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Senior Gators

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  1. Thanks Patti, good luck and fun times in your future cruises. You certainly have become a Viking devotee. As I remember it, that TA cruise from San Juan to Barcelona was your 1st cruise on Viking, but you were (are) a very experienced cruiser. Richard
  2. Funny you should ask... Yesterday, we cancelled our Southern Atlantic Crossing on the Viking Jupiter. It's November 14th sailing from Barcelona to Buenos Aires was booked well over a year ago (originally booked the BA to Barcelona for March 2021) but was changed to the one we cancelled. Too many concerns had cropped for us to feel safe. We took the future cruise credits and booked a new Viking cruise on the Orion for February 2022 - Los Angeles to Ft Lauderdale via the Panama Canal. Got our confirmation and flights today. Hoping for better conditions by then. In addition to the Viking Mississippi cruise next September which you know about, we have booked a Great Lakes cruise on the Viking Octantis for May 2022> that one is Milwaukee to Toronto. 2022 will be a busy year for us with a smorgasbord of cruise types. I see that you are staying busy on the CC boards. What cruises are in your future? Richard
  3. In deed that was a special evening, Azulann. We remember it well; it was one of our favorite memories of that cruise. We had a very active roll call and a big Meet and Mingle. Such a good group that the Hotel Manager put together a second M and M for our last night at sea. Senior Gators
  4. CretaMed88 , thank you so much for posting this video of the Viking Venus arriving at Piraeus, Greece yesterday. Viking's ocean ship are understatedly elegant and so pleasing to the eye compared with the mega hotel/resort ships that most cruise lines gravitate to. We (DW and I) have sailed 6 times on Viking Ocean cruises ( would have been 8 if not for the dratted COVID 19 pandemic). Love the product that Viking presents to its customers. With luck, come the middle of November and after not having cruised for 2 years, we will be boarding the Viking Jupiter in Barcelona for a 22 day South Atlantic Crossing to Buenos Aires. Love sea days (and there will be a lot of them) to allow more time to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and ambiance of a beautiful Viking ship. The crew members we have met onboard are exceptional. Senior Gators
  5. Moatenote, we have stayed in both 6023 (once) and 6019 (twice). We loved them both. No problem with noise or (for us) problems with motion as it isn't as high as the PS cabins on decks 7 and 8. Being a little less expensive the the PS 2's and 1's and having the exact same benefits and accommodations is also something to be considered. The handicapped accommodations in 6020 and 6022 provide a different cabin and bathroom arrangement which are better suited to those really needing them. The location near the 2 forward elevators and stairs is no problem since they are not used as much as the ones further aft in the ship. And the sound levels are well modulated when your cabin door is closed. Hope this helps. Senior Gators
  6. Hi Azulann, sorry to be so slow in responding. I just caught your posting this afternoon when scrolling back to see an earlier response. We will be flying into MSP sometime after noon or mid afternoon on the day of departure, September 17. Along with the included Viking transfer to the ship, I must regretfully decline your friendly and generous invitation to join you for lunch. It would be good to enjoy your fellowship and catch up on what we have been up to since we traveled together on our wonderful Transatlantic cruise on the Viking Sea. Hard to believe that was almost 3 years ago to the day. It was in late March to early April of 2018. It was our 1st TA but hopefully not our last. Best wishes, Senior Gators (Richard and Margie)
  7. Clay, don't feel bad. I wasn't sure about the identification of the ship by the view from the low angle of the photo of the bow. But after studying it for a bit, I could see that it had the hull number and the ship's name "Viking Octantis" high on the bow. Just sowing off her ice "breaking" features.
  8. As a professional watcher and occasional poster on Viking's Cruise Critic boards, I want to add my thanks to Andy and Jim for being so kind and generous for their professional insights and comments on cruising and shipping issues in general! Many other regulars contribute so much to make these boards a regular "must read" habit. We, DW and I as cruising novices, signed up for Cruise Critic shortly before our 1st cruise aboard the Viking Sea in 2015. We have benefited greatly from the questions and comments asked and answered on this forum. Now, 8 cruises later (6 on Viking oceans' ships, 2 on Viking River ships) we have gained a lot of experiences and wonderful memories. Despite having 2 Viking cruises cancelled in 2020 we have booked 3 more: a South Atlantic Crossing in the late fall of this year, a Great Lakes cruise aboard the new Viking Explorer ship, the Octantis, in May 2022, and a 15 day cruise on new Viking Mississippi. God willing the COVID 19 virus will not be a factor and the cruises won't be cancelled. Thank you all for sharing your wisdom and views. A deserved thank you to Photo Pro, the OP, for coming up with the idea for the "Virtual Explorer's Lounge". We had the privilege of meeting him at the Meet and Mingle gathering on board a shared Viking Ocean cruise.
  9. My wife and I are booked for the May 2022 cruise on the Octantis sailing from Milwaukee to Toronto. Looking forward to trying something different from Viking. We have sailed on six ocean (hopefully seven by the time this cruise happens) and two river cruises on Viking ships. A third river cruise is already booked on the Viking Mississippi for September 2022. It will be interesting to see and experience Viking's ventures into diferent markets with new ship types and adventures.
  10. Andy, Thanks for posting your review of your thoughts and observations of staying in an Explorer Suite aboard one of Viking's wonderful ocean cruise ships. It brought back wonderful memories of our accommodations and Transatlantic Crossing several years ago on the Viking Sea. We were fortunate enough to stay one deck below your suite in ES 3000 and find that our accommodations were exactly like the ones you showed in your review of ES 4000. We normally book Penthouse Jr Suites on deck 6, but splurged a couple of times for Explorer Suites. The other one was all the way aft in Suite 3095 (different layout but all of the same features) on our 1st Viking Cruise. That was in 2015 on board the Star and was a 22 day cruise across the Mediterranean from Istanbul to Barcelona. With FCC from cancelled cruises this year, we have been able to book a South Atlantic Crossing for November 2021and have once again booked an Explorer Suite (3001 this time) on the Jupiter. It was at no additional cost to us above the PS-3 fare we had on our cancelled Alaskan cruise on the Orion and extension on the Rocky Mountaineer. Hopefully the world will be moving towards normality by then or we will be once again rescheduling or cancelling a much anticipated sailing with Viking. Andy, your postings are greatly appreciated along with Jim Avery's. The Inside knowledge and perspectives that you both bring to the table are what helps these boards educational and interesting. Thanks again, Senior Gators (Richard & Margie)
  11. Captain Knutson(sp?), he of the first world cruise aboard the Sun and various other Viking cruises, was the host of the presentation you are describing. At the end, he was answering questions that were sent in and was asked if he would be the master on another Viking world cruise in the near future. He responded with, "none currently planned", but that he would be leaving in a couple of weeks (just before Christmas) to join the Venus for her sea trials. It would seem that the Venus will be ready to start cruising with fare-paying passengers by the hoped for April 2021 date. Senior Gators
  12. deec, Not sure, as we can only speak from our personal experience, but it seems that you can change to a different cruise after using your future cruise voucher. In our case we used the FCV from our cancelled March 14th TA cruise to pay for our previously booked March 2021 South Atlantic Crossing. Upon further consideration about the pandemic outlook, we decided to to change our booking to the November 2021 South Atlantic Crossing. It was done with the hope that the world will have this COVID-19 virus under control and cruising will resume with a high degree of safety. Viking complied with our request and we even retained our same cabin. This was done on Thursday, April 30th, so it appears that you can do a subsequent change. That being said, check directly with Viking or have your travel agent do so for you, before taking our experience as gospel. Sorry, can't provide any information on your insurance question. Richard and Margie (Senior Gators)
  13. photopro -- "We have been very fortunate in that we chose Viking as our first cruise line and Icannot see us travelling with anyone else." photopro, you and Azulann were both Viking novices. Though unlike you, she was a long time traveler on other cruise lines. She said she was trying Viking partially for comparison purposes. By the time the cruise was over she was thoroughly convinced that Viking offered a superior product much appreciated by their clients. Azulann was one of the shakers and movers that made the Roll Call, Meet & Mingles, and overall shipboard passenger experience so enjoyable. Subsequently, she has sailed again with Viking and shows up on Cruise Critic threads, sharing her enthusiasm with others here online. Senior Gators
  14. Ruth, what a small world. Compliments of Uncle Sam, I spent 2 years in Anchorage between Thanksgiving day 1968 and the day before Thanksgiving 1970 at Fort Richardson. In July 1969, I flew to Miami, married my waiting bride, and drove 6,000 miles in 10 days (including 3 days driving the Alcan highway from Dawson Creek, BC to Tok, AK). We spent 16 months as a newly married couple in Anchorage while I finished my tour of duty there. Our return was part driving and included sailing on the Alaskan Marine Highway from Haines, AK to Prince Rupert, BC, stopping at many of the same ports as Viking's Alaskan itinerary. We booked the August 14th Alaska and the Inside Passage cruise to visit places we haven't been in almost 50 years and to add the Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies to Banff. Now we have our doubts about being able to that with the continued deterioration of the country's (and the world's) pandemic due to the COVID19 virus. Such is life in these strange times. I think DW and I will have another glass of Chardonnay and enjoy the warm comradery of our fellow cruisers in the Virtual Explorer's Lounge. Cheers! Richard and Margie Senior Gators
  15. SanteFe, are you sitting near the fire place close enough to the windows on the starboard side to take in the beautiful view? We were wondering how one would feel on the small Galapagos expedition ship when compared with any of the Viking ships whether it was a river, ocean, expedition or the latest addition, the Mississippi River boat. Will it be able to meet Viking's high level of comfort and style or by the nature of the destination and limited accessibility, more spartan accommodations and amenities are the trade off for cruising to one of the most unique places in the world. It will be interesting to hear the reviews and comments after the cruises have commence next year. As for us, we are eyeballing the new offerings Viking has come out with in the last few weeks/months; namely the Viking Mississippi and the Octantis expedition cruises on the Great Lakes. They are a long way off (about 2 1/2 years) and who knows what will happen between now and then. Take care and stay healthy.
  16. Photopro2, Thank you for your kind words. We fondly recall that TA cruise as one of the best we have experienced. The cruise was great even though Tangier was substituted for Casablanca. That stop was an unexpected pleasure that, like you, we didn't ever expect to see. Funchal, Madeira and Valencia were also highlights. The Viking Sea was great and the crew wonderful, but the biggest surprise that made that cruise the best in our minds was our fellow cruisers. So many highlights and so much enjoyment in our many encounters. From the largest and most active M & M and roll call for a trip that wasn't a world cruise; our daily interactions with our new found friends; Easter Sun Rise service presided over by one of our fellow cruisers (who happened to be a priest in the Episcopal or was it Anglican church); to our end of cruise second M & M spontaneously offered by the Sea's hotel manager. "Ah, those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end..." But this too will pass eventually if we observe prudent safety and healthy practices. We hope that, in the future, we will have the opportunity to share another cruise with you, photopro, and all the others that we have come to know through the wonderous medium of Viking cruises. Stay healthy. Senior Gators
  17. Ruth, it was good; quiet and peaceful as the experts recommend! Just the two of us with phone calls to and from our family. We have an Alaska and the Inside Passage Viking cruise bought and paid for coming up in August, but it is looking more and more like that one won't be happening. Either Viking will be cancelling it or we will. We are waiting until closer to the sailing date to make our decision based on the situation and the facts that present themselves. We are exploring future cruise opportunities with Viking in the meantime.
  18. Thanks Clay. For better or worse we do have Viking Air Plus for this cruise. Our concern is that Viking will be trying to book us on some circuitous and lengthy flights on some off brand airlines. From our research, American Airlines offers the best combination of 1 stop flights in both directions with reasonable connections in either MIA or DFW. The only problem is they are some of the most expensive. We don't have a lot of AA points, so that my not be of much help.
  19. deec, You certainly have it right about our TA from San Juan to Barcelona being cancelled at the last minute! We were just getting ready to catch a few winks before getting up at 3 for a 5:30 am flight to ATL and on to SJU on the 12th when the WH slammed the door shut on any idea of us getting to cruise the Atlantic this year. In hind sight, it was the best thing that could have possibly happened. If the Sea had sailed our fate at best would have been no better than what happened to the Sky's TA that had left Miami 6 days before as so aptly narrated by Clay Clayton By 10:45 pm we had received an email from Tors Hagen explaining the situation, Viking's decision on what they were doing and their generous offers for compensation. A Viking representative called by 11 pm to be sure we had received the information about the cancellation. We sat tight and elected to take the future cruise voucher worth 125% of everything we paid to Viking for the cancelled TA cruise. Getting to the the end of this tale, we received notice of our cruise vouchers availability early this week and used it to pay for the Jupiter's South Atlantic Crossing (Buenos Aires to Barcelona) in March 2021. We were even able to upgrade our accommodations with the credit provided. Kudos to Viking for how they have been handling their part of this whole COVID19 situation. Love the idea of the "virtual Explorers' Lounge". We can just hear the piano playing lovely music for atmosphere in the background, the murmuring of a dozen different conversation mixed with laughter, and the tinkling of ice in glasses of delicious libations. All of this contained on one of Viking's wonderous "magic carpets" of their Star class ocean ships. Senior Gators
  20. Hey Azulann, We saw Torstein Hagen's video yesterday and then went to the Viking Mississippi's web site. Very interested in the St Paul to New Orleans cruise in October 2022; enough so to have our TA look into it for us. We have a tentative reservation that we will have to act on by Saturday midnight. The Mississippi River cruises are priced similar to those on Expedition ship(s). Quite expensive. Do like the design and amenities of the ship. Senior Gators
  21. We saw on another thread about how to more easily remove those little (nearly indestructible) laundry ID tags. It was passed along from a crew member (laundry gang ?) and was pretty simple, just take a warm iron and heat it up being careful not to damage the material it is on. It softens the adhesive and makes it easier to remove. Can't vouch for it personally, but it seems like a reasonable solution. Senior Gators
  22. X-101, We can confirm what you have stated about the configuration of 6020 and 6021. They are the only 2 handicapped accessible staterooms on the ship. There are substantial changes to both the room and bathroom to make them truly accessible. On one cruise we were booking, due to limited availability for PS 3s, we made reservations for 6020, but after seeing detailed pictures and floor plan we changed our reservations to an available PS 1 on Deck 8 and paid the difference. We checked out the accommodations while we were on the cruise and confirmed that we had made the right decision. Senior Gators
  23. Since the only differences between a Deck 8 - PS 1 cabin and a Deck 6 - PS 3 cabin are location and price, it becomes a matter of what is the most important thing to you. Having sailed on several cruises with Viking in both PS 3s (6019 and 6023) and a PS 1 (8007), we can offer some insight on this matter. The 2 cabins on Deck 6 were on the elevator/stairwell lobby. We had no problems with noise once our cabin door was closed and truthfully the area was always very quite. The traffic volume was low since there are only 2 elevators there and anyone getting on or off would be going to or coming from their cabin. The only thing forward towards the bow was the ship's bridge and we never saw any of the ship's crew in the passageway. Others have spoken to the benefits of PS 1 cabins on Deck 8, so your decision is up to your personal tastes and preferences. Hope this will help. Senior Gators
  24. Hey Linda, Just a guess on our part. It is good to see that you and Rick are still out there. Are there any Viking cruises in your future? We have a couple booked including a transatlantic one on the Viking Sea coming up in March. Still lots of cabins available if you are interested. Viking is offering some deals to make an already inexpensive repositioning cruise an even better deal. We would really enjoy sharing a cruise with you again. We hope all is well with you both out there in Colorado. Have the winter storms blowing across the country this winter hitting your area hard? Richard and Margie
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