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  • 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. The normal tap water we used in Science class was neutral with a pH of about 7.5. From memory, distilled water has a pH of about 5, which is something I recall from my shifts in the E/R treating the boiler feed water.
  2. We used the desk drawer for the same thing. However, I set up my laptop on the desk, but it was no issue picking it up for access. Also kept the carafe of water and glasses behind the laptop, so only 1 thing to move. When DW wanted to use the mirror, I unplugged the laptop and moved it.
  3. Yes, we used Luggage Forward on the last cruise, shipping 1 bag each. Left the house about 3 weeks before the cruise and arrived in the cabin shortly after we embarked.
  4. This is common practice on all passenger ships. The crew must access the balconies to keep the areas washed down and clean. At any time, if you want privacy, close the blackout curtains. Yes, Viking does normally promulgates information in the Viking Daily when the crew are cleaning the balconies.
  5. Here is another ranking from Travel & Leisure, based on scores from actual pax. Oceania did improve 2 places from last year, but they are still 6th, just above Cunard, HAL and Costa. https://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/large-ocean-cruise-ships
  6. We went through a similar exercise a few years ago, researching all the Luxury & Premium Lines, based on our fairly similar Statement of Requirements. After reviewing all of them we short-listed to Viking & Oceania, both of which we researched extensively, especially here on the CC Boards. For us, Viking were the first choice and haven't regretted the decision. One of the key issues for us was how they handle "Formal Nights". We reviewed each cruise line's policy on "Formal Nights" then compared it to pax reports of what happens in practice. Similar to the mainstream Lines, I found that most of the luxury brands also had differences between what the cruise lines stated and pax reported. Viking have NO formal nights, as every evening is smart casual and in our experience, they do enforce the standards at dinner, which are a collared shirt (golf shirt or dress shirt) and no jeans. Another couple of key factors for us is the lack of a casino, which we consider a waste of space, zero kids (other brands may not have many kids, but do accept them) and Viking's exceptional policy for bringing alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks aboard. They accept you bringing unlimited product aboard the ship. When cruising the World, you can bring onboard bottles of local wines and they will open and serve them to you at meals, with no corkage fees.
  7. Just checked and the Caribbean looks clear, with the current TRS already having made a landfall. Doesn't look like anything is forecast for the next week. Weather is reasonably well forecast these days, especially TRS. In addition to Govt forecasts, the Masters also receive information from specialised routing services. The dangerous quadrant is to the North of a TRS, so most Masters will make a run to the South, depending on projected track. Chance of it being cancelled due to weather slim to zero. The itinerary may change, but cruises are very rarely cancelled. Yes, I have spent many weeks in bad weather, but it rarely happens these days.
  8. I agree the size of the ship has little to do with the seakeeping ability in a seaway. The design and scantlings are the important factors. However, having completed quite a few more crossings of the Atlantic, at all times of the year, I can assure you it isn't mostly smooth sailing. Spending 40 yrs at sea taught me to keep a healthy respect for the ocean.
  9. Generally, vessels that carry people are cruise ships, while vessels that carry commercial vehicles and/or cars and pax are considered Ro/Pax (aka ferry). Many of the Ro/Pax have overnight accommodation and have pax accommodation and lounges comparable with cruise ships, but they are still a Ro/Pax.
  10. On the desk, the lid raises to reveal a make-up type area with what I believe was a magnifying mirror. DW used it.
  11. When the ship arrives in port, you are already in the country's territorial waters. When the local authorities come aboard, the ship requests "Free Pratique", which essentially means the ship is healthy and everyone meets the local health requirements. In many ports, if one crew member or pax doesn't meet local requirements, the ship can be quarantined and not cleared. Therefore, nobody gets ashore. However, I note that some ports will permit the ship to ensure that pax/crew in non-compliance are prohibited from going ashore. In these constantly changing times I would not like to hazard a guess how ports will respond on any given day.
  12. About mid July, the WHO Chief Scientist warned against mixed doses, but within hours, she had to backtrack her statement. On 15th June, the WHO's panel of experts issued a document stating they only recommend 2 doses of the same vaccine within the OEM prescribed time timits. Other than the US, few countries have managed to maintain the time between shots. Therefore, even with 2 jabs of the same vaccine you have not met WHO recommendations, if the interval was extended. However, they also discuss mixed vaccines, specifically when AZ is given first before an mRNA vaccine. With this combination, they do not recommend that an additional dose is required. They also recognise the ongoing trials and the similar and even improved protection from mixed doses in the early results. They state mixed doses are acceptable, where the same product is not available. WHO may not yet recommend mixed doses, but they do accept them and since Viking follows WHO guidelines, they are accepting mixed AZ/mRNA vaccinations onboard.
  13. Viking is accepting mixed vaccine doses, even for departures from US ports, as they are accepted by WHO. I have written confirmation.
  14. Viking Ocean & River also require a PCR test prior to embarkation.
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