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kathy9

On board The Star

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We did not do the Viking tour, so can't comment on that, but we were very pleased with the private tour we did with Ephesus Shuttle. We actually got there before the other Viking tour groups. We saw the whole Ephesus sight, including the Terrace /Roman Houses as well as the Ephesus Museum. There were 2 surprises though. The first was that there were 200 steps going up through the Terrace Houses - modern metal steps that led to glass platforms that wound around the 7 houses we saw. The 200 steps were not contiguous so it wasn't too bad. Going down was harder on us as there were 50 steps going down that were contiguous, and stone, all of unequal heights, some real knee killers. The Terrace Houses to me were great and worth the effort. The second surprise was that instead of the $74 USD per person we had been quoted, it ended up being $54.

 

All of us were from CruiseCritic, so would be interested to know what the others thought.

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I can't seem to find the picture of our Meet & Greet. Where is it posted exactly. I've searched the Live chat event of Carolyn but don't see it there.

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Can only pass this along as I can't personally confirm this, but I was told by those who took this pre-tour that the bus ride back from Gallipoli was 7 hours long. Didn't hear whether the tour itself was that good - only things that folks were talking about was the horrendous bus ride.

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We had booked Early Dining in the Main Restaurant. So far we've sat at different tables with different waiters. We asked about it tonight at the Restaurant desk where the line forms and were told that it's all Open Dining. There is no fixed time and the only need to make reservations is when you have a large party and want to sit together.

 

So those that are worried about not getting early dining can rest easy - it's all first come first served. We've always come early and when we leave about 7:30 there have been plenty of empty seats around.

 

Others may have had different experiences, but to us there's been no fixed dining.

 

Service has been sometimes good and sometimes not so good, but each night they seem a bit more organized as long as you can eat off the menu without deviation. I have heard from others who have dietary restrictions that they've had issues.

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I can't seem to find the picture of our Meet & Greet. Where is it posted exactly. I've searched the Live chat event of Carolyn but don't see it there.

 

Elizabeth,

It is on Carolyn's link of CC live chat, scroll way down the pages and right before a picture of lunch on the pool deck.:)

 

Loved the Terrace Houses by the way. I am sure they have done lots more since I was there in 2011.

Hope you all enjoyed Athens. I loved the Praka neighborhood.

 

Now, has anyone been to the Spa?;)

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We had booked Early Dining in the Main Restaurant. So far we've sat at different tables with different waiters. We asked about it tonight at the Restaurant desk where the line forms and were told that it's all Open Dining. There is no fixed time and the only need to make reservations is when you have a large party and want to sit together.

 

So those that are worried about not getting early dining can rest easy - it's all first come first served. We've always come early and when we leave about 7:30 there have been plenty of empty seats around.

 

Others may have had different experiences, but to us there's been no fixed dining.

 

Thanks for that info, though I'm now thoroughly confused. Our dining res window opens in a few weeks. The early/late/open dining info that I was able to see at MVJ has disappeared, though the "No Daily Dining Preference Set" message remains. Perhaps something has changed or is changing.

 

Weeks ago I had a question for Viking and one of the (many conflicting) responses was "we're having problems with the website" which I now believe was code for "we keep changing things and breaking it". I'm sure we won't starve or be forced to sit upright until midnight to stave off GERD. It's actually strangely fascinating to watch this tale of the trials and tribulations of a new venture unfold. I hope everyone on board is having a great time regardless.

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Like your attitude! and from NY :)

Would like to hear more on your off shore adventures.

We'll be onboard in Aug.

 

New Yorkers have to roll with the punches - and do!

 

I would also love to hear about people's offshore adventures, plus about how long it takes Star to tie up, have the local authorities give them a green light, get the gangplank down, and open the doors! Also, when you tender in Santorini, how that goes if you're an independent (non-excursion) guest. The tendering in Santorini is done by Santorini boats and sometimes it can be a little weird.

 

Thanks for continuing to take the time to post! We are all loving it!

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Oh, and if you have time, someone recently posted a wonderful video of you guys (and the ship, of course) sailing into Piraeus. If you fast forward a bit, you'll see a few people walking around up top - or perhaps doing laps. After the ones I saw last week, it's nice to see a video (with beautiful sunrise in background) with PEOPLE in the video, although not too many were up that early in the morning.

 

Has anyone been around the 360 deck yet? Anyone have a favorite spot for photography? If those TVs are working, is there a camera that shows what's ahead of the ship, or gives a map showing where you are?

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Thanks for that info, though I'm now thoroughly confused. Our dining res window opens in a few weeks. The early/late/open dining info that I was able to see at MVJ has disappeared, though the "No Daily Dining Preference Set" message remains. Perhaps something has changed or is changing.

 

Weeks ago I had a question for Viking and one of the (many conflicting) responses was "we're having problems with the website" which I now believe was code for "we keep changing things and breaking it". I'm sure we won't starve or be forced to sit upright until midnight to stave off GERD. It's actually strangely fascinating to watch this tale of the trials and tribulations of a new venture unfold. I hope everyone on board is having a great time regardless.

 

I was wondering when they would bag the "let's try to cover all the bases" dining approach - if they have indeed bagged it. True open seating can work for everyone. If people want to eat together, they can go to the restaurant together. If they want the same waiter, they can ask if that person is working in the restaurant that night, and if so, ask to be seated in that area. If someone sees people they want to dine with and there's room at the table, they can ask if they can be seated with them. If they want to be seated at 6 (or is it 6:30?) or 8:30 every night, I doubt it's a problem.

 

From the start, I got the impression that asking if we wanted fixed dining was just a way to gage whether people wanted to eat early or late, rather than expecting people to be assigned to a table and showing up every or most nights. After all, there are only two choices (early and late), with many of us wanting to eat in between those times or eating at the time we choose each night. Maybe now they've realized KISS is better than complicated. Let's not copy the mainstream lines, please, Viking? Keep it simple, please?

Edited by roothy123

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BTW, I loved the group picture at your meet and greet. I am sure you are making memories that will iast a lifetime.

Elizabeth, are you the one wearing sunglasses or the one with the vest on?:)

 

Elizabeth is the one with the big smile, or course:). I'm betting it was Elizabeth and DH that Travel Weekly caught at the World Café.

 

Really enjoying all the details. I've noticed all the questions are like the nine headed hydra Hercules went after. Cut off one head, two pop back.:) Thanks for being so patient guys.

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Elizabeth is the one with the big smile, or course:). I'm betting it was Elizabeth and DH that Travel Weekly caught at the World Café.

 

Really enjoying all the details. I've noticed all the questions are like the nine headed hydra Hercules went after. Cut off one head, two pop back.:) Thanks for being so patient guys.

 

Of course, she has a smile.:)

Love your Greek myth reference. Lets just hope we posters at home do not turn into Harpies with all of our questions.:eek:

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Please help me to understand why your DH requires a knife for shore extractions.?

 

Neil

Viking Star - Sept 2015

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We had booked Early Dining in the Main Restaurant. So far we've sat at different tables with different waiters. We asked about it tonight at the Restaurant desk where the line forms and were told that it's all Open Dining. There is no fixed time and the only need to make reservations is when you have a large party and want to sit together.

 

So those that are worried about not getting early dining can rest easy - it's all first come first served. We've always come early and when we leave about 7:30 there have been plenty of empty seats around.

 

Others may have had different experiences, but to us there's been no fixed dining.

 

Service has been sometimes good and sometimes not so good, but each night they seem a bit more organized as long as you can eat off the menu without deviation. I have heard from others who have dietary restrictions that they've had issues.

 

Thank you for the good news about open seating v. fixed seating. I got an email today forwarded by my TA from Viking telling me they would be happy to accept my credit info now, two weeks before we board...I was tempted to ask them why we were good enough to give them the financial info now but not good enuf to make restaurant reservations until we boarded...but...I was behaved...I'm paranoid to the extent that Ii think if I complain too much, they'll shut my AC off and we'll never get a working TV.

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Thank you for the good news about open seating v. fixed seating. I got an email today forwarded by my TA from Viking telling me they would be happy to accept my credit info now, two weeks before we board...I was tempted to ask them why we were good enough to give them the financial info now but not good enuf to make restaurant reservations until we boarded...but...I was behaved...I'm paranoid to the extent that Ii think if I complain too much, they'll shut my AC off and we'll never get a working TV.

 

I'm glad you behaved, although I imagine it was tempting to choose the alternative! I felt like misbehaving at the Kia dealership today, but I behaved. However, at the risk of being skewered, and/or called a Pollyanna, I did want to say that if you find an ocean cruise line that doesn't give more perks with more expensive staterooms, I'd love to know about it. The 3 lines I've been on have each had their own little "tier" systems to justify charging more for a more expensive stateroom category. Unless and until the less expensive staterooms come with leftovers for dinner, every other day bathroom cleaning, and no AC while cruising the Med in August, I will continue to book the cheaper categories. Hey, at least on Star that's not an inside cabin or one with a one-foot porthole, and I notice there are no obstructed view staterooms, which is another little plus!

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Can only pass this along as I can't personally confirm this, but I was told by those who took this pre-tour that the bus ride back from Gallipoli was 7 hours long. Didn't hear whether the tour itself was that good - only things that folks were talking about was the horrendous bus ride.

This might explain why we've not seen a review on this pre Istanbul, Gallipoli & Troy from Carol & Ron (Love2Sew).

In fact, I haven't seen any CC activity from them since 4/8. Hope they are alright?

Our post version of this extension gives us another hotel night in Istanbul to decompress before we fly home. We remain positive about this experience.

 

Thanks, Bob & Margie

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This might explain why we've not seen a review on this pre Istanbul, Gallipoli & Troy from Carol & Ron (Love2Sew).

In fact, I haven't seen any CC activity from them since 4/8. Hope they are alright?

Our post version of this extension gives us another hotel night in Istanbul to decompress before we fly home. We remain positive about this experience.

 

Thanks, Bob & Margie

 

Speaking of Gallipoli, if anyone on board was looking out those big windows (or on your veranda looking out to sea) I was curious if there was anything interesting to see after you left Istanbul and were cruising through the Sea of Mamara and the straits there (the deadzone, as I call it, as there appears to be no satellite for a couple hours). I love looking at things, and photgraphing things (one reason I love river cruising) and in September we'll be cruising through the Dardanelles in the morning. I'm wondering if there's anything interesting to watch.

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Roothy - the Dardanelles are a wonderful experience. You will enjoy it very much. It is relaxing, picturesque, full of history, banks have historical landmarks, the shipping traffic is quite impressive.....yes, you will enjoy having your camera handy!!

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Saw the mention of good sized towels. Any washcloths?

 

 

Yes, our cabin got two bath towels, two hand towels and two washcloths. We asked for spare towels since our shower leaks.

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FYI - The Chef's Table has five set menus that each run for nine nights in a row. Unless you really like a menu, you might not need to make more than five reservations at this specialty restaurant.

The Kitchen Table is where 10 people have to sign up to go on a market trip with the chef and then you cook and eat your food. Prices start at $199 pp. We will not be doing this.

We ate at Manfredi's on the first night and really enjoyed the food.

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For those on the Star: My expectations were obviously too high, but was anyone else disappointed upon returning to the cabin the first night after dinner and finding nothing on the bed? No chocolate, no mint, no welcoming note from the captain, no letter of apology for the snafus, no token of appreciation for being on the 50-day maiden voyage, NOTHING! It's still irritating me. (Can you tell?!?) Was anyone else disappointed? I know I need to forget it and go on but it's very hard...

 

P. S. For those that aren't on the Star, The Restaurant offers no mints or chocolate on the way out and nothing is on your pillow at turn down. Order dessert if you want something sweet after dinner.

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This might explain why we've not seen a review on this pre Istanbul, Gallipoli & Troy from Carol & Ron (Love2Sew).

In fact, I haven't seen any CC activity from them since 4/8. Hope they are alright?

Our post version of this extension gives us another hotel night in Istanbul to decompress before we fly home. We remain positive about this experience.

 

Thanks, Bob & Margie

 

I talked to several people who did that tour and the reviews were horrible. Seven hours from the airport to Troy, some folks arrived at 3:00 am. Some of the stories from the actual tour were even worse than that. Somebody on the Troy pre-cruise who was on the whole 50 day cruise broke both ankles, and she and her husband had to fly home. Not sure who they were. Istanbul is such an amazing city that it's worth the extra days. Find a nice hotel down in Sultanahmet near the tram and enjoy it. You (collective you) won't be sorry.

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Yes I am also surprised by the lack of a chocolate at turndown service also.

Today will be the first tender port.... If experience as told me anything so far on this journey ..... keep an open mind and expect anything with the first time.

They are only using one tender for non ship excursion guests till the excursions are all off. We are on a ships excursion so I will report back.

Have to get to the World Cafe by 930 this morning as the keeping changing the closing time..... Strange!

Kathy

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