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russg140

Live from Viking Sun "Into the Midnight Sun" June 12 - 26

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Thank you for your great info.

Just a quick question, what perks are there for booking while on board? I've seen other posts, but they seem to vary so curious what the current bonuses are for booking on board.

I hope you are doing the Empires of Mediterranean. We did this in Dec 2016. It was the best cruise we have been on so far. Make sure you spend extra time in Venice. It is easy to do on your own and much cheaper then Viking pre-stay.

 

Stud

 

Yes! That’s the one! Looks awesome. We’ll be on the same ship, same stateroom.

 

Current perks are $200 or $500 p.p. discount based on length of cruise, $200 p.p. credit for booking within 12 months of last cruise. The old voucher program is gone. Final payment is waived until 6 months before sailing.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Russ

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TIP #1: the chefs have spent a lot of time preparing dinner. DON’T complain that “dinner took over an hour” as the people next to us tonight did. If you want to go to the show that badly eat in the World Cafe. The meal is meant to be savored and enjoyed, not gobbled down like a Happy Meal.

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Karen,

 

The arrival times have been spot on. Our departure from Geiranger was delayed due to weather. Ship excursions get priority for disembarkation over independent tours. We had this happen and explained our situation to the security personnel, who let us off.

 

Russ

 

I can see why Viking excursions would get priority when tendering but can one go on/off at will when docking?

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TIP #1: the chefs have spent a lot of time preparing dinner. DON’T complain that “dinner took over an hour” as the people next to us tonight did. If you want to go to the show that badly eat in the World Cafe. The meal is meant to be savored and enjoyed, not gobbled down like a Happy Meal.

 

Love your comment. When we booked specialty restaurants, I saw that our calendar was blocked for two hours. I expect a sit down served meal to take time.

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Most of the included trips are bus tours, meaning you get in a bus, drive around, hear a little history, stop for a photo or two and come back to the ship. I personally haven’t heard any complaints.

 

Russ

Just a quick thank you for this very informative thread. We're sailing this itinerary in 3 weeks and your posts are like a very tasty appetizer :)

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Stud

 

Yes! That’s the one! Looks awesome. We’ll be on the same ship, same stateroom.

 

Current perks are $200 or $500 p.p. discount based on length of cruise, $200 p.p. credit for booking within 12 months of last cruise. The old voucher program is gone. Final payment is waived until 6 months before sailing.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Russ

 

Thanks for this information, and for your earlier advice to get an appointment early with the future cruise advisor. On our first ocean cruise with Viking the advisor was spending a good bit of time with no one to talk to. Based on your (and others) comments, it sounds like they could use some extra folks to help out!

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Oh, and we did the reverse version of Empires of the Mediterranean — Athens to Venice — and it was fantastic. We went at the end of March, 2017, and the weather was perfect. You’ll have a great time!

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We are on the June 30th sailing and want to book

Geiranger Fjordservice for the boat trip up the Fjord. Is that the company you used??

Linda and Don Smith

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Stud

 

Yes! That’s the one! Looks awesome. We’ll be on the same ship, same stateroom.

 

Current perks are $200 or $500 p.p. discount based on length of cruise, $200 p.p. credit for booking within 12 months of last cruise. The old voucher program is gone. Final payment is waived until 6 months before sailing.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Russ

 

Thanks for the quick response. Other people had mention on-board credit for the current cruise, but on river cruises that is not worth much unless they have changed the rules for using it as tips for the crew( I believe Ocean you can but not River, the last info I read).

Our VO cruise was also Athens to Venice but will gladly answer any questions on Empires of Med. once you are done enjoying your current cruise:D.

 

Dave

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Russg, are they no longer offering shipboard credit on the current cruise in addition to the amount off of the future cruise? Thanks! And thanks for your trip report!

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Russg, thank you again for answering all our questions! We will be embarking on the Sea next week. I know you haven't spent much time so far in Norway. We are trying to decide if we should get some krone before leaving the US. Have you been using a credit card for everything in Norway or is cash advisable?

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Elpasomom I am not Russ but we never get money ahead of time in the US regardless of where we are going. Exchange rate is bad. If you wait until you get to your destination just use an ATM. you get the exchange rate of the day and my credit union charges no fees.

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First, great thread, I look forward to reading along with your progress.

 

Dumb newbie question while researching my spring 2019 trip. When the Viking itinerary shows the departing city on day 1 and 2, that means the ship is essentially your hotel that first night? Check in that afternoon, then have that evening and most of the next day available for a tour or walkabout? Same question upon arrivals when the destination is listed as 2 days? That's what I'm inferring, but don't see that stated plainly anywhere.

 

Look forward to joining the club next year.

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When the Viking itinerary shows the departing city on day 1 and 2, that means the ship is essentially your hotel that first night? Check in that afternoon, then have that evening and most of the next day available for a tour or walkabout? Same question upon arrivals when the destination is listed as 2 days? That's what I'm inferring, but don't see that stated plainly anywhere.

 

Steven,

I'm not russg140, but I can answer your question.

Your assumption is correct. You check in on Day 1 (around 2pm, perhaps earlier if you're in a high-category cabin), have the afternoon/evening to explore the sights/sites. Next day will be the "included" Viking excursion, with sail-away late in the afternoon (typically). This arrangement provides a little bit of insurance on arrival time. If, perish the thought, one's air connections get screwed up, you have a day of leeway to get to the embarkation port before the ship departs. Or for your luggage to arrive, if it happened to get misrouted (not that that ever happens...)

 

Likewise at the end of the cruise - a full day (Day N-1) to explore the destination city and/or enjoy Viking's included excursion, return to the ship for overnight stay, then exit stage left first thing the next morning (Day N) to make room for the new passengers who will begin boarding that afternoon.

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Steven,

I'm not russg140, but I can answer your question.

Your assumption is correct. You check in on Day 1 (around 2pm, perhaps earlier if you're in a high-category cabin), have the afternoon/evening to explore the sights/sites. Next day will be the "included" Viking excursion, with sail-away late in the afternoon (typically). This arrangement provides a little bit of insurance on arrival time. If, perish the thought, one's air connections get screwed up, you have a day of leeway to get to the embarkation port before the ship departs. Or for your luggage to arrive, if it happened to get misrouted (not that that ever happens...)

 

Likewise at the end of the cruise - a full day (Day N-1) to explore the destination city and/or enjoy Viking's included excursion, return to the ship for overnight stay, then exit stage left first thing the next morning (Day N) to make room for the new passengers who will begin boarding that afternoon.

 

Thanks. That actually makes it (slightly) more affordable, as it offsets hotel and meals for a day at each end. At Copenhagen prices, that's easily $500 per day.

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We will be leaving in a couple of days for the same trip on Viking Sky. Do you know how early you have to be back on board before departing each port? I know in Bergen it's two hours, but I was hoping it would be an hour in the other ports. Thanks.

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I can see why Viking excursions would get priority when tendering but can one go on/off at will when docking?

 

Yes. And with Viking’s procedure for scanning your card it is really effortless.

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We are on the June 30th sailing and want to book

Geiranger Fjordservice for the boat trip up the Fjord. Is that the company you used??

Linda and Don Smith

 

Linda and Don

 

 

Yes. They are located right at the harbor. To the right as you get off the tender.

 

 

Russ

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Russg, are they no longer offering shipboard credit on the current cruise in addition to the amount off of the future cruise? Thanks! And thanks for your trip report!

 

Stretch

 

She didn’t mention any credit toward the current cruise, just credit on the future cruise. Which for us works great because one of our excursions was canceled so we have a large credit right now. I am assuming this will be put back on our card.

 

Russ

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Russg, thank you again for answering all our questions! We will be embarking on the Sea next week. I know you haven't spent much time so far in Norway. We are trying to decide if we should get some krone before leaving the US. Have you been using a credit card for everything in Norway or is cash advisable?

 

ElPasoMom

 

Don’t. When you arrive in Norway there are plenty of Mini-banks (ATMs) even at the airport. CCs work too without issue. Plan to use cash for tips mainly and cc’s for purchases. Don’t forget that Norway offers a tax free option. For example: the $300 sweater we bought in Geiranger qualified for a $30 refund - 10% rebate!

 

Russ

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Steven,

I'm not russg140, but I can answer your question.

Your assumption is correct. You check in on Day 1 (around 2pm, perhaps earlier if you're in a high-category cabin), have the afternoon/evening to explore the sights/sites. Next day will be the "included" Viking excursion, with sail-away late in the afternoon (typically). This arrangement provides a little bit of insurance on arrival time. If, perish the thought, one's air connections get screwed up, you have a day of leeway to get to the embarkation port before the ship departs. Or for your luggage to arrive, if it happened to get misrouted (not that that ever happens...)

 

Likewise at the end of the cruise - a full day (Day N-1) to explore the destination city and/or enjoy Viking's included excursion, return to the ship for overnight stay, then exit stage left first thing the next morning (Day N) to make room for the new passengers who will begin boarding that afternoon.

 

What he said! LOL!

 

We had an overnight in Bergen and will have one in Greenwich/London.

 

Since Norwegian Air lost our luggage (but promptly found it) this was a real bonus.

 

In London we are planning private tours. Stay tuned...

 

Russ

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We will be leaving in a couple of days for the same trip on Viking Sky. Do you know how early you have to be back on board before departing each port? I know in Bergen it's two hours, but I was hoping it would be an hour in the other ports. Thanks.

 

Dog

 

Back on board time is usually 1hour prior to departure.

 

Russ

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Don’t forget that Norway offers a tax free option. For example: the $300 sweater we bought in Geiranger qualified for a $30 refund - 10% rebate!

 

Russ

 

Russ,

Can you say some more about the VAT tax refund procedure? Did you actually get the 10% refund from the shop in Geiranger? I've gone through the VAT refund song-and-dance a couple of times on other trips abroad (but never in Norway). The procedure required me to save the receipts, complete forms, get paperwork stamped at Customs in the airport prior to departure from the country, and then mail the forms away. For this cruise, you don't depart Norway from an airport. Leknes is the last Norwegian port-of-call, and I doubt there is a VAT Refund office on the Quay there:-)

 

Thanks for the refund info, and thanks for spending cruise time on this thread.

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So today we were in Honnigsvag, the most northern city in Europe. We once again awoke to bright clear skies. We passed on breakfast since our ( ship arranged) excursion left early. There was a glitch with the disembarkation ramp, and we were a little late in leaving. Once we finally got going we met up with our guide and headed off. It was a fantastic tour. If you’re interested in more info let me know.

 

Back to the port by 11:30. There is one tourist shop by the harbor, which everyone frequents, but we found the shop one block, Arctandria, that has the same product but for a little less, much less touristy and more authentic.

 

The rest of the day was casual. Even though we weren’t hungry we grabbed a little lunch and later spent time in the Spa. A nap was totally in order later. Dinner was at Manfredi’s. Once again it was good not great, so we’re going to cancel our last reservation there and stick with The Restaurant.

 

Tonight is the second “Midnight Sun” party but the fog is San Francisco worthy - no sun, midnight or otherwise, will be seen.

 

OH! For the person that asked about San Pellegrino: it is available only in The Restaurant and only by request. Just FYI.

 

I hope you are enjoying these posts. Anything else you want to know please ask!

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Russ,

Can you say some more about the VAT tax refund procedure? Did you actually get the 10% refund from the shop in Geiranger? I've gone through the VAT refund song-and-dance a couple of times on other trips abroad (but never in Norway). The procedure required me to save the receipts, complete forms, get paperwork stamped at Customs in the airport prior to departure from the country, and then mail the forms away. For this cruise, you don't depart Norway from an airport. Leknes is the last Norwegian port-of-call, and I doubt there is a VAT Refund office on the Quay there:-)

 

Thanks for the refund info, and thanks for spending cruise time on this thread.

 

SG

 

First off, you’re welcome. I enjoy doing this since I had a million questions about the trip myself.

 

Here’s our experience: we bought a sweater in Geiranger and were given 2 receipts. You fill out the form. Go to guest relations with your passport and the receipts. You need to have the credit card used to make the original purchase and that’s it.

 

Viking makes it really simple.

 

Russ

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