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sharkster77

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  1. Thanks @KathyK13, sometimes you wonder if you actually read/heard something, or did you imagine it!!!!!
  2. Somebody's brochure came in the mail the other day, and they were advertising that this was their last year on the Seine. May have been Vantage?? Not sure--help me out here? Pitched the brochure in the recycling, unfortunately.
  3. Viking arranged a taxi to bring us from the ship in Basel to the train station. IIRC it cost under 30 CHF.
  4. Correct me if my memory is incorrect, but I think I have read on these boards that Viking's pickup point is the Winston Churchill statue near the Petit Palais, which is not far from the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay. Please help me with my feeble recollections!!!!
  5. Agree 1000% with our esteemed moderator----Basel to Lucerne is an easy 1 hour train ride, Lucerne is LOVELY, and Lucerne to Zurich Flughaven is another easy 1 hour train ride. If you stay two or more nights before your flight, you can send unneeded luggage ahead from Basel to Zurich Flughaven, reducing the need to schlep all over the place.
  6. The OP has mischaracterized trip insurance as being only for sickness or illness. That depends upon the level of insurance one purchases. Trips can be covered for cancellation or "cancel for any reason".
  7. That question cannot be answered until the cruise starts, in all likelihood. Arrivals and departures are subject to many factors, out of the ship's control (water levels, waiting times for locks, number of other ships in port, etc). This is very different from ocean cruises, where departure/arrival times are well known, so private excursions can be planned. This is one area where river cruises and ocean cruises are extremely different. Booking private excursions is very difficult, if not impossible.
  8. We sailed on a Viking river cruise that was sold out, and we never felt like we ever needed to stampede into the dining room to find a seat--there always seemed to be seats. Then again, we enjoyed dining with different folks on different nights (we dined with two couples twice each, it turned out).
  9. We did the opposite, post-cruise: Basel to Lucerne by train, then 2 days later Lucerne to Zurich airport by train. Each train ride was about an hour, and easy easy! Swiss trains really do run like Swiss watches--if the website says the train will be stopped at a station for 2 minutes, they mean EXACTLY two minutes. If you have bags that you will need for the cruise but not for Lucerne, you can send them ahead from Zurich airport station to Basel, to be picked up when you get there. Again we did the opposite, leaving heavy bags at Basel station and picked them up at Zurich Flughaven prior to our flight.
  10. We were in aquarium class on Viking's longships. The water noise was annoying the first night, but we got used to it very quickly and slept through it after that. Walking 17,000+ steps per day will do that! We were traveling upstream---I wonder if there is less water noise going with the current?
  11. Not trying to be snarky, OP, but PLEASE read the 5 pages that make up this thread---you will even find PHOTOS of people on an actual Viking river ship. Sailed the Rhine 3 months ago with Viking, NO ONE CARES how you dress. Saw everything from dresses and jackets to jeans. Once you sit down most of what you are wearing is no longer visible.
  12. Not speaking from experience, but I believe others have mentioned that both occupants of a room have to opt for the Silver Spirits package. Keep that in mind, especially if one's traveling companion is not much of a drinker.
  13. @Ktwofish, we also did the Viking Rhine Getaway last October, on the Viking Vidar. You've piqued my curiosity---which optional excursion did not meet your expectations? We did two--the Bruhl Palaces and Medieval Colmar and thought those 2 were excellent. Do tell! Of the included excursions we thought Strasbourg was the best--the guide was informative but had a good sense of humor, and having the afternoon free to wander was great fun. Heidelberg (which is no longer part of this itinerary, BTW) was very interesting but we were shocked at how crowded the castle was, even for October--can't imagine what it's like in August. We weren't enamored with the Cologne tour, mostly due to our tour guide who interspersed too many of his personal political and anti-religious opinions. We did mention that in our survey.
  14. @MarieLill, we ended up having dinner both evenings at the Rathaus Breiwerie (sp), on the ground floor of thr rathaus (town hall) right along the river. It had good casual german comfort food (spaetzle, sausages, rosti potatoes, etc) at a very reasonable price for Switzerland (their menu can be seen on their website). Their brewed on-site unpasteurized beer was amazing--so good. One night we ate dinner outside overlooking the river. For lunch we just stopped into bakeries and had a simple sandwich on freshly baked bread--simple, great tasting, quick. We walked all over the place, along both sides of the river Reuss several times, visited all the squares in the old town, visited the churches (Jesuit church and St. Leodagar). Along the lake side we walked along the shore and took the one-hour panoramic cruise in a very modern ship. After visiting the lion monument, it was easy (relatively speaking) to then ascend the town wall and walk its mile length. There are 7 or 8 medieval towers, 2-3 can be entered and climbed. We visited the clock tower, which contained lots of old clockworks and displays. It would have been a much tougher climb if we had approached it from the other (non-lake) end of the wall. If you are there on a Saturday morning, they have the most amazing farmer's market lining both sides of the Reuss. No kitchy crafts here---fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheeses, meats, breads and pastries. We we heading home that day, and lamented that if this had been a day or two earlier, we could have stocked up and snacked like kings! Caveat---we had just gotten off a river cruise where it rained/sprinkled at some point every day. We then had GORGEOUS weather for our 2 night stay in Lucerne, so we wanted to be outside in the sunshine and avoided museums, etc. Let me know what else I can tell you about. CC was great in terms of planning our trip--time to pay it forward!
  15. We did the Viking Rhine Getaway, and made sure we weren't in Cologne or Strasbourg on a Sunday, as their cathedrals were tops on my to-see list. Fortunately, the Rijksmuseum is open seven days a week, as is the Van Gogh Museum next door, so no issue there. If one is traveling Easter week, then there may be a problem touring a cathedral on Thursday through Sunday, due to Holy Week services.
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