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Everything posted by bottomfeeder

  1. I'm not fond of the in-cabin coffee makers. Just like the ones in hotel rooms, they make coffee that always tastes like plastic to me. I'd much rather head somewhere for a cappucino or a latte. And they do have many different flavored syrups so no need to bring your own. Unless--I've recently been advised to really watch my sugar intake as my blood sugar is starting to do weird things--do they have sugar-free flavored syrups? Or do I need to bring my own if I want a flavored latte?
  2. I'm on the December 4th sailing and have no shore excursions available yet either. Fingers crossed that the cruise will actually happen.
  3. If I thought I could afford it, I'd go without hesitation! Maybe I'll win a big lottery jackpot and then I can... 🙂
  4. It took me almost 15 minutes to find the October 18th memo on the Viking site even after reading the instructions from others on this site about where it was. I am usually pretty good at finding information...it really has left me gobsmacked that Viking has about 5 other places on the site (including 3 separate places accessed from My Viking Journey) where they say 72 hours. I don't understand how people are supposed to figure out what is really required. I really hope they will change the rest of the site to be consistent with the 10/18 memo. I am sure this is all pretty overwhelming for Viking to deal with but they have a whole lot of annoyed customers now and risk people getting to the ship and not being allowed to board because they didn't test within 48 hours because they weren't aware of the requirement...
  5. Good for all of you! I retire later this month *cheer* and will definitely be on the lookout for cruises. At the moment I only have one booked (but it's 17 days!) and I'm also hoping to fit in a month or so in Europe this winter for a long stay somewhere along or near the Mediterranean to test out an idea I have for my future living plans (which would involve selling my house in Florida and becoming a Maine resident but spending my winters slow traveling in the warmer parts of Europe) so I need to figure out how to fit more cruises around that...and of course also look for bargains on cruises even more than usual now that I will be living on a smaller income. I am so thankful to have all of these possibilities open to me. I'll be interested to hear about all of your cruises--please post reviews and ideally in the Solo Cruisers forum. And enjoy! 🙂
  6. If I were you I'd consider taking a shorter cruise on Viking prior to the world cruise, to try it out. That way, if you find it doesn't suit you, you can then cancel the world cruise and find one on another line that you like better. But from my vast experience of 1 Viking cruise just as Covid hit (so yes, I'm not exactly an expert!) I can't imagine you wouldn't like it better than HAL or Celebrity or another of the more mainstream lines. Unless you are bothered by the more limited entertainment since it's a smaller ship, or you would really miss the casino or having children around. 🙂
  7. Yesterday I booked the Viking Ocean Hawaii cruise leaving December 4th. Hoping it will be a go! If any other solos book this one and would like to meet up over coffee or a meal in the buffet, let me know! 🙂 I'm excited--Hawaii is the only US state I haven't been to yet.
  8. All you need to do is go to the Viking site and do a mock booking for the cruise you are interested in (hit the "Book Now" button) and you can see the prices for 1 person in a cabin without being obligated to finish the booking. It's by far the easiest way to do this.
  9. Barb here from that same trivia team...I'm also looking at this cruise (or the Hawaii one) as a retirement gift to myself since I'm very close to pulling the plug and retiring. Just waiting for a couple more ducks to line up and I'll put in my notice and be able to plan a cruise. I'd be happy to be back on the trivia team too! For some reason the idea of a cruise that starts and ends in the US feels more comfortable to me these days than one where I need to fly overseas. Not sure why.
  10. I just got an email tonight offering no single supplement AND free airfare for several Viking cruises this summer/early fall--both ocean and river cruises. Offer is EBD according to the email. I had pretty much decided I am not cruising until I believe the pandemic is finally getting under control, but this offer is REALLY tempting.
  11. I have really fond memories of a family vacation we took years ago where we stayed in several Landmark Trust properties (landmarktrust.org.uk) and rented a car and drove between them and to various sites. We stayed in an apartment in Hampton Court Palace, at Rosslyn Castle (next to Rosslyn Chapel outside Edinburgh) and our first stop was several days in the Bedfordshire countryside, where we spent one day touring Cambridge. It was during March--extended spring break for the kids--and it was chilly but I love traveling in the off-season when the tourist spots are not crowded. Sadly I am not sure that the Hampton Court or Rosslyn Castle properties are available anymore through Landmark Trust; at least I did not see them the last time I looked. Probably for two of you there aren't a lot of suitable Landmark Trust properties to stay in, and they DO have a different idea of heating systems than Americans do...so maybe that is not a great idea, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I'd just pack lots of fleece. We stopped on our way up to Edinburgh at one of the Roman forts on Hadrian's Wall--I think it was Housesteads--and I highly recommend that if you haven't been to one of them. If your husband likes WWII stuff, maybe he will like Roman Army stuff too! And it was good to spend a couple hours out of the car walking around to break up the trip. I'd also highly recommend Stirling and its castle--that was one of our stops. We also went to Dunblane, more because I have ancestors from there than any other reason. It was absolutely pouring rain so our touring was abbreviated but we did go to see the little cathedral. And don't miss Rosslyn Chapel if you haven't been there! Maybe I'm a chicken but I would definitely not drive in London. Seems like a car would be far more trouble than it's worth there. I'd do my days in London first if there were things I wanted to do there, and then take the train to somewhere outside the worst of the urban sprawl and pick up a rental car for the rest of my trip. Have you "done" York? That might be a good place to spend a day or two, in between Oxford and Edinburgh. Now I want to go on vacation to England and Scotland!! 🙂
  12. I've been a big fan of Celebrity over the years, and I will sail them again if the price differential is big enough...but honestly with the new "inclusive" pricing that Celebrity has introduced I'm not sure that the price difference vs. Viking is all that much. I'd been wanting to try Viking for several years, and finally was able to book a cruise for last March (I sail solo so have to wait for decent solo pricing which unfortunately is quite rare on Viking)--which turned out to be a cruise halfway across the Atlantic and back due to COVID. And even though that cruise was quite weird because of the pandemic closing in, it was still wonderful and Viking will be my first choice going forward. I have no need for casinos, or photographers bugging me to have my picture taken all the time, so I didn't miss that. I rarely have a mixed drink and I'm not a big drinker in general, so I am fine with the included wine/beer with lunch/dinner, but as others have said the add-on drinks package seems well-priced. I appreciate the included internet. I only had one included shore excursion, due to COVID, but it was fine--not great but at least on par with a typical bus tour type Celebrity excursion. I thought the meals were very nice, and wait times to be seated were much less. The entertainment on board is more low-key, but I actually enjoy that more than big, crowded theaters. I liked having my non-alcoholic beverages refilled in my room refrigerator each day if I drank any of them. (Note that whether you get refills delivered, and whether that includes alcoholic beverages, depends on your room category.) And the spa is very nice and is included in your fare--big plus for Viking. The activities like trivia, etc. seemed as frequent, and on-par with, Celebrity. The lectures were at least as good as on Celebrity. And because it was a smaller ship, everything was easier to get to, and the crew-to-passenger ratio was better (it was a LOT better on my cruise, again due to COVID and people canceling in advance so we were only about half full). Honestly I can't think of anything I like better on Celebrity. But it all depends on what YOU like about cruising--maybe Celebrity is a better fit for you than Viking. You won't know unless you try Viking, though! 🙂
  13. The only thing that worries me about those is all the ones with the good prices are summer or earlier. I'm doubtful that Europe will be open for Americans to do river cruises that early, and from the (admittedly basic) search I did it looks like there would be no refunds, just credits with Uniworld. That makes me pretty nervous. I mean, I loved the Uniworld cruise I did, but not sure how steady any of these companies are and whether I'd ever see my $ again if the cruise got canceled. Maybe I'm being pessimistic? Mostly I'm just very cheap! 🙂
  14. I got a check in the mail a few days ago for my unused OBC. Did not do the math to see if they included the gratuities (which I paid with OBC) refund for the 3 days. Probably they didn't but at this point with everything else going on it's not worth my time to fuss over it.
  15. Got mine back on 4/28. It was to a checking account that I rarely use so I didn't even realize it until I read your posts tonight about getting the refund and checked that account. 🙂
  16. You know folks, everyone in the world is under a lot of stress right now due to the pandemic. I recognize that sometimes that causes people to "act out" as they say, and behave in ways they ordinarily would not. But let's all do our best to act with kindness toward others rather than hostility.
  17. Uhh...I guess I missed the part in my post where I said they did?
  18. The other point is that the cruise was 3 days shorter than the cruise we "signed up for." These are obviously some very difficult times in the world and I don't think anyone would argue that Viking made the wrong decision in turning back. And compensation is not top of mind for me and probably not for most of the other passengers. It hardly seems worth wasting my energy on it when this virus is spreading like wildfire and my retirement accounts are dropping precipitously and everyone's jobs are a whole lot more shaky than they were when I left on the cruise. But, based on how Viking treated both those who canceled the cruise at the last minute and passengers on other cruises that were disrupted, I think most of us do expect some kind of compensation. Have not heard anything from Viking yet, but I'm sure they have a lot on their plate.
  19. Yep, I'm onboard and noticed last night late that the tracker map showed us having turned around. No announcement yet onboard about it though.
  20. Well it would also screen out some people who are actively ill at the time the temperature is taken (though one would hope they would have stayed home in that case anyway.) I agree it won't find everyone who may be carrying the virus. I also honestly think we are all (i.e. everyone in the world) going to get it eventually anyway and there is no way to completely protect yourself from it unless I suppose you have been a doomsday prepper and have a bunker filled with food and water and are able to hole up there for an extended period of time--and do so before you catch the virus from someone. 🙂 I don't think my chances of catching it on the ship are worse than my chances of catching it during my normal life. Now the flight I took to get to the cruise (I'm on the Sky now) was a different matter entirely...
  21. I always run at 96.8 too. I read somewhere that modern humans seem to be evolving to have a lower average temperature--who knows if that is true! Doesn't the virus spike a high fever usually though? I have read of people having 104 degree fevers. I think 100.4 is conservative, and if you have no other symptoms and are under that you should be fine even if you usually run a little cooler than 98.6.
  22. I just use a couple of regular ol' tennis balls in my dryer at home. They seem to work fine though might be a little noisier banging around in the dryer than specialized dryer balls would be.
  23. You need to do what feels right to you. You could also catch the virus at home, but I understand you'd feel more secure that if you get sick you'd be in your own home, with your own local MD and hospital if needed. I'm going on the Transatlantic on the Sky a week from today and am planning to go on the cruise. Most people who catch the virus don't get very sick. I'm not terribly worried about it to be honest.
  24. Celebrity has their spring transatlantics now on special for only 125% single supplement--prices look good though at this date airfare might be problematic. http://www.creative.rccl.com/Sales/Exciting_Deals/XcitingDeals_cel_tues.pdf
  25. Hi, I am going on my first Viking cruise (solo) next month. Once in a while they have solo supplement reductions--but it's rare and still pretty high. I think I paid 167 or 175% of the one-person-in-a-two-person cabin fare. The best advice I got on it was to subscribe to their emails and watch them like a hawk because sometimes they advertise reduced single supplements. It's never in the title of the email in my experience so you have to read all the way through all of them just in case! And they tend to mark them down within 90 days of sailing date, on cruises that are not selling as well as they would like.
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