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Posts posted by Kentishincanada

  1. We actually gathered in the hotel about 10.00 am and our train was about 11.20 am arriving Barcelona around 2.45 - not sure of exact times.  Meanwhile Viking had driven our luggage from Madrid to Barcelona so we just boarded the train with our carry-on bag.  Once we arrived in Barcelona a bus was waiting to take us directly to the ship.

  2. We are currently sitting in first class on the train from Madrid to Barcelona where we board Jupiter for our Southern Atlantic crossing.  I wanted to write this before it becomes jumbled with other ports and to give other passengers confidence to book the extension.


    We were met at the airport by the Viking representative and six of us were transported to the Intercontinental Hotel for our two night stay.  The hotel is excellent and we found it very easy to walk around the city.  We had a meeting on arrival with our Viking Rep David who gave us a map and lots of hints for restaurants sights etc.  We then took David’s advice and visited a fabulous restaurant local to the hotel for late lunch which morphed into dinner.


    Next morning we gathered for our included tour.  In good Viking fashion we were on two buses which were half full so we did not feel at all ‘herded’.  Our guide was Claudia and what a gem.  She walked us around the Prado Museum and had the ability to make so many of the art works come alive.  After our tour, we took David’s advice and had lunch on one of the rooftop bars overlooking the city - it was a gorgeous day and we had a lovely view.  More wining and dining that evening before packing for the trip to Barcelona.


    After a wonderful Intercontinental breakfast we were introduced to Monica who is currently doing a great job of keeping us happy on the train - lots more wine.


    Could we have done this stopover cheaper?  Yes, I am sure we could, however we felt so free to enjoy beautiful Madrid without worrying about anything that I would wholeheartedly recommend this extension especially if, like us, the burden of luggage etc.,is getting a bit much.


    Next step Jupiter.


    J & J



  3. I have to say that Viking could improve in this area.  We are also doing the Madrid extension and I had to call Viking to get some more details.  I am sure that it will be well organized but we are meeting up with others in our party both in Madrid and Barcelona and needed some times so that we can reserve dinners etc.  We now have train times and information and learns that the city tour is the second day, however all we had on our Viking documentation was the Hotel Intercontinental.

  4. We are also on Jupiter but Southern Crossing arriving Malaga on 16 November.  One of the attractions of this cruise was Alhambra and it has completely disappeared from the excursion list.  I contacted Viking but was not offered an explanation:  in our case it is not even a sold out scenario.  We are very upset and it will probably make us think twice before booking Viking again, especially as it still features in the promotional material on line.  I find it difficult to believe that it is not possible to arrange a ship’s excursion to such an iconic place.  I wholeheartedly agree about Viking customer service.


    I will be interested to hear about your private tour which unfortunately is not our sailing. Our concern was timing and cutting it short for sailing if not using the ship’s tour. 

  5. We are also on the Southern Atlantic cruise in November.  We are misplaced Brits living in Ottawa.  We were a little concerned about the many sea days but a couple of years ago after disembarking Viking Sea, having had a port every day, we realized that we hadn’t had time to enjoy the beautiful ship and the wonderful spa, etc.  I was pleased to hear there is bridge and I saw an article in the Daily Telegraph about an astronomer on board Jupiter which sounds exciting. 


    Hope to meet you on board.  We are doing the Madrid pre-cruise extension.


    I signed up to meet and mingle for this cruise today.

  6. We were on the Empires cruise a couple of years ago on Viking Sea.  We loved every minute but we had very full time with a port every day and dancing most evenings.


    We are now booked on the Southern Atlantic Crossing in November with fewer ports and I must admit that I am a little concerned whether we may find it a bit ‘slow’.  I am hoping that there is some sort of Aquafit or Zumba.  I am also a keen bridge player so hoping something structured is set up.  I have been encouraged by other posts about Transatlantic cruises having brunches etc.


     I am sure Viking is aware of the need to fill all those sea days for passengers without the need for casinos or tacky entertainment.  We certainly had fun on our last Viking cruise.


  7. We took the Athens To Venice cruise in September. The only time we were served wine not in stemmed glasses was at Chef's Table and Pool Bar. Even the sparkling wine at various events i.e. embarkation, was in stemmed glassware. I should note that the tumblers in Chef's Table were Ridel type tumblers and quite elegant. The second time we dined in Chef's Table we took the upgraded wine package for $25 and were served in stemmed glasses. We found this to be an excellent alternative to the wine package as we were usually happy with the included wines. There was a wine one evening I did not enjoy but the wine I bought to substitute was very reasonable at approx. $7 a glass. Also we found that Viking's policy to allow purchased wine to be carried on to the ship was wonderful. We found interesting wines in Greece, Croatia and Montenegro to try on our veranda before dinner.

  8. We were on The Sea in September. We did buy the $25 wine upgrade at The Chef's Table and it was excellent - among others a New Zealand Pinot Noir and a superb aquavit paired with the salmon course. We did try to upgrade at Manfredi but the $25 package was not on offer but premium wines were offered by the glass. We looked at the listing but there was nothing we preferred to the included wines that evening. Definitely worth the extra for Chef's Table as it is a tasting menu.

  9. Thank you for the video.


    We were on the Sea in September. I can't say I noticed the depth of the pools, however I am fairly tall. Also from memory, the pool in the spa was warm - maybe there were some adjustments to the Sea.


    We had some incredible food. The fruit buffet at breakfast was lovely. We didn't eat dinner in the buffet, except for an appetizer plate from the sushi buffet. The food in the MDR was excellent having lobster and Dover sole on the menu one evening. We ate at Chef's Table twice. The Scandinavian menu was exceptional and was as good as any tasting menu I have tried. I would like to have seen some spicier curries etc., but that is just a personal taste. My only criticism food wise would be that sides could have been served hotter: sometimes they were only warm.


    I cannot really comment on the lack of evening entertainment as we were with friends and ate fairly late, so after the show and a dance at the nightclub, we were ready for bed.


    We enjoyed our cruise and the ship was lovely.

  10. I have no idea exactly what a 'Christening' actually involves but the Viking Sea will not be docked in Greenwich but there will be a short tender to shore. We have a home in Greenwich so would be interested to know if anything will be visible from the riverside and if so what are the timings. We will be onboard Istanbul to Venice in September 2016.

    As we are close to Greenwich on 5 May, I wrote to Viking asking whether it would be possible to see the Christening. I did not expect to be allowed to board, but rather watch from afar before our cruise in September. They replied to say that this will not be possible for security reasons. Shame.

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