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About drcpa

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. Well put and I couldn't agree more. And you've touched on another one of those comparisons that I don't think is relevant, specifically such things as massage rooms and gyms. These features often come up to defend/explain "why I love XXX over Viking". To this day, I have never seen a single person using a river cruise gym or salon.
  2. Many thanks to those who point out the fallacy of using passenger count as a way of ranking, rating, and defining cruise lines. A common theme in this forum is the definition of Viking River as a middle-of the road line because of these self-serving metrics. (That, and as people have pointed out, the ongoing insistence by some that although they've never been on Viking they are comfortable criticizing the experience.) Using the headcount model, I'd insist my Times Square Olive Garden is better than your Brooklyn based Peter Luger Steak House because Luger's has 32 extra people in it at the time. Either that, or my sedan with 2 people is twice as good as your Rolls Royce with 4 people. My last river cruise was on AMA and the last thing anyone thought of was how spacious and luxurious it was, particularly compared to Viking. In fact, I would suggest no one goes from Viking to AMA with the feeling "finally, a unique, upgraded experience with more room and service". If anything, by adding ill conceived and ill designed booths at the front of the dining room the AMA room seemed noticeably cramped with narrow walkways for the staff and guests. You're welcome to like or not like Viking (although many of us remain troubled by the "never travelled with them, but let me give you my opinion"), but please stop using the space per passenger trope as a way of expressing your opinions.
  3. That is one hellacious story, perfectly explained, and I am so sorry you are in this predicament. You raise an interesting question I had not thought of, that is whether Viking was acting in the role of a travel agency. I imagine (and I am not defending them, just thinking out loud) they see themselves as a cruise line and travel provider/middle man, but not an agency. My travel agent sent me a document headed IMPORTANT INFORMATION in upper case, red, bold faced, underlined type which begins, "You are scheduled to travel outside the United States which will the require the use of either a Passport and/or Visa. You are solely responsible to make certain your travel documents meet the following criteria". Not to beat this death, but it lists 4 criteria; reservation name matches Passport, Passport expiration date at least 6 months following return date, VISA requirements/instructions, and requirements to provide agency with the above information. It closes with **Failure to follow any of the above criteria is the sole responsibility of the client** And the agency accepts no responsibility...on behalf of the client. And no refunds can be given for unused travel which result from delays or disruptions due to missing or incomplete travel documents. If Viking was acting on your behalf as your travel agent then they let you down by not providing what I was provided.
  4. I’m not trying to be sarcastic, just trying to better understand the trajectory and history of this thread. Did someone comment on a 5+ year old anti-Viking post thus bumping it back to current status? Sent from my iPad using Forums
  5. Perfect idea. Much thanks for the tip. Winchester it is!
  6. My bad. I promised myself I wouldn’t make that mistake and made it anyway. I’m hoping now the cruise leaves out of Amsterdam, Netherlands and not Amsterdam, New York.
  7. Let me say at the outset that I realize this is a minor, first world issue and I write this good naturedly knowing that preliminary cruise information can change at any time up to (and even after) a cruise begins. I am booked on Viking's October 6 Amsterdam to Catalonia cruise. The ship docks at Plymouth, England on day 4. Over the last year I've been looking at the Viking cruise site that includes shore excursions. The Plymouth itinerary shows the included Plymouth tour as well as 12 other tours; Salisbury and Stonehenge Exbury Gardens and Lyndhurst Beaulieu, National Motor Museum & New Forest Bombay Sapphire & Laverstoke Mill Historic Winchester and Its Glorious Cathedral Mystic Stonehenge Panoramic London Kayaking in the Bealieu River Journey along the Watercress Line Fly in a Vintage Warbird Somerley Estate Hovercraft Ride and Osborne Estate https://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/cruise-destinations/multi-region/amsterdam-to-catalonia/index.html#itineraryday/4 I've spent all year considering my options, comparing Salisbury to Winchester, considering a trip into London, wondering if I had the guts to strap into a Spitfire, and generally contemplating each excursion (I mean who doesn't like Bombay Sapphire?). To my surprise, after all this (fun) planning I go into my actual Viking account to find there are only 2 shore excursions that day, Plymouth and Winchester. No London, no Spitfires, no Bombay Gin, no Salisbury, and no Stonehenge. The reason? We are only in Plymouth half a day and the rest of the activities take too long. Is my life ruined, is my cruise ruined? Of course not, but I sure do wish Viking had done a better job in their cruise excursion descriptions and in setting expectations.
  8. I've always thought of myself as a sympathetic person, but perhaps I'm not as sympathetic as I'd like to think. It seems that lately every travel forum/blog/help me site I read has the same story. I've booked a vacation and while well aware of travel company policies and urged to take travel insurance I opted not to purchase it. (Read: Not pay for it and save money. Aren't I the smart, frugal one?) Now, due to some family/work/health/weather/logistics reason I can't take my trip. And now, to my surprise and consternation, the cruise/travel/airline/hotel/transportation company is not sympathetic to my predicament. All I want (depending on each passenger's story and ask) is that they return my money, give me a full refund, bend the rules, defray the cost of my lost bags, let me travel at another more convenient time, let me select another passenger, or have the travel company just fill my place with someone else, thus making everyone whole. Really, how hard is it to fill my now empty cabin? Essentially, all they need to do is to listen to how sad my story is and pretend I had purchased the travel insurance. How mean can some companies be?
  9. Don’t mean to pile on here, but the Anne Frank House is so popular (and is undergoing renovation) they no longer even have same day sales. You actually cannot get in a line (no matter how long) to purchase tickets. All tickets must be pre-purchased online prior to arrival. This policy is through July, 2018 and will probably become permanent. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  10. I’m reminded of the Yogi Berra quote, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
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