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About hehny

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  1. This is a sample daily from our Rhine cruise. River is very different from Ocean! Generally, overnights are rare. At most you are in ports for a few hours, so you try to pack everything in. The availability of food is limited. We loved our river cruise but I did miss open meal times and dining choices. There were times when I would have enjoyed the chance to eat dinner in port but we usually sailed by then. There isn’t much to do onboard but the purpose is the ports. Just be aware the boat often dropped you off at one port and picked you up at a different one. So if you were not on an excursion, be sure you confirm pick up with the concierge. The port talks are invaluable.
  2. The truth is legal questions should never be addressed on a social media board. I can only imagine being questioned by the authorities and claiming, “cruise critic said it was fine!” 🙂
  3. They cut the free Michelin experience for all of their customers. It only applies for ph and suites.
  4. Depends what cruise you are on (countries/length) Suggest you check their FAQ here: https://www.amawaterways.com/river-cruise-frequently-asked-questions
  5. River cruises don’t generally lend themselves to children. You will likely not be able to have three in one room on a river cruise, unless you are in a suite . There are no interconnecting rooms. There are no pools or kids clubs. Activities are almost nonexistent. The attraction is the ports. There are no babysitting services, high chairs etc. Only you know your grandchildren and it’s possible that they would enjoy a river cruise. However, Many have age limits, Viking will only allow passengers 18 and older. AMA is 12 and over except on select voyages (they partner with Disney to offer a family vacation once or twice a year for children four and up). Uniworld is four and over. Tauck is five. Crystal is six months but very explicit in that it does not offer any child friendly features nor encourage children. Your best bet is a cruise designated specifically for families. Cruise critic has a great article to get you started here: https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2301 good luck!
  6. If you’ve booked an extension with Viking, you are limited to the hotel they give you, the premium hotels are guaranteed, standard is not. You do not get a choice either way.
  7. I should add my statements apply to the American market. You can get far better discounts in the UK, where they are more aggressively targeting customers and the same rules don’t apply.
  8. You spend almost no time in Salzburg it is basically a long bus trip. If you are a huge Sound of Music fan it’s worth it visit on a land based trip. Passau is beautiful! Viking seems to be the only river cruise line not doing evening sails again in Budapest. You can try this company. https://legenda.hu/en just be aware you generally need reservations in advance for dinner, as they do sell out.
  9. There was a lot of backlash to Vikings requirement pay in full 12 months in advance. They are becoming more lenient. If you ask, they will usually extend it. We have dealt directly with Viking several times and never had to pay in full a year before. As I said, there is a max amount of OBC TAs can offer. That doesn’t mean they will offer it. What they choose to offer is up to them. They can’t extend it simply because you pay in full immediately. There was a big box co that used to offer discounts and additional OBC on Viking and you can no longer book with them... Viking found out and cut them off. More so than any other cruise line they are very strict as to what a ta can offer. That’s why it is so minimal and the question of using a ta, is more a personal choice than an automatic monetary advantage. By the time you’ve paid what could be tens of thousands, a few hundred on board, while appreciated, is not going to make a huge difference.
  10. Yes, Viking only allows OBC. TAs can not lower the cruise fare.
  11. River or Ocean, doesn’t make a difference. Viking limits the amount of OBC travel agents can offer. It is taken out of the TAs commission. So you could spend thousands on a cruise but the max you could get in OBC would be a few hundred (I think it’s capped at 500, but again it’s coming out of your TAs pocket). I believe you only have 60 days after your deposit to transfer your booking but double check. Once you link your reservation with a ta, you are no longer allowed to work with Viking directly. Personally, I don’t see the need. I just keep calling Viking until I find someone able to answer my questions. I can’t promise everyone at Viking is great but I like knowing I can advocate for myself.
  12. Off Viking last month, required to be out of your rooms by 8:30. You are welcome to stay on board but they are not going to hold your luggage for you, let you explore and then come back to the ship to pick it up on disembarkation. Embarkation of course is different, they offer a walking tour. I personally wouldn’t feel comfortable touring on disembarkation in Amsterdam since Schipol is notoriously crowded and delayed. If you do, a private tour operator can hold your luggage or you can look for luggage storage at central station or the cruise terminal.
  13. Just returned... Pre purchasing tickets to the Rijksmuseum allows you to bypass the ticket line. You still wait on a long line to get through security (the long line outside), you will go through security before entering the museum. At a certain point, the line splits between ticket holders and purchasers. Of course, one line is better than two! You are correct in that they offer entry any date/time for a year. Van Gogh is by timed tickets only and we found them sticklers for time. We arrived about 15 minutes early from our time slot and still had to wait. Tickets are sold outside the museum and the lines to buy are huge. Ticket holders check in with a guard and enter directly through the museum. Much faster with timed entry and security (far more so than Rijksmuseum) Van Gogh often sells out day of, particularly in the summer or high season, so I would pre purchase in advance of your trip and tried to guesstimate. We loved Amsterdam. Hopefully you are aware that you must prepurchase tickets if you wish to visit Anne Frank’s House, none are sold on site and they sell out quickly upon release. It’s a must do.
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