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About sumiandkage

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  1. Tell that to my friends and neighbors who have gotten five figure damage from July and October hurricanes.
  2. Viking does have mini fridges in rooms and there's going to be a point when it's easy to duck into a grocery store near port and pick up healthy snacks. (I actually like exploring foreign grocery stores, so see it as a plus)
  3. While July is popular vacation time in general, the only place in Florida where it's The Season is up in the panhandle and cruise volume in the Caribbean is lower that time of year because of hurricane concerns.
  4. I'm more of a grazer than a big meal person and would describe Viking as having too much at meal time proper and not really anything other than cookies and coffee outside posted meal times. It would be nice to have a dessert option/ice cream social an hour after the main course so you don't feel so stuffed but absent that I'd tend to eat lightly at breakfast and lunch and then dip into the snack bag I picked up at a local grocery store before embarking if I wanted a nice hunk of Swiss chocolate on the days I skipped dessert at dinner. At a good number of ports, you're docked in a place where it's quite easy to walk only a few steps into town for a nip and snack at a nearby pub or bar as long as the ship is in port.
  5. In one of those times where things overlap a bit, I was changing a few things on my profile page for my Air France/KLM Flying Blue account today (their 2018 rule changes make it easier to stockpile miles from non-flight activity so I keep a stash there) and noticed there's a way to save information for SAPHIR to use in your FB profile
  6. Same here. They're a perfectly adequate airline that is a good travel option in some cases and a poor one in others. As someone who lives in an expensive local airfare area, I'm also not a far of FF programs that don't let me play arbitrage games on redemptions. As much as people complain about the Sky Peso, I can pretty reliably hit 2 cents a mile or better on Delta award tickets.
  7. Same with us. Our local airport is small and uncompetitive when it comes to airfares. We requested specific Delta flights, and our frequent flyer accounts were credited with the correct number of redeemable miles and medallion-qualifying miles as stated in Delta's SkyMiles bulk fare policy. (Full MQMs and then redeemables based on miles flown times a fare class multiplier) Because we were spending some time in Switzerland and Amsterdam before and after the cruise on our own, we didn't get to use Viking's transfer service. Other than Viking not communicating well about where to find the ship in Basel on departure day, that was not big deal.
  8. Because of how transatlantic slots are assigned (there are rules about big buffer zones in terms of timing and spacing because you're outside of radar range) airlines are very reluctant to voluntarily delay transatlantic flights because it can cause them to miss a preferred slot assignment and leave them with a less desirable one. If your destination is not a hub for the airline, then your outbound from Newark to CDG is also going to be the inbound flight to Chicago or Boston or back to Newark and the airlines are very reluctant to take actions that could lead to delays on that inbound flight, further inconveniencing even more passengers.
  9. Same demographic as the original poster, and have the same 'as a whole it was a good trip but..' feeling about our cruise. 1) I'll disagree on the IKEA vibe. (Part of our self-booked pre-cruise trip involved Motel One- now that's a hotel chain that takes it's cues from IKEA) I'd call it more Scandinavian modern, and as someone who hates overly fussy decor, I like the cabin style and hoe they made good use of the space 2) Agree with you on the beds. Of the four different places we stayed on our trip, the Viking bed provided the worst sleep quality. 3) We did our research about food and drink onboard and hit a grocery store for about 60 CHF of snacks and soft drinks on the way to the ship, and it worked out well. 4) I thought the coffee was, call it adequate. Not as good as you could get in port, but it worked well enough as a caffeine delivery device. 5) Breakfast drove me nuts- slow to clear breakfast plates and replace coffee service at breakfast so if you weren't there right when breakfast service opened, you had to kind of hunt down the least awful table option. I'm not a big breakfast person and would rather sleep an extra half hour and then do a quick meal of some coffee and croissants and they made this harder than it should have been. 6) we didn't really get rain, so can't compare in that regard, but the only time I seemed to see staff on the top deck was when they were having a smoke in their small off duty patio in the back 7) now that you mention this, bikes would have been nice, especially in those ports when we didn't want to do the bus tour.
  10. On our recent Viking cruise, it was mentioned that the main service desk on the ship was able to exchange for small coin amounts in local currency if you had concerns about pay toilets on that day's excursions.
  11. Saturday Delta IT weirdness is probably causing some sort of flight duplication in the system. I probably would wait until Monday when the schedule change issues have generally resolved themselves in order to book
  12. It's a decent price and I'd buy at this time because I'm risk-adverse. As for seat selection, Delta often has Schedule Change Saturday where they will be doing live work on the reservations database and it's common for airline IT to remove the ability to select or change seats on Saturdays in the name of reducing computer processor use in the system as a whole, even if the flight you're buying or checking is not impacted by any of the schedule changes or equipment swaps they're working on. I've encountered it multiple times myself and when I go into my Skymiles account the Monday after I'll typically get some flashing red message about how my flight schedule has changed and my Atlanta to London fight is now departing at 6:38 instead of 6:35 and then have the ability to select or change seats in a perfectly normal way.
  13. My common three seasons wear in the States- Salomon hiking shoes, prAna hiking pants, and a solid color t-shirt- results in a lot of people starting out speaking German to me in Europe. Apparently practical dress maps to that in many people's minds there.
  14. Also remember that every country has its own holidays and school vacation time periods and sometimes what seems like a surprisingly high week for airfares when you search might be because people from your destination are trying to get Somewhere Else or return to home just as you're trying to get there.
  15. They seem to use the 'random' free Pre-Check more in circumstances when the TSA anticipates general security screening lines will be long and they're trying to load balance the lines a little more. Before I signed up for the program, I rarely got free Pre from my wee local airport but would get it 2/3rds of the time departing from larger airports like Boston, Seattle, or Denver. As for Pre-Check vs. Global Entry, there are a lot more sign up points for Pre than there are for Global Entry, which largely requires you to be in a big city or hub airport. The nearest place where we could sign up for GE was a four hour drive one way and they're open limited hours (and I've also had issues trying to get a possible GE interview lined up while at one of those big connecting hubs) while Pre sign-up was available an hour down the beach-apparently the same company that does background checks for hazmat truckers also can do Pre screenings and they've got offices in a lot of smaller areas. Note that Pre participation is at the airline level and while most airlines common in America these days, even Allegiant, participate, a few still do not. https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/participating-airlines And it's the airline that you buy the ticket from that matters in terms of Pre participation because it's the entity that has to share electronic traveler information with the TSA and not the operating carrier.
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