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Everything posted by LazyDonkey

  1. Thank you, rbslos18! Hope you have a great cruise. I actually meant "Road Scholar," which is the touring arm of Elderhostel. The clientele are friendly, learning-focused, down to earth, not fancy.
  2. Thank you as well, ChatKat! Short days could partially compensate for no sea days.
  3. You guys are great. Thank you so much. I was looking at some itineraries with no sea days, and it does seem that they would entail some significant tradeoffs for me.
  4. Thank you, Keith! Great info. Any info on trivia on port days?
  5. Could you experienced folks comment on whether trivia and bridge lessons are only offered on sea days? Any other noteworthy differences in the offerings (not shopping) on sea vs. port days? Thank you in advance!
  6. Hi, chrismch. My point was that it's the same people on both cruise lines despite differences in how they market themselves. I agree with you that Viking travelers are not actually likely any more down to earth. Study the websites as if you had never cruised with either line, and you might agree with my impressions (or maybe not, and that's okay) about whom they are trying to market to. But in actuality they mostly (mostly) appeal to the same people, and indeed many here have cruised with both repeatedly. I do notice a much more welcoming and civil tone on the Viking board. The Oceania board quickly devolves into accusations on so many topics. But I suspect that's not indicative of the typical Oceania cruiser's attitude. I do still maintain the outsider's impression (rightly or wrongly) that Oceania is a tad dressier, that that matters to some cruisers, and that neither line is classified as luxury, though they are just a half tier beneath the Seabourns and such. But in the real world all cruises are luxuries, so it's all relative, and I agree with you that both Oceania and Viking provide luxurious experiences by any real-world standard. A Suburu would be a luxury car to the vast majority of the world's population. I perhaps sense some outrage about my opinions and even some derision from you. I hope I'm misreading that even if I did express my opinions a bit confusingly, even if we had actually sharply disagreed. I'm not that influential and nothing I said was intended personally. I was not coming from a judgmental position. I do not view Viking cruisers as superior to Oceania cruisers. I can work on clarity of expression for sure. More gentle disagreement is always appreciated.
  7. I have not sailed with either line, but have researched them both quite a bit in preparation for eventually booking. A lot of us fit into a sector where it comes down to these two companies: not snooty, not too dressy, but with exceptionally nice amenities, quiet, serene and beautiful environment, personalized service, not mass-market or party ship or kid-oriented or rock-wall-roller-coaster intense. One difference that jumps out at me is that the Oceania website uses words like "exclusive," "luxury," "elegant," and so on. They're not a true luxury line, but are perhaps meant to appeal more to those who want an old-world cruising feel and a slightly exclusive-feeling experience. I imagine there are more Oceania travelers who get their hackles up if someone underdresses for dinner (though of course the vast majority wouldn't judge), and the dress code is indeed probably a little fancier on Oceania. Viking markets itself more to the Road Scholar type: curious, educated, not there to be seen, a little more down to earth, focused more on the destination than their outfits or the carpeting. But these are just self-images that the companies are trying to tap into. It's largely the same people in the same comfortable but not exceedingly wealthy financial bracket able to take trips on either line; most everyone showers daily and speaks at an appropriate volume; and both lines are most attractive to their customers for the same reasons. While the value systems of the customers each company is trying to attract strike me as a little different, and while the environments are commensurately a little different, I'm not sure the actual travelers are so different. The same customers would probably find like-minded and kind souls on a cruise with either company, and could feel comfortably themselves most of the time with either company. Viking ships are newer with better bathrooms, though, and Oceania's food is a cut above. I'm partial to Viking for whatever reason.
  8. Thanks for the info about your Empires experience and excursions, travelingman Stan. Really appreciate hearing what worked and what didn't, and that you had a very positive experience overall. Santorini sounds gorgeous though uncomfortably overcrowded per your and other reviews. Crowds at Krka must be quite variable. Seeing the Acropolis and Parthenon is a thrilling prospect even though Greece is not the main draw of this trip for me.
  9. Good to know, BarbarianPaul. I was beginning to question several of the ports: Koper, the waterfall park in Croatia (Krsk?), Corfu, Santorini (for its crowds), Dubrovnik during the day. Will be curious to see what Rick Steves thinks as well. Autocorrect keeps giving him an unintended apostrophe. Whoops. Caught it this time.
  10. Just saw your detailed post, ReillyQ! More specific and helpful info on Empires. Thank you so much. There seems to be consensus that Corfu is meh and Koper worth escaping. Will get ahold of the Rick Steve's book on Med. ports. It sounds as if he provided you with invaluable guidance. Really appreciate your detailed input, and agree with you that one should do what one truly enjoys instead of trying to see everything. Wish time and money were unlimited. It would be a dream come true just to travel for a year.
  11. Thanks for your nice reply, BarbarianPaul. I've been to Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, but not to those particular ports. Empires seems to get consistently good reviews. Odyssey is an appealing Med. itinerary as well. They all are, really. I'm going to read up on the ports and eventually come to a decision. Thank you again. Taking the stairs everywhere is a great idea.
  12. Your post is so, so helpful, lil_miss_mimi. Can't thank you enough for your specificity about the ports. You brought the crowds and donkey poop to life. Would have thought Sept. would be at least a little quieter, but it does sound as though you had a really full and interesting experience. I mainly like this itinerary because of Venice and Dubrovnik, but am also interested in Kotor. Have already been to spectacular Lake Bled, so wouldn't need to venture that far. Like you, am not a shopper, though it could be fun to peruse local wares a bit. Love to walk a lot in new places. No wonder you lost weight with those 1100 steps in Kotor! Thank you again. Useful info about shower and tours and tea.
  13. Thanks, BarbarianPaul. May I ask whether you think Empires would be a particularly desirable itinerary? Also, did you have to exercise lots of restraint not to gain weight? I'm going to try hard not to overeat, but at home it's vastly easier without the doughy temptations of Mamsen's and afternoon tea.
  14. Thank you very much for your quick and helpful reply, Sunflower! Glad to hear about the shower heads and abundance of healthful food.
  15. A few questions for you seasoned Viking adventurers: 1. Do you generally opt to schedule excursions for every port, even the smaller, walkable ones? 2. How strong is the shower head when used as a hand-held at various angles? 3. Should I plan to gain more than 5 pounds on a 2-week cruise, LOL? 4. Is the choice of Mediterranean cruises all down to individual preference and cost, or are some itineraries almost intrinsically more interesting and/or beautiful? Thank you!
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