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Vineyard View

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Everything posted by Vineyard View

  1. Thank you. I appreciate any tips. We have sailed on Viking multiple times, and yes, like other lines, last minute deals are often very good. Plus, regarding Viking, unless you have another cruise booked, PIF dates are incredibly far in advance so it avoids that piece. Incorporating last minute booking though, with international airfare usually isn’t a great deal.
  2. That is a bit sad to hear. Cruise lines operating under the rules imposed on them have to charge high prices. We looked at a few options a number of years ago and quite honestly didn’t see the value proposition. If I am spending that kind of money, I don’t see the value in where they sail. we also looked at Viking Great Lakes expedition cruises. While I feel there may be more value in where they visit, for us, not enough to justify the price point. That said, others may not view it the same through their lenses, and that is just as valid as my opinion.
  3. I look forward to your impression Jon. We always enjoyed our meals on Viking. The service and the variety were usually extremely good. I think I would agree with FoggyEthan on his summary of ‘safe’ in most venues, however Chefs Table does pick it up in creativity. We truly had no complaints about the food. Our first cruise on Seabourn was last Spring. We felt that the cuisine and presentation was better, so I will be interested in your thoughts. Enjoy Viking. It’s a great line to sail on.
  4. To clarify my earlier post, I was referring primarily to the included excursions. Since we don’t use ship excursions, we did not often participate in the optional. I do think that regardless, the guide you get, makes all the difference.
  5. We’ve sailed on multiple cruise lines. Ship excursions are not that different, including on the ‘luxury’ lines. There are only so many tour groups to employ, and they all tend to have that same pool to choose from. Luck of the draw with your guide. A filled bus of passengers, is a filled bus of passengers regardless of how you dice it. We are DIY or Private excursions people. One tactic we employed with the ‘walking tours’ with Viking was to take the bus to the location, ask the guide what time to meet back at the bus and where for the return. We always tipped them so they did get affected negatively new wandered off on our own and met back up for the departure, making sure we returned 15 min before they told us so as not to hold anyone up. It worked quite well. On the ‘scenic’ excursions that is often a bus ride, on Viking or any other line, so you are mostly riding in the bus. The bus can vary depending on where in the world you are traveling - large air conditioned to smaller open vehicles. Bottom line, if you are not ship excursion people, you aren’t. That’s just my opinion. But you will love your experience on Viking! Have a great trip!
  6. I am happy to, but if you look at the thread “Lost Credit, how is simply more working for you” it is posted on the first page. I can retype, if you would prefer. Each line has only one sailing in May, 2025. Thank you for the tip on SS. I honestly have not taken a long look at them.
  7. True. I am noticing this quite a bit. For Spring 2025, I compared two itineraries for the British Isles. Oceania and Seabourn. We do not care for ship excursions, so Regent and SS with included excursions aren’t on our radar. This points to preferences in how we all travel. Factoring in all costs, SB was less expensive pp/pd than O. That was an eye opener. I need to dig deeper on some Mediterranean itineraries and see if the same holds true.
  8. It was a great price and the itinerary was really attractive. Totally bummed we can’t travel this year, but looking forward to next Spring. Be sure to let us know how wonderful it is!
  9. I sure hope this sailing goes smoothly for all of you. We were booked on this itinerary, but sadly had to cancel. It’s a great itinerary. Oceania is not repeating it Spring of next year. I looked.
  10. We had to cancel our first O cruise this Spring. We are now looking at options on Oceania and Seabourn. We are looking at Mediterranean and British Isles itineraries for May 2025. I am really surprised at pricing overall with all the higher tier lines (Viking is in the stratosphere now, but they have included walking or bus ride excursions). We don’t do ship excursions on any line so that baked in price is not attractive to us. We do enjoy nice wines, champagne and cocktails when we travel, so included beverages are a bonus, as we would pay for the beverage package if not included. In comparing some British Isles itineraries for 5/25, Viking is out. That leaves O and SB. I just ran the numbers. Oceania is an 11 day Itinerary. Seabourn is a 14 day itinerary. B4 is waitlisted so I compared B3 with SB one step up balcony to be as equal in category level regardless of amenities between the two lines. Seabourn - V2 balcony - $16,488 = $589 pp/pd - includes everything except excursions and airfare Oceania - B3 - $12,598 = $573 pp/pd - does not include gratuities, drinks outside of lunch/dinner, unlimited caviar, or airfare, will have an excursion credit. So if you do the math, for us, SB makes more sense on this example, as we do not do ship excursions. If you are travelers who do ship excursions, there is an offset in difference in pp/pd with the SM excursion credit…..but I would argue that gratuities slightly offset that. If you do not drink alcohol, then unfortunately with most elevated cruise lines, there is a degree of included alcohol baked into the pricing that is non-negotiable. It seems to me that the SM addition to O has aligned them more with Viking, yet still at a lower price point if you don’t take the included excursions on V. There is always Azamara, but my research gives O an advantage over them depending on which ship size/cabin size you are looking for. That leaves, in my mind, SB and Oceania much more aligned for non ship excursion people. At the end of the day, no matter how you slice it, cruising has gotten a whole lot more expensive!
  11. We thoroughly enjoyed our full day in Kotor. Agree, it was one of the most beautiful sail in scenically. We spent the day DIY in the area. We walked and walked and enjoyed every minute. Such wonderful people, incredible architecture, scenic vista points. We spent a leisurely lunch in the main square enjoying local foods and beers, watching the tour groups walk by behind the lollipops and glad we were on our own. It’s an easy port to DIY. Of course we don’t know what we missed, and if an opportunity to return presents itself, we would likely look for a private 1/2 day tour, reserving time again to just soak up Kotor.
  12. We were worried about the same things. We sailed SB last Spring in the Med. We were able to visit ports that Viking could not with a 450 pax ship. There are advantages to both lines, to be sure. But disappointed…..everyone has their preferences. We absolutely were not….
  13. Thank you. We miss Viking as well. I’ve looked also at Mediterranean itineraries as another option for ‘25. While BIE is almost always a higher ticket itinerary with most lines, I am finding similar comparisons between the two in the Med. If we used the included excursions, it would could sway the equation a bit, but we don’t use ship excursions when we travel. Added to that, we’ve sailed many of the Med ports on Viking in the past, whereas smaller ships get into less mainstream locations. That all said, with the recalibrating of itineraries due to the war, it could be impacting many locations and adding new itineraries. Maybe Viking will switch some things up from their longstanding Med itineraries.
  14. I sincerely hope that you have a fantastic cruise. Like you, land vacations are a bit more challenging for us with suitcases (seems to increase with each trip around the sun!), so unpacking twice (we always go in early) is a huge advantage. I hope you report back afterwards. We cancelled a trip for this Spring on O due to medical, but looking at O and SB for next year. These boards to have an impact on our perceptions, having not sailed them before either. That said, being forewarned is better than blindsided…..being forewarned and then pleasantly surprised being the ultimate goal!
  15. My post was highlighting that SB currently, and during my past experience with Viking, they both make an effort to compensate in some manner when technical issues affect ports. They address it in a positive manner. I am not seeing nearly the volume of complaints on either of those boards regarding this topic. I can’t see any logical reason why the make up of posters between these three boards would be significantly different.
  16. We have wanted to sail the BI itinerary for a while now. Since Covid, prices have certainly gone up on most lines. That said, Viking cost per person per day on most every European itinerary is priced in the same category as some ‘luxury’ lines that include gratuities and alcohol. That said, if the included excursions offered on V meet your needs, then that is a cost factor. We are independent or DIY. A quick glance at Viking and Seabourn May ‘25. Both 14 day. Seabourn Balcony for two = $16,488 plus any excursions. Sq ft of 314-329 room/balcony plus excursions Viking - PV (335 sq ft stateroom - lower categories are sold out on two May sailings) $24,400, plus gratuities and SSP if wanted We keep looking at Viking, hoping to return someday after several cruises with them, but the pricing is a really big challenge. That said, they keep selling out.
  17. I read it as the point was that Pinotlover sails for the ports, not the ship. The person responding was reluctant to understand why shaved port times and canceled ports were important when they rarely get off the ship.
  18. That looks lovely. What a beautiful dining addition.
  19. We are the same travel style as Pinotlover. We want to enjoy the ship, but we choose carefully. We choose for the ports. We don’t choose for being on the ship during a port day for lunch or the pool. We choose to explore where we are visiting. For the maximum amount of time that we can. So….if the majority of travelers do not care if a port is shortened or missed, then we also fall into that ‘minority’ who do not want to worry about this pattern being discussed on multiple O threads. Maybe the real question is, have O ships become the destination, or are they the places she sails to? As you said, not everyone cruises for the same thing. You ‘rarely get off the ship’. So the patterns of discussion here don’t affect you as much as those who travel just as much for the ports visited.
  20. That is true. However, if you follow a few different boards that are in similar categories of lines, and you see a pattern on one more than another, I have to wonder if those on cruise critic and book face are all that different from one line to another? I see many of the same people of these different threads, yet on O there is truly much more discontent with the topic of this dialogue. So ‘real data’….probably not. Discerning people who are interested in a few different lines being extremely dissimilar in their analysis……IDK?
  21. Stuff happens. Ports are skipped, technical occurs. It seems a pattern higher on O than others based on reading here as well as the other book face. It occurs to me that how a company responds when stuff happens is important. I read on the other book face that there was a technical issue with a SB port recently. I don’t recall the details. What stood out - All were provided an apology, a $250 OBC, and a 10% off future cruise if booked within 30 days. Not the only time I have read similar on SB, or other boards. Viking comes to mind as well. I do not read very much about O responding in a positive way when stuff happens - skipped ports or shortened ports. Maybe a new thread highlighting when/if that does occur would be helpful for those of us who hesitate booking, in large part, because of how O has negatively handled so many instances.
  22. Thank you for that clarification. I thought it was only on sea days, as it is on other lines, but I wasn’t sure. Either way, good info to have.
  23. I guess that does make good sense. We have never sought out trivia, so never noticed. We only seek out lunch when sailing on sea days as we are most always off ship on port days. Thanks for the heads up though. I wish all the trivia players great times!
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