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Aussie Cruise Nuts

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  1. I agree. Let’s start a “BRING BACK BONNIE” thread. We have cruised many great cruise lines - Seabourn, Crystal, Regent, Viking - and our Aramara Cruises have been right up there with those great cruise lines. Bonnie really made Azamara stand out for so many of us on Cruise Critic. It truly made a positive difference for Azamara. The new Executive Team should seriously consider bringing back Bonnie. Who agrees ?? Rod
  2. In recent times I have been receiving emails from the UK Office of Azamara - all personalised to me including my Name, Azamara Circle number, my loyalty points and status along with some nice cruise offers priced in GB Pounds - no doubt with UK terms and conditions that would not apply to Aussies. Not a big deal for me at the moment as Aussies are not allowed to travel internationally and our Federal Government are saying that restriction may last another 12 months. So no cruises or international travel for us for some time 😫 Hopefully the UK email communication is a temporary problem that will right itself soon. Wondering if any other CC followers are having similar problems. Rod
  3. Always so much to learn from the regular CC Viking contributors ✔️✔️ I must remember strollers when we are back on Board - 4 June 2022. Rod
  4. Love it Ragnar. You brighten up up my day each time I read your comments ✔️✔️🤣😂 Keep them flowing. Rod
  5. I turned 70 during Covid last year and did not realise there were age restrictions on some excursions. I am a keen cyclist and ride 100-150 kms every week (generally 3 rides of around 50km). This is another great reason to participate in the Cruise Critic Forum - one learns so much information from fellow cruisers. I will admit to being disappointed if my “new” age prohibits me from cycle excursions. I have undertaken a number of great cycle excursions on previous cruises and as a fit and able rider did think this would continue when our cruising life resumes 🤞🤞🤞 I can see the other side of the coin having experienced it on earlier shore excursions - 1. A European river cruise where a few unfit travellers slowed the walking tour group to a virtual stop and meant we missed a large part of the itinerary. This was some years ago prior to river cruises sorting their walking tours to Slow, Medium, Fast groups (or whatever categorisation they used). 2. A cycle excursion where we had to stop regularly as a non fit/non regular rider was having heart palpitations. We were all concerned for her health and there were no complaints from the riding group. We just slowed right down and took a lot longer to complete the route. She was fine. I guess my “new” age will lead me to seek independent tours if the age restriction kicks in. But that may be long past Covid and when independent tours are again permitted. Rod
  6. True leadership in action. Well said and well done Captain Carl.
  7. Bring back Larry. ✔️✔️✔️. Seabourn Executive experience and ran Azamara so well. A very capable, experienced and personable Senior Cruise Executive. As to private ownership via Private Equity buyout, from what I see and read, the Cruise Line that has managed the Covid disaster the best (for its passengers) is Viking - privately owned and includes private investment. May be an omen for Azamara going forward ??? We will all have to wait and watch. We really enjoyed cruising Azamara, but glad we took the 100% refund for a Covid cancelled cruise. Our next cruise is on Viking Ocean - June 2022 to allow the Covid world time to settle and see what future cruising really looks like. And would definitely consider a future Azamara cruise if the cruising experience aboard remains close to what we enjoyed in the past. Time will tell.
  8. We visited Malaga on Seabourn Sojourn quite a few years ago. Most pax went on the Shore Excursion to Grandada and The Alhambra (80 miles each way) but as we were disembarking in Lisbon and starting a 2 week road trip around Portugal and Spain. (including 2 days in Granada), we decided to spend the day walking around Malaga. This port city is sometimes maligned, but we had a great day walking all over the town. Whilst we did not get slimed, I felt we were being set up for a scam by a couple of young touts kicking a soccer ball all around us and encouraging me to join the game. I used a few “strong” Aussie words (I am too much of gentleman to repeat them on Cruise Critic), told them my game was Rugby and I was quite accustomed to dealing with the likes of them in a scum or a ruck. They quickly dribbled their soccer ball in another direction. 😂😂 We would revisit Malaga in a heartbeat - Covid permitting 🤣🤣 Rod
  9. I’m with you Jim. Viking are leading the way in the cruise industry response to Covid. All credit to them. But we will not cruise under those conditions. Not the cruise experience we want for the dollars spent. We moved our June 2021 cruise out to June 2022 (29 days Barcelona to Istanbul) and note the original 2021 cruise is now cancelled. With the Covid vaccines starting to roll out, I am more confident a 2022 restart to our cruising will be more appropriate. We are independent shore excursion types and would not want to be limited to ship arranged only. Rod.
  10. Thank you all for your positive responses. We have locked in 7018 for our cruise. We all hope to be safely cruising again by 2022 - or earlier. The Cruise Critic community are a valuable source of information and assistance. Our thanks to all. Stay safe. Rod.
  11. We are moving our June 2021 Viking Med cruise out to June 2022 due to the uncertainty of Covid. I intend to book the 29 Day Barcelona to Istanbul cruise departing 4 June 2022 on Sky. We have previously cruised in 6024 Penthouse Junior Suite (PS3), but there is no availability for our preferred portside on deck 6 for this itinerary. 7004 and 7018 (PS2 category) are available. 7004 looks a little close to the bow (but may be quieter) and 7018 is near the entrance to the pool area and Wintergarden. There may be more noise in 7018 with doors opening and closing and foot traffic. I would appreciate any assistance from our Viking cruising community on which suite may be the better for this cruise, particularly regarding noise. Thanks. Rod
  12. We had a similar experience for our first Viking cruise. Booked 2 years ahead for Hong Kong to Vanvouver April 2019. Then waited and watched as Viking Orion was built, sea trialled and she finally started cruising. As Dauntless said, it allowed plenty of time for port research and preparation. We enjoyed Viking so much we rebooked on board for Rome to Istanbul on Sky in June 2021. Now in a waiting game to see what Covid and Cruising will allow 😢😩😖 Have cancelled 2 earlier cruises on Seabourn and Azamara as the cruise world ground to a halt. Rod
  13. Get in line Clay. I have had my name down for the Food Taster Job on Viking Ocean for 3 years. Still waiting to be called up 😂😂 Rod
  14. Our invitation popped into our inbox this morning. Along with a neat little teaser video from Chairman Hagen. We are interested in Antarctica but prefer VIKING after they have had several seasons to new port itineraries. This observation based on our experience earlier this year for our 36 night cruise Hong Kong, Asia, Far East Russia, Bering Sea, Alaska and down into Vancouver. On board experience excellent, shore excursions, Port scheduling, and particularly communication from Shoreside left a lot to be desired. I would be more confident when Viking Ocean has a season or two in new territory under their belt. Just my view. We have Rome to Istanbul booked on Sky to look forward to and feel they better know and understand the Med and Homelands far more than their first up itineraries. Perhaps a result of their very fast expansion of Ocean. Rod
  15. Thanks LM. Seems this issue has been resolved. The Future Cruise Consultant has different terms and conditions sheets for each country. The Australian specific T&C’s fully cover the 120 day window to kick the can down the road should we desire. Whilst his verbal advice was “unlimited” number of can kicks/cruise changes can be made, our Aus T&C sheet was missing this important detail. The very good Future Cruise Consultant is providing my request in writing to me covering the no limitation/expiry date on number of times we can change a cruise and retain all Future Cruise benefits - subject of course to making any change PRIOR to the 120 day mark. He confirmed the booking is under Viking Australia conditions. Furthermore, Viking are linking my booking to my Australian Travel Agent, and confirming the booking details and attached benefits direct to them. All bookings, pricing etc was straight off the Viking Australia website and we received the current Aussie promo of $1,000 discount in addition to the Future Cruise and Past Guest discount. I am confident I have covered all my bases and today paid the AUD$1,000. I do appreciate your concern and advices. CC contributors are helpful and look out for each other. Now LM, I need you to work on the Dutch Harbour weather. The forecast of clearing showers started as drizzle, then to pouring rain. It has just eased off as I write this, so we will shuttle bus into town to explore and find the Bald Eagles. Rod
  16. LM. As you know we are currently onboard Orion - Sea day 3 of a millpond smooth crossing of Bering Sea to Dutch Harbour. I have been pondering the onboard booking benefits of a future cruise and investigated your news. We are going to lock in the 21 night Rome to Istanbul departing 6 June 2021. Not a bargain in Aussie shekels, but it includes a bucket list gap of ports in our long cruising history - Venice and the Adriatic ports - 2 nights, 2 1/2 days in Venice. WOW. We have been to some of the ports previously, but quite a nice list of maiden ports for us. Onboard booking benefits are pretty good and I like the “Peace of Mind” flexibility which allows the booking to be rolled forward or backward with no penalty (provided within the 4 month final payment period). It was interesting to compare the different offers between USA, UK and Aussie pax. I thought we compared favourably. Cruise going very well and looking forward to our last 11 days of the cruise and 7 Alaskan ports plus a few days scenic cruising. Glad we tried Viking. Rod
  17. Thanks again Heidi13 for bringing local knowledge to play. As independent travellers, this hotel will work fine for our disembarkation and transfer to the Wedgewood Hotel for our post cruise stay in Vancouver. Looks a quite short taxi drive. Cheers. Rod.
  18. Thanks Little Monty. I feel your ovservations are correct as the great majority onboard we meet and talk to agree with your sentiments. But there are always those who find fault and can’t move past it. More pity them as we are here to enjoy the cruise and all it offers, not find fault with the few things that go astray (hello, it’s called life). Having a blast and will continue to do so. Rod.
  19. We are onboard Orion now - been on since Hong Kong on 21 April. First Viking Cruise (of 16 Ocean Cruises and 2 River Cruises) and in our experience this is the fastest and most consistent wi-fi we have experienced at sea - and it’s unlimited and fully included in the price. Ok, it’s not as fast as home, but fully operational for a cruise, and naturally at its slowest (but still works) when most pax are using. We have successfully FaceTimed our family several times, easily dowloaded our home daily newspaper digital edition each day (something not easily achieved on Seabourn, our most cruised line - the record was 35 minutes on one Seabourn cruise and that’s minutes I was paying for !!!!). I’ll take Vikings wifi policy any day. Agree that speed can be a a little faster in the public spaces vs suites, but we are very happy with the wifi (and our Suite, food, drinks and the excellent ever friendly smiling crew) on our first Viking Ocean Cruise. Yes, noticed the “errors” on the Viking App and had a laugh at the Kiel Canal and Petra, Jordan itinerary diversions, but not a big deal in our view. Guess we may be Glass half full people. Rod
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