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Everything posted by JDincalif

  1. We were Viking Sky passengers who remained onboard throughout the crisis until the ship reached Molde. Although we never met the author, reading the book we realized that we were in the same group in the atrium under the supervision of the cabaret singer. We found his account of the harrowing experience to be an accurate reflection of our own experience.
  2. Ellume + Azova is another antigen self test/video observation combination.
  3. NPR review title says that Kwak "...,turned a cruise ship ordeal into a metaphor - and memoir," so the book is not just a recounting of the facts of the emergency. Reading the entire book with this understanding will provide answers to these questions.
  4. We're not exactly thrill-seekers but even with us there are those *moments* within gratifying travel experiences (yet another queue, yet another delay as examples) that we'd classify as boring. We've read the entire book with great pleasure, which helps place such excerpts in clearer context. The author elaborates, "Once accustomed to the dopamine hit that a new locale brings each day, your brain begins to take the novelty for granted. You develop a sudden aversion to the mundane. I did, anyway."
  5. A relationship with a reputable travel agent can have benefits far beyond bookings and pricing - for example, when things go wrong, During the Viking Sky emergency, Viking representatives were naturally overwhelmed addressing concerns and arrangements for the 900+ passengers. We were anxious about not getting information about our return home and (forgetting the time difference after the ordeal) sent an SOS to our TA. She got up in the middle of the night to investigate, negotiate, confirm, and call us with all the details. Earlier in the emergency, the TA met personally with our family at home to answer questions and facilitate communication among us, with our travel insurer, and with Viking.
  6. Spoiler alert... Given that, in response to Mr. Hagen's generous offer, the author writes, "There's no way in hell I'm setting my foot on another cruise ship," we suspect that we'll have to buy the book for ourselves.😉
  7. Perhaps a little literary license. A few hours into the emergency he writes, "Hell, I’d give anything to go back to the boredom of just a few hours ago."
  8. The author has also posted a Spotify playlist to accompany the book - selections include a little Greig along with more contemporary works. http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2021/06/chaney_kwaks_pl.html
  9. Thanks, OTJ, for bringing this book to our attention. How fortunate we are that such a gifted writer both chronicled our harrowing experience and set it into a broader perspective.
  10. Thanks, OTJ! Just purchased and downloaded the Kindle version, and oh how the chills and memories are flooding back.
  11. In November 1999 Renaissance ran an ad in the LA Times offering a 15 night voyage from Istanbul to Barcelona starting at $499/pp two months later (due to cancellation of a middle east itinerary). Renaissance had a great reputation for its small informal non-smoking ships; the bargain price sealed the deal.
  12. Appreciate your sharing the link - interesting information and photographs. 6092 is indeed under the 'wings' but on the port side of the ship.
  13. We were in 6090 on the Viking Sky and never noticed noise from the cafe above.
  14. We enjoyed staying at the Radisson Blu. It's right in Bryggen, within easy walking distance of ships, sightseeing and good food. The design of our upgraded room echoed the historic architecture surrounding us. Breakfast was first rate (as is often true in Norwegian hotels - they really do compete for the title of "Best Breakfast in Norway"). We hope to stay there again when we return to Bergen.
  15. Here's to us all - long may we thrive and soon may we travel!🤞🏼
  16. When we used it a year ago, the official frequency was about every 45 minutes, but due to traffic or other undisclosed issues it was usually an hour.
  17. Impulse buy. Had been intrigued by the Renaissance Cruise Line reputation for appealing casual ambience (and strict non-smoking policy, uncommon at the time). Late in 2000 saw a newpaper ad for a 15 day Renaissance cruise between Istanbul and Barcelona with stops in Greece, Malta, Italy and France, starting at $499/pp, departing about two months hence, and booked it immediately. The weather was good, sites like the Vatican, the Parthenon and the Uffizi uncrowded, and the ship was the best hotel/mode of travel I'd ever experienced.
  18. Another thing to consider is that, with any cruise, weather or other conditions may result in a port being skipped, so there's no guarantee that a cruise including Key West will actually get to stop there. Agree with those who suggest visiting Key West for several days to fully savor the pleasures of the place. Hope that you'll be able to make both dreams come true - yours and your mother's.
  19. Thanks everyone for the info on the RFI and the tips regarding how to write good responses. We will take a look at the questions and try to give coherent answers.
  20. Hello all and to our buddy, On The Journey, or OTJ as we call him on the Viking Sky disaster forum. Janet and I were on the Viking Sky when it hit the bomb cyclone - or rather, the cyclone hit us on March 23, 2019. We were in our cabin when the mayday was called. The ship seemed to have tilted over 45 degrees and I was thrown out of the bed on on to the floor. The walk down to our station was nearly impossible as the ship was tilting very violently. After we arrived at our muster station in the main dining room the ship rocked backward (to us), toward starboard I believe - correct me anytime OTJ - water poured in through a broken window on the other side of an interior wall that was just behind where we were sitting. The wave that came in was 4-5 feet deep and of course came in with tremendous intensity. Fortunately the thin interior wall was enough to break the force of the wave and we, on the other side of the wall, had about 2 feet of water to deal with. One lady who was on the wave side of the ship was swept under water and pinned under some furniture. She was found and rescued by other passengers including her husband. We were then evacuated from that muster station and moved to the atrium where we were to stay on the wet carpeted floor in our life jackets for more than 24 hours until we were towed to Molde. We were among approximately half the passengers who who were not air lifted off of the Sky. When we reached the port of Molde half of the city turned out to welcome us and many were waving signs and home made banners welcoming us and assuring us that we were safe now. The crew did their best to clean the cabins and when we were allowed back to our cabin we saw that several pieces of furniture were completely broken as was the closet door. The staff picked up what clothing they could from off of the floor and placed it on the bed. A room service supper was prepared and if I recall it consisted if a cut up frankfurter, a few french fries, some lettuce and maybe a couple of cookies for desert. We got in touch with our TA who was up most of the night tracking our situation and learning when we were to disembark the ship and what travel arrangements Viking had made for our return back to California. We are so grateful to the crew and staff of the Viking Sky for taking care of us. They were so encouraging and calming. We could see once in a while during their private moments how scared they were as well. They were and are our heroes. The owner and CEO of Viking, Torstein Hagen, flew to Molde to meet with the passengers and at a communal gathering that evening he announced that Viking was going to provide a free cruise to all passengers as well as an all expense paid cruise on the initial voyage of the Viking Venus from Rome to Barcelona in January 2021. With Covid 19 happening now we don't know the status of the initial voyage nor if we want to subject ourselves to the dangers of the disease. So we will just have to wait and see. We returned to Norway in September last year and traveled by land and, yes, by sea. We took a Hurtigruten ferry for three days around the fjords and a bit out to the sea where our Viking experience took place. We walked a few miles from where the Sky nearly crashed into the rocks and where a small freighter that tried to come to our rescue did crash and 14 sailors had to be air lifted from the ocean to safety - all survived. We saw the world from a different perspective and we have learned to hug our lives and to hug all those lives who mean so much to us.
  21. We took an Oceania cruise that included Greenland, with two stops scheduled in Tasiilaq and Qaqortoq and one day transiting Prince Christian Sound. Fog can be a real concern, responsible for cancelling the Tasiilaq visit, and the Sound transit was iffy almost up to the last minute until the fog lifted. We enjoyed the stark beauty of the sound. In Qaqortoq we hiked and explored the town on our own, enjoying firsthand experience of the local people and culture. There were tours available for exploration, fishing, and other sports if one has specialized interests or a higher need for excitement. That same cruise included the Iceland ports of Reykjavik and Akureyri. Absolutely astonishing scenery throughout and only wish we'd had more time to go further afield. Highly recommended.
  22. 211 or 321 or 415... Original 2021 plan followed by 2020 bookings that had to be postponed.
  23. Thanks OTJ. Next comes the carpets and drapes!
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