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About Cienfuegos

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    South Florida
  • Interests
    Cooking, food, music
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Viking Ocean

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  1. My parents occasionally used deals like that in the 1990s and early 2000s. They were prolific travelers, local residents, and often nailed 10-12 cruises yearly. Exactly as you describe, a call from the cruise line, departure in three days, etc. "Cheaper than staying home" My recollection is the deals dried up with the internet, and the rise of sites like Hotwire / Priceline.
  2. Venice is a series of islands, some natural, others created by people. Cruise ships dock at the Tronchetto, where passengers can meet tour buses, get on water taxis and vaporetti, or walk a few hundred feet to a monorail station. The other end of the monorail line is the main bus terminal and parking garage, called the Plaza Roma. It's at the Grand Canal. The Tronchetto is not near Saint Mark's or other major tourist facilities. But the setup allows passengers to distribute over the area in a reasonable fashion. A quick look at the map of Venice shows how this works in practice.
  3. Viking Air occasionally updates the connections, and connecting points for flights. Even just a few weeks before departure. On our October Trades Routes voyage, the original routing was Miami - Vienna - Oslo, with Austrian Air and Lufthansa. A few weeks before departure, it was changed to Miami - Frankfurt - Oslo. The Austrian 767 was sitting at an adjacent gate in Miami, and left at the appointed time. Lufthansa operates an Airbus A380. Since there were about 30 Viking passengers in the group, and Lufthansa controls Austrian Air, I have to believe there was a conversation between Viking and Lufthansa about how to move this group.
  4. BrightLine almost always offers some kind of deal on their ticket prices. The BLFRIEND is two for one pricing. Their first class ticket includes the price of parking at West Palm Beach (up to 24 hours, I believe), and free beer /wine.
  5. If you are leaving the ship in Venice, and departing the city by train, there is an obstacle to consider. While the walk and people mover is manageable, the last few hundred feet over the Constitution Bridge can be difficult if you have luggage. The bridge extends from just east / north of the bus depot, over the Grand Canal, and drops you just south of the train station. But the steps are a problem if you have luggage or mobility concerns. FWIW, it's much easier to spend a few Euro and take the C vaporetto one stop from the bus terminal area to the steps of the station.
  6. My wife and I have used ship sticks in the past. In addition to golf clubs, they handle luggage. Reliable. International. Many hotels and most resorts will accept their delivery.
  7. Avoiding the tail end of rush hour is a, plus during the week. I would do that.
  8. The Hard Rock casino hotel opened a few weeks ago. The initial buzz has been very positive. West of the FLL airport, by the Turnpike.
  9. Same experience in Norway. Purchases are usually made by credit card or phone. We took $100 of kroner for tips, and left with about $40. My sense is people are laid appropriately for their jobs, and aren't "expecting" tips.
  10. We took this trip in late September of 2019. More rain than we would have liked in UK, Bruges, etc but still fine. Lost the port stop in Falmouth due to high winds. That disappointed the Poldark fans. Viking was very accommodating to folks who required an early off-ship in Barcelona, with two buses at the ready at 5.30 am. Many flights to the east coast of the US depart between 9.30 and 11.30. Light snacks and coffee in the ship's lounge, etc.
  11. Lots of good advice on this thread. Especially like the reminder about Wynnwood area and the murals. Also the new Rubell Museum location. Very convenient by Uber or cab.
  12. Here's the info on the Art Deco Little Havana tour. https://www.artdecotours.com/
  13. We arrived with Viking in October. Ship arrived the prior day, and docked at the small ship pier. We were off the ship and picked up luggage in the main hall, on the bus by 5.45 am for a 9.45 flight to Miami. Some early departees took cabs, which were lined up. About half the bus passengers were going with American Air to Miami or Philadelphia (IIRC), the rest with KLM, etc. Viking separated the luggage and hauled ours to the American counter. Where we waited about 1/2 hour for the service to begin. Staff was there, it was just they don't start serving passengers until 7 am. No problems there, weapons check waved us through, VAT refunds were processed smoothly, and we were at the gate by 8.30 am for a 9.45 flight. I found everyone in the process to be friendly, pleasant, "come back and see us". So, I'd say that a 9.45 flight is doable
  14. Amazon has a selection of retractable keycard holders for belt loops, over the neck lanyards, and a retractable badge holder in a zippered see-thru leather pouch. With space for coins and a credit card. $3.50 to about $10 Many are RFID-resistant
  15. South Beach can get loud at night, especially on the weekends. But it is very lively, with music, performers, lights, police, EMS, etc. Especially right on the ocean. Move back two blocks to Washington Avenue and things get quieter. Move back two more blocks and they might as well roll up the sidewalks. My wife and I have taken the Art Deco tours in South Beach / Miami Beach. These small group tours visit 1930s and 1940s hotel lobbies, bars, and other areas in the heart of South Beach. The same people run a walking tour of Little Havana in Miami. Their South Beach tour could be a good intro to their area, leaving you free to circle back to places of interest
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