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G. GIRL

Just got back from Viking Star Athens to Venice

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Hi, the crew and room stewards were lovely. The food, top notch. The drinks outside of the included ones we found very reasonable price wise. You already know the ship is beautiful, lucky you going again!

 

Thank you!! :)

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Hello and thanks for answering questions and doing the review G. Girl. Will you also post your review here?

I’m thinking of doing a Venice to Athens cruise in 2020...Viking has two slightly different itineraries on this route Empires of the Mediterranean (10days)and Venice the Adriatic & Greece (8days), which did you do? Was there a reason you picked one instead of the other? I’m having a bit of difficulty deciding between the two as I would really like to visit both Split and Santorini and neither itinerary offers both. Right now Empires of the Mediterranean (Santorini) is slightly ahead.

 

 

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Hi,

Yes it was the Empires of The Mediterranean we did. We chose this as wanted to see the Dalmatian coast and Venice. The whole itinerary was excellent and if you go to Santorini visit Oia it’s lovely. We’ve had two holidays on Santorini and love it.

When they send me the link for my review I shall post it.

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Looking forward to your review. Like trinicruisegyal, we are considering booking "Empires", Venice to Athens, for 2020 including a pre-cruise extension in Venice. We're doing Viking Homelands, Stockholm to Bergen, in 62 days (not that I'm counting :) ) and hope to book our 2020 while on-board.

 

Thank you all and stay in touch trinicruisegyal, perhaps we'll see you in Venice.

Edited by linrodhag

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Wow, G.Girl, we were also on the Viking Empires from Athens to Venice (May 12-21) and also took the optional Krka tour. This was our second Viking Oceans cruise (Homelands in July 2017) and I love the ship and the program. I was very disappointed that the Krka National Parks tour did NOT include the boat ride that was listed at the time we bought this optional tour. I will be contacting Viking about this. Our guide for this optional tour said she had done this tour many times with Viking and it had never included a boat ride from Krka to Skradin, but it was one of the main reasons we selected this tour.

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We are going on this cruise, in the opposite direction, in March. Which Krka tour did you take? There are 2 offered...

 

 

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Mpc524--we were on the "Krka Natl Park and Zadar". The park is incredible--even better than I had expected. There are wooden walkways over the water currents for a long way and then the big falls are amazing. One caveat, however--at the end of the walking tour in the park, there are a lot of rather steep steps. This was unexpected by some members of the group who had asked Viking in advance about the level of difficulty in this tour, and they were assured that it was not strenuous.

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We also took the optional tour "The Best of Ljubljana" in Koper, and it was delightful. A short canal boat ride was included.

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G. Girl, what did you choose to do in Croatia? We’re you in Dubrovnik or Split?

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We also took the optional tour "The Best of Ljubljana" in Koper, and it was delightful. A short canal boat ride was included.

 

We did the Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle tour from Koper (great trip), but really wished we could have done the Ljubljana trip too. Since we couldn't be in two places at once, I guess we may have to go back!

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G. Girl, what did you choose to do in Croatia? We’re you in Dubrovnik or Split?

 

Hi,

We went to Dubrovnik and did the ‘by land and sea’ tour.

To be totally honest we were disappointed with Dubrovnik. I think that there has been so many photographs taken from advantageous angles that when we got there it was kind of ‘is this it?’. For us the best part of the trip was the boat ride along the coast there and back.

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We are going on this cruise, in the opposite direction, in March. Which Krka tour did you take? There are 2 offered...

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Hi,

We did the Krka National Park and Zadar. Included in this tour was a four course lunch which we thought was unnecessary. I only ate the main. We would have preferred longer at the park and a simpler lunch.

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Mpc524--we were on the "Krka Natl Park and Zadar". The park is incredible--even better than I had expected. There are wooden walkways over the water currents for a long way and then the big falls are amazing. One caveat, however--at the end of the walking tour in the park, there are a lot of rather steep steps. This was unexpected by some members of the group who had asked Viking in advance about the level of difficulty in this tour, and they were assured that it was not strenuous.

 

Hi,

We are in our 50’s and found all those steps at the end a bit of a challenge. I think the guide said there was 200! Im sure some guests would have really struggled.

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Yikes! 200 steps! A required route to get out? I have always wanted to see those falls, but not excited about the climb.

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Yikes! 200 steps! A required route to get out? I have always wanted to see those falls, but not excited about the climb.

 

As far as I’m aware that is the route out as you wend your through the woodland down through all the smaller falls to the grand finale.

You just need to take your time with the steps. Unless you have a physical problem that would totally prevent you doing steps it would be a great shame not to go. I have a back problem that causes me a fair amount of pain but I’m so glad I went, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. Walking through those woods with the water rushing all around you is like being in an enchanted forest.

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We did Empires last spring, and I think that is the same one G.Girl just did, as she talked about Zadar, which is on this itinerary. I give this cruise two big thumbs up. I haven't been to Split, so no slight on that port, but Santorini is spectacular. We were there in early April, and were lucky enough to be the only ship in port that day. We got to have this amazing place practically to ourselves. It's hard to say whether Santorini or Dubrovnik were our favorites.

 

Another point in this itinerary's favor is that it is two days longer that the other one you are considering. If you are traveling a long way, a few extra days are a bonus.

 

Hi,

Yes it was the Empires of The Mediterranean we did. We chose this as wanted to see the Dalmatian coast and Venice. The whole itinerary was excellent and if you go to Santorini visit Oia it’s lovely. We’ve had two holidays on Santorini and love it.

When they send me the link for my review I shall post it.

 

Thank you for your responses lackcreativity and G.Girl. I think for now Empires is still in the lead, with the stop in Santorini and the two extra days being the main reasons.

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Re Krka Park, one thing I should mention is the guide said in high season the water reduces significantly so in July and August the views won’t be as spectacular.

Edited by G. GIRL
missed our info

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Looking forward to your review. Like trinicruisegyal, we are considering booking "Empires", Venice to Athens, for 2020 including a pre-cruise extension in Venice. We're doing Viking Homelands, Stockholm to Bergen, in 62 days (not that I'm counting :) ) and hope to book our 2020 while on-board.

 

Thank you all and stay in touch trinicruisegyal, perhaps we'll see you in Venice.

 

Linrodhag, to be honest we are also considering Alaska & the Inside Passage and probably would have already booked that, but I'm a little uncertain of what the Viking experience in Alaska will be like. Alaska is available on the dates that we would like, this is an anniversary trip and ideally we would like to be on the cruise on our actual anniversary (August 1). Neither of the Venice to Athens itineraries are offered then, but I really love the two itineraries and I think that Viking excels at these type of port intensive cruises, so I'm willing to consider doing the cruise 6 weeks later.

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Loving all the comments re: excursions...very helpful! I’m making lots of notes so I’ll know what to try for when it’s finally time to book (we are Empires Athens-Venice next April, with a few extra days in Venice). Any suggestions re: Athens? We are arriving the day of the cruise and will only have that next full day in Athens, so trying to decide what’s our best option(s). Also...did you do many of the included excursions? Looking forward to the review..and to any/all comments from others who’ve recently been on the Star for this itinerary!

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Loving all the comments re: excursions...very helpful! I’m making lots of notes so I’ll know what to try for when it’s finally time to book (we are Empires Athens-Venice next April, with a few extra days in Venice). Any suggestions re: Athens? We are arriving the day of the cruise and will only have that next full day in Athens, so trying to decide what’s our best option(s). Also...did you do many of the included excursions? Looking forward to the review..and to any/all comments from others who’ve recently been on the Star for this itinerary!

 

Hi,

We did the Plaka district and the Acropolis museum in Athens. You saw interesting things while on the coach and the museum was good too. The only problem was the guide we had was so knowledgeable that she stopped at every piece to tell you everything about it. You may say that’s good but I have a back problem and while walking is ok excessive standing kills me, there were others too who obviously had similar issues and half way through we had to excuse ourselves and arrange to meet the group at a designated time and place. It was better being able to walk a bit then sit a bit. We then walked through the city to a restaurant where they served a very nice lunch. You then had free time.

The included tour in Slovenia was a simple walk through the old town, a nice little town I will add.

One brilliant thing about the tours is you wear an ear piece tuned into a radio box you have around your neck and can hear the guide from a good few meters away, this was very useful especially when one lady got separated from the group and the guide could walk back through the crowds calling her!

We enjoyed all the tours but you have to accept the included ones will not be traveling far afield.

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Loving all the comments re: excursions...very helpful! I’m making lots of notes so I’ll know what to try for when it’s finally time to book (we are Empires Athens-Venice next April, with a few extra days in Venice). Any suggestions re: Athens? We are arriving the day of the cruise and will only have that next full day in Athens, so trying to decide what’s our best option(s). Also...did you do many of the included excursions? Looking forward to the review..and to any/all comments from others who’ve recently been on the Star for this itinerary!

 

We did a mix of included and optional excursions. In Athens, we did the optional Acropolis and Plaka District Walking tour because we specifically wanted to climb to the top of the Acropolis. After the tour we stayed behind on our own and took the free Viking shuttle back to the ship.

 

My advice is to read the descriptions of the excursions carefully. They generally make clear if you are walking to a sight, or just riding by, or entering an attraction. I also use Pinterest or Tripadvisor to look up places/towns/sights that I don't know anything about if I am trying to decide about excursions. Since we book so far in advance, I have plenty of time for research!

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We were also on the Empires cruise, May 12-21. Here are the tours we did:

1. Athens: "Panoramic Athens and Archeological Museum"-had a great guide and loved the museum.

2. Santorini: "Summits & Countryside"- a tender port; bus ride viewing beautiful scenery; great views from Oia and Thira, but quite warm and extremely crowded; stood in line for an hour to take cable car down to get on the tender back to ship.

3. Katakolon/Olympia: "Ancient Olympia & Archaeological Museum"- long bus ride to Olympia but we really enjoyed this tour of the first Olympic site and learning of the history; the museum was also very interesting.

4. Corfu: "Panoramic Corfu & Old Town Walking Tour"- bus ride to Mouse Island (not much there), then interesting walking tour of Corfu. Took Viking shuttle back to ship.

5. Kotor: do not miss the sail-in; unbelievably beautiful area. We did a private tour with M Tours for 7 hours and it was terrific. This was a tender port, but with Viking's boats instead of a private company.

6. Dubrovnik: "Dubrovnik Walking Tour"-very scenic bus ride; walking tour started at Pile Gate. We left the tour at this point to "walk the wall" to the Ploce Gate. Many steps to climb up but worth it. Wear a hat and hope for some clouds. You can only walk counter-clockwise and Pile-to-Ploce gives best views of sea (cost 20 Euros per person; can use credit card); there is a WC about halfway (free or donation of your choice; tour guide had erroneously told us there were no bathrooms along the wall). There is a Viking shuttle available here.

7. Zadar: optional tour "Krka Nat'l Park & Zadar"-a favorite tour in spite of long bus ride (about an hour) with little to see along the way; Krka was great area to tour; lots of steep steps at end; lunch included (and wine!). Short walking tour of Zadar; the Sea Organ was right next to where Star was docked-a terrific area. This port area was very modern, clean, and without cheesy tourist shops.

8. Koper: optional tour "The Best of Ljubljana"-great tour; bus ride at least one hour each way, but more scenic than day before; canal boat ride in city, then walking tour; lovely city; modern; good included lunch; free time after lunch for some shopping.

 

Sorry this was so long--will be happy to try and answer any questions about this cruise. We highly recommend it! One of the few negatives--wifi onboard ship was not great.

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G GIRL

Which terminal did you dock at in Venice?

The big one further away from the city or the one on the canal?

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Thank you so much for your extensive review of the excursions for Empires of the Mediterranean.

We are going on this cruise May 16-25, 2019. Now I'm starting to get excited. Didn't know how Viking would measure up to our cruise last May on the Oceania Marina, which we loved.

Is anyone else going on this cruise?

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We're doing this same exact cruise next May. Can't wait to read your review!

 

 

Margie,

 

Are you on the May 16 - 25th sailing?

 

Rhona

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