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Clay Clayton

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About Me

  • Location
    Raleigh North Carolina USA
  • Interests
    Travel (duh), Cooking, Reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking Oceans, NCL, Celebrity, NOT Costa
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    hmmm, only one?
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    Instagram @ClaynMike

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  1. One if the many benefits of having a DH and not a DW. LOL
  2. Yes, once we realized that we were eligible for Obamacare (we are 63 and 58) the pressure to reside overseas until we are old enough for Medicare was reduced. We bought a condo in Raleigh which is close to Mike’s mom and not too far from my family.
  3. When one doesn’t have the Silver Spirits one had to pay.
  4. You’re making my point. If you don’t have a cruise booked, I believe/think that the onboard sales person can give you the sox month final payment. Nope, but we looked into booking onboard but had no use for the shipboard credit since we had prepaid gratuities.
  5. Ah, didn’t realize you hadn’t joined us retired folks yet. It’s a great way to start retirement. We left about a month after our last day of work following selling most of our stuff and moving what was left into storage. Boarding in San Juan felt like taking a big breath and actually being able to relax for the first time in two or three months. Put Valencia on your list to visit (stay) while in Spain. We spent our first month of nomadic living there and really loved it. It was in the running for a permanent home except it was too hot in the summer. Otherwise, pretty perfect place with nice people and great food.
  6. I am sure you can. But now that I know better than to prepay, we won’t end up with excess if we elect to book onboard.
  7. That 5 was a typo….sorry about that. It is my recollection from these boards that sometimes the onboard cruise consultant is able to offer the six month final payment date even if the only cruise you have is the one they are booking. Perhaps that is incorrect since we have never booked onboard…mostly because the benefit of more shipboard credit was worthwhile. And we tend to take advantage of last minute promos….which we suspect we won’t see again for awhile😢
  8. Yes! One reason to not prepay them is in case you end up booking another cruise onboard. The credit you receive from the onboard cruise consultant is not refundable (unlike that from the Travel Agent which gets refunded if not used) so if you have already prepaid, you may end up leaving money on the table…or being like me and having to order a triple amaretto (that you really don’t want) on the last evening just to use it up (well except for 82 cents😂).
  9. You ought to consider a Transatlantic (when you aren’t traveling with your friends). About the cost of business class and so much more comfortable! Oh and the food is better too😂
  10. You’ve been told about the referral system already. Additionally, Viking offers discounts on cruises after uour first one. $200 pp for those within a year of your last cruise, $100 for any that are more than a year later. Onboard, there is a future cruise consultant who generally pulls up the website and offers the current promos plus a shipboard credit for the current cruise. Additionally, some have reported they have been able to have the 12 month final payment date reduced to 5 months. If you use a travel agent (as many of us do to gain additional shipboard credits), the onboard agent is able to immediately transfer the booking to the agent. Depending on the travel agent you use, this can result in the maximum allowed by Viking shipboard credits-$150pp for up to 7 night cruises, $300pp for 8-14 nights, and $500pp for cruises of 15 nights or more. For most cruises, this is enough to cover the daily service charges. Welcome to Viking! Hope you enjoy it as much as many of us do.
  11. If your friends have never cruised before then I think your job is easier, but if they have, I would be sure they are aware of the list of what Viking is not…it’s available online but I’ve pasted a screenshot below. Would be awful for them to expect to play slots and be disappointed for example. I would want to make sure they understand the dining options and how the Silver Spirits package works. Don’t forget to let them know about the daily gratuities. I would prepare them for the relatively quiet nightlife and the reduced entertainment options. Lastly, I would help them understand the pricing differences between Viking and mainline cruises…can come close to a wash if you compare apples to apples depending on how many optional packages one adds to a mainline. As far as tips for traveling with friends, we have found it’s best not to try to spend the whole cruise doing things together. It’s fun to catch up at dinner on what everyone has done during the day. If you’re going anyplace scenic, we have enjoyed having cabins on opposite sides of the ship so we can use each other’s balconies to enjoy the view. Have fun!
  12. But it is pretty close to one’s face so maybe it would work?
  13. Happy to help. I had this information saved due to a cruising friend who is sailing to Dubai in November (she hopes) and their flight hone doesn’t leave until 2 am on disembarkation day so she was trying to figure out the cheapest way to get lounge access so they could take a shower before getting on the long flight back.
  14. Amazing the different conditions one can face. The ocean was like glass when we were at the Horn….but a few days later when we left Beagle Channel and were entering the Pacific it was an E ride if your photos are a D. Our drawers and closet doors opened and closed all night (well until we got smart enough to use some of the duct tape we had brought along) and at one point I had to grab Mike to keep him from rolling out of bed. LOL
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