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  1. We have done lots of extensions on our Viking cruises. The Ultimate Italy Tuscany extension is by far the best, most inclusive extension we have done with them. Almost all meals are included. Full days of excursions (all included). Because you are staying in a Villa about 35-40 minutes from Florence, you do not have the long drive from Livorno to Florence. Thus, you can decide to spend your day ported in Livorno to either go to Pisa (not as far as Florence) or Lucca or go to one of the museums in Florence and save the walking tour of Florence for the extension. The drive from ship in Venice to or from the Villa Is broken up with a stop at Modena at Villa San Donnino where they make traditional Balsaamic where you have a tasting (quite interesting) and a buffet lunch. The day touring San Gimignano and Siena is fabulous with nice lunch. One night was a wine tasting and dinner at a winery. I highly recommend it.
  2. We missed Naples port last year on the Med Odyssey cruise. Immediate refund on our optional excursion. No compensation for missed port. Just part of risk involved in cruising. I think on some cruises where several ports are missed they may give some compensation but the terms of contract do not require them to.
  3. Last October this excursion with Viking was $139 per person. An 8 1/2 hour day. If you have not toured Florence, I would definitely do Florence over just San Gimignano. Your cruise appears to have two days docked in Livorno (or at least two full days in that area) so you could do both. We loved the Tuscany region. We did the Ultimate Tuscany extension and we spent one day which included both San Gimignano and Siena with included lunch in a delightful restaurant in Siena plus an evening dinner at a winery. Outstanding day and both San Gimignano and Siena are enjoyable hill towns and gorgeous scenery. We also had a full day in Florence.
  4. The difference is build date may be difference. I believe Lif is 2014 as are Rinda, Hlin, Astrild and Hemming which we have sailed. Astrild is specially designed for the Elbe and Hemming for the Douro so they are modifications of the regular Longship fleet. Viking does tweek design so it is possible they decided there needed to be more storage. As Peregrina651 pointed out, I believe the vented “cabinet” in the living area is the fridge as that was where it was on the Hemming. I see no space in the bedroom for the safe so it could well be in what looks like a cabinet door above the fridge. But on the Hemming it was in the bedroom closet above some shelves.
  5. Be sure and pack light. In Veranda Suite, you get free laundry service which is excellent and quick turn around.
  6. I captured a screen shot from the 360-degree tour. It is slightly distorted but it is still pretty accurate in terms of showing that this is a small closet. It is a sliding door and doesn’t open very far. You can get an idea of space the drawers take up and There is hanging space above as well as full length beside them. Packing cubes might be helpful for keeping undies organized above the drawers which is what friends did. It is a shame that the suites have such limited storage space. Remember that suitcases slide under the bed and some cruisers will use them as “drawers” and leave some clothes folded in them. Just not so easy to always be bending down. Having the living area is delightful but plain Verandas are amazing how much closet and drawer space they have and how well organized they are.
  7. The schematic is not very accurate. Go to Vikings website and find the river cruises. Click on Ships and find longship fleet. Find the link to the 360 tours and find Veranda suites. The view matches what we have seen. Most of what look like drawers in the living area are fake. As you should see, in the bedroom, there is a small closet with two small drawers on the bottom at one side.
  8. The drawer space in Veranda Suites on Longships is minimal. Much less than in Verandas. I believe there are only two small drawers in the closet.
  9. At the Captain’s toast for Explorer Society members on Viking Sky in July 2017, the Captain said 85% of the passengers were repeat cruisers. So many that they no longer even check to see who has done “how many” cruises. Not an exclusive group now. No big deal.
  10. Too bad you chose to ignore this paragraph: ”This is a private announcement in which we are making these journeys available exclusively to you, our most loyal guests. While we put the finishing touches on these voyages, I kindly ask that you not share this information; we will release details in a public announcement early next year.” Of course Hagen should know that very statement would ensure someone just couldn’t resist leaking it. 😉 Since Clay has posted the information given out onboard his present cruise, I guess the word is being given out by Viking.
  11. Great Boston pictures and foodie recommendations! We have a full week scheduled in Boston next May. I noticed on a FB site that one of the BostonByFoot docents was a tour guide for one of your Viking excursions. I am checking out their tours. Anyone know anything about them?
  12. Could this be a case of confusion on terminology? There are excursions and there are pre- and post-cruise EXTENSIONS. Your original posting ting says you have already booked a pre and post-extension. If that is true, your invoice should show those extensions. As has been said, some sailing dates do not offer the pre or post extensions. and when they do, they often do sell out fairly early as numbers are limited. In most of the EXTENSIONS we have done, they are usually a package deal with a set number of excursions. A few have had an optional but not usually. It it is definitely too early for you (or anyone else) to be able to book EXCURSIONS. That will be dependent on your stateroom category. Sometimes your myVikingJourney might say an excursion is sold out even this far ahead and it usually is just that Viking has not yet finalized details and sometimes it might say that for an excursion is not going to be offered on your particular sailing date. Doesn’t make a lot of sense but it seems to be a way they can keep an excursion description on file. As you get closer to sailing date (usually around 110 days plus or minus a few) those excursions that will actually offered for your sailing should appear on your myVikingJourney. I would encourage you to discuss with your travel agent whether you are actually booked for the pre and post extensions and ask to be given a copy of the invoice. We always work directly with Viking so get that automatically. I have heard of lots of people who work with a travel agent who do not see that invoice and the details.
  13. We did San Gimignano on the post-extension for Med Odyssey last October and we thoroughly enjoyed it but ours was a whole day tour including Siena.
  14. lew, The same directive to take your passport ashore was posted in the Viking Daily for ports of Livorno, Civitavecchia, and Venice on the Mediterranean Odyssey cruise last October. There was no such note for Naples but we ended up missing Naples due to severe winds on the night we were supposed to leave Civitavecchia and so we remained docked overnight. We did see one man immediately before us pulled aside and detained in Venice when he did not have his passport at the terminal re-entry and security. He was holding up the lines so after they refused his embarkation, I don’t know how he was dealt with. This was a passport check and security check in the terminal and separate from boarding key card scanning and security on actually getting back the ship. So it behooves everyone to read their Viking Daily carefully.
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