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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!


Sleep7
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In the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Park we viewed the metal weeping willow tree on which each of the leaves is inscribed with the name of a victim.
Actor Tony Curtis (born Bernard Schwartz) was a major donor for the symbolic tree as his father was Hungarian born.  Estee Lauder and the Hungarian government also raised funds for the project designed by Imre Varga in 1991.
There is also a plaque to Wallenberg who saved thousands of Jewish lives as well as other "Righteous Among Nations."
 
 
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A quick lunch on our own at The Market Hall and we were off to the ship which was docked in Kalocsa about an hour and a half away from Budapest.
Since we missed lunch on the ship Viking generously credited our shipboard accounts with 25 euros each to make up for that.. very generous.😃
 
The sun was low in the sky when we arrived.  The Viking Lofl was low in the water too.. the gangway was very steep.. not slippery though.
 
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Fast check in and we were off to our cabin.  
It was the first cabin in from guest services which was very convenient for questions. 
I chuckled that it almost had 2 bathrooms since the public bathroom in the lobby was about 5 feet away from our cabin door.
 
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When we first walked in I said to Sam this can't be our cabin.. it must be the closet of the cabin next door!🤣

I can't say that it was particularly roomy..but it was very well designed and all of our stuff (and I brought A LOT of stuff) fit nicely with room to spare in the closet and in the drawers.

I realized later that on a previous Viking river cruise we had booked a Veranda stateroom and on this cruise we had booked a French Balcony stateroom. 

I didn't know that the size of the cabin was different.. I just thought that the veranda stateroom had a balcony you could sit on vs just a sliding glass wall.

Live and learn!  It was the last cabin on the ship when we booked the cruise so we didn't have much of a choice anyways.🤷‍♀️

 

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Just to circle back to Budapest for a moment..

"The Last Days"  which is available on Netflix is a fascinating and incredibly moving documentary about the Hungarian Jews in the short time period of April to June 1944.

 

 

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In the lounge at 6:45 we met our Cruise Director Gabriel.  He was great!

Funny, charming and always very helpful!👏

 

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Also met our Hotel Director Daniel who was the friendliest hotel director we ever had!👍

 

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Edited by Sleep7
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Hello my friend from the Viking/Oceania board.  Thanks for your always interesting and informative review.

 

My sister and husband, and cousins returned from V Cities of Light, this past August, their 1st river cruise.  Like yours, I was surprised that meals were not included for pre and post hotel stays (not extensions).  Better, you got to experience local restaurants.

 

They really had a wonderful experience.  Prague to Paris.

Edited by FetaCheese
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👋Hello dear Feta Cheese!

So nice to hear from you.. thanks for your review compliments!

It was a surprise to me as well that you were kind of on your own those 2 days but as you said it was plus to have time to try the local cuisine.

Thanks for stopping by.. still more to come.

Wishing you smooth and happy sailings always!🥰

 

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Sleep 7...thank you so very much for this review.  We did European Sojourn ( Bucharest to Amsterdam) the middle of September.  We also were in Cabin 200 ( so convenient)!  I had to laugh at your husband's comment...it had been since pre-covid that we had been on a River ship but had been on an Ocean...I opened the door to our luggage taking up floor space and said I can't do this for a month...once things were put away we were fine BUT if we do multiple weeks again will probably opt of Veranda so we have a chair and extra drawers. We were on the Vidar but stopped in Passau and bussed to Nuremberg to the Lif ( probably why you were on the Lofn).  The Eastern Europe portion was certainly a highlight ( our second time from Budapest to Amsterdam).  So glad you pre- in Budapest so you had time to spend there and not just a drive by!   Can't wait to see the rest of your photos.  My husband still has most pics on camera's cards....didn't get home until last week!  But he did do a FB group page from cell phone pics which was fun and nice to look back on.

Edited by deec
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Thank you so much for your detailed review. We know you like giving very many details from past reviews. :classic_smile: Lively and really takes you along on the journey. I think I have never felt that close to actually being on Viking ship (apart from the five minutes I was in a lobby of one once). Your food choices and excursions from a Jewish perspective are very interesting. We passed by the synagogue in Budapest on the coach tour but had other emphasis on that bus ride and walk. It looked massive and architecturally very pleasing from the outside.

 

Your cabin looked tiny! But one is out and about most of the time so could be worse I think.

 

I see on one daily the explanation of scuttlebutt. That could have been an alternative name for our water cooler thread. :classic_biggrin:

 

Looking forward to the next posts.

 

notamermaid

 

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