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Everything posted by FoggyEthan

  1. Think of the Viking that you deal with before the cruise, and the Viking that you deal with on the cruise, as being separate companies. (cause they are) A few days before the cruise, the pre-cruise Viking locks your files and transfers them over to the on-cruise Viking. At that point, nothing can be changed until you board and interact with on-cruise Viking.
  2. Lemons out of lemonade. If you dock at Marghera, consider a trip to Padua. There's also Villa Foscari just minutes outside Marghera. If you have to go to Trieste, or Monfalcone I read which is near Trieste, then go see Trieste and save yourself the long trip. Or take a long road trip up into the Dolomites (aka the Italian Alps) and visit Belluno, stopping at Conegliano. Or it's less than 1.5 hours to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia which Rick Steves raves about. He also recommends a lot of other sites in Slovenia that are quite close by, including the cute waterfront town of Piran. Slovenia is in the Schengen zone, so you can drive from Italy to Slovenia without encountering immigration or customs. Venice is saying it has enough tourists. These other places want your visit.
  3. Yes exactly. My attempt at an "art" photo. 8-) -- Ethan
  4. The album is ready, if anyone wants to be reminded why they travel: https://photos.app.goo.gl/7Hb3dXu39R83jvvz7
  5. I know I've let myself fall behind on this thread, but thought I'd share a photo from a month ago.
  6. Not mentioning any one, but of course all discussion about the perceived Covid safety of a mask on the table are totes against the CC rules in the big RED box we've all seen.
  7. Has anyone else experienced a problem with the diesel smell when in the pool area behind Aquavit? Our balcony was aft and sometimes we smelled it on the balcony. That back pool deck would also have some black soot that I'm sure was frequently cleaned up. Maybe it was just our weather patterns preventing the smoke from going up. -- Ethan
  8. We did this private option: https://arcticshorex.com/tours/seydisfjordur-fljotsdalur-valley/ It was very nice and very pretty. We paid for an extra hour so that we would not be rushed. Even a second extra hour would have been nice.
  9. Even when it worked it was flawed. The dining menus were incomplete. And it had no info about arrival and departure times at the port, no "last call aboard" info. It seems like iPhone users had almost all of the big problems. It mostly worked for me on my Android phone. But the WiFi would simply go out on the ship -- your phone would be connected to the WiFi but it would say "no internet" -- and then the app would not be able to update or take a health survey.
  10. Just walk up to the planetarium when a film is showing and ask if you can join. There were always no-shows. Since it's free, people sign up casually.
  11. I would guess that it's a second round of vaccines for the crew. It's definitely time, and it's not like they've been able to go ashore anywhere to get them on land. By bringing them by boat you can guarantee that proper conditions are maintained, and also avoid complicated immigration/customs rules by avoiding commercial shipping.
  12. Mine was never visible (in my pocket) and no one said anything.
  13. The weather forecasts were always wrong about the wind (July 13-20), which was always stronger than they warned. But the rain forecast was reasonable.
  14. Wow! On the July 13th cruise (arriving a day early) we saw the sun literally only for a day and a half. Just in the eastern fjords. While it was never cold, it was never warm. And some days had strong wind. So I packed "all the things" from my REI visits, and I used every one of them. I guess the lesson for people packing is that literally any weather combo is possible so pack for all of them, unless you want to hide on the ship if it's blustery and wet.
  15. In our experience, although much of it is smooth, there are some bumps especially around the edges. So slide your feet forward and you should be fine. In some of the less used parts there will be this slimy build up, which grossed me out at first but then I realized it's just the silica minerals.
  16. I really do think like the Golden Circle is not optional, from my personal perspective. It's such a great collection of places. I am in *complete* agreement about not recognizing crew members. I would get so many "Good Evening Mr. Ethan"s and I would always struggle to remember the person behind the mask. For the spit test, I moved the tube to the sink so I wouldn't mistakenly brush my teeth before using it. A trick to help get the saliva flowing is to use the tip of your tongue to tap on the soft squishy area below your middle lower teeth, right in the center of the jaw. It's a salivary gland and tapping it gets it going. The contact tracer was easy -- I removed the lanyard and shoved it in a pocket. Perhaps this is easier with male clothing rather than female. No one ever asked me to prove that I had it. The reason I'm only catching up with old posts now is that the WiFi on board was so terrible that I gave up trying to read the boards. Don't rely on it. If you can get an international plan for your phone, it's worth it. I couldn't believe that I had signal when we were so far from land that I could barely see it. Even on the top of the glacier in the Day 2 tour.
  17. On our sailing (July 13) that Beluga Whale excursion was cancelled and the center was closed that day. We arrived on a Monday, which is normally their day off. I'm not sure if that will be resolved for future sailings.
  18. Here's the wine list (July 10-17). Also just an FYI but the chef at Chef's Table said the same three menus would stay in the rotation for now, i.e. Asian Panorama, Scandinavian, and Californian.
  19. airbnb works very well in Reykjavik. Cheaper than hotels and better options.
  20. We did the tour and it was fine. It is normal for cruise lines to mark up excursions by 75% or more. Independent is always much cheaper.
  21. Djup really has amazingly beautiful hiking, with lots of birds, but it is longer than many would probably like (7 miles) and the footing is difficult. I didn't even know about it until I noticed a stick stuck in the ground with yellow paint on the top, and then realized they were lined up. Hopefully you can find better info on it in the TI. I really can't recommend it highly enough, if you can do it. At least it's almost entirely flat. But the footing...
  22. Hopefully this will be the end of local panic about an on-board case. Sky (3rd sailing) missed 3 stops, Jupiter (1st sailing) missed 1.
  23. I think that we will know a lot more tomorrow. If we (Jupiter) are allowed to disembark in Seydisfjodur, then there's some hope that things will improve. If not, then it's clear that a lot of cruises will skip a lot of ports. If Viking has to frequently cough up 50% vouchers, then future cruises may not run, so let's hope they convince the many Icelandic governmental entities to permit us entry tomorrow. And let's hope they convince the weather to improve. 8-)
  24. The key is that the health authorities are acting sanely, but the coast guard and local officials appear to not have been convinced in advance and are now acting on fear. Hopefully it can be smoothed out for us (Jupiter) and future cruisers.
  25. For those looking for a quick summary: Sky arrived this evening in Reykjavik, although it was scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning. Passengers were ultimately unable to explore the final 3 ports because of a positive test. No passengers were allowed off in Reykjavik upon arrival. The expectation is that everyone will be permitted off in the morning. Jupiter arrived this morning in Akureyri, but because of a positive test result not passengers were permitted off. It was announced that someone came on board to randomly PCR test passengers, but we do not know the outcome. Upon departure it was announced that the Coast Guard will let us disembark at the next port of call, but there are many ways that this could still go wrong, so I'm not raising my hopes yet. -- Ethan
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