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Old 09-28-2018, 04:13 PM
 
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> Fly in the day before the cruise departs.

For sure. Besides, both Amsterdam and Zurich are fun. Although Amsterdam more so.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
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My parents are taking us on that Viking cruise next year. We're coming into Switzerland five days early to muck around in the Alps a bit first and spending another four nights in Amsterdam afterwards. Viking charged another $150 per plane ticket on top of their usual bulk/discount airfares for letting us pick our flights and airports and come in before the date of departure, and it was still cheaper than buying our own tickets out of our small local airports that don't have a lot of competition.

The pre and post-cruise excursions Viking offers are kind of impressively overpriced. For Amsterdam, it's $1100 for 2 people and 2 nights in a four star hotel, a couple of hotel breakfasts, one walking tour and transfers from airport to hotel to ship that would not be much even if you took a cab instead of mass transit. Our DIY Amsterdam is four free hotel nights paid for by IHG Holiday Inn points (would normally run $225-250 or so per night because it's in a great location) and we figure we'll be far cheaper than the Viking option even with twice as much fun.

With Viking, you lose the included transfer if you're not flying in day of departure and not taking one of their excursions. As someone who is comfortable enough wrangling European mass transit options, I see that as not big deal.
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Old 10-04-2018, 11:30 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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If flying < 1 day early for cruise (bad idea), be SURE to tag your airline bags with the Cruise tags sent to you.

The ONLY time we lost our luggage was a 4 hr transfer to a cruise... (We had not tagged our airline bags with Cruise tags. That turned out bad / caused a lot of angst, grief, and delay. )
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Old 10-27-2018, 09:18 PM
 
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I did a Viking Rhine River cruise in June with my 80-year-old former neighbor. Viking arranged our plane travel to and from Europe, and only charged us $395 each round-trip from Seattle to Amsterdam, nonstop, then from Basel to Amsterdam and back to Seattle at the end of the trip. They picked us up and dropped us off at the airports. Couldn't have gone more smoothly.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:27 PM
 
2,095 posts, read 712,911 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
If he/she got that package thru expedia or some other third party, that's possible. If he/she got it thru the cruise line, I'm thinking your friend is misrepresenting the truth.

Regarding insurance: the BIG reason to buy travel insurance is to cover catastrophic medical expenses and medical evacuation. Your US medical insurance is highly unlikely to have any international benefit. Medicare - essentially nothing.

Usually, the medical travel insurance has some included coverage for cancellation, lost luggage travel delays, and other misc stuff. I have a pretty extreme view paying for that stuff: if you can't affordably to self insure and lose the cost of the vacation, you should be rethinking. You probably can't afford it.
I agree that the best justification for booking air through the cruise line is that they take responsibility of you get to the port too late to board the ship. I agree that the example cited earlier doesn't sound right.

Also agree that the major reason for travel insurance is medical and evacuation coverage. I'm on Medicare and I like clambering over mountains and snorkeling in 42-degree water. My exposure to loss from cancellation is pretty low; I fly Business Class on long hauls and that's fully refundable; so are most hotel bookings (except a few bargain pay-in-advance rates). Airbnb did keep $200 or so when I cancelled a booking a few months out because DH was too ill to travel, but that was manageable.

OTOH- cruises can get EXPENSIVE. I saw an ad for a luxury line (Ponant) cruise to Antarctica- $13,000 per person double occupancy, excluding airfare to/from Argentina. Not signing up for that one but you can bet I'd get cancellation insurance if I did.
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