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PlanoTim

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  1. If the Costa Concordia had not drifted to the island of Giglio but rather sunk about an hour later, would that have greatly changed the loss of life? Is the estimate that it would have been better or worse?
  2. I agree, Pat. Who knows how things will be in 2022. I'm not sure the veranda furniture would fit through the door (it may), but the chairs probably stack. You'll probably be happy with the sunshine you will find on deck. I was more of a shade seeker and frustrated at times. Feel free to reply if you have any other questions. Tim
  3. Pat, We enjoy sea days too. I never felt that the ship was crowded on sea days. I can tell you that we were able to find deck space every time we tried. I like shade more and wish there was more space in shade on the upper decks, though. The lounge beds in the Lanai were usually occupied on sea days, but I usually prefer spaces that are more out in the air. I was able to spend some time in the Lanai during the Jamaica day when I chose to stay onboard. We spent some time on the Aquavit terrace (mostly in the sun), which was nice. There are also some loungers (mostly in the sun) and other comfy furniture on Deck 8 that we used. We were never bored on sea days. We were traveling with my three sisters and their spouses, so we had plenty of built-in entertainment. I can tell you that we enjoyed the trivia and the Name That Tune in the Explorer’s lounge on sea days. There were some wine/spirit tastings that were good. We also had a blast at the Kitchen Table. Check with the folks at guest services to arrange those. We did the “Caribbean” Kitchen Table experience on a sea day and thought it was well worth the fee. The Caribbean one isn’t done as much as the others (French, Italian?), so the chef had fun with it too. As for excursions, we enjoyed each one. We did the Trolley or Conch Train Tour in Key West. We rode the Trolley for maybe ¾ of the way and then got off and did our own thing as we ate and drank our way back to the ship. It was a fun day. In Cozumel we did the Salsa & Salsa excursion and it was really fun. We hung around the resort for a while after the Salsa & Salsa part was done and then they arranged for a cab to take us the short way back to the ship. Belize was lots of fun with the Sharks, Rays & Island Getaway excursion. We all had a blast. The tour operators were fun and we had good snorkeling with the rays and sharks. We even came away with all our body parts. The lunch on the island was nice, too. We arranged our own excursion with Radical Catamaran Adventures on Roatán. My review can be found here: Costa Rica was our major disappointment. We had planned the ATV Ride & Rain Forest Trek but the tour operator had equipment issues and had to cancel. We did the included tour in its place which was okay. In Panama the guys in our party did the Panama Canal by Ferry. It allowed us to see most of the canal and we enjoyed it. Our wives did the Emberá Indian Village visit. They liked it and all came back with some souvenirs and nice stories. The Jamaica excursion was the included Rose Hall Great House & Shopping. I wasn’t feeling 100% so didn’t bother going. I think it everyone else thought it was okay, but not great. We had considered doing our own (non-Viking) excursion, but never found anything that looked great. We’ve done resort day passes before but didn’t do one on this day. Please let me know if you’d like me to expand on any of these. I hope this helps some. Tim
  4. Hi, ClevelandKid. We did this cruise earlier this year (Jan/Feb). I don't really have time to compose a review, but I'd be happy to try and answer any questions you may have. Tim
  5. We just returned form a 14-day cruise. There were "chocolate" desserts on the menu in The Restaurant only about half of the days we ate there. And some of what was on the menu had chocolate in the name but wasn't very chocolaty, according to my wife. She thinks they should have something chocolate as part of the every-day menu. I guess you could ask for ice cream with chocolate sauce, but that doesn't do it for her. Our waiter graciously brought her the chocolate mousse from the room-service menu a time or two. She thought the texture wasn't as good as what it was on a previous cruise. Tim
  6. My wife and I, along with my three sisters and their spouses, booked a sail & snorkel excursion with Radical Catamaran Adventures in Roatán, Honduras. We didn't book a private excursion, but the 8 of us ended up being the only guests on the boat that day (late January). Our ship was anchored off Coxen Hole and we were on the first tender so we could get our day started. We were met just outside the port area and taken by van to Oakridge, partway down the island. The trip took about 45 minutes. The road was very smooth in some areas and kind of bumpy in others. It looked like a large repaving effort was under way. Captain Matt and his crew were ready to shove off once we arrived at the boat in Oakridge. We were welcomed to enjoy all the areas of the 48-foot catamaran. There is a large area under shade around the cockpit and plenty of lounging area up front in the sun. Once we were on our way Chena (our cook) had warm pineapple muffins for us as we made our way to Cow and Calf islands for snorkeling. We also enjoyed some freshly-made salsa & chips. It really hit the spot. The snorkeling equipment was in excellent shape and worked well for us. Chris, our guide, lead us as we snorkeled around the two small islands. The water was pretty clear and the temp was comfortable. Chris pointed out fish, sea urchins, coral, etc., as we snorkeled. We snorkeled quite a while and there was really a lot of colorful coral to be seen. We were offered an additional snorkel session, but opted to just lounge on the boat instead. In addition to bottled water and local sodas we were offered excellent pina coladas, rum punch, and a nice selection of Honduran beer. Not long after we were done snorkeling, our other crew member, Tie Tie, started grilling shrimp and chicken kabobs while Chena made the rest of our lunch - coconut rice, plantains, and a yummy cole slaw. Then for dessert we were offered delicious carrot cake and banana cake. We were stuffed. After lunch we enjoyed talking with the crew about life on Roatán as we cruised around. Eventually we returned back at the dock. The driver then took us back to Coxen Hole and dropped us off inside the port area. We arrived with plenty of time to do a little shopping and return to our ship. We really enjoyed our day on Spirit of Free Radical. The captain and crew were very welcoming and gracious. I highly recommend Radical Catamaran Adventures. This was our favorite excursion of our 14-day cruise. Tim
  7. We arrived in Miami on Viking Sky yesterday. It took less than 15 minutes to exit the terminal (Terminal J) once we departed the ship. We gathered our luggage and waited maybe 5 minutes behind just a few people to see the immigration/customs officers (there were 2). The one we went to reviewed our passports, asked us about how much we spent on items we were bringing back into the country, and then sent us in our way. We have Global Entry but I didn’t see any kiosks at all. Hope that helps some. Tim
  8. Yep, I hear ya. My wife is from Maine , so we are generally underwhelmed by lobster on cruise ships and many restaurants outside of NE.
  9. Viking Sky has been rocking and rolling some since my wonderful Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl last ni...I mean since we left Colon, Panama last night. One person in our party of 8 is a bit green around the gills. I hope I don’t chop off a finger at our cooking class at the Kitchen Table this morning. Maybe I should change into a red shirt. 😉 The seas are about the same today as we enjoy a sea day in the way to Montego Bay. Viking had a BBQ buffet by the pool last night for the game. It’s clear that Bergen isn’t located on the outskirts of Memphis. Having grown up near Kansas City, lived in Texas for 30+ years, and being a certified KCBS judge, I can tell you that they won’t win any awards for their ribs. But it was a nice attempt at a tailgate party for the game. If only they had a cruise-ship-sized smoker up on the Sports Deck somewhere. 😋
  10. We’re on Viking Sky and the cruise is going great. Weather and seas have been perfect. The cruise schedule has been as planned so far. You may have to drag me off when we get back to Miami. 😉
  11. That's great news! Thanks for checking on that. Viking Sky has left Cozumel and appears to be headed to Merida (Progreso). Tim
  12. I've heard a story of this on another cruise line, but not Viking. Have you heard of this happening on Viking Ocean?
  13. Thanks for correcting my understanding of the requirement, Chief. I appreciate you knowledge and your willingness to share it with us here. Tim
  14. I'm not a sailor and the captain has never asked for my help on the bridge...but I thought I've read posts by knowledgeable folks that if a ship has just one means of propulsion (like if Viking Sky had just one operational motor) then a tug would be used. The thinking is that if that one source of propulsion failed, then the ship would be out of control. Maybe someone with more knowledge than I have can answer better. Tim
  15. Check out this Cruise Critic article: Can You Watch the Super Bowl on Your Cruise? Hope that helps. Tim P.S. We are on the Viking Sky Panama Canal Cruise as well.
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