Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers

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Viking Ocean
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#41
Maryland
5,006 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by tubeamps
Thanks for the information, but I have a question about the London hours.
When you say 1 and 2, do you mean 2pm? For my London departure 7/9, Viking shows ship departure at 2 so we just have the morning options.
Is your sail time different?
Yes, we (Midnight Sun) get on the ship in London (Greenwich) one day and depart the next at 7:30 PM. Next day is a sea day on the way to Edinburgh (Rosyth). You aren't getting on the ship in another location besides Greenwich, are you - like Southampton, which is farther south?
#42
Georgia
152 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
Originally posted by roothy123
Yes, we (Midnight Sun) get on the ship in London (Greenwich) one day and depart the next at 7:30 PM. Next day is a sea day on the way to Edinburgh (Rosyth). You aren't getting on the ship in another location besides Greenwich, are you - like Southampton, which is farther south?
I'm on Midnight Sun , board Greenwich on 7/9 sail 7/10 @2:15, next day sea day enroute to Edinburgh.
I like your hours better, I wonder why the difference?
#43
92 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Hi Everyone, Those are all such great tips. I'll have to wait and see whats available and plan from there. I think of areas such as Dubrovnik, Kotor and Split and wonder if I should be looking into scheduling my own excursions. We have a lot of time at these locations especially Dubrovnik and I'd love to go off and do a longer excursion and really get to see the area. I'd like to also take advantage of the included excursions as well. I'll just wait and see So excited !!!
#44
Maryland
5,006 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by Rawmac
Passports ashore? Consider the scenario: your private excursion to some foreign must-see has been held up by whatever, or there was a long queue at the hospital emergency department, and you arrive at the dock late, to see Viking waving bye-bye a hundred yards out to sea. With your passport. And your money. And the next port of call is in yet another country. Another foreign country with a border force which might not speak your language too well and might not appreciate the extra work you are about to generate. How are you going to cross borders legally without a passport in these days of increased security, nastiness and twitchy scrutiny? In Europe, non-European people without passports or official ID can be asylum seekers, illegal immigrants or even not-very-nice-people.

If you do not want to carry your passport (why ever not?), do take a colour photocopy of the important pages, or a picture of them on your phone, or at least your passport number for the man from the embassy or consulate.. And the phone number of Viking's shore agent, and Viking's home office number to use in extremis. Better still, don't miss the boat! It won't wait,you know. (If it's not too far away, the pilot may give you a lift if you speak nicely!!!)
I've read, though don't know if it's true, that often cruise line employees go to the room of anyone about to be left and look in the safe to see if there are passports in there. If so, they give them to the ship's agent in that port so that at least the people aren't completely grounded for a few days or more. I would love to know if that's true, but I'm not willing to test it myself!
#45
Maryland
5,006 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by smithp7
Hi Everyone, Those are all such great tips. I'll have to wait and see whats available and plan from there. I think of areas such as Dubrovnik, Kotor and Split and wonder if I should be looking into scheduling my own excursions. We have a lot of time at these locations especially Dubrovnik and I'd love to go off and do a longer excursion and really get to see the area. I'd like to also take advantage of the included excursions as well. I'll just wait and see So excited !!!
tubeamps, that's interesting about your departure time from Greenwich. I like ours better too! I can't really think of why there would be a difference, but perhaps there's a tide issue involved for the Thames, or possibly there's another ship scheduled to take over the floating pier in Greenwich or something to do with traffic on the Thames and at the Greenwich Pier? Not sure! I guess if you wanted to extend your time in London, you could take one of the Thames Clippers from the Greenwich Pier (same pier we go to for boarding the ship) to central London the evening you're there.

As for excursions: The pull of free, included excursions was strong for me. However, if you really want to do more, I would look into private/shared tours for at least a few cities. Kotor's a nice city, but unless you're planning to hike up to the fortress you can see the basics easily in a half day. That's one place where I think going out of the city might be a great idea. We arranged a half day tour with Milo (Tours by Milo) and really enjoyed it. There's room for two more people in his car (although not the largest, most comfy car you'll find), and the price is right, or at least in 2015 it was. He was a good driver/tour guide, and he let me plan what I wanted to do. Book him early, though, or look for the other tour guide that many cruisers have used in Kotor. (Sorry, the name escapes me - but Milo or someone else will probably tell you!) Be up on deck or on your balcony for departure - beautiful.

Dubrovnik is actually a really interesting, nice, and visually pleasing city. I just did the included tour there (pretty good and comprehensive; mostly walking) and stayed in town to wander on my own - very nice day.

Haven't been to Split!
#46
92 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Hi Roothy123, I've heard of Milo before and I think I will book an excursion with him. Do you remember which one of his tours you did? I looked at his website and he has quite a few. Kotor sounds so beautiful and I'd like to see as much as I can. I agree on the free included excursions as well and I'd like to participate in all of them. We're in Dubrovnik from 8am-10pm so plenty of time to do things there. It also sounds beautiful!
#47
Maryland
5,006 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Regarding Milo, we did a four hour tour, which didn't go way up the mountain to the park (Louvcen maybe?), which I've read is worthwhile. However, we were there something like 8 to 6 rather than your long day, so my options were more limited. I decided I wanted to see at least a little of Kotor, and hike partway up the mountain at the back of the town to get views, so I decided on a four hour tour. I guess it was pretty much as described on Milo's website, but we did customize a little. My priority was to see Perast and go over to the church out in the water. We spent a little time in other places, pretty much as chronicled in my gallery -http://www.pbase.com/roothy123/kotor_montenegro__sept_30_2015. We didn't spend a lot of time in the beach town (Budva) but I'm the type of person who can tour pretty quickly and be satisfied. Other people are not. Budva appeared to be a lot like Kotor, so it worked. I loved the view of Sveti Stefan, and some people take an excursion there to go inside the (restricted) resort, but we were content to just look at it from above. In Kotor, unless something happens to require you to tender, you'll be docked a minute's walk from the walled town, making it easy to do some sightseeing, return to the ship, and then do something else. It was really easy to find two people on my Roll Call to share the cost. Milo was great - didn't provide tons of endless talk like some guides do, which suited us fine. He also seemed very flexible, and not too worried if we went over the four hour time mark a little!

With all that time in Kotor, you could probably do quite a bit of sightseeing. I'm not sure how much is open at night, but since nights in the ocean cruising world are somewhat limited, I'd suggest at least walking around the town a little at night, or having dessert at a local restaurant!
#48
92 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
Hi Roothy123, Thanks for all this information. I enjoyed your slide show and commentary on-http://www.pbase.com/roothy123/kotor_montenegro__sept_30_2015
That was very ambitious of you to walk up all those steps. The pictures were great. Was anyone swimming at those beautiful beaches? I'd love to go swimming if the water temperature is good.
I sent an email to Milo last night and I hope he's available. I'm going to try for the 6 hour tour. It's great to know that the dock is right off the ship so I can run into town if there is time. We'll be in Kotor from 7-5. We're in Dubrovnik from 8-10pm so we have plenty of time there as well. I'm thinking I'll wait and see what I get for included times before I finalize times with Milo. Thanks for all your insight! It's much appreciated. Pat
#49
Maryland
5,006 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
As I start getting ready for my cruise, I'm thinking of more tips which might help others:

-Most people leave their cell phones in airplane mode or turned off while on the ship, including when the ship is sitting idle in a port. I haven't really heard anything specific about Viking ships, but I know there have have been some nasty surprises due to cruisers making phone calls while on a cruise ship. That's because sometimes the calls are routed through the ship, and I believe this might apply even if you are making the call using WiFi. If I want to make a call, I go out into the port terminal - or wait until I can go ashore!

-Viiking does not exchange money. If you need foreign money, use an ATM or get money before you leave home.

-The excursion descriptions on My Viking Journey include information on mobility issues - cobblestone, steps, amount of walking, etc. - but it's a little hidden. Put your cursor over the "Easy" or "Difficult" button that is displayed for each excursion and it will give you more specific information. I didn't realize this information was there until last night.
#50
205 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by roothy123

-The excursion descriptions on My Viking Journey include information on mobility issues - cobblestone, steps, amount of walking, etc. - but it's a little hidden. Put your cursor over the "Easy" or "Difficult" button that is displayed for each excursion and it will give you more specific information. I didn't realize this information was there until last night.
Wow, thank you for the tip roothy123! I didn't know this :|
#51
Boston MA
6,298 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by roothy123
As I start getting ready for my cruise, I'm thinking of more tips which might help others:

-Most people leave their cell phones in airplane mode or turned off while on the ship, including when the ship is sitting idle in a port. I haven't really heard anything specific about Viking ships, but I know there have have been some nasty surprises due to cruisers making phone calls while on a cruise ship. That's because sometimes the calls are routed through the ship, and I believe this might apply even if you are making the call using WiFi. If I want to make a call, I go out into the port terminal - or wait until I can go ashore! .
Since we don't plan on paying for an international phone plan (way too easy to incur costly overages without knowing it), our phones go into airplane mode when we get on the plane and don't leave that mode until we land back in the US. Wi-Fi works even in airplane mode and that is how we communicate. DH and I use "What's App" to message while we are on the ship and one of our children has graciously installed it on their phone so that we can communicate via message (or voice in an emergency). It does limit our use to when wi-fi is available but we can live with that.


Originally posted by roothy123
-Viking does not exchange money. If you need foreign money, use an ATM or get money before you leave home.
.

In fact, they have no banking services on board at all. You can't cash travellers checks or break bills, either. As for travelers' cheques, don't bother. They are becoming harder and harder to cash and usually encounter a fee. The best place to get cash is from an ATM; you'll get a better exchange rate from the machine than you will from trying to exchange cash at a bank or an exchange bureau.


We have a dedicated travel account with an ATM-only card (the daily debit card limit is set to $0) that is not connected to any other account. If our card gets skimmed or lost, we can only lose the couple thousand that is that one account and not all of the money in all of our accounts.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
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The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





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AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#52
Michigan
1,446 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
When we were on the SUN in April they did change bills for smaller change to use for tips etc. I do not how large of denomination they will cash. I think we did that with USD and Euros.

Thanks for the tip about turning OFF the debit function....did not know that was an option! We take 2 ATM's in case one gets skimmed.
#53
Rhode Island
625 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
This post has gotten rather confusing as it discusses not only tips but also destinations. Wonder if it can be split up some way. It might be good if you took all of the tips and put them in one place and then we only added tips rather than other information.
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Jean
#54
Boston MA
6,298 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by aquidneck1
This post has gotten rather confusing as it discusses not only tips but also destinations. Wonder if it can be split up some way. It might be good if you took all of the tips and put them in one place and then we only added tips rather than other information.
Even if we could make two threads out of this, going forward, there is still no way of preventing people from asking questions or posting things that aren't precisely on topic and it just becomes an unwelcoming place once you start telling people that they can't post here or that they did it wrong.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#55
619 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by Peregrina651
Kris, I was reading about Mobile Passport last night and user comments were reporting that the MP lines were even shorter than the Global entry lines at this point in time. Of course, as more people learn about MP, this will change but as long as the lines are shorter than the non-GE and MP lines, that is fine by me.

Mobile Passport is not like Global entry, which is a pre-screening process and requires an in-person interview at the airport. Mobile Passport simply allows you to fill out and transmit the same information that you would have to fill in at the kiosks in advance of arriving at the kiosks.
Mobile Passport is very smooth at the Seattle airport. What others ?
#56
Boston MA
6,298 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by cruiser02
Mobile Passport is very smooth at the Seattle airport. What others ?
That is a really good question--and this audience may be too small for an answer. There is a section called Cruise Air and there is already a busy thread there about Global Entry and TSA Pre but it does not mention mobile passport. Still, I wonder if maybe you will get more responses to your question if you ask it in that forum as well, simply because that forum has a bigger and different audience.
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

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#57
1,737 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
I just went onto the Mobile Passport website. It lists all the airports that are participating now......it is a bit limited in numbers, but most likely expanding in the future.
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#58
Canada
240 Posts
Joined May 2011
Back to ship tips...when the beds are separated into twins (deluxe veranda)...can a bedside table be placed between them? I imagine it will make it challenging to get into the closet, but it was like that on Oceania cruise line too.

Thanks
#59
Maryland
5,006 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by mittenscat23
Back to ship tips...when the beds are separated into twins (deluxe veranda)...can a bedside table be placed between them? I imagine it will make it challenging to get into the closet, but it was like that on Oceania cruise line too.

Thanks
That's a good question, but one I can't answer, as we never tried it. Here's a picture I took of our deluxe stateroom: http://www.pbase.com/roothy123/image/161524166 I'm guessing that if you take out the little bedside table that's (barely) visible on the side of the bed and placed it in the middle, you'd still be able to walk between the desk and the bed, and have the same amount of space between the closet and the other bed. But maybe someone who has actually been in a veranda room with the beds separated can tell us more.

Sorry, I think I took this thread to Kotor and other places a bit off-topic! But now I promise to keep to ship tips!
#60
Boston MA
6,298 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by roothy123
That's a good question, but one I can't answer, as we never tried it. Here's a picture I took of our deluxe stateroom: http://www.pbase.com/roothy123/image/161524166 I'm guessing that if you take out the little bedside table that's (barely) visible on the side of the bed and placed it in the middle, you'd still be able to walk between the desk and the bed, and have the same amount of space between the closet and the other bed. But maybe someone who has actually been in a veranda room with the beds separated can tell us more.

Sorry, I think I took this thread to Kotor and other places a bit off-topic! But now I promise to keep to ship tips!
I wonder if the folks at [email protected] have a photo they can share?
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"Caminante no hay camino, se hace camino al andar." Antonio Machado
Expand for links to links to photos and more.
The high value put upon every minute of time, the idea of hurry-hurry as the most important objective of living, is unquestionably the most dangerous enemy of joy Herman Hesse





Click on the links below for photos

AT SEA: 1983/NCL Caribbean ~ 1985/Premier DisneyWorld+Cruise ~ 1997/NCL Alaska ~ 2000/Renaissance Istanbul to Athens ~ 2001/Celebrity Horizon Southern Caribbean ~ 200?/NCL Boston to Bermuda ~ 2005/Celebrity Zenith Central America/Western Caribbean ~ 2006/RCCL L.A. to Ensenada ~2007/Celebrity Century Scandinavia & Baltic Capitals ~2009/Celebrity Infinity South America around the Horn ~ 2016/Viking Sea Midnight Sun ~ 2016/Viking Sea NYE on the Med

RIVER DAYS: 2010/Viking River Cruises "China's Cultural Delights" ~ 2013/Viking "Footsteps of the Cossacks" ~ 2015/Viking "Passage to Eastern Europe"

Save