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Everything posted by johneb2

  1. As CurlerRob & broker1217 posted, it is not a simple answer. Viking on their part immediately quarantines you and at the next port makes arrangements to transport you to a local land facility. The country & locale you are in, as well as the country you are returning home to governs what is required. We just finished a river cruise where the question was asked. Fortunately there were no positives on the cruise. I would suggest if you are interested or already booked on a cruise, give Viking a call as they are on top of the country requirements for each destination. They should be able to give you a better answer. Just remember requirements are changing as the situations change. With all the cruises we have taken with them, they have always supported us, including when on our infamous Northern Lights cruise situation. God forbid you do have a situation like you describe, Viking won't leave you hanging out to dry. For our cruise, Viking stepped us through all the requirements, and they were spot on! JohnEB
  2. While I know this is an Ocean cruises forum, I promised to follow up on how Viking was addressing cruise life on our recent Portugal Douro river cruise, since many of the aspects are the same. To start with, Viking provided all the information processes required by us to travel, board the cruise, and return home. Upon boarding the ship, we needed to provide a saliva sample each morning before breakfast for Covid testing. While on board and during excursions, masks were required except when dining or drinking. The excursions were handled very well and were very informative. The ship was approximately half full. All in all, Carolyn & I were very comfortable with the trip and had no concerns about our safety health wise. It also was reassuring to know the Portugal vaccination rate is around 90%, with Spain around 80%. Also while cruising, I spoke with a Norwegian crew officer Michael, who was quite familiar with the infamous Viking Sky incident. He could not offer any more info on a possible Chairman’s cruise, but what he did say was most people don’t know that Torstein Hagen donated considerable sums of his own personal monies to all the Norwegian rescue and support people that assisted us. So as for the Chairman’s cruise, we still have to wait. Carolyn & I feel confident to cruise again, and are looking forward to our Cities of Antiquity & Holy Land cruise in January. One word of caution, is airline schedules are constantly being changed by the airlines, so make sure you keep checking your flights no matter who booked them! Our flights for the January cruise have been changed twice already. JohnEB
  3. OTJ, I know it is concerning about international travel until this pandemic is finally under control. We are leaving for the river cruise in Portugal later today, and will report back on how Viking is handling that aspect, as I am sure it will be very similar to the ocean cruises. They were very extensive and thorough in their pre-cruise requirements, and advising us what to expect on our cruise. I know Carolyn & I prepared on our end as best as possible (vaccinated with booster shot), sanitizer and masks. I know we had reached the point of "cabin fever" and felt we couldn't take the confinement any longer. Again, we will report back on it, but I am sure it will be a positive report. As for Viking owing us anything, while I agree it is not mandatory, but it was given as a good will gesture for what we endured. I believe it should not be forgotten. If a special invitational cruise turns out an impossibility then they have other options at their disposal. I still have full confidence that something will materialize one way or the other. Then again, Carolyn always said I was an optimist.
  4. I spoke with several people in HQ yesterday, and the general consensus on the invitational cruise is that nothing will be finalized until Covid and restrictions stabilizes. As explained, right now it would be unfair to schedule something, then have it cancelled, or worse yet exclude some pax due to the covid restrictions. They were very forthcoming in the fact that just like regularly scheduled cruises, access is strictly controlled by the individual country and is outside Viking's control. I can fully appreciate the effort Viking is making in trying to work out things, and guide the pax on the individual cruise requirements since they sometimes change at the last minute. With our upcoming river cruise to Portugal, they guided us through the numerous steps to ensure access to both Portugal & the cruise. So kudos to Viking, and lets hope this Covid mess ends soon JohnEB
  5. Forgive the ignorance please, but what is a mixed vax? Did you receive two different types of vaccine? Carolyn & I have actually received 3 shots due to our medical situation. It seems that puzzled Viking when we had to submit it on their Verifly app. We are still waiting for our health survey for our river cruise departing in 5 days, and are wondering if there is a snafu with that. JohnEB
  6. Thank you for the update. JohnEB
  7. On Sept 19th, Carolyn & I will be embarking on a river cruise in Portugal, and I will approach them directly to find out more information on the Chairman's cruise. I think they can contact the appropriate people to just get us an answer on its status, as I feel we are owed some kind of communication at this point. JohnEB
  8. Were you also on the infamous NL cruise in March of 2019? We have a trip planned on the Sky in January and are not sure how we will feel the first time we set foot on that ship again after that experience. I am sure we will do just fine very quickly after we experience some of the wonderful Viking offerings again. JohnEB
  9. We will be doing Portugal (Duoro River). It looks nice. Enjoy
  10. I was wondering the same thing now. Carolyn & I are going on a Viking river cruise in mid-September, and I was going to try and do some probing while on the ship if no word is received before then. JohnEB
  11. OTJ, Carolyn & I are also eagerly waiting. I am hoping we will hear shortly so we can block out the time from our schedule. I have not heard anything additional since when I called up last month. (I posted that info on this forum). They did say it was very important to Mr. Hagen for it to happen, so we just have to wait. JohnEB
  12. Also I forgot to mention socializing and meeting new friends. Definitely not boring in the least. JohnEB
  13. As I read the comments about this book I became a little confused. I thought it was about our unfortunate incident and how is was handled. Is this not correct? When I see comments about his writing about boredom, I just don't get it or agree. I found the cruise up to the incident to be very good. I know Carolyn & I always find things to do when on a cruise, and this was no exception. There were plenty of excursions, seminars, shows etc. so I am not sure how boredom factors in. Someone please enlighten me if I am wrong about all of this. JohnEB
  14. Twitchly, we are looking forward to meeting you. JohnEB
  15. OTJ, you are correct the scenery alone is worth the trip. We also found some of the excursions to be very interesting and well worth it. All around is was an exception trip for what we saw, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is considering it. Hopefully the Ballerina Sweetie Pie will be able to see the lights as we did. JohnEB
  16. Another thing to consider is if you don't want to use one of these apps is an app called Pro Cam+, it is available on the Apple App Store. Not sure what the equivalent is on the Android Play store. The big advantage of this app is you can actually set shutter speed, f stops, and iso sensitivity, or just go with the automatic settings. If you want to get a decent chance of getting acceptable pictures you will need a tripod. Small travel tripods are quite widespread now. Just remember to get the tripod adapter for your phone if that is the path you choose. JohnEB
  17. Today, I sent an email to Chairman Hagen in reference to the Viking Sky Survivors cruise. True to form, and their high standards, I received a phone call back explaining the details for the delays, and highlighting the fact that Mr. Hagen is very sensitive to our wishes for this cruise to come off, and how he wants it to be of high standards with no chance of cancellation. I was on the phone with his office for almost 20 minutes and was impressed the way they are treating this situation. It was explained to me a lot is going on in the background to make this come off. The challenges of Covid-19 have made it extremely difficult as many ports and excursions are still not available and are not sure when that will happen. In addition Viking is committed to our safety from Covid-19. I was also told that the Viking Sky "Survivors" would be the first to know about it with notifications sent to them, and their travel agents exclusively. Right now Viking Agents do not have any insight information on this cruise since it is being formulated at the "highest" level. All in all, I felt satisfied and left with the impression that we will be hearing more on this as the cruising opens up again. Thank you Viking, and Chairman Hagen for your generosity, and professionalism in handling this. JohnEB
  18. We are in stateroom 5048. Let us know when you get a stateroom assigned. JohnEB
  19. We have booked the Cities of Antiquities & Holy Land aboard the Sky in January 2022. We are in the stateroom next to where we were on our incident trip. It might be interesting to see my wife's reactions if we encounter any storms on that cruise, considering her fears she endured on the NL trip. We do have a river cruise scheduled for September (Porto - Portugal), which will be our first cruise since our memorable trip. I don't foresee any rough water on that cruise 🙂 JohnEB
  20. I had read somewhere that Viking was launching a new ship in 2023, so I thought it might be an opportunity then. To my knowledge Viking has not communicated anything else other than Mr. Hagen’s letter in March. I am sure with the travel demands picking back up now that it will be a difficult task to accommodate anything, hence that is why I thought about the new ship sailing. Let’s hope they let us know what the plans are soon. Johneb2
  21. I agree with you. As you have stated, many of us are rebooking trips and making plans. We liked the idea of an inaugural cruise of one of the new ships in 2023. Yes, it is a ways out, but it still will be special having us together again, with special activities designed for our situation. If that is not possible, than a special cruise should be added to the schedule. I also wondered also if a river cruise would be considered, but given the capacity of those ships I doubt it would be viable. We are looking forward to travelling again, so Viking if you are reading this, please help us out by communicating to us about your plans. Most of all thank you for your generous offer and handling of our situation. JohnEB
  22. I am wondering also, especially since the Venus is now open for regular cruises. The only thing I can see is if they block out a certain time period for a cruise or give us vouchers, but that is pure speculation. Can you image if it was decided to have a rerun of the "In Search of the Northern Lights" cruise for the survivors only! JohnEB
  23. Thank you. It wasn't my intent to digress from the original post. This was our first time on Iceland Air, and under unique circumstances, so I wanted to give both Viking & Iceland Air credit in stepping up to accommodate us at the last minute. We did not have any delays, and the flight went smoothly. However, we felt it was very cramped, and as mentioned some food should have been available as gratis since it was a Transatlantic flight. I honestly could not say if this was all because of the type plane they used, or if they had to make aircraft changes to accommodate a sizable number of us. If you would ask if I would fly again with them, the answer is yes, but not in economy. JohnEB
  24. We were booked by Viking on our return trip from the infamous NL cruise that had to be evacuated. The reservations were done at the last minute due to the many changes caused by the situation. I know Viking was doing the best they could, given the situation. We were booked in economy, with the flight being full. We found the seats to be very tight, and all food had to be purchased from a limited menu. We were quite surprised with the food status since this was a Transatlantic flight (Iceland - New York). Other than that everything was fine, especially since our minds were on getting back home after our ordeal. JohnEB
  25. Yes, I received an email with that info as well, but I wonder how that is going to work out now that it appears the Venus is scheduled already for open cruising. It will be interesting to see how they work it out, or if they just decide to give us another voucher. JohnEB
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