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czrunner

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  1. I just have to chime in. For our cruise to Alaska in 2016 I worked very hard to find a minimally obstructed "obstructed view (OV)" cabin on the Crown. We ended up with E419 on Emerald deck. We were happy with the cabin, but after one night we were surprisingly moved to a balcony cabin due to some deficiencies in the bathroom that we didn't even notice. The balcony was nice, but completely wasted on us. We rarely ventured on the balcony and spent most of our time either in the port or on one of the open upper decks. So if you are on a tight budget, I recommend an OV or even inside cabin.
  2. I doubt that you would need gloves for Machu Picchu. We hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu a few years ago, and even that didn't involve any rock climbing. We did use hiking poles with rubber tips, which were required in order not to damage the numerous stone steps along the way. The ruins of Machu Picchu are very popular (and for a good reason!), and the nearby trails were all well maintained. The scenery is magnificent!
  3. You already have many pictures of Galapagos and Machu Picchu (which is really spectacular). Here is one from the Amazon jungle. We visited my aunt, a refugee from the Nazis who lived in Quito, about 35 years ago, when our kids were 4 1/2 and 6. We took a public bus from Quito to Tena, where we stayed in a run down hotel, and met these Indians on a walk through the jungle. They were very friendly and wanted us to join them for a volleyball game. Notice the men's hair covered in red clay. We were young and crazy then. If you get a chance, I would highly recommend that you spend some time in Quito and visit the surrounding towns and villages, as well as the jungle. I realize that this is a little off-topic, since it would require a cruise extension.
  4. For the July 6, 2020 cruise from Bergen to Reykjavik Viking could shorten the section in Norway (perhaps exploring the fjords while staying on the ship for a couple of days), and spend more time in and around Iceland. We would be fine with that, but others may not.
  5. We are doing the same itinerary as "Liz" and Peregrina, just a month later (Bergen to Reykjavik). I am not sure how much difference the direction of the cruise makes. We wanted to spend extra time in Reykjavik, because there may always be the chance to visit Norway, but not so much Iceland. We are adding two extra days on our own after the cruise, which we (you) could have also done pre-cruise. I have booked flights from Los Angeles to Bergen via Amsterdam on KLM, and from Reykjavik to L.A. via Philadelphia on American Airlines, with plenty of time for the connections. I used Viking Custom Air, so as long as Viking could book the flights, the prices and other particulars of the flights were immaterial. I know that Peregrina has more experience and booked the flights on her own, but the flights are more frequent and much shorter from the East Coast. Completely off topic: Peregrina, what will you do with the extra legroom? You mentioned somewhere that you are too short to reach the back of the dryer on the Viking ships. At 5'10" I am the shortest in my family (my daughter is an inch taller, my son is 6'8") and legroom is a real issue for all of us.
  6. O.K. I have seen those excursions on the Viking website. I guess Phil threw me off by talking about a long bus ride and not mentioning the train. Thanks for the explanation.
  7. Now I am confused. I thought that Flamsbana is Flam Railway. I don't know any Norwegian, but "bana" sounds like railway, being similar to the German "Bahn". Does Flambana also run buses in Flam?
  8. Noteworthy hot springs visited & recommended: Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, England Miskolctapolca, Misckolc, Hungary Hamner Springs, New Zealand Hot Creek near Mammoth Lakes, California (now closed, too many people cooked in it) Plan to visit next year: Myvatn Lagoon near Akureyri, Iceland Secret Lagoon off Golden Circle, near Reykjavik, Iceland
  9. Thank you for the fast response. We really enjoyed the lectures on our Viking Russian river cruise a few years ago, and don't want to miss them on the ocean cruise. Great to hear that Viking had expert lecturers on your cruise, and hopefully we will have somebody just as good next year.
  10. Retiredman, thank you for the detailed description of the excursions. In another thread (I believe it was the roll call) you mentioned that you loved the lectures on your Viking cruise. What time of the day did they usually take place?
  11. I wish I haven't seen this topic, but I just had to look at the booking for our Iceland cruise in July 2020, and of course we have reservation for cabin 3041! I don't think that I will worry about the noise though. My husband is hard of hearing and I don't sleep that well anyway. If the music gets loud, I will explore some of the lounges on the ship. I get seasick and liked the location on a lower deck near the middle of the ship. I will pick the positives from the above posts, and definitely won't let the cabin location spoil my high expectations for the cruise!
  12. Does anybody have experience with renting a car in Reykjavik and returning it at the KEF airport? We will be in Reykjavik overnight (on the Bergen-Reykjavik cruise with Viking) and plan to rent a car the second day, after disembarking. Viking ships dock in Skarfabakki Harbor, which is a little outside Reykjavik. Do some rental companies provide shuttle or pick up at the harbor or does Viking provide a shuttle into the center of the town and if so, is it even on the last day of the cruise? I plan to do some googling, but just came across this topic, and a first hand experience is always useful.
  13. The museum and the boat ride to and around the (closed) Arizona Memorial are free. As I mentioned in my post of May 18 above, you can purchase additional tours (e.g. Missouri) onsite. We reserved the "free tickets" for the Arizona boat ride for $1 each on the recreation.gov website as an insurance, in case there is an unusual number of visitors on that particular day. The reservation was for the 1 p.m. tour, which seams to be the standard. When we arrived a little earlier, we were offered an earlier trip, without any wait. The reservation was not really necessary. I suspect that the narrated headset or anything else that you prepay includes the Arizona boat ride, but check on the website or with whoever sold you the headset or Missouri reservation. You should be able to make it back to Waikiki by 5:15 p.m. either by bus (#42) or a taxi. Try to take an early boat ride to the Arizona memorial and then you can time your other activities at Pearl Harbor accordingly.
  14. We booked the luau directly on the Smith's Family website. I don't know what Robert's offers, but our cost was $95/person, which included a ride through the gardens, the Imu ceremony, and the luau. We had a rented car, but Smith Family Luau offers transportation from and to the NCL ship.
  15. This is interesting. We were on the NCL cruise just two weeks before you and had absolutely no problem with shuttles between the port and the airport in any of the ports. There was actually a designated line for the car rental shuttles in the Maui port. We didn't notice it the first day, but saw the Dollar/Thrifty shuttle pulling into the port area and ran up to it. We had separate rental reservations for each of the two days in Maui, because we originally planned to rent a car for only one day, but later decided get one for the next day too. We were surprised that all people on the shuttle from the port the second day were returning to their cars parked at the airport. They in turn thought that we were smart to avoid the parking fee (I believe it was $15), although in our case it happened by accident. Otherwise uman provided excellent tips on car rental. I think that a car rental is worthwhile even for just two people, saving money and providing more independence. We didn't add any insurance and gas at COSTCO for the few gallons was not very expensive. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your trip! We definitely did.
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