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About roothy123

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    photography, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania & Viking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Santorini is my favorite port, but suggest going out of Fira and exploring the island!
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    just pics, but see www.pbase.com/roothy123

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  1. Interesting, but are they close to Civitavecchia, or where?
  2. Please refresh my memory: on cruises that include an overnight in the embarkation port, is the safety drill likely to be done on the day after embarkation, maybe an hour or so before the ship departs? I know it's up to the Captain and not a set in stone time for all cruises, but what is most likely? I'm trying to plan my day in Rome. Also, just out of curiosity, I've been amusing myself by watching the progress and dock locations of cruise ships on Marine Traffic. Turning some of those megaships around in order to dock the way the captain wants to or must dock must be quite a feat. I'm now wondering how many exit doors (for placement of a gangplank) most cruise ships have, or in particular, how many Viking has - on both sides. Does anyone know? Also, do crew members use the same doors as guests, or is there a separate door for them, as I've seen on another cruise line?
  3. roothy123

    Included tours: is that it?

    Ocean cruises and river cruises are different. It's best to be open to a totally new experience. Personally, I have no problem with "panoramic" coach tours, but I don't immediately choose them just because they're included in the price of the cruise (for Viking, anyway; but usually $70 and up for a short panoramic tour on other lines we've used). I also don't immediately shun the included tours, as in some of the very large cities that ocean cruise lines often go to, anything else isn't really feasible. Some of Viking's included tours include a little bit of walking plus a larger bit of riding on a coach. It all depends. Although I'm not mobility challenged, I DO think it's nice that Viking provides coach tours in a number of ports, even if walking tours could be arranged.
  4. roothy123

    Question about length of time in ports

    I agree that the times in port are fairly standard compared to other lines, or at least compared to those on the 3 other lines we've used. However, Viking often does an overnight at least at the start or end of the cruise, which definitely gives you more time in that port, so I don't think they're being deceptive in making their "more time in port" claim. Early on, I took quite a few cruises where the embarkation/disembarkation ports really interested me, but then I learned that by the time I got to the city and to the ship, I wasn't able to go back out, so all I saw was scenery between the airport and the port. Of course, flying to the city early would have solved that, but back then my time and money situation usually kept me from doing that. So I have to admit that I like that overnight thing that Viking usually does, especially since many of the embarkation/disembarkation ports are ones in which it's not easy to go out and see the city once you're on the ship. Since those early days, I've learned to fly early and/or stay late, or both. I've also learned to do a lot of pre-planning, get up early on cruise ships, and do a lot on my own in a port that really interests me. It's not possible to see everything, but it's possible to see a lot! With that being said though, I HAVE heard at least one person say that Costa is one line where you need to worry about port times, as they frequently have shorter times than most cruise lines. However, I don't know if that's true or not. I DO know, however, is that from what I've seen, the larger, more popular lines tend to have more days at sea. That may be fine for some people, but I'd prefer to be in a port as many days as possible, and do my relaxing (or going to the spa, bar, casino, pool, doing activities, etc.) in the evening. We've had some itinerary times change a bit, but normally once the actual times are announced, they stay pretty much the same. Of course, the itineraries are usually made up years in advance, and aren't often the tried and true, back and forth and back and forth trips that many cruise liners make, so things are always subject to a little change. One other thing that may affect timing of itineraries is the size of the ship. Some of these huge new ships can go 26 knots an hour, which is a lot more than that of most or all medium and smaller ships.
  5. roothy123


    Thanks for that link, photopro2. I didn't even know Oyster had photos of cruise ships. It looks like the Explorers Lounge is pretty much intact.
  6. roothy123

    Chef's Table

    Thanks. Did you choose the menu first and then available days popped up, I assume? Do you remember if the menus were listed in the same order as the days in the cruise? If not, it's no big deal, but I like to space out my specialty restaurant reservations as much as I can so any info is helpful. Thanks for the info - very helpful. The salty menu looks great.
  7. roothy123

    Sardinia Cagliari

    Here are notes I have for the closest beach (Poetto): (hopefully links will work, if not try www.ctmcagliari.it and ask for Eng version) Poetto: CTM buses PF & PQ from Piazza Matteotti run at least every 30 minutes. 1€, 7 km, 15 minutes. Beach long; several stops. S end best because of view of headlands. Schedules from Via Roma & Matteotti, (but not sure which side of park) to Poetto: www.ctmcagliari.it/linee_orari.php… www.ctmcagliari.it/linee_orari.php… www.ctmcagliari.it/linee_orari.php… You'll see a little map. Cruise ships dock at the pier called "Molo Rinascita," to the left of where the buses come.
  8. roothy123

    Sardinia Cagliari

    I was thinking of going on a tour with Dirk, too. However, surprisingly, after much, much digging, I've found enough to do in our limited time in Cagliari (7 to 1:30, ugh!) to make me want to just explore the city and nearby areas. I want to see flamingos, but have had trouble nailing down just where they might be, and if they'll be there when we are (January; I know, it's weird!) Dirk says they likely will be there, but of course they ARE birds and will do and go where they want. I also want to see the salt pans, but at that time, it's possible they will be non-existent or covered up with tarps. I want to at least see Poetto beach (buses from Piazza Matteoti, maybe 10 minute walk from port; take euros for bus!) even though it will be deserted at that time of year. I want to see a lighthouse about 20 minutes' drive from the port. And of course, I want to visit the Bastione San Remy in the castello area of the city, plus the Santa Maria church in same area. I generally don't rush to look at churches, but this one looks pretty interesting (inside). There is a market, city walls, old churches, towers to climb, and a Roman amphitheater. The public transportation there looks great, although a bit confusing. There are scooter rentals and car rentals. If you'll be there longer than me, you may want to go see some old structures an hour from Cagliari (Barumini). There are murals in the town of San Sperate if you head north for 30 minutes. There's a food court in the shopping center not far from the port (La Rinascente). There's lots of interesting stuff in Cagliari and the rest of Sardinia, but I agree, there's not a lot of easily accessed info on it! Here's a link to webcams in Sardinia. You may have to search under "Sardegna", as I don't know if this link takes you directly to the webcam showing the small port in Sardinia. (View early in the morning; I believe Italy is 6 hours later than the East Coast of the U.S.) Here's link: skylinewebcams.com/en/webcam/italia/sardegna/cagliari/porto-di-cagliari.html= cam So for the person who posted about the shuttle: Would you happen to remember where it dropped you? Was it just outside the port, or near the big "Via Roma" road a little farther, or near a small park called Matteotti, where you can find a small tourist info center, plus public buses? Did the shuttle run fairly frequently and reliably? Free? Required or optional?
  9. roothy123

    Chef's Table

    Thank you for the Mexican menu. My Viking Journey lists only 4 sample menus, but the whole cruise is only 8 days, so maybe that's why! In any case, I'm glad they rotate every few days now. It was much less frequently when they started. I assumed the same sample menus would be listed for each cruise, but I guess not. Ours shows Asian Panorama, Route des Indes, Sweet and Sour, and Venice Carnival. I don't think we've had the latter two. The beef on Route des Indes was excellent, but some of the other little things on that menu were too oddball for me (picky eater). I remember a great shrimp appetizer on one menu that my husband and I both loved, but I forget which menu it was. I don't worry too much about which menu will be in rotation. For me, there's always something I don't particularly like, but there are several more things I do, so I just eat what I like and don't worry about the rest - which are usually just the amuse bouche - little taste teasers, not the main dish! Since there are only 4 menus listed for my cruise, does that mean those 4 are likely to be in rotation on our cruise, or are they really just sample menus, as the heading states?
  10. Oh sorry; just looked at the older thread cruisemom posted. Some great ideas in there, including at least one or two of the things I suggested above.
  11. If you're a cat lover, google the cat sanctuary within the ruins at Largo Argentina. If you're a lighthouse lover, google the lighthouse that's somewhere near Garibaldi Piazalle, which is basically an overlook. The lighthouse isn't a traditional by-the-sea one, and I think it was built in the 1900s, so not exactly old and 100% authentic. However, if you like lighthouses, it might be worth a trip. The huge building called Victor Emanuele Monument/Vitorianno (Altar of Fatherland, Patria) has an elevator (euro 7) at the back which goes to a viewing terrace. I think the view is supposed to be similar to the one you get from the aforementioned Campigdolio buildings. There's also the "Aventine keyhole" through which you can apparently see the Vatican and parts of Italy in one glimpse. I haven't been to any of these places, so can't say whether they are worth visiting or not. However, they sounded fairly interesting, so thought I'd post
  12. Thanks for the info on the Campigdolio buildings. I had already figured out, with much effort, where I needed to be to peer down at Palatine Hill - or at least I think I know! However, I had no idea when would be a good time to go. From your comment, I'm now thinking I'll go late afternoon.
  13. roothy123

    Riviera: Malaga

    I "saw" you on marinetraffic.com this morning, or maybe it was yesterday morning - Barcelona or Civitavecchia. Crowded wherever it was - you were sharing space with two other Costa ships and one or two other ships. I always search out the port websites of each port I'll be visiting, just to see where we'll likely be assigned and who we'll be with in port. Not all port sites show berth assignments, but when they do, I love it. Hope you enjoy Malaga - nice place.
  14. Honestly, I'd take Sitka over Juneau any day. Our day in Juneau was pretty miserable - nonstop rain and lots of wind. Missed ports are not all that uncommon, I'm afraid - for all ocean cruise lines. I just roll with the punches and don't expect any compensation.
  15. roothy123

    Viking Homelands - WIFI??

    Mostly I just use the computers near the Explorers Desk. They were almost always fast, considering that you're at sea, along with many other Viking cruisers with Wifi desires. I DID have trouble near and in Tromso, Norway (Midnight Sun cruise) - couldn't email a photo, using my laptop. But generally things have been good, sailing where I've sailed (Europe, Cuba & Florida). Hi Becki, and thanks Brenda and Becki, for giving me a reason to go into the laundry room. My husband can be found there, but I usually manage to avoid it. Now if reception is poor in my room, I'll head there instead.