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3rdCoastFan

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  1. Munich is generally regarded as an excellent airport for connections. 90 minutes is about twice the minimum connection time for Munich so assuming planes are on time, you will have no issues. Odds are that your luggage will make it to the flight before you. When we were coming back from our Rhine cruise last spring, we had about 50 minutes in Munich to connect from our flight from Basel to Chicago. While we certainly hustled, I don't think it took us more than 25-30 minutes to get from a remote jetway, via bus, to our gate. It also looks like there are several flights between MUC and NUE. I assume they put you on the first one in the morning (perhaps at or around 8:40am)? The next flight out would be at 1:15 and while waiting around in an airport is a crummy way to start a vacation, at least you won't be stuck overnight.
  2. @jasardeax, what did you think of the tour with Those Dam Boat Guys? We wanted to take their tour on our last trip but between rainy weather and poor planning on our part, we never had the time. Definitely want to try them out on our next visit, though.
  3. The vast majority of canal boat tours follow the same itinerary and include a pre-recorded commentary track. There are about a half dozen that leave from the area immediately surround Centraal. Two companies run smaller boats that may let you see different parts of the city. One is KINBoat and another is Those Dam Boat Guys. Both have live commentary. The former is BYO, which may encourage a livelier atmosphere.
  4. I had Arles and Little Collins on my lists of places to visit (unfortunately, we ran out of time). Cafe Caron and Auberge Jean & Marie are farther West and were also recommended to us. We didn't get to go this year but on a previous trip, we had a lovely brunch at Bakers & Roasters (also to the west; note that they have two locations). We had a very good dinner at Sampurna - Indrapura and Kartika were also suggested to us. The nearby Albert Cuypmarkt has lot of food, too. My favorite stroopwafel came from this stand:
  5. That's fair - and perhaps I should have said "well enough" instead. I don't think any cruise line came from last fall looking great. Good point, though, about other companies sticking people in a hotel rather than treating the moored Viking ships as a series of hotels, used for a night or two at a time.
  6. Last fall, many rivers experienced historic lows. From reports I read on CC, it seems like Viking handled things really well. They have a ton of ships up and down the major rivers - it makes it much easier to move people between ships that way. In effect, though, the boat became your hotel for a few nights at a time. When purchasing insurance, consider 'cancel for any reason' coverage. It will likely add a significant premium, and I doubt you could recoup 100% of your fees, but it's one way to help mitigate significant changes to your trip.
  7. @irishgal432, there's a recent thread with some comments on Viking Air and Viking Air Plus. This may have started in 2017 but there are a number of responses from this past May.
  8. Everyone on our cruise raved about the beer dinner/pub crawl in Cologne - reading your post really makes me wish we had done that one instead of the dinner in Rudesheim organized by the boat. Oh well. Something to look forward to if we ever repeat this itinerary with Viking!
  9. I enjoyed this cruise aboard the Tialfi last spring - I know every Viking crew is outstanding but I really felt the Tialfi's crew was exceptional. Is your program director Claudia or Andrew? Darren was a stellar server who worked the Aquavit Lounge - if you see him, tell him that Mr. Dan and Ms. Kerry say hello! Milena is also a fabulous bartender - she was great with suggestions from the single-malt Scotch selection.
  10. While that may have been the policy in the past, it doesn't appear to be the case any more. From the cruise documents for my Rhine Getaway last April: EDIT: The downside to purchasing on board, other than conversion rates and cc fees, is that you have to purchase the package for the complete trip even if you buy it a day or two into the cruise. My understanding is that Viking won't pro-rate it. Also, one of the events on the first day was a wine and cheese tasting featuring wines available throughout the cruise. I assume that's marketing, basically, to push people to get the package once they're on board.
  11. For any shipboard purchases (excursions, beverage package, etc), and if I recall correctly, the price in USD beforehand was roughly equivalent to the price in euros while on board. That is, if it was $100 USD before, it was €90 after. If your credit card tacks on a foreign transaction fee, though, factor that in, too.
  12. As far as the last question, I took pictures of the wine list from my cruise last April - they are available here: As you can see, most bottles are included in the package. My fiancé isn't a wine drinker so I stuck to wines by the glass. I didn't think to ask if I could still order a bottle for me and save the rest for another night, etc. Also, contrary to everything I was told by the customer service agents prior to the trip, the entire bar menu was covered by the silver spirits package (I enjoyed many times a double pour of Highland Park's Ragnvald single malt after dinner...).
  13. There's a train that you can board underneath the airport after you exit customs - it takes about 15 minutes to get to Centraal. You can take a local train that takes a few minutes longer or a direct train. Plenty of station attendants are available to assist, too. There are ticket kiosks for the train near the baggage claim - I usually buy mine while waiting for luggage. From Centraal, you can hop on a tram or bus to your hotel. This site explains in good detail how you can buy tickets in advance or onboard the tram: https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/plan-your-trip/getting-around/public-transport .
  14. Along similar lines, and in case anyone suggests Uber - our Program Director warned us that Uber isn't completely legal in Basel. She didn't expressly say we shouldn't use it - but there could be complications if an Uber was stopped for whatever reason. Uber has a page dedicated to using Uber in Basel (it estimates a ride from the St. Johann terminal to SBB at CHF15) but I know that their MO is generally to beg forgiveness after rather than asking permission beforehand.
  15. Well that's what fbgd is getting at - if you miss the 7:40 flight, you have two backups out of EWR: a flight to MUC @8:45 or even direct to CPH @11:30. And that's just Star Alliance. If things really go pear-shaped, United may try and get you on BA.
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