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About Jchivers

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  1. zitsky, that's never been a problem (I have entered a room and seen all the loungers occupied....oh well, try again later.) Probably because they're inside the spa, where there's nothing else to do besides look out the window and doze...and no waiter service. And they're not comfortable for reading -- you're pretty much flat on your back. So people will get up and move on after 20 minutes, max.
  2. OMG...thermal loungers are The Bomb. They're raised beds, made of ceramic tile but s-shaped so they fit nicely against your body contours (but you do need a cushion, like a rolled-up towel, under your head). And internally heated. You lie back, gaze out the window at the ocean going by, and invariably fall asleep. The spas in Princess, HAL and X all have them so I assumed they were an industry standard. (Google any cruise line's spa description page and you'll probably see a picture.) This may be a deal-breaker.
  3. In my eight previous cruises (none on Viking) I've had one port cancelled - in Iceland, due to extreme fog. Is this something that happens more frequently on VO?
  4. So what do they do in ship's theater? Is that just for lectures? I appreciate your input, loge23. I think my preferred entertainment mix lines up a bit more closely with what Viking is offering, so I may be less bored than you. We'll see. (Nice to hear that the spa is (a) excellent and (b) included. The first thing we do on any other cruise line is buy a spa pass.)
  5. I must say that my image of VO has improved, and it's as much by the passion of the people here as it is by your stories. You guys seem so loyally attached that there has to be something there that I've got to see for myself! So, thanks for that.
  6. CCWineLover, thank you for that list! I'm 90% convinced that I would very much love it. (A few items on the list have me scratching my head, but to each their own.) I guess I need to try one and decide for myself! 🙂 btw, we have a Viking river cruise booked for next year -- our first ever river cruise -- but I'm sure that's a whole different animal.
  7. OK, that's a deal-breaker. I'm not going anywhere that I can't get a free t-shirt. [/sarcasm]
  8. Is there an app somewhere, where you can indicate all your choices and priorities -- like, weight the importance of food, service, price, nightlife, room size, rock-climbing walls... and it picks the ideal cruise line? If not, there should be! Our worst cruise experience was last year, on Celebrity, Alaska. The group next door would close the disco every night and then move the party to their balcony (which was of course immediately adjacent to ours and our bed), blasting music at 2:00 AM. It took us multiple complaints to get this sorted out. Maybe I'm stodgier than I'm willing to admit. 🙂
  9. SrCruizer - your activities list sounds perfect, and goes a long way to ease my concerns. We're also early-to-bed-early-to-rise types, but it's good to know that we can find music and dancing after dinner. It doesn't sound like we'd find karaoke or silent discos, though? My wife and I are 60-ish, but have no aversion to being around younger people. (We had a blue nose ceremony on our HAL Northern Europe cruise. Fun!)
  10. Thank you for the replies! More thoughts on Viking vs. the big mainstream lines: Good point about sea days -- that's a plus in Viking's favor, that they get into ports the big ships can't. (Although I do like to break up the bustle of port days with a sea day.) I agree about lectures being focused on the port's history/culture/natural features, and not the shopping. That's my least favorite thing about Princess, and something that I think Holland America does well. We actually spend very little time around the pool, so fighting for a lounger is never an issue. I'm a bit put off by Viking's casino/kids/formal nights policy ... I think those are all good things, in moderation. Photographers never bothered me. I wouldn't miss bingo. Trivia, though...I've got armloads of swag that I've won from shipboard trivia contests. :) One thing we love to do onboard is relax in the spa's thermal loungers, gazing out at the sea. So we're distressed to see that Viking puts their spa in the basement. Is there a line that's a step up from the mainstream with regards to service and quality, but still retains all the "fun"?
  11. My wife and I have done several cruises on HAL, Princess, and Celebrity; and we're seriously considering Viking for the first time for our next ocean cruise. We have friends -- that we met on a HAL cruise -- who have done 2 Vikings since then and love it. Looking at Viking's marketing materials, they seem to place an emphasis on service, food, shore excursions, enrichment programs and what they *don't* have: casino, kids, formal nights. Reading between the lines - does this mean they're a bit stodgy? What does one do for fun on a Viking sea day? Is there showroom entertainment? Music? Dancing? Bingo? Trivia games? Or is it all lectures and excellent service?
  12. I hadn't received any email notifications that there had been any updates to this thread in about 2 weeks, so I though the discussion had died out and haven't been back since then. Yow. You guys have been busy! Carry on. :)
  13. Very eloquently stated. I would also like to clarify that I don't think the passengers who choose to take advantage of these exclusive areas are guilty of elitism; I think my issue is with the cruise line that promotes the attitude.
  14. I'm gratified to have launched such a lively debate! (Even if I'm not drawing a lot of supporters to my side. :) ) And I do see both sides on this question. Trust me, I don't begrudge anyone their right to spend their money on whatever level of service they feel is worthwhile. I certainly do -- for me, a verandah is an absolute necessity. The issue for me is exclusivity. For the areas in question, you're not just paying for the larger room; you're paying to get into a space that others can't. To get the secret password. That's the part that "bugs me". I also suspect that if I ever decide to splurge on a suite and get that secret password, that I would enthusiastically join in and never look back. :) Edited to add: ScubesDad gets it...thank you. Although, fortunately, I don't think I've encountered anyone who flaunts their exclusive access -- it's just the existence of the venue. And I shall endeavor to not sweat the small stuff.
  15. I expected to be in the minority (my wife thinks I'm crazy :) ) I was just curious by how much. Like I said, I have no problem with getting a better room or better service or a better airline seat by paying more. The part that bothers me is the "nyah nyah...you can't come in" feature.
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