From King Crab to Poi

In addition to our Instagram (@ClaynMike) I’ve started an “almost live” thread on CruiseCritic. Follow along if you’d like to join us on our b2b cruises to Alaska and Hawaii.


Oh well😢

Just got the letter below from Viking that our Hong Kong to Bangkok cruise is canceled. Disappointed but not surprised given the visa issues. Any ideas for something fun to do this fall?

Dear Viking Guest,

Thank you for choosing Viking for your upcoming voyage on board the Viking Orion.
While travel restrictions have eased in most destinations around the world, cruise travel remains complicated in some regions, particularly in Asia. We had hoped that by now traveling freely in the region would be possible; however, several of the countries along your itinerary remain closed to cruise travel, preventing us from sailing as scheduled.

We are contacting you today because you are currently booked on one of the departures that cannot be operated as planned, requiring that we make the difficult decision to cancel your voyage. We share deeply in your disappointment and offer our sincere apologies for these unavoidable circumstances.

A Future Cruise Voucher for 110%
We want to support you and protect your travel investment. Therefore, we are offering a 110% Future Cruise Voucher which you can use on any river, ocean or expedition voyage in 2022, 2023 or 2024. This voucher includes 100% of the monies paid to Viking, plus an additional 10% value. Additionally, any vouchers you may have applied to this booking have automatically been reinstated and are available for your immediate use.


We usually book cruises relatively last minute, but last week we realized that because we already had one cruise booked (October 2022 Hong Kong to Bangkok) that Viking Cruises would delay their usual one year in advance final payment to six months before. We have been planning to take their cruise from Reykjavik to Bergen to celebrate Mike’s 60th summer but hadn’t booked it because we didn’t want to tie up that much money for that long. They had been offering a $25 deposit promo in celebration of their 25th Anniversary but since final payment would be due in September 2022 we had elected to wait until after our October cruise.

But when we realized that we could book now and not pay the balance until January, we jumped. So now for the first time in a very long time we have two cruises on the books and for the first time two showing up in Viking’s online system, “My Viking Journey”. 😊

If you’d like to see pictures of where we are headed, follow us on Instagram: @ClayNMike. If you’d like to join us, drop me a line, the more the merrier.


Just got some good news from our travel agent. When we booked our Hong Kong to Bangkok cruise for this coming October we booked under a promo that provided a one category upgrade. So we paid a promo price for the lowest category and when I used the online “book it now” button was able to select a DV1 (highest DV Category) facing aft…alas, by the time I finished inputting the required information, the system said it was no longer available and we ended up with a DV2 on Deck 6-midship. Still not too shabby!

Week before last while looking to see how full the ship was, I saw that one DV1 had become available-and it was one of the wake facing ones. Emailed our travel agent, she could see it and so could her Viking rep but they couldn’t get the system to book it. They thought maybe the deep dive he had done to see which DV1 was left had locked the room up. Anyway, Clay looked again last week and it was still there. Emailed a friendly reminder to our agent and frankly we both had forgotten about it until just now at 10pm on a Sunday when she emails that it’s now ours! 😊😊😊

Now what will we do if they offer us a reasonably priced upgrade to a PV? Will be mighty hard to give up the wake views-haven’t had one since we went round the horn in 2010! As you can see if you go to our Instagram (@ClaynMike) it’s balcony is bigger than those on either port or starboard. We will be directly below the big infinity pool but based on reviews of this stateroom, that hasn’t been an issue for anyone.

Now just have to make sure the cruise doesn’t get canceled🤞

So we did a thing😉

After a year without having a trip booked we are looking forward to being back onboard Viking Cruises’ Orion in October. We will be boarding where we last left her in 2019 in Hong Kong and sailing to Bangkok. The 14 night itinerary includes several overnights in Vietnam as well as at one the end in Bangkok.

We had hoped to do a longer sailing from Athens to Bangkok and had been keeping an eye on it, but it’s close to sold out so when Mike got a promo email on Friday offering a discounted price, “free” air (let’s hope we can snag an exit row seat!), silver spirits package, and $500 shipboard credit for this cruise at about a quarter of what the longer cruise was going to cost we decided it was time to push the button as it seemed like too good a deal to pass up – so we didn’t!

Our plan is to stay an extra week after disembarking-two nights in Bangkok and then fly to Siem Reap for three nights to visit Angkor Wat before flying back to Bangkok for one night to catch our “free” flight home. Now we just have to hope the stars align and the cruise actually goes. 🤞

If you have independent excursion recommendations for Viet Nam and/or hotel recommendations in Bangkok or Siem Reap we are all ears!

As always, if you would like to follow along and see pictures, then follow us on Instagram @claynmike. It’s easy just install the app to follow my photos and videos.

30 Days!

This time a month from now we will be aboard Viking Sky to begin our cruise around Iceland. Just a reminder that due to storage issues, I won’t be posting much here but will be doing so on Instagram. Follow us over there if you want to see what we are up to! We are clayandmike


While we had said that we didn’t want to be guinea pigs and be on some of the first cruises, early today we booked our first cruise since our covid shortened transatlantic in March 2020.

We expected it would be sometime in 2022 before we went anywhere but yesterday Viking announced three circumnavigation of Iceland cruises.

After some quick research we determined that while certainly not inexpensive, compared to a land trip the cruise is a much better value (Iceland is really expensive!). So that left deciding if we want to deal with masks, Covid tests, temperature checks and the other procedures implemented to keep the sailing safe.

While we are worried they may negatively impact our trip we also think this short cruise will be a good test to see if traveling in this new normal is worth it. Figure it is better to find out now than on a longer cruise.

So on July 9th we take off for Iceland!

As noted before, I can’t post any pictures here anymore so I will be sharing our trip on Instagram. This link will take you there:

It’s Been A Year!

Hard to believe that it was a year ago that we were enjoying our first cocktail aboard Viking Sea. We thought we were headed to Europe through June until Lady Rona decided that wasn’t to be. 😢

Hope everyone is well and staying safe. We are both fine though bored. We aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine but it appears that our group in NC may start before the end of the month. 🤞. Mike’s mom Lois gets her second shot next week and several friends have already gotten both of theirs. First time since I was a tween that I wanted to be older!

Mike has been teaching himself to sew via YouTube with some assistance from our friend Linda in Chapel Hill and Gail in Montana-the joys of FaceTime! In addition to pillow covers for our sofa and bed throw pillows, he has now branched out to beach and tote bags. He made one to match the accent fabric in our guestroom. It is hanging in the closet waiting for guests to use it!

Clay is slowly taking up watercolors using the set Mike gave him for Christmas. Not as good as what I would like but better than expected! PracticePracticePractice!

I had intended to share photos of our new hobbies but there is not enough storage on WordPress for more photos 😢

Because of this storage issue, this will be my last blogpost unless I find a new place with larger storage capacity (or a cheaper price!)

So, I really hope you will consider following us on Instagram (@ClaynMike) or on Twitter (@RealClayClayton) where I will continue to post regularly and even more when we finally get to travel again!

Stay well and wear your mask!