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Mike R 2018

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About Mike R 2018

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Perdido Key, FL

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  1. I'm enjoying the comments on this blog! As a suggestion, if someone wants to learn quite a bit about the Rhine, water levels, weather forecasts and much more, I'd highly recommend the Cruise Critic blog: Rhine Water Levels 2019 and Similar Topics started by Notamermaid. I spent hours reading it from page one to the last and was far better prepared for our river cruise than if I had just been a typical tourist 🙂. Oh, we were expecting temps in the 70's in mid-June..... add 20 degrees! I wore sandals every day. Shorts, Capris, knit shirts, ballcaps, sunglasses, etc. were the norm on Viking.
  2. Yes, I'll bet most middle Rhine cruises weren't like ours LOL. ...Middle of June 2019. Almost historic heat wave. No clouds. Seating under the canvas tent structures was highly-desired, otherwise you felt like you'd melt! The Cruise Director had pity on us and provided free ice cream and sherbert to cool us off- which one had to eat quickly. I believe temps were in the 90's F. The scenery was beautiful but most of us were sweating. Hope no one experiences an afternoon like we did😀.
  3. No, there is no "best" side; both sides are very good- especially if one has balcony views 😊. I agree with gnome 12. One word of advice: If you want a seat topside when cruising the middle Rhine, get to your chairs or loungers as soon as possible! There will be at least one hundred others wanting to sit topside and enjoy the views. And, yes, there were "chair hogs" on our Viking Rhine Getaway the afternoon we viewed the castles. Enjoy your cruise! We did!
  4. Sharkster77 - We walked from our hotel to the Rijksmuseum, arriving at 10 AM and had lunch at the museum's cafe, which was nice, then spent another hour or two there before walking back to our hotel. The restaurant at the museum was too expensive for us, but the cafe, near the entrance, was more reasonable price-wise, had sandwiches and more, plus several brands of beer and types of wine. It was nice to stay in museum for lunch and not have to exit, then re-enter in the afternoon. Oh, we bought our tickets months before online and had no problems at all entering the museum at 10 AM. I would NOT recommend the hamburger offered at the cafe. It looked inedible...
  5. Other posters have excellent suggestions. I know that two days pre-cruise simply wasn't enough. Jet lag must be considered if it's a pre-cruise stay in the city. One of my best memories of Amsterdam is getting up just after sunrise, then taking a leisurely 2-hour walk to the city center and back with my camera... very safe, few people are out, shadows are excellent for nice photos and the temperature (for me in June) was just right. Enjoy that wonderful city 😊.
  6. ...Just to add to the discussion, we had hamburgers/cheeseburgers grilled on the terrace for lunch one afternoon on our June Rhine Getaway. Yes, they were good and grilled to order 🙂.
  7. Senga - If you can't meet notamermaid, you may want to do what we did in June... While cruising on the Rhine we raised our glasses of fine Riesling in a toast to her in appreciation of her info, comments and humor on this blog. We were much better prepared for our Viking cruise thanks to her- and the info she provided was spot-on.
  8. Thanks Dogs4fun - I'm afraid that my attempts of taking good photos simply don't do that wonderful city justice :-). ...Wish we could've spent five, rather than two, days in Amsterdam. So much to see; so little time.
  9. Sharkster77- Hello again. Just a suggestion, but if you're near the Anne Frank House, you may want to walk a block south and take an inexpensive tour (up several hundred steps) to the top of the Westerkerk church tower for grand views of Amsterdam such as these: If you're a fan of WWII, please consider the WWII tour from Breisach on Viking. It's well-worth it.
  10. hehny- Yes, we're so glad we stayed there!
  11. Hello Notamermaid: We've returned from the Viking Rhine Getaway cruise we took in late June. I believe you've mentioned the crowds getting larger at the more common excursions (Marksburg and Heidelburg Castles, for example). There were hundreds of tourists at both sites, just to mention two. It wasn't Viking's fault that the popular sites were packed with people. We had a grand vacation on the Rhine, though. Our 7-hour tour of Strausburg was simply grand- as was the food and wine 😋. One of our best dinners was at the Restaurant Ratsstube in Rudesheim- we didn't take a tour; we just spent a very nice four hours walking through the town- at a senior citizen's pace 😊. Again, thank you so much for your information, personal observations and humor. We knew what to expect prior to our journey by reading your posts. And yes, we offered a toast to you with glasses of Riesling while sitting topside on the Viking Lofn as promised.
  12. Found two more pics that may be of interest to those looking for a grand hotel to stay at while in Amsterdam... Our canal-view room (pardon the suitcases and general mess 😊.
  13. Sharkster77, thanks! Two more thoughts regarding Amsterdam: One of my best memories of the city was when I left our hotel at 7 AM on a weekday with my camera in hand. I spent two hours on my own enjoying the buildings, canals, flowers, and monuments- and taking dozens of pictures- at my leisure. I just walked to the city hall (15 minutes) then returned, with a few detours of course. I saw sights most tourist don't... There were almost NO tourists to be seen at that time of the day. Our Tourist boat captain recommended that we have a slice of apple pie at the Het Papendeiland on the canal, and just north of the Anne Frank House. We did- and it was great. The owner even showed us a framed letter from President Clinton, who visited Amsterdam after he left the presidency, stopped at this family-owned cafe, had a slice of pie, then wrote to thank them for the great pie and atmosphere. The framed letter is hanging on a back wall of the cafe. You feel as though you stepped back in time with the cast iron stove and delft tiles on the walls. We met several very nice locals who have their morning coffee/pie there.
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