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About lunula

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    Charlotte, NC
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    Travel, Scuba diving, Hiking, Genealogy, Reading, Baking, Greyhounds
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  1. Really interesting thread - I came here about to ask a few questions about the Viking Guarantee booking myself, so this was quite informative. Couple questions already answered - but wanted to see if anyone had insight on one more thing. Does anyone know if Viking does anything to make repeat customers, or customers who have referred others on the same booking, happy when it comes to upgrades? Not a big deal - but we are guarantees on our upcoming Jan 2019 Northern Lights cruise (the lowest level cabin) - but we have taken a previous Viking cruise and we got another couple referred & booked on the same cruise. Probably wishful thinking that they'd take this into consideration? Gonna be super bummed if the people we referred get an upgrade and we don't!!! :evilsmile::evilsmile::evilsmile:
  2. Thanks, all! We really like active travel and have no motility issues, so we're very interested in "getting out and about" - we've heard good & bad things about Oslo, so glad to get some firsthand advice! Because we purchased air travel through Viking, we have to pay an extra $100 each if we choose to go earlier (they fly us out the evening before to arrive the day of the cruise) - unless we purchase the pre-trip through them (so it's all included in the extra fee). Ordinarily, we always travel a couple days prior to the cruise start, but since this one sits in Bergen for the first two days, we have a little extra time. I was hoping we could take the train from Oslo to Bergen, I'm concerned about it being 100% reliable in a situation like this. If we got stuck because certain routes are running and we couldn't get a flight... it just concerns me. In fact, Viking often uses the train as an option from Oslo to Bergen but won't be offering this for our cruise because of weather concerns.
  3. Hi all! We are scheduled for the Jan 2019 Viking Ocean Cruise "In Search of the Northern Lights" and I was hoping for some guidance before making some final decisions. The cruise begins in Bergen and we are wondering if we should do the 2-day pre-trip extension in Oslo. We have never been to Norway, but knowing it's the middle of winter we are expecting extreme weather. We fly out of Charlotte, so we shouldn't have much trouble as far as winter weather - other than a random snow/ice storm, it's pretty tame here - but wondering how likely is it that we'll encounter issues getting into Bergen in late January? Also, is it worth going in 2 days early for Oslo, or would the weather likely be prohibitive to getting out and doing anything? Thanks!
  4. We went to the showers at the pools onboard to rinse our suits off each day and used zip ties to secure them on our balcony when it was nice out. :)
  5. I dive the Caribbean regularly (mainly Bonaire) and I always wear a full 3mm wetsuit. In fact, I'd say 50% of the other divers also have full suits on. We went on a 2-week trip and I wore a 5mm the second week. For me, it's not just about the water temp (though 70s are pretty cold, especially if you're doing multiple dives) - but also air temp, number of dives you're doing and how much sun & sea-creature protection you want. If you're doing more than a couple of dives over consecutive days, you'll get colder and colder each time. Also, hopefully you're not wearing sunscreen (unless it's reef safe, and even that isn't a guarantee) which means you're gonna get burned unless you're wearing something and honestly, I've come out of the water numerous times with people wearing shorties or just swimsuits & rashguards with bumps and red marks from things brushing against them and stinging/biting underwater. It doesn't happen a lot, but I've got sensitive skin - so no way I'm risking a skin rash that's gonna burn every time I get in the ocean after. I'll be honest, I had someone on an Aruba dive boat chuckle at me for wearing a full suit - only to see him shivering on the second dive and cutting it short to go get warm.
  6. We used Indigo Divers in Antigua a few years back and they sail out of Jolly Harbour, which (if I recall) was about 25-30 minutes away. We really liked them. Used The Dive Bus on Curacao and had a great time (shore diving). We did a cruise and went diving in every port and a couple picked us up at the cruise dock, but I can't remember which ones. They were all very responsive to emails, so just ask them. We've been to Bonaire 5x now (not on cruises, just trips to Bonaire) and have used a few operators over the years. We stayed @ Captain Don's once (it was a pit), but the house reef was great. Not sure how it would be for cruisers, but definitely get something setup ahead of time! The island is pretty small and cab rides up to Captain Don's (or other operators near there) would be maybe 15 minutes. I think an added benefit of using a resort dive operator (Captain Don's, Dive Buddy, etc.) is that they'd probably help you get a cab home and everything is contained right there. Not so great that you'd only see their house reef, but since you have limited time, it's a solid option. Otherwise, you really need to rent a truck for the day use an operator like Dive Friends, pick up tanks and plop yourself in the water at one of the clearly marked dive sites on the island. FYI - in all our trips to Bonaire, we've never done a boat dive. The shore diving is fab - but get a copy of Bonaire Shore Diving Made Easy, as she details how easy/difficult dives are based on a myriad of factors and gives advice on parking, entry, exit, etc.
  7. We used Happy Divers Aruba a few years back for regular boat dives (already certified) and really liked them.
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