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Everything posted by ClevelandKid

  1. Hi all, We are 180 days out from our Amazon cruise (yay!). We booked our own flights when the booking window came open and saved a lot of money, but now we are encountering a problem - both our initial flight (Cleveland -> San Juan) and return trip (Manaus -> Cleveland) have had flight changes. The return trip I don't care about since our connection time is somewhat longer, but not horribly so. However, on the initial flight our connection time is 35 minutes, which may be a tad tight. I am allowed to change the flight without incurring a change fee, but before I do I wanted to ask the community here their experience on when flights settle down. So, after a long intro, here is my question: For those who have flown in the last few months, when did the schedule for flights finally get set? I am sure there are always some last minute stuff, but overall when did you feel that your flights would not change? 90 days out? 60 days out? 180 days out? Thanks, Pat
  2. Got a question for those who have done the Amazon cruise: We are booked on the February 25 San Juan to Manaus cruise, and the potential shore excursions listed today are pretty much the same ones when we booked in spring of 2020. On the first three days of the cruise, you hit the Caribbean islands and there are plenty of shore excursions. Once you hit Brazil the number of daily shore excursions drops a lot - in some cases, just 1 a day. As I was contemplating Brazil's situation with Covid I looked at those shore excursions and noted that pretty much (and remember these are from pre-pandemic days) that you go to an isolated area with a guide and don't really mingle with the locals. Example, hikes in the rainforest, boat rides on the river, etc. What there is not are walking tours of the towns (except at the end in Manaus). For those who have done this before - is this a fair reading of what is being offered? I think this might play a large role in whether the cruise is canceled or stays on track. Thanks!
  3. Got a question for those who are booked on cruises happening soon... I have read the Viking pr stuff about tracking covid while onboard (which sounds very impressive), but there is another spot where crowds are unavoidable - airports. Does anyone know if Viking Air is attempting to avoid certain airports or otherwise minimize risk? Our cruise in February has (or will have) a connecting flight in Sao Paulo, which is a covid hotspot. Thanks!
  4. Actually - you just answered one of my big questions, when you have to fill it out. I think as more people have to fill it out we can get some more info.
  5. Buried deep on the Viking site is a tidbit about a health survey (My Viking Journey / Before you go / Viking Health and Safety Program): Your journey begins before you ever leave home, with a digital Health Survey that you will complete on MyVikingJourney.com. Developed by scientific and medical advisors, Viking’s new Health Survey takes only a minute to submit and verifies your wellness prior to travel. Depending on your dates of travel, Viking may require you to submit verification of COVID-19 vaccination status as part of the digital Health Survey. Has anyone encountered this yet, and can shed some light on the survey?
  6. I believe the answer is yes - we have done only ocean cruises, but our second and third cruise we got a class upgrade. Since the river cruises are in the same price range as the ocean cruises, I can't picture why they wouldn't.
  7. Hi all, Viking has a staff person onboard a cruise (at least the ocean ones) who can book you on another Viking cruise. What is the enticement to booking it onboard as opposed to going home and booking it as you normally would? I suspect you get a class upgrade (but I am not sure), but we already get a class upgrade by having done Viking cruises before. Thanks!
  8. Fingers crossed - on the United flight I bought the fully refundable ticket. On the Delta flight (the one from Manaus) I am (at least in theory) able to change the flight with no fees. I was ok with that since we can use the flight for other travel. Hopefully I won't need to do either, but we shall see.
  9. I think I got the answer I was looking for: Viking prices business class according to what the price is expected to be at the time they make the reservations (about 90 days out) however if you are willing to buy your tickets as soon as they are available (about 330 days out) you can save (excuse the pun) a boatload of money. Viking wanted $3500 pp for Manaus to Cleveland. I was able to buy business class for that leg plus premium economy for the flight from Cleveland to San Juan for $1500 pp by buying as soon as they went on sale.
  10. Greetings! Very quick question - hopefully someone who has done this (or tried to) can answer this question. We have decided to book our own flights (and saved a ton of money doing so). When we get to San Juan, we are comfortable taking a taxi. However, when the cruise ends in Manaus, Brazil, we definitely want to do the Viking transfers to get us to the airport. We have $500 pp Viking promotional OBC, and will have the travel agent's OBC, so we have a lot of OBC. The Viking OBC can be spent ahead of time (not sure all the rules, but definitely shore excursions). So, here is my question: Can transfers be bought while on the cruise itself using OBC? Is this a good idea, or do you run the risk of being shut out? Anyone have any experience using the Viking promotional OBC to buy transfers? Thanks! Pat
  11. Hey you folks doing the world cruise (or extended cruises) - which unfortunately I am not part of. I have been watching the countries Viking sails and some are doing very well with the virus and/or vaccinations, and well some - not so much. Any word on how Viking might handle this? I know the World Cruise is a really big deal for Viking, and I doubt they want to cancel it, but they may be doing some dancing to pull it off.
  12. My answer is very simple - when I am no longer reading obits of people I know who have died of covid. Most were older who had caregivers who tested positive and passed along the virus. Right now, I go where I want, say what I want, and feel no impingement on my liberties. I love my neighbors and want to be part of the solution.
  13. Hi all, Got a quickie question - we have done 2 cruises but because we had shore excursions every day we never got around to the spa. Now we will be doing a cruise with some sea days and thus some free time. I know that spa treatments require a reservation (and cost), but the spa facilities - the sauna, whirlpool, and grotto, do you need a reservation if you are not getting a message or a facial? On the webpage it does not say, nor does it say if there is a fee for using the facilities. Thanks!
  14. Thanks! I have to admit that after the first cruise we did (Venice to Athens), how crowded a tour was likely to be floated to the top of my decision tree. I now look at it - does the port have such an interesting destination that it outweighs the 10 tour buses from 3 different cruise lines each with 60 people in it, with another 10 tour buses coming in an hour? Would I do the Louvre or St Peter's with a ton of other groups? Absolutely. Would I do the Hapsburg's castle again? Nope Interesting though - while the Caribbean is a hot cruising area, there are usually enough places to spread out that it doesn't feel that bad. We did the catamaran tour and went to a beach where we were the only people there.
  15. Hi all, Since cruising doesn't begin for another 2+ months, here is a question to get you in the mood and provide me with info. Knowing up front that this is a personal preference, but wanting to get your input anyways - on the shore excursions, do you prefer a fully guided tour? A tour with a guide during transit but on your own once you hit your destination? Or a day long trip to a destination that leaves you on your own (think a beach)? We have done the Venice to Athens cruise and the Caribbean cruise, and on the Venice to Athens cruise we and every other cruise ship in port that day went tripping over each other in sightseeing. On the Caribbean cruise there was a lot of free time, but you also miss a lot. Just looking for your spin on things and why.
  16. Thanks to all of you! My interest in this topic is because I am rapidly coming up on the time where the airlines will open for booking for the time frame of our cruise (Feb 25 through March 9, 2022). This will probably be in the next 3 weeks, and as of right now, if I move quickly I can book a business class flight with Delta for $1,407 (that is the current price for a Wednesday in February, 2022). Interesting thing - if Viking would refund half of the air fee if you book your own flight, that would mean I would have $550 for the Cleveland to San Juan flight. First class on that flight is $468. Or put another way - you would be paying more for an economy seat than you would if you booked it yourself in first class. Thanks!
  17. Greetings all! I know a lot of you do business class for long haul flights, so I hope someone knows the answer to this: If you go through Viking Air to book a flight in business class, how do they calculate the additional price you pay? Let me give an example: booking air fare is $1,100 pp or $550 for the inbound flights and $550 for the return flights (I have been able to nail this part down - if you book your own flights for the return flights, Viking will give you half of your money back). The retail (online) price for return flight for economy is $700. The retail price for business class is $2,000. The additional fee for using Viking Air is $100. Would I pay $1,400 to upgrade through Viking (2000 - 700 + 100fee)? Or is it $1,550 (2000 - 550 + 100fee) If they come in under $1500 it is worthwhile to use them. Anything else I would probably be better booking it myself. Thanks!
  18. Thanks! Finding a second person seems to be the best option
  19. Greetings all, We have a friend who has expressed an interest in joining the spouse and I on an Alaska cruise. I want to be able to give her some options - of course finding someone to go with is best, but if not, then how does Viking price out a single occupancy cabin? Obviously more than the DO per person rate, but do you pay the full DO rate, or is there a percentage that is used to price out a single occupancy? Thanks!
  20. Hi, Considering the Australia and New Zealand ride sometime in the future and have a question for anyone that has done it. On the Australia part, we noticed a couple of evening excursions that lasted 5 hours. What time does the ship leave port? On both stops, Sydney and Melbourne, the next day is a sea day. Also, while I believe the answer is yes, let me just ask - can you do multiple excursions on any given day? Like Opera House during the day and the twilight cruise? I don't see why they wouldn't except that they may want to make sure people who are only doing 1 excursion get first priority.
  21. I notice that both the 11 day and 15 day Panama Canal voyages are available only for 2021, with nothing listed for 2022. Does anyone know if they are getting rid of these cruises, and if so, what might they be replacing them with? Thanks!
  22. Thanks all. I thought this would be a Viking thing that would be standard across the various cruises. This is in San Juan and (assuming everything works out) we would stay at the Sheraton across the street. Our very first cruise out of Venice they allowed us to drop off our bags even while passengers were departing. Our next cruise we flew in and arrived in the afternoon so no need for early check in. This time we would like to fly in the day before, hold our bags overnight, dump them with Viking that morning and do sightseeing until early afternoon when we can get aboard. Prefer not to have to have the hotel hold them.
  23. Hi all, Viking has a schedule as to when you get onboard and when you can get to your cabin. However, my question is not about either - instead, if we fly in a day early and only want to drop our bags off and then go sightseeing, how early can you do that? We are thinking of staying at a hotel just across the street from the cruise terminal. Instead of sticking our bags with the hotel it would be nice to just get them to Viking and be done with it.
  24. Let's assume no Viking Air, and Viking likes to use Delta out of Cleveland. I know this question could hold for any trip where one part of the trip is domestic and the other is international, but since most of our international travel is on Viking... My interesting question: what will be the Browns record this season? Go Browns!
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