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Jchivers

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  1. 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.
  2. By the way, Jim Avery....Moby Dick ("...this Spanish gold ounce...") is one of my favorite movies.
  3. 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.
  4. Yeah! And some moldy hardtack for dinner! You didn’t expect to be *pampered* on your luxury cruise line, did you?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. So what do they do in ship's theater? Is that just for lectures? I appreciate your input, loge23. I think my preferred entertainment mix lines up a bit more closely with what Viking is offering, so I may be less bored than you. We'll see. (Nice to hear that the spa is (a) excellent and (b) included. The first thing we do on any other cruise line is buy a spa pass.)
  10. I must say that my image of VO has improved, and it's as much by the passion of the people here as it is by your stories. You guys seem so loyally attached that there has to be something there that I've got to see for myself! So, thanks for that.
  11. CCWineLover, thank you for that list! I'm 90% convinced that I would very much love it. (A few items on the list have me scratching my head, but to each their own.) I guess I need to try one and decide for myself! 🙂 btw, we have a Viking river cruise booked for next year -- our first ever river cruise -- but I'm sure that's a whole different animal.
  12. OK, that's a deal-breaker. I'm not going anywhere that I can't get a free t-shirt. [/sarcasm]
  13. Is there an app somewhere, where you can indicate all your choices and priorities -- like, weight the importance of food, service, price, nightlife, room size, rock-climbing walls... and it picks the ideal cruise line? If not, there should be! Our worst cruise experience was last year, on Celebrity, Alaska. The group next door would close the disco every night and then move the party to their balcony (which was of course immediately adjacent to ours and our bed), blasting music at 2:00 AM. It took us multiple complaints to get this sorted out. Maybe I'm stodgier than I'm willing to admit. 🙂
  14. SrCruizer - your activities list sounds perfect, and goes a long way to ease my concerns. We're also early-to-bed-early-to-rise types, but it's good to know that we can find music and dancing after dinner. It doesn't sound like we'd find karaoke or silent discos, though? My wife and I are 60-ish, but have no aversion to being around younger people. (We had a blue nose ceremony on our HAL Northern Europe cruise. Fun!)
  15. Thank you for the replies! More thoughts on Viking vs. the big mainstream lines: Good point about sea days -- that's a plus in Viking's favor, that they get into ports the big ships can't. (Although I do like to break up the bustle of port days with a sea day.) I agree about lectures being focused on the port's history/culture/natural features, and not the shopping. That's my least favorite thing about Princess, and something that I think Holland America does well. We actually spend very little time around the pool, so fighting for a lounger is never an issue. I'm a bit put off by Viking's casino/kids/formal nights policy ... I think those are all good things, in moderation. Photographers never bothered me. I wouldn't miss bingo. Trivia, though...I've got armloads of swag that I've won from shipboard trivia contests. :) One thing we love to do onboard is relax in the spa's thermal loungers, gazing out at the sea. So we're distressed to see that Viking puts their spa in the basement. Is there a line that's a step up from the mainstream with regards to service and quality, but still retains all the "fun"?
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