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About Aliyah17

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Tel Aviv
  • Interests
    Dogs. Veganism. Travel
  1. Yes, I've looked at the website with the times. It is what it is right? I will be excited to see the Northern Lights, but for me too, it was not at all the impetus for the trip. It's not too early to book the train. There is a problem with the site and wow the national train company has ZERO customer service. We waited on hold until we finally gave up. I waited 40 minutes for the "chat" and she told me she was really busy and couldn't do anything. (uh thanks?) I wrote to corporate and also got a 'sorry' and I should try Paypal. Which I wrote in the letter was what we had done. So that is really really annoying.
  2. I didn't know I needed to mention the Northern Lights! We will leave that loudspeaker on in the cabin to be alerted, not to worry. I'm an experienced traveler, and a former skier, so I'm always ready for different! Really not worried about the cold too much. I have Arcteryx gear, well below-zero rated boots and all.
  3. Yes, not total darkness. But not exactly light either. Like I mentioned before, no dog-sledding, no crab anything for us. It's funny, we decided not to go to Italy because it's too cold in December, and we didn't have time in the Fall. Haha. I'm sure it will be a great trip, and I get to use all my cold-weather gear from when we lived in Boston. Good times.
  4. Right, so I barely slept and when I was looking this morning, I panicked a bit but I realized I was looking at Kirkenes. So that's a bit different. It would be a surprise if it was totally dark because it won't be. That timeanddate website is the one I looked at earlier. The one disappointment is that excursions are extremely limited. We are hikers, so we'll see what our options are. Hallasm-- yes, the vy.no site. I'm not so worried about not getting tickets; I'm not understanding how the site is just not working and really annoyed that the price has almost tripled. Thanks for posting that neat video. I'm sure it will be beautiful. Everything in life has its tradeoffs. I would certainly prefer more daylight. A few years ago, we did Alaska in August; there is a lot to see from the ship. Like this cruise, it's a bit less about the ports.
  5. We are booked on 2 December out of Bergen. I was told, and I thought I read somewhere there would be sunlight during midday at least. Now I'm looking at is seems there will be essentially no daylight. How are you enjoying the vistas and the ports if it's dark? What about excursions? You can't hike in the dark. I'm not feeling happy right now. And BTW, we have been unable to book the train from Oslo to Bergen. The site will not allow us to buy the tickets, using any method. I've called and got no help. I'm really upset about that at this point because the price has gone up literally 250% in the last few days. Not feeling great about the trip's prospects. 😞
  6. Hi Peggy Sue, You're from Mass? I used to be, but haven't seen a winter in two years now. I'm a little surprised that I keep seeing people saying bring a windbreaker/waterproof jacket. I'm pretty cold tolerant and all due respect to layering, I would bring a coat. I'm going 2 December, so it's different, but I'm bringing all the stuff I didn't toss when we moved to Israel. I'm even thinking of bringing my Bogner ski pants. Why not? I'll be warm as hell and they aren't heavy. You have lots of time to plan, I just booked today and we're going in 2.5 months! Have fun! Enjoy the winter; my dogs really miss the snow.
  7. Apologies to a few of you who read this tale on another post. I booked just today through the .no site. At first we wondered whether we'd even be allowed to, I mean why the vast price difference? We almost gave up when the website gave us nothing but error messages. But I went ahead and called, and no problem. I ran into a one-off problem when I thought, I should probably translate this invoice before I pay it. And the cabin description was different from the English and Norwegian websites in that it allowed for the possibility of getting twin beds instead of a double. I wrote and was assured it would be a double. I asked for that in writing, and oops, there is one cabin that has twins and I got it (last available). My point is you need to be on your toes and translate everything. Everyone speaks English if you call, so that's not a problem. We had our hearts set on this trip by this point, so she searched for an upper deck cabin for me. The only one available in our time frame was two days earlier, 2 December on the Polarlys. That one has obstructed view. I debated it and realized at that time of year, it's dark most of the day anyway, and we won't be in the room when looking at the scenery. So I went for it, I think it's no big deal. In the summer, I definitely would not have made that choice. Also, when the name change? It's still called MS Finnmarken on the website.
  8. Well I did it. Booked on the Richard With on 4 Dec. Let me tell you, the .no website was really messed up and we thought we were being blocked. But when I called them, they were great. They made the reservation for me at the Norwegian price, which saved us almost $800. That is not chump change. And then...I thought it would be smart to translate the invoice to be sure it was right. And whereas the website clearly said all the Arctic Superior cabins had double beds, the invoice said it could be a twin and a sofa (converts to a bed). So I wrote to clarify. She responded, Yes, definitely a double bed. Well, I live in the Middle East, so I tend to be careful. So I asked her to please redo the invoice to reflect that. And she wrote back that the deck plans were wrong; she actually contacted the ship and there is ONE bed/sofa cabin and I got it! (last available obviously) Long story short, I spoke to them at length and she found me a nice double bed cabin on the 2 December cruise. It has an obstructed view, but she pointed out the sun sets at like 13.00 so really it's not a big deal to me. They were really nice and felt bad about it. So all's well I guess. I already booked KLM flights.
  9. I am in limbo at the moment; it's always something. We tried to book our chosen cruise on the .no site but it wouldn't go through. A nice woman I'd emailed with a few times in customer service said it should work and gave me a number to call. Got it all worked out and the agent sent me an invoice (in Norwegian). I was really excited. Before paying, I thought I should translate it to be sure the details were right, pretty obvious. And the description of the cabin, Arctic Superior, said it would be on a middle or upper deck and would have twin beds, or a double. The description on the English site was clear: upper deck, double bed. And my translation on the Norwegian site was the same. By the time I contacted them it was after work hours, so I am waiting to hear tomorrow. It's pretty annoying. If it works out, it's NB on 4 December.
  10. We just booked on Richard With for 4 December. Wow, now I have even more questions than before! I'm glad I didn't toss the cold weather gear when we moved from Boston.
  11. Wow, just my luck. I picked out a date on a ship I like, the Finnmarken, and the SAS flight out of KKN which operates every. single. day. is not operating on that one day. So now I have to rejigger everything. I just don't want to spend an extra day up in Kirkenes. And yes, Google Translate can be great. Believe me, I know; I live in a country where I barely speak the language! We chose December because we try to do a Fall holiday, but husband's work travel is all-consuming. And it's hard to find places that are desirable in December. But we have all the gear from when we lived in Boston, so we figured we'd brave the cold. Glad I saved my ski socks and all! I'm have a bit of a time figuring out the cabin situation. We're not ones to spend a lot on the cabin, it's all about everything else! But figuring out which outside cabin has a double, not bunk beds, it's not so clear. The cabins on the newest ships look so, so much nicer, that's why I hope(d) to book on one of them. The Nordlys just got a refurb; I wonder if the photos online reflect that yet.
  12. I want to say that the entire reason we are looking into a coastal cruise is because I happened to see that your cruises have this extensive vegan menu. We never even considered a Norwegian holiday until learning this, and are now planning to book for December instead of going to Greece. Quite the switch!
  13. It's funny, I was just reading some of your comments on the other post hallasm mentioned! It's hurtigruten.no but you'll need to be able to manage in Norwegian as far as I can tell if you want to book on the Norwegian site.
  14. I just looked at the Snow Hotel site and as we are vegan, it's definitely not for us. Lots of things going on we'll be avoiding actually. But as we say where I come from, Ezeh chutzpah! (What nerve!) charging double the 3100NOK to 6200NOK for two. The whole reason I got started on this idea instead of going to Greece was seeing somewhere that this cruise line had an entire vegan menu. The SAS flight out to Oslo is at night, so that's what we'd do.
  15. Hallasm, thank you so much for this information. I truly appreciate it. I spoke to my husband today and said I'm reconsidering doing the Norway trip and he said, "great!" as he was disappointed it was off the table. (Not very communicative, but that's another story, eh?) Definitely we'd add on days. I'm guessing two in Oslo at the start, and a full day or two in Bergen. We'll probably head out without much time in Kirkenes. Uh, did you know the snow hotel costs $650 or so a night? LOL. I'm finding their website really difficult, lots of error messages and if I choose a cabin, it automatically "upgrades" it to free WiFi and tea and coffee. I also saw somewhere that the Norwegian version of the website has much lower prices and I see that is true. I find that sort of shocking, can they stop you from booking there from outside the country? I looked at your Everything Hurtigruten post a couple of weeks ago. I'll go back there now.
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