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About trav25

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    So. Calif.
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Amsterdam to Budapest

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  1. I am really glad you brought this subject up. There are 6 of us going soon. We will be gone from home about a month. We using texting for the kids at home but for each other, it is nice to know that WhatsApp withdrew without WiFi. I will have to practice that. Good suggestion for Viking to consider a intra-ship communication method.
  2. Hands down best walking tour we have taken was in Budapest through Context Travel. They do only small groups (6 max) usually led by PhD level guides. Outstanding!
  3. We are watching this too. Two things. Trip insurance won’t pay for this kind of interruption. I know this, the cruise lines don’t want their personnel and tourist caught up in this so we are thinking that if things continue to be this bad or worsen, the cruise lines will figure out alternatives. That’s our hope anyway.
  4. As I lay in bed with with my foot elevated, as it has been since September 29, I got a huge laugh out of your response when you talked about how the travel insurance co now knows our bank balance and what we charged on our credit card the months we charged things!!! Thanks for the laugh. I was aghast to send them all of that but that is the way it goes. I did ask one if they needed a copy of the policy they issued! They said no. With tripmate, we could not download as easy as Allianz so we had to mail a huge packet. I would never do expensive travel without insurance. Now I see that optional tours with other operators would be an issue. Thankfully I didn’t have that but worth knowing.
  5. Unfortunately, I now know more than I want to about trip insurance. On our trip I fell and broke my ankle in three spots. Had to fly home for surgery and rehab. We had two insurance policies. Allianz to cover the business class flight (we did on our own) and a week we did on our own before a Viking cruise. We had Viking's tripmate for the cruise portion, First of all, insurance is a MUST. I know now that if you do a private tour on shore with a group other than the cruise, you should have a separate policy to cover anything not done while on a trip sponsored tour. Keep all receipts in a file. That includes the credit card or e-check statement that shows you actually paid for the trip. Flights, tours, cruise all with billing statements showing you did pay. Both companies wanted this information eventually. I found the Allianz claim site easier to navigate. That said, they are the ones who keep asking for info. No email. They expect me to look and when it says more documentation needed, you have to call. Then you have to call and call some more with each new documentation they need. Tripmate SEEMS to have come through 100% in that they say both my husband and I will be reimbursed minus the insurance cost and the claim is closed. That said, I have not gotten a check but I am told it will be emailed this week. I know we have 2 more paid for trips and seeing as some of them are paid way ahead of time, you need to copy your billing statements and put in a file or you are searching archives to figure out what month and year for the exact billing. Just FYI. Wish I had known.
  6. A cruise line like this you don’t generally find the hungover party people. Most of us are well traveled and enjoy meeting other people and care more about the ports and traveling than late night partying. It’s wonderful fun and better than the ships who nickel and dime you. They don’t have a formal night. We can do that at home and don’t want to waste luggage space. I learn a lot from other travelers.
  7. That’s what they wanted from us too. Crazy.
  8. Well... I went on our trip early to Japan. We were visiting a temple when I fell 4 days before our Viking part of the trip began and broke bones in my ankle. I am currently at home with my leg elevated (24 days of elevation so far) after surgery. Submitted claim through Tripmate. I’ll let you know how it goes.
  9. We did a Viking Ocean and used Alla. They were able to get us in before the crowds which was a huge advantage. Bring tip money.
  10. trav25


    We got Hep A and did the live typhoid vaccine for China. Not required.
  11. We loved both lines but if it says anything, we have three Viking trips planned. Only one is ocean and we have only done one ocean with each of these lines, although the Azamara was a back to back trip. Viking ocean has included shore excursions. They are fine and sell more. We found that the main restaurant served the same food as the buffet and wound up liking the buffet better. We took most of our meals there. Specialty restaurants are included unless you want to buy a better wine pairing. A couple of things that Azamara did really well was to teach everyone to fist bump only and that the passenger would see the crew do that too. They said “there is always flu somewhere in the world and the world comes together on a cruise ship.” The emphasis to clean hands was really great. We liked the piano bar on Azamara too. Loved, loved Azamara white night as well as the special onshore night each trip (can’t remember the name). What a treat!
  12. I’ll have my phone for pictures and so the kids can text something urgent since we will be gone over a month. Not using VPN to read emails or anything else. Just have VPN in case of an emergency (maps or something) .
  13. We are going on the oct 7 undiscovered China. I am bringing my iPhone. Verizon is charging $70 a month for phone dialing and texting. I am not planning on turning on any WiFi or using free China WiFi. I am going to download a VPN in case I need it for emergencies but VPN is illegal in China. From what I read, the government will read everything coming and going and you aren’t allowed and social media or any google (including gmail). I’m just tuning out but my kids can text if it is something urgent. Nothing political.
  14. Hands down for the most professional, accurate private guides, look into Context Travel. They use Masters or phd level guides, usually from the universities. We use them in Budapest and Prague. We love this level of information so well we have used them in Rome, Florence, Naples, Venice, Amsterdam, Montreal, Sydney, and are signed up for 4 in Japan. Contemplating one in China if we have time on our next Viking cruise. They will give you extra help and guidance if you need it too.
  15. After our Amsterdam to Budapest cruise, we stayed in Budapest for 3 days, went to Cesky Krumluv (2 nights) and then to Prague. We used a private driver to go from Budapest to Cesky and again to Prague. Can't remember the name but it was wonderful. Stopped any time we wanted to (old communist boarder crossing from Austria to Cheque) and ate at a great out of the norm restaurant in Austria. We looked into buses, trains and planes and found a private guide was the cheapest and it was a great way to go. You get more bang for your buck in Prague. In both of those main cities, the key to our trip was a private guided tour by Context Travels. Absolutely made our trip. Budapest was made so much more interesting doing a small walking tour with a phd level guide. Budapest was bombed heavily during WWII and rebuilt by the communists. Loved both cities! The guide in Prague from Context was able to take us places we would never have known about.
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