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Everything posted by sharkster77

  1. Also, be sure you know where the ship will be located---it may be moving to another docking area or using the time to pass through a lock---do not assume the ship will be where you disembarked.
  2. Sounds like the Explorer's Lounge could use a visit from John Tapper and Bar Rescue!! (For the unfamiliar, Bar Rescue is a TV show where a bar 'expert' visits failing bars and tries to save them from bankruptcy/closure--most of them are a mess and many end up closing anyway. Lots of 'drama' involving egos and family issues.)
  3. I am an American with Canadian and Belgian ancestry---we must have similar blood, as I cannot stand the heat at all--won't even consider summer travel. Of course, I was a teacher for 40 years, so summer was pretty much the only time I could travel for any length of time.
  4. You may bring and drink liquor that you have purchased off-ship. They will even bring you glasses and uncork bottles for you. Upon returning to the ship you will not be nearly-frisked for "contraband bottles", as many ocean lines do. Even Viking Ocean allows this we have heard.
  5. We did the Rhine in early October 2019. No heat, thank goodness. A bit of rain, but a rainy day on vacation is better than a sunny day at work! At the end, which was on the cusp of mid-October, we ended with 3d/2n in Lucerne and the weather was gorgeous! The only place that was super-crowded was Heidelberg. This was an included excursion in 2019 but is now optional, I believe. Was amazed by how many people were at Heidelberg Castle.
  6. In Lucerne we stayed at Holel des Alpes. Just about across the river from the train station, so schlepping bags was not a long trek. Paid a little more for a riverside room and had a view of Chapel Bridge, Mt Pilatus, and the distant Alps beyond the lake. Great place for a reasonably priced meal of German 'comfort food' (sausages and rosti, spaetzle, etc) was the Rathaus Brewerie (sp?), in the bottom of town hall (the rathaus). Cannot say enough about the house unpasteurized, unfiltered beer--only sold on site, as it cannot be bottled--so so so darn good!!! Ate there in 2019 and again last spring.
  7. Other cards without foreign transaction fees are the AARP card from Barclays, and the Capital One Quicksilver card. There are no doubt many others.
  8. Well played---we liked Zurich, but LOVED Lucerne, it is amazing.
  9. The best viewing spot when scenic sailing is either in the lounge, which normally has floor-to-ceiling windows, or up on the top deck, weather permitting. You really are only in your cabin for sleeping and changing up. Even in port, if your ship is rafted to another, your view out the higher-priced balcony cabin would be into someone else's cabin, as the ships are only inches apart!
  10. No no no!! The path is paved and switchbacks up the hill (the bus will bring you as far up as it can. The entrance to the castle does have some rocks, but NOTHING like you've pictured. Found this photo on the interwebs of the entrance.
  11. Oh yes, once you taste the various craft brews now available in the US, you wonder why you drank Budweiser et al. A late dear friend of mine was taken to a craft beer fair by his son, and his conclusion at the end was, to paraphrase "why have I wasted my time drinking the $#!! my father and uncles drank!" Here in New England we have lots of Sam Adams, which is mass produced but infinitely better than Budweiser, Miller, etc., etc.
  12. Now that is interesting---I would have thought the opposite. When running, one's body comes completely off the ground, then lands. In walking one leg is on the ground at all times.
  13. The adapters in the amazon link you shared have the 'pointed' sides, i.e. <==>. Ours have rounded sides (==). The interesting part is we were in Switzerland for a week last spring. Our rounded european adapters worked in every hotel EXCEPT the last one in Lucerne--we had to borrow a couple from the desk. Technically the Swiss have their own adapter, with the pointed sides, but we had no problem with the usual euro adapter, until the end of the trip.
  14. Walking the track vs jogging the track I'm sure produces very different noise levels.
  15. Wife picked up a dual voltage curling iron (allowed by Viking) for a cruise 4 years ago for about $10. For safety reasons, hair dryers are normally provided. Adaptors are cheap---converters are not. For charging phones, laptops, tablets, etc., just an adaptor is needed (chargers are dual voltage). Even a CPAP is dual voltage and just needs an adaptor. Rick Steves website sells adaptors for $3 each. What you need is the 2 prong European adaptor.
  16. When excursions opened up for our Tulips and Windmills cruise this April, we never got the promised email either---just found out by checking MVJ every day or two.
  17. Iceland has some sort of commission that creates new words for new things so that words from other languages need not be adopted. They combine Icelandic words to create new ones. One of the funniest, I think, is that their word for "computer" is made by combining Icelandic words for "magic" and "machine". So in Icelandic, an computer is literally a magic machine!!
  18. I remember reading somewhere how many different pronunciations there are for -ough words. Rough, though, through just to name 3.
  19. I hear ya--when we sailed in mid October, anyone wearing shorts, tees, or sundresses would have been VERY uncomfortable!!
  20. Since the OP asked about Viking, the post you commented on assumed we were still talking about Viking. Did not realize there were different 'castes' of travelers on Scenic. Personally l like not being treated like a steerage passenger down in aquarium class.
  21. Maybe a more modern term is business casual? For men, a polo or button down shirt with khakis, for women a nice top and slacks. Anyhow, that's how we dressed for our 2019 river cruise and most were dressed as we were. Clean unfaded jeans were worn and looked OK, but those with suits and floor-length dresses definitely stood out. There's kind of an egalitarian vibe on river cruises--whether you are in aquarium class, or the gigantic suites, all eat in the same dining room off the same menu.
  22. Also be sure you have clicked 'all dates' as the default that comes up is 'selected dates'. Have noticed this on several river itineraries.
  23. Beer and wine are included during both lunch and dinner with Viking (and most if not all other lines)
  24. I recall a few years ago, there was an incident on an Amazon cruise in Peru where the passengers were robbed in the middle of the night......maybe it was on the now-bankrupt Vantage cruise lines?? I believe this was a cruise that went further up the Amazon than other cruise lines. Anyone else have the same memory???
  25. WOW--what a contrast to our view of Pfaltzgrafenstein Castle from October 2019:
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