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Everything posted by mariavii

  1. Bank of America will also mail your currency to you. It always adds to the excitement of an upcoming trip when an envelope of foreign money shows up in the mailbox (Rubles this past summer!).
  2. I remember Limoncello...I lived just few blocks from there. Mmm..... As for Saltimbocca...it should just be a nice thin cutlet, two or three sage leaves and then a slice of prosciutto - all held together by the magic of Italian love for good food. it gets a light dusting of flour (no dredging, breading, etc), then sauteed until the cutlet is cooked and the prosciutto has a touch of crisp on the edges by is still tender. Then the pan sauce of a little butter and white wine. Dry, crispy, broiled...all no-nos (and an example of why Manfredis hurts my feelings) 🙂 The cheese is not traditional and I prefer the simplicity of the original, but I can see why some add it (Cheese is delicious!). However... it just makes it an italian cordon bleu. Away from food...Thank You all for taking the time to add to this thread (and the past world cruise one). I am a ways off from having the ability to take a cruise of that length (work gets in the way!) so i am traveling vicariously with all of you, and adding to my list of must-see places.
  3. On and off topic... On topic...I was not impressed with Manfredis the two times we went on our Midnight Sun itinerary (Star). Generally speaking as a restaurant, it was good. As an Italian restaurant - I would rank it lower. (The breads were delish, iirc, though - I hope they still are) The off topic bit... where in Boston did you have the Saltimbocca of which you rave?? Though i am also curious...saltimbocca shouldnt be in a cheese sauce. There shouldn't be cheese anywhere near saltimbocca. Is this a thing now? As a lover of cheese, I would put cheese on almost anything, but saltimbocca is sacrosanct. 🙂
  4. As a former Bostonian (and North End resident)...avoid Mikes and go to Modern Pastry. Avoid Hook and go to Yankee Lobster (not far from Cruise Terminal). And try some fresh bread from the Pannettiera behind Bricco. Grab a Drink at Drink (in the seaport) and back in the North end, grab some Oysters at Neptune Oyster.
  5. We just connected through FRA to Russia (to StP, fr Moscow) on Luftansa. TL; dr: no rechecking either way, though on the return flight we did have to go through security screening (and all the requisite passport controls in both directions). Long form: We had a 2 hr. connection, of which 1 hr was eaten up by a delay departing PHL. We were "lucky" enough to deplane at a gate, however it was one of the end gates in terminal A and we had to get to gate B30. After an OJ-sprint through the airport and a shuttle ride, we made it to the plane and on to St. Pete. 1/2 our luggage, though, did not arrive with us.
  6. It's usually built into the timing for the excursions, but times, unless you are the one being waited for, you will be waiting for... very slow bus entrances and exits, a LOT of restroom breaks, etc. We knew this going in, but after 2 weeks it gets old.
  7. Patience. (And the ticket viking provides.)
  8. We were on Midnight Sun Last year. There was a shuttle into Leknes and we went into town after our included tour. HOWEVER, all the shops closed up pretty early and only the grocery store was open (though I did get some regional food-type gifts there). Lerwick had a shuttle. though we only used it to get back to the ship. We had a private guide for the day who was great (if you need a suggestion). In Edinburgh, we tendered at Newhaven. I dont recall the tender ride being very long. There was a shuttle from the dock to/from Charlotte Square (a bit out of the way). We also walked from the dock to mall area where the Royal Yacht Britannia is docked (about 1 mile). There was a great shop with local artisan stuff in that mall.
  9. The choices in the bread basket were the best part of the meal at Manfredis. I was unimpressed by much of what we ate on the two occasions we tried it out.
  10. My partner and I were 40 and 45 when we took out first VO cruise last year (Midnight Sun - on the Star) and looking forward to booking another when our schedules permit (Alas, not among the retired set...yet). We loved the ship and the entire trip despite being well below the average age. We are not ones for crazy nights out. We just enjoy nice meals, and relaxing in style and peace. The explorers lounge was our place to be most evenings...and we often closed it down (there were very few other passengers in there "late night" most nights).
  11. Erg...you are correct - I got the numbers reversed. Either way, the Star was not in town. Maybe I need another cruise to refresh my memory 🙂
  12. We were there on the Star this summer (I think it was the Sky that was also there the same day). While the Sky got the central location, like another poster said, we were at Kai 8 (near the botanical gardens) and needed to take the free shuttle into town.
  13. We were on Midnight Sun in 2018 and there were no optional excursions to the Trollfjiord. In fact, our time is port (Leknes) was pretty short and the since it was a Saturday, everything shuttered fairly early. I don't know that a private excursion would even have been possible.
  14. I did not use Viking Air for our Midnight Sun, but my TA pre booked a Viking Transfer to LHR for $40ea. You do not need to use their air to purchase their transfer. Yea, you may need to be off the ship at 3am, but they'll get you there. The option to purchase the transfer was also on the disembarkation form we had to fill out.
  15. Exactly! We were not surprised at the lack of connectivity in fjords and far north...more surprised at hearing others complain about it. It's fairly common sense... I live in PA and lose XM radio service like clockwork when I drive behind certain "mountains." I was happily surprised that my VoIP went through so easily...though I think we were south of the Circle by that point.
  16. While the wifi was spotty and slow on the Midnight Sun, I was able to make a pretty clear VoIP call via my Comcast app to deal with fraudulent CC purchases. (Just a reminder to *always* have a backup cc while traveling!!)
  17. We did the same (at 3am!), except SO and I both logged in so we could book optionals quickly. We were DV6 and got all the tours we wanted...at the times we wanted (for Midnight Sun).
  18. The Flybussen. We took it from the airport into Bergen. It was super easy.
  19. We mostly ate in The Restaurant and almost always had wonderful service and never had a complaint about the food (until our last night...creme brulee was not...er...bruleed). We were late eaters, typically seated around 8, sometimes later so service was attentive, but we did lose the wine stewards as they left dinner to head to there night assignments. We were disappointed that our 2 favorite wines ran out as we reached Scotland. As for specialty restaurants, we only ate at Chefs table once as SO does not eat fish l. The one time we did eat there (gastronomic journey menu) the food was excellent. Service, however was atrocious. We were seated at 8pm and it was 20min before a waiter or the wine steward came over. It was 1/2 empty so I'm not sure what that was about. We tried manfredi and were excited for an excellent meal when we saw the interesting bread basket. However the food did not live up to the hype...heck aome of the food didn't even resemble the menu descriptions. It was not Italian italian... closer to over seasoned and improperly prepared italian-american fare. But we decided to give it a second try thinking maybe it was an off night. Not really. Lunch was typically at the pool grill and we enjoyed that. As we did the world cafe for lunch. Sent from my SM-G960U using Forums mobile app
  20. I was just on the Star earlier this month and it was spotless. The only age I could see was some carpet wear on the stairs by the forward elevators - but with the traffic those stairs receive, I assume all ships show wear there.
  21. Just off the Star and when we asked for additional hangers, they gave us wire ones. Sent from my SM-G960U using Forums mobile app
  22. We did the SS and cost-wise it probably came out as a wash for us. But it was totally worth it as we liked to choose our wines based on what we were ordering. And with the package, red wine was served in nicer red wine glasses. We were not show-goers but were awake later than most of the ship so the Explorers bar became our regular locale... except on the two nights everyone else stayed up late. The bartenders and servers there were great and got to know our preferences. Only downside was that the ship ran out of our two favorite reds by the time we hit Scotland. Sent from my SM-G960U using Forums mobile app
  23. We did the Viking Whisky Experience and, despite it's high price tag, it was a great day. Our guide for the day picked the 11 of us up in a Highland Park van and took us to the distillery. We had a tasting of the 10 yr as we watched the intro video and then we were taken on a tour throughout the distillery - not sure how that part compares with the regular tours. After. We were taken to the tasting room where we were led through a tasting of their Viking series. Four generous pours of Thor, Loki, Freya, and Odin. Very high proof and not for the faint of heart... but excellent experience. Popped in the gift shop where we learned those whiskys are approx £400 each! Our tour continued to lunch at a hotel just down the road. Not fancy but local and generous and tasty. Local cheeses, homemade oat cakes and desserts were included. Following lunch we drove to the moor where HP harvests their peat...and had another sample there while learning about the peat and also history of Orkney and Scapa Flow (which the moor overlooks) Onward to a viking site and a roundkirk with another taste. Then a scenic drive back to St Magnus to look at and visit the cathedral. And one final dram :-) Throughout the day our guide was excellent. She Provided us history and legend and was just a delight. We arrived back at the ship close to back on board time so the only downside of the day was that we did not get to explore Kirkwall. Sent from my SM-G960U using Forums mobile app
  24. Was the ceremony of the keys through the Viking excursion? How was it? We signed up for it for our sailing. Sent from my SM-G960U using Forums mobile app
  25. Did you go through the CC photo galleries to answer the obstruction question? https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/viking-sky-992/explorer-suite-411853/ https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/viking-sea-993/explorer-suite-king-bed-410848/ https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/viking-sea-993/explorer-suite-double-bed-410826/ https://www.cruisecritic.com/photos/ships/viking-star-748/explorer-suite-205879/
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