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About Heidi13

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About Me

  • Location
    British Columbia
  • Interests
    Travel, Photography, Swimming, Walking Dogs, Football (Glasgow Rangers)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking Ocean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
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  1. Now safely docked in Tonga for an overnight. Been a bumpy couple of days since departure Bora Bora, as we were sailing at the outer edges of a cyclone. During daylight hours we experienced winds of 35-45 kts and Captain advised they recorded gusts of 60 - 70 kts. Based on the forecasts, it was significantly worse further South. Great decision from the "Old Man" to select his course of action. Viking did a great job today arranging a fleet of shuttle buses to a local resort and hiring a local company to perform aboard. Due to rehersal for the evening show, this was held on the pool deck. OMG, it was hot in the direct sun. Like most islanders, they were fashionably late arriving on-board, getting to the gangway at showtime. Bevan apologised for the delay and broke out the bubbly. He also asked if they could do anything else, to which Judi suggest some cold cloths would help. Off he went and within 10 minutes they were being distributed. This ship is amazing, nothing is too much trouble.
  2. Even in Bora Bora yesterday, we didn't have to sign anything, same as Europe. With respect to tap/contactless, they have pros and cons. By not having to use your PIN, nobody can clone your card & PIN #, making purchases up to card limit. With tap, it has low limits - Canada $100 & UK 30 Sterling. Our bank also has amazing tracking algorithms and routinely identify fraud before we know the card is compromised. Have used tap for almost 10 years and from experience it has less issues than chip/pin for low value.
  3. Security arrangement are dictated by the threat level. Even if armed personnel are on the bus, it is similar to aircraft, where it is not published and not known to most.
  4. When it comes to insurance there is no consistent best option. The best insurance to get will depend on your personal circumstances (age, pre-existing conditions, etc), length of cruise, length of time to departure, policy terms & conditions, exclusions, etc. When we were younger, we never considered cruise line insurance, but now we consider all available options, after reading each option's small print. On our current cruise, no 3rd party broker (local or online) would accept the risk, they wouldn't even provide a quote. Therefore, our only option was the cruise line. With the exception of the medical component limit, I find Viking's insurance acceptable. The other consideration, is how readily do they pay out claims.
  5. Most tables in the MDR are for 2. We struggle at times to get a sharing table. Only been on Celebrity ships in port, but with that limited experience, Viking is vastly superior.
  6. Not sure why you're posting this in the Viking forum. Except for probably the U.S. these cards are very common, as we have used them for about 30 years. They are way more secure. Chip & pin is now old technology, as we have had tap or contact-less cards for years.
  7. Captain's Noon announcement advises that we are skipping the Cook Islands due to bad weather. Therefore, we are steaming directly to Tonga, where we will arrive a day earlier for an overnight stop. This was one of the ports I anticipated missing, so no great surprise. However, as it is often missed, it is one of the few ports I have not visited before. We are also taking a more northerly route, missing a depression south of us. Captain even sent a couple of chartlets showing isobars and wind arrows, with the notification, showing his 2 options. Using the northerly option he predicts winds of 20 kts with 6-8' seas, while the southerly option would be 45 kts winds and 15-18' seas. A very prudent mariner. Viking handling the situation perfectly.
  8. Hi Jim, Nuku Hiva is very early in the development of a tourism industry and the required infrastructure. The included tour was a self-guided walk around the bay. No guide provided and the maps wasn't overly helpful. Regardless, I enjoyed the couple of hours wandering around the bay, snapping a few photos. Tahiti - AM we did the 4x4 excursion. We have been around the island a couple of times, so wanted to try the rain forest. Brilliant tour, everything I expected. Including the drive, we have lots of stops for photo ops and even got an opportunity to walk about 1 mile along the road. The PM included excursion - not so good. Our guide was mid 60's and was on her 4th walking tour of the day. The tour was posted as 2 hrs, but we were back after 1 hr 20 mins. The port area has lots of interesting places to visit, but this was a very, very brief overview. Bora Bora tomorrow. I have been a few times and Judi did the entire island back in 2015. We are just taking the included cruise and then a stroll around the tender dock area.
  9. Hi Jim, Attending functions, meals, keeping up the blog and managing photos, just doesn't leave much time. All is well. You resolved the L/B securing issue, as no noise noted, even after tendering yesterday. Ship is spotless and is extremely well managed, both technical and hotel sides. The crew are amazing, can't do enough for you. Meals are very good, tried the Italian place last evening - excellent. Entertainment is better than we expected and the Cruise Director (Bevan) is brilliant. Off to dinner, followed by a film on deck
  10. Just heading up to the Pool Deck for the Pollywog initiation ceremony.
  11. OMG!! So true, dinner last evening was brilliant. We shared a table with a great couple from Florida, which meant exceptional food was shared with great company. We sat in the MDR for over 2 hours. The main course that 3 of us had was Prime Rib, served with Yorkshire Pud & Brussel Sprouts. It was a huge slice of the best beef I have tasted for a long time. Tasty, tender & cooked to perfection. Even the sprouts were perfect.
  12. Jim - when out walking, saw him up at the Aquavit Bar personally checking out the presentation of the breakfast items laid out on the bar. On our previous WC, the only time we saw the Chef was when he was first in the queue to head ashore. Food has been excellent these first few days.
  13. Departing L/A about 19:00 (Jan 4th) we now have 8 relaxing days at sea until we reach Nuku Hiva. Day 2 started with what I consider a gentle rolling, although others may have a contrary opinion. The traditional trade winds have been impacted by a depression, with us experiencing a very confused sea. A healthy W'ly swell is a couple point fwd of the beam, with a NNW'ly wind of 15-20kts abaft the beam. During the day the wind veered to N'ly and freshened to about 25 kts. Very pleasant on the outer decks, but very few pax ventured out. We have some excellent lecturers aboard (12 of them). I attended the resident historian's lecture on the history of migration through Polynesia. Most interesting. Chef Tomaz is back aboard and he is constantly seen around all the dining venues. Standard of meals is returning to what Jim experienced initially. Welcome aboard show was at 21:15, with the Capt & Senior Officer, all 12 lecturers and many of the resident musicians performing. A most enjoyable and relaxing day at sea. More detailed reports and photos are included on our travel blog
  14. You are correct, as 1/2 World Cruisers, we aren't the only group on board. However, when they provide an insert upon boarding showing your itinerary, I expect it to be applicable to the voyage we booked. I would have thought the 245-Day Ultimate WC'ers would have received one for the entire voyage, upon boarding and we received one for L/A to London. I would also expect to view tours we have booked and what other options are available throughout our entire cruise, not just the first segment.
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