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Ultimate World Cruise 245 days and all the parts. Ongoing review, questions, opinion


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42 minutes ago, TayanaLorna said:

After having a 100 gallon water tank capacity on my cruising sailboat and no water maker, i had a very hard time USING water on my first Viking cruise.  LOL.  

Haha, that takes us back.  We lived on our boat for 7 years so really share your feelings about water.  It was years ashore before I would let the water run while brushing teeth.  Interesting that they announced in the Viking Daily that the launderettes would re open at 6pm today.  We still have 4 more days in the Amazon.  Guess they pulled some water out of thin air.....😎

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3 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

Haha, that takes us back.  We lived on our boat for 7 years so really share your feelings about water.  It was years ashore before I would let the water run while brushing teeth.  Interesting that they announced in the Viking Daily that the launderettes would re open at 6pm today.  We still have 4 more days in the Amazon.  Guess they pulled some water out of thin air.....😎

Perhaps the Viking guests conserved more water then anticipated.  

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3 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween.  Pretty lively here on board with nice decorations in the Atrium and restaurants and some passengers costumed up.  The crew had their own party and it looked quite a hit.  Saw some of the contraband pictures...... Haha, a good time.  Here in the Amazon it is Hot.  Hot and wet.   Hot , wet and smoky smelling.  What do we expect, right?  Today is the middle of three very active days in a row.  I promise to go into more detail when we leave Manaus as we then have 4 sea days getting out of here and on to the next port.  Crossing the line ceremony is due on the 7th as we have already crossed the line but will recross a few times.  So will wait for clean water and no bugs.  Good choice...😎

Crossing the Line is just so sanitised these days. Would have opted for Amazon water in a heart beat, rather than what we got dunked in backwards. They made a temporary pool from a canvas hatch cover and dunnage. Also kept at least a week of galley slops, then added lifejacket kapok & food colouring.

 

The visual effect and smell was something you never forget. Since we were slathered in water-proof grease, the water didn't help, took days to get that out of our hair.

 

Even cargo ships have probably had to tone it down.

 

Looking forward to your Shellback's report & photos. 

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Haha Andy if we did it on here like the old cargo ship days they would have to send out for extra body bags.  Fortunately Lois & I get to be the shellbacks hooting and hollering at the polliwogs.  On here there are costumes for Neptune and staff and a whole fish from Manfredi's to kiss.  Then a plunge in the pool and a flute of Aquavit completes the ceremony.  We received a very nice certificate each and look forward to getting one for this voyage's album.  I'll try to get some shots and our resident expert photog, Tom in NC, will have some too I bet.🍺

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While Jim is out exploring the Amazon this afternoon, let me just say that we visited Devil’ s Island on the 2019 WC in January.  Not once on that cruise were we asked for a Yellow Fever certificate or waiver.  We did not get the shots, but carried our doctors’ waiver letters.  So didn’t need it in French Guiana, Brazil, Australia, Africa, nowhere.  Hope this helps.

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Catching up on all your reports after 3.5 weeks in France and doing France's Finest.  Great River Cruise.  We did the Amazon/Caribbean last year and am surprised you have not mentioned all the amazing insects!!!! 

 

Jim, I have been interested in your candid comparison between World Cruises.  I know that we had a very special experience especially because the senior staff was constant!

 

We will back on the Sun next summer to do the Midnight Sun.

Any inside information floating around about the new Ship and Antarctica?  It was a beautiful mailing that Viking sent out. 

If you figure out how the "segmenters" get great pricing please pass along the tricks.  Pat and I would like to do South America soon!

Enjoy!!!!  I continue to enjoy your posts!

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Hi Dee.  Good to hear from you and Patrick.  Y'all surely get around. We are just now docked in Manaus for an overnight stay.  Approximately 1,000 miles upriver from the clean, clear Atlantic Ocean.  Yes, we have seen some very curious bugs.  Butterflies in the elevator, strange crawley things on the World Cafe windows, something just scurried across our balcony.....😳  Last night when we left for cocktails/dinner, I left my bedside light on.  Our balcony door was closed but the curtains open.  When we returned, there were hundreds (truly) of tiny flying/crawling gnat like critters all along the headboard.  Yuck!  We used a wet washcloth to capture most of them but sleep did not come easily as everything made us feel we were being crawled on.  Moral of that story is do not leave any lights on.  Not sure just how they got in but then this is the Amazon.  Our first stop was Santarem and we had the included bus tour.  Old busses with no air conditioner.  As a point of sale we were told it had "opening windows"..    Haha, but no shocks....  Santarem is not one of the most beautiful places but then there are only so many stops one can make here.  We did end up at a farm and saw the rubber trees giving up some latex as well as opening up a Brazil nut.  It looks like a smallish coconut with 15 or so Brazil nuts inside.  Always learning something.  Yesterday we stopped at Parintins.  Anchored out but not a bad tender ride if you don't mind hot and very humid.  We were treated to the Parintins Carnivale Team putting on a show like they do at Carnivale. Enjoyably, the venue was just across the street from the tender dock and was air-conditioned!!  The show was absolutely fantastic.  The most elaborate and beautiful costumes I have ever seen and the young troupe was so good at the dances and it never stopped for an hour.  Even had the elaborate mobile floats you would see in the streets during Carnivale.  We were also treated to liberal amounts of Caipirinha cocktails.  Again, a really spectacular show.  After we wandered the craft booths and found a carved mask we liked for just a few dollars.  A really good day made perfect by a cold shower back on board.  Leaving shortly for the included tour of Manaus and a zoo for rescued wildlife.  Tomorrow we are due to play with the pink dolphins.  About forgot.  We sailed through the meeting of the waters about an hour before docking in Manaus.  Light muddy water meeting clearer dark water and taking a few miles to fully mix.  An interesting sight but for any of y'all that live in coastal areas it was much like a tide line.  No need to take the tour as we sailed right through it..😎

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We are cruising while hips and knees (not to mention short term memories)  are still cooperating!  Amazon was a very interesting cruise...sounds as if the excursions are the same. The buses were interesting!!!   Need to treat those Amazon insects with closed drapes and no lights just like the pirate precautions of the first WC!   We had done an Amazon small boat cruise in the headwaters of Peru and really felt it was better....more animals,  excursions on small skiffs lots of nature!!!  BUT the magnitude of the Amazon is surely demonstrated in Brazil!  and the bartenders on Viking Ocean Ships are the best...I had forgotten about Caipirinhas!!! 

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We have sailed the full 1,000 mile plus length of the Amazon and are heading back out at over 21 knots, according to the Captain.  I am not sure what the current is in this part, probably 2 knots or so, but we are still making tracks.  I am really looking forward to getting back to the clean, clear Atlantic Ocean.  I bet the engineers are too.  They have done a great job managing water, waste, garbage, etc. in the restrictions of the river system.  And with only 2 days of no launderettes.  Don't know how they did it but certainly no imposition on any of us.  But first, Manaus.  The capital of Amazonia and the largest city around it is a bit rough.  We were warned by our guide on the overview tour which areas to avoid and to be very careful at night.  The crew were instructed to never go ashore alone here.  Seems some of the crew were robbed on earlier visits.  I read that Manaus is the homicide capital of Brazil, worse than Rio which has had lots of bad publicity with crime.  To really be brief, Manaus is not too much to look at.  Some notable beautiful colonial era buildings mostly heading towards shabby (big exception is the Opera House) and the neighborhoods can be reminiscent of areas of Bangkok.  Huge bundles of overhead wires, shabby buildings, graffiti, and trash.  On our second day in Manaus we took the pink dolphin tour.  The speedboats picked us up right ship side and we had a pleasant, but longish,  boat ride at almost two hours each way, and saw lots of the Rio Negro up close.  The Rio Negro and the Rio Solimoes converge at Manaus in the Meeting of the Waters to form the official Amazon River.  The Rio Negro is clear but tinted the color of iced tea approximately.  Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly and was full of fun facts.  Like don't go swimming naked and go pee pee.  There is a tiny fish that will swim upstream into your privates.  No kidding.  Had heard about this before.  He said no problem as long as you were clothed and did not pee pee.  No problemo.   We stopped at a very remote village and had a chance to taste a few snacks and juices along with the usual chance to buy handicrafts.  From the village we went to a floating facility to see/swim with the dolphins.  The staff attracted 6 or so to the float and all had a good chance to see them or swim with them.  Very rustic but well done.  In all the boat trip and tours took about 5 and a half hours.  Time at the dolphin float was about 30 minutes.  Your mileage may vary.  

We were mighty glad to return home to air conditioning and a cool shower but overall a good day.  And we had a pleasant surprise as we had a notice that Torshavn will be opening early each Monday in November for the exclusive use of World Cruisers.  A large turnout of us enjoyed the privacy and extra quality drinks of Torshavn for an hour or so. No live entertainment, just us chatting with our fellow long distance cruisers.  Vicki showed up and was amazed at the turnout so I feel certain it will continue.  Just a nice little extra touch.  Thanks Viking (and Vicki).🍸

So now, East bound and down, making tracks for the ocean.  The engineers can make their fill of fresh water as soon as we exit Ole Muddy.  Next port is Recife.  I understand another big crew change there.  For now,  what to have after lunch????🍹

Edited by Jim Avery
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13 minutes ago, Jim Avery said:

Where is everyone? Some posters must have done other things. Where’s Tom’s great pictures?😎🍺

I'm enjoying your posts and photos Jim.  I will post a link to mine once I get them all together.  Only up to Antigua so far.

CTBob

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On 10/26/2019 at 5:40 PM, CTBob said:

Somewhere on the way to Bermuda we had our "Meet & Mingle"  It was nice to meet some of you who I only knew from online.  This seems to be the best of the photos we took (Probably because I'm not in it!)  CTBob

ps - Sorry that I didn't think of this before some people already left.

 

1638794096_MeetMingle(Medium).thumb.JPG.c4e011aa91fffb826b0cf85d1ba6c271.JPG

 

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Another perfect sea day today.  Deep blue, clear sea, some flying fish, perfect temperature and breeze.  Had a burger by the pool and a few dips in the pool.  Chef Thomaz created a surprise at the Pool Grill for lunch today.  Waygu beef burgers garnished with a lobster tail.  Wow!  This Chef is really doing a great job changing up the menus and we are liking his style.  The Crossing the Line ceremony is in an hour or so and will be fully attended I am sure.  The Captain announced we will be missing Recife.  Seems the Amazon is very low due to an extremely dry dry season.  This makes many areas more shallow than normal.  Captain said he had to slow often to prevent the "squatting effect" which occurs when deep draft ships are moving in relatively shallow waters.  This is technically referred to as bottom suction.  A large moving ship displaces a huge mass of water as it moves.  If near the bottom it creates suction between the ship and the bottom.  The faster the ship is moving the more pronounced the suction.  This can cause the stern to squat down increasing the draft aft dramatically.  Slowing down minimizes this effect but then slowing down, of course, puts us behind schedule.  Having never been to Recife I don't really know what I am missing.😎  Good thing we love sea days....🍺

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2 hours ago, Jim Avery said:

Another perfect sea day today.  Deep blue, clear sea, some flying fish, perfect temperature and breeze.  Had a burger by the pool and a few dips in the pool.  Chef Thomaz created a surprise at the Pool Grill for lunch today.  Waygu beef burgers garnished with a lobster tail.  Wow!  This Chef is really doing a great job changing up the menus and we are liking his style.  The Crossing the Line ceremony is in an hour or so and will be fully attended I am sure.  The Captain announced we will be missing Recife.  Seems the Amazon is very low due to an extremely dry dry season.  This makes many areas more shallow than normal.  Captain said he had to slow often to prevent the "squatting effect" which occurs when deep draft ships are moving in relatively shallow waters.  This is technically referred to as bottom suction.  A large moving ship displaces a huge mass of water as it moves.  If near the bottom it creates suction between the ship and the bottom.  The faster the ship is moving the more pronounced the suction.  This can cause the stern to squat down increasing the draft aft dramatically.  Slowing down minimizes this effect but then slowing down, of course, puts us behind schedule.  Having never been to Recife I don't really know what I am missing.😎  Good thing we love sea days....🍺

Strange, we missed Recife in January on the 2019 WC also.  Same reason, the ship was traveling too slowly, different cause, the Sun had some kind of mechanical problem.  So we skipped Recife in order to make it to Rio on time.  Like you, I have no idea what we missed.

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