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pontac

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Everything posted by pontac

  1. When this happens, Google 'Proxy Server' and select a Free Web Proxy Site, then copy and paste the required URL from CC onto the Proxy Server field and you are Steaming!!
  2. Not aware of any massages; there's an on-board doctor but I'm not aware of any facilities for massages, there's no spa or gym. Usual Viking options; a free tour at stops and optional tours. But the 2020 cruise is a new route so you'd better check with 'My Viking' for details of the 2020 tours as they are not stopping at some ports they did in 2019 and are calling at new ones.
  3. And we have never even thought about leaving water in our sink 🙂
  4. Me too! I opened this thread because I have never heard the term 'pickleball' and wondered if it was a type of condiment with a different name in Europe.... As, according to Wikipaedia, it's a type of tennis I think @Daisi has pointed out the salient issues. Better to go with the flow and enjoy the cruise.
  5. 301 is not 'right next to restaurant'. It's separated from the restaurant by the staircase and elevator. People talking in the restaurant shouldn't be audible to occupants of the room. And as @Nanna Fru says, the restaurants is only open at meal times and you will be in the dining room yourself at those times. That said, however, if you are worried about noise outside your room and it's possible to move, say to 308-315, as these are in the middle away from stairs at either end, then do so. The area immediately outside the restaurant has the self serve drinks and cakes bar at which guests may congregate and chat while getting their drinks outside restaurant hours. We found little noise from other guests, certainly not like in hotels. On board guests were well travelled, mature and considerate of others.
  6. I think only you can answer that. It depends on what you want to buy. We got a little Ukrainian money so we could buy coffees on trips. On our first day we had a walking tour and our local guide pointed out places that changed money. Remember all your meals drinks, coffees on board are included
  7. Pricing and what that includes also varies depending on where you are. Your profile doesn't show your location but @AliceSprings suggests Australia. The same cruises booked in Australia, UK and USA include different things. For instance UK prices include travel by air or rail. With Viking gratuities are included while fellow cruisers from the USA on the last two trips didn't have included gratuities. What I've done in past is drawn up a simple chart with columns of what I wanted and then have a row for competing cruise companies with a tick or cross whether they were included and what extras they offered. For cruises of different lengths I divided cost by number of days to get per diem cost.
  8. Good point, but it's something else to carry. I suppose it depends on how many electrical things one brings, and how frequently they need charging. Another reason for bringing a Euro adaptor is to use at the airport/s
  9. If you go to the Viking website and look for Viking Tir it'll tell you what is in each cabin type. Every cabin type is listed as having 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports As standard in Viking Longships there are both USA type flat pin 110 sockets and European round holed 220V sockets, as well as USB sockets. Sockets are on the desk and by the bedside. https://www.vikingrivercruises.com/ships/longships/viking-tir.html They can be seen - albeit small - in the 360 tours of the rooms. As you are coming from the USA you shouldn't need any adaptors (unless you are also staying in hotels pre/post cruise)
  10. No way! No Champagne! The house sparkling wine is a sweetish German Sekt.
  11. Hopefully your connections to Kiev/Bucharest won't be too awkward. The reason Viking changed the itinerary in 2020 is the difficulty of air connections with Odessa
  12. @highland cruiser Mary - the boat is not a Longship, it's a Russian built boat reconditioned to Viking standards and you'll recognise many touches. However they couldn't do anything about the steepness of the stairs, hence I often used the lift.
  13. Not really. More important to consider journey to/from start/end point However engines have to work harder going upstream so maybe more noise in cabins closest to engines. Can't say I noticed difference, it wasn't an issue.
  14. None; gratuities were included. We used Euros for drivers and guides. As per my review on page 8 of this thread the same drivers and guides were used throughout the trip. But 2020 has a portion in Romania so maybe there a different coach is used.
  15. Have you looked at the deck plan?* 300 is as far from reception as it's possible to be on the middle deck. But it is closest to the restaurant. Reception is on the deck below yours, at the other end of the boat. * https://www.vikingrivercruises.co.uk/ships/ukraine/viking-sineus.html
  16. This question is a perennial, a search will find many threads and many answers. My own recollection is that here is very little wall space - unless you have a suite - and what there is is covered by padding. But I didn't try for magnetability (if there is such a word) and have no idea about ceilings. There is a clothes line in the shower, and a long desk/worksurface where you can lay memos. I recall others saying there isn't the amount of paperwork given out as on ocean cruises, just a daily 4 page 'Viking Daily' covering next days schedule
  17. If this question is to me, I can't answer as I flew into Odessa and out of Kiev. I don't recall any issues at Odessa
  18. I didn't fly out of Odessa, but if it's like you say, like a 50s rural airport, then it has to be better than Kiev even tho' both are in Ukraine. But tours that start in Kiev from 2020 will fly out of Bucharest not Odessa. This is an extract from my detailed report on the Sineus trip. Airports: We flew from London on Lot Polish airlines. We were concerned about making the 90 minute connection at Warsaw but we did and our bags arrived at Odessa. (Make sure you follow signs for transfers – don’t follow other passengers through immigration). About a dozen people on pre-cruise extensions didn’t receive their bags till the second afternoon. I don’t have details; I think some came from Vienna on Austrian air. We left from Kiev airport. This is unpleasant. It took 50-55 minutes to get to airport from ship. Then to get into airport you have to queue to lift your bags onto X-ray machine and go through security scanner. Viking have staff there and they directed the coach to the far entrance where the queue was much less. After checking in you have to go through security. Then you get to passport control. There were 10 desks open with such long lines that they took up the entire hall and it was hard to find the end of a queue. The lines moved at a glacial pace. Although the lines were wide with groups, people – even kids – had to go separately to the desk. Reason seems that for Ukrainians a passport is not enough; they need supporting documentation. Some have it ready in their hands; others have to search for it when they get to desk. Then officer has to read the certificates etc. I strongly suggest that the Viking bus group sticks together in one queue. The first person won’t be seen any quicker, but the rest will because foreigners just need to get a stamp in their passport. There is a fast line both here and the preceding security, sponsored by Mastercard. But you can only pay for this with a Mastercard issued by a Ukrainian bank. Business Class flyers can’t use fast line. Once you’ve wasted so much time hopefully you won’t have missed your flight. Airside is quite good, with a selection of restaurants and shops I used Bucharest airport a few weeks before and that was a dream compared with Kiev. If I do this cruise again, I will go the opposite way; I won’t depart from Kiev. You can red my whole report on page 8 of this thread
  19. This year the cruise has changed. Instead of ending in Odessa it ends in Tulcea, Romania and then you are bussed via Constanta, where you are served lunch, to Bucharest. According to the UK site, the first Ukraine tour doesn't start till May so no one will have done this itinerary to answer you till then. Suggest you use Google Maps to find out how long it takes to drive from Tulcea, Romania to Constanta, add 40 minutes for slower coach travel and assume a lunch time of 1200 and 1300, then subtract the estimated coach time; that'll be the latest time you leave the boat. As I recall you have to check out of your cabin by 0900 on all itineraries. Bucharest is not a bad airport to fly from - be grateful you are flying into Kiev, rather than from Kiev!!
  20. While it could, I don't think this will happen, certainly for travel to the UK for two reasons. I think it would require more than 'modest increase in the total number of inspectors' when you think of the sheer number of trains per day, also the very short journey time (56m) for those travelling between Calais and London. Secondly, once on board the train the next stop is UK. There are hundreds of migrants willing to risk their lives to get to Britain by crossing the channel in toy rubber boats. Under the system suggested they could board the train and then are guaranteed to get to the UK risk free. Also I don't see how a customs inspection could take place; baggage is stacked in a baggage area at the end of carriages, how could cases be extracted for opening, and where would they be opened?
  21. The public areas are air-conditioned so I would assume they stay at a constant temperature throughout the year. Personally, I find it set too cold, but others were in short sleeves. What you may feel is the contrast when coming from outside to inside. On lovely warm summer days I found the air-con a cold shock, not so much in the winter.
  22. Fair point, although I haven't been on an ocean cruise. However, a roll call for a cruise where everyone participates no matter what date they travel can be of tremendous value. For Instance this roll call - All Viking 2019 Passage to Eastern Europe - covered 27 pages and 669 posts. Those who had been reported back on hotels, the value of optional tours, that sailings in one direction required getting up at 3am for a passport check at a border, food service, table lay out and every facet. Whoever had a question on their up-coming cruise got a useful answer. Plus the list I regularly updated, showed who was travelling on which sailing allowing people to meet up. Thread would have been even betterif some people didn't prefer to start their own roll-call for their particular sailing
  23. One is unlikely classed growth claret offered among the included wines 🙂 All the same, 'undrinkable' is a pretty damning indictment of the wines on offer. I have been on only one cruise where I thought the house wines were sub-standard. Luckily as we were in wine country (not a co-incidence) I bought local wines to enjoy on board.
  24. There may be few or no CC participants that are going on your particular cruise, but unless you look on the appropriate river cruise forum you won't know. And if there isn't already a roll call for your cruise then start one. It's not necessarily a waste of time. I posted aggregates of people going on each date of a particular cruise of two cruises I did this year and on several there were 3 (which means three couples) and there were a couple of fours. If it hadn't have been for CC River Cruise Roll Calls we wouldn't have met the delightful @Horsedds and her fella, and we are still in touch exchanging travel news and more.
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