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palermo22

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About palermo22

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Central Coast, California
  • Interests
    Sports and music
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity and Princess

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  1. The trip was challenging yet a lot of fun. Where else can you get within a few feet of a Komodo Dragon or hold and feed a Kuala Bear or rome among Kangaroos and feed them?
  2. Pushka: got a little confused - it wasn't Hamilton Island (which is part of the Whitsunday islands) where we had a bad time - it was the Thursday islands that we had a horrible time. No, Hamilton island was very nice (the weather wasn't). For the Thursday Islands we were all asking "why did we go 200 miles just to be disappointed on Thursday Islands"?
  3. Just returned from a 17 day cruise from Bali to Sydney. I hope this review gives you answers that you haven't been able to find elsewhere. I won't go into a lot of detail but if you have questions then by all means let me know. We were on the Sky about 1 1/2 years ago so a lot of my comparison is with that cruise (Barcelona, the Baltic and Beyond). Last cruise we were in a Deluxe Veranda and this cruise we were in a Penthouse Veranda. While they are similar, the Penthouse Veranda is almost 70 square feet bigger. The closet inn the Deluxe Veranda is only accessible by climbing over the bed - while the PH Veranda was in a different location and was so much more practical. If we ever take Viking again - and I am sure we will - it will definitely be in a PH Veranda. The food: definitely was better this time around - we were very critical of the food last go-around - while the portions were smaller - there was more variety and more flavor. I'll give the food a 4* rating after giving it a 3* last year. Entertainment: this was a surprise as we weren't expecting an extravaganza show and we didn't get one. What we did get was four talented singers/dancers who put a good show (one night show tunes and another night Beatles song book). The cruise director (Bevan) did a show and he pulled it off with his great singing - and then there was Ian - the assistant cruise director who id an Elvis show. Mixed in were a few different singers. I would give the entertainment a 3+. Here comes the negatives: of course we knew what entertainment was on the ship and what there was to do on sea days. But it was really noticeable that there just isn't a lot to do. Make sure you have a good book to read or that one of the speakers aboard is talking about something that you have a deep interest in. Finally the worst part of the cruise: the excursions! Just to give Viking everything they deserve (both good and bad) - I obviously can't blame the negatives on the weather which was awful. Almost every port was 100% humidity with showers. This is the rainy season from Bali through the Australian East Coast - so they get a pass for the weather. But I (and most of the others) found both the included and paid for excursions to be quite simply awful. The companies that were hired didn't follow the agendas and at times seemed lost (both literally and figuratively). In one of the ports we were to go to a museum - the driver got there at 9:30 only to find out that it opened at 10 AM. Then he allowed two hours to go through the museum telling everyone to be ready to leave at 12 Noon - problem was the museum at best only took an hour. Everyone climbed back into the bus except for two couples - who were adamant that they were going to stay until 12 Noon - no matter what. The driver lost complete control of the situation and 40 people wound up waiting 45 minutes for four people. One of our port stops was Hamilton Island (part of the Thursday islands) - there was absolutely nothing to do there (there were no formal tours - and we had to use a Tender to reach the island) - most people (including us) walked around for a n hour and saw nothing of interest - and we took the first Tender where there was room and went back to the ship. The most horrifying excursion was going to Komodo Island. Temperature was around 90 with 100% humidity and when the tour was complete - Viking was unprepared for the people taking the Tenders back to the ship. We all waited about 45 minutes for Viking to get their act together - and meanwhile we were all lined up on a pier that probably was a hundred yards long - absolutely no cover from the sun was provided - and at least two people needed medical attention from passing out. As it turned out, the best tour (excursion) that we had was the three days (after the cruise was completed) we spent in Sydney. We signed up directly with Blue Mountains tour company and had a delightful time. I would definitely take a Viking cruise in the future but I would have to be convinced that the problems attached to the excursions for this cruise would not be repeated.
  4. We are still over eight weeks away from our cruise. I am thinking about canceling one of our excursions and doing it on our own. Anyone know if this is possible after paying for an excursion?
  5. For those who have had the opportunity to eat in the Chef's Table during 2018 - what were your favorite two meals? Yes, I know, everyone will have a different opinion - but just wondering if a pattern begins to form and that certain specialties get repeated over and over.
  6. Thanks - looking forward to someone who can respond to my question - I thought it was 2+2 for our category AND our friends who are in a Penthouse category get 3+3 - so if we can maneuver this properly wen should be able to try the three or four different meals in the Chef's Table.
  7. We are in category PV2 - do we get two specialty restaurants or two at EACH of the two specialty restaurants? Also, is there a way of previewing the menu in the Chef's Table to see what is being served each night - if I remember correctly every three or four days the restaurants repeats the menu - so I would like to make sure the two nights we eat there are different menus. Thanks
  8. I'm asking this question for my wife: we will be taking a Viking cruise on the Orion late November from Bali to Sydney. For those who have taken a hot and muggy climate cruise on Viking - how cold do they keep the public areas of the ship? For me it can never be too cold; however, I have learned that women have a different temperature gauge than men. So for all you women out there - is the ship too cold or just about right in the public areas?
  9. No need to send the same message twice........................We are on the Bali to Sydney cruise beginning 11/30/2018. Just received word from Viking that they will NOT go to Lombok and instead will spend an extra day in Bali. The earthquake did a lot of damage to Lomboc and very little damage to various parts of Bali.
  10. These opinions - are just that: opinions. We have done both and feel they are very close to one another - what might be a plus for one is a negative for the other (and vice versa). They are my two favorite cruise lines and in the future I will choose which one has a better itinerary (IMO of course).:p
  11. Since we traveled with Off Shore - I'll take the liberty of making some comments - I am sure that Off Shore will also contribute something meaningful. You must have very thin skin if you believe you were being dumped into what Americans want. I have traveled and lived all over the world - there are many Asians, Europeans, Africans, etc. that love ESPN as well as the other channels that Off Shore commented on. So you are offended because someone wants to turn on ESPN to perhaps get sports results - because you are on vacation and wouldn't dare do that. Food: I totally agree with Off Shore - it wasn't bad (for the most part) but definitely not higher than 3*/4* restaurants located all over the world. The wines were pretty good - not $50 a bottle but for the most part they livened up the meal. You better check your computer - it probably needs a checkup - there was absolutely nothing wrong with Off Shore's description of his cruise. I personally think he was right-on with what he stated. Oh, by the way, Off Shore is a retired professor with a doctorate in history. I think he has sufficient credentials to make the comments that he did. However, in the end one might question why we are all taking another Viking cruise: we love the itinerary we are taking and the food has got to be better (here's hoping Viking has learned something in the last 1 1/2 years).
  12. If you have a problem with what I stated 15 months ago - send me a private message. In one sentence is my comment: I standby many of the things I said (especially the food and included tours) and will admit to being more critical than need be on on others - I have never been on Carnival and never will - hate Princess and believe Viking and Oceania are comparable. We are giving Viking another chance (especially because we like the itinerary.
  13. I was a little critical of the food but other than that I thought it was a great cruise. Here's hoping that this cruise coming up makes the improvements that I was critical about.
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