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Everything posted by dd57

  1. It varies by the day. In Bordeaux you dock right next to downtown. We didn't go to Libourne when we went due to water levels (they said) but the description says you dock town. Bourg is a short bus ride away. And an awesome place. Blaye you dock in town. The Medic & Margaux day involves riding a bus between locations. The included excursion includes a dinner not to be missed. Cadillac is a short bus ride away. We really enjoyed this cruise.
  2. One more suggestion - there is a lot of walking on Viking river cruise excursions, more so than ocean excursions in my experience. Sturdy, broken in walking shoes are recommended for the many cobblestone streets.
  3. It could have been just that one washer. If it only needed cleaning that's an easy fix.
  4. I had a problem with odor using the free laundry on Mars last year. It smelled like there was detergent build up in the washer and it needed a good cleaning. I told guest services about it and they comped sending my laundry out. I hadn't had a problem on previous trips. I haven't mentioned it before because I thought it was a one of. Wonder if it happens to others....
  5. Like any legal document, you have to read every word. Different policies are structured differently, so there isn't a straightforward answer., but try looking in the cancellation section. I would ask either the insurance company directly or your insurance broker whether your policy covers it. If you are asking in general and don't already have a policy, well, that is the advantage of using a broker - to get a policy with the coverage you want. Insurance policies are regulated at the state level, so not all coverages are available in all states. For example, one policy we looked at covered pet emergencies in her state, but not in mine so if she had to cancel I wouldn't get any payout, even though we insured with the same company. Steve found us one that works in both states.
  6. I would at least look at the pre cruise extensions to see if any appeal to you. Some like the ones that travel further into an area like in Alaska and Tuscany get rave reviews and include experiences you might like. You don't have to use Viking Air with the extensions and you still are met at the airport and get a transfer.
  7. dd57


    I agree that the description leads to a whole lot of questions. While I haven't been on this extension, I have been on 5 other Viking extensions and can't imagine this one would be significantly different (ok, other than that "when you assume" saying). The tour described will be done before taking you to the hotel. The phrase "the rest of the day is yours to explore" has always meant after arriving at the hotel. Sometimes your luggage travels with you in the belly of the bus, but it could also be sent separately. It sounds like a great way to use up time before you can check in at the hotel. We did a similar guided tour in Istanbul and those listed sights are wonderful.
  8. My friend, who lives on the east coast, and I, who lives in a mountain state, are cruising together in 2025. We had to find an insurance policy valid in both states (not all are), and that covered cancellation due to a pet emergency (her cat is very old). Once found, we bought the same policy so that there is no issue of one insurer pointing fingers at another. If either of us cancels for a covered reason , the other is covered for not only cancellation but also any single supplement charges. We went thru Steve at the trip insurance store. Luckily I've known my friend for over 50 years and we aren't going to flake out on each other.
  9. I got mine on Amazon. They aren't a name brand and are probably from China. But they are well made (I always read reviews and only buy something that at least 1000 people have bought) and have lasted thru many trips. I wanted pure silk so that they would pack very small (carry on only!) and at the time didn't find anything thru normal sporting goods stores.
  10. I would switch some leggings for silk long underwear. It is incredibly warm when it needs to be but comfortable when it is just cool. And packs very small. I'm allergic to wool too and wore my silk long johns in Alaska, Iceland, and Norway under hiking pants.
  11. I know from reading posts here that the answer varies depending on circumstances. We found out at the port.
  12. I have an Android phone and I don't know if an iPhone works the same, but while on the ship you want to have the phone in airplane mode. This turns off the cellular connection and avoids big charges. Then turn on wifi. You can test this out at home. Be sure to do it in that sequence: turn on airplane mode then turn on wifi. You might have to turn on a setting to enable wifi calling. Most phones have little symbols at the top of the screen that shows which connections are active and have different symbols for cell, wifi, and Bluetooth. The symbols vary from phone to phone but if you try this at home you can figure it out.
  13. In summary, no the Verizon international plan does not cover minutes onboard using the ship's satellite connection. However, using wifi calling onboard works very well, does not cost extra and provides whatever your home plan has. We too use the daily international plan rather than the monthly plan and only turn on cell coverage on our phones on travel days for flight notifications, calling hotels, etc. We use hotel wifi for wifi calling during pre and post cruise stays. But we don't need phone access while on tours or exploring overseas; I know some people do.
  14. There is a Revision section above the Cancellation section that says revisions have a $30pp fee (which I have never been charged). The Cancellation section lists the cancellation fees which are charged upon written request for cancellation.
  15. The one other point is if you know you want to take a Viking cruise in the future, you can modify a booking to a different date, itinerary, or cruise type (between river, ocean, and expedition). Your booking number stays the same, so you haven't cancelled. I have done this before final payment; I am not sure if it works after final payment. The new cruise does not have to be of the same length and can cost less or more than the original cruise.
  16. Warning, they can be addicting! I hope you all have a great time.
  17. dd57


    We used Ephesus Shuttle when we were there in 2015. Despite the name, they do Istanbul tours as well as Ephesus. We had private tours with them and were able to tailor what we saw, even on the day of. I would recommend doing a tram-based tour rather than a car based one so you don't waste time stuck in traffic. https://www.ephesusshuttle.com/
  18. There was a rock slide this spring and the road into the park is closed at mile 43 until sometime in 2026. https://www.nps.gov/dena/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
  19. We did Pristine Alaska pre cruise in 2019, choosing it over the Denali one because we had never been to Fairbanks. We arrived a day early in Fairbanks, staying in the same hotel Viking used so we didn't have to move, and spent the day at the very interesting museum there. The included tours in Fairbanks were really interesting. The train ride down to Denali NP was scenic with onboard narration. At the park there was a great lecture on predator/prey relationships and nature walk. This didn't go far into the park (which we had done on a previous trip), so I would think would be similar now. Talkeetna for me was a highlight with a trip on the river and a discussion with a pilot who flew climbers to Denali and a climber who had gone several times. The visit with sled dogs in training was also good. We had been to Alaska several times before, spending 6 days in Denali and Talkeetna. If you think you won't get back anytime soon, then I would normally recommend the Denali extension which spends more time in that area, but with the current inability to go further into the park, I think it is a tossup.
  20. @Tedferg, this is something to think about. When we did Viking Budapest to Amsterdam, there were many days when the top deck was closed all day because of the many bridges. I think this was mostly on the the Main canal portion, but I may be misremembering. The Acquavit terrace was still open, but there aren't many seats there.
  21. One advantage of packing some cubes with outfits for a day is that for flights it is easy to cross pack suitcases - just flip some cubes across between bags. We do a hybrid approach with some cubes with outfits and some clothing type specific. We put rolled up socks inside our extra shoes and more small items can be tucked between the shoes. We use the clothes in the outfit cubes the first day when we are too groggy to make decisions.
  22. One more time into the fray..... for others who will read this in the future. The Viking veranda cabins have more inside floor space than the Viking French balcony cabins. I have stayed in both. The veranda cabins have room for a chair between the bed and the window while the French balcony ones do not. This is true for both the longships (Rhine and Danube) and the Seine ships. The Seine ships are shorter so they can make the turns in and out of Paris, but are the same width. To us this only matters when stumbling out of the bed in the middle of the night as during the day we are elsewhere.
  23. Viking river balcony cabins are bigger than their French balcony cabins because the hallway is not in the center of the ship. This adds a significant space between the bed and the window. Check out the photos on the Viking website to see what I mean. Now whether or not that is worth it is a personal decision.
  24. I have actually sailed with Viking. After having done over 20 ocean cruises, on several lines, I was used to doing research before choosing. We decided to try river cruising and chose Viking because of the itinerary and dates fit with our schedule, and the emphasis on culture and history appealed to us. This was 2 years before the cruise and there were only 2 cabins available. I was taken aback by the early payment but we went ahead, because at the time the TA gave enormous paybacks after the cruise (they are no longer allowed to sell Viking cruises). That payback meant that Viking cost less than other lines. We were so happy with our experience that when Viking started ocean cruising, we started looking for a cruise to take with them. I built a spreadsheet to compare apples to apples between Viking and Princess for the itinerary we wanted to do, comparing cabin sizes, extra costs, etc, and Viking only cost $10/day for a much better smaller ship experience. OK, let's go. Wait, it's all booked 2 years out? So we booked it that far out. We had to pay a year in advance, but we were willing to do it to get the experience we wanted. On that cruise we booked our next cruise and final payment was set to 6 months. Since then, we always get a 6 month payment because we already have another cruise booked or have just returned from a cruise, which I learned to ask for by reading the Viking Ocean board. (I don't know why the text turned red) Viking is often fully booked over a year in advance. I just booked a July 2025 cruise because 2024 was sold out. We have 2 river cruises booked in 2024 that we booked last year. I'm sure there are some people who are swayed by the ads, but that isn't everyone. Most of the people we met on that first river cruise were well travelled and not new to cruising.
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