I was looking for a post like this when I was preparing for the cruise, so hopefully someone else will find this and be helped! Some of them are just general travel tips...This is the last of the cruise posts. Hope that you enjoyed them or that they at least had pretty pictures to look at!
Departure port consideration
Our vacation was from Berlin to Prague, but we didn't get on the boat in Berlin. It was a 2 hour bus ride from Berlin to Magdeburg where we got on the boat and where we (eventually) sailed from. It didn't feel like 2 hours because we drove about 40 minutes, spent at least 4 hours in Potsdam and then finished the drive to Magdeburg. However, another cruise that we were looking at another cruise that went from Paris to Prague, but the actual getting on the boat location was 4 hours away. Just something to think about!
"So where are you from?"
You'll get this question a lot, and some of those people will not be americans. Take a screenshot on your phone of the United States so you can point right to where your state is; it's easier than trying to explain it. Or else you'll have this conversation: "We're from Wisconsin....it's towards the top of the country, in the middle, parts of us touch Canada but there's a big lake on one side. Yep, lots of cows. Also that's where Harley Davidsons are made. And Jockey underwear. And Snap-on tools. Yep, lots of farms. No neither of us live on a farm we live in good sized cities." (okay you won't have that conversation unless you're from Wisconsin but you know what I mean)
On an unrelated note also this conversation a lot:
Person: So how did you guys meet?
W/Q: We're sisters actually. We're on a sister adventure.
Person: Oh how wonderful! Now that you say that you're sisters I can totally tell!
W/Q: We have the same fat cheeks (like the part under your eyes, we have the same ones. We look alike from the top of our eyebrows to the top of our cheeks.)
But then the customs girl at Vaclav Havel airport thought we were twins, which by now you've seen enough selfies of us to know that that is a) crazy talk b) insulting to Quinn.
Bring a converter
Viking is awesome because they have USB ports and American outlets in their rooms. However, at your pre and post cruise hotels, or at the airports, you probably won't be as lucky. My converter also has 2 USB ports. Handy when you're trying to charge camera batteries and phones and the like!
Also bring: thank you notes, a few plastic bags (ziploc-esque and grocery), a couple business cards, a cheap backup pair of earbuds
Don't bring fancy shoes
Viking has a reputation for being pretty casual, not like ocean cruises that have formal nights that include suits and cocktail dresses. And when I say casual I mean at the minimum, the shirt you're wearing should be clean and have sleeves. I was at dinner in jeggings and a black old navy tshirt with a statement necklace and didn't look out of place at all. The captain's dinner is a little bit nicer, I wore a maxi dress (I packed a lot of dresses, so it wasn't like I packed it especially for this occasion). So, one or two slightly nicer options with non-flip flop sandals and you will be good to go. Leave the heels at home (too many cobblestones anyway)! I brought my Tom's but barely wore them, I lived in these crocs (shockingly cute and incredibly comfortable, even with my high arches) and these Aerosoles (comfortable, but a little less suited if you're walking on dramatic cobblestones due to the thinner sole).
Also don't bring: more than one scarf, more than 3 pairs of shoes, too much jewelry, your own toiletries (if you know the ship will have quality ones and your hair or skin won't rebel)
Make some change
I got money converted at my local bank before going overseas. Everyone says that this isn't the best rate, but I thought it was reasonable. Also, I'm paranoid so I didn't want to show up and all of the airport ATMS are broken or something. When you land and are at the airport, buy something. Something cheap, just to get some change jingling in your pocket.It's piece of mind in case you need to use a public restroom that is "pay to pee".
Currency converter cheat sheet
I made 2 indexes cards for Quinn and I. They were both little tables about how much x amount of foreign currency was in American dollars. If you're math challenged like we are, it's a good way to keep from keeping your money situation under control so you don't end up paying more money for something then you thought. This was particularly helpful in Prague!
There are many posts out there that will talk about what clothes you should pack for any situation, and I'm generally not the most streamlined packer so I will not offer too many tips about that!
If you've got questions feel free to contact me about packing or the cruise feel free to contact me!
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