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About Krisval

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Fountain Hills, Arizona
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  1. The advice to search elsewhere is a good idea. That being said, I’ll quickly share an experiences we’ve had. Barcelona- a walking tour of Fountains and courtyards. Excellent guide- very engaging, assessed our small group and adjusted accordingly. One couple in our group left their camera in a cab and the guide did everything possible to help them get it back- called the cab company, asked other drivers to call, etc. So A+ as a guide and as someone who went out of his way to help. We did have another “Locals” guide in France (sorry I don’t have the specifics). There were only 4 people on the tour and the guide did a reasonable job, but wasn’t as engaging as our person in Barcelona. We will continue to use Tours by Locals for tours of particular neighborhoods and such, but for the “bucket list” sites we are more likely to go with a vetted tour guide/company.
  2. It’s the record used for a number of purposes. In terms of checking in, typically when you enter the cruise terminal you drop off your luggage and go to desks for checking in. Present your passport and proof of reservation (your cruise booklet counts) and Viking will scan the passport, take your picture (sometimes they just use your passport picture for their records), and check you in. There may be a form to complete about recent contagious diseases, though depends if something has been going around in any of the countries you will visit. Only takes a few minutes and you’re off to board the ship. If it’s too early to board the ship or you’d rather go out to the city, you can drop your luggage off (tags attached) and go explore. This describes our general experience on ocean cruises. Check in on river tends to be at a kiosk area next to the boat. The same general procedure takes place.
  3. Supplies of all kind (cleaning, dishes, equipment, uniforms, and more). We’ve seen some of the containers being loaded onto the ship while in port- amazing amounts needed to provide the great experience we enjoy.
  4. I think half the storage of the ship is filled with umbrellas! I’m sure some are left on buses up in the rack above the seats or at some restaurant on shore. There are plenty for everyone. And, they are quite large so if you and your partner want to share one, that can work, too.
  5. Good advice- hardly need any stress In the morning/afternoon. Also, if it’s going to rain, take along along folding umbrella (remember to pack one or two) or pick up a Viking umbrella as you leave the ship. Note that the Viking umbrellas are large. We take magnets with us on the cruise and I put the tickets for the day on the wall with one of the magnets (the walls are metal). I also post the Viking Daily for that day on the wall as I usually end up sifting through all of them to find the one I want.
  6. I got both online and had no problems. My husband and I each received an email within a short time with confirmation and info. Both are automatically linked to your passport, though I will carry the documentation (email confirmation) with me.
  7. In our original booking documents there is a page with the schedule for arrival and departure for each port. I don’t know that the same info is in the cruise booklet, but you can go back to your booking material and find the listing. Hope that helps.
  8. Supercool! That would be such an amazing gift! We’ve been on a fair number of Viking river and ocean cruises with 4 more booked- I’d love to get that kind of surprise, as many of you would, too! Our December cruise around Australia and New Zealand will include our 35th wedding anniversary (along with my cousins celebrating their 39th). We will have a grand time no matter which cabin we have! Thank you, Viking, for these random acts of kindness! Just another example of quality.
  9. Agree with lackcreativity, night before you disembark you tag your luggage with tags provided Viking (coded by color for loading into appropriate bus), unloaded at the airport at the terminal for you flight. You take your luggage in, check it, and get boarding pass, if you don’t already have it. We’ve had some great assistance at the airport- Viking staff in the terminal directing people to the appropriate area for check in, assisting with tags, everything up to the point where you go through security.
  10. Easter was a blowout affair in terms of decorations of chocolate, but nothing religious in decorating. There was a service in the theater and a passenger who was a minister gave a brief talk and the cruise director had a wonderful talk. We sang a few hymns. Our group of 8 brought table decorations (no chicks or bunnies!) and had them on our dining room table at dinner. Many of the crew and passengers thanked us, which was unexpected and very nice. We will board the Australia/NZ cruise on December 27 and will celebrate the New Year with everyone. I’m expecting a pretty good “show” of activities on New Year’s Eve and maybe a special poolside brunch on Jan. 1. It’s our 35th anniversary on January 1, so we will be celebrating all day. Let’s have a toast at dinner!
  11. I use the laundry service about every other day- not included in our PV room, but I can’t stand to have dirty laundry around. Plus, the cost is minimal compared to the cost of time to use the machines (other things I’d rather do and laundry service comes back folded or on hangers). I can also just send things out to be pressed- the irons in the laundry room are sometimes finicky about heat (too hot or not enough) and previous users have sometimes scorched something on the bottom of the iron. As said by the others, we leave the laundry bag/bags 🙀 on the bed in the morning and the cabin steward picks it up as s/he cleans. I’ve been seen walking briskly down the hall (no running in the halls!) to hand another bag of laundry to our cabin steward. Doesn’t take long for them to figure out to leave 2 bags in the room.
  12. Krisval

    NZ eTA

    I, too, had problems with the NZ website last night, but was able to access this morning and complete for my husband and I. So, are y’all on the December cruise with Viking?
  13. As stated above, yes you can leave the group, but be sure the guide knows you are leaving. Check your Viking Daily so you know the time you must be back on the ship. Also take the Viking Daily with you for the docking address or pick up a small card from the excursions desk for a card to carry with you. This comes in very handy if you take a cab back to the ship- you can hand the card to the cab driver and there should be no issue with language differences or giving directions back to the ship.
  14. We have reserved the private dining room by Manfredi’s on a number of our cruises. We usually travel with 8-10 in our party, so it’s a nice place for us to go for a special occasion. Our travel agent makes the reservation in advance of our cruise. I will say that on our last cruise the service we had in the private room was pretty poor: inaccurate orders, food preparation was way below the usual high standard, and the server just could not get the wine order correct (I believe she wasn’t familiar with the wines and also may have had a little difficulty with English). That being said, we will reserve again when we have a sufficient number of people to justify using the room.
  15. My husband never wears jeans (grew up at a time when jeans were a sign of poverty), so his Restaurant attire is slacks and a nice shirt- usually long sleeve button down collar, no jacket. I like to be more dressy, but have worn white denim slacks that don’t have traditional jean stitching- never been questioned. Our traveling group has “themes” for many nights, so that dictates our evening attire (all within the guidelines of the code).
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