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About lackcreativity

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Nottingham, MD
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  1. It is SM77 who will be on the Buenos Aires - Santiago cruise with you. We haven't ventured south of the equator yet during any of our trips. We are lifelong residents of the Baltimore suburbs, but our daughter is an actual city dweller so we do get down there regularly. My husband is quite excited about the UMD basketball season, but my consolation to your husband regarding the Orioles. We abandoned hope long ago!
  2. Your timing is interesting, as just this weekend I was browsing the Oceania site! There are two cruises in the western Mediterranean in April 2121 that have excellent itineraries for us. Knowing that you do like Viking makes me give extra consideration to your recommendation. With three Viking cruises currently booked, so far I am just "window" shopping, but Oceania seems a good place to start. Thanks for your advice.
  3. Expanding on your question about entertainment, Viking also has a resident historian along with several guest lecturers along on each cruise. Most of their presentations are during the day, and we go as often as our schedule allows. Sometimes we catch up on a missed topic as they are available on the in room tv. Most are related to the area you are traveling and are quite interesting. Some are absolutely terrific! These lectures are in addition to the daily port talks. We had never taken an ocean cruise before Viking, and from what I hear it is quite different from traditional large ship cruising. For us, that is a good thing. Hope you decide to give Viking a try!
  4. Even before the specific excursions for your tour show up on My Viking Journey, you can view the likely options on the Viking website. Go to the Homelands page, and scroll down to the itinerary page, and click on the St. Petersburg listing. Scroll down below the generic post to find the list of possible excursions that may be scheduled for your specific sailing. To be honest, the majority of places that people wish to visit in St. Petersburg are all museums and churches. We enjoyed our three day visit there tremendously this spring, even though it was almost all museums and churches.
  5. It seems that every time I see one of these inflammatory headlines, once I have read the initial post, I walk away lacking sympathy for the original poster. Most of the time, they are ranting about a situation which resulted from something they did ( or didn't do) in clear contradiction of a clearly stated policy of the cruise line. If, as the original poster claimed in the second post, they were only concerned for the poor travel agent who may have missed out on a commission, why add all the angry details about having received nothing from Viking on top of their insurance payout? I usually find that a civil inquiry in this forum about a problem one has encountered will result in useful discussion about the circumstances. Over the top ranting and all caps typing about the evil Viking Cruises will most often produce a different result.
  6. I'm glad to know that you love Viking as much as we do, but I hope I never encounter a place I wouldn't want to get off the ship to visit again. The only one that comes close is Katakolon, the port for Olympia. The first visit to Olympia was interesting, but not enough to go see it again. Even so, there was a rather pretty little dockside area we didn't explore on our first visit so I would at least get off the ship to visit that. As far as the crowds, we travel in early spring or in the fall to try to mitigate that somewhat. Even so, I can't blame other people from wanting to see the same wonderful places we do, so I just try to make the best of it.
  7. Thanks for all the opinions offered in response to my question. It is becoming clear to me that my concern about returning to places we have already visited is unnecessary. If we enjoyed a place on a first visit, why wouldn't we enjoy it a second time? We have been to Venice three times, and each time we found something new to see. We have been to Boston a dozen times, and love every visit. ( That might have something to do with the fact that our son moved there for grad school and stayed!) All of our significant vacations so far have been to Europe, which I just love. But if I decide to branch out and try the Caribbean with Viking, maybe we will love that too. I do wonder about what is a rather expensive gamble, but at the very least, it will still be a Viking cruise, and I know we like those. I'm still not sure about the Alaska trip. I know most who have gone there rave about it, but even if the temperatures are tolerable, I can't imagine going somewhere on purpose that has snow as one of it's main attractions.
  8. That would work if we could try a new cruise line. We have sailed on three different Viking ships so far, but as they are nearly identical ( in a very good way ), that doesn't provide much in the way of variety. As for the new cruise line, I might be willing to give one a try, but my husband is totally brand loyal and I'm not sure it's worth the effort needed to persuade him!
  9. Cyber Kat, I seems we have similar taste, as we just did Trade Routes last fall, and we are doing Paris to the Swiss Alps this spring. Maybe the Caribbean is not just for beach goers, and all of the ports would be new for us. The extra bonus for a cruise out of San Juan would be the nonstop flight of 3.5 hours from our local airport. Thanks for the advice.
  10. When we made our first trip to Europe ( a Best of Italy tour) on a land tour back in 2011, we were hooked. I could not have predicted that we would be so fortunate, but we have now completed our ninth trip (land based, river cruise, and ocean cruises), with three more trips booked with Viking. At first, we always tried to select itineraries full of new places to see, with an occasional return to places like Rome, Venice, and Barcelona as starting or ending points. There are only a few specific places still on my bucket list: Valletta, Rhodes, Istanbul, and the Douro River. To be honest, we have loved almost every single place we have visited. Some of our favorites were places we never even knew about before they appeared on a travel itinerary we had selected. (Thinking of you, Orvieto, and Tallinn, and Malaga.) So far, our health and travel budget are holding out, but it is becoming harder to find itineraries that don't repeat numerous places we have been previously. How do others make these decisions? I suppose we could return to ports already visited and select different shore excursions, or try entirely new areas like the Caribbean ( not really beach lovers) or Alaska (both of us hate cold weather) or China (can't imagine being on a plane that long!) I even suppose that we could try another cruise line, but Viking really suits us perfectly. Any advice from those of you who have been at this much longer than we have?
  11. As stated so many times already, it is certainly something each traveler must check for themselves. Cruise line customer service representatives are selling cruises for destinations all over the world. To expect them to know the requirement for passengers with a variety of passport situations to go to a variety of other countries is not reasonable. If the agent under discussion offered information that was not correct, that is unfortunate, but we are all responsible for our own travel documents. That being said, I can only imagine how upsetting that would have been for the original poster.
  12. We have done both, with various degrees of success, and a couple failures. While you learn from your experiences ( will NEVER accept a 55 minute layover in Frankfurt again, and I don't even want to hear your too short 10 hour Toronto story ), sometimes you can't predict the things that can go wrong and have to just make the best of things. If it wasn't so nice when we got there, I doubt many of us would continue to accept the aggravation of the travel part of traveling!
  13. Not to get too far off the track here, but you are so right. We are much closer to the Baltimore airport than the one in Phildelphia, but the available international flights from Philly are far more. So sometimes we choose to make that drive for a nonstop. That adds a two hour drive, plus extra for the terrible traffic, plus extra time for the circling the constantly overcrowded long term parking lot there, just to arrive three hours before our flight! I think that the drive back from the Philadelphia airport is the worst part of all. All the anticipation and fun are over, and only the traffic and the laundry remain!
  14. mhb, Murphy, and Peregrina, Thanks so much for your input, and for reminding me how much time it takes once you land before you actually get situated at a hotel. I can't claim that we are very good fliers, especially in those lovely economy class seats, so I think I better scale back my plans. Maybe d'Orsay on arrival day, since it is open until 6, and then go to Sainte Chapelle in the morning of our first day of the tour. I think we will have enough time to do that and still get back to the hotel for our 2:15 tour.
  15. I'm glad to know they still do that. Our first river cruise was five years ago. I will take advantage of that!
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