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LIVE from "Iceland's Natural Beauty" -- All Sailings, 2021


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On 7/18/2021 at 2:11 AM, IheartNYC said:

Thank you for the info! I was looking at this tour but was very skeptical considering how  much cheaper it was compared to the Viking tour. Any other info on other self tours would be appreciated. Thanks!

We did the tour and it was fine. It is normal for cruise lines to mark up excursions by 75% or more. Independent is always much cheaper.

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5 hours ago, ruimin said:

Thanks everyone for all the great info, has anyone stayed in a hotel in Reykjavik?  Any recommendations? Thanks so much! 
ruimin

airbnb works very well in Reykjavik. Cheaper than hotels and better options.

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5 minutes ago, FoggyEthan said:

We did the tour and it was fine. It is normal for cruise lines to mark up excursions by 75% or more. Independent is always much cheaper.mas

Just remember that on the independent tours very few, if any,will be wearing masks. 

 

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9 hours ago, Dukefan said:

After our lunch on the July 10 cruise I visited the ice cream shop behind the hotel and had a cup of caramel latte ice cream.   It is made on site from the milk of the cows on site.  It was wonderful and I recomend it highly.  It was 800 ISK (About $6.50 US) for two large scoops.

Maybe skip the lunch and head directly to the ice cream stand.

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We are flying home from Iceland today. Icelandair. Got to the airport at noon for a 5 pm flight since we had to check out of our hotel anyway. Can’t check in until 2 pm so don’t get here so early!!

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1 hour ago, bardstowntraveller said:

Would appreciate feedback on the Beluga Whale excursion in Heimey. A previous review indicated it was just viewing the whales in an interior enclosure. Seems pricey if it does not also include boat ride and Puffin viewing

While I enjoyed watching the Belugas (they seemed like dogs entertaining us with a toy), I agree it was overpriced.  In addition to the Belugas, there was one enclosure with puffins but the window had so many water droplets it was difficult to see them and impossible to take a photo.  There was also one or two tanks with fish.  I waited for everyone to clear the Beluga area and took more photos of them but I still was done in less than 30 minutes.

 

FYI - apparently they were open only for Viking tours because I saw the aquarium employee turn away some walkups.   

 

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10 hours ago, ruimin said:

Thanks everyone for all the great info, has anyone stayed in a hotel in Reykjavik?  Any recommendations? Thanks so much! 
ruimin

We stayed at Canopy by Hilton - great location, great breakfast.  On previous visits we stayed at the Radisson Blu 1919 - also good location and breakfast.    

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Did anyone do the Whale Watching excursion in Akureyri? I read that this is the place to see whales but from what I’ve been reading in these threads, many of the other excursions sound wonderful too!  And I always hate to miss ice cream opportunities. 😋

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I understand that the daily pcr spit tests have to be ready for pickup by 8:00 am. and that you cannot eat, drink or smoke for an hour before you spit. Does it matter how long it takes you to fill the tube? Can you start to fill the tube before you go to bed at night and then during the night to ensure the minimum amount by 8 AM? I don’t think I’ve seen whatever instructions you’re provided posted anywhere. TIA.

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1 hour ago, JM0115 said:

We are flying home from Iceland today. Icelandair. Got to the airport at noon for a 5 pm flight since we had to check out of our hotel anyway. Can’t check in until 2 pm so don’t get here so early!!

We are on that flight next week - leaving today for Iceland. We planned a stop at the Blue Lagoon for a few hours instead of waiting for check in to open.

 

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21 hours ago, NCbigred said:

Clay - We are from Cary NC and will be cruising on the Viking Sky embarking on August 14 (our 50th wedding anniversary!).  Can you share your bottom line summary opinion of the cruise?  Sounds like there have been some hiccups along the way.  We have visited Iceland briefly in past as layover on our way to Spain.  Thanks, Scott

First congratulations on the big anniversary!  Mike and I have been together 30 years and sometimes it seems like forever and other times like we just met yesterday so I can only imagine what 50 years is (and hopefully will be) like. 
 

We both enjoyed the cruise despite the hiccups along the way. Being back aboard Viking Sky (but it could have been any ship) was such a good feeling. The shortness of the cruise confirmed our initial reservation that it was a lot of hassle for just 7 nights.
 

Even though the flights are relatively short compared to going to Asia or some parts of Europe, it is still a flight. So if we are going to have to take flights (if you have seen my posts before you’ll know we are big fans of using cruises to get us to far flung places) we would prefer to stay longer after dealing with them. Add to that the stress of worrying if we might test positive and be quarantined, we wouldn’t likely do it again for such a short trip. 

We throughly enjoyed the ports we got to visit. The Golden Circle day is a long one but we all (including 79 year old DMIL who wasn’t sure she was up for it) feel like it was the highlight of our trip. We had elected to take only three optional excursions, this was one of them. The other we got to take was the whale watching in Akureyri. It was a fun (albeit chilly) morning and we saw minke whales as well as a huge pod of dolphins. The only disappointment was not seeing any larger whales…but we knew it was always a possibility. Our third optional which we missed was the nature boat trip in Heimaey. So between it, the missed ports, and only having a few hours in Reykjavik we have added Iceland to the list of places we hope to visit again. Likely as a long (month?) land trip. Spend a week or more in several places and really get to see the country. 
 

One of the reasons we decided to take this cruise was to determine whether we would still enjoy cruising with all the Covid protocols. While wearing a mask isn’t my favorite thing to do, it didn’t greatly impact my enjoyment of the cruise. The biggest issue was recognizing crew members. The spit test wasn’t a big deal for me though Mike seemed to have some trouble. Same for wearing the contact tracer-though I would prefer for Viking to have made it an all encompassing device like I understand Princess has done where it replaces your keycard. 
 

Generally speaking service, food, and ambiance aboard was just as it had been in the before times. We noticed some slight service issues usually involving miscommunication between upper management and the wonderful staff actually serving us. Nothing awful but for example, the Restaurant Manager had arranged for my DMIL to have grilled lobster (rather than Lobster Thermador) on Lobster night. This was a surprise to all of us including our waiter. After being sat out of sight at the HUGE otherwise empty Captain’s table, I sorta figured she was in for this treat. But when her lobster came it was the one off the menu. She ate it and enjoyed it by picking out the lobster and leaving (as she called it) the mushroom soup. But then as our dessert orders were being taken (wonderful Grand Marnier soufflé) the head waiter showed up all a flutter that we had gotten the wrong lobsters. So they brought one for Mike and Lois to share but they were too full to really enjoy. We hated that such a wonderful gesture was outdone by the lack of a simple communication. 
 

The biggest impact the Covid protocols had to our enjoyment was needing to make reservations for the thermal spa. We went only once and basically had the spa to ourselves which was indeed enjoyable. But I have never seen the spa overly crowded. Anyway, the need for reservations (and the lack of snow in the still cold grotto) were the only real negatives brought about by the health procedures. 

 

You asked for a summary and I gave you a short story…sorry about that. Summary is we were so glad to be out in the World again but next time it will be for more than 7 nights. 
 

We live in Briercreek so if you would like to get together for a coffee, drink, or meal to pick our brain sometime or to chat on the phone, drop me an email to BigNCBear@aol.com. Love meeting other cruisers. 
 

Have a great cruise and again congratulations on your amazing milestone. 

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8 minutes ago, ValarieDennis said:

We are on that flight next week - leaving today for Iceland. We planned a stop at the Blue Lagoon for a few hours instead of waiting for check in to open.

 

You’ll have a great time!  We sure did. 

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53 minutes ago, Liz55 said:

Did anyone do the Whale Watching excursion in Akureyri? I read that this is the place to see whales but from what I’ve been reading in these threads, many of the other excursions sound wonderful too!  And I always hate to miss ice cream opportunities. 😋

We did and enjoyed it. We saw two Minke whales as well as a huge pod of dolphins.  Only disappointment was no large whales. 
 

Be sure and be prepared for cold. This is the only place we wore all our layers. When we left the ship I was wearing t shirt and a relatively heavy mock turtleneck. By the time we got out towards the end of the fjord, I had added a fleece pullover, jacket, hat, and gloves. DMIL was almost ready to put on her rain pants to add a layer but ended up not. There are warm inside places on the most but we didn’t want to miss an ice Cream either! LOL

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2 hours ago, Snit13 said:

Maybe skip the lunch and head directly to the ice cream stand.

No need to skip lunch.  After you finish your meal while other folks are getting coffee there is plenty of time to go to the ice cream shop.

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18 hours ago, Doc who loves to travel said:

Clay, what gin did you like best?

Because we were so late arriving I didn’t get to go to duty free on the way in. 

 

On the way back, bought Old Tom and some Rhubarb liquor. Haven’t tried either yet. 
 

Aboard ship tried the Highclere, did not like it, not smooth enough for me. But I was surprised by the Ketal One gin. Didn’t know there was such a thing but it was very tasty-not too herbal just enough. 
 

YMMV😂🍸🍸🍸

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25 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

 

 

You asked for a summary and I gave you a short story…sorry about that. Summary is we were so glad to be out in the World again but next time it will be for more than 7 nights. 
 

Thanks for the detail, good summary and you addressed some things that i was wondering about.   Personally, the more detail I can glean the better able I can be to make decisions for myself-so I liked your summary!

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1 minute ago, Triptkr said:

Thanks for the detail, good summary and you addressed some things that i was wondering about.   Personally, the more detail I can glean the better able I can be to make decisions for myself-so I liked your summary!

Most welcome!  Ask away if there are specifics you are wondering about. 

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45 minutes ago, ValarieDennis said:

We are on that flight next week - leaving today for Iceland. We planned a stop at the Blue Lagoon for a few hours instead of waiting for check in to open.

 

Good idea!

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46 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

 

One of the reasons we decided to take this cruise was to determine whether we would still enjoy cruising with all the Covid protocols. While wearing a mask isn’t my favorite thing to do, it didn’t greatly impact my enjoyment of the cruise. The biggest issue was recognizing crew members. The spit test wasn’t a big deal for me though Mike seemed to have some trouble. Same for wearing the contact tracer-though I would prefer for Viking to have made it an all encompassing device like I understand Princess has done where it replaces your keycard. 

 

 

Yes, I agree since they have to wear the mask. I read in another forum that a cruise line has the crew wear badge of their face mug shot along with their name tag. Wish Viking would adopt this idea.

 

We're on Orion's Bermuda Escape on Aug 3, but love to read your posts - love your attitude! We have been to Iceland several times so I enjoy your posts ... we're booked on NCL Star Iceland & Greenland next year.

 

Have you been to Bermuda? If not why don't you hop over here (short 2 hour flight from Charlotte NC) and take the cruise? Viking has added 6 more sailings with the last one being Sept 17.

 

 

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1 minute ago, bluesea777 said:

 

Yes, I agree since they have to wear the mask. I read in another forum that a cruise line has the crew wear badge of their face mug shot along with their name tag. Wish Viking would adopt this idea.

 

We're on Orion's Bermuda Escape on Aug 3, but love to read your posts - love your attitude! We have been to Iceland several times so I enjoy your posts ... we're booked on NCL Star Iceland & Greenland next year.

 

Have you been to Bermuda? If not why don't you hop over here (short 2 hour flight from Charlotte NC) and take the cruise? Viking has added 6 more sailings with the last one being Sept 17.

 

 

We have not been to Bermuda and would love to visit someday. But Mike isn’t a beach person and neither of us enjoy hot weather and as I posted I hope we never go on a 7 night cruise again. So we hope to visit there on a longer cruise someday. 
 

 

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6 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

We have not been to Bermuda and would love to visit someday. But Mike isn’t a beach person and neither of us enjoy hot weather and as I posted I hope we never go on a 7 night cruise again. So we hope to visit there on a longer cruise someday. 
 

 

 

You don't need to go to the beach - we haven't been for a couple of years - we now have a pool! But the beaches are so beautiful here. The sea is so pretty coloured, and just being on the ship in Bermuda is the way to go. We plan on NOT leaving the ship at all during our week's cruise.

 

Bermuda is so different from the Caribbean.

 

How about a B2B - 14 days? 😁😎😉🙃👍🍸🍷🍹🥃

 

Cheers, skaal, etc. lol

 

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2 hours ago, patchicago said:

I understand that the daily pcr spit tests have to be ready for pickup by 8:00 am. and that you cannot eat, drink or smoke for an hour before you spit. Does it matter how long it takes you to fill the tube? Can you start to fill the tube before you go to bed at night and then during the night to ensure the minimum amount by 8 AM? I don’t think I’ve seen whatever instructions you’re provided posted anywhere. TIA.

 

It is not that difficult as long as you don't suffer with dry mouth in the morning. We did our second one today and I doubt that it took longer than two minutes. First thing and no water before,  just saliva, no phlegm and you fill it to the first blue line. The room steward will collect it when they make up the room. The first time we were going on excursions so had room service breakfast. Still no delay in completing it before eating.

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