good about offering an upgrade to help compensate (although it wasn’t as much as the price drop would have allowed). O gave us a small amount of OBC (kind of a token gesture) and RCCL said tough luck. They really aren’t obligated to do anything after final payment. And since Viking is still riding the wave of great demand they probably aren’t really motivated to do much.
  8. We did 2 weeks in the cabin next door to that one. Never heard a peep from anything inside the cabin. Loved the location. It was great being near the lift and stairs. I was afraid we would hear a lot of chatter from people coming and going but never heard a thing above us, below us or outside the door.
  9. I have looked at 3 day tours of St Petersburg with both Alla and SPB. Both tours hit all of our “must see” sites and prices look about the same. Does anyone have a preference between them they could share or suggestions?
  10. Nice thing about river cruises, at least it seems to me... no one seems to be paying much attention to what others are wearing. Sport coat at dinner would be absolutely fine assuming you don’t expect others to do the same. He certainly wouldn’t be the only one wearing a jacket at dinner, although more would likely be in polo shirts or sweaters depending on weather. Plenty of room under the bed for larger suitcase. Since you have almost 4 weeks to pack for on this trip in a variety of types/weights of clothing you could just unpack what you anticipate needing for the 7 days on the river and leave everything else packed and under the bed. There will definitely be more than adequate storage in the cabin for that. If you use packing cubes you could just color code or label them for which portion of the trip you will want to unpack them and it will save you a LOT of packing and unpacking on this trip. And btw.... I think you made a great decision taking a 7 day river cruise to start out. I love river cruising but 7-8 days at a time is enough for us. More than that and the destinations seem to run together, the small cabins seem to shrink and become confining and the dining options get old. I know lots of others might disagree and all of those are entirely subjective but a week on the River is wonderful for us, 2 weeks, not so much. It will be a great addition to your trip.
  11. I doubt you would have time to even go to the museum or Anne Frank house and then get back to the ship to collect your luggage and be on the road to the airport by 11:30. You might just want to have a nice breakfast on board and explore on foot a bit before heading to the train station to go back to the airport. I am assuming you are not using Viking transfers back to the airport. If you are they will likely want to depart from the ship 31/2 to 4 hours prior to flight time. Alternatively you could book a private tour and have them pick you up from the ship early and do a half day tour and drop you off at the airport directly which could save quite a bit of time.
  12. I think almost all of the vendors at the Market will take cards. If you happen upon one that won’t just keep moving because you will find another stall selling the same thing at the same price that will take your card. Second the cc advice above from Franski....always say no when the cc machine asks if you want to pay in dollars. You will come out better paying in forints. Have fun at the market. Great way to spend an afternoon! And btw...goulash in Budapest bears no resemblance whatsoever to what we think of in the US as “Hungarian Goulash”. Theirs is much better IMHO. There are tons of great looking food options at the market though.
  13. There are 2 fairly narrow closets with hanging space and 1 closet with shelves (maybe 4 shelves?). In addition there are 4 (I’m pretty sure it’s 4) decent sized drawers. Not huge but ok size. There is plenty of storage in the bathroom for toiletries and cosmetics. We have always felt like there was plenty of closet/storage space, even in colder weather when we had sweaters, rainwear and coats. However we never had formal wear to contend with. But if you felt cramped you could always leave the formal attire in your suitcase or garment bag and slide it under the bed. You won’t be needing it on the River Cruise.
  14. I will second this suggestion for using Porter Service Norway. It made the entire Oslo to Bergen trip SO much easier. We sent our luggage via Porter Service and just took our overnight necessities for the night in Flam in our backpacks. Nothing to haul off and on multiple trains, buses and ferries. Very reasonable cost and the luggage was waiting for us in Bergen. Loved it.
  15. I feel your pain. I had booked air to Scandinavia out of EWR for a Baltic cruise figuring we would fly Southwest to EWR on points, but then SW pulled the rug out from under us. There is a shuttle service from LGA to EWR that is $30/pp each way. But for 8 of you there are probably better ways to get there. I think we have decided to bite the bullet and pay to fly United into LGA although I totally hate UA, but they have the only nonstops from our home airport into EWR.
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