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travelingman

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  1. Just read an email from Viking that they have canceled all cruises through August 31. It reads: "Further suspension through August 31 We were the first cruise line to announce a temporary suspension of operations. We have continued to evaluate the situation, responding accordingly. While restrictions related to COVID-19 are beginning to ease in some countries, travel remains complicated. Therefore, we have made the decision to extend our temporary suspension of operations through August 31, 2020. A Future Cruise Voucher for 125% As a guest whose cruise falls within the extended window of suspended operations, we want to support you and protect your travel investment. Therefore, we are offering a 125% Future Cruise Voucher, found at the bottom of this message. This voucher includes 100% of the monies paid to Viking, plus an additional 25% value. The added value provides an opportunity to enhance your trip – by choosing a longer itinerary; adding a Pre/Post cruise extension; upgrading your stateroom category; or even upgrading to business class air. Additionally, any vouchers you may have applied to this booking have automatically been reinstated, are valid for 24 months and are available for your immediate use. To ensure you have the time and flexibility to plan for your next trip, the 125% Future Cruise Voucher has exclusive and enhanced terms. It is fully transferable, allowing you to gift it to someone with whom you would like to share the joys of travel. It can be applied within the next 24 months to any river, ocean or expedition cruise. If you are unable to use your voucher by the expiration date, simply return your expired voucher to Viking, and we will send you a refund equal to the original amount paid to Viking. As a reminder, if you use your voucher and rebook your cruise – with Viking or your Travel Advisor – by June 30, our Risk Free Guarantee is applicable to your booking. This means you can change your plans up to 24 hours prior to departure, giving you the peace of mind and the flexibility you need to make the best decision for you." Stan
  2. Thank you very much for the information and for correcting me. We are hoping Viking will cancel the cruise would will be more of a benefit to us versus us having canceling it. If they don't we will have to do so and reschedule. I did notice that some of the dates we would choose are already sold out. So, we will have to look at going earlier or later. I look forward to any info you might find on historical monthly / yearly averages. Thank you for your help. Stan
  3. Hello everyone. My wife (Karen) and myself (Stan) are booked on this cruise as part of a B2B we are doing with the first part being the Steps of St. Paul departing on November 13, 2021. This will be our first cruise with Celestyal although we have been on small cruise ships with Viking. We really like the small cruise ship experience. One of the things I am interested in is whether we can find any optional excursions with other tour companies that will allow us to save some money on the excursion price. One company I have come across is the Ashdod Israel port of call. It basically does the same cruise as Celestyal does but at a cost that saves around US $43.00 per person based on the current Celestyal excursion price. The small group excursion is US$99.00 per person. I would like to see if any others would be interested in sharing this small group excursion with us. We need a minimum of 6 people to guarantee the small group tour with a maximum of 16 people. If you would like to see information about the small group tour go to www.GuidedToursISrael.com and look for “Shore Excursions.” Then “From the port of Ashdod.” Then the “Jerusalem Excursions.” We are doing the Jerusalem and Bethlehem tour. Details are “We will pick you up from the Ashdod port in the morning just outside the ship to make our way to the holy city of Jerusalem. On our tour you will be able to enjoy a guided trip to all the major attractions of Jerusalem including the Jewish and Christian quarters in the old city, Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Mount of Olives/Garden of Gethsemane, and more. The tour in the old city of Jerusalem is a walking tour as driving is not possible in the old city. In the afternoon we will visit the Israel Museum with the Dead Sea scrolls before heading back to the port of Ashdod in time for departure.” There are reviews of this company on Trip Advisor. Let me know if you have any questions. I will also be looking for excursions in other ports. Stan
  4. I am doing this cruise in November and have been looking for alternate excursions to see if I can save money on the tour cost. For Israel I came across www.GuidedToursIsrael.com. They will do a truly private tour or a small group tour for a minimum of 6 people to Jerusalem and Bethleham. they also offer other tours. For anyone interested in the cruise, the ship and ports take a look on you tube and search for EECC Travel. She and her husband have a video for their time in Athens, Ship Boarding, Ship Tour, Their Cabin, All excursions and other things. Lots of info. There are a lot of other crusie related videos also. Stan
  5. All of the X(?) cabins are outside cabins with a view - except for on Deck 6 where some of them have obstructed views (XBO). The suites are SBJ, S, SB, and SG. The SBJ does not have the amenities that "suites" have. The S suite does not have a balcony. Stan
  6. notamermaid - I know this is not a fair question to ask, but if not asked I will not know the answer. We and another couple are booked on a August 28, 2020 Viking Romantic Danube Cruise. With the current situation we expect it to be cancelled and then we will be looking to re-book for next year. I have always tried to cruise in the shoulder season or close to it. If I am not worried about the shoulder season, based on your experience and knowledge, are there any months that are better than others for a Danube cruise based on past years low and high water? I know every year can be different but I would think over time there would be some kind of pattern. Is there a website that gives this type of information. Lastly, if we do end up re-booking for next year we will be terminating in Regensburg instead of Nuremberg. This should eliminate at least one area of potential water problems. Thanks, Stan
  7. Hi TwizzlersAddict. Just read this post and am curious as to when in 2021 you are doing your 14 day cruise? We are booked on a back to back with the new "Steps of St. Paul" and the "3 Continents" departing Athens on November 13, 2021. Stan
  8. I had also noticed the change for the Romantic Danube in 2021. I was wondering if it might have something to do with having to transit the locks and any problems that high or low eater might cause with that. I did notice with the change of ending in Regensburg the cruise is still the same number of days but now with an overnight in Vienna. For some this will be a positive and others would have preferred Nuremberg. One can always take a bus or train to Nuremberg from Regensburg at the end of the cruise to spend a day there. If our August Romantic Danube cruise gets canceled that is probably what we will do before heading to Prague. Stan
  9. Checked the myeurotaxi website and it is a lot more than the previous pr Fate transfer I had checked on. myautoeuro is quoting €354 versus $200 on other site I checked. So, still looking at bus unless I can find another couple to share with. stan
  10. You are right about the additional cost but I think it is minimum compared to a private car transfer. And, since we both only take a carryon suitcase the schleping of the suitcase is not a concern. However, if we could find someone to share the private car transfer with I would be more than willing to use it then. Plus, with a private transfer you have the ability to visit some places on the way if you so choose. My closing remark would have to be - to each his own. Don't know if I can ever get out of my "frugal ways". Stan
  11. I am doing the same thing in Sept. 2020 except from a Viking cruise. They also will not sell you just a transfer. In my search for transportation I came up with 3 options. 1. Private transfer for around $200.00 is the quickest. 2. Train would be the middle price and take about 6 hours. 3. Bus is cheaper and quicker than train- about 3 1/2 hours. None of 2 or 3 takes into account the departure time of the train or bus and that is not factored into the transport time. i believe the reason the train takes so much longer than the bus is due to a change of trains and the wait time for the second train. Stan
  12. I know you nor anyone can predict the sea conditions but in general can you tell me, based on history, if there are any months better than other to do a British Isles cruise that includes gong through the English Channel from London to Dublin - to Belfast - to Ullapool - to the Orkney Island - to Edinburgh - to Invergordon - to the Shetland Islands - to Bergen. Based on my limited knowledge it seems the English Channel portion and the North Sea (Shetland Islands to Bergen) would be the areas of concern for sea conditions. i ask this because my wife has motion sickness problems and I want to protect her as much as possible from the bad sea conditions. Thanks. Stan
  13. I will 2nd and 3rd what has been said above. I would also like to note 2 things of which at least one has already been mentioned above. 1. The departure time you see when you get your documents might or might not be the actual departure time. Pending where you are docked at it is possible the ship might have to leave earlier due to the "harbour master" changing the departure time or Viking changing the departure time due to high/low water. 2. The ship might move from it's arrival dock to another dock for departure. This can be a planned move or again it can be due to high/low water. N some ports this can be some distance away. You need to pay attention to your Daily Schedule for each port. It will have this information in it unless the change happens overnight and then there will usually be something available at breakfast that notifies you of the change and/or there will be a notice at the desk where you pick up your disembarkation card. Fm you have a concern you can always ask at the desk when you pick up your disembarkation card. All of the above is to say you have to be aware of departure dock (same as arrival?) and your departure time. If the departure dock changes the only way to get there will be the Viking shuttle or maybe a taxi. Now that I have you concerned about making it on the ship for departure let me add this. We always do research on our ports of call and decide if there is something we would like to do outside of the ship tours, pending shuttles, etc. If there is, then we plan on doing that after the ship tour is completed. There is usually always time for some independent time in the ports unless the port time is short. If there is a change in departure time or port that would affect our ability to complete our own plans we just change the plans and go with the flow. What we do not do, except for the originating and terminating ports is to make and pay for independent excursions because of the unknown potential change in docks and times. As was said by someone else enjoy the cruise, the ports and the down time. River cruises are designed to be more of a "laid back" cruise versus an ocean cruise. Hope you have as good of a time on your river cruise as we have had. Stan
  14. I have been following the back and forth about the Empire's cruise and thought I would throw in my $0.02 worth. We did the cruise in early May. Venice - we had been here before and seen a lot. Is time we went out to several of the islands on a personal tour (used Rick Steve's Guide). Enjoyed them very much. We also took a Venice food tour with some other Empire Cruisers our last night prior to boarding. This ended up being a highlight of our Venice time and we made some good friends who we ended up having dinner wth and hanging out with some. Koper - we took a private tour to Lake Bled. Zadar - we took a private tour to Krka Waterfalls and enjoyed it. Not very crowed. Kotor - took an optional Vikng tour - Vikng Glamour and History and enjoyed it. Corfu - we took an optional Vikng tour - Viking Old Town and Achilleion. I did not think I would enjoy it but actually had a good time. Olympia - we took the included Tour and since we had never been there we learned a lot. Santorina - we took the included Tour. We thought the island was very pretty; however, because of all the tourist trying to see the same things and take the same pictures it was hard to enjoy. Would like to be able t go back and stay over night to be there after the "tourists" leave. Athens - we took a private 1/2 day tour to Corinth and spent the second half of the day at the Acropolis (where we were dropped off) and some of the other Athens sites. We then caught the Viking shuttle back to the ship. Since we were staying over in Athens for several days we did not have to be in a hurry to try to see everything. overall we really enjoyed the Empire cruise. Stan
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