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Lotusgirl22

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  1. I do not know if still available post-hurricane, but on two occasions we stored our luggage at a restaurant in Old San Juan called Barrachini (or something like that - check the CC San Juan boards and the web). No need to eat there, but it looks nice. We tipped the young man. Took a taxi there, but were not docked downtown, where Viking docks I believe. Easy to kill time with a nice walk, lunch, etc, and cabs readily available down the block.
  2. This was unfortunate. It is a strong reminder to everyone that cruise line sales agents may not be knowledgeable about visas, etc. Even with a competent and trusted travel agent, it is prudent to double check all arrangements and requirements.
  3. On our recent cruise aboard the Sky, in addition to the delicious restaurant lobster dinner, their was a wonderful surf and turf buffet out by the pool one evening. This was in June on the Iceland/Norway cruise.
  4. HBC - were you satisfied with the activity level of the trip. Was it too sedentary? Thank you for your posts. Much appreciated.
  5. I am bumping up this thread in response to a question on the road call - asking for feedback on the tours on this cruise.
  6. I agree that, weather permitting, train station to port was walkable with carryon bags. While it can be done, I would not be keen to drag large suitcases that distance.
  7. We happened to be in the cabin at the start of our recent cruise when the "candy man" came by. We spoke to him about our preference for diet coke and diet sprite, and the non-diet cans were replaced and we had the correct soda for the rest of the cruise (we were in a DV cabin). Really enjoyed the peanuts and candy - brought them ashore for pick-me-ups.
  8. HBC - thank you for your ongoing review. It is very helpful. I have noticed that the dinner menu often includes an Indian entree. While I see that you and your Mother have not chosen it, I am wondering whether you have heard any feedback from other passengers on those entrees. Also, one of your posts addressed a concern that I have. Are you satisfied with the pace of the tours or do find them too slow and or sedentary? Thank you for your input.
  9. Glad to be of help. It was a wonderful trip.
  10. Embarkation day from the Grand Hotel went very well. They had staggered times from about 11:45 - 12:30ish (maybe later) to leave on buses. The times were posted on the Viking table in the lobby and the table was often manned for questions, and I think to help with tours (although we did not talk to them about that). Pay attention to the messages at the table and ask questions, as the personnel, like many of the locals, were very laid back - but very helpful when you spoke to them. (The same goes for the Blue Lagoon arrangements. One woman complained about not knowing about the departure time, but it had been posted at the Viking desk since the previous evening and I also specifically inquired - it was not on the generic summary itinerary that we were given upon arrival). We simply brought our luggage downstairs to the lobby at around 11:00, when we settled our bill at the front desk, and then went back up to our room for awhile. There was a lot of luggage already sitting there. They just loaded it on the buses that transported guests to the ship - you did not wait for your luggage - it just went on the various buses. If you choose to do a tour that day, I am sure that you can leave your luggage in the lobby to be transported to the ship without worry. I would just speak to the Viking reps about the logistics. We went on a bus that left around 12:15. The drive to the ship is very short. We had to wait about 5 minutes at the port because the authorities allow only one bus to pull into the fenced area. Check-in for boarding was very fast.
  11. We stayed at the Grand Hotel with the Viking pre-cruise extension and were very satisfied. Check-in upon early arrival, comfortable room, nice buffet breakfast. We liked the walk to the city center, but the hotel also has a shuttle to the city center (you are on your own for the return). The Grand Hotel also had a nice happy hour. In addition, I picked up a coupon book at the hotel which included restaurant discounts, as well as two for one cocktails at a few local establishments. We enjoyed a couple of beers at an outside table with mostly locals on a beautiful, sunny day.
  12. We had the silver spirit package on our recent cruise on the Viking Sky. We purchased it on embarkation day. We were pleased with the package and thought it worthwhile. We enjoyed the choices at dinner. We ate at the Chef's Table 3 times, and liked the pairings.
  13. On to Norway. We actually arrived at our bonus port, Olden, on the evening of Day 9. We had a wonderful afternoon of sailing through the fjords before we arrived, including one that was quite tight. Just beautiful! Day 10, Olden, Norway. The shore excursion folks did a stellar job pulling together lots of options for this port. We had previously visited this port, and visited the Birksdale glacier at that time (about 10 years ago). This time we took the a.m. included excursion, which was quite good - a scenic drive and visit to a National Park glacier center. In the afternoon, we took the optional Kjenndal Glacier and Loen Skylift excursion - saw some breathtaking scenery and were very satisfied with this rather pricey tour. Day 11, Geiranger - a tender port (and very well done). In the morning, we first hiked up to the fjordcenter along the waterfall (a fairly easy hike). We then continued and hiked up to Westeras and then the Westerasfjellet overlook (a strenuous hike) and then back down. We enjoyed a sandwich in town, and then took the afternoon Included panoramic tour. This was an excellent tour. We drove up to a glacier lake and two stunning overlook areas. The sail out of Geiranger is beautiful. For this sail out, as well as several others, the Captain allowed bow access. Not to be missed! Day 12, Alesund - we took the morning included walking tour. It was very good, but is not an easy stroll. The guide was very informative. Immediately after the tour, we walked up the 400 plus steps of Mt. Askia (sp?) and then down the easier way. After lunch on the ship, we explored the city some more and then returned to enjoy the spa area on the ship. I needed the hot tub after two days of hiking! Day 13, Flam - a tender port. In the morning, we took the optional Scenic Fjord Safari excursion. A highlight. It is a RIB boat ride through the fjord. We did have some rain on the tour, but it did not matter, as we were bundled up in waterproof gear. Loved this excursion! In the afternoon, after enjoying lunch in town at an area where they have some food trucks, we took the Included Panoramic excursion. Very nicely done - a couple of beautiful viewing areas. Day 14, Bergen. We took the morning Included Panoramic excursion. I thought this excursion was sort of boring, and even took a nap - although it was nice to see something other than the touristy area (we have previously been to Bergen). In the afternoon, we took the funicular up Mt. Floyen, and hiked down, and explored the area. I highly recommend this trip on the Viking Sky.
  14. We took the pre-cruise Reykjavik extension. It was well done - we were transported to the Grand Hotel upon our early arrival, had breakfast at the hotel, and early access to our room After freshening up we went on an independently booked Express Golden Circle tour with Extreme Iceland. We were picked up at Noon and returned to the hotel around 6:15 p.m. The tour, with about 9 people from various hotels, was very good, and did not feel rushed. We had dinner at the hotel, which was fine. On Day 2, we went on the a.m. included Blue Lagoon tour. Much to my surprise, we both loved it. On the way back to the hotel, we toured the Reykjavik peninsula and the City Center area, which was nice. That afternoon, we walked to the City Center, a well needed walk, and enjoyed the sights. At 5:00 p.m., we joined a Free Walking tour of the City Center. It was worthwhile. We had a really nice dinner at Le Bistro, in the City Center. On Day 3, we left for the ship around Noon. After having lunch at the pool area, and checking out our cabin, which was available early, we took the ship's shuttle to the City Center, and finished up our exploration of Reykjavik's City Center. On Day 4, we took the optional Panoramic South Coast excursion. It was very good. We learned a lot about volcanoes and saw beautiful waterfalls. On Day 5, Isafjordur, we took the Included excursion in the morning and enjoyed it. In the afternoon, we took the optional Vigur Island excursion. It was excellent. It involves a boat ride to the island, a walk around it, ducking arctic terns who think you want to attack their nests, and pastries and coffee at the end. I saw a puffin sitting on a rock, so I was happy. On Day 6, Akureyri, we took the optional Northern Iceland Natural Treasures excursion. It was very good. Such an interesting island and starkly beautiful. On Day 7, Seydisfjordur, we took the Skalanes Nature Center excursion, probably my favorite. It involves a drive through 3 rivers to the Center, where you walk up to the base of a cliff and view the birds. Absolutely beautiful. After lunch on the ship, we hiked up to the waterfall in town and then explored the town itself (easily done). Days 8 and 9 were sea days. As mentioned by others, Faroe Islands stop was cancelled because of high winds. I will note at this point that our enjoyment of all of these excursions was undoubtedly enhanced by the weather. We expected the worst and were lucky to experience the best. Also, I thought that the shore excursion staff did a good job. I will summarize our Norway excursions in a separate post.
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