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Just back!! Our VIKING LOFN-omenal "Passage to Eastern Europe" Cruise. 10/23 to11/2/2023 - Full trip report with tons of pix!


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👋 Well hello to everyone on the River Cruise board!  

 

I am happily writing again.. this time about our absolutely spectacular "Passage to Eastern Europe" cruise aboard the Viking Lofl. We were supposed to be aboard the Viking Lif.. but more on that later.  It's great to be back "reporting" and I can't wait to share our amazing 11 day adventure from Budapest to Bucharest.
We are home.. unpacked.. laundry done and as per usual up at 3am New York time due to the 6 hour time difference.
The cruise was a treat in every way.. from the itinerary, the ship, the shipmates, the food, the sights, the weather, and of course the company.
I can't wait to relive all the best moments.. actually all of the moments.. as  you will see I like to capture every detail.
Depending what time it is.. grab your coffee or your glass of wine and come and sail along with me from point B (Budapest) to point B (Bucharest.)
 
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We are veterans of many river and ocean cruises and have truly loved each and every one. 
This was an exciting milestone as 11 days is the longest we have ever been away. 
Sam is still working and he wasn't thrilled about taking 2 weeks off in a row but I convinced him that now (we are both 61) is the time! 
When I booked this cruise I didn't realize that it's actually only a 7 day cruise with 2 nights at a hotel in Budapest in the beginning and one night at a hotel in Bucharest at the end tacked on. Happily this fulfilled a dream of mine to NOT have to fly in on the day of embarkation and fly out on the day of debarkation as we usually do.
More on this later.. I had mixed feelings about it.
 
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The excitement really started to build at the end of September when we received our welcome packet in the mail!
Looked up a few words and phrases in Hungarian to get ready..
Egan - yes.  Actually Sam remembered his grandma using those words to him years ago.
Hello/Good day - Yo na pote
Please  - Leg yen see vesh
Thank you - Kou suh nem
 
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A few weeks ago Sam saw a great price online for AirTags.  Knock on wood we have always been very lucky that our luggage has never gone missing before a cruise.  Saw those AirTags and snapped them up sort of as an extra insurance plan for our bags.
Well when they came oh boy were we surprised that they actually were just the KEYCHAINS for the AirTags and not the actual AirTags! No wonder they were such a great deal.  Instead of being "Caveat emptor" it was "emptor ut legitur." "Buyer should read descriptions more carefully!" 🤣
 
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An 11 day cruise presented a few packing issues for me. On our usual 7 days sailings two large suitcases and a duffle bag will fit just the right amount of clothing/shoes/stuff for an outfit a day with room to spare.  Four extra days? Four extra outfits?  Nope.. This trip I aimed to pack clothes that mixed and matched and matched and mixed. 

I am going to have to try harder next time.. I just unpacked and there was half a suitcase of unworn clothes going right back into my closet..🥲

Maybe this is TMI but an 11 day cruise also created a hair root situation so I packed this clever little item.. it's great for a temporary cover up.  Comes in a few colors.. available at drugstores and supermarkets.  
P.S. I am not a spokeswoman for L'oreal.. just a spokesperson for my center part to match the rest of my head! lol
 
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On the Wednesday prior to our Monday cruise we got an email from Viking saying that the water levels on the Danube might be low the next week and that buses would be used if the ship couldn't get thru. 
A little bit of a bummer but I was sure that Viking has dealt with these situations hundreds of times and (come h*ll or low water) would do everything in their power to take care of it in a fine fashion.
In the end it didn't change our itinerary much at all.. just that we took a bus from Budapest to our first port of Kalocsa instead of sailing there and we also had to take a 3 hour bus ride to Bucharest at the end of cruise instead of an hour plus one from Ruse.  We missed lunch on the ship that first day but Viking generously credited our onboard accounts 25 euros each to cover that meal on our own. 
Also Viking had to do a "boat and switch" from the Lif to the Lofl but since they are identical ships so it didn't matter except.. Lofl was a much harder name to try to make a clever title with! Lif-tacular or Lif-tastic roll off the tongue much easier than Lofn-tacular or Lofn-abulous but the enthusiasm is the same.😁

 

 

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Not too long of a wait at the Sky Club.  We usually fly on Friday or Saturday night and it's always jammed.  Sunday seems to be much quieter.
 
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Festive fall decorations and food was abound.🍂
 
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Flight time from JFK to Amsterdam was a quick 6 hours and 21 minutes.
Guess how many of those 6 hours and 21 minutes my screen showed this message?  I will give you a hint.. 6 hours and 21 minutes.
Totally frozen the whole flight.😠
 
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3 minutes ago, Daisi said:

I like the airline apps that track your luggage for you. Our KLM one did as well, so we had fun just tracing our air tags. 

👋Hi Daisi!  Yes.. would have been to fun to trace our air tags but alas all we had were the keychains! LOL.  Glad that the Delta app at least lets you know if your luggage is on the plane or not.😃

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