PART 1 – GETTING THERE
We had been investigating a Viking River Cruise in Europe for a while, but decided they were just too expensive. However, Fred was able to find a really….REALLY….good deal, and we snatched it up. We were scheduled for November 5 – November 20, 2015.
Our flight was scheduled for departure on Thursday, November 5, at 4:20 p.m., but it was delayed until 5:06 p.m. with mechanical problems. We finally boarded the plane hoping to leave soon. The plane started to back out but the pilot said the engines were doing the same thing they were doing before, so he took it back to the terminal. Fred checked with the Delta people, and they said our connection in Detroit would wait for us.
We were delayed again when we entered the plane and then deplaned a third time. Fred then checked with the international Delta people and they got us on a Lufthansa leaving for Frankfurt, Germany at about 8:20 p.m. – about 20 minutes from then! That was four hours after we were originally scheduled to leave. They said our flight from Detroit would NOT have waited that long for us. We had been given some really bad information. We were also quite glad we had carried all our luggage with us!
After arriving in Frankfurt on Friday morning, we boarded another Lufthansa to Amsterdam. We finally arrived in Amsterdam about 2:30 p.m. Fortunately, the Viking people were there picking up other late-arriving guests. They thought we had decided to cancel, and just not come. We took a Viking bus to the ship, the Viking Gefjon (pronounced gef’- ee-on) and found our state room, number 325.
These ships are called “long ships” for a good reason!
After a late lunch buffet in the Aquavit Lounge Terrace,
we rested some, then tried to email but had no success with that. They had a computer station, but the laptops were “International” versions, with some of the keys rearranged, and with international symbols that we weren’t accustomed to. It was a bit nerve-wracking to try to type any kind of message!
We had no time to take in anything in Amsterdam, much to our regret. However, we have been to Amsterdam many times during our times living in Germany, so we didn’t feel too cheated.
The Chef’s Dinner was in the restaurant. There is only one restaurant on board, and all meals are eaten there, and together. Most tables are set for six people, with a few large enough for eight or 10. Our table mates that evening were from Tucson, Arizona, and from Pennsylvania. There was no assigned seating, and we were able to meet quite a few of our fellow shipmates during the cruise. After we had ordered our meal, Fred left the ship and quickly went to a corner store to get some items we couldn’t carry on the airplane.
We went to bed early, as it had been a long day.
Oh and by the way, as I was getting off the last flight in Amsterdam, overloaded with bags, overbalanced and fell getting off the airplane and into the jetway. So far, no lingering effects from that.