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Peregrina651

Live from the Western Mediterranean

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It is time to start a thread dedicated to Viking's cruises in the Western Med--tips on the ports, comments on the shorex, etc.

 

Hopefully, many people will join the conversation, asking questions, answering questions, commenting on the various tours that are offered.

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Happy to hear anything you find interesting, disturbing or delightful about the ship or the itinerary. Cheers!

 

 

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Marseille: Discover Aix-en-Provence

 

Our original plan was to go to Aix on our own by bus or train. But, jetlag slayed me and we decided to do the afternoon tour with Viking instead, and we are actually glad we did.

 

Our guide Corinna was marvelous and we learned a lot about the history, the people who have lived in the town, the architecture, etc. She told us enough to cover the subject matter but short enough to keep it interesting.

 

Aix is a long half hour from the port by bus. We were dropped near San Sauveur and picked up at La Rotonde. Corinna took us into San S and then over 45 minutes or so walked us to Cours Mirabeau, where she pointed out the direction of La Rotonde and told us what time to be back there. We wondered down the street checking out the Christmas stalls and found a cafe where we sat drinking tea and watching all the holiday shoppers and vacationing students who filled the streets. If my get up and go hadn't gotten up and gone, we would have spent the time at the Musee Granat. Others shopped the boutiques.

 

Heads Up: This is a walking tour. It is a very old European city and the tour covers the oldest part of the city. The walking is uneven. However, Corinna did an excellent job of pacing the walk so that we never felt we were constantly waiting for people to catch up. She gave us time at each stop for photos. On our tour we had a couple of people using canes and one person in a wheel chair. BTW, kudos to the gentleman who offered her his arm as she walked out of the church so that her companion could manage the wheelchair up the couple of steps.

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Happy to hear anything you find interesting, disturbing or delightful about the ship or the itinerary. Cheers!

 

 

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I have to say that Saint-Tropez was exactly what I expected.

 

Star has new Quietvox with standard headset jacks so you can use your own headset/ear buds. HOORAY!!

 

Laundry machines on the Star are easier to use--two dials and a start button plus the button on the soap dispenser. Bring lingerie bags for washing smaller items. Easier to keep track of them.

 

 

Having a great time. New Years Eve party was a blast. Travel is broadening. Don't ask me my favorite dish. Tonight's must sample items are the pumpkin soup and the lobster risotto. I did not try the Lobster Thermador but I saw a lot of it leaving the kitchen.

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Glad you are having a great time, Peregrina. At least you got to go on an actual cruise this year! We loved our Viking tour of Aix last January and would really like to go back there.

Dear friends of mine are on this cruise with you (Mrs Miggins)....hoping they are having a wonderful time too.

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How is the sea this time of year? Is there a lot of swell?

Could you tell us who is the hotel manager and Cruise director?

 

Happy New Year:)

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It is time to start a thread dedicated to Viking's cruises in the Western Med--tips on the ports, comments on the shorex, etc.

 

Hopefully, many people will join the conversation, asking questions, answering questions, commenting on the various tours that are offered.

 

Hi

 

Did you board the cruise in Barcelona on 28th Dec.? Had thought you going to board the Viking Star at Civitavecchia on Jan 4th.

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Glad you are having a great time, Peregrina. At least you got to go on an actual cruise this year! We loved our Viking tour of Aix last January and would really like to go back there.

Dear friends of mine are on this cruise with you (Mrs Miggins)....hoping they are having a wonderful time too.

 

Yes they are! And, as far as I can tell, yes they are. Dined with them after the M&M.

 

Seems Viking is making up for last year's disappointment with some mighty fine weather. Of course,

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Hi

 

Did you board the cruise in Barcelona on 28th Dec.? Had thought you going to board the Viking Star at Civitavecchia on Jan 4th.

 

Doing 2 weeks Barcelona to Barcelona booked as 2 separate cruises because when we booked they hadn't started offering the two-week combined itinerary.

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How is the sea this time of year? Is there a lot of swell?

Could you tell us who is the hotel manager and Cruise director?

 

Happy New Year:)

 

HotelMan is Scherz.

CD is Jenna Beaudoin

 

As for the swells, every day is different. Smooth as silk last night. A bit of rocking and rolling tonight.

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Excited to hear your adventures. We’re booked for the Barcelona to Rome segment in Feb

 

 

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Peregrina, I sent you a private email with a Viking question. Wanted you to know in case it goes in your spam file.

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Having a fantastic cruise onboard Star.

Lovely ship, friendly staff, interesting passengers, live music everywhere, excellent food, great Spa. Even the weather has been kind with glorious sunshine.

Have taken included tours in Barcelona, Marseilles, St Tropez and Livorno. Some better than others.

Will do a lot of longer review but now have to go to our meeting with the Future Cruise Consultant !

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Doing 2 weeks Barcelona to Barcelona booked as 2 separate cruises because when we booked they hadn't started offering the two-week combined itinerary.

 

Glad you are on board. You were one of the first people who help with my queries before my first cruise on Viking.

 

D'you know something, a lot of things I read in the comments from members on CruiseCritic before my cruise seem to be true. Initially, I had thought they were not right, but they are.

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Having a fantastic cruise onboard Star.

Lovely ship, friendly staff, interesting passengers, live music everywhere, excellent food, great Spa. Even the weather has been kind with glorious sunshine.

Have taken included tours in Barcelona, Marseilles, St Tropez and Livorno. Some better than others.

Will do a lot of longer review but now have to go to our meeting with the Future Cruise Consultant !

 

So glad you are both having a good time Pam. 😄

 

Which Viking cruise are you considering?

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Glad you are on board. You were one of the first people who help with my queries before my first cruise on Viking.

 

D'you know something, a lot of things I read in the comments from members on CruiseCritic before my cruise seem to be true. Initially, I had thought they were not right, but they are.

 

We are glad we are on board, too. Boston temps are well below freezing right now.

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Peregrina, I sent you a private email with a Viking question. Wanted you to know in case it goes in your spam file.

 

Got it. Not spam. Will ask tomorrow.

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Taking the bus to Nice.

 

January 1 and the museums we wanted to see in Nice were closed. Still, playing mountain goat in Monte Carlo had no appeal. So we asked the information ladies on the terminal building where to get the bus.

 

They gave us a map and marked off the Place d'Armes and we managed to find our way to the stop. Allow 20-30 min to get there. The ride is 1 and a half euros each way--and the ride along the coast along is worth the price of admission.

 

Once in Nice, we joined the January 1 strollers walking along the water to the Old Town and then back to the bus. We stopped for coffee in a cafe. We bought some bread to eat along with the chorizo and sherry we bought in Barcelona and picnicked by the Infinity Pool until the wind chased us in.

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We were on the Star 12/14. We could not get into Marseille or Toulon due to winds and rough seas. Missing this port was a big disappointment. I ended up going to the spa for a massage. It was great but I would have preferred a day in France.

 

 

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We were on the Star 12/14. We could not get into Marseille or Toulon due to winds and rough seas. Missing this port was a big disappointment. I ended up going to the spa for a massage. It was great but I would have preferred a day in France.

 

 

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Now I'm in France but would prefer a day in the spa on the Star. LOL ;p

 

It is always disappointing when a port is missed due to weather. The Med is never reliable in the winter and when she gets worked up, she can be one of the roughest seas in the world. I'm crossing my fingers for our cruise in three weeks. We are tendering in Monte Carlo which can be a challenge even in the summertime. Last summer on our cruise on the Seabourn Encore, the captain had to stop tender service at one point and changed the "all on board" from 23:00 to 18:00.

 

The only one to blame is Mother Nature (or Neptune?).

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We were on the Star 12/14. We could not get into Marseille or Toulon due to winds and rough seas. Missing this port was a big disappointment. I ended up going to the spa for a massage. It was great but I would have preferred a day in France.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

WelshieLover, that is a good reminder for us all. Unfortunately, missing a port due to weather can happen on any cruise and there is nothing that can be said to change that fact or to ameliorate the disappointment. We just have to go with the flow.

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Now I'm in France but would prefer a day in the spa on the Star. LOL ;p

 

It is always disappointing when a port is missed due to weather. The Med is never reliable in the winter and when she gets worked up, she can be one of the roughest seas in the world. I'm crossing my fingers for our cruise in three weeks. We are tendering in Monte Carlo which can be a challenge even in the summertime. Last summer on our cruise on the Seabourn Encore, the captain had to stop tender service at one point and changed the "all on board" from 23:00 to 18:00.

 

The only one to blame is Mother Nature (or Neptune?).

 

We docked in Monte Carlo. The only place we have tendered so far is St. Tropez.

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We docked in Monte Carlo. The only place we have tendered so far is St. Tropez.

 

This is good news, thank you.

 

While you are in port in France, you might want to sample a "galette de roi" or king cake. This is the time of year this specialty is offered in all pastry shops and bakeries. In the south of France they are presented as a crown of brioche topped off with candied fruit. In the north of France it is made with two round discs of puffed pastry filled with frangipane. Inside either option hides a "feve" or charm. The person that ends up with the feve is the king and gets to wear a crown that is provided with the galette.

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This is good news, thank you.

 

While you are in port in France, you might want to sample a "galette de roi" or king cake. This is the time of year this specialty is offered in all pastry shops and bakeries. In the south of France they are presented as a crown of brioche topped off with candied fruit. In the north of France it is made with two round discs of puffed pastry filled with frangipane. Inside either option hides a "feve" or charm. The person that ends up with the feve is the king and gets to wear a crown that is provided with the galette.

 

 

"King's Day" (Feast of the Epiphany) is tomorrow--Jan 6. Marks the beginning of Mardi Gras and King Cake season in New Orleans. Yum!!

 

We are looking forward to our Barcelona to Rome cruise in July. We'd love to have any reviews of the included tours. The included tours on our river cruise were wonderful but we need to decide if we will do optional or book other independent tours. Thanks for any input you all might have.

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Having a fantastic cruise onboard Star.

Lovely ship, friendly staff, interesting passengers, live music everywhere, excellent food, great Spa. Even the weather has been kind with glorious sunshine.

Have taken included tours in Barcelona, Marseilles, St Tropez and Livorno. Some better than others.

Will do a lot of longer review but now have to go to our meeting with the Future Cruise Consultant !

 

 

Anxiously awaiting your reviews, Mrs. Miggins. Glad to hear you are having such a wonderful cruise.

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