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Everything posted by WanderingBrit

  1. "All inclusive" is certainly subjective, and Viking don't present themselves as a "luxury" cruise line. If it's not for you, it's not for you.
  2. Yes, Yes, and Yes. Many included excursions will be a bus ride to local sights, with commentary by a guide and stops for photos or exploration. In some ports, especially where the ship is able to dock close to the historic center of town, there will be walking tours with a guide - and these are very much our preference. We have tried to focus on itineraries where, much like river cruising, the town around the port is the focus rather than a launch point to somewhere 3 hours away by bus.
  3. Part of your struggle seems self-inflicted because you want only a carry on. Just check a full size bag and your problems are greatly reduced, plus you won't be struggling to find overhead space. On our last cruise we had two flights that were delayed pushing back because passengers stubbornly insisted that space be found for their carry-ons where none existed, before eventually accepting the inevitable and gate checking their bags.
  4. All the staff who would be needed if it was a cargo rather than passenger vessel are employed by a 3rd party contracted by Viking, and only those staff associated with the passenger operations are Viking employees.
  5. Rosyth for Edinburgh is like Tilbury for London - yes you can get there, but it ain't quick.
  6. It very much does. I don't want to feel that I have to live up to my surroundings on vacation, and we're really looking for a comfortable way to explore destinations.
  7. While there is on stage entertainment, we only ever attended a single show and then weren't motivated to return. We found the soloists or duos around the ship to be more enjoyable ways of spending the limited evening hours we had - we're very early to bed. Providing "any type of stage performance" ticks your box, no problem.
  8. We'll be at our place near the Moray Firth in a week, and are planning to visit The Black Isle to look at property. If the weather's decent we might head up that way on the 20th to catch sight of you docked in Invergordon!
  9. Just to calibrate expectations: on our recent Virgin Voyages cruise, 2 out of 3 excursions did not match the description. One did not start where it was supposed to and did not visit the landmarks called out in its description, the other was described as a "walking tour of ..." but in actuality was 3 hours of bus with 2 stops for photos and a shopping destination. Yes, there are ways that Viking could be even better, but they're already better than many.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. We have a Tempur-Pedic at home and have found the Viking mattresses to be perfectly comfortable.
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Imagine how useful this post would be if it included which ports were being replaced, or even which country they were in?
  18. 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"?
  19. This thread was a noble experiment, but doomed to failure.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Updated - I see you've already tried on the destination forum, so ingore this.
  23. I assumed that was a recording of a sea lion or walrus when I heard it on Jupiter last year.
  24. 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.
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