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Elizabetho55

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  1. @pinotlover We are considering a trip to China and are searching for the company we will use. We have done Viking Europe and Russia in the past and have been very impressed with Viking. However, we want to make the best choice for this trip. Thank you for your review. I do have 1 question. Do you share the ship with non- Uniworld passengers? It sounds like there were separate areas for different people on the ship. Can you explain further on this subject? Thank you! Elizabeth
  2. It’s interesting to read different experiences of the same cruise. When we were in Edinburgh in 2018 Viking provided a free shuttle from the ship to Edinburgh and back on a regular schedule. We went into the city using it and walked around on our own. It’s hard to see anything in just a day. We thought of it as an intro to see if we wanted to go back. We came away with mixed reviews about the included tours. The city walk in Bergen was a great introduction to the layout of the city with some great stops and a couple of really lame ones. The included excursion in Geiranger was very good. We added an optional that went to the top of Dalsnibba (which was amazing!). In Molde we opted for the optional Trollstigen and Trollsveggen tour. Very expensive, very long bus ride with some beautiful waterfalls and scenery but IMO not with the time and money. The included lunch was awful. In Tromso we did the included tour (bus tour to some tourist sites) and then stayed in town on our own and wandered over to Ølhallen pub. Maybe we missed something but there wasn’t a lot to do here. Honningsvåg - we did the included tour. We felt the whole reason in going here was to reach the furthest (well almost furthest) point in Europe and therefore the included tour had what we wanted. In Lerwick we did Ancient civilizations of the Shetlands (which we liked a lot) and the included tour in the afternoon. The morning tour included almost everything the included tour had with an additional stop to see and pet ponies in a fenced in area - humans being outside the fence and ponies inside. In hindsight we would have just done the optional tour. We did see Shetland ponies at one of the stops on the optional tour. They were wandering around in a field. In Orkney we signed up for the Orkeny’s Stone Age optional excursion. I was really looking forward to that one! I heard it was great too. Unfortunately, I was in my cabin very sick. A 24 hour something. 🤢😔 Edinburgh- see above. London-we had never been to London and with such a short timeframe we decided to do the optional Classic London Monuments tour. It was a bus tour (which we knew) with some stops and some free time for lunch. We considered it an intro to a city we will definitely go back to on our own. We extended in Oslo and Bergen before the trip. We were very glad we did this! The included tour in Oslo was excellent. We went to the Viking Museum, the famous ski jump (can’t remember the name), Vigeland Sculpture Park (amazing!) and a couple of other places. The train ride was great (sit on the left side for a good view of the sites). Get your lunch as soon as the dining car opens. The line gets long fast! In Bergen we opted to walk up Mount Floien and we took the tram down. It’s a climb so if you have mobility issues you should take the tram both ways. I believe you can buy tickets online rather than stand in line for them. Viking offers an optional excursion with this site. There were a lot of people who arranged tours outside of Viking and they enjoyed them and I believe they were less expensive. They were reliable and got people back to the ship in time. I’ve planned many, many trips and decided that on this trip I didn’t want to plan and coordinate things so we decided to go with all Viking options. On the”panoramic city tours” we knew what we were getting. They are bus tours with a lot of drive bys and some stops with limited free time. Overall, we loved the cruise. The ship is beautiful and the crew was wonderful. I get sea sick and I never had a problem. The sickness I had wasn’t due to seasickness. We had gorgeous weather the entire trip which is very unusual. Sunshine and clear skies everyday. Keep in mind that it rains a lot in Norway and fog can inhibit some viewing. One last piece of advice. Get up early for the sail into Geiranger. There were maybe 10 of us on deck that morning and all of the people who slept in missed some amazing sites! Bring your binoculars with you. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I’ll answer as best I can. Enjoy your cruise! P.S. Pics below are of our trip up to Dalsnibba in Geiranger.
  3. When you choose your excursions on Mytrip it will show the times for all excursions. There were normally lots of time slots to choose from on the included excursions so that you could both. The exception would be an all day excursion. This was a wonderful cruise! Enjoy!
  4. There are 6 DV aft cabins on the Star. We were in 3096 and we loved it! We sat on our balcony often to watch the wake. There was no wind as the balcony was protected on 3 sides. We never had a problem with engine noise or exhaust. As far as feeling the motion of ship we never noticed it was more pronounced aft and had no issues at all. I am prone to motion sickness and was fine although I will add that we had very smooth seas for the entire cruise. I would book any of the 6 again in a heartbeat! We thought it was a great choice. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  5. We have done 4 Viking river cruises. This was our first Viking ocean cruise. We feel the food on the river cruises was better. There was nothing wrong with the food on the ocean cruise and IMO compared to other cruise lines it was outstanding. We were disappointed in the bread choices for breakfast. On the river cruises they have hardy, whole wheat bread selections. We wondered if the ocean cruises are catering to the SAD (the Standard American diet). We didn’t find a lot of healthy choices. We were also unimpressed with The Chef’s Table but we really liked Manfredi’s and ate there twice. Except for one night we never ate dinner at the buffet. It appeared as though they offered a variety of seafood each night (sushi, crab legs, shrimp, etc.) as well as the same entrees offered in the MDR. We thought the MDR was good. Not outstanding but very good. The only miss for me was the night I ordered scallops. They were delicious but that’s all I got - 5 small scallops. No sides, no rice, potatoes. Just 5 scallops. It was an appetizer not a main in my opinion. Other than that the rest of our dinners were very good and we enjoyed them. I agree that the lunches at the buffet were somewhat repetitive although the main entree and soup varied each day. The soups were excellent. The pool buffet was basic hot dogs and hamburgs which is what we expected. Overall, I would give the food an A-. Any other ocean cruise we’ve been on the food gets maybe a C. The river cruises get an A+. I just hope they continue to offer healthy choices on the river cruises and do not start to cater to an American diet as they seem to be doing on the ocean cruises. I think it’s a mistake to rule out Viking based on food as it is so much better than other cruise lines. Not sure how many ocean cruises you’ve been on but IMO Viking’s food outshines any other ocean cruise we’ve ever done. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  6. That’s more than I would have expected. Thank you! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  7. What a great review! Thank you! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  8. Thank you! I’m still thinking about what riding a donkey up the hill would be like [emoji23] One would just HAVE to do it. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  9. Has anyone done the Empires of the Mediterranean - Venice to Athens 10 day cruise? I’m wondering if the ports on this cruise are places where you can walk off the ship right into the destination. Tendering would be acceptable if it was still directly into the port. We are trying to avoid a lot of long bus rides in order to get to the destination. Also, overall, how did you like the cruise? Thank you! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  10. WOW! Mystery woman. I like it! 🤣🤣. I am betting we met on the sun deck during the sail in to Geiranger. There were so few people and pretty much everyone said hi to each other while taking pictures. I am short so I was standing on that covered up, elevated “thing-a-mabob” taking pictures. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  11. We watched a lot of it from the explorer’s lounge balcony but finished up in our cabin which was directly aft - right on the back of the ship for all non-sailors, like me[emoji6]. There was a 2nd tug guiding in the rear. It was really an amazing thing to watch! I didn’t make it to very end but enough to see what a feat it was for them to accomplish docking. Thank you for letting us know about that green spot light. I wondered what it was! Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  12. Hit reply too soon [emoji5] - tipping is always suggested for the guides and driver if they provided the expected service. Those who go above and beyond (as most do) get more from us. If we had a guide who spent all their time on the phone and didn’t provide a service we would not tip them. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  13. I was addressing the question about tipping the guides and bus drivers on Viking tours not general guidelines for tipping in restaurants etc. We always follow the cultural guidelines when tipping in a foreign country. But those individual customs or rules do not apply to the guides or bus drivers that Viking hires for tours. Tipping is always suggested for them. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  14. Heidi13, you are correct that some passengers are not from the USA but I believe a majority of them are. Also, the Viking literature is pretty clear with suggestions for acceptable tipping procedures and amounts. So, I think that most people who walk by and don’t tip are well aware of what they are doing - or not doing. Just my opinion. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
  15. We also were up on deck for sail into Geiranger. We were surprised at how few people were there! It was absolutely stunning and I was able to get a picture of the waterfalls with a rainbow [emoji3]. I’m sure we must have seen each other. We missed the meet and mingle. It pays to look at all the cards placed on the desk. We put them into the desk and never looked until 1/2 way through the cruise. So we were never able to meet the others but I’m sure we met without realizing it as all the passengers were so friendly and warm. What an amazing cruise it was and we are now enjoying the memories. Sent from my iPhone using Forums
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