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About eylarson

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Northern Virginia
  • Interests
    Reading, Restaurants, Theater, Gym
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking River and Ocean; Royal Carribean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. "Will the ship be fully chartered or only part of it?" Fully chartered. The itinerary doesn't show on Silversea's schedule.
  2. Charter by Playbill travel, Broadway in the Caribbean. We'd be interested in any experiences with the charter experience on Silversea. This trip based on success of previous Broadway on the High Seas 6 in 2016 and Broadway on the High Seas 8 in 2017. Thanks
  3. We did 2019 and are so glad to have had the experience. Pictures from trip are a great Zoom background.
  4. One other factor-- If I recall Viking financing relies heavily of Chinese sources. (Remember to 2018 World Cruise christening disappointment) So not only us there pressure on Viking, but also on their backers.
  5. My opinion and it is opinion only, Given the number of common guest spaces, Explorer Lounge, Living Room, etc, room location makes little difference to us. It's a place to change clothes, bath and sleep. We can always find a quiet nook to read, a place to met others, or to just have each others company. The main advantage of a PV is free laundry and once a day restocking of liquor in the fridge plus the extra storage space and space around the foot of the bed. Two TVs within 10 feet of each other didn't do much for us on our last cruise. Check the Viking web page for detailed perks with a PV. Repeat this is my opinion and know others will have differing views.
  6. Just returned from Viking Sea West Indies cruise. There were a number of passengers suffering from a gastro intestinal illness, probably norovirus, but never positively identified. Pools closed. Doors between Wintergarten and pool propped open, place mats, salt & pepper shakers removed from tables in World Cafe, all food served by staff in World Cafe (WC) as we went through the line. Hand washing strictly enforced entering the WC. The objective was to minimize touching common areas. Pool Grill closed too.Captain provided updates and encouraged frequent hand-washing. I heard, but didn't see myself, that one room was sanitized by the crew wearing protective gear. The procedures seemed to work after three days the pools were reopened and dining in the WC and Pool Grill returned to normal. Other dining venues were ops normal. The best strategy it to take personal responsibility. Wash your hands often and thoroughly, do not touch your hands to your nose, mouth or eyes. Avoid getting overly fatigued. We had a great time escaping the cold weather, enjoying new and revisiting old locations, seeing a number of crew from the 2019 World Cruise.
  7. Screen shot from the Johns Hopkins site. https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 as of 7 Feb 2020, 2213 EST. Rational for refusing to board those who have been to China is apparent. Little need to worry about the rest of the world. 10,000 American residents have died from the flu this year (And there's a vaccine for that!!!) Over 37,000 Americans have died in vehicle accidents. (More than confirmed coronavirus illness worldwide.) Worldwide, according to the Hopkins site, 724 deaths from coronavirus. Have a great trip, get your flu shot, buckle your seat belt.
  8. eylarson


    Not on the World Cruise 2019. I've never seen it in any of the dailies. Some people did self organize for small group workouts. That may be an option.
  9. Lived outside Fairbanks Alaska for three years. Sometimes the Northern Lights were so bright I could read the newspaper walking back up the drive' Other times not so much. It's a natural phenomena and Mother Nature has her own schedule that we have yet to figure out. See skipped ports due to high winds, sudden rain showers, unseasonable heat and/or cold.
  10. We have sailed both and agree with Dhsamso. Food, entertainment, and even ship layout are very subjective. I did like the concierge level room on Oceania with current hard copy news papers and a staff member able to provide specialized recommendations. The latter available on Viking, but always had to wait. Oceania has a casino, either a plus or a minus. I'm indifferent, SO likes an occasional game of chance. Red Ginger restaurant cannot be topped in our opinion, Chefs Table close on some menus, but Red Ginger has always delivered an outstanding meal.
  11. On WC 2019 the conversion of the pool deck to buffet started the night before with the moving all the chairs and loungers to deck 8. The kitchen and wait staff placed all the tables early in the morning and loaded them with wonderful food after the breakfast rush subsided. Even the special event meals on the aft pool deck took an extraordinary amount of logistical planning for food displays, cooking stations, et al. I'm sure they have a checklist, but that doesn't mitigate the effort and planning required for perfect execution.
  12. Strange, we missed Recife in January on the 2019 WC also. Same reason, the ship was traveling too slowly, different cause, the Sun had some kind of mechanical problem. If I recall the problem was ID'd by many as a blown turbo charger on one of the engines that reduced power available.
  13. A first for us, arriving in country on the same day as cast-off for a cruise. It worked out well because we had a direct flight from Dulles to Amsterdam, can rest well while in flight and cast-off wasn’t until 11PM. We arrived at 735AM so there was a pretty large buffer. Our flight over was on a UA 767, with 2-3-2 seating. We had economy plus seats and sat side be side on the 2 side. Flight was uneventful, meal was unmemorable, the movie Yesterday was surprisingly good. Arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was thirty minutes early, but any time gained and then some was lost going through immigration. There we had six agents for non-European passports and they were very inquisitive. “Why are you here? How long will you stay? Where are you staying?” After that we were met by the Viking representative, who had just dispatched a bus t the ship, so we had another 45-minute delay before we loaded bags on a coach and headed for the Viking Longship Sigrun The crew at the ship took charge from there and invited us to go to the Aquavit Lounge for a buffet spread. After eating we were given our room key cards and could drop off any carry-on luggage. Our bags were in the room already. The ship was docked near the central train station. The ship did offer a mini-tour to the train station, ATMs etc, but we declined since we have been to Amsterdam before. Instead we set off for the Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic Museum) and The Oude Church. The first is a Catholic Church built across the top floors of three row houses. If you go be sure to watch the video that shows haw the pulpit is folded away into the altar. The Oude Church is the oldest building in the city and host various art displays throughout the year. Unfortunately, nothing special on display when we visited, but the side rooms provide insights into the history of the building. Both locations proved an includes audio tour with admission. A note of caution or enticement, The Oude Church, is on the border of the Red-Light District. There were several ladies on display. By now were beginning to feel a little tired so we headed back to the ship for a catch-up nap ahead of the evening’s meal and program. Angela, our enthusiastic cruise director, did the usual introductions of the staff. She provided a run-down of the next days tours and encouraged us to return to the lounge for the evening’s entertainment after dinner. All the meals were outstanding. At times some members of the wait staff seemed curt. Twice when ordering dessert, we were told we should have done that we placed our main order. Advice we opted not to follow, and we never went without dessert when we wanted it. Like all the Longships and even on the Restaurant Dining Room on the Ocean ships the dining room gets very noisy, very fast. The room has low ceilings, hard surfaces and is serving nearly all the passengers at one seating. We did all the included tours. The only one that disappointed was the Black Forest Tour. Guide was good with lots of info about legends and wildlife, but you didn’t need to be seated in a bus for a couple of hours to hear it all. The destination was a set of shops selling blown glass works and another selling cuckoo clocks. Not sure what there was to do or se in Breisach, Germany, but it had to be better than this tour. We also did optional tours Dine in Rüdesheim am Rhein, Mercedes-Benz Factory, and Colmar in World War II tours. The dinner was a lot of fun with unlimited food and drink, although we cannot recommend the red wine. We should have known better since this is white wine country and that’s what we stuck with. We found the Mercedes-Benz tour fascinating, robots and humans turning out 1200 cars a day. The Colmar tour was moving. On a cold damp day, we had just a hint of the challenges soldiers on both sides faced. We would highly recommend these three. Unfortunately for those who did the Taste of Alsace Tour in Strasbourg, it was on the same night as the German dinner on board. The German meal was outstanding and served in a buffet though the kitchen. How they fix all those meals in such a small space is hard to fathom. We extended on our own with two nights in Basel. We stayed at The Passage Hotel just on the edge of the town center. Our room was large by US standards, for Europe it was gigantic. We signed up for the included continental breakfast. Light fare for sure, but enough to start the day. The Basel Historical Museum is spread across three buildings and admission to one gets you admission to all. In one all the signage is in German, so they provided an iPad that gives English descriptions at no additional charge. We dined at Walliser Kanne, Hotel Stadthof, and Brasserie Café Spitz. I confess we also had lunch ad a chain Ramen shop. Do try the Swiss wines, you can’t easily get them anywhere else. Do be prepared for high prices, but also for excellent food and great service. Our flight home was on a 777 with 3-4-3 seating after short flight Basel to Frankfort. Not nearly as comfortable as the flight over. Arrival a Dulles saw only three Customs and Border Protection Agents for the whole flight. Even the Global Entry folks had a considerable wait. Ours was 1 hour and 45 minutes. Looking their Facebook page this is not an unusual occurrence.
  14. On the 2019 World Cruise there were often surprise menus on the Aquavit Terrace Surprise to us at least. They may have been posted as you left the World Cafe, but if we skipped lunch there we got a surprise at dinner.
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