A Look Around the Viking Star Cruise Ship

by Janis on April 11, 2016

View from the Viking Star cruise shipWhat a view from the Viking Star as the cruise ship sails into the port of Pula, Croatia. Our friends Steve and Tom are sailing on this ship for 50 days throughout Europe from Istanbul to Stockholm.

This 930-guest ship from Viking Ocean Cruises is about one year old. An identical ship, the Viking Sea, just joined the fleet, while the Viking Sky, a third sister ship, will join the fleet in 2017

Dinner in The Restaurant, Viking Star cruise shipShown above having dinner in The Restaurant, Steve (left) and Tom are loving the contemporary, Scandinavia-inspired design of the Viking Star. Steve has shared photos of some of their favorite spots on the ship.

Wintergarden, Viking Star, Viking Ocean CruisesThe Wintergarden is an elegant lounge space that features a canopy of trellised wood inspired by nature. You can enjoy afternoon tea here, or relax with a book.

Explorer's Lounge, Viking Star, Viking Ocean Cruises This bar is part of the two-story Explorer’s Lounge located at the front of the ship. With sweeping views through tall wrap-around windows, it is the perfect spot to watch the ship sail into port.  Around the corner is Mamsen’s, the all-day deli where you can enjoy Scandinavian-inspired treats ranging from pastries such as Kringle and Kanelbolle to split pea soup and assorted Norwegian open-faced sandwiches called smørbrød.

Viking Star cruise ship The well-designed Viking Star cruise ship features many quiet spots among in public spaces, perfect for meeting up with friends, or enjoying the views.

Atrium, Viking Star cruise ship The Viking Star centers around three-level Atrium, with classical music on the bottom floor, surrounded by the Viking Living Room.

Viking Heritage museum, Viking Star cruise ship The ship has a Viking Heritage exhibit that includes replicas of tools and clothing from the Viking Age. Guests can do a test to determine if they have Viking DNA.

The Theater, Viking Star cruise shipEntertainment options include production shows and lectures in the single-level showroom simply called The Theater. The cah

Torshavn, Viking Star cruise shipAlternatively, Steve and Tom are enjoying the intimate cabaret shows like the Rat Pack Revisited at the Torshavn lounge.

fitness center, Viking Star cruise shipTo keep it shape, there is a fully-equipped fitness center on the Viking Star.

Post workout, you can head to The Spa for a massage or facial.

Thermal pool in the Spa, Viking Star cruise shipOr, take a dip into the thermal pool. If you want a true Norwegian experience, the ship features a complimentary hot sauna, followed by a few minutes in the Snow Grotto area filled with chilled air and gentle snowfall. (No word if Steve or Tom have tried the Snow Grotto.)

Wrap-around Promenade , Viking Star cruise ship We’d probably opt for walking laps around the 360 degree Promenade on Deck 2. Every 4 laps around the ship equals 1 mile.

Thanks again to Steve Dutton for sharing these photos of the Viking Star.

We can’t wait to explore this ship in person.

Have you sailed on the Viking Star or the brand new Viking Sea? What was your favorite spot? Please share in comments below. 

Photo tours of other cruise ships that you might want to check out:

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Travel Tips for People with Disabilities

by Janis on April 6, 2016

This is a guest post by Rebecca Moore. 

traveling with disabilitiesDo you dream of a life filled with travel and adventure? Many people do, but most don’t pursue that goal for various reasons: kids, jobs, money, and the like. If you have a disability, you might be tempted to close the curtain on your dream of exploring the world due to your physical or cognitive limitations. But you don’t have to close that window of opportunity due to your disability; there are many people with significant disabilities who continue to explore the world using some savvy travel tips.

Always Plan Ahead

You know what accommodations you require for your disability better than anyone. Planning ahead – always planning for worst-case scenarios and having a backup plan whenever possible – can mean the difference between a frustrating trip and an adventure that you can enjoy.

Call all travel providers well in advance to inform them about your disability and explain what accommodations you need. This allows airlines and other travel providers to make sure that any equipment or help is readily available to you on travel day.

Get Clearance from Your Physician and Buy Travel Insurance

It’s always a good idea to get a physical from your healthcare provider and explain the nature of your travel plans. Your physician can give you the go-ahead to take the trip or let you know about any health conditions or other concerns that may prevent you from making the trip.

Additionally, your physician can write a letter explaining your disability and any other medical conditions, provide a list of your prescription medications, and even write special prescriptions to ensure that you have an ample supply of any medications you might need throughout your trip. Finally, getting a travel insurance policy will cover many healthcare needs should you need to visit a doctor or hospital during your trip.

Choose the Right Luggage

The right luggage makes all the difference, particularly for people with disabilities. Make sure your luggage meets airline requirements for physical dimensions and weight, and pack carry-on luggage that you can fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment. Take any medications, documents, and other essentials – or at least a several-day supply – in your carry-on bags in case your checked luggage is lost.

Choose Hotels in the Most Accessible Areas

hotel roomA hotel that is able to meet your needs is a must, but this will make little difference in the outcome of your trip if getting anywhere outside your hotel proves next to impossible. Select a hotel based not only on the accommodations they offer but also on its location.

Easy access to accessible transportation, for example, will help you explore the area you’re visiting without spending valuable time trying to find a way to get from point A to point B. Access Hotels is a great resource for finding wheelchair-accessible hotels and hotels with other accommodations.

Learn About Your Destination and Plan Routes and Activities

Doing a little investigative work before you arrive at your destination can pay off and save you hours of time during your trip. If you have specific activities you want to participate in or sights you’d like to see, plan out the best possible route for navigating these areas.

You can also select the activities you want to experience based on how accommodating they are for your specific disability. For instance, if you’re interested in taking a guided tour, look at the tour company’s website and call to discuss what options they offer to make the experience enjoyable for you. If you’re not sure where you’d like to go but are looking for an exciting adventure, look for information on the most-accessible travel destinations.

Don’t let your disability prevent you from exploring the world. By using a few savvy travel strategies, you can visit just about any location no matter your disability.

What strategies and tips can you add for traveling with disabilities? Please share in comments below.

Rebecca Moore, the author of this article, is currently studying health information science. She created AbleRise.net with a friend with the ultimate goal of fostering community mechanisms for seamless acceptance and assistance for those coping with any measure of disability.

You may also want to check out these related posts:

What is Necessary to Travel by Plane with an Emotional Support Dog

Flying Internationally from the U.S. with Diabetic Medications and Supplies

Our #1 Strategy for Staying Healthy When Traveling

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Dining at The Chef’s Table on the Viking Star Cruise Ship

April 5, 2016

Doesn’t this Spicy Tuna Tataki look delicious? It’s the first course of a multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings at The Chef’s Table, one of the alternative dining experiences on the 930-guest Viking Star cruise ship from Viking Ocean Cruises. Our friends Ken and Fred are sailing on the Viking Star cruise ship throughout Europe, from Istanbul […]

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Good News For U.S. Citizens Visiting Argentina

March 29, 2016

The Andes. Malbac wines. Incredible steaks. Hospitable people. Fine leather goods. Empanadas.  These are just a few reasons we’ve found Argentina a wonderful country to visit. Now there is another good reason to plan your trip to Argentina. U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa to visit Argentina for tourist stays of 90 days or […]

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