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Steve Q

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Everything posted by Steve Q

  1. Squawkman, No, it was included in our travel agent’s weekly newsletter. They are substantial sellers of Viking ocean cruises. They often have offers that I have not seen elsewhere. It is funny as they do not often recommend Viking River cruises, as they seem to prefer other lines. In 2018, however, we asked about a different cruise line and they recommended Viking instead. We are sold. Their comment to me was that they almost never had someone come back from a Viking cruise that was dissatisfied.
  2. CCWineLover, i am quite certain that you received the same offers. When you click on the links, some of them even alert you that the cruise is less than $200 per day including airfare! This would rarely have been the case in the past. We received a similar email in the spring for offers on many of the most popular summer itineraries. While Viking is our favorite line, the initial rush to book appears to be subsiding.
  3. Squawkman, I just checked the offers i received this morning. Even The Iconic Western Mediterranean cruise departing 11/20 is on the list offering free airfare. While the V2 shows as sold out, the DV 6 is being offered for slightly less than $3000. This is the eight day cruise from Barcelona to Rome. The offer expires August 31st. Most of the other categories are still available.
  4. I think the law of supply and demand has already caught up with Viking. We received offers from our travel agent within two months of our June 2019 Midnight Sun cruise (we had booked these cruise a year in advance). The offer include free airfare and reduced cabin prices. Even with those offers, our sailing was not completely sold out. Today, we received another email offering free airfare for numerous upcoming cruises through the remainder of 2019. Included were The Holy Lands, Pacific Coast journey, Around Cape Horn, etc. The cabin rate is also reduced. Seeing these offers discouraged us from booking a future cruise while onboard as we had in June 2018. We are retired and are pretty flexible. This year’s offers now lead us to believe that it is no longer necessary to rush into booking a cruise unless you are absolutely set on that particular cruise. If that is the case, by all means book early.
  5. We just finished The Midnight Sun cruise in July. We had booked it while on our Trade Routes cruise in June 2018. Several weeks before our most recent cruise, our travel agent sent their customers a Viking email flyer offering our sailing for considerably less than we paid. The difference was really surprising. They were also offering a greatly reduced airfare. It has become apparent that many Viking cruises are no longer sold out far in advance as they once were.
  6. Peregrina651—-We had about two hours between the Amsterdam and Bergen flights. Our luggage had been ticketed straight through to Bergen so we did not have to deal with it in Amsterdam. the plane leaving DFW, however, was late so we ran straight to our plane in Detroit. FYI— We flew on a Delta and the Detroit to Amsterdam flight was on a brand new A350 jet. Very nice plane.
  7. We have used Viking Air for both of our Viking cruises and have been satisfied. We purposely booked our June 2020 Midnight Sun cruise so that we began in Bergen and ended in London. The Bergen flights can sometimes be a problem. We flew from DFW to Detroit and then to Amsterdam and Bergen. It really worked out fairly well. Coming home, we had a nonstop fight on American from London to DFW. That was the best. While I realize that many Viking cruises sell out, that was not the case with ours. Only 5 weeks before our sailing, we received a 3 day offer from our travel agent, for many of the Midnight Sun sailings, offering most of the room categories at a discount plus free airfare! We were very surprised. We had booked while onboard our June 2019 sailing. I have cruised long enough to know that this can occur, but nonetheless, we were surprised.
  8. We are currently on the Sun (Midnight Sun cruise) on our way to London. We crossed paths with Jupiter about two hours ago. Our captain said they were indeed headed to Edinburgh. Sad that they will miss the Orkney Islands. We very much enjoyed our visit there. we are headed home Saturday. Cruise has been very good.
  9. We have sailed on one Oceania cruise (Riviera) and also sailed on Viking last June. Our Oceania cruise definitely had a few children. I rarely saw them, but I know they were onboard. That said, we definitely preferred Viking. We just found our cruise last year, Trade Routes of the Middle Ages, to be just perfect for us. Others may feel differently, but that is our opinion. We leave Friday to sail The Midnight Sun on the Viking Sun, so we will see what our experience is like the second time around.
  10. Steve Q

    Buyer Beware

    If you were specifically told that you would be entitled to any future price reduction, there would appear to be a problem. We recently experienced witnessing a price reduction for our next cruise. Truthfully, I never expected to receive any reduction as we booked our cabin while onboard our 6/2018 cruise. We accepted their offer and were satisfied at that time. Several weeks ago Viking offered not only a lower fare but also free airfare for new bookings on our June 2019 cruise to The Midnight Sun. I was shocked as their website had been showing most of the cabins as being “sold out” up until that time. On the the day of the new offering there were suddenly cabins available in almost every category. We inquired about receiving the new fare, but were politely refused. We can live with that. One thing I did learn, however, is to disregard much of the talk about most Viking sailings being sold out. We have been getting weekly emails from our travel agent with many deals on cruises within the next six months.
  11. Our “Trade Routes” cruise on The Star ended in Bergen last June. We had to depart around 5 AM for our trip to the airport. We reside in the DFW area but it still required 3 flights to return home. This June we are doing ”The Midnight Sun” cruise. We purposely chose to depart from Bergen and return from London. We just received our flights and are very pleased. While it will still require 3 flights to get to Bergen, we are not departing DFW until 11 AM and we arrive in Bergen at 10 AM the next day. Our return flight from London is a non-stop to DFW. It is perfect. Next year we are planning a 14 day cruise to The British Isles and Ireland. Our plans are to sail with Crystal in July 2020 as the voyage begins and ends in London. While Viking offers a similar cruise, once again it ends in Bergen. We have no desire to visit Bergen for a third time or spend an overnight there. It is just not a convenient airport. Honestly, I wish Viking would change some of their northern itineraries so that Bergen is not so frequently visited. Just my opinion. We love sailing on Viking and will continue to use them in the future (we will have to see what Crystal is like), but just not itineraries that feature Bergen.
  12. Don’t forget the Pool Grill. It will also be open for lunch.
  13. We sailed on the Star this past June and on the Riviera in 2017. While we enjoyed both, I think our preference is for Viking. In fact, did book the Midnight Sun for this June while we were onboard. That said, the Riviera is a very nice ship. We found the main dining room on Viking to be superior to the Riviera. Service and food in the main dining room on Oceania were several notches below Viking. The specialty restaurants ( four of them) on the Riviera were far superior to Viking’s offerings. Wine and beer at meals are extra on Oceania. Shore excursions (if you purchase those offered by the cruise line) are very very expensive on Oceania. We are looking at the 14 day British Isles cruise on Crystal in July of 2020. The itinerary seems better than Viking’s and the cost is not that much different.
  14. We sailed for the first time on Viking this past June for 14 days. Honestly, we loved the cruise and booked another while onboard. That said, there is no question that, at times, we were able to hear the TV in the cabin next to us.
  15. We were on our first Viking cruise in June 2018. While onboard we booked a June 2019 sailing of In the Midnight Sun. Our final payment is due this December. I cannot imagine paying in full one year in advance. We loved our first Viking cruise, but paying $16,000 a year in advance is something we will not accept.
  16. We are back. Good news.
  17. I can’t imagine that a relocation is imminent. The new office has only been in existence for two months. It would not surprise me, however, if over the next few years the administrative offices migrate to the new facilities. This would be a major operation and would require a lot of initial disruption, but the end payoff could be substantial. Time will tell.
  18. I had mentioned in an earlier post that Viking has opened a new facility in Tempe, Az. I believe it just opened two months ago. Perhaps this is playing into the seeming reduction in service. I am assuming that they must be in the process of hiring for this location. In addition, you have to assume that eventually there will be either a reduction or closing in at least one of their other two locations. The new location is within minutes of the Phoenix airport and probably will be considerably less expensive to operate.
  19. We sailed on our first Viking cruise in June. We were very pleased. While on board we booked a second cruise for next June. When we returned home, we encouraged another couple to consider Viking for their first cruise. They did book an Asian cruise for 2019. We then were notified that we would be receiving a credit reward for the referral. Recently, Viking notified us that the credit was now in our account and available to us. We called a Viking rep and requested that the credit be applied to our recent booking. We went round and round on the phone and finally gave up. When our travel agents’ returned from their vacation, we contacted them and they were successful in applying the credit. It was our first time calling Viking directly and we were not impressed.
  20. That really is very sad that the classical group has been reduced from 3 to 2 musicians. We loved the trio on the Star in June. At that time we were told by someone that Viking was going to be using a new talent agency with plans to make the cut back in the size of the group. Not a dealbreaker, but it is a disappointment.
  21. We just disembarked a Viking cruise on June 26. We booked the lowest category and were able to have access to our cabin by 2:00. The reservations desk was open when we boarded before noon.
  22. Below is something I posted on an a different thread. Not sure if this answers your question. “I think there was value to booking a future cruise while onboard. If you book a 14 day or longer cruise, a credit of $400per person was provided. Additionally, you will an immediate $100 credit toward your current cruise. The amount of the credit was a bit less for shorter cruises. You are also not locked into the cruise you choose. Anytime within 4 months of your sailing, you have the option to switch to a different cruise. That said, any future bookings do require a deposit of $500 per person.”
  23. Talk with the Cruise Consultant when you board. If you booked additional cruises, there was an additional credit toward 2nd and 3rd bookings. I cannot recall the amount, but I am positive that additional bookings received more than $400. I would definitely ask for the credit. The Cruise Consultant’s desk is on the 2nd floor near the model of the Viking ship. You just sign his book and choose an appointment time from the times offered. I would visit early in the Cruise as he was a very busy person. He also made an hour long presentation in the theatre on one of the sea days. Honestly, I would love to know how many future cruises he booked. It was literally just one appointment after another.
  24. I think there was value to booking a future cruise while onboard. If you book a 14 day or longer cruise, a credit of $400per person was provided. Additionally, you will an immediate $100 credit toward your current cruise. The amount of the credit was a bit less for shorter cruises. You are also not locked into the cruise you choose. Anytime within 4 months of your sailing, you have the option to switch to a different cruise. That said, any future bookings do require a deposit of $500 per person. I hope that answers your question.
  25. We did complete the questionnaire at the end of the cruise. We stated how pleased we were with our cruise, but also expressed concern about the possibility of reducing the classical group to just two members. It just seems like an unnecessary way to reduce expenses. They did seem anxious for feedback during the cruise so I am confident that our comments will be read.
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