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Cyber Kat

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Everything posted by Cyber Kat

  1. LOL. That’s like the Bermuda ones except they are Bermuda colors. I’m well acquainted with the back seat. There’s a method 😂
  2. We try to do a mix of new and old favorites. Our last Viking Ocean was Canada and NE and though we have done several of those ports before, we have never started in Montreal. We had new ports - Montreal Quebec City, Saguenay and Gaspe, and old favorites - Portland, ME (the standard itinerary is Halifax, but we went to Portland), Boston and we finished up in NYC, which is our home port. It’s a fabulous itinerary for the fall. It’s cool, but not cold. The leaves are beginning to turn and it was a nice mix of port and sea days. It was really a wonderful cruise all around! We do like the Caribbean in the spring. I like doing it in the winter, but our last one ended up with a blizzard being predicted for home. Nice not to be there, but we had some anxious moments regarding snow removal and my cat/house sitter, who is not exactly spry! We don’t do beaches, but we do like boats 😁. We generally look for Catamarans and sailing excursions. Quite often Viking does some nice cultural excursions as well. We had a catamaran sail to the Pitons in St Lucia that also took us to a plantation that grows coconuts and cacao. And we had a lovely Creole lunch. We did a photo tour in Barbados that took us off the beaten path. No need for only beach days in the Caribbean. We are doing one this spring - not Viking - shussh. It’s Celebrity. We have never sailed with them before, never booked a suite before, never sailed out of Fort Lauderdale before and all of the ports/islands are new. We have Trade Routes of the Middle Ages coming up next fall for the great mix of countries and ports. Amsterdam is always a favorite. Other ports/countries are new (Oslo, Bergen, Le Havre, Falmouth, Porto and all the Spanish ports). We have been to Amsterdam and Portsmouth. We are also looking forward to the train rides at both ends! We are train buffs as well! And for the purpose of train rides, we are doing Swiss Alps to Paris with the Glacier Express pre cruise. It’s the only way I’m getting my husband to Paris! On our wish list are the Med (Venice to Barcelona), Into the Midnight Sun and I would love to do Alaska and anything that includes NZ!
  3. We were offered an upgrade to a PV on our first Viking Ocean - last minute very good rate. We took it and now there is no going back! Agree - Deck 5 is great!
  4. I’m already planning for that! I was one of the few who were warm when it turned suddenly cold on our Grand European last fall! I hate being cold!
  5. We rented a Twizy on our last visit to Bermuda. I wonder if it’s the same kind of car. The ones in Bermuda are very tiny with tandem seating and no windows. The last could be a problem in Norway 😆
  6. Both times we did business class with Viking Air and we used Air Plus to get the flights we wanted. On our 2 other cruises we booked our own flights - once to San Juan and this last time to Montreal because we only needed a one way flight as we were ending in NYC. Though we haven’t picked our flights yet we have business class to Oslo for our cruise next fall.
  7. We are also doing Trade Routes 9/15/2020. Have you joined us in the roll call? I’m really looking forward to this cruise - such a great itinerary! We are also doing the pre cruise in Oslo and the post cruise in Madrid.
  8. I can’t speak for the Homelands itinerary, but we just finished the Eastern Seaboard Explorer, and we enjoyed all of our tours included and optional. I filled out all the feedback forms that we received and for those we didn’t, I sent them an email. Oddly enough the tours we enjoyed the most were conducted by newbie tour guides who had been teachers. We had 3 of these and they were great! Perhaps the enthusiasm was a factor and it wears off after awhile. I did want to mention the included tour in NYC. This was our last port and also our home port. We didn’t sign up for any tours. - we planned to do something on our own. My husband said he wasn’t riding around NYC in a bus for 4 hours 😆 As it turned out, he was feeling a bit under the weather that morning and all he wanted was to take a nap and a shower. I could have just hung around, but the internet wasn’t working well the last day or so and at that point it wasn’t working at all. I figured I’d rather ride the bus 😆. I called down to Guest Services and they had room on the 2:00 pm bus. I had a great time. The guide was excellent - informative with a good sense of humor. We had stops at Battery Park for the harbor views and a longer one at the 9/11 Memorial (which I’d not been to). It was a very nice way to spend an afternoon. Who knew. So even if tour sounds cliche or pedestrian, you never know. Viking does seem to find a way to elevate things. Perhaps they request guides that get good feedback and the tour companies comply where they can. With 4 Viking cruises under our belts (2 river, 2 ocean) and 2 more booked we feel very comfortable with the Viking tours. I know we can probably do better on our own as far as costs and smaller groups (although many of our Viking tours have not been crowded), I like not having to research every port and worry if the tour company will live up to their reputation. Been there done that, and now I’m ready to sit back and let someone else do the work - especially since they seem to do a bang up job! The Greyhound bus company used to have a slogan Relax and leave the driving to us. I’m relaxed and leaving the “driving” to Viking!
  9. Are you on the September 15 sailing of the Viking Sky? We doing this next year as well. I’m really looking forward to it. If you are on the Sky 9/24, come join our roll call. We have been to Amsterdam and Portsmouth. All the other ports are new for us. We will likely do something on our own in Amsterdam, as we are comfortable getting around on the trams. I’m thinking of the Resistance Museum - we haven’t visited that one yet and we keep wanting to visit the Begijnhof gardens. We might do one of the day trips to Hoorne. In Portsmouth, my husband wants to go to the Victory again, but I want to do something different, so we’ll see. We have been to London and Stonehenge. Between the 2 I’d recommend Stonehenge unless you don’t mind the long bus ride. On my wish list are the Alhambra and I’m really keeping my fingers crossed for Falmouth because I want to do Lands End. I think we will do Honfleur or Monet’s Garden in France. We are booked on the Swiss Alps to Paris in 2021. Are you doing any pre or post extensions. We are doing the Oslo one pre and the Madrid one post because of the trains 😁
  10. That’s great! Thank you! I’m looking forward to it.
  11. We have been on beaches in the Bahamas and there are vendors bothering you to buy something every 5 minutes. I don’t find that relaxing. Is this the case with the Caymans as well? I’m looking at Royal Palms and maybe a Cabana. If you get one of those can you use the pool and the ocean? I love a beach but I don’t want to sit in the sun all day and DH prefers a pool.
  12. Neither option is a hard and fast rule for us. We go with whichever path works for us at the time. On our Grand European river cruise last year “free” economy air was included in the cruise fare. We upgraded to business class for $3000 pp. When I checked for booking with airlines on our own, it was $7000 pp. We also paid the $50 pp for Air Plus and the $100 pp deviation fee so we could fly into Budapest early and out of Amsterdam late. On our recent Eastern Seaboard Explorer cruise we only needed one way air, so it worked out better to book on our own. Do your research and book what works best for you.
  13. We don’t generally pay extra for Viking transfers. We only use them if they are included. We flew up 2 days early for our recent Eastern Seaboard Explorer on the Viking Sea. We just took a cab to the hotel from the airport. It’s a set rate and I think it was $40 Canadian. When we do an extension on our own, we usually either take a cab or arrange for a car service through our hotel. That’s a wonderful option for early arrivals - especially when flying to Europe. It worked out well this time. We had a 2:30 flight out of JFK and arrived around 3:30pm, got to the hotel around 4:00 and were able to check in right away. We had 2 wonderful nights at the charming Auberge du Vieux Port. We loved this whole itinerary and wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
  14. And their famous Success Cake and waffles and yummy little Scandinavian style sandwiches
  15. In Canada it seemed like just a rote thing without much thought. Apparently the port authorities were not “advising” them because the port security wasn’t asking for them. We have been to Canada many times. There was no “threat level” at all. Canadians are quite civil. 😍 If they didn’t have such wicked winters, I could happily live there.
  16. We also just got back from the Eastern Seaboard on the Viking Sea. Were you on the Sea or the Sun? They followed us all the way. This was our second Viking Ocean cruise. We have done 2 Viking River cruises and several other cruises with other lines in the past. Viking has become our go to first line. We have 1 other ocean and 1 river booked. We really enjoyed this cruise for so many reasons. We enjoyed the lectures, especially those given by Bill Miller on Floating Palaces aka ocean liners and their evolution into cruise ships. He was quite entertaining and had lots of interesting anecdotes.
  17. Quite frankly, I don’t care if you or anyone else deems to judge me unless you are interviewing me for a job - which isn’t going to happen because I am enjoying retirement! I enjoy reading and wearing clever tee shirts - but then I have a sense of humor. Losing ones sense of fun makes you old, and while I may have lived a lot of years, but I’m not old! Also one of the great things I’ve learned over the years is not to worry about the approval of others - especially people I don’t even know!
  18. I thought this was a discussion about the Explorers Lounge, how are we now in yet another dress code discussion 🙄
  19. In your opinion, perhaps. Don’t look if it bothers you, we always wear tee shirts when we cruise. My favorite one is “If the earth was flat, cats would have pushed everything off of it by now.” I’m also rather fond of my, “Thinking I’m just an old lady was your first mistake!” IMO a sense of fun keeps you young! Not to the dining room, but on sea days and in port in the Caribbean, of course.
  20. Wow what a wet blanket cruise line! Crossing them off my list!
  21. We just got back from doing the Montréal to NYC run, and if you love lobster, this is the itinerary for you! On the ship I had a very tasty pasta dish with lobster early on - maybe the 2nd or 3rd night. We had delicious whole lobster on maybe the 5th night. They were doing the Seafood buffet at the World Cafe. One of these days, I’m going to do that instead of the Restaurant, but we’re not wild about buffet dinners, and lobster is what I really wanted. I had wonderful lobster rolls in Portland and Boston. Boone’s in Portland does a warm lobster roll and the meat is drenched in melted butter. Yummy. They were also having a special - guy handed us a flyer on the street, but we were going there anyway. Price of the lobster roll included lobster bisque or clam chowder. Difficult choice, but I went all in lobster. Was THE best lobster bisque I have ever eaten. Very tasty with big chunks of lobster meat. We are partial to the Black Rose near the Quincy Market in Boston and their lobster roll is fabulous, just a touch of mayo and a very generous portion of lobster. We did the Boston by Night and Lobster dinner excursion also. This was excellent. The tour was great, just at dusk and we could see the lights coming on, then we stopped at the Union Oyster House for a most excellent lobster dinner. My husband doesn’t eat lobster so I asked Viking Guest Services if he could get something else. They arranged it with the restaurant and they were most accommodating. I have to say that the restaurant deserves a medal! It’s a big noisy place that was packed! They served our large group clam chowder, lobster and tasty corn, quickly and efficiently. And the lobster - they had to be 2lbs or close to it - was perfect. We all declared it so! We happened on a fun group for table mates and some were lobster newbies. We were giving lessons on how to eat a lobster. They were not split, but so easy to crack and open we had no need for crackers - just lots of napkins! So good. I was really amazed that they were able to cook a vast quantity of lobsters so well! This was one of the more pricey excursions, but it was well worth it! On our penultimate (I don’t get to use that word often enough 😆) night on board, they had Lobster Thermidor , but we had reservations for Routes des Indes at the Chef’s Table. I had eaten enough lobster by then not to feel deprived. 😆 It was a good choice, much as I enjoyed the Thermidor, this meal was incredible! I’m glad I didn’t miss it.
  22. It’s just before the area with the shops. We usually spend quite a bit of time in this area near the stairs. We like the Living Room bar and usually make friends with one of the bartenders. We start there after lunch on sea days. If there’s a lecturer we are interested in, we do that, then migrate up to the Explorer’s lounge mid afternoon. You can get tea there and Success Cake from Mamsen’s if you don’t want to do the whole tea thing. I love the Viking ships - so many great nooks!
  23. Excellent! Thank you so much - looks like I will definitely find something!
  24. Shuttles were provided in St Kitts only. In all the other ports, I'm quite sure we were fairly close to the town - within walking distance.
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