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Vineyard View

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About Vineyard View

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Sonoma County
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe

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  1. westcoastcruiser, thank you for your response to your recent UA International experience. This is reassuring to read. Like you - UA is typically way down on my list of chosen domestic airlines so this is encouraging.
  2. Thank you Kazu. I did check on seats and the requests went through but I don’t know if that means they will be secured. I am fine with Lufthansa and appreciate your updated experience. I will keep my eye on alternatives to United though! Maybe it will happen, but if not we will enjoy what we have! I had been tracking Economy pricing with the thought to use miles for upgrade, as well as Business pricing. Flighteaze pricing for both cabin categories was so much lower than I could find direct. Do you wait to pay for your flights as Flighteaze allows, or do you book earlier so as to make sure it is buttoned up as far as pricing?
  3. That is what I hear! Thanks for this input kazu. United is my concern. It’s been several years since we flew international business with them and it was just okay. Any recent experience with UA would be appreciated. Also, do you find that you generally receive the seats that you requested? Once booked, how do you check flights to see what new ones may be available without canceling what you have? Do you just click on ‘change flights’.? I wouldn’t want to cancel what I have by accident.
  4. Thank you again Taba. I spent today researching, again, flights from SFO - VCE in May. Looked at multiple airlines then went onto Flightease. I found the pricing much lower (approx 50+%) than directly with the airlines. Crazy! So glad I found this thread and many thanks to all of you. The statement that pricing can change until ticketed makes me nervous, but all of you are saying not to worry. I booked business RT. The departure is with United, which was far from the top of my list of choices but about $1,300 less than our preferred Airlines so we will give it a try - we have Lufthansa on return which we have heard good things about. I may try the mileage points approach separately and see where that leads, but at least we have seats booked. Woohoo!
  5. Thank you Taba. I recently found that if flights are not booked in the correct fare class, you can’t use miles to upgrade. I used another cruise lines air department. They said i should be able to upgrade to Business but once ticketed, the airline said no-go, just premium economy. So I guess the better question that I should have asked, is if the HAL department is able to book definitely in the class of service required if you inform them that you will upgrade using miles to Business, and if you can ask for early ticketing in order to do so?
  6. Thank you. We sail in May so I will keep checking
  7. Does HAL work with you if you want to book and pay for economy, then use miles to upgrade?
  8. How far in advance of your cruise do all the specialty dinners typically become available online to book?
  9. That is what we are planning on doing as well Karber. Hopefully Viking will share that information with us once on board. We will need to decide 3+ days prior though to receive a credit for the cost of the excursion.
  10. Parsley has repeated their position on tipping/gratuities on each and every tipping thread with the same basic responses. No one is going to move their line in the sand. Parsley is not the one and only with this belief. This is not meant as a negative comment to anyone. I still remain in favor of including tips, Parsley, and maybe others, will stop sailing on Viking if they do this. Time will tell what Viking decides to do with this topic. I will continue to pay the daily tip recommendation so that people behind the scenes receive compensation for their contribution in making my time on a Viking ship such a pleasurable and memorable experience. We will continue to have extra tips for individuals. Parsley (and others who are of the same opinion) will continue to provide envelopes on their cruises to those they feel deserve their tips. There is a possibility that those envelopes go into the General tip pool if given by a passenger who waives paying the daily gratuity, as is common practice with various cruise lines. I do not know if that is the case with Viking.
  11. Thanks so much again Tim. We are the only ship that i can find in port that day. I was looking for options and Blue Water Safaris offered up a full day that returned at 5:00. I responded that I wasn’t comfortable with a sail away at 6:00, so they recommended this option, and they confirmed with me that it was the Viking excursion. I appreciated their honesty and suggestion. I asked and heard back this afternoon that what they do not know is how many people are reserved, only that they will cap it at 85 people. So it could be 30, 40, 60, etc. They have been very responsive. The other company, Leeward, has confirmed with me this weekend that to date they do not have enough people signed up to guarantee a sailing. It does seem that this port has really only two catamaran companies - Leeward and Blue Water so options are limited. Not sure what we will decide yet, but I sure appreciate all your first hand input! Thanks again!
  12. The big piece for so many is the pre-existing. It’s pretty crazy what can be construed as pre existing, so we never chance not having that. We have the Chase and Amex as well and those allow us to take a lower coverage policy for medical and Evac because the cards cover us. We also just recently found an insurance company through InsureMyTrip that covers pre existing if we book within the window of deposit and you only cover the deposit amount rather than the full trip cost. If I do not add any additional coverage as more expenses occur then with this specific policy pre existing is still covered and we can use credit card coverage for additional expenses. I only found this through a long dialogue with an agent on the phone. So different strategies work for different individual needs, but for me the key take away is that you sure don’t need to engage with any cruise lines Insurance for coverage. And as broker points out, pull up the details and read them so you truly know what they cover.
  13. If there is a sea day early in the cruise, this would obviously be a great opportunity for the M&M. If this is the case, then having it at 6:00 is a time that I believe will absolutely impact attendance. People often make specialty restaurant reservations on sea days, and if I had to choose between the two I seriously doubt that we would skip that dinner reservation. Sea days provided multiple opportunities outside of the 4:00 tea time, which is also a big draw. If there are no early sea days, and the M&M is scheduled at sail away, that will have an impact on attendance. I don’t know what the answer is in that situation.
  14. You do give up control over your reservation when you transfer to a TA. Once you do this, all communication goes from Viking through the TA to you ( as it does with any cruise lime). It is a trade off. I think that my biggest concern has always been in if the cruise line (not just Viking) is offering an upgrade or upsell, whether this hinders the timely communication of that offer. I do not know if that is valid or not, but I do think it makes sense that it could. I think you have to weigh out the benefits of transferring and the OBC received. The possible miss on upgrade opportunity is probably less likely than the guaranteed OBC. 🤷‍♀️
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