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About pontac

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  1. No so for UK. At the end of our first few Viking Cruises they left two envelopes in the cabins for tips, one for Programme Director, other for rest of crew and you put them in box at reception. Then they added them to your on-board account and you paid at reception Then from this year gratuities are included.
  2. But don't different States/ cities apply different rates?
  3. And for UKers in the USA... Here we tip on few occasions and 10% is standard in restaurants. Mrs P and I take it turns to pay for dinner when abroad. A few years ago we were in Missouri and ate in the same restaurant for the week we were in one small place. I added 20% rounded up, next night she added 10%, next night I added 20%, then her 10%. I only saw what she added at the end and she wouldn't believe me that 20% was the minimum she should add. (I insisted, and we had a big 'discussion' in our room that night). Goodness knows what the restaurant staff thought - tho' they were never less than welcoming.
  4. I think its more of a cultural thing. The USA is (in my experience) a tipping society, and Americans are generous tippers and like to have it under their control* . If they made it all exclusive I expect many American would still tip. However other societies are not so oriented towards tipping, and so cruises booked with Viking Australia and Viking UK include gratuities. Before they did, suggested gratuities were added to the end of cruise invoice but there was no problem having them adjusted or removed - for instance if you wanted to personally tip individuals. *OTOH the subject of how much and who to tip is a perpetual question on these forums, and only raised by Americans, so perhaps they are not as confident with tipping as I'm giving them credit for. 🙂
  5. @CCWineLover are you going all the way round the world? (PS - I like that name 😉
  6. @Jack1 India has a well established wine industry; they're growing international varieties, and the Indian wines I have had have all been good, so I expect they'll be several on the boat in India. Sula Vineyards - https://sulawines.com/sula.aspx -is the largest producer there and they also import and distribute non-Indian wine brands. So I reckon there's a good change you'll find Sula wines on the menu, plus these brands https://sulawines.com/sulaselectionswines.aspx
  7. Yesterday's Guardian newspaper had a photo of the Viking Sun in the Thames at Greenwich. The online article unfortunately doesn't have the same photo, just some Viking publicity shots - all the same, all about this record breaking longest trip. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/aug/30/around-the-world-in-245-days-just-67k-for-voyage-of-a-lifetime
  8. I'm looking forward to you posting the wine menu 🙂
  9. Thanks, @little britain Looking a the list, I am reminded of Samuel Johnson's quote about a dog, walking on its hind legs "but you are surprised to find it done at all" In other words it's mostly a rather dull selection of brands but I am surprised to find any wines in Myanmar and at a reasonable price. Of the wines under the South Africa heading, 'La Bodega' winery isn't in South Africa so without the bottle it's anyone's guess what it is. Interestingly Monte Vino is not in South Africa either. It's produced by the same Burmese winery as the next wine on the list - Myanmar 1st Vineyard Estate - and is made using juice imported from South Africa. If I was on the boat, and when I can encourage Mrs P to travel that far I may well be, I'd want to try both the Myanmar 1st Vineyard Estate wines, which are made from grapes grown in their own vineyard. And, predictably, the best wines on the list, in my opinion, are the most expensive. White: Waipara Hills Sauvignon Blanc, because Waipara Hills is a real winery with their own vineyards Red: Coronas, because that's one of Torres' wines - a good wine they've produced for more than 100 years, and Torres are makers of good, sometimes great wines
  10. I'd like to see it but Sorry, there is a problem This attachment is not available. It may have been removed or the person who shared it may not have permission to share it to this location. Error code: 2C171/1
  11. Isn't this info on the FAQs on Viking's website? Whatever the recommended amount is they add it to your account that appears on the bill left in your room before the end of your trip. You can pay that or ask for it to be adjusted/removed. Tip info used to be on the Viking UK site so I went there but it has been removed now that all UK booked trips include gratuities. As to whether OBC can be used to pay, this is a question that has come up many time before and as I recall from the replies, usually you cannot but sometimes you can and the policy on Ocean cruises doesn't relate to River cruises.
  12. We went on GET. 1) Really you have to decide for yourself how much you want to see Salzburg. It's a 9.5 hour trip with about 2hr journey there and 2hr back (may be less or more depending on traffic, but it's 110km between the two and you are travelling in a coach) so you have to decide whether you want to spend 4 hours in a coach looking at scenery. Walking tour of Passau means you are back at boat for lunch and rest of afternoon is free to explore Passau on your own or relax. We chose Passau. 2) Viking (and all other lines?) stopped the night-time cruise at Budapest after the recent tragedy when a tourist sightseeing boat was sunk by the Margaret Bridge with large loss of life. We had the cruise when we went on GET and another trip and tho' by our June trip the evening cruise was not on we'd done it before and weren't tempted. However, you don't have to make up your mind till you arrive in Budapest; there are many evening sightseeing boats along the waterfront touting their services and o doubt you'll not want to go in poor visibility or pouring rain.
  13. It should take around 30 minutes by car or coach. For airlines that don't have a permanent check in desk (e.g. non Hungarian airlines) check-in desk will not open till 2 hours before departure
  14. Our cruises have included transport to the airport. The airport is quite close, about 30 minutes depending on time of day=traffic
  15. Our first river cruise was Basel to Amsterdam; we didn't choose it, our friends did. I think the only way to get a definitive answer would be from someone who done it both ways. However, I recall thinking at the time I would have preferred Amsterdam to Basel because I was very familiar with Amsterdam having worked there many times, where other way would have been a trip to a new place. Also, scenery becomes more countrified nearer Basel. But I think more important than direction of travel will, for you, be the logistics of flights from/to Basel and Amsterdam. The latter is well connected to the rest of the world. Check departure times and connections. I reckon they will make the decision for you. I am sure you can organise a post cruise extension in Basel if you travel that way.
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