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Everything posted by DaveSJ711

  1. I'll bet they don't have pets, let alone three rambunctious cats. (Tinker, Tara, and Spike send their best!)
  2. The Washington Post published an article a few days ago about RC's world cruise. Interestingly, the article mentioned other WCs -- offered by Regent, Silversea, and Oceania -- but didn't say anything about Viking itineraries. Be sure to read the comments to the article. Some of them are extremely funny. https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2021/10/22/royal-caribbean-ultimate-world-cruise/
  3. Reading this thread reminds me of my first trip to Hawaii, way back in 1976. I spent a month hitchhiking around Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. I spent less than $100 the entire time I was there. No posh buffets or fancy excursions for me! Travel was certainly simpler then, though lacking a few creature comforts. Two things I learned: (1) don’t sleep on the beach without reading the tide table first, and (2) don’t sleep in a sugar cane field if you want any part of your body to feel comfortable in the morning.
  4. JeriGail is correct. Viking emailed us and wrote, quote: "If you are traveling independently and outside of your home country for more than 3 days, a PCR test must be taken 72 hours prior to your first Viking activity (embarking ship or joining pre-extension)." That is how the company is interpreting and applying the language in MVJ.
  5. MVJ is the "final arbiter"? See my post #19. For our cruise, one MVJ link requires travelers to test just within 72 hours prior to boarding their first flight. Still another MVJ link, however, requires travelers to test within this time frame AND within 72 hours prior to embarkation (if they're traveling independently before the cruise). And Viking's "talking points" about MVJ say something else entirely -- that the testing requirement for independent travelers only applies if they're away for three days or more. That's why we sought written clarification from Viking. We will rely on Viking's response, not on the literal language of MVJ.
  6. You may already know this -- but Viking has adopted so-called "talking points" with an entirely different requirement. We learned about this when we wrote to tellus on Sunday about PCR testing. Our situation: We leave Seattle on November 26 and arrive in Barcelona the next day. We stay two nights on our own in Barcelona and then board our transatlantic cruise to San Juan. Because of our limited time in Barcelona, as well as scheduling issues due to Thanksgiving week, we need to know exactly when and where we have to test. In response to our email, Viking wrote, quote: "If you are traveling independently and outside of your home country for more than 3 days, a PCR test must be taken 72 hours prior to your first Viking activity (embarking ship or joining pre-extension)." That requirement doesn't apply to us, because we arrive just two days before embarkation. We know we have to test within 72 hours prior to boarding our first flight -- but we can schedule that test before we leave with plenty of time to spare, the holiday week notwithstanding. I spoke to the customer service agent who wrote the response email. She said Viking is now using "talking points" to respond to inquiries like ours. Unfortunately, the company's script doesn't match the My Viking Journey text and the Resources page for our cruise. MVJ mentions independent travel but doesn't say anything about being away for more than three days -- and Resources doesn't mention independent travel at all. I bring this up not to complain, but to underscore how Viking's testing requirements are still all over the map. That's why I'm going to save Viking's email just in case we need to show it before we embark.
  7. Have you been invited to Christmas dinner in Norway? https://www.visitnorway.com/things-to-do/food-and-drink/smalahove/
  8. Norwegians also love sheep's head. Go figure.
  9. You canceled too quickly. The CDC announced today that the U.S. will accept mixed vaccines starting in November https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/us-will-accept-mixed-doses-vaccines-international-travelers-2021-10-15/
  10. "Post-COVID world"? Has the pandemic ended? I hadn't noticed!
  11. Iceland is part of Europe. https://www.government.is/topics/foreign-affairs/iceland-in-europe/
  12. To hell in a hand basket (and back).
  13. I wouldn't call "hell in a handbasket" a hyperbolic statement. It's an American idiom with a rich history dating back to the Gold Rush. Earlier versions include "hell in a wheelbarrow" and "hell in a handcart." A more modern version is "hell in a handbag." Anyway, I digress. The idiom accurately describes much of the cruise experience these days, including Viking's chaotic process for booking shore excursions. That was Linda's point.
  14. Agreed. Our cabin was also on the starboard side sailing south from Valparaiso. When we wanted a different view, we took one flight of stairs up to the Explorers Lounge. Finding a place in the Lounge with a great view was never a problem -- and there were more important things to worry about, such as how many waffles to have at Mamsens on any particular morning.
  15. There’s no reason to accuse someone on this thread of “whining.” All of us know that the cruising experience has changed, including with Viking. Linda was simply recounting her factual experience this year with Viking’s website. Please don’t belittle her and others for what they’ve gone through.
  16. Why are you so persistently dismissive of people's questions and concerns?
  17. The issue here isn't whether other people read or don't read the Dailies. Guest Relations told the poster here that the Viking staff who put together the Daily forgot to include the cleaning schedule for a particular day. As a result, the poster didn't know from that day's Daily that cleaning crew would be on her balcony.
  18. Like it or not, the vast majority of Viking cruise passengers are from the U.S. Perhaps the continued U.S. travel ban (to Europeans) played into today's EU statement. Perhaps not. But most importantly, the current U.S. Covid case count is off the charts. Whether that case count gave the EU a medical reason to issue the statement, or simply a pretext for "playing hardball" with the U.S., is really immaterial at this point. It's now up to the individual EU countries to make their own decisions in response to the statement.
  19. The Gray Lady knows a story when she sees one.
  20. We'll see if Schengenvisainfo.com is merely "speculating" when tomorrow rolls around. (Forbes magazine is reporting the same.)
  21. Given today's statement by Gov. Ige, I can't imagine that Hawaii will be too sympathetic to a sudden influx of cruise ship passengers. But what do I know? It's only August, after all, and the situation can change dramatically -- for better or worse -- by the time December rolls around.
  22. You'll have a great time! I lived for 10 years in Alaska and know the state very, very well.
  23. Nothing to be sorry about! It's the reality for everyone who's booked a cruise and is considering whether to travel. (My wife and I just canceled a September cruise for Malta, Croatia, and Montenegro.)
  24. This thread appears to have evolved from "All Iceland Sailings 2021" to "All Iceland Cancellations 2021."
  25. If I recall correctly from prior trips to Tahiti, Fiji and Rarotonga, "our" winter is the cloudy/rainy season in that part of the world. So be prepared.
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