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  1. We just returned from the Empress cruise last Wednesday, we stayed 2 extra days in Portland. I had planned to post while we were on the cruise, but they keep you busy. We did the East to West, Clarkston to Portland. It exceeded our expectations. We had beautiful weather the entire trip, sunny, blue skies and 70’s every day. We flew out to Spokane a day early to explore the town and enjoy the Davenport Hotel, which is beyond words. The usual 2 hour bus ride to Clarkston Monday turned into almost 3 hours due to road construction. Our cabin was 416, which was perfect. We were 4 doors down from the River Grill, where we ate all out breakfasts and lunches. We chose not to eat in the Astoria dining room except for dinner because the weather was so perfect we would take our meals out on the open patio. The cabin is small, but the bed was comfy and my 6’6” husband could fit in the shower. We had no problems with noise from adjoining rooms, as others have complained about. The food was delicious. My foodie husband gained 10 lbs and he is a picky eater. A few times he had 2 entrees because he couldn’t make up his mind. I had the best salmon I ever had, and that was for lunch. We ate dinner at the 5:30 seating, which is early for us, but worked out fine. The hop on/hop off buses are a great concept. It’s convenient to make your own schedule. You get to know the bus drivers, and the local guides are fonts of knowledge . Our wonderful riverlorian, Lawrence, was an ever present guide, teacher and story teller. We did not go to any of the entertainment, we preferred to take a glass of wine to the back of the boat and watch the stars (the fist time I have seen The Milky Way in 50 years) or the passing in the locks. I could go on but will stop for now. We have done 2 Viking Cruises, and we worried that we would be disappointed, but we enjoyed it all. Leafeater.
  2. Glad you made it back safe and sound. Tomorrow we pack and Saturday we leave from BWI for Spokane. Just heard on the news that the new fires in Northern California are near the Oregon border:eek: We attended a burial at Arlington cemetery in June for a friend who also got full military honors with horse drawn caisson, band and 21 gun salute. It was so moving and beautiful. What a wonderful thing to do for the unknown Union soldiers.
  3. Actually, We are leaving for Spokane this Saturday for the cruise....we live in Maryland, but it’s hot and humid so we’re looking forward to cooler temps. I will try to be as good posting about the trip as njhoo was with his daily reports. LEAFEATER
  4. We weren’t expecting to hear from you again, but glad to hear about the last day and what we can expect. Do they let you debark later ? Yes, 90s all week until the weekend .... someone forgot to change the calendar to September :cool:
  5. We are sorry that your trip is coming to an end, we have enjoyed your commentary and learned a lot. Hopefully we can write our experiences and impressions as we travel the rivers in a week. Steel yourselves for the hot and steamy weather back east, we will be glad to get to the cool air. LEAFEATER
  6. Thanks for the daily updates.... you have us hooked. They’re so thorough we don’t have to go now:D. Actually, we leave a week from today. we’re spending an extra day in Spokane, can’t wait to see the Davenport . How has the weather been? I know it was hot, but has it cooled off? I notice that you’re from Virginia. Our daughter lives in Vienna, we live outside Frederick, Maryland. It’s been the normal HAzy, Hot and Humid of August, and it’s to continue into next week, lots of 90s..... hopefully you’re extending your trip and can enjoy the cooler weather.
  7. Great report. I’ve heard that the Manhattan excursion is a favorite, so far we’ve only signed up for the wine and spirits on Red Mountain. Glad to hear there’s been no impact from the smoke, and my foodie husband is happy about the food report. Thanks again for taking time out , we look forward to hearing from you. LE
  8. Thank you for your very detailed report........ so glad that the smoke isn’t impacting your trip. I hope it continues to be clear and smooth sailing :cool:. We would love to hear more travelogue if you have the time and internet service . LE
  9. I hope you have a wonderful trip. We do the same trip in less than 2 weeks . We are most concerned at this time about the smoke from Canada and California and if it is affecting the air quality and scenery. My husband is a foodie, did you find a good restaurant in Spokane, we are there 2 days before we leave for the boat. Any tips as you travel and reviews would be appreciated. Thanks Bon voyage LE
  10. Thanks so much for a great review filled with lots of information. You’ve answered a lot of questions I had. We leave in 3 weeks and are in the same room you were. The only thing that concerns me are the thin walls. I am a light sleeper, but I always travel with a noise generator , hopefully that will drowned out the neighbors.
  11. Yes, there is no reason to worry and most of the terrible fire news seems to be from California. We booked this cruise so long ago, can’t believe it’s in less than a month. We still want to do another Viking river cruise in Europe, probably the Douro, Portugal one. The big worry in Europe is the river level, and I would not like to have to be bused, we love the the boat experience. LE

    Snake & Columbia River Cruise

    Thanks , we will do that
  13. Thanks, we may use Uber to the hotel. . The cruise line charges $25/person to get to the airport, then we have to get to our hotel in Portland. Portland hotels don’t have airport shuttles
  14. Also, how do we get from the boat to our hotel in Portland after the cruise? We are not doing their post cruise extension. We’re staying in Portland an extra 2 days.
  15. We are in that same room for our upcoming trip in September, room 416 E. What’s the balcony like? How noisey is it, I’ve heard the rooms can be very noisey. Any other memories of the room that we should know about? Thanks ahead of time