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About K9pal

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Southern Indiana
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    Reading, gardening, traveling, baking, dogs
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    wherever I am!

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  1. Viking river and Viking ocean are apples and oranges, IMO. LOVED both, but for different reasons. I am social and love to meet others, and the river cruises seem more geared towards that simply because of the smaller number of people, and the dining together at the same time. But I also enjoyed having a choice of dining venue. And I thought the food was better on the ocean cruise. I hate lines, so it's nice on the river to be able to walk on and off the boat. On and off the ship (ocean) requires security checks, which are a real drag. That being said, the only other line we ever encountered was the line for gelato every day on the World Cafe 🙂 . I like the compactness of the river boats. I love the free spa facilities on the ship. But I love the Viking experience overall, no matter whether it's river or ocean!
  2. We took the cruise because Italy was on our bucket list. Marseille - I'd skip it if I had to do over. We just weren't all that impressed with what we saw, and we didn't have a great guide. However, we were quite impressed with Monte Carlo. Corfu and Croatia weren't even on our radar, but they were all stunningly beautiful! We just did the included tours, but we are booked on another Med cruise in 2021 that also includes Dubrovnik and Split, and we are anxious to visit again and do something different. Would have loved to walk the walls in Dubrovnik, but we were tired and it was about $30usd each - money we didn't want to spend to ruin our knees for the rest of the cruise 😉. We talked to some others who did the Krka waterfall excursion and said it was gorgeous.
  3. We saw gorgeous blue skies almost every day, lots of green everywhere. And of course, palm trees!
  4. We just returned from the Med Odyssey, 3/14-3/26, Barcelona to Venice. Weather was just beautiful, gorgeous blue skies and in the upper 50's to mid/high 60's. We did have gusty winds on the night we sailed out of Barcelona, which made things a bit rough during the night. There was a storm another night, and some high winds for a couple of hours. Otherwise very smooth sailing. I would highly recommend going during this time as the tourist season is just starting, so the crowds are much lower. Rome was still quite crowded, but school was out for a holiday on the day we were there.
  5. The Vatican would have been included, but it was closed on the day we were there. So they substituted other sites instead.
  6. Just returned from our Mediterranean Odyssey on the Viking Star, have to say our tour of Rome with Italy Tours was one of the highlights of our cruise! We had 8 people in our group (one full van). The driver picked us up at the port at the specified time in a Mercedes van and we were off to the Colossuem. There we were met by a fantastic local guide who gave us an in depth tour of the Colosseum and surrounding sites. She had a large notebook full of illustrations that helped give us an idea of life in ancient Rome. Afterwards we were met once again by the driver, who took us to several other points of interest around the city in addition to a bit of free time. It was a fascinating and full day, and we got more than our money's worth in my opinion. I'm so glad we decided to do this instead of the shore excursion offered by the cruise line, and would not hesitate to book them again. Plus when we got home, I had a 'thank you' email with a request for feedback. Great company!
  7. Zitsky, several of our MO optional excursions sold out quickly - Evening gondola ride (Venice), Historic Religious sites (Marseilles), and Krka National Park. If any of those are 'must do's' for you, I'd consider setting your alarm to get up and be ready to book when your booking window opens.
  8. On our November river cruise, we had only the duvet - no top sheet. Never saw our steward (actually, stewardS, as we were on 3 different boats due to swapping).
  9. All the different experiences mentioned are interesting. We were on our second river cruise in November, received an invitation in our cabin for the Explorer gathering. It was very nice - open bar, appetizers, intro to the staff and captain, thank you speeches, and a shot of Aquavit for toasting. Got back to the room and had 2 logo shot glasses as a gift! Also got to select a free gift from a mailing shortly before we left.
  10. I just looked at our shore excursion details, and there is no mention of a tasting. However, I can't imagine that you would go to a winery and not get a tasting. And it does indicate this tour includes a 'snack'
  11. Dauntless gave you the same info on the ItalyTours that I have. On the day we are there the Vatican is closed, so we have been told they will fill the extra time in however we want. They will meet us at the ship with an 8 person tour van. The cost is $99 euros plus the Colosseum tour which is an add'l $24 Euros (skip the line tickets). The ship tour for the full day is $199 USD, so we are still saving $$, and have a much smaller group (no more than 16 people per guide). We can cancel with a full refund right up to 24 hrs in advance I believe, and they are VERY responsive to all questions. While I haven't been on any tours with them yet, I can say that so far I am very impressed. They also get high ratings on Tripadvisor.
  12. Yes, the ship actually docks in Civitavecchia, not Rome. According to our shore excursion offerings for our March cruise, the HIghlights of Rome tour leaves at 7:45am and returns at 6:15pm. Only one time is offered. We are choosing to do the Rome tour with ItalyTours instead. It also leaves at 7:45am and is an 8 hour tour, but a smaller group, more sights included and less $$. Is that the tour group you were looking at? They also offer private tours at a higher cost, but we are doing one with others from the ship (8).
  13. We are thinking of ordering this hanging organizer for our upcoming cruise, due to lack of drawer space. Anyone think it would be worth it? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001QMPK1K/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A2RH9U3QZZ2Q1Y&psc=1
  14. We have only been on Viking River (VO coming up in March!), but we've noticed a great mix of ages and interests. On our November VRC cruise we had young (20's), old (fellow celebrating his 90th birthday), gay, several races and nationalities. All had a great time and felt accepted, and made for a great cruise with many interesting people.
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