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Everything posted by WanderingBrit

  1. On our most recent cruise the savings for 2 on a future 10 day Ocean cruise would have amounted to $300 I think, and we had the option of canceling an existing booking and making a new one - though we were told we might have to wait a couple of days for the cancelation to be processed once sent to the email address they would have provided. In practice the itinerary we were interested in had increased in price since we'd booked during a sale, and there wouldn't have been any real savings. Booking while onboard does get you 6 month final payment, but you can also get that by having any future booking - which when deposits are only $25 is pretty easy. "Who knew"? It's very regularly discussed here and pretty common practice for just about all Ocean cruise lines.
  2. We did the Flam Railway excursion last year in August, with the plan being to ride bicycles down from Myrdal - but the rain was so torrential that we just rode the train back rather than riding bikes. This excursion was one of the things I was most looking forward to, so you can imagine both the disappointment and how bad the weather was to cause us to skip the bike ride. When we got back onboard phones were going off all around the ship as we received emergency alerts for flash flooding. As Viking guests we had priority boarding and our own carriage, which made it easier to move from side to side for photographs. In spite of the rain everywhere was very busy.
  3. We have a Tempur-Pedic at home and have found the Viking mattresses to be perfectly comfortable.
  4. We took all our meals at World Cafe except for one Manfredi's and one Chef's Table on our last cruise. We found the environment to be quieter than The Restaurant, and enjoyed the opportunity to "name our own adventure" by selecting only the items and quantities that we wanted. Comparing to the menu for The Restaurant it looked as if both were serving largely the same dishes each day.
  5. I don't have any photos to refer to, but I thought that by the pizza station there were a variety of breads available in the World Cafe, no?
  6. My guess is that if you land at 8am you won't be on the ship much before noon, given the time taken for immigration, baggage claim, and Viking gathering people together for the coach journey. Since you'll have been in the same clothes for over 24 hours you may decide you want to freshen up and change before heading out, and maybe grab some food. You will need to take a tender to shore, then walk ~10 minutes to Tilbury Town station where you'll catch a British Rail service to Limehouse - 7 stops, 36 minutes. At Limehouse you'll walk to the Docklands Light Railway platform to take the DLR service to Cutty Sark, 8 stops, 14 minutes. It's now about a 16 minute walk from the DLR station to Cutty Sark and the heart of the Greenwich Action. If you're very focused maybe you can make it to Greenwich by 2pm - but personally I feel that would take some good fortune with timings of trains and tender - and no wrong turns at stations. Remember you need to make the same journey in reverse, likely at rush hour. Factor in a lack of sleep and jet lag from the flight, and personally I'd be hard pushed to have the stamina for it. Greenwich is a great place to visit, and of critical historic significance to anyone about to set sail. If it were me I'd take a look at one of the private tour guide sites, and book a knowledgeable driver for half a day.
  7. Viking certainly does seem to have a good markup on extensions - the value calculation has looked similar the couple of times I've evaluated their offerings in other parts of the world.
  8. Imagine how useful this post would be if it included which ports were being replaced, or even which country they were in?
  9. I recently paid in full for a cruise that takes place over our anniversary, and on the updated statement we received after final payment I see that Chocolate Dipped Strawberries now appear under "Gift Orders", with N/A under Paid and Balance. I'm guessing this is related to our anniversary, but for the life of me I can't remember ever mentioning that - but perhaps there was a spot on the GIF where I might have supplied the date? Anyone have prior experience that can shine a light on this "surprise"?
  10. This thread was a noble experiment, but doomed to failure.
  11. On Virgin they have instructed staff to move belongings to lost & found if a chair is unoccupied for more than 40 minutes - and passengers are frequently reminded of this prior to embarkation.
  12. That mirrors our experience, to add to which it seems many people get offended if you don't welcome their uninvited participation in your meal. I've seen many responses along the lines of "well we go on cruises to meet people, so lighten up!" - yes but we don't, so leave us alone. This remains a concern I have about our first river cruise, where it seems there's much less chance for privacy during dining.
  13. Updated - I see you've already tried on the destination forum, so ingore this.
  14. I assumed that was a recording of a sea lion or walrus when I heard it on Jupiter last year.
  15. But when I compare like for like itinerary and cabin level, Oceania is the same price as Viking and doesn't "tick all the boxes" that we value with Viking, so for us there's no motivation to switch. Back to the OP: I haven't found a truly comparable offering that is 20%-45% less expensive than Viking.
  16. Unless it's free I would not use a cruise line provided air, as I'm not willing to cede that much control to someone else. We also have a ton of points and can only leverage them when booking direct with the airline.
  17. Yes, they do - not because it's any great distance but more because of port security. It's a little shuttle bus that just runs back and forth from the dock to the pleasure harbor, which is very central to "down town". We were fortunate to hit Torshavn on one of its rare dry and sunny days, and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. We were docked where shown, bus drop off/pick up is the red dot by the bus symbol
  18. When I've done the side by side cost comparison Viking has been pretty evenly priced when I consider all the aspects we value: - No children - No formal nights - No assigned dining time or location - A simple, low effort, dining option any time that's all we have the energy for (The World Cafe on Viking) - No casino, or art auction - No additional charge for "specialty" dining, or using the spa - Included drinks, in cabin and at meals - An included excursion and onboard enrichment talks If an alternative cruise line doesn't match those criteria we're not likely to consider them, and so the cost comparison is not one that arises. If there's one that's a close match we should consider, please suggest it!
  19. Understood - you don't need to rebook or change anything, just ask for deferred final payment.
  20. You should be able to get the same deferred final payment date for your 2026 cruise on the basis of already having a July 2024 cruise booked. Just ask them to change the date for your 2026 cruise. We did basically the same thing: Booked a 2025 cruise with a 2023 cruise booked, got 6 month final payment. Recently booked a 2026 cruise and requested 6 month final payment based on the 2025 cruise reservation - which hasn't been fully paid yet.
  21. On Jupiter last year they had two binders of recipes on the shelf behind this station, and the staff would make just about anything they could find the ingredients for. My wife found it was a useful option for made to order vegetarian dishes if nothing on the World Cafe appealed, as they could just about always make a vegetable stir fry with garlic & ginger.
  22. That's not what it says, reading what you subsequently posted.
  23. We enjoyed the Herdalssetra Mountain Farm out of Geiranger - a scenic drive and very engaging Goat farm/farmers. In Alesund we took our longest excursion "Mt Stranda & Troll Brewery" which is a lot of time in a coach. Mt Stranda was a bust because of low cloud and rain - rode the cable car up and turned straight around to come back again. Nice lunch at the visitor center. Troll Brewery was fine, but seen one, seen them all. The entirely electric ferry crossings were the coolest part of the day. In Flam we were really looking forward to the taking the railway up and cycling down, but the rain was absolutely torrential - kept getting severe weather and flooding alerts on our phones - so we ended up just taking an expensive train roundtrip. Bergen we walked into town, got absolutely soaked to the skin and came back again only to wait for an hour in dripping wet clothes because of a problem with the gangway. We'd paid for an eBike excursion but bailed because of the 55mph winds and rain. Norwegian weather in August can be atrocious.
  24. That's not what the Viking FAQ states. The dress code applies to all "dining venues, performances, and special events". I would interpret that to include all areas in the ship where live music is performed in the evening, including Explorers Lounge. As I said in my reply, enforcement is another issue - but the published dress code is what it is.
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