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About Jchivers

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  1. This sounds a bit flippant, so let me expand. For us, ocean cruising is perfectly fine -- food's great, crowds are great, parties are great. Its all great. We will continue to do ocean cruising as often as possible. But for our next trip we wanted to see parts of the European interior. We considered booking a land tour, but thought it'd be fun to try river cruising for the first time. Alas, it's going to have to wait a while.
  2. Because you can’t see the Rhine valley from the ocean.
  3. I think it's hilarious that with all that's going on in the travel industry, the conversation here is focused on the difference between tax credits and tax deductions. 😉
  4. The email from Viking (signed by the CEO) assured us that they're financially solvent and that they'll be fine ... for what that's worth. They also sweetened the offer: we can either get 100% cash refund, or 125% as a voucher, good for 2 years, and transferrable. They certainly prefer the voucher, and if I was certain that they'd be around for 2 years I would take them up on the offer.
  5. Viking just cancelled all cruises until April 30.
  6. It may not be fair, but I get it. Cruise ships move from point A to point B...which is a way of bringing the virus from infected area A to non-infected B. And given the close quarters and shared food, a cruise ship is a great way to increase the number of infected people while moving from A to B. It's certainly not the *only* disease vector but it's a highly visible target.
  7. Viking just sent out a notice that they're relaxing their cancellation policy for booked passengers: you can cancel up to 24 hours before your flight and receive 100% refund (in the form of a travel voucher, good for 24 months). This does help us (European river cruise in April)...basically, we can put off the go/no-go decision until the last moment.
  8. Perhaps because we don't cruise that often, but we tend to do all our negotiation long before we book. For instance, I'd like to do the Eastern Caribbean but my beloved doesn't have much interest in a sun & sand vacation....so it's not going to happen in the foreseeable future. Once we've agreed on an itinerary we both like, then we start negotiating on excursions that we can agree on. Occasionally we'll agree to split up; I'll do something strenuous while she goes shopping. She admits to being pleasantly surprised occasionally - she didn't expect to like Ephesus, but it blew her away.
  9. By the way, Jim Avery....Moby Dick ("...this Spanish gold ounce...") is one of my favorite movies.
  10. What cruises have out of control children? I've never been on one (HAL, X, Princess). In my experience, spotting a child has been like spotting an ivory-billed woodpecker.
  11. Yeah! And some moldy hardtack for dinner! You didn’t expect to be *pampered* on your luxury cruise line, did you?
  12. If workout equipment on a VO ship is a few years old, that seems to be a statement of fact, not opinion (and a bit surprising to me, on a luxury cruise line). Whether or not that fact influences one's decision to choose VO is, of course, up to the individual passenger. But the defensiveness shown here in the course of this discussion does seem to indicate that just maybe, any criticism of VO is not welcome here.
  13. zitsky, that's never been a problem (I have entered a room and seen all the loungers occupied....oh well, try again later.) Probably because they're inside the spa, where there's nothing else to do besides look out the window and doze...and no waiter service. And they're not comfortable for reading -- you're pretty much flat on your back. So people will get up and move on after 20 minutes, max.
  14. OMG...thermal loungers are The Bomb. They're raised beds, made of ceramic tile but s-shaped so they fit nicely against your body contours (but you do need a cushion, like a rolled-up towel, under your head). And internally heated. You lie back, gaze out the window at the ocean going by, and invariably fall asleep. The spas in Princess, HAL and X all have them so I assumed they were an industry standard. (Google any cruise line's spa description page and you'll probably see a picture.) This may be a deal-breaker.
  15. In my eight previous cruises (none on Viking) I've had one port cancelled - in Iceland, due to extreme fog. Is this something that happens more frequently on VO?
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