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Sunflower & The Scientist

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  1. Sunflower & The Scientist

    One service Viking is lacking

    We used imessaging as it is free with wifi, but of course you have to have an iPhone. We sent text a lot onboard, back and forth to each other and back home to kids with iphones. Wifi drops you constantly, so we had to keep checking and get back on otherwise we missed messages. I agree it would be nice to have texting onboard between phones that are not iphones.
  2. Sunflower & The Scientist

    British Isles Explorer Anyone?

    We are looking at British Isles Explorer and I'm having problems finding any reviews on it. It looks like an amazing itinerary. Anyone been on this?
  3. Sunflower & The Scientist

    Same as Viking?

    Children: Gotta love them, and sometimes there aren't many of them onboard other lines, but seriously the atmosphere that Viking has created in their quiet spaces just won't work with children. We were in the "quiet lounge" at the airport and they told us at the desk when we enquired about them notifying us of flight changes, to be aware this was strictly a quiet lounge. HA! It was quiet until a family with a few children came in. It only takes one feral child to destroy what you paid a whole lot of money to enjoy. My thoughts are...if you wanted to take children, why would you want to take them on Viking...there is nothing kid oriented. Like a child wants to be served a cup of coffee in the Atrium and curl up with a good book while the lovely string ladies are playing beautiful music? Casinos: So right, there is nothing worse than walking to the theater and being hit with smoke spilling out into the hallway from the casino. I must say however, on Orion, floor 7 elevators are located by the door that leads out to the deck where the smoking area is. VERY frequently we hit the elevators there plumes of smoke hit us. I am so thankful cruise lines no longer allow smoking on verandas.
  4. Sunflower & The Scientist

    Same as Viking?

    Thanks for the info Jim...we've been looking and couldn't come up with any. We are looking at the British Isles and Viking appears to have an incredible itinerary, but we thought we'd look at all the options. Was it you who recently wrote about Walmart with Golden Corral and feral children? We love that! Orion was our best cruise EVER and we both say a lot of it was due to no kids! We love them...just want to leave them home!
  5. Sunflower & The Scientist

    Same as Viking?

    Just a question...loved Viking ship... 1) No children (We like kids don't get us wrong, but sure like how quiet Viking ships are.) 2) No casino 3) No incessant sales pitches over loud speakers 4) Small ship, no floating city ...can you name more ships that offer these things as well?
  6. Sunflower & The Scientist

    No word of compensation yet...

    Let me make a few clarifications. We did not hear anyone onboard say they thought Viking was legally responsible to give compensation, nor do we believe that...please do not misunderstand. It was Viking who immediately said they were going to compensate us, not anyone demanding compensation. There were many other issues which caused people to be upset over what happened. Without writing a long response, in short what we heard discussed was a lot regarding attitudes. Yes, there are those who are questioning the decision to miss the two ports, but I will not go there as I do not know enough about that to speak to it. But I was present at different times to hear responses from those doing "damage control" and can speak to their attitudes. The cruise director told a woman who said she had really wanted to go to Hobart, that no Melbourne was much better and it was better to go there. Seriously, his attitude was not good! The assistant cruise director a short time later was in Guest Services and gave a very nasty response to someone asking about lecture schedule changes due to port changes. He was very rude. The only times I really ever saw these two talking with cruisers they weren't nice about the issues. Bad PR. When the Captain gave the announcement he said he was sorry for the inconvenience of missing the ports. Missing ports is not an inconvenience...it's a loss you don't regain. Not well put on his part and I heard some really negative comments regarding that. We were told that they were going to schedule more excursions for Melbourne since we would be there two days. We went to Guest Services to ask about booking one and were clearly told, along with all the others in line, that those would not be released until the next morning, so to return in the morning. We all ask if there was any other way to make sure we got an additional excursion and they said no. The line was long the next morning, everyone waiting...only to have them tell us that they had actually released the added excursions at midnight and they were sold out during the night. Made no sense to any of us since they had clearly told us this could not happen! So again...these points are about how they handled the entire situation, not just the loss of two ports. We heard time and time again from fellow cruisers that Viking was really not well prepared for this new cruise route. Very true. We agree that OBC would have been much better, but that still only compensates those who will be sailing with Viking again.
  7. Sunflower & The Scientist

    Counter / table space in DV cabin (flowers)

    Can't speak to anything with Viking except for NZ and Australia, but their rules are very strict there. Viking cannot even serve bananas when in port! I asked about certain food items and they said depending on where they were they were not allowed to have them...can't remember exactly what now though. They make announcements every port about taking things off or on. We were even questioned about our shoes if we had any dirt on them from visiting a farm. Obviously every country is different.
  8. Sunflower & The Scientist

    Counter / table space in DV cabin (flowers)

    We had a PV which has a huge amount of counter space. I saw in DV rooms, and as you describe, there appeared to be a small table by the balcony wall, but is was small. You could probably put flowers there depending on all the other things that need counter space. If it was small it could go on a night stand. I do not know where you are going, but it is unlikely you can bring any flowers onboard.
  9. Sunflower & The Scientist

    No word of compensation yet...

    Immediately after posting I received an email from Viking with the compensation...and as expected it is a $250 per person discount on our next Viking cruise. If the conversations I heard on board still hold true....there's quite a few people who are not happy.
  10. Sunflower & The Scientist

    Noise from laundrette?

    Interesting question...we were concerned as our room (deck 5) on deck plan appeared to be directly across from laundry on Orion. We were told by Viking rep. on phone with our TA that the entrance into laundry was not a direct door, but rather kind of an offshoot hall so you would not hear people coming and going out of laundry. In reality….our room was no where near the laundry entrance although that is the way it appeared on deck plan. The Viking rep however was incorrect, the door into laundry was directly across from staterooms. I used the laundry room A LOT...so was in and out of there many, many times. I was so thankful our room was not across from it!!! It was heavily used, and although I do not recall the door causing any noise issues, there were people coming and going from that room constantly. During morning cleaning hours, and evening cleaning hours...often the cleaning cart was parked there as well. It was very crowded coming and going out of laundry.
  11. Sunflower & The Scientist

    No word of compensation yet...

    I see Little Monty has already posted a review of Orion NZ/Australia Dec. 30...and I can't wait to read it. I'm working on a review...hopefully information will be of interest especially if you are headed in that direction. Soooo.....has anyone from the cruise been contacted regarding the compensation yet? "....and immediately upon your return home, you will be contacted by our customer relations team with an offer of compensation." I'm not clear on what "immediately" means and what to expect, but we haven't received any information yet.
  12. Sunflower & The Scientist

    What is disembarkation day like on Viking ?

    "Over-amplified floating Walmart and Golden Corral, with feral children running loose on the ship." This totally cracked me up....how well put! You will LOVE Viking because it is the opposite of this.
  13. Sunflower & The Scientist

    What is disembarkation day like on Viking ?

  14. Sunflower & The Scientist

    On Orion now

    This is our first Viking and we really like the ship and quickly decided it may be hard to go back to any other line, but this morning we may change our minds! They have organizational issues which are disappointing. We’ve had 5 sea days so far instead of the two we should have had at this time. They are overnighting us and thus adding more excursions. We were told last night they would open those this morning. We arrived early to find they had actually opened them at midnight and people booked them all night long so many were already closed. Room rank no longer exists when onboard and no notifications are made. Some people received information at their doors others did not so only selected people knew. Some people just camped out to wait during night. There is a high demand for gym equipment which is logical. One bike has been broken for 3 days. We asked about repair and no one knows. Pool is closed. Starting to go a little crazy as not much to do physically. Can’t walk the track, it’s closed. Yesterday when they announced we would skip Hobart we heard one of their people going through trying to tell everyone all was well, we wouldn’t have liked Hobart anyway Melbourne would be much better. That did NOT set well! He was curt and seriously had an attitude. We know the places we wanted to go, don’t tell us we didn’t really want to go there. We were checking on changes in lectures since they announced a change. The assistant director with a horrible attitude said that was not true. We said it had been announced. He said he was the assistant director and would know.....let’s just say In not so nice a way. Well, he was wrong they had made the change. We love so many things and were so happy initially on our cruise, but the happiness ratings are rapidly falling. We are hearing it everywhere. People are unhappy. Last night I saw an attempt to do damage control by handing out a lot of wine in the atrium. We were not impressed. Sadly viking needs to get themselves together before adding the massive amounts of ships they announced last night. They were sadly totally unprepared for this cruise and what happens in this part of the world that is routine. They said they would compensate us once home. Does anyone have any idea what this means. If it’s an offer on money off of our next Viking cruise I’m going to be very unhappy!!!!
  15. Sunflower & The Scientist

    Crossing the Tasman Sea

    Was going to wait until we got home to post, but I see Monty is updating so I’ll chime in. We understand safety we’re on board and don’t want something bad to happen, but quite frankly we don’t get it. My husband was just saying, we knew this was new to Viking, but they really were totally unprepared for this. The Tasman is known for this, I have been sick (with great apologies to our room attendant for last night before meds kicked in) really sick, but I expected to be!! I came prepared for this. The seas are not THAT bad. Christchurch is a total mystery. Some people were on phone with Christchurch cancelling excursions and they could not understand they said there weren’t weather issues. The two previous poets they said we barely got in. This has got us confused. First time on Viking. We love the ship, the service, the food is good, but they really do not have their act together yet on ocean cruises. Will write mire later.