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Myrtle Ave. Mayhem

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Everything posted by Myrtle Ave. Mayhem

  1. Yes, indeed Kent! Flying has become so unpleasant!
  2. Kent I'm travel agent friend is going to investigate. Hopefully by tomorrow (Monday) we'll know. Sea days are the best!
  3. I would cherish all those sea days & fewer ports! That's why I love trans-Atlantic crossings. As I live in LA, this itinerary would be ideal! Thanks for the heads up!
  4. Viking is distinctly a non United States based company. Their business model & product presentation definitely march to the beat of their own drummer. To me that's a welcome refreshing change from how mass market cruise lines operate.
  5. @BillK400- Onboard you will submit a daily saliva sample into a test tube in addition to a health questionnaire & temperature check, via face scan. On I believe the second to last night of your cruise you will be provided a paper document as your Covid-19 neg proof. No hassle of having to process a test on your own during the cruise. Pre-cruise is a different story. A few of us on here who were on the first few sailings were freaking out with labyrinth of details required. Definitely stay tuned to your MyVikingJourney for your updated info regarding Verify, health questionnaire, & obtaining your Bermuda Travel Authorization. I'm coming back for the Sept. 3 & 10 sailings. So 28 days out I don't have my flight info yet, soon I hope. Your documents including luggage tags, airport transfer sticker, ect. should arrive by mail above two weeks before sail date. Always, always, & if I didn't say it yet, always purchase travel insurance! Going through Viking is convenient or you may purchase through your TA. Make sure the insurance you purchase specifically covers COVID-19/Bermuda.
  6. @oakridger - What a wonderful way to start cruisung! The experience of your first cruise is a life changing event. To experience nautical life, the sights, smells, & sounds of a ship are addictive! @Heidi13 - You could write a book! What a career to have been with Princess during that golden era! In the '70's my aunt was a Princess cruiser staring back just after Stanley McDonald took delivery of Island Princess/Island Venture from Flagship Cruises. When "The Love Boat" aired, I(at 11 years old) was taken aback. As you know, the TV version of Princess Cruises & the actual P&0 owned line were NOTHING alike. That's Hollywood! The twin Island/Pacific Princess are to this day some of the favorite ships I sailed, Scandinavian Modern for their era, similar to the Royal Viking & Viking's Ocean ships (notice a theme?) I dearly miss the British P&O days of Princess. It was a different era, as each cruise line was nationality specific. After Carnival came on the scene Princess has never been the same. Also fascinating is that you were around during & P&0 takeover of Sitmar. Another historic event in modern cruise history. It took awhile for the kinks to get smoothed. It was a transition for the British & Italian crew. After many years as a kid dreaming of a cruise, after high school I booked a Sitmar cruise on the Fairwind. By the time I sailed she was in full Dawn Princess mode. @njhorseman - That's a shame your RVL cruise wasn't up to par. I wonder if the Kloster ownership had anything to do with the poor experience. My first Princess cruise was on the original Dawn Princess, ex Fairwind. This was just after the Princess takeover of Sitmar. Imagine a ship crewed by ticked off Italians & Portuguese, giving openly disinterested service.
  7. Has anyone here ever sailed aboard the former Royal Viking Line? What are the things you remember? Growing up in San Francisco during the 1970's the prominent cruise lines were Sitmar, Princess, Royal Viking Line, & Pacific Far East Line. Royal Viking Line was partly headquartered in San Francisco. It was always a breathtaking sight when the Royal Viking Star, Sky, or Sea was in port. As you may already know Torstein Hagen was former CEO of RVL before its demise. Back in the 1970's the line would have been the current day equivalent of Crystal or Seabourn I'd say. The ships of Viking Ocean remind me of a modern up-to-date version of the Royal Viking Line trio of sisters. I'd love to hear your stories.
  8. @CruiseDad-NYCWelcome to the Viking forum. I was aboard Viking Orion on a back-to-back June/July. The June 29th cruise was the third week into the season. Simply put, I felt safer on the ship & ashore in Bermuda than I do at home. Everything about the entire experience from beginning to end was administered flawlessly from Viking in their health & safety protocols in tandem with the Bermudian government. - Our two sailings were at roughly 50% capacity. I don't know if Viking has been increasing the occupancy in the weeks following - Regarding mask enforcement there were two things happening together. Yes, Viking is specifically enforcing mask compliance through daily reminders & at the beginning of any event in the Star Theater. The other thing important to mention is that everyone I saw was automatically compliant ON THEIR OWN. Everyone was on the same page. The mask wearing when in a public place/room was definitely a matter-of-fact reality & non issue. Everyone knew the rules & acted accordingly. - For included shore ex, I only did one, a walking tour with a two local ladies in St. George's. There were 15 in our group. At times when in a building there was some close proximity, but the guides were very clear about social distancing by only allowing 5 people into a room at the same time. On the airport/pier transport we were limited to 12 a van. Again everyone automatically wore masks. - The outdoor dining will be the World Cafe & Aquivat Terrance. Aft at the terrace near the Infinity Pool or along the side decks of World Cafe, aft - port & starboard. Lunch time you could also eat at the mid ship Pool Grill. Servers in all dining venues are quicky proactive taking orders, delivering, & cleaning. At no time are passengers service themselves in the World Cafe. Having said that, I suggest you don't rule out eating indoors at The Restaurant or the speciality dining. Passengers are social distanced in all venues, tables & seating are staggered. I cannot recommend The Restaurant enough! - The heath & safety protocols on Viking are the most stringent in the industry I believe. You will need to download the Verifly app to submit your vaccination proof, then is a health questionnaire from Viking. Four days before your sail date(Monday) you must take a RT-PCR test. Once you receive the results you apply for the Bermuda Travel Authorization. This is your "green card" for you to travel to Bermuda. Living in NYC, you shouldn't have difficulty finding a credentialed lab that can process your test results same day & provide you with the PDF. Upon arrival in Bermuda you take another PCR nasal before going to the pier in Hamilton. Onboard, the daily saliva sample in a tube, temperature check, & health questionnaire are done first thing each morning making it so automatic & routine. - For the flights, knowing NYC airports, I'm guessing you'll be on Delta or JetBlue, JFK. This is all capacity controlled & this summer air travel is JAMMED. There's the possibility you might be on United out of Newark. Speaking of flights & social distancing, that I think will be your biggest concern because every seat on the planes are full. Social distancing at large airports has become a thing of the past, already. - DEFINITELY book your cruise! It's a triple winner & everything is aligned. Bermuda is beautiful. The Viking Orion & everything about Viking is a destination in its own right. And the conveniently reasonable fares. - It was sooo great, I'm coming back in September for another back-to-back.
  9. @cspnvdl- Most definitely book your spot. This single supplement waiver is your perfect opportunity to treat yourself & restore your mind, body, & spirit. I've sailed twice before as a solo on Viking & never was in want of company & new friends. On my trans-Atlantic aboard Viking Sky there were about 12 of us solo cruisers of different ages[there were some in their '30's!) & backgrounds. We had frequent hosted dining in The Restaurant with the entertainment staff & solo happy hour up on the second deck of Explorers Lounge. It was a great group & everyone mixed well. You will be treated like family by the crew I assure you. If this is your first Viking Ocean cruise, get ready to be dazzled & delighted to a level not common on cruise lines today. A Viking cruise must be experienced personally to truly know the uniqueness of the whole experience. The other thing Viking does expertly is creating such a truly relaxed mellow atmosphere. You really are left to do & engage with others at your own comfort level. Nothing is loud or over stimulating. It's never boring either. Please go on your cruise & give us your full report!
  10. Hello @FirstTimeFreddy So you really enjoyed your first Viking cruise & now you're hooked! Viking has a way of doing that. They truly have their finger on the pulse of who their clientele are & what we like. I tent to get evangelical with my praise for the entire Viking Ocean experience. Regarding what the onboard experience/ambiance is when the ship is full I can attest everything is still uncrowded & relaxed. I've been on two trans-Atlantic crossings with a lot of sea days & there's still that phenomenon I've only seen aboard Viking of walking into a public room & having the whole place to myself. There's always activity & music, so nothing is ever boring. Bonus points that you're going back again soon! These promotions aren't to be missed! With the single supplement waiver, I couldn't say no. I just booked two weeks as a back-to-back in September in Bermuda!
  11. @gailellen12- I'm sorry to read that your original plans for the August cruise was bungled because of a passport issue. Hopefully you'll be sailing soon, enjoying Viking Orion & Bermuda. In a way the silver lining to not being able to sail on your original plan is now you'll have $$$ in your fare fund w/ Viking! And the free air is a BIG deal. How incredibly awesome of Viking to do this! May those personal day hurdles be nothing more than a pebble in your path!
  12. First let me say Happy Anniversary! Thank goodness for the single supplement waive! Bonus points that Viking is offering free air. My two weeks on a back-to-back in June/July weren't enough of Bermuda or Viking Orion so I made the executive decision to come back for the September 3 cruise. Opps I did it again! Being the only ship in Bermuda was so peaceful, especially having Royal Naval Dockyard all to ourselves. Not sure if Crystal Symphony will be in Bermuda by September.
  13. Just the other day I was mentioning to my best friend, who is also my travel agent, my displeasure with solo cruisers(which I often am) having to pay the dreaded single supplement. I was looking at the Crystal site out of curiosity because I know they frequently have a much smaller supplement. Truth is I've found my "home" with Viking & not practically interested in sailing Crystal. Then I wake up with an email from my friend David announcing the single supplement waiver on Welcome Back Voyages! To sweeten the deal Viking is throwing in free air! This is a miracle for us solo sailors! Viking must be listening in on my phone conversations because once I heard Crystal was starting up with Bahamas cruises I mentioned to my friend how perfect it would be if Viking did Bermuda sailings RT from Hamilton. About two weeks later I get the email for Bermuda. I booked the September 3 sailing, Bermuda Viking Orion. Everything is right in my world! As I also sailed the June 29 & July 6 cruises, all the pre-departure hoops to pass will be a breeze.
  14. Patti - There are so many of these small details, like a beautiful mosaic of experiences. Unquestionably Viking Ocean delivers the best hospitality industry experience I've ever had. Somehow each cruise with VO is better than the previous! I have three favorite things about Viking. 1) The service & interaction with the crew. 2) The ships are a destination on their own. 3) The tranquil atmosphere onboard, it's my floating Zen palace. Wishing you safe travels home tomorrow.
  15. Becki - I'm very saddened to learn of this. Denys was my (favorite)server on my Bermuda cruise & last year on Viking Sky. He is definitely the star of The Restaurant. Please pass along to Zharko my deepest condolences & prayers to Denys & his family. I am Vincent, "Mr. Smith" from 3079 on the Jun. 29 & Jul. 6 sailings.
  16. @bluesea777- I did a b2b, June 29 & July 6. I'm not aware of the first week, but I know for a fact on the second week there were at least two couples from Bermuda.
  17. @MarkBearSF, Great thread & glad you're enjoying your first Viking Ocean cruise. In my biased opinion, these are the best ships I've had the privilege to sail aboard, even better than the Holland America R Class. If there are things I'd change that would definitely be the Aquivat Terrance & pool. Its a beautiful space, but the pool is too small & the hot tub is awkwardly close to the tables. If the deck & pool were longer, that'd make the space better. The second thing I'd change is the Star Theater. It's not horrible by any means but I don't think as a space it matches the beauty of the other public rooms. To me it feels slightly utilitarian. Then on Deck 2 at the forward elevator & stairwell landing the space gets very congested after any event in the Star Theater, it seems like a design mistake. The stairwells are the most beautiful I've ever seen on a ship, but I wish the tapestries were real woven wool hangings, not the wallpaper as is now. Maybe it's a SOLAS regulation issue. These are just very minor things that stick out to me & don't diminish my abject joy of sailing aboard any Viking Ocean ship. I love spotting the differences in ships that are mostly replicas of each other. Viking Sky & Viking Orion are the two ships I've sailed aboard. As others have mentioned the space on Deck 8 ,the second level of Explorers Lounge isn't the same ambiance with The Dome in the way. I much prefer just the lounge seating. It's my favorite spot onboard during sea days, especially trans-Atlantic crossings. You will find the art is different. That central stairwell in The Restaurant is where this is most obvious. On Viking Sea it is a beautiful blue piece, on Viking Orion there were moon glow plates. I loved the smaller paintings along the side bulkheads in The Restaurant aboard Viking Orion! Very bold, psychedelic!
  18. Yes, Kent & Pam, it was a delight meeting you! Hope your transition home, back in the real world finds you rested & well. Did you make it to the Crystal Caves? I remember that was what you wanted to do. Chris & Ralph were awesome! Hotel General Manager Wendy has an all-star crew. Thanks for the info about Sherrys blog, that will be interesting. Booked a trans-Atlantic for Dec. 2022 & if the Bermuda season gets extended to Oct..... Where are you cruising next?
  19. Hi @JeriGail& @TayanaLorna Thank-You, but my mistake. I'm booked for the 2022 sailing which will be westbound from Barcelona. Your crossing will be fantastic!
  20. Hello @JB52- For the March 2022 & December 2022 trans-Atlantic crossings those are aboard Viking Sea. I don't think they're any noisy cabins on Viking ships. Last week on Viking Orion I was on deck 3 starboard, aft - directly above The Restaurant & didn't hear a thing at any time. Between cabin soundproofing is excellent also. Great choice on itinerary for those of us who cherish sea days. I have the December 2021 Barcelona-San Juan booked.
  21. Patti - I'm so excited for you! After all the planning & challenge to get onboard, now you're here. Relax, enjoy yourself, & have the time of your life! I disembarked yesterday & am home now. This was the best cruise I've had on Viking. The entire crew stopped at nothing to treat us like royalty. From the senior officers who stopped by to chat each morning as I had coffee in The Living Room, the phenomenal meals under chef Gary, all the servers & room attendants, Brian the CD, & the guest lectures, you are in for a service extravaganza! Stand out crew whom I'm missing already are Denys, Clareifel, Jennifer, Robert, Zharko in The Restaurant. Alexandra, Igor, Vladimir, Vincent, Michael, Andro in Bar/Beverage, the entire Guest Relations team! My favorite guest lecturer was Dr. Sherry Hutt. Can't wait to see your cruise experience unfold on here. Bon Voyage Patti !
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