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sharkster77

Viking hotels in Amsterdam

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Hi to all CC'ers

 

This is a question to those who are doing the Viking pre-cruise in Amsterdam prior to a Rhine Getaway cruise in the next few months, who have already received their accomodations info.  We aren't going until October.

 

In the past it seems most have been placed at the Radisson Blu, which seems to be pretty centrally located.  However, some have reported being placed at a hotel used primarily by business travelers as opposed to tourists, which is out of the way.

 

So anyone who is using Viking for a pre-cruise in the next few months, where is Viking placing you in Amsterdam?  I am praying that in the fall, they don't put us somewhere that prevents us from walking to museums, Dam square, etc.

 

Thanks to all in advance!

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While I can't argue against the convenience of letting Viking arrange a pre-cruise stay for you, Amsterdam is very easy to navigate on your own. If the hotel's location is really important for you, I would strongly investigate making arrangements on your own. It is very easy to get from the airport to the central train station (and from there to your hotel via taxi or Uber if you don't want to navigate the tram system so soon after arriving). The airport/hotel and hotel/ship transfers are helpful, sure, but you're paying a hefty premium while still carrying the risk that Viking will transfer you at the last minute. 

 

I would consider using Viking for pre-cruise stays in other cities but, again, Amsterdam is generally compact, English-friendly and easy enough to DIY it. 

 

That said, there was a recent report of someone getting moved to the Hotel Okura - that's the business hotel you mentioned. Others seem to stay at the Movenpick (which is even more convenient to the ship's dock). 

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We're already booked into the Viking pre-cruise in Amsterdam--figured that we would pay Viking to handle our jet-lagged brains for a couple of day, despite the cost.

 

I'll have to look into the Hotel Okura---have heard very good things about the Movenpick, though.

 

OTOH, we are doing Lucerne DIY after the cruise, as the Viking post-cruise extension is $799 pp!!  We figure we can do the 2-night stay for half that, if not better (we realize that Switzerland is expensive, but we've been to Iceland, so we KNOW expensive!).  Got a riverside room at the Hotel des Alpes for $220 per night (there were cheaper rooms but decided to splurge for the view--very easy walk from train station).  All we should need is help getting a cab from the dock in Basel to the SBB station in Basel.

 

October is still 7 months away, but getting closer..................

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FWIW, on our Rhine Getaway in April of 2017, we were originally booked at the Movenpick, but a few months prior to the cruise we were moved to the Renaissance Hotel,  just across from Centraal Station. We absolutely loved the location and were quite happy with the move.

 

I have no idea if they still use the Renaissance, but it was a good choice for us.


Jeff

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We've been assigned to Radisson Blu for our June pre cruise stay.  I'm hoping they don't move us at the last minute, but I've read somewhere where this is a possibility.

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We took a Viking Amsterdam to Basel river cruise last Fall that included a pre-cruise stay in Amsterdam.  Viking originally booked us at Movenpick, but later changed it the the Hotel Okura.  I was not too happy about the switch because we were further out, and would have to get public transportation passes for our stay.  Well, to make lemonade from lemons, we found the Hotel Okura to be very nice, and the staff were wonderful!  I had emailed ahead of time and they had a room available for us at 6:30 AM after an overnight flight, which was heavenly!  We were able to purchase our tram passes right at the hotel, and found it a great way to get around the city.  We were able to eventually receive some OBC from Viking to make up for several pre-cruise issues, and this covered the cost of our passes.  So, yes, the Hotel Okura is farther from the city center, but taking the tram gave us an opportunity to see more of the city.

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Thanks @Cruisen Elf.   My wife and I are walkers, and would rather follow a map than try to decipher subway routes.  We are praying for the Radisson Blu for our October pre-cruise.  My fear would be to miss a subway station stop due to our jet lagged stupor.

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11 hours ago, sharkster77 said:

Thanks @Cruisen Elf.   My wife and I are walkers, and would rather follow a map than try to decipher subway routes.  We are praying for the Radisson Blu for our October pre-cruise.  My fear would be to miss a subway station stop due to our jet lagged stupor.

 

Totally get that!  That was why I was so happy they had a room ready so we could crash before tackling the transit system!  FYI, you can get transit directions that go step by step including which stops on Google maps.  Just get directions and use the public transportation option.  There is also a walking option.  I printed out directions for our first day's travels in order to avoid the very scenario you imagined!

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18 hours ago, sharkster77 said:

Thanks @Cruisen Elf.   My wife and I are walkers, and would rather follow a map than try to decipher subway routes.  We are praying for the Radisson Blu for our October pre-cruise.  My fear would be to miss a subway station stop due to our jet lagged stupor.

 

What's nice in Amsterdam is that the trams are surface rail, so you see where are you going.  And walking is complicated because of all the canals.  But if you buy a tram pass, you can always hop on one to bail you out.

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Well, got an email from Viking today announcing a hotel "change" (was never notified of original hotel, but whatever..) to the Pestana Amsterdam Riverside Hotel, located in a "bustling neighborhood (whatever the h*** that means).  This hotel is on the Amstel River in the same general vicinity as the Hotel Akura that some CC'ers have been placed.  Rijksmuseum is a 27 minute walk away--Dam Square is a 35 min. walk.  So much for walking anywhere.

 

Having a central hotel is worth every penny for its convenience.  I guess Viking would rather put its clients in the boondocks.  Not happy.

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I totally understand your reaction because mine was the same.  The hotel change was one of several pre-cruise issues we had with Viking.  (The actual river cruise was wonderful!)  Eventually, our travel agent was able to get us some OBC to compensate for the various problems.  Maybe that could be an option for you, too.  It doesn't get you closer to the city center where you wanted and expected to be, but it helps soften the blow.

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@Cruisen Elf, I understand that there is nothing I can do about this--if the Viking host is going to be at this hotel, I need to be there as well.  I'm basing my disappointment on past travel--we had a hotel in Dublin that was a mile from city center, and needed taxis to get around.  OTOH, in Reykjavik, we had a hotel that was nothing more than a 5-10 minute walk from EVERYTHING--so nice.

 

We will manage I am sure--CC gives me a place to vent (or whine, as my better half calls it!!).

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

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19 hours ago, sharkster77 said:

@Cruisen Elf, I understand that there is nothing I can do about this--if the Viking host is going to be at this hotel, I need to be there as well.  I'm basing my disappointment on past travel--we had a hotel in Dublin that was a mile from city center, and needed taxis to get around.  OTOH, in Reykjavik, we had a hotel that was nothing more than a 5-10 minute walk from EVERYTHING--so nice.

 

We will manage I am sure--CC gives me a place to vent (or whine, as my better half calls it!!).

 

Thanks for your thoughts.

Uber is an option, too, and it may be cheaper than taxis. It's still obnoxious, though, and I totally get your frustration. 

 

The De Pijp area has lots of good dining options, though. It's a farther walk or tram ride to the big sights but at least you can eat nearby! For brunch/breakfast, there's Little Collins, Scandinavian Embassy, Coffee & Coconuts or Omlegg (though the last two may be a bit far). Arles is supposed to be great for dinner - it's on my list of a place to consider in addition to Cafe Caron and Auberge Jean & Marie. Again, though, those last two places may be a little far for a walk. 

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I hear you guys; this is annoying! I did a pre-cruise with Uniworld last year in Paris. Well, now I realize that I absolutely could have navigated it myself and received award points for my expensive stay at the Westin if I booked it myself. I learned a valuable lesson for sure,  Uniworld did a nice job no question - I have no complaints with them at all. We noticed the private shuttle from CDG to Paris was nice but very slow going in rush hour am traffic, not sure if there is a more expeditious way to get to Paris with luggage. I am going to DIY our next trip out of Amsterdam and using points to stay 2 nights pre-cruise with Hyatt points and post cruise with Marriott.  I have heard it is easy to get to and from the airport by Uber or taxi.  There is a tradeoff when you let the company arrange it all vs the task of learning it all yourself, for sure.  Luckily there is a lot of info out there. 

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@mommamd Just make sure you have the exact address of the ship's location to give to your cab driver and you should be fine pre-cruising DIY.

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I use a full service TA for my river cruises, and she has always been able to book me into hotels with a pre-cruise pkg. that is a fraction of what the cruise lines charges.  Last November I stayed at the Nova Hotel, a small boutique hotel in the central city within walking distance of everything.  Amsterdam is wonderful and easy to navigate.  Think of it as an onion, and just be careful of walking in a circle like I did.

 

Roz

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Our route is Basel to Amsterdam, and we're DIYing it at both ends. Since the reviews of the Motel One Basel are filled with 'I was here for two nights before the cruise' comments, I figure that worst case, there are probably 20 other guests there who will all be looking for the same Viking ship at the same time we are and we can help each other out if need be. 

 

Went for price and location on the Amsterdam end, and took advantage of a good opening rate award option for a Holiday Inn Express there. Yeah, I know European HIXes are pretty basic, but free hotel nights mean more fun stuff at other points in the trip. 

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Thanks for the updates!! 

We have the exact address so I believe we are all set. 

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On 3/16/2019 at 4:31 PM, mommamd said:

I hear you guys; this is annoying! I did a pre-cruise with Uniworld last year in Paris. Well, now I realize that I absolutely could have navigated it myself and received award points for my expensive stay at the Westin if I booked it myself. I learned a valuable lesson for sure,  Uniworld did a nice job no question - I have no complaints with them at all. We noticed the private shuttle from CDG to Paris was nice but very slow going in rush hour am traffic, not sure if there is a more expeditious way to get to Paris with luggage. I am going to DIY our next trip out of Amsterdam and using points to stay 2 nights pre-cruise with Hyatt points and post cruise with Marriott.  I have heard it is easy to get to and from the airport by Uber or taxi.  There is a tradeoff when you let the company arrange it all vs the task of learning it all yourself, for sure.  Luckily there is a lot of info out there. 

The Amsterdam Marriott is lovely hotel, staying at the Renaissance later this month, hoping I like it too.  After Viking Paris to Prague I try to book my own hotels.  Viking is limited to booking a hotel large enough to hold all their passengers, I usually find those hotels a bit to corporate.

 

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On 2/21/2019 at 4:56 AM, sharkster77 said:

We're already booked into the Viking pre-cruise in Amsterdam--figured that we would pay Viking to handle our jet-lagged brains for a couple of day, despite the cost.

 

I'll have to look into the Hotel Okura---have heard very good things about the Movenpick, though.

 

OTOH, we are doing Lucerne DIY after the cruise, as the Viking post-cruise extension is $799 pp!!  We figure we can do the 2-night stay for half that, if not better (we realize that Switzerland is expensive, but we've been to Iceland, so we KNOW expensive!).  Got a riverside room at the Hotel des Alpes for $220 per night (there were cheaper rooms but decided to splurge for the view--very easy walk from train station).  All we should need is help getting a cab from the dock in Basel to the SBB station in Basel.

 

October is still 7 months away, but getting closer..................

We too are on a river cruise in October and can't wait!

We visited Lucerne back in 2014 and stayed at Hotel des Alpes in a river view room with a balcony.  The views were spectacular!  Worth every penny, although I am sure we paid more than that - is that US dollars or something else?

The rooms hadn't been renovated back then, although they were clean. Hopefully five years on they will be renovated.

The hotel was great though.  Location is perfect, with a wonderful food market outside on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  The restaurant was good too, for breakfast and dinner, although expensive as is everywhere in Switzerland.

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@djh1959, thanks for the comments--we are very  much looking forward to wrapping up our 12 day trip with a couple of days in Lucerne.  Appreciate the comments about Hotel des Alpes--we booked it because Rick Steves seems to like it.  Yes, what we paid is in US dollars--maybe the dollar is stronger than it was in 2014, don't know the exchange rate of Australian dollar.

 

Thankfully, for the both of us, October is getting closer!

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