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ural guy

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Everything posted by ural guy

  1. kacruise2- Thanks for posting this, my spouse is on a Gate One tulip sailing next year, so nice to hear good things about them. We sailed on the Queen twice when she was with Vantage. A very comfortable ship.
  2. 2 days in Vienna vs 1 day in Vienna and 1 in Bratislava. Overnight stays are nice. Passau avoids one low water area. Are you spending extra time before cruise? I preferred Passau over Regensburg, and would want more time in Passau. Linz or no Linz? I enjoyed my time in Linz, but I used it to explore a nearby town. Watch some Youtube videos, they'll give you a sense of what you really want to see or miss. Everyone has different interests. Regardless of choose, have fun.
  3. kct- Thanks again for posting all this. Very informative, and a nice prep for our cruise. I don't know if you want to wait to answer this until you to take us to the end of your journey, or cut to the chase...which of the three segments you traveled did you enjoy the most? Where did you explore the most on your own? I especially liked your recounting of the Naples tours. We were lucky enough to see Herculaneum back in the late 80's with my Navy sister stationed in Naples as guide. Place is amazing, so I understand your frustration at dithering away the time while the road to Pompeii grew more crowded. (80's Naples driving tip from BIL, just drive figuring your car will get scrapped up a bit. Lanes were not a concept. Driving our little Omni down from Germany, this was a switch). This is our first Ocean cruise, so b/t Viking's tour options and the non-Viking offerings, pretty daunting. We did print off your .pdf on tour options. We're comfortable wandering on our own, so that will be option one in a few spots. Thanks again.
  4. We're sailing with Riviera in October on a 14N Budapest-Black Sea cruise. One of the draws for us is that they have a few larger cabins (247 sq ft, 'Superior Suite') that have the bed tilted towards the French Balcony, that isn't as pricey as other lines. On a longer cruise, it'll be nice to have that space, and two chairs that look usable. I can't vouch for Riviera yet, but it is nice having options.
  5. cbr663- Thanks for posting this. Shame that you had so many issues. I always like how the bed was positioned towards the window. But from what you described, not worth the view from the bed to put up with the rest.
  6. We're on this cruise in January. Supposed to dock in Chioggia. As of now, I have a hotel booked for our second night docked there, so we can stay in overnight in Venice. We've only been to Venice once, on a day fast ferry trip from Yugoslavia back in 1988. I understand how neat the place is. Having said that, I wish we could just skip Venice and add on stops in Croatia, Greece, Italy...anywhere not so confusing. I really didn't clue into the fact that we are on a cruise with different segments pieced together. We are on the Rome-Athens leg.
  7. Sorry to hear about your foot, glad you were still able to enjoy yourself. Other than that issue, did you enjoy the cruise? We are signed up for a June 25 cruise and don't see a lot of feedback. Our daughter was stationed in Fairbanks so we've been up a few times. The one boat tour we did out of Valdez was great.
  8. Flew out to Tulsa to buy this beast. Bike has a Honda Goldwing engine in it, so power for days. 1600 miles ride to get home, 2.5 days. Bike is smooth, I thought I would take longer, but she was riding so sweet I just kept going. I'll still keep Ural, for bouncing over back roads, but George needs more space (86 pounds now and long!). The hack being more enclosed will also help Ma's sock yarn from tangling in wind. Nothing like being tapped on leg to go back and roll up a skein of yarn that got loose.
  9. Clay- We've stayed in Aquarium class twice. A low level cruise, we heard some debris bounce along the ship keel, nothing major. Last one was high water, a bang or two going into a lock is all. On other lines we go up a deck as the increase to a French Balcony isn't as much. As others have said, rafting eliminates your view sometimes, and I think Viking 'may' do more rafting than others. Last, thanks for all your input over on Oceans, our first Viking Ocean cruise is coming up. I've learned from, and enjoyed your input. Whatever your cabin choice, hoping for good waters levels and smooth sailing for you. What cruise are you thinking of?
  10. 3 trips for us also, our last in Nov 22, we were able to use up credit from a 2020 cancellation. We were very lucky. Really enjoyed Vantage.
  11. Vantage had a sign up sheet at the front desk for their secondary dining venue. Worked well. I think they posted it prior to lunch.
  12. Great review, thanks for posting. So odd they didn't run the gentle walker tours. We did a similar private tour from Brasov and it was a trip highlight, Fascinating region.
  13. Please drop that off with the CD, who at least on our cruise, told us tables could be reserved in that manner.
  14. Our November 22 cruise was supposed to start in Regensburg, high water pushed that start to Passau. Vantage just ran the Regensburg tour the first day by bus. I took one of the ships E-bikes and road about 30 kms up the Inn river bike trail. I was lucky to have a fleece cap to put under helmet and gloves as it rained for awhile and was maybe 45f. Had lunch at the Gasthof St Florian in Austria, picked merely because there was a Florian Geyer Gasthof in the town we were stationed near. Great Cordon Bleu, Gulasch Soup, a weizen and coffee at the end. I was all warmed up and ready to head back to ship. One of my favorite days on the river. Only point to my ramble, is that having an extra day in Passau can be a very good thing. Regensburg is nice, but to us, Passau is really special, with the 3 rivers coming together.
  15. I don't know if the norm, but on our December Viking cruise the CD stated that if you wanted to save a table, to leave a coat or something on a table. And some passengers were very rude and thought they could claim a table without putting anything down. And then asked/told the folks seated to leave, as it was 'their table'. Now that was disheartening.
  16. Canal Archive- Nice Sharpe reference. I've been to Portugal 5 times, and have visited some of the forts and cities mentioned in the series. Listened to podcasts on Sharpe with actor interviews, and a series just on the Peninsula campaigns of Napoleonic War. Really fascinating stuff that greatly adds to a road trip. For those who want to just do the Douro cruise, Porto is an easy Airport to fly into, with quite a few flights from US East coast. Also, a great spot to get over jetlag. If you want to explore Lisbon on your own prior to cruise, Porto is 3 hour train ride for Lisbon. And if you stay in Sintra, we learned it takes two separate tickets to make that journey to Porto.
  17. Farmers markets, cash/euros help out. So many good bakery items, fruit you may not see in your homeland, entire stalls with nothing but olives, or spices. Always fun to walk through. Euro coins are like gold, try to hoard a few .50 and 1 euro coins. Spouse gets very antsy if she doesn't have bathroom money. Also nice to have if you come across a good busker. Sometimes the music echoing down the pedestrian zone give it a special sound, some really nice saxaphone players in the never ending steps of the Alfama district. Churches/Cathedrals you visit, they typically have a fundraiser for maintenance, with a coin box. 800 year old buildings need lots of love. OP- Enjoy your trip.
  18. Hello- Other than all your high water problems, I hope you are enjoying yourself. We sailed on the Queen twice when she was with Vantage, and really enjoyed our time aboard. My wife and friends are sailing Gate 1 next April. I'd appreciate any thoughts you have, good or bad, when your cruise is complete. There isn't a lot of info about them on the site from passengers. Thanks if you get a chance when home. Where is your cruise scheduled to end?
  19. Australia08- Wow, great pictures, thanks for posting. Brasov is wonderful, we visited back in 2018 on our own. We had a driver take us on an almost identical tour of the same Saxon villages. Unfortunately in November rain, so your pics really stand out. Fascinating history in that region. You can stay at one of King Charles properties: https://zalan.transylvaniancastle.com/ There are a few restored traditional houses you can also stay in, all supporting efforts to keep these building skills alive and bring interest to the region. King Charles did a great job bringing attention to the unique ecosystems that still exist there. https://www.experiencetransylvania.ro/guesthouse/viscri-161/ Hope your long flight home was uneventful.
  20. kctwinmommy- Thanks, you've definitely been helpful. Printed off your .pdf tour list already. We're going Rome-Athens, can't imagine the tours will differ too much.
  21. Thanks, this will be our sixth river cruise, first ocean. I meant that we don't want to have to make Ocean booking decisions while on the River, just log in and hopefully book our choices while on the River when they are first available. Thanks formernuke, spouse and I were both Army Chemical Corp.
  22. kctwinmommy- Thanks for posting the .pdf. We are doing a similar cruise in January, so very helpful. I understand when we can book tours is based on cabin class. When is a more detailed tour list posted, with times and prices? We can start booking 5 October; we'll be on a river cruise so would like to have everything lined up before we leave for that trip. To make the best decision ahead of time I'd like to see if I could do the included tours plus an optional one, or would our time best be spent exploring the port area after the included tour. I could see a situation where an optional tour looks nice, but once you see the price, maybe a slow day would be more 'worthwhile'. For example, the Krka waterfalls/falconry tour has gotten some nice praise. It looks like it's $160, and you're in the bus for 2 hours total from Sibenik, and 2.5 hrs split between waterfalls and Bird sanctuary? We went to Plitvice Lakes Park previously and spent half a day. Is Krka that much smaller, do people feel rushed? Or am I completely off. Thanks again.
  23. The one on the right only has aquarium class cabins? Can't see the windows... joking.
  24. This is from Viking's terms/conditions: A Travel Agent may combine a Published Price with non-cash marketing incentives, provided the following conditions are all met: The non-cash marketing incentives are part of a sales & marketing plan promoting Viking products to be redeemed and used onboard the booked Viking cruise. The actual or perceived total retail value (in USD) of the non-cash marketing incentives cannot in the aggregate exceed the following: (i) for one (1) to seven (7) nights on Viking vessel, $150 per guest; (ii) for eight (8) to fourteen (14) nights on a Viking vessel, $300 per guest and (iii) for fifteen plus (15+) nights on a Viking vessel, $500 per guest. For any non-cash marketing incentives that are not redeemable from Viking during the Viking cruise, then the retail value of the non-cash marketing incentive offered or provided by Travel Agent cannot exceed $100 per booking for agency branded items. tldr: $150 pp for 1 week cruise, $300 pp for 2 week cruise. It may be peanuts, but with suggested tip amounts now being $20pp/day, the OBC will almost cover that.
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