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About badtwin

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    spokane wa.
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  1. Another slipper comment. I have no idea what kind of slipper Viking offers. My husband and I took slippers that were more of a house shoe if you know what I mean, (mine were hard-soled felt, his more of a moccasin) and wore them to breakfast and to shuffle up for the first cup of coffee from the machines or to the lounge when we were just cruising. It was nice to have something comfortable but entirely presentable. Don't worry, we wore real shoes to dinner.
  2. A warning about powders - including paprika - in carry-on bags.. Just returned from river cruise with last stop of Budapest where I bought lots of paprika for my friends and family. I was sort of surprised to get a question at airport on my international flight about POWDERS in my carry-on, which apparently includes paprika. Researched when I got home to discover that since June 2018, on inbound international flights, you are limited to 12 ounces or 350 ml of powders in your carry-on. SO if you bought lots, be sure it is in your checked baggage. Also, we found most places accepted euro (and even had prices posted in euro for those of us who are math deficient) and many gave it as change since it makes their calculation easier. Yes, you had an exchange rate penalty and you had to ask about the change issues, but we felt it was worth it to not deal with exchanging money for two or three days of nominal purchases.
  3. Salzburg was a significant bus ride on our cruise - like two hours each way. Just a factor to consider.
  4. It was 37 when we left the ship yesterday but a few degrees warmer today. The wind and frequent stops on tours make it feel colder. And we have had lots of rain. Not comp!ain'ing as we narrowly avoided a ship swap.
  5. We are currently on a Viking Cruise in Germany and it was cold today. Just a reminder to check your forecasts. We are very happy we brought gloves. A warm hat would have been nice. We are doing okay with layers, but lots of older cruisers are complaining about the cold. Be sure you bring enough warm items as well as rain protection.
  6. On Viking Grand European leaving Wurzburg this evening. We were told tonight most likely no ship change. Much happiness. Will post it that changes.
  7. Let me join with those who have expressed thanks to Notamermaid and the others who have contributed so much an so often the river level forums. I have followed them with great interest ever since we booked our cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest 6 or so months ago. We leave from Amsterdam on September 29, so are not unhappy to hear there is rain although sorry for those who are there now. I will hope for more - but only at night. And hope for enough rain over the next several weeks for all the cruisers to come. Thanks again for keeping us all posted on developments. I will raise a glass to you as we cruise up the Rhine - but maybe not the proposed cocktail - not a whiskey drinker. I am trying not to worry about that which I can do nothing.
  8. I appreciate this post although it is a little late for us. We take our first Viking river cruise in 50 days. Before we booked, we were seriously considering booking a second Mediterranean cruise on HAL. Then we got a Viking brochure in the mail with pricing we had never seen before for one of our bucket list cruises - the Grand European. I did a ton of research comparing ocean to river cruises and we felt we could accept those differences but I have to say I never really considered comparing the river cruise lines. I guess we watch too much Masterpiece Mystery on PBS and have seen too many ads. I was not really aware there were so many options. That said, I a still happy with our choice. Bikes would have been nice but we have located a few possibilities for rentals along the way. We plan to buy local snacks and wines in Amsterdam to fill the fridge for those times food is not offered. We rarely use exercise rooms on cruises as we focus on walking when traveling. We will miss a hot tub though. So I don't consider this post "Viking bashing" as much as useful information to those who are trying to decide among options and to be aware that there are other river cruise lines - they just don't advertise as much on American TV. Thanks to the OP
  9. Just wanted to mention a few others have said their Viking ship docked a little further away from Centraal in a more industrial area but that Viking ran shuttles between the Centraal area and the ship. I suppose it depends on the day you leave and other traffic. It did not seem like a big deal to those involved but nice to know so you aren't surprised. Our flight gets in around 8 a.m. We plan on dropping our luggage at the ship and heading out for a little shopping for some wine and nibbles for our room. We liked Albert Heijn, a local supermarket, just for the experience. Be aware there are little ones and bigger ones with more selection. Gall & Gall may have more upscale stuff. When we were there before we loved the canal tour. Do take care to watch the bike lanes if you go out sight seeing.
  10. Thank you for that response. Really excited to hear this is a possibility. I think we are going to get registered with one of the bike rental companies and load the app and then wait and see how the weather looks (I was thinking more of rain but good reminder about the wind) and see how we feel by that point in the cruise. I really don't want to skip the Abbey tour in Melk so we will have already done some walking.
  11. We are doing a Viking cruise with stops on the Danube of Melk in the morning and Krems in the afternoon. The ship takes about 2 hours, but has a 3-4 stop in Krems. The bike path is supposedly around 24 miles and mostly downhill. Would it be possible for us to bike on our own between ports? I know it is "possible" to rent bikes and ride one way. I was more wondering if Viking lets you skip sections of the cruise to travel on your own and if anyone else ever tired such a thing. Any advice would be appreciated.
  12. Not sure if this would be considered hijacking the topic but has anyone looked into renting bikes near the cruise port or otherwise in Vienna? There seem like several options in town but not sure what is close to the port. Also, for those who have been to Schonbrunn, any estimate on distance and what kind of walk it would be We will probably get a 24 hour transit pass to see things on our own but just wondering about distances.
  13. Thank goodness he at least had the robe! I am reminded when I first raised the idea of cruising, DH was hesitant because of the dress code. He wore a suit and tie to work five days a week and did not want to "dress up" on his vacation. We started with a Caribbean cruise and a more relaxed line. Two cruises ago, he bought a tux just to wear on cruise formal night. Turns out we both enjoy the routine of returning from a day seeing the sights, showering and dressing for dinner on our cruises. I will miss formal night on our upcoming river cruise but it will sure cut down on the luggage.
  14. We don't usually shop cruises so far in advance, but over eighteen months ago I found a HAL itinerary I really liked - a 13 night Mediterranean that included two stops in Malta and one in Ravenna Italy that were of particular interest. While we were still watching and waiting for the right deal, one of the Malta stops got changed to Naples which was disappointing. Then we booked something else and I quit watching but the other day got a price notice from a website that will not be named and had to check it out and noticed that Ravenna was gone from the itinerary. I checked and Ravenna was gone from the two or three HAL cruises we had been considering. Needless to say we are much relieved we had booked the other cruise as the most important port (to us) were no longer included. My question is if this is a frequent issue with HAL (or any other lines you know) or is it just a quirk on the route I was considering. As I said, we don't usually look for a cruise that far ahead of time, so maybe it is more common than I know. I can understand when weather conditions make it impossible to visit a port while on the cruise, but I never really considered that a cruise I booked could change quite that much after booking. Thanks for your insights.
  15. We had been planning our second HAL cruise for several months after absolutely loving our first experience. Then we got an offer for a river cruise (an amazing offer admittedly) and started really comparing the pricing - drinks, tours, transfers etc. Then I found this discussion when I asked about how the food compared. I can't say that the thought of the extra charge for another entree was the deciding factor, but it said something about the HAL experience I didn't like. We cruise for the ports, not all the on-board glitz. We like to come back to the ship after a day in port, shower and dress up, and enjoy dinner in the MDR. I pay enough for my wine - I shouldn't have to pay extra for food in the basic venues. So HAL, if you are reading this, you lost two cruisers who are fast approaching the age where two cruises a year will be likely. I will be watching this topic to see if we try HAL again or return to Celebrity.
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