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pontac

Members
  • Content Count

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About pontac

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    London
  • Interests
    Wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Rivers

Recent Profile Visitors

217 profile views
  1. pontac

    srvpoo

    Yes, Silver Spirits Package. This is what Viking FAQs says If you choose to upgrade to our Silver Spirits beverage package, you can enjoy unlimited beverages including a selection of premium local wines, beers, cocktails, specialty coffee drinks, soft drinks and juices throughout the day; plus an open bar (during operating hours). You may purchase the package prior to sailing or once on board. Cost of drinks and cost of package depends on which tour you are on. Everyone in cabin must pay for the package
  2. I'd just like to add to the above..... Don't go with the crowds and follow the yellow arrivals signs all the way, look for the purple 'Flight Connections' signs, they will direct you to your Zurich flight so you avoid passport control and customs. If you get to the passport lines at Border Control you've missed the Flight Connections, go back. See https://www.heathrow.com/flight-connections
  3. There was an optional tour to there, but I didn't go
  4. The Bordeaux cruises are the only ones AFAIK that are specifically focused on wine tourism, with winery visits every day and on board tastings. Other cruises that pass through wine regions include and/or have optional tours to wineries, such as on the Rhone, and Douro in Portugal. As tours are included at every stop there isn't too much time for wandering on ones own, without missing an included tour you've paid for, although of course you won't mind missing one to ABC (another b.. cathedral) But few wineries are in walking distance of a mooring spot, though I did walk to one in Germany and came back with wine we enjoyed with dinner - no corkage. The other option is to go on a special wine cruise which has on board tastings, such as some operators run, as has The American Wine Society. Suggest you look at two recent relevant thread on this board:- French wine river cruises Best river cruise in Bordeaux region of France?
  5. The only specific wine tour I know of is Bordeaux, which is offered by several companies. They all seems to visit the same appellations but go to different wineries. Which company is best? Two ways of looking at it. Services offered on board, more you pay more you get, and wineries visited and wine related tourism, tastings etc. Trips like the Rhone offer visits to a couple of wineries, but they are not wine focused tours. If Bordeaux rings your bell I suggest you compare the offerings of those companies who cruise there. Also, read the thread titled 'Best river cruise in Bordeaux region of France?' which at time of writing is on the same page as your post
  6. @Glorybe I suggest you'd have a better response by posting on a thread about Moscow.
  7. It's a way of recording who is on and who is off the boat. (actually, it's so automatic and anyway Mrs Pontac does the business, I can't recall now whether one hands in the room key or they hand you a card when you go. Either way it's no problem) I don't know what they do on ocean cruises - I would assume they have some way of knowing who is on board. A few times there have been PA announcements asking a named customer to come to reception shortly before leaving a mooring,when they still have the cards of someone who left and hasn't collected their key, to ensure they don't leave people behind. And I suppose in the case of an emergency they know who is on bard You can walk off the boat anytime its moored; you don't have to let them know but it's in your interest, if - for example - the captain is told to move mooring before announced departure time. If people are off boat they can station someone to guide passengers to the new mooring location. When you leave the boat collect a card with the boat's phone number and the mooring location which you can show to a taxi driver if you're delayed in town or lost
  8. Room service question has been answered. Yes and No respectively to the other questions. I haven't been on an ocean cruise but I've read feedback at CC from those that have, and it seems to me that they are quite different experiences. You do not get the same ocean cruise offerings on the river. The reason is clear if you compare the size of an ocean ship with a river boat. On Viking you can dine at all three meals either in the main restaurant or in the lounge. We tend to have a light breakfast and lunch in the lounge and dinner in the main restaurant. On all the trips I have been on they local dishes as an option on the menu, and often a themed night of food and drink, e.g. in Germany a strolling band, German beer in barrels, sausages and pretzels and a huge host of foods...and staff in lederhosen. On tours, you now sign up in advance for those you want to go on, even the included tours, on 'My Viking Journey' but there is no compulsion to go on any of them even if you've booked. You can decide at the time. If you want to go, deposit your key at reception, collect your bus assignment and off you go. If you don't want to go then don't. They don't call out names.
  9. @TravelerThom Thanks, I missed that detail. Re the free tours from Changi, I agree with you. I went on one a long time ago on a layover and it was very good. As I recall we didn't have to go through immigration/customs and we were allowed off the bus during the trip.
  10. @nasus2 - This is on your return flight? It's not clear to me if the extra 4 hours is because you catch an earlier flight to Singapore, and/or are also catching a later flight into UK. Suggest you look at EU compensation rules. As you are flying into UK EU law is applicable here. If UK has Ieft EU by time of flight, the relevant EU regulation will still apply as they will be written into UK law*. I used Bott & Co, who are recommended by Daily Telegraph, to get a refund from BA after BA refused my claim. You can phone Bott now to find out where you stand. Google 'Bott flight compensation' *According to Moneysaving Expert site Whether there's a deal with the EU or not, the Government insists flight delay compensation rules will remain the same. It says it will do this by writing EU261 into UK law.
  11. I like the Viking wash cloths..... Also, they will be replaced again if you use them before dinner
  12. Delling is 'Longship' class. My large hard case is 11.5 inches deep and has no problems sliding under the bed when I was on Delling
  13. I'm so glad! Thanks for feedback. Such a shame about the gastric bug outbreak. Sineus does have on on-board doctor, so outbreak must have been serious if people had to go to hospital. (Too many come to CC to ask questions, but never post after their trip) I've just noticed there should be a not before the final word of my sentence We'd been prepared by this board to expect a sub-standard experience on board but that was so
  14. I suggest you wait till you arrive on board and ask to see the Silver Package list onboard that ship. For wine lovers I think there's a clue in the name Silver Spirits. Although the website says the package lets you "enjoy unlimited premium wine", it's clearly not unlimited as the best wines on the list are excluded from the package. I've found - with one cruise exception - that the house wines are good, specially Erhard Morwald's wine from Austria. They're included and they are poured very generously. Champagne is not included. The fizz that they call (illegally in the EU) 'champagne' is medium sweet German Sekt, which I found undrinkable. This year, on the first day Viking had a cheese and wine tasting with about dozen wines from the Silver Spirits package, there was no selling and you just went to counter and they poured a generous glass of whatever and how many you wanted. Reception quoted a Silver Spirits price considerably cheaper than buying it in advance. And you are welcome to bring your own wines, wine you've bought in wineries you visit or in wine shops along the way. Both people in your cabin must buy the package. I'm not a cocktail, beer or spirit drinker, but a wine lover and I didn't feel the package offered me value.
  15. 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.
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