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About Richard2

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  1. So if you take the time to enter the CC information for a popular excursion to avoid losing it while you select others, you run the risk of having other excursions close because of the time you took to enter information for the first one. Ridiculous. Booking excursions should not require gamesmanship. In any case, thanks everyone for the replies. Guess I'll have to be using a card that I don't want to use.
  2. When excursions are booked, when is your credit card charged? I have an unusual problem. The credit card listed on my account on My Viking Journey had fraudulent use this morning. It has been cancelled and I will receive a new credit card in about 5 days. However, in two days, I can go online and book excursions for my next cruise. I don't want any chance of my excursion selections being cancelled because the charges were not accepted. Does anyone know if I have to go to MVJ and put in another card that I really do not want to use, or can I book the excursions and just wait until a few days later to put in the new number for the card I prefer? Thanks.
  3. If you logon to My Viking Journey, use the "Help" link to "Top 10 Questions," you will see "When Can I Book Shore Excursions." It lists the number of days in advance of sailing for each cabin category, with the footnote that on that date, excursions open: at 12:01 PM Pacific Time, 3:01 PM Eastern Time, 8:01 PM GMT, 7:01 AM AEST and 9:01 AM NZST
  4. One strategy is to go slightly off-season. We did Mediterranean Odyssey the first week of April. In Dubrovnik, the guide mentioned that in three or four weeks the open areas we were walking in would be totally packed with people.
  5. Rawmac: Thank you for this. I would have liked to have said it, but you said it better. Excursions are by far the weak point in the VO product. They are all too frequently entirely inconsistent with how VO advertises itself: "The Thinking Person's Cruise." Viking is a big organization. Torstein Hagen has a wonderful vision for VO, but he can't be everywhere. The management of the excursions is undermining the rest of the product, and as you say, the problem is high up the corporate ladder, not with the staff on the ships.
  6. The World Cafe does not open for dinner until 6. When it first opens, I've never seen it other than almost empty. When two people "claim" a table for six, you ought to ask whether they are holding chairs for someone, but otherwise, most people do that because they are looking to socialize. If they want privacy, joining them is a a good way for them to quickly learn that a table for six is not the way to do it.
  7. I have to agree. We are very happy with VO cruises, but I don't think there is any disputing the fact that too many of the included tours are low quality, mass-market events, entirely inconsistent with Vikings price and advertising. My wife and I generally stay 3-4 days in the embarkation and debarkation cities on our own before and after the cruises. In most cities, we can book small group (8-12 people) tours for something like $60 per person that do an excellent job for 6-8 hours. This is the retail cost of booking as an individual. Using this as a basis of comparison, if Viking is spending $15 per person on some of these drive-by bus tours, they are overpaying. There are places where tours for 900 people can be difficult. There are places were it should be better.
  8. What evidence do you have that you needed to do this at 3 am? I've been on 4 VO cruises, in PV cabins. I've never gone online to book excursions or restaurants before 7 am on the day bookings opened for me, and I've never been unable to get exactly what I wanted. It may (or may not) be the same for DV cabins, but perhaps you are basing the need to do this at 3 am on assumptions or anxiety rather than on how the system actually works out? I don't think it is a good idea to generalize on the basis of individual stories that get discussed on Cruise Critic. This kind of open forum attracts complaints. It is not a random sample.
  9. My issue is that the events were only at 9:15. Some, like the Captain's Welcome, might need to be done only once. Others, like ABBA and Beatles shows, should be done also at an earlier time. I agree that this would vary with port intensive cruises, but we had only 9:15 shows on a transatlantic crossing - 11 nights on board with 8 sea days.
  10. The schedule that Little Monty shows near the top of this thread, with two ABBA shows - one at 6:30 and one at 9:15 - is not the way it was done on the Lisbon - Miami crossing on the Viking Sun last week. All shows were at 9:15 only. This did not fit our schedule at all and was very disappointing. I'm also surprised is see that it is not consistent across ships. One of Vikings best features is consistency.
  11. When we book a Viking Ocean cruise, we get a document from Viking entitled "Guest Statement." The first page has your booking number, room, deposit, and balance due. Page 2 lists the cancellation refund policy. Page 3 of this statement gives the full itinerary for each day, with port arrival and departure times, and an indication of whether it will be at the dock or by tender. There are many reasons why these may change during your cruise - we've see a port pilot arriving late, weather delays, the presence of another ship requiring Viking to switch from docking to tendering, weather requiring an earlier departure, weather requiring skipping a port altogether.
  12. Richard2

    Vking Sun

    As deec points out, the "pool grill" and the "pool bar" are two separate locations on the pool deck. The pool bar is a bar. The alternative dining location is the pool grill. It is open for lunch whether or not the roof is retracted (i.e., in all weather conditions). Outdoor dining on the Aquavit Terrace of the World Cafe is closed when the weather is poor.
  13. Richard2

    Vking Sun

    No, it's open. It's just not "outdoor dining."
  14. Richard2

    Vking Sun

    The outdoor dining is called the Aquavit Terrace, which is simply the outdoor extension of the World Cafe on Deck 7. If you choose to sit there, you use the same buffet as the World Cafe, with the same staff. It was not open for most of the recent Lisbon-Miami crossing because of weather.
  15. Richard2

    Vking Sun

    No, it was not, but maybe next time it will be. The key issue for an Atlantic crossing is that the seas and weather are unpredictable. Actually, it is unpredictable everywhere. On our Into the Midnight Sun trip, we had many days in northern Norway where we could have a meal on the Aquavit Terrace without a coat.
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