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Everything posted by lackcreativity

  1. I got my love of travel from my daughter. Of course, her idea of up close and personal is a little different from mine! Sri Lanka, 2017. I hope to follow in her footsteps one day. (She gave me permission to share her photo.)
  2. Thanks for the heads up. I didn't expect to see anything new as I figured Viking had their hands full. Since we can't actually travel now, I do like to spend time browsing and dreaming of the future!
  3. We haven't been to Boston since Christmas weekend, and much as I would like, I don't know how soon we will get there. I adore our vacation adventures, but right now I'd give anything for a family visit to Boston! We haven't seen the Constitution yet, so I will add that to my future plans, and maybe find a way to get to Plymouth too. Today's report from the Boston mayor indicate you still have tough days ahead. Best wishes for good health.
  4. Peregrina, Apparently, the included excursion in Portsmouth has changed since we took our cruise in 2018. Ours was a short ride through Portsmouth to the Naval Dockyards, with admission to the dockyards included. We got to visit the Mary Rose Museum and also tour Lord Nelson's flagship from the Battle of Trafalgar, the HMS Victory. That was quite interesting. Those sailors back then certainly didn't enjoy the same accommodations we have on Viking's ships!
  5. We took the Trade Routes of the Middle Ages cruise in October of 2018, and enjoyed the cruise very much. As we usually do, we took a combination of included excursions and optional ones. Often, we will follow up an included excursion with time on our own and then return to the ship by the free shuttles Viking offers many ports. On this cruise, we did the optional excursions from Le Havre to Honfleur, from Zeebrugge to Bruges, and the Gaudi Architecture excursion in Barcelona. I wish I had actual prices to share, but just from my memory we paid $49 each for a Full Day in Bruges on Y
  6. I'm not sure of your goal in the search. Are you looking for reviews or comments about the trips, or are you looking for specific factual information about the trips? I have found the Viking website full of all kinds of helpful information and it's my first source when researching a trip. It's pretty easy to navigate, except that people often miss the information about possible excursions for each port. You have to click on each individual port for an itinerary to see the list of possible excursions. Then, you can click on an individual excursion for details about it. Pre and Post extensions a
  7. Ruthieofthesea, What a heartwarming but bittersweet story. Thanks for sharing.
  8. We book directly with Viking, so we didn't have the added issue regarding who is authorized to contact Viking regarding the booking. I believe I have read elsewhere that under these circumstances, they have made exceptions when travel agents are unavailable. Good luck. I think we all are looking forward to sailing again one day.
  9. Again, this is from the US so UK issues may differ, but my situation was the same as yours. We had a cruise booked for October this year and the final balance was due April 28. Since we have already had a river cruise canceled by Viking during the virus outbreak, we decided to transfer our October deposit to a different cruise in April 2021. (fingers crossed that will be enough time) The phone call was quick and simple. They didn't cancel the original booking number, just updated the whole thing to the new itinerary and date and added the extension I requested. All money transferr
  10. I have been missing from our Virtual Explorer's Lounge for a while, but I came back for my morning coffee (and maybe a waffle) today. The pleasant companionship is just what I needed! We too were lucky enough to land with Viking on our first cruise experience, and have become part of the Viking family. Happy memories of unexpected gems we have found on our travels (thinking of you: Tallinn and Malaga) along with the many places that even exceeded our expectations (Santorini as the only ship in port!). It's hard for me to determine which I enjoy more, the places or the people. My h
  11. We would have been on a Viking river cruise right now, and after some debate we just transferred our deposit for an ocean cruise for October 25 forward to April of 2021. Of course I am not certain that even that is far enough, but I can't abandon all hope. I need something to look forward to to maintain mental health.
  12. I work as a bookkeeper for a small retail store, and I have had to explain to many customers that the banks are very quick to charge your account, but they often take a few days to post a credit, so that doesn't surprise me.
  13. Today I called to transfer our October cruise deposit to a different itinerary in April of next year. The agent was helpful and the process was painless. I did ask at the end if there was any information in my file about whether our refund from the canceled river cruise, that we should be enjoying right now, has been processed. He indicated that the accounting department was (obviously) swamped, and the 21 business day time frame was taking longer. Your information is more specific, and I will be patient. It's a whole new world right now.
  14. I don't see this as a solution, unless it was a cruise to nowhere. Even if all passengers (and crew) tested negative, once you allow people off the ship in a port, the exposure to crowds in each stop would introduce the possibility of exposure. Even if you retested everyone as they returned to the ship, I don't know how quickly exposure produces a positive test result. Test everyone every day? That just seems unwieldy and ultimately not foolproof. We too have two cruises booked with Viking, and I long for a chance to travel. I don't see the answer yet, but ultimately someone will f
  15. Notamermaid, We were supposed to be on a Paris to Zurich Viking cruise right now, so I will have to satisfy myself with some of the links you provided. Wish we were there. Thanks.
  16. I completely accept your desire to wait for a vaccine, but we are still waiting for a vaccine for HIV, and even vaccines we do have are not always foolproof. The annual flu vaccine is varied in its efficiency, and flu can be fatal, and yet I get my shot and go on my way, with no nagging worries. I am following all recommended guidelines, to protect myself and others, but I am not really afraid. Just like I don't wake up every day fearing I might have a heart attack, or fall down the steps, or get in a car accident. All of those things are possible, but if you take reasonable care
  17. There is a third option, that we may find a treatment for Covid-19 that would reduce the most dire aspects of this disease. If there is a currently available drug that passes the safety and efficacy trials, that could be the quickest route back to a more normal situation. Most everything we do involves some risk, and the older we are, the higher the risk. Within reason, I am willing to accept risk to be able to travel. The reward is that significant for me. Right now, I am hunkered down like everyone should be, considering new ideas for future vacations, and looking forward to bei
  18. The circumstances last year with Viking's cancellation of your Scandinavian cruise differ considerably from what they are facing presently. Even as I wait for the refund I requested back on March 13, I know that I must be patient. However, unless I receive that refund before my final payment on our October cruise is due April 28, then I will not make that payment. At this point I have mixed feelings about whether even that cruise will sail, so I am reviewing options to move that deposit forward to another cruise. Things are so complicated just on a personal level. I can't imagine
  19. I certainly hope that Viking comes through this, and with two future cruises still on the books with them I suppose I am betting on them doing so. In addition to the revenue and expense considerations, time is the crucial factor. Any prediction about how long Covid-19 will continue to have a major impact on our world is at best an educated guess at this point. I feel certain that cruising in general will survive, but what type of cruising and which cruise lines and how long it takes to return remain to be seen. Small ship, adult focused cruising is what I personally seek, so finger
  20. Since we are still relatively new cruisers and have only sailed with Viking, I was surprised how much we enjoy a sea day. However, our main interest in traveling is still to see the world, so a cruise with no ports would not be on our agenda. Sincerely hoping (for many reasons) that the worst case scenarios that are suggested do not come to pass, and the future cruises that I keep dreaming of will return in due time.
  21. The conflicting reports about using future cruise vouchers to pay off existing cruise balances is confusing to me, even though I know Viking is not always consistent with their policies. I also think there are differences in the situations where Viking has canceled a cruise and when we use their expanded cancellation offer to cancel one individually. We had a river cruise for April 11 canceled by Viking, and requested the refund of all monies paid so that we could use it to pay the balance due on another upcoming cruise. We did not expect the 25% bonus, as that seems to be just in
  22. Thanks for all the enjoyment I have had from following your adventures, and I am glad it seems that you have had a wonderful experience with Viking even in spite of all of the turmoil. I am a wee bit sad that I will no longer have a cruise critic thread to follow that had more to read than our speculation about all the different aspects of the virus. But even so, I wish you good health and safe travels in the future.
  23. Keep in mind that those who are still on the ships have their basic living expenses for room and board , along with free wifi, (and I assume health care) covered already. For those who are back at their homes, the cost of living is often a lot less than in the US or UK. There is a reason that their retention rate for crew is high. I don't imagine many people would work so hard and be away from home for so long if they did not view it as a significant financial benefit.
  24. It reinforces my respect for the Viking brand, as Mr. Hagen wants to support one of the company's most valuable assets. It also does provide some reassurance to me as a consumer that my soon to be paid balance on a fall cruise will retain its value. Still not an absolute guarantee, but I am not sure those are available in these times.
  25. Just another example of why I am so impressed by Viking. Their crew members are one of their most valuable assets, and one of the important reasons why I sail with them. The interaction with such an amazing group of people contributes significantly to our enjoyment of each trip. In addition, the confidence shown by Mr. Hagen in the future of this venture provides me with some reassurance that payment of my soon due balance on a fall cruise will at the very least result in a future cruise voucher that will maintain it's value.
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