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Everything posted by herbanrenewal

  1. Not sure if anyone mentioned this but you can save on airfare if booking as a multi-city booking rather than one way. Book to Portugal, then "return' flight from Miami (or wherever you are disembarking) to your home airport.
  2. To those of us who have had family and friends who have died of covid or had mild cases with life altering long-hauler aftereffects it actually hurts to have someone say when this all started people thought it was more severe than it is. With a half million Americans gone I pray you never have to find out the error of this statement as you deal with this" less severe" pandemic
  3. I read the new CDC recommendations and at first glance was hopeful for my New England cruise out of Baltimore...then I realized only cruise line based tours?? A highlight of this cruise, which we have cruised before, is finding lobster restaurants and since we know so many of the ports, self exploring and hiking favorite hikes. Then i looked at the available excursions - most over $100 per person with the 10% promotion. ... not so excited by the possibilities for my September cruise now 😞
  4. i've read that section of the FAQ and they have a lot of information like 4mm and prong descriptions, but when I'm buying adapters they categorize them as types, usually Type C is common in areas of Europe we have traveled, but I also see type N, E and F. I have C and N from other trips. I'm just trying to figure out if I need Type E or F. Also i know many newer ships have USB port adapters - if Tir has those I don't need any kind of adapter to charge my electronics. That is why I am asking if this ship has USB ports, or do i need an adapter i don't currently own. I actually called Viking but
  5. What electric outlet plugs are on the Viking Tir? I believe its probably 220v, and i think they may be type C plugs, but i know in Hungary they also have type E/F. Are there USB outlets for charging phones?
  6. Most cruise ship water is desalinated sea water. The process usually involves steam evaporation -- essentially turning saltwater into distilled water. Minerals may be added for flavor and chlorinated for extra safety. Some ships, which may include long boats, are fitted with a reverse-osmosis system for filtering and/or desalination. All water on ships is from the same source. However, there are no standardized criteria for bottling companies. Personally I prefer to use the tap water over unknown sources for bottled water.
  7. When on a Silver Seas Galapagos cruise we were given a metal screw top water bottle since Galapagos doesn't allow plastic. You could go to the bars or dining room to refill anytime. I realize there is a big difference between a 100 passenger ship and one with thousands so logistics for refilling are different, but by the same token, here's a lot more plastic garbage with thousands of passengers. I stopped buying plastic water bottles after that trip. As a side effect i found that stainless steel water bottles are insulted and my ice water stays cold all day. Good for the environment, bet
  8. Some terrific answers here already! Regarding cabin choice I think whatever you usually like is the best guideline. There are strings of At-Sea days, so knowing how you spend your time with At-Sea days may be a guide. If you spend a lot of time on our balcony or in your room you need that. As someone who is comfortable without a balcony i wouldn't upgrade on a TA. I've found that sometimes balconies are too sunny/other times too cool. I prefer to go up to the decks that i can move from spot to spot to take advantage of the best location for me at any particular time. But i realize m
  9. I've searched on several cruise websites but can't find a transatlantic from Europe to USA in February 2021. Does anyone know of west bound Transatlantic cruise from Europe to USA?
  10. I had looked at these but i'm concerned about using them in the ocean. They seem great for relaxing, but wave action could pull you out further than you can swim back like those swan things. Although i can see using in pools (and ship pools don't permit them) I am apprehensive of using in the ocean. To anyone who has used them - are my fears justified? Have you been pulled out further than comfortable?
  11. I've done both cruise and land tours. One of my favorites was actually planned around availability of FF mile flights but seemed like what you may be interested in - we loved it. From Rome we took a train to Milan and spent a day there - beautiful city with lots to see and do. The train trip is along the coast and is interesting and fun way to see both the Tuscan countryside and the coastal region of western Italy. If you have time you can take a short train ride to Lake Como, nestled in Italian Alps. From Milan we took a train to Monaco, then another train to Andorra, before final
  12. Our first river cruise will be on Viking Tir in October B to A. On ocean cruises I've brought magnets for everything from leaving a memo to hanging laundered items. Are the walls or ceiling metal?
  13. I live about 2.5 hours from Baltimore, but i drive up the day before and stay in a hotel that will let me park my car for the cruise and provide shuttle to and from the port. For a longer cruise it may cost less to stay in the hotel for the night than the cost of parking for the duration of the cruise, But the main advantage is an easy start to our cruise.
  14. some of the other benefits are great, including trip cancellation (for medical reason) medical evacuation $100,00, medical emergency is just $2500 (but medicare plan f pays internationally), car rental insurance. I've saved on every trip since I got the card since I no longer pay for trip insurance.
  15. Even double - miles from airlines and charging on my chase card get points. I'm not booking with points or miles - its a credit card transaction. A lot of the negative reviews I've read complain about difficulty with changes needed in last 72 hours -I think everyone knows that non-refundable tickets are cheaper even when booked directly. Always read the contract before committing to know the terms you are agreeing to. I guess my primary point is that shopping and exploring alternatives can be worth the time and effort - especially since i retired and have more time available. Be
  16. My agent at alphaflightguru (not a consolidator who sells FFmiles) has saved me from 300 to over 1000 for each trip he booked over any deal i could find with extensive searching. When we flew to New Zealand and returned from Sydney Australia our business/first class tickets were less than economy class could have cost us. I think the important thing is being comfortable enough to thoroughly look at possibilities. When i fly to Brazil next month my credit card concierge came up with the best deal - free with accumulated points.
  17. I wish i could accept economy or economy plus seating - i'd be able to travel even more. But between my history of blood clots in my leg, and my friend's knee replacements, and both of us being tall with long legs the only safe way to fly longer distances is in business class. My last economy class trip led to several days hospitalized and months on blood thinners. Its ironic that we can happily enjoy cheaper cabin classes, including interiors on ocean cruises, and we find some great deals on airbnb - our 8 days pre and post cruise will cost less than the few days extensions from Viking.
  18. Most of the posts I've seen on the roll call thread consist of "we are booked on the xx/xxxx cruise." Not much info there. What i have decided to do however is gratefully accept your advice and just relax and enjoy the cruise! I still get to exercise my planning brain because we have 8 days before in Budapest and 8 days after in Amsterdam. Thanks
  19. To upgrade to business class, change dates coming and going, and get air plus to have a say in flight selections I was told that it would cost about additional $2500 each over our free airfare. My agent at alphaflightguru got us exactly what we wanted for just over $2000. I suppose its the upgrade to business that put Viking Air over the top. The cruise however was at the lowest price I've seen yet even with the unwanted free air. I just wish they would allow another perk instead of airfare since i would rarely use included airfare.
  20. We booked with Viking from Budapest to Amsterdam months ago for travel September 2020. It includes free air. but we will be staying 8 days in Budapest before the cruise, and 8 days in Amsterdam afterwards. By the time we add in the charges for flying early/late, looking for upgraded seats so we are not stuck in the middle seats, and wanting to select trips with less connections and/or time waiting for connections, the cost for using Viking airfare and upgrading would actually be MORE than independent booking through a consolidator for business class for both flights. I'm not sure i wo
  21. After decades enjoying ocean cruises I'm eagerly awaiting my first river cruise. One thing that has me stumped for planning is timing - I understand that most days a tour is included, usually about a half day. What I cant figure out is what to do with the rest of my time. I'm accustomed to planning and arranging independent tours in ports and travelling at night, but river cruises work differently and i cant find info on how much time we have in each port for independent experiences. How do i find how much time we spend in port but not with organized ship sponsored tours? Or will our days be f
  22. Assuming you want an answer to how to do laundry and not why you should send it out I'm going to share some laundry tips from someone who has been traveling for about 30 years, often for 3-5 weeks since I retired. Since we usually have pre- and post cruise weeks that involves public transportation, its not just airline restrictions that have caused me to learn what works for me - in our 70s we no longer want to be lugging several suitcases on and off trains. There are tons of posts and websites about packing light. These tips are more about doing laundry while traveling. try it out at ho
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