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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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2 hours ago, deec said:

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.

👋Hellooo deec!

You are really just back from you cruise.  Such a funny coincidence that you were in the same cabin as we were.. really a great location.  Less people to see when I went out in my jammies to get coffee upstairs at 6am.🤣

Also funny that you thought the same thing about the cabin.. literally a shoebox but somehow it all worked.

I totally agree about the Budapest to Bucharest ports being the highlight. They were so different.. I loved Belgrade and Bucharest. Wished we had an extra day or two at the end to explore Bucharest more.

We took the tour of the Parliament buildings.. what a palace!🥲  So sad that so many resources of the country were wasted on it. 

Loved the Marriott as well.. that was a palace too!

I will start posting again soon.. my brain is still a bowl of mush from the jet lag.

Thanks for your sweet words about my review. 😊

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1 hour ago, notamermaid said:

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.




👋Hello old friend notamermaid from the river cruise boards!

You do know my reviewing style.. nothing is too small or too boring to leave out.🤣

Thank you so much for your sweet words about my posts.. so glad you are enjoying them.

And yes.. the cabin was teeny but in the end it was fine.

I appreciate you following along.. thanks again.🥰

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Snacks were served with wine which was a lovely touch but it was only after that somebody told me the open faced sandwiches were spread with lard and not butter.🤢

The guide had mentioned it on the bus but I wasn't paying attention.

I can't smell so I thought it was margarine or butter.




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We took the included tour to Osijek and Vukovar.

Each day of the cruise it was getting warmer and sunnier.

We were truly blessed by the weather fairies this trip.

On previous European river cruises at the end of October - beginning of November it was freezing cold and pouring rain almost every day.  The warm sunshine was a real treat!





Dry weather meant a low river which was very evident when you looked along the shoreline.







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Next up was a "home visit" with a lovely hostess named Manda.

We divided up into four groups and each group went to a different house in the same neighborhood.

On the way we learned some Croatian phrases..

Bok Bok - Hello and Goodbye.

Hwala - Thank you.

A translator came along as Manda wasn't fluent in English.

We sat at her comfortable kitchen table eating homemade cake and sipping warm sweet wine all while sharing a little bit about ourselves.

She told us how she was displaced during the war and showed us family pictures.

It was a very sweet and personal interaction that was heartwarming.❤️








Manda shared her recipe for mulled wine. 🍷



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😋 Back on the ship in time for lunch.🍽️

If I was going to make a suggestion I wished that on this cruise Viking offered a buffet lunch.

Sometimes you just want to grab something quickly and not wait for a fully served meal.

It's also nice to be able to take a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Just a suggestion.. 🤷‍♀️



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After lunch we walked around Vukovar a bit.

Gabriel told us this was the last place to get euros out of a cash machine since the remaining countries did not use euros.

We never did exchange any money for the local currencies and used the euros we brought with us saved from our last trip to Europe.

I was a little concerned at first but then realized that most merchants took credit cards (mostly Visa) for even the smallest of purchases.

I also realized for tour guides and tips I should have brought more bills in $5's and $10's and also Euros in denominations of 5's and 10's.  I will make a note of that for next time.. don't just bring $20's.




Yum! My kind of wine!! Since I can't smell any wine is good wine to me.

Also love the plastic soda bottle container.  Simple yet effective.😁





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More from Vukovar. 

This building was damaged beyond repair so the owner made it a monument to the War of Independence brightened with flowers to show hope.




Another memorial to the war near the dock.




Last but not least Vukovar's water tower that was purposely left damaged is the city's symbol of the tragedy of the Croatian War of Independence.





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