Jump to content

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


Sleep7
 Share

Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

In addition to packing lighter, using packing cubes makes it much easier to deal with short stays. I use them by type of garment, so if I am looking for a top, I can pull all the pants out in one cube without opening it, and only need to open the cube with the tops. You don’t make a mess rooting around in your suitcase. 

🙋‍♀️Ahh... clever idea gnome12.  Separate the items that will be worn on the hotel days before.. will try that next time.✔️

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Sleep7 said:

 

 

🙋‍♀️Good morning mozfoz and FetaCheese!

Of course you are both right about how did that happen when it was 💯 stated on the Viking website.🫣

Totally on me that I didn't read further into the daily itinerary before I booked the cruise.

I did click on the day by day overview and saw the outline of the trip but didn't click on each day to see where of course it clearly says.. "check into hotel.. check out of hotel.. etc."

I guess I had an 11 day cruise in mind and didn't follow up on the specifics of it.

It's funny.. I actually discussed this with more than a few people on the ship who thought exactly the same thing!  Maybe they were just being nice.😊

I also thought that Bucharest was on the Danube but that's a whole other can of geography worms.

Anywhoodle.. it was all wonderful.  Maybe taught me a lesson that if I packed lighter.. moving from hotel to ship to hotel would be less of a bother.. and next time to read the day by day detailed descriptions in the future.

And to limit run on sentences!😁

 

Hotel stays are easy to miss unless we read the day by day itinerary.   What is harder to learn is if a one week itinerary is part of 2, 3 or 4 segments.  We booked Italy, the Adriatic & Greece as a 2 week itinerary only to learn afterwards that it is segments 2 & 3 of a 4 week itinerary.  It doesn't matter to us other then folks will be disembarking in Venice and new people will board.  Viking sold 4 one week itineraries each with a different name.  Then they sold a 4 week itinerary with a different name and another 3 week itinerary with a different name.  The weeks go from Barcelona to Rome, Rome to Venice, Venice to Athens and Athens to Istanbul.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, TayanaLorna said:

Hotel stays are easy to miss unless we read the day by day itinerary.   What is harder to learn is if a one week itinerary is part of 2, 3 or 4 segments.  We booked Italy, the Adriatic & Greece as a 2 week itinerary only to learn afterwards that it is segments 2 & 3 of a 4 week itinerary.  It doesn't matter to us other then folks will be disembarking in Venice and new people will board.  Viking sold 4 one week itineraries each with a different name.  Then they sold a 4 week itinerary with a different name and another 3 week itinerary with a different name.  The weeks go from Barcelona to Rome, Rome to Venice, Venice to Athens and Athens to Istanbul.

You are obviously discussing an ocean cruise. It shouldn't matter much on a river cruise, which is where  you are posting. I took a 14 night cruise with Uniworld that was split up into 2 segments. For those of us that were continuing on, they had an additional excursion for the changeover day. Embarkation and disembarkation are much simpler on river cruises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, gnome12 said:

In addition to packing lighter, using packing cubes makes it much easier to deal with short stays. I use them by type of garment, so if I am looking for a top, I can pull all the pants out in one cube without opening it, and only need to open the cube with the tops. You don’t make a mess rooting around in your suitcase. 

Well I definitely resemble Sleep7 in bringing way too much.  I really need to rethink packing for our next trip as I created an insane itinerary for us.  Will be doing 1 night in Madrid, 3 nights on a Viking pre in Umbria, 14 nights on ship, 2 nights post in Athens and 2 nights in Madrid.  For flights I like to cross pack our bags in case one gets lost or delayed.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, TayanaLorna said:

Well I definitely resemble Sleep7 in bringing way too much.  I really need to rethink packing for our next trip as I created an insane itinerary for us.  Will be doing 1 night in Madrid, 3 nights on a Viking pre in Umbria, 14 nights on ship, 2 nights post in Athens and 2 nights in Madrid.  For flights I like to cross pack our bags in case one gets lost or delayed.

😁We need to attend "Overpackers Anonymous" together!👜👜👜

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your review it was lovely. We will be embarking on the Bragi in BUD next Saturday, the 18th, for the Grand European Cruise B-A and have never been on Viking river cruise, have sailed ocean. What was the dress at dinner? We were lucky to book one of the ES suites, due to a Generous credit, but would be just as happy with the cabin you booked! 😉

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, gnome12 said:

You are obviously discussing an ocean cruise. It shouldn't matter much on a river cruise, which is where  you are posting. I took a 14 night cruise with Uniworld that was split up into 2 segments. For those of us that were continuing on, they had an additional excursion for the changeover day. Embarkation and disembarkation are much simpler on river cruises.

You are right.  River cruises go from point A to B with occasionally a hotel stay at the beginning or end.  I don't think any Viking Ocean cruises have a hotel stay at either end unless you book and pay for a pre or post.  However with both River and Ocean, one needs to look at the day by day itinerary to learn if there is an overnight in port, a sea day, a scenic cruising day or a hotel stay at either end of the cruise.

 

Now gnome12, you really have me thinking about those packing cubes.  I've read that some folks pack them as outfits for the day.  I like to choose what I wear according to my mood and the weather.  But all the same stuff separated into individual cubes is intriguing.  How do the cubes fit into a suitcase?  Are there still corners and edges where you can stuff rolled up underwear or socks?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sleep7, on Ocean cruises, guests must line up at the entrance door to The Restaurant to be seated by Viking staff. Folks are not allowed to enter the Restaurant before opening time to claim their table.  Is it the same on River?  I ask because i  read recently on CC and FB complaints about people on River who go in early and claiming the same window table each day or else sitting at a large table and refusing to let others sit there because they are holding it for friends.  On Ocean, Viking seats a large party only when all guests arrive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TayanaLorna said:

Now gnome12, you really have me thinking about those packing cubes.  I've read that some folks pack them as outfits for the day.  I like to choose what I wear according to my mood and the weather.  But all the same stuff separated into individual cubes is intriguing.  How do the cubes fit into a suitcase?  Are there still corners and edges where you can stuff rolled up underwear or socks?

I have a whole bunch of cubes, so I put underwear in one and socks in another. The cubes are all soft and can be squished around. The less you have loose in your suitcase, the easier it is. Anything loose creates somewhat the issue of making a mess when you root around in your suitcase looking for things.

  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, TayanaLorna said:

You are right.  River cruises go from point A to B with occasionally a hotel stay at the beginning or end.  I don't think any Viking Ocean cruises have a hotel stay at either end unless you book and pay for a pre or post.  However with both River and Ocean, one needs to look at the day by day itinerary to learn if there is an overnight in port, a sea day, a scenic cruising day or a hotel stay at either end of the cruise.

 

Now gnome12, you really have me thinking about those packing cubes.  I've read that some folks pack them as outfits for the day.  I like to choose what I wear according to my mood and the weather.  But all the same stuff separated into individual cubes is intriguing.  How do the cubes fit into a suitcase?  Are there still corners and edges where you can stuff rolled up underwear or socks?

One advantage of packing some cubes with outfits for a day is that for flights it is easy to cross pack suitcases - just flip some cubes across between bags.  We do a hybrid approach with some cubes with outfits and some clothing type specific.  We put rolled up socks inside our extra shoes and more small items can be tucked between the shoes.  We use the clothes in the outfit cubes the first day when we are too groggy to make decisions.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, BuckGood said:

Thank you for your review it was lovely. We will be embarking on the Bragi in BUD next Saturday, the 18th, for the Grand European Cruise B-A and have never been on Viking river cruise, have sailed ocean. What was the dress at dinner? We were lucky to book one of the ES suites, due to a Generous credit, but would be just as happy with the cabin you booked! 😉

🙋‍♀️Hi BuckGood!

Oh I'm so glad you enjoyed the review and thanks for your compliments.

How exciting that you are leaving so soon for your cruise and such a delightfully lengthy one too AND in a suite!👏

On river cruises I have found that there really isn't a "dress for dinner" as such.  Most nights we just wore what we wore during the day.  I think I changed into a dress one or two of the nights for dinner but just because I had brought some dresses along so I figured why not.

It's all very casual and relaxing.. you are in for a treat!!😊

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, TayanaLorna said:

Sleep7, on Ocean cruises, guests must line up at the entrance door to The Restaurant to be seated by Viking staff. Folks are not allowed to enter the Restaurant before opening time to claim their table.  Is it the same on River?  I ask because i  read recently on CC and FB complaints about people on River who go in early and claiming the same window table each day or else sitting at a large table and refusing to let others sit there because they are holding it for friends.  On Ocean, Viking seats a large party only when all guests arrive.

🙋‍♀️Hi again TL!

No.. seating doesn't seem to be a problem on river cruises from my experience.

Most everyone is in the lounge at 6:45 to listen to the port talk for the next day and then when it's over at around 7pm everyone in the lounge walks downstairs at the same time and files into the dining room.  Every one just seems to find their usual seats or new seats and it all just works out nicely.😊

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, gnome12 said:

I have a whole bunch of cubes, so I put underwear in one and socks in another. The cubes are all soft and can be squished around. The less you have loose in your suitcase, the easier it is. Anything loose creates somewhat the issue of making a mess when you root around in your suitcase looking for things.

Thank you.  You have given me some very useful ideas.  I usually completely unpack and store things once on ship but think i will order some cubes for our hotel day stays.  I can separate the clothing into cubes that we will use for the first 4 days before the cruise and, when packing for disembarkation, separate clothing for the final 4 nights. Amazon here I come.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a beautiful report. Very happy your  journey went well! I did the Bucharest to Budapest alone on another line, but am hoping my travel buddy will join me on the Viking cruise. I’ll have her read your very detailed and thoroughly enjoyable commentary and I’m sure she will be hooked. Thanks for taking the time to put together this wonderful report. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, tobique33040 said:

What a beautiful report. Very happy your  journey went well! I did the Bucharest to Budapest alone on another line, but am hoping my travel buddy will join me on the Viking cruise. I’ll have her read your very detailed and thoroughly enjoyable commentary and I’m sure she will be hooked. Thanks for taking the time to put together this wonderful report. 

🙋‍♀️Hello tobique33040!

Thank you so much for your sweet words about my "beautiful report." That's such a wonderful compliment.

It really was a fantastic cruise.. as you said you have seen those ports before and must have loved them too.

I hope your travel buddy says yes and you can visit again!

Thanks again and happy sails to you.😊

Link to comment
Share on other sites

in our experience it is the Aquavit terrace that has folks saving tables early in the evening for dinner.  What I disliked most about the restaurant was NO tables for 2.  I find it difficult eating with strangers for so many meals. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, deec said:

in our experience it is the Aquavit terrace that has folks saving tables early in the evening for dinner.  What I disliked most about the restaurant was NO tables for 2.  I find it difficult eating with strangers for so many meals. 

👋🏻Hi Deec!

I didn't notice that people saved the tables for lunch or dinner but I do agree that in the main restaurant it would be nice if there was a mix of tables for 2, 4 in addition to the usual 8 or 10.

If space was a problem then maybe they could set up some tables for 2 or 4 in the far end of the lounge just inside from the Aquavit terrace.

Sometimes you just want to sit and stare or have a quick bite and not feel like you are rushing everyone else at the table.

I also think that a buffet at lunch would lend more to this since everyone would be going and coming at different times.😊

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I had an issue in the Aquavit with a few couples saving the tables for two every night.  My husband and I ate at shared tables in the dining room every evening, but one night my group of friends and husband were off the ship and I wanted to try out the Aquavit by myself and enjoy a quiet table for two.  I got there exactly at 7pm and found that people had come earlier and draped their coats on the chairs to save the tables....they sauntered in closer to 7:30 and you could tell that this was their routine.  I felt this was against the spirit and congeniality of the river cruise....You could see that the servers were well aware that this was taking place but were in no position to intervene.  I've read various excuses on the board from couples who did this every night of the cruise (i.e.,my partner is hard of hearing, doesn't like to socialize, etc). I wonder if these couples stopped to think that others might want the same opportunity to enjoy a quiet table for two from time to time.....

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, wp bob said:

+very helpful. We are doing this late April 2024.

😊Thanks wp bob!  So glad my report was helpful.

You are going to have a fantastic time.. the ports were just so unusual and interesting.

Enjoy every moment!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, morneau said:

I had an issue in the Aquavit with a few couples saving the tables for two every night.  My husband and I ate at shared tables in the dining room every evening, but one night my group of friends and husband were off the ship and I wanted to try out the Aquavit by myself and enjoy a quiet table for two.  I got there exactly at 7pm and found that people had come earlier and draped their coats on the chairs to save the tables....they sauntered in closer to 7:30 and you could tell that this was their routine.  I felt this was against the spirit and congeniality of the river cruise....You could see that the servers were well aware that this was taking place but were in no position to intervene.  I've read various excuses on the board from couples who did this every night of the cruise (i.e.,my partner is hard of hearing, doesn't like to socialize, etc). I wonder if these couples stopped to think that others might want the same opportunity to enjoy a quiet table for two from time to time.....

👋🏻Hi morneau!

Interesting about the seating situation in the Aquavit.. unfortunately sounds more like a Middle School "popular table" lunch room than a river cruise that is usually marked by polite and congenial behavior as you so aptly stated.

We didn't encounter that as we only went there twice.. once we got a table and then the other time all of the tables were occupied.

As a fix it would be a positive if Viking could expand the tables for two into the adjoining part of the lounge.. that would help the situation.  I think every feels chatty at some meals and less chatty at others and it would be nice to have the choice of table size without having to "save seats."

Comment card fodder for me in the future.🙌🏻

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2023 at 3:26 PM, Sleep7 said:

Recovered from the "lard incident" we arrived back at the ship for a tasty lunch.

 

00-82qzCefrjPOP0EP8W0X1Ip5oRj-16P8b-K8ijSg6I1S_ZgJs5q7PxjXlyquIFvXiqCe7ffHDJpwno-pEcjtJnw?cn=THISLIFE&res=medium&ts=1699019860

As someone that does not consume unclean food...that is a difficult menu.  Glad to see they had something that wasn't pork or shell fish.  This is my fear on my upcoming trip, trying to find foods that are ok to eat. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really enjoyed your report.  Thank you so much.  I'm going with another company and doing Germany (Starting in Prague and embarking in Vilshofen) to Bucharest.  It was nice to see some of the places we will stop and your report really made me excited to be seeing these places.

 

Bless you. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2023 at 6:54 AM, Sleep7 said:

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.

 

 

Thank you for this.  Watching it right now.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...