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WisRiver

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About WisRiver

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Summer/Minnesota Winter/Yucatan
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Transatlantic

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  1. The availabilty of the abridged New York Times depends in part with the ships location. If you are in Europe the NYT might not be available until lunch because of the six hour time difference with New York. They also offer four page news summaries for Britain, Spain, Canada, Holland and I think Australia and France. The papers are usually available at guest services. My experience is based on European and South American cruises. Asia could be totally different.
  2. We like to book a Neptune for the cabin choice. We are on the Eurodam for a family cruise to Alaska later this year. We like the aft wrap around cabins, and these are only available as a Neptune. We like some of the perks, breakfast in the Pinnacle and hors d'oeruvres in our cabin at 5. But for us, its the cabin on certain cruises.
  3. Last year we took the overnight ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki and spent several days in Helsinki. We then took the train to St. Petersburg, did several days of sightseeing in St. Petersburg and then got on the train to Moscow. Each train ride was a high speed train and took about 4 hours. It was not a cruise, but the train trips were interesting. Except for the St. Peters Line ferry between St. Petersburg and Helsinki, I do not think any cruises start or end in St. Petersburg. If you want to start in Norway, there is frequent daily high speed train service between Oslo and Stockholm.
  4. We winter in Chicxulub Puerto near Progreso. While it is an interesting place, there is almost no surface evidence of the impact crater. Evidence of the crater was found in oil explorations of the 1950's and can be seen in satellite pictures. Chicxulub Puerto has a small central square, and in past years I have met cruisers looking for directions to the impact crater. The Yucatan is wonderful place, and the meteor helped to shape the geography.
  5. Last year we did both a Holland America Cruise and Viking River Cruise. We did a transatlantic from Fort Lauderdale to Rome on the Koningsdam and then a 21 Viking River Cruise from Bucharest to Amsterdam. We were on the Longships Aegir and Baldur which had a maximum capacity of 190 persons vs. the 2800 passengers on the Koningsdam. We enjoyed all of the ships we were on, but the experiences were totally different. The Viking River food was comparable to the HAL food. We like HAL food (we are 4* Mariners), and tend to eat most meals in the Lido. Breakfast and Lunch on the Viking are buffet style. For breakfast you can have eggs cooked to order, and they have good fresh baked goods. We ate most of our breakfasts and lunches on the upper deck at the Aquavit Terrace which has a smaller menu than the dining room. However the view from the Terrace was great. The Viking menu tended to be more Scandinavian. Beer and wine were served with every meal. I do not remember seeing big slabs of meat, although there is steak on the menu almost every evening. Often there was pork and lamb. HAL food is much more varied since they have passengers from all over the world.
  6. I do know if you can change carriers, but T-Mobile works extremely well for international travel. You need a GSM compatible phone. There are no additional surcharges, data (at a reduced speed) and more importantly calls are .20 a minute. US callers call your local number and it connects you in Europe.
  7. We are on the 2019 VOV with a stop in St. Anthony. We are having a hard time finding a private tour or car rental agency in St. Anthony. For many of reasons stated in previous posts, we do not want to do the HAL tour. Any suggestions?
  8. Last year after finishing a transatlantic to Copenhagen on HAL, we rented a car for a two week road trip including Norway and Sweden. The Norwegian toll roads are all automated. Hertz told us that since we did not a transponder that most Norwegian cars have, they take a picture of the license plate and the registered owner will be billed. Hertz said there will be an additional charge tacked on to our rental bill. About a month later Hertz billed us $40 US for Norwegian tolls. I never saw a toll booth in Norway. Norwegian highways, bridges, tunnels and ferries all have a toll of some sort. Great system.
  9. Several years ago we were supposed to arrive the evening before departure. Our plan was to stay at a beachfront hotel and take the cab to our ship. Our flight was delayed by 12 hours due to weather in departing and arriving airport, so we made it to FLL at 6 AM. On a previous trip we had breakfasted at Joe's Cafe off 17th Street in the same shopping mall as Total Wines and the Publix grocery store. We took a cab to Joe's (which opens at 6:30 AM), and had a slow relaxing breakfast. We had coffee and read the papers. The wait staff was accommodating. There were several other cruisers in the cafe, and one person volunteered to watch the luggage. We walked to Total Wines and Publix for carry on wine and emergency rations for the cruise (chips, nuts and chocolate). We took a cab to the port at about 10:30. I do not think the FLL airport is a comfortable place to wait. If in similar circumstances I would find a place outside the airport (17th Street has plenty of options) to wait in the morning.
  10. We are arriving in Rotterdam in mid-August on HAL's Voyage of the Vikings. We will have 9 hours in Rotterdam (7 AM to 5 PM). We have done a lot of touring in Amsterdam, and want to see The Hague (specifically the Maurishuis Museum in The Hague) and the Vermeer Museum in Delft. I think these places are easily accessible by train from the Rotterdam Centraal Station. Is there a day pass we can buy or do we have to buy individual tickets? Any other thoughts or advice on a day in Rotterdam.
  11. I am not aware of any hotels near the port that offer free transport to the ship. We have stayed at the HI Express on 17th Street and used their free transport from the airport. We like to use Lyft to go the ship. Last year the cost was about $15 including tip for four persons. We do not like the hotel shuttle because of the cost for four people, the wait and the crowded van. With Lyft the van was there within five minutes of the call.
  12. Saltshell: Travel to Norway in April and May is worth it. It is not as crowded as the summer months (July and August). If you have poor weather it will be rain, but not every day. Several years ago we ended our Hurtigruten cruise on May 12. The temperatures were in the mid 80's and they were in the middle of a five day warm spell. If you want to go into the mountains, the high passes such as the Trollsteigen near Geiranger may not be open in May. Last year when we were in Bergen in late April, it was cool and misty on Day 1, and then cool and clear for the next three days as we traveled down to Stavanger, and Kristiansund in Norway.
  13. You will probably need water resistant outerwear, since you will likely have to deal with cool rainy, weather. We use Lands End Gore Tex rain gear with fleece jackets. We also had water resistant hiking shoes. A down jacket is useless if it gets wet. We have done Hurtigruten cruises as well as DIY trips to Bergan, Alesund, and Stavanger in late April and May. Rain was the major weather issue.
  14. Our experience with Amsterdam hotels is to skip the hotel breakfast buffet. The breakfast buffet tends to be pricey and way too much food. We like a lighter breakfast, coffee, yogurt, pastry, etc. Depending on your hotel, there may be a hotel coffee shop or restaurant that serves a lighter a la carte breakfast. Explore your hotel's neighborhood for local coffee shops.
  15. We like to stay at the Nordic C (or it may be called the Stockholm C now). It is a modern hotel adjacent to Central Station. There are interior rooms with no windows, and small rooms with a window for less than $200 US on weekends. You can walk to Gamla Stan and the city center. You can walk out the front door and you are 50 meters from the Arlanda Express train to the airport. We have stayed at the Nordic three times in the past six years, and have had a positive experience. We have never stayed in one of the windowless rooms.
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