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jiminyC_fan

Viking Homelands Cruise Review

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It may have been me that mentioned the tipping, who knows. But, I do know that we didn't see much of it. Many did but many did not. They would slither right past the guide and driver, LOL. We were told that USD would work fine for tipping but we used local currency. We stopped at the bank at home for all the different currencies before leaving and IMHO that was a blessing. We never had to go on search for an ATM. We could focus on the port itself. I kept all the currency in separate bank envelopes marked with the country in the safe and at night I would put back that day's and pull out for the next day. It never got mixed up and was a great routine.....for us. Just today we went to the bank and they bought back all the bills that we had leftover. The cost of doing it was minimal and it was peace of mind while there.

 

Love your bank envelope idea for currencies!

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Hi, we left at 6:00. Your hours are different than ours. My suggestion for you is Rodne at 10:00. I assume you will arrive earlier than we did.

 

Thanks we arrive at 7am so I will book Rodne.

 

We are doing the Bergen to Stockholm route.

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Derrick22, their ship sailed from Stockholm to Bergen so they stayed longer in Stavanger. I have contacted the Rodne company and have been assured that we would be back by 1:00 and our ship leaves at 2:00. We booked with them on line, and they immediately emailed our tickets. We are on the same ship so come with us! Others have said the scenery is beautiful and trip cost much less than Viking!

 

We will join you!

 

Off to make resrvations now.

 

Denise

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It may have been me that mentioned the tipping, who knows. But, I do know that we didn't see much of it. Many did but many did not. They would slither right past the guide and driver, LOL. We were told that USD would work fine for tipping but we used local currency. We stopped at the bank at home for all the different currencies before leaving and IMHO that was a blessing. We never had to go on search for an ATM. We could focus on the port itself. I kept all the currency in separate bank envelopes marked with the country in the safe and at night I would put back that day's and pull out for the next day. It never got mixed up and was a great routine.....for us. Just today we went to the bank and they bought back all the bills that we had leftover. The cost of doing it was minimal and it was peace of mind while there.
Wow, that is an excellent plan, and since I love a good plan, I believe we will do the same. With limited time, you want it to be about the sights not the finances. Once again, thank you for your prompt response. Keep on travelin!!!

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Anytime luvnps, anytime. Enjoy your trip!
jiminyC_fan, thank you for your good wishes. I am really getting excited!

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I am also wondering about having money in each port for tips. There are so many different currencies! It seems ridiculous to get money from an ATM just for that but we always tip the guides and I'm not sure what to do. Also, I am wondering if you have to pay to use the public restrooms.

Thanks.

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Just noticed the reply about getting local currency at home first. Great idea! But, still wondering about needing change for pay toilets. clear.png?emoji-smile-1742

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Not many pay toilets on Homies land tours. At one Norway waterfall stop used credit card to get toilet coins, no problem.

NOT many pay toilets only like on river cruises in Germany, France & Italy. Guides got us to all the freebies.

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Yes, we did also on our river cruise. Glad to know that will not be an issue. Thanks for your great review, also. I picked up several pointers for our trip in July.

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Not many pay toilets on Homies land tours. At one Norway waterfall stop used credit card to get toilet coins, no problem.

NOT many pay toilets only like on river cruises in Germany, France & Italy. Guides got us to all the freebies.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

River cruise was all pay toilets.

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I just returned from the Homelands cruise and would like to add a few things.

1) You can also find the restaurant menus on your TV so you can check out where you want to eat.

2) I am a very picky eater so the Chef's table menus were not great for me. However, they went out of their way to substitute things for me.

3) The maps of the ports are terrible. We went to the computers and printed up maps. We then went to the excursion desk and had them mark the shuttle stops.

4) The bathrooms were the best we have ever had on a ship. Big showers, heated floor, anti-fog mirrors, and room to put things.

5) Each side of the bed has a reading light and a switch for the bathroom night light.

6) The closet has a light sensor so be sure to close the closet prior to going to bed because if you wake up during the night, the light will turn on.

7) The morning announcements do not play in your room. You can hear them on your TV by going to the Bridge site. We just opened our door to listen to them.

8) We took the tour to see the glacier and the waterfalls in Eidfjord. We loved it. Eidfjord is beatiful.

9) At the end of the cruise we took the train from Bergen to Oslo. It is a very scenic ride. We heard that the food on the train was not very good and was quite expensive so we bought sandwiches at the train station and brought a bag of chips from the mini-bar. Another couple ordered sandwiches from room service the night before and had them delivered to their room in the morning to take them on the train.

10) There are 3 washers and 3 dryers on each floor. Soap is provided.

11) We did all of the included tours and purchased 4 others. All were very good.

12) Check out both buffet sides in the World Cafe. The have mostly the same things but a few different items.

13) Pack for layering your clothes. In Russia it was 46 degrees (F) one day and very windy but in Berlin it was 90 degrees (F). It rained on an off in Norway on each day. The room has one large umbrella but pack a small one as well if you are a couple so each of you can have one.

14) If you go to Oslo and are flying home from there, make sure you go to the correct airport. There are TWO airports that come up as Oslo when you book online. One is in Oslo (Gardemoen) and the other (Standefjord) is 70 miles away but is still considered Oslo. There is an express train from Oslo to the main airport which takes only 30 minutes and is much cheaper than taking a cab which takes an hour.

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A side note on the train to Oslo/Bergen. If you are on a pre or post stay, you are given a voucher to purchase food on the train. It was very generous and, at least to us and the people in our car, was good. I had a sandwich and a diet pop. Hubby got a very good hot meal. He had Norwegian meatballs and mashed potatoes and a pop. We still had leftovers so we got a little candy bar. They are EXCELLENT on guiding you on the best way to spend your vouchers. Once couple got two hotdogs, water and an amazing amount of Norwegian candy that was mostly chocolate bars.

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I just returned from the Homelands cruise and would like to add a few things.

1) You can also find the restaurant menus on your TV so you can check out where you want to eat.

2) I am a very picky eater so the Chef's table menus were not great for me. However, they went out of their way to substitute things for me.

3) The maps of the ports are terrible. We went to the computers and printed up maps. We then went to the excursion desk and had them mark the shuttle stops.

4) The bathrooms were the best we have ever had on a ship. Big showers, heated floor, anti-fog mirrors, and room to put things.

5) Each side of the bed has a reading light and a switch for the bathroom night light.

6) The closet has a light sensor so be sure to close the closet prior to going to bed because if you wake up during the night, the light will turn on.

7) The morning announcements do not play in your room. You can hear them on your TV by going to the Bridge site. We just opened our door to listen to them.

8) We took the tour to see the glacier and the waterfalls in Eidfjord. We loved it. Eidfjord is beatiful.

9) At the end of the cruise we took the train from Bergen to Oslo. It is a very scenic ride. We heard that the food on the train was not very good and was quite expensive so we bought sandwiches at the train station and brought a bag of chips from the mini-bar. Another couple ordered sandwiches from room service the night before and had them delivered to their room in the morning to take them on the train.

10) There are 3 washers and 3 dryers on each floor. Soap is provided.

11) We did all of the included tours and purchased 4 others. All were very good.

12) Check out both buffet sides in the World Cafe. The have mostly the same things but a few different items.

13) Pack for layering your clothes. In Russia it was 46 degrees (F) one day and very windy but in Berlin it was 90 degrees (F). It rained on an off in Norway on each day. The room has one large umbrella but pack a small one as well if you are a couple so each of you can have one.

14) If you go to Oslo and are flying home from there, make sure you go to the correct airport. There are TWO airports that come up as Oslo when you book online. One is in Oslo (Gardemoen) and the other (Standefjord) is 70 miles away but is still considered Oslo. There is an express train from Oslo to the main airport which takes only 30 minutes and is much cheaper than taking a cab which takes an hour.

 

 

Thank you for the tips! Glad you had a good time :)

Edited by vnb2003
missing a word

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Thank you Jimmy C for your advice about getting up early as the ship approaches Eidfjord. I just set our alarm for 5:30 am. We are also going to get coffee at the bar you recommended on our way to breakfast in the morning.

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The room has one large umbrella but pack a small one as well if you are a couple so each of you can have one.

 

 

 

More umbrellas are available as you exit the ship, so you can each take one--and you can deposit the wet umbrellas by the door when you board again, so you don't have to worry where in the cabin to put a wet umbrella or two while they dry. The steward will bring you a dry one for the cabin, just ask. I like the big umbrellas that Viking offers (they keep me dryer than my little travel umbrellas) and I'm happy not to have to pack any more than I have to.

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Hi all. Thanks for the reviews. we are debating the Viking (I have never sailed on them) or the Azamara. It sounds as if you loved Viking. My husband is 49 y/o and they told me he might be a little young for the crowd. Any thoughts there?

 

Also, Viking kept pointing out that they include the tours, but I see that you booked Alla in St. Petersburg and several others. Was that thru CC?

What ports will we have to book our own tours? There is a significant price differential, so we are comparing and contrasting.

 

I appreciate all your help!!!

 

IF easier, email me at CFOMAC@me.com

 

thanks,

Cynthia

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Bunch of us on Cruise Critic May 28 Homelands roll call booked TJ Tours for St Pete mostly because the Viking optional tours schedule did not allow us to see as much because of schedule conflict. Also it was less expensive as we had 14 people.

Look at your time in port and the viking offerings. Many optional tours are great but if you've already been to a city/area you may opt for a private tour.

49 is younger than the median although there were 16 & 20 yr olds and late 30 somethings, 40ish on our cruise. Viking markets to us geezers.

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