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About MarkTapley

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago, IL Suburb
  • Interests
    Grandchildren! Travel. Charles Dickens books.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking (River and Ocean)

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  1. Bruce B, On our cruise in August, on embarkation day, VO ran a shuttle to central Athens, with the first bus leaving the ship at 1 PM. They stopped on the street adjacent to Hadrian’s gate. MT
  2. Another recommendation for Michael’s Amazing Tours.
  3. Yes, bridge and galley tours are booked with guest services, once on board. We did both on VR and VO.
  4. We did KT in Muscat, Oman. There were 6 or 7 of us. Went to the market with the Executive Chef and one of the Sous Chefs. They had no idea what they would find to cook. Ended up with a blue fin tuna, that had been caught a few hours before. Then back to the ship for dinner, similar to that described by Jim. It was a bit pricey at $249 pp. But we had a great time! Just to add to Peregrina’s post. The availability of KT seems to be somewhat dependent on Chef’s schedule and suitability of the local markets. Also dependent on some minimum number of participants. The KT on our cruise wasn’t posted in the excursions ahead of the cruise. We found out about it by asking at the service desks. We also did the sea day cooking classes a couple times. Only an hour or two in the KT, at much less cost pp. They each had a theme (French, Italian, etc.).
  5. Same with us. In Venice we had to show our booklets at the port security gate. Once we were through this gate, it was no longer needed.
  6. We used Michael’s Amazing Tours one of our days in Athens. They are very good!
  7. Yes, if you use something like WhatsApp. This will allow you to send and receive texts and calls via WiFi, not your cell service.
  8. I finally got a chance to check our Viking Dailies from our August trip. On embarkation day, VO ran a shuttle to central Athens, with the first bus leaving the ship at 1 PM. They stopped on the street adjacent to Hadrian’s gate.
  9. I think you’ve made a great suggestion. We used WhatsApp during our 8 weeks on Orion and it generally worked great with DW, friends and others on the ship. But, you are right that there were some times when the internet-based service was very slow.
  10. But there is a people mover from the port to Piazzale Roma. I think it costs €1 or €2 per ride. Short walk from the port to one of two stations. We rode it several times.
  11. No. Not when we were there in August.
  12. When we were in Athens in August, the Viking shuttle picked up just east of the Plaka. On the street opposite Hadrian’s Arch.
  13. I would think VO would have a hard time sailing to Hawaii because of the Jones Act, which would prohibit them from sailing between a main-land USA port and Hawaii. (This law requires USA owned ships, crewed by citizens, etc. between USA ports.) I suspect this is also a big hurdle in them bringing their river ships to the Mississippi River, which they announced a few years ago. (Although there have been reports they are working around this by some creative leasing arrangements with a USA ship builder.)
  14. On our recent two-month trip on Orion, the procedure varied, depending on the country of entry. The usual procedure was that they would collect our passports before getting to a new port; immigration officials would come onto the ship and go thru all passports and stamp them; then we would pick up our passports before getting off the ship. Sometimes after the passports were processed as a group, we were able to go off the ship with only our ship ID card. In a few ports, we carried our passports off the ship and had to appear before immigration officials “face to face” at the terminal. Apart from these times, we had our passports with us (or had them locked in the room safe.)
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