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About CDNPolar

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Viking Ocean and Viking River
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Europe and Aisia

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56 profile views
  1. We have always heard people say that Viking Ocean and River are similar but you cannot compare them. I don't even think they are similar. What we like about River cruising with Viking is that the ship experience is relaxed and very intimate. You only have really the lounge to go to (indoor) if you are not in the dining room or up on an outside deck. This is kind of like retiring to your living room after dinner. You can segregate yourselves if you want, but in most cases you get to know a lot of people on the River cruise. Entertainment is very different on River - sometimes they will bring on board entertainment for one night but often it is the crew that are entertaining you. Dining is only the restaurant and the Aquavit Terrace and set times for each meal. No room service at all. River cruising is just calm. Calm and serene. Cruising the river is like gliding with no real "motion" and just very relaxing to watch the beautiful scenery flow past you as you sit on deck or in the lounge. Ocean on Viking takes you to 930 guests which is why we like Viking Ocean. We don't like the big ships with 3000+ people - too noisy and too many people. On Viking Ocean you can find a seat anywhere on the ship almost anytime. You have more dining options and also room service. More lounge areas to retire to at anytime of the day. Roving entertainment (piano / strings) move between the lounges and common areas. Just overall bigger and a different experience. We have sailed on Ocean and met great friends that we have kept in touch with an travelled again with, and we have also sailed on Ocean and only chatted with people in passing but stayed completely to ourselves. We love both experiences and you really have to choose by itinerary and just enjoy.
  2. We routinely get 6 months as a repeat guest, but you have to ask for it, they don't give it willingly which I think is miss for Viking. We also managed to get 6 months for our travel companions that are both first time Viking guests. Guess it is how you ask and who you talk to?
  3. Excellent advice here. I book travel inside my company and for international travel, it is about what is on the passport and on the passport exactly. If the name does not match the passport then you will experience challenges.
  4. I am not gluten free but we have very specific food restrictions. On our last Ocean Cruise, I did notice that at the bread station in the morning in the World Cafe that they had gluten free bread options - behind the counter that you asked for. I would assume that these would have been pre-ordered by guests. Our experience has been very good on Viking. We call 90 days before and give our food restrictions and then meet with the restaurant manager or chef on first day. We have always been impressed with how Viking have handled our food restrictions. Excursions with meals may NOT be able to accommodate and this is out of Viking's control because it is likely a small regional restaurant that is not equipped for restrictions. We tend to eat 80% of our meals in the World Cafe as we have the option to choose. For example, in the World Cafe, daily there would be pasta and some days it was cream sauce and some days prepared with cheese in the sauce - we are dairy free - they would make us a quick red sauce without cream or cheese on demand and we were happy with this. I have read other stories of people not happy with how Viking handled food restrictions, but for us, we have had only good experience. I also find that when you have a food restriction, and especially if it is directly health and wellbeing related, that when you travel - in my opinion - we cannot expect that every dish is modifiable, and that you will have a more limited menu. I just feel - again my opinion - that we have to understand that we may have more limited food options. My recommendation is to stick to the World Cafe as there seems to always be selections there that will suit most diets. I tend to set my expectations lower and end up happy with what Viking have done for us.
  5. We typically buy a certain amount of currency for each country and especially if the country has its own currency and is not the Euro... This is not related to the Homelands cruise specifically, but we have found ourselves in countries where we wanted to purchase something on the street and we did not have local currency and therefore could not. It is a toss up because there is planning to ordering and buying local currencies - then how much do you get - and then you must spend it or lose money converting it back.
  6. I started this post and it was a simple "ask for advice" question and it seems to have turned into an argument. I am asking the Site Administrator to close this post.
  7. Yes - but be careful about "plant based" because the Beyond Meat Burger boasts to be Plant Based and it may have touched a plant in the making but not for very long. Please be careful as there are many restaurants springing up that are "Plant Based" but they are not healthy options and NOT suitable for someone that is truly following a WFPB diet. There is a big difference.
  8. Hello, we are WFPB diet. I posted above. We have just completed our 4th cruise on Viking and we have 3 more booked. We cruise Viking both River and Ocean. WFPB (Whole Food Plant Based) is not a simple diet for any chef to prepare. Vegan food is more and more mainstream all the time but if you ask any Chef no matter how professional or how well trained to cook for you without using any oil, that is going to be in my opinion more than they can accommodate easily. When we decided to go WFPB we clearly realized that we are a tiny tiny portion of the population and that we would have challenges when travelling. Let me tell you however about OUR experience with Viking and diet. First - call Viking and don't ask, but tell them what your dietary needs are. If they tell you they DON'T do vegan or WFPB, that is fine, just ask them to include in the passenger manifest the dietary needs that you request. State your needs and ask them to repeat them back. When on board, talk to the Chef and the Maitre d' about your dietary restrictions. Our experience on a River Cruise last November with Chef Pedro is that he prided himself on creating Vegan options for us every day. He also agreed to limit the oil and only for sautéing and no added oil. Each day the Maitre d' came to us and explained the menus and what was available for us to be modified and if we did not like that option that they would create options for us. They actually were very proud of what they served us every day and we were with 6 others on this cruise and all our travel companions said: "I wish we said we were Vegan because I like your option over the menu." !!! Haha. On an Ocean cruise that we just completed - 15 days around Japan - one of the managers in the dining room approached us and knew us by name on the first day by our passport pictures. Yes, Viking have a "Dietary Manager" on the Ocean ships now. He talked to us at length and ensured that we were pleased with our choices everyday. I will say that when you call in to Viking they have some work and training to do with their reservation centre. But when you are on the ship we have only experienced the desire to accommodate us in every and any way. I am sorry that you had the experience that you did. Again - please don't take offence to this statement - but WFPB is in my opinion more to ask than you should expect. Every commercial recipe out there has some component of fat or oil in it. Think of how you have had to adjust at home and going to restaurants. WFPB is not readily available and will be years before it is that common. Understanding that you may have adopted WFPB diet for serious or chronic health problems ( I eat this way because I am diabetic) you may have to be more open to eating slightly off the side of that diet for the length of your trip. Again - no offence. But if you are not willing to bend your rules to travel, I would say that you will have a hard time finding compliant food anywhere in the world. There are Vegan cruises, but Vegan is NOT WFPB. In fact Vegan's use more oil and fat than many diets. I will end by saying that Viking have impressed us with the way they have treated our dietary needs. This is why we continue to cruise and book more cruises.
  9. Hello fellow Cruise lovers! We have always loved our food and loved the food on Viking. We have for health reasons decided to become Vegan. Actually we are whole food plant based - which for clarification is beyond Vegan in as much as we don't use or eat any kind of processed oils either. This includes coconut, olive, or any other oil. Now if we have to compromise, we will eat food that is sautéed in oil or a small amount of oil, but prefer no processed oil of any kind if possible. We have a Viking River Cruise and another Ocean Cruise booked in the next two years. The big question is, are we going to enjoy an innovative vegan menu on board (with some choice) or are we relegated to steamed veggies and salad while on board? Can anyone speak with any experience on this matter? Thank you.
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