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vnb2003

Homeland Viking Star now

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IMO Pink label water was YUCK ...Blue was fine. I think Pink's label said mineral.

They ran our out of blue toward the end of our cruise.........fortunately I had some squirreled away.

 

We also enjoyed Chef's Table very much. They were always very attentive to our friend's shellfish allergy.

 

Thank you deec! That's the one. I looked at the label and it has a bunch of minerals that could give you unpleasant aftertaste.

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Day 5 was lazy day for us. Slow morning, sauna before lunch, yummy relaxing lunch with very nice British couple at Mamsens. Clam chowder was tasty and the roast beef sandwich wasn't boring at all :)

Exceptional dinner at The Restaurant! Tuna tartare to die for as appetizer. Asked if I could have wild mushrooms casserole as the hot appetizer (they actually were part of rib eye steak entree) and the answer was of course! Main course Chairman's Choice: Norwegian Poached Salmon - just fantastic. It was deliciously tender and moist cooked to perfection!

 

The sea is a bit rough and we feel it more on the 6 floor then at The Restaurant :(

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vnb2003,

Thank you so much for your response. I didn't expect the time to be that early as the ship doesn't appear to have docked until 7:00 a.m., but we will just have to go to bed extra early the night before.

Thanks also for the comment concerning the motion on the 6th floor. I was not planning on bringing anything for motion sickness, but as our room is also on the 6th floor, I may change my mind.

I hope the seas calm down for you. Enjoy the rest of the trip!

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vnb2003,

Thank you so much for your response. I didn't expect the time to be that early as the ship doesn't appear to have docked until 7:00 a.m., but we will just have to go to bed extra early the night before.

Thanks also for the comment concerning the motion on the 6th floor. I was not planning on bringing anything for motion sickness, but as our room is also on the 6th floor, I may change my mind.

I hope the seas calm down for you. Enjoy the rest of the trip!

 

Thank you!

It wasn't that bad. Sometimes you felt like in a rocking crib and sometimes a little shaking. The ship is very good and silent. We just love it.

The cabin is not sound prove. We could hear our neighbors. I suspect hearing problems because their TV is loud. You could actually hear their tv as the background of ours! We are so relaxed that this doesn't bother us nor people who talk and laugh next to our door :) You could also hear everything from the bathroom.

 

Ok, we arrived to Tallinn :)

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Planterx2, that tour met at 7:00 am at the theater. There were two more tours that met at 6:55 am at the theater as well.

I'm already jealous that all this Homelands experience is ahead of you :)

 

Happy sailing!

 

14 of us had a private 2 day tour with TJ tours in St Pete. We went to the lobby near the departure gate. Our cruise director asked us why were there instead of with the others in the Theater. We said Private Tour. He said he'd let us off first since our 7AM tour was 15 minutes earlier than the then scheduled Viking tour. Everyone ended up waiting half an hour for clearance from Russian customs. Bottom line: we found Viking very helpful.

 

You will love your private St Pete tour with Alla. We loved our 2 day private tour.

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philw1776, Thank your for the information. We are scheduled to dock in St Petersburg at 7 a.m. Our tour tickets with Alla Tours show a meeting time of 8:30 for day 1. Our Alla guide will be there by 8:00. Based on that, should we still try to exit before the large Viking excursion group? Thanks for your help.

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We could see when everyone started disembarking in SP so we left immediately and truly avoided the lines. It was very easy for us. Everyone on our ALLA tour did the same so we left the port early and was able to enjoy a longer day. I want to go back there so much.

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philw1776, Thank your for the information. We are scheduled to dock in St Petersburg at 7 a.m. Our tour tickets with Alla Tours show a meeting time of 8:30 for day 1. Our Alla guide will be there by 8:00. Based on that, should we still try to exit before the large Viking excursion group? Thanks for your help.

 

Maybe not in the case of your later departure assuming the Viking folks depart earlier. First day nothing will happen at the 7AM docking. Second day is fast.

Suggest talking to your cruise director for advice. It's his/her job to make your cruise the BEST.

We found Russian customs fast compared to US customs.

 

I envy your private tour of a wonderful city. Ask lots of questions of your guide. You will never think of russia the same way after your tour. St Pete is a Gem.

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I could not agree more......we loved St. Petersburg and a Private guide/driver is vital in order to make best use of time. We joked about the VERY stern custom agents. BUT last month we went to the Canadian/US boarder patrol facility to update our NEXUS & global entry cards (we had gotten new passports and of course it is not seamless)...and the attendants were NOT smiling and there were no language issues!!!

If you are short on time and need a few small inexpensive Russian souvenirs, the kiosks in the port building will be fine.

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philw1776, Thank your for the information. We are scheduled to dock in St Petersburg at 7 a.m. Our tour tickets with Alla Tours show a meeting time of 8:30 for day 1. Our Alla guide will be there by 8:00. Based on that, should we still try to exit before the large Viking excursion group? Thanks for your help.

 

I would leave earlier to avoid lines. You never know how long it will take.

We took just included tour (we are very familiar with the city) and it took us good 20 min to clear customs.

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philw1776, Thank your for the information. We are scheduled to dock in St Petersburg at 7 a.m. Our tour tickets with Alla Tours show a meeting time of 8:30 for day 1. Our Alla guide will be there by 8:00. Based on that, should we still try to exit before the large Viking excursion group? Thanks for your help.

 

I agree with vnb2003. I'd try to build in some lead time and get off earlier. When we were in St. Petersburg a few years ago (not Viking), "day 1" immigration was crazy... long lines and delays. "Day 2" went much better because the paperwork had been done. We were also meeting a guide for a private excursion.

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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions concerning St Petersburg. It is very much appreciated.

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Short version of the days 6,7,and 8.

 

Sea day was relaxing for us starting with room service breakfast including mimosa ;). The food is delicious and beautifully presented. The weather was gorgeous and we had our walk on promenade. Sauna after that. Please try it at least once - it's very very good. They have lockers with robes, sandals, comb. The showers have shampoo and body wash, conditioner for some reason was outside of the shower. I didn't know that, the bottles were exactly the same and I ended up using shampoo and then body wash on my hair. I was surprised why my hair don't feel/looked that good...and then I was told of course haha.

Nice dinner in Manfredi and night cup in Explore lounge watching gorgeous sunset beautifully ended OUR day.

There were tons of activities for any taste/interest scheduled for sea day. Some people relaxed by the pool and some participated in those activities.

Day 7.

We had included walking tour in Gdansk. The weather was great again. It's interesting to note that the day before it was cold and rainy day. Our guide said that we are lucky. Old city is nice, very picturesque. Unfortunately most of the city was bombed at the end of the war. It has been restored using old pictures, documents and paintings. The tour was lovely and we had time to wonder by ouselves.

I have to mention - PLEASE come to the meeting point on time! If you want to stay in the city TELL guide about this. We were missing 2 people and our guide counted us several times, then ran back to the Main Street. She was very upset poor soul. Then she called her boss who told her to take us to the bus and then go back and check if they are at the meeting point. We didn't have time and finally went back to the ship.

Day 8. What a difference! We are in Warnemünde. The sea was rough at night and the morning was gloomy. It took around 20 min to get to Rostock. We had most of our walking tour under rain. Unfortunately 2.5 hour included our ride to and from the city. I wish we could spend there more time but not under rain. It's also Sunday and everything is closed except of restaurants and cafe. Churches had Sunday service and we were not able to see Astonomical Clock. I hoped to have a walk in Warnemünde in afternoon but weather is unpredictable and you always have something to do on the beatiful Viking Star :)

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Planterx2, we did the 2 day tour with Alla in April. We got off as soon as we could, it may have even been before 7. Our guide was already there even though our tickets said 8, and we ended up with an extra hour and a half on the first day. It was a private tour for 6 of us so we didn't have to wait for anybody. It was great!!

 

Our steward put a full carafe of filtered water in our stateroom twice a day.

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Short version of the days 6,7,and 8.

 

Sea day was relaxing for us starting with room service breakfast including mimosa ;). The food is delicious and beautifully presented. The weather was gorgeous and we had our walk on promenade. Sauna after that. Please try it at least once - it's very very good. They have lockers with robes, sandals, comb. The showers have shampoo and body wash, conditioner for some reason was outside of the shower. I didn't know that, the bottles were exactly the same and I ended up using shampoo and then body wash on my hair. I was surprised why my hair don't feel/looked that good...and then I was told of course haha.

Nice dinner in Manfredi and night cup in Explore lounge watching gorgeous sunset beautifully ended OUR day.

There were tons of activities for any taste/interest scheduled for sea day. Some people relaxed by the pool and some participated in those activities.

Day 7.

We had included walking tour in Gdansk. The weather was great again. It's interesting to note that the day before it was cold and rainy day. Our guide said that we are lucky. Old city is nice, very picturesque. Unfortunately most of the city was bombed at the end of the war. It has been restored using old pictures, documents and paintings. The tour was lovely and we had time to wonder by ouselves.

I have to mention - PLEASE come to the meeting point on time! If you want to stay in the city TELL guide about this. We were missing 2 people and our guide counted us several times, then ran back to the Main Street. She was very upset poor soul. Then she called her boss who told her to take us to the bus and then go back and check if they are at the meeting point. We didn't have time and finally went back to the ship.

Day 8. What a difference! We are in Warnemünde. The sea was rough at night and the morning was gloomy. It took around 20 min to get to Rostock. We had most of our walking tour under rain. Unfortunately 2.5 hour included our ride to and from the city. I wish we could spend there more time but not under rain. It's also Sunday and everything is closed except of restaurants and cafe. Churches had Sunday service and we were not able to see Astonomical Clock. I hoped to have a walk in Warnemünde in afternoon but weather is unpredictable and you always have something to do on the beatiful Viking Star :)

 

Later in the evening we and especially "Berliners" were for a big surprise from the crew. We were leaving The Restaurant after another great dinner when we heard dancing music outside. At first we thought that there was some festival in Warnemünde but when we came out to promenade deck, we saw that speakers were right there blasting music. Below on the ground the Viking Star crew was standing in two lines and applauding the guy who dance between them. There were tables with juice and champagne. Locals surrounded them enjoying the show and making pictures. At the moment we didn't realized what is going on but then it hit us that they prepared to greet people from a very long tour of Berlin. The train station is just 5 min away and we actually saw how the train arrived. We saw train first and then people coming towards the ship. It was an impressive view. The train had more than a double number of cars. Looking at nonstop river of people you for the first time could see how many people are on board. They were moving steady mostly in pairs in very organized way. You could see their tired faces...and then applause, champagne, welcome home from crew, fellow cruisers waving from the ship. You have to see their faces! They were pleasantly surprised, smiling to the crew and waving back to us. We thought it was a fantastic touching gesture from Viking Star crew and we love them all!

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vnb2003, really enjoying your reports. Thanks for sharing.

I want to add my apreciation for your wonderful trip report in real time.

The welcome back of passengers from their long excusion was a great gesture from the the Viking crew and all of you applauding from the decks of the ship!

Well done.:D

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After Warnemünde Copenhagen was our next stop. Weather cooperated and included tour was very nice. Due to construction the traffic was quite heavy on a way back to ship. Conclusion: Copenhagen is interesting city and there was not enough time to explore city. I mean we saw all major points and our guide was very good but to wonder around, checking out galleries, seat at the cafe, etc. One day is just not enough. So we decided that we'll go back at some point. We were at the Chef table again that night trying new menu and again it was really good. We spent night at Explorer lounge having night cup and enjoying guitar.

Aalborg was next. We missed talk about port and didn't expect much but boy, we were for a big surprise. First of all we had a fantastic guide Paul who knew world history very well and had a great personality. Originally from London he lives in Denmark since his twenties. It was very interesting to hear about Vikings history and how English language was affectedby them. The similarity and difference between countries that were in Viking empire. The small town is picturesque and we loved our walking tour. There is and old Franciscan monastery 10 feet below the busiest street. You could get there only by elevator. The monastery is a museum now. We left around 1:30 pm for Stavenger. The weather was beautiful and sunset was gorgeous...but according to weather forecast rain and cold were waiting for us in Stavenger.

We woke up to sunshine with a little morning fog while entering Stavenger harbor. Viking Sea was facing us in the harbor so we stayed almost parallel to them :) We booked a tour to Pulpit Rock with Norled. I would definitely recommend this tour regardless of company you book it with. The scenery was fantastic but It took our breath away when we got closer to the rock.

The surroundings were so pristine, so ancient. It was like travel in time. We absolutely loved it. We came to the shore and captain fed three cute goats. They saw the boat and were running towards it :). Then we came so close to waterfall that you can stand underneath it and the water was so clean.

Unfortunately we missed Viking Sea when we returned- they already left.

Two more days, two more cities...

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Day 13-Eidfjord, Norway. The place took our breath away. We explore it on our own. Eidfjord was one of the most beautiful places we've been! Viking Star looked picture perfect in the quiet waters against mountains. Fantastic place!

Day 14-Bergen. We had included bus tour. Our guide Daniela made it quite interesting and fun. Then we walked around. This day was busy with packing :(

We had to put our suite cases outside by 10 pm. Otherwise we would take them down by ourselves. Have to be out of cabin no later than 8 am and out of ship no later than 9:45 am. Our group (we have the same color tags) meet in Atrium at 9:30 am. I can't believe it's over.

Last tips about room. There is a night stand extension right above the drawer. You just pull it. The shower head has a small handle that increase water pressure and the pressure is good to begin with. You need to turn it to the right. Be careful when turn shower on. It's preset to hot. Move right handle (controls temp) towards a wall a little and only after that turn on left handle that turns shower on and controls pressure.

I'll try to post review soon but first I would need to sort my pictures :)

The trip was wonderful!

Happy sailing everyone!

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You must be home now vnb. Sounds like you enjoyed your trip. Welcome to the club that is already missing Viking and the Homelands cruise.

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You must be home now vnb. Sounds like you enjoyed your trip. Welcome to the club that is already missing Viking and the Homelands cruise.

 

Yes jiminyC_fan, you are absolutely right and thank you for sharing your experience that helped us :)

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A question for you who have been in St. Petersburg recently: I'm reading posts from other cruise lines that passengers taking the cruise line tours (paid or included) are allowed off the ship first with private tour folks at the end of the line. This has caused long delays in exiting the ship and shortened the time for the tours. This is being described as a new policy for that port to be implemented in 2018, but some lines are starting early. Any experience with any of you? Thank you.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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We had a private tour. Our room was port side so we got off the minute we saw people leaving and fortunately so did the other two couples we were touring with. We did not have to wait for ship tours to leave first and we were able to start our tour earlier than the tour company scheduled. This was May/June of this year.

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We took an included tour and there was no line. We probably spent 10 min at the passport control. As I mention in other post Vikings organize everything extremely well. Their tour schedules maybe only 15 min apart but groups assembled in the separate areas so there is no large crowd at the exit plus nobody from another group would try to cut through AND THAT makes a smooth departure. It looks from the cabin like a line of ants moving without stopping :)

 

I would talk to Cruise Director. I personally saw a couple asking if they could leave early and he let them through.

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