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Everything posted by ClevelandKid

  1. Hi, Have an interesting question - our cruise will leave from San Juan, PR - a US territory, hence a domestic flight. However, our return is from Manaus, Brazil, an international flight. Is the entire itinerary considered international (hence one bag free), or just the return trip? Thanks
  2. Thanks! Must be an older date time function (I used to do IT), but I will follow all your advice!
  3. Individual sailings - I will wait for a year out and if one hasn't been created I will create one. Wish they could order it by date of sailing!
  4. I just came across the Meet and Mingle part of Cruise Critic and I am excited about the possibility of meeting my fellow passengers. However, I don't see our sailings (Viking Sea - February 2022). My question, pretty simple I hope, do board members add the cruise or does some site administrator? Any experience of being on the meet and mingle site would also be welcome - positive or negative. Thanks much!
  5. We did this on our very first cruise (leaving Venice), however our cruise does not leave on the first day - we have an overnight in San Juan on the ship, leaving the next day at 2 pm. I would feel safe with the additional 24 hours.
  6. Hi all, We did a cruise in February where we had to travel from Cleveland to San Juan, PR. That required us to wake up at 2 am, get a ride to the airport at 3 am for a 5:30 am flight, which got us down to San Juan about 2:30 pm. Needless to say it was a very long day and wiped us out for that day. We are signed up for another cruise where once again we will leave from San Juan. My question is this: if you do Viking Air Plus, can you fly down to a connecting city (leaving at a much more reasonable time), stay overnight, and then catch the San Juan flight the next day? Or is this considered two distinct flights instead of the one with a connection? And even if it is two distinct flights will Viking Air Plus accommodate us? Thanks!
  7. We have done two cruises on Viking Ocean, with another one signed up for. We have generally liked the menu options available onboard, and we do recognize the limitations of having a floating kitchen, but as we head into our third cruise (still a year off), I would like to see how much interest exists for some sort of menu variation onboard. The world cafe has many different kinds of dishes, but they can usually do only 5 to 7 different types of entrees, Manfredi's is Italian, and the Restaurant is nicely done American (steak, salmon, and chicken). I wouldn't mind a small amount of rotating genres of dishes - Thai, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, etc. I know the Chef's table does offer specialty dishes, but you take what is offered. Even if it is only for room service and then only a couple of dishes a night.
  8. We did a cruise in 2018 where the final payment was due 6 months before sailing. We did another cruise in 2020 where the final payment was due 8 months before sailing. We just signed up for a cruise in 2022 where the final payment is due 12 months before sailing. Wondering if people have had the same experience?
  9. Thanks all - today (June 30) is the end of one promo cycle - tomorrow is the start of the next. Will see what is different (if anything) tomorrow.
  10. On Viking's webpage where the give the details of the itinerary, there is usually a blurb that goes along the lines of "On board ship credit of $1,000 plus airfare from $999", and is then followed by "offer expires June 30, 2020". I have been following some of the potential cruises for awhile now, and I can't say that I have seen very much difference between a current offer, and say one that shows up on July 1. I thought I would put it out to this group what their experience is with "offer expires" - have you ever noticed a significant difference (except when the cruise is actually getting closer to the sailing date)? Is it just a promo pitch to get you to sign up early, or do they really have a different offer?
  11. Greetings all, Each time a shore excursion wraps up, we fill out a questionnaire about our experiences (you know, on a scale of 1 to 5 how did you like...). Are those available anywhere even in summarized form? I am sure Viking won't give it out as raw data, but something/anything would be helpful in avoiding the duds. Like letting the travel agents see something! Of course, there is always this forum, but not everyone has done each excursion, so comparison shopping is hard. Thanks, Pat
  12. Not sure what to say to that. I would think the pressure for a phase 4 clinical trial here in the states would be tremendous. My guess is the second tier manufacturing company would get a buy out offer that they would find hard to refuse. What would be far more interesting is to see how it gets priced. If it is $1,000 a hit here, and it is $100 in Canada, I'm off to Canada.
  13. There is a very promising article in today's NYT on a vaccine for covid-19 Here is the gist: Most other teams have had to start with small clinical trials of a few hundred participants to demonstrate safety. But scientists at the university’s Jenner Institute had a head start on a vaccine, having proved in previous trials that similar inoculations — including one last year against an earlier coronavirus — were harmless to humans. That has enabled them to leap ahead and schedule tests of their new coronavirus vaccine involving more than 6,000 people by the end of next month, hoping to show not only that it is safe, but also that it works. The full article is at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/27/world/europe/coronavirus-vaccine-update-oxford.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage
  14. If memory serves me correctly, there is a law that requires ships plying American waters to be flagged as American (not a lawyer but I remember this was a problem getting supplies to Puerto Rico after the hurricane). I think Viking rented some ships to comply with that. Their Mississippi river boats are being built in America and will be flagged as American. Once they come online, I think the rented boats disappear.
  15. Read it also - great article. Might end up helping Viking as after reading that article there are definitely some other cruise lines I would avoid.
  16. Thanks Tim, I am going to print out your reply and store it (because by the time Viking posts 2022 sailings, this post will be at the very back of the boards). It is excellent to have the input, but I am not sure what shore excursions are going to survive in a post covid world. I am heartened by your description of life on board on during sea days, especially that there was space on the sunnier decks during the day. January and February in Cleveland tend to be very dark and gloomy, and I really like getting out in the sun. As a thought, you could always move your veranda table and chairs into the room, take a towel and just lie on the veranda. Once Viking posts the 2022 schedules and assuming we can get a spot (I am sure priority will be given to those who were on cancelled cruises), I might contact you and get more info. Thanks, Pat
  17. Thanks Tim, I guess I have two main areas for questions - given the number of sea days (which for us is an attraction), I was wondering what Viking does for its passengers on those days? I was also wondering, with all passengers on board and awake how crowded some parts of the ship got? Especially the parts of the ship that are out in the sunshine. The second is, after 2 cruises, we have found that some shore excursions are hit/miss. In the promo paragraph, they all sound great, but some work much better than others. Did you have a favorite? Thanks, Pat
  18. Went the parochial route - Gesu, St. Iggy, John Carroll. Northwood is gone and is now a city park. We haven't done a cruise on a different line, so I can't say you will like it more than... But, we have been very happy with our cruises on Viking, they take very good care of you. There is enough of a variety to make the meals interesting (check out the Chef's table). In response to lextrvlr, I think what Viking will do, is first (obviously) lock down the ship, making sure everyone coming on is clean and clear. How they do that I am not sure, but if I was an investing man, I would be on blood tests getting a lot better. Next, they will have to lock down the shore excursions - shopping will be out, beach time (on appropriate cruises) will be on isolated beaches. Tour guides will have to be clean and clear, and tour vehicles will have to be disinfected between uses. And no mixing with the local populace, no matter what. I suspect that will be the norm through at least the early part of 2021. Hopefully by then a vaccine will either be ready or nearing the end of clinical trials. Fingers crossed!!
  19. Life long University Heights resident (so I would be in the Heights High district). My wife and her siblings all graduated from Heights High (I think she was in the class of '77), I am a St. Iggy grad myself. Except for the model of cars, the Heights would look very much the same as when you went to school here. However, Heights High got a complete makeover so it looks very different. The first cruise we did in 2018 had a couple of unplanned sea days because bad weather kept us from going into the port. The second cruise we did in February we did a shore excursion every day, and while it was fun we realized we liked the days off, hence our interest in this cruise. Prior to Covid, I am not sure if this was a cruise Viking would offer again, as shore excursions are a large part of both the attraction and revenue stream. They do not have it listed for 2022. Now with Covid, I suspect they will offer it again, and have other cruises with more sea days.
  20. Thank you - did you hit the same ports as Viking will? Any tidbits on those? Once again, thanks for sharing your experience!
  21. Hi, Looking for any reviews/feedback for anyone who has been on this cruise. I understand there was a version of this a couple of years ago that included Cuba - looking for info on the non-Cuba part. Costa Rica is the only stop I am familiar with as a tourist. I have been to Honduras, but that was in the central part of the country, not up by Roatan. Thanks for any info!
  22. Sorry if I gave the impression that I thought it was as bad as the seasonal flu - it is not, it is much worse. I was trying to highlight what we don't know. We don't know the denominator! The University of Washington model (the one most often cited) is now showing 61,000 deaths in the US, down considerably from the earlier estimate of 100k - 240k deaths. Here is Ohio, our death rate is .2%, compared with 1% for New York. Is that because of Ohio's aggressive closures early on, or a difference in testing, or an indication of other factors? We just don't know because testing is so limited. In the Cleveland area you can't get tested unless you have symptoms, so the true count is much larger, which may mean the death rate might be much lower. Testing, testing, testing, testing.
  23. There are a lot of unknowns behind most of these assumptions - without accurate testing, we are guessing what the death rate is. What happens if it is no worse or slightly worse than the seasonal flu? That is the direction that the updated modeling is heading towards. How does that change people's calculations? It would take 18 months to develop a vaccine, but that is in the US with clinical trials, double blind studies, and other measures that are in place that make sure the vaccine works and is not worse than the disease. But if another country (let's say China) develops a vaccine, skips the tests and distributes the vaccine and it works. And finally, we don't know how many people may use this as an excuse to retire. There is always churn in the retirement age group - and there may be a large bump of the newly retired (and relatively healthy) people looking for something to do (assumes the stock market does bounce back in some fashion).
  24. For anyone hopping on the tail end here, just a recap - Several people think the cruise industry is going to contract, perhaps more so among the cruise lines that cater to 10 trillion people onboard at any one time. There is some concern about Viking because its base are older people who would be more at risk to the cornovirus than younger people. European countries, which depend on tourism, but not to the extent that Caribbean or South American countries do, may either restrict cruise lines or ban them all together. That would put a major cramp in Viking's River Cruises. Viking is a private company, and is not required to produce financial documents, and as such there financial health is unknown, but people who have knowledge of their current operations say that they are going the extra mile to keep their employees. And a final thought of my own - I would not be surprised if a lot of ocean cruises will have itineraries that feature more days at sea than they have in the past at least for the first couple of post covid years.
  25. I am going to be more than a bit cynical here - the cruise industry is worth billions of dollars, with a strong lobbying capabilities in a lot of countries. I am betting that some laws get changed that would allow cruise lines to do things like changing what you can sue them for, etc. Shore excursions may change so you are required to stay with a group and are not allowed to mingle except with fellow passengers and the tour guide. And for the quite foreseeable future, you will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks. I am 65, in good shape with few health concerns - I may take that risk. We did the West Indies in February, and had a norovirus scare onboard. Viking really turned the screws as to what you could do onboard (no self serve anywhere, no pool, and other restrictions). Just some thoughts from someone who thinks companies have different priorities than us individual people do.
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