Taking a leap of faith

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Viking Ocean
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#1
2,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
So it looks like we will be taking our first VO cruise next year, the Dec 16th Mid Atlantic crossing on the Viking Sun.

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all those that have answered the many "Why should I?" threads, I honestly looked at Cunard and Seabourn as well, but for a number of reasons (but a big part is no ship photographers....I could tell you stories about my interactions with them LOL) VO seems to be "talking to me".

As most of the questions I had seem to have been answered (thank you again) I really only have one question (for now)...

Does VO do anything special for Christmas ????

Don't ask me how, but it has suddenly dawned on me that an 11 day cruise leaving on Dec 16th would mean we are on board on Christmas day
#2
chicago area
121 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
We haven't been on a Viking Ocean ship at Christmas but have been on a Rivers cruise twice. They certainly do add some festive touches to the day but it is not crazy "over the top". On our Portugal cruise the crew donned costumes and sang traditional English Christmas carols for us (they were mostly Portuguese speaking and practiced hard to learn the songs in English) After a very nice dinner that featured some very old and very fine port (it was Portugal after all!) "Santa" handed out a small gift to every passenger! It was touching that they put so much time and effort in making the holiday special for us ... especially when you consider they were away from their homes and families as well!

Last year on the Danube Waltz cruise the ship made a special stop on Christmas Eve so that passengers could attend a midnight mass in a beautiful cathedral on the top of a hill overlooking the river (sorry can't remember the name). It was a lovely experience! Christmas night there was a special dinner and I think some holiday music in the lounge as well.

Not sure what they will do on the Ocean but I'm sure they will make it special!
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#3
Boston MA
5,998 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
We are on board the NYE 2016 and it was a busy holiday week. The ship was decked in pine, holly and ornaments. While we were not on board for December 25, we did hear that there was a Christmas service on board.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
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The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





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#4
1,604 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
I wondered if they 'step up' the wine offering (as they did with the Port on Rivers) on Christmas and NYE, or if it was standard offerings and only during meals?
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#5
2,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Well I have come across my first disappointment.....

And it is a small one and something that I have with every cruise line except the super high end ones.

I was looking at the Silver drinks package, my wife drinks, I cannot, not as in I don't drink, as in I cannot thanks to a couple of the medications I have to take to keep my heart ticking along.

Of course to purchase the Silver drinks package for her I have to pay for myself as well, which is just flushing money down the drain for me, I held out a small hope that Viking would be different in that regard, but they have the same policy as the other lines.

Of course this will in no way, shape or form affect our planned cruise and the fact that Viking is still so darn attractive to me for many reasons.
#6
New Hampshire
484 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
In your case one person, your wife, buying occasional individual cocktails and/or glasses of premium wines should not be too expensive. Your wife can also bring aboard bottles and have them served to her without problem.
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#7
Rhode Island
589 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Before you purchase the package, check out the drink prices. They are so reasonable that it may be more economical for her to just purchase her drinks.
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Jean
#8
San Diego
65 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by jetwet1
Well I have come across my first disappointment.....

And it is a small one and something that I have with every cruise line except the super high end ones.

I was looking at the Silver drinks package, my wife drinks, I cannot, not as in I don't drink, as in I cannot thanks to a couple of the medications I have to take to keep my heart ticking along.

Of course to purchase the Silver drinks package for her I have to pay for myself as well, which is just flushing money down the drain for me, I held out a small hope that Viking would be different in that regard, but they have the same policy as the other lines.

Of course this will in no way, shape or form affect our planned cruise and the fact that Viking is still so darn attractive to me for many reasons.
There is no corking charge. Maybe BYOB is a better solution? You can also stop at the Duty Free store at the airport.
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#9
Boston MA
5,998 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by aquidneck1
Before you purchase the package, check out the drink prices. They are so reasonable that it may be more economical for her to just purchase her drinks.
And, after you check out the drink prices and you decide that having her on the drink package would be to your advantage, you can talk to Viking directly and ask if they make exceptions to the rule. It doesn't hurt to ask. Write to [email protected].

Remember in your calculations that: coffee (not including those made with liquor) and tea are free, even if you get them from the bar; soft drinks at meals are free and there are cans of soda in your mini-bar; house wines and beers at lunch and dinner are free; Viking has a very liberal BYO policy (anything potable) and no corkage fee in the dining rooms. Bar prices include a tip.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#10
New York
8,277 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
This is just a guess, but noticing how all cruise lines are bending over backwards to accommodate passengers' dietary limitations -- you might be able to get a waiver of the 2-passenger drink package requirement if you mention your health issues.
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#11
1,604 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by Host Jazzbeau
This is just a guess, but noticing how all cruise lines are bending over backwards to accommodate passengers' dietary limitations -- you might be able to get a waiver of the 2-passenger drink package requirement if you mention your health issues.
And I am guessing that you could get a note from your doctor? Maybe ask them if you had that would they accept your request?
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#12
2,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by aquidneck1
Before you purchase the package, check out the drink prices. They are so reasonable that it may be more economical for her to just purchase her drinks.
I am not to fussed about it either way, it normally works out to being roughly the same as getting a drinks package, I am just one of those people that likes to have as much payed up front as possible.


Originally posted by OneSixtyToOne
There is no corking charge. Maybe BYOB is a better solution? You can also stop at the Duty Free store at the airport.
We will be flying LA-London, spending the night there, then flying down to Lisbon, maybe we can find something in Lisbon.

Originally posted by Host Jazzbeau
This is just a guess, but noticing how all cruise lines are bending over backwards to accommodate passengers' dietary limitations -- you might be able to get a waiver of the 2-passenger drink package requirement if you mention your health issues.
I will shot them an email, I have to anyways thanks to the low sodium diet

Originally posted by Vineyard View
And I am guessing that you could get a note from your doctor? Maybe ask them if you had that would they accept your request?
Not a bad idea, I will fire off an email to them.

As I said, it's not a deal breaker for me, spending a couple of hundred $ extra isn't worth causing a headache about considering the total cost of this adventure.
#13
1,604 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Hope it works out for you.

Either way, you have the right attitude, and that is the best way to go into your vacation....because I bet it will be amazing!
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#14
Arizona
126 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
We were recently on a Viking Ocean cruise and one of the couples traveling with us had the same situation as yours- spouse is medically unable to drink alcohol. The beverage manager on board (I think it was that person) spoke with the couple and an arrangement was made for the spouse who wanted beverages offered through the package.
#15
2,760 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by Vineyard View
Hope it works out for you.

Either way, you have the right attitude, and that is the best way to go into your vacation....because I bet it will be amazing!
Thanks.

I have to be a little bit honest here, it's one of the things that annoys the hell out of me about cruise critic (but I haven't come across it on the VO forum), people spend $3-4-5k on a cruise, then lose their minds over a policy a line has, that may end up costing them an extra $100......If you can't afford to spend $100 without having a breakdown, why are you spending $3-4-5k in the first place ?


Originally posted by Krisval
We were recently on a Viking Ocean cruise and one of the couples traveling with us had the same situation as yours- spouse is medically unable to drink alcohol. The beverage manager on board (I think it was that person) spoke with the couple and an arrangement was made for the spouse who wanted beverages offered through the package.
Thank you, at least they are willing to listen it seems, as I said, I will drop them a line once we are 100% set on the trip, if they can do something, great, if not, no worries.