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algaes

100 days to go til April 11, 2015

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Viking has a lot of information to get out to those of us sailing on April 11th.

 

We're on 50 day Viking Empire in Explorer Suite with the promise of dining selections 90 days prior. Will share any info released if not made generally available.

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Please do! We're in the next category down and are supposed to have 80 days. You're right in that we have NO info from Viking at the moment so we're going to have to make lots of decisions at the last minute. Are you on the whole 50 day cruise? We are, so there will be a ton of optional excursions we'll have to investigate in very little time..

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My husband and I leave for Mexico January 15 and won't return until February 26, so we gave our TA a list of dining reservation preferences and also tentative list of excursion preferences - based on Viking's website. Hoping Viking provides more info - should be before January 11 if we count 90 days from the start of the cruise, right? We are also on the 50-day cruise.

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Yes, wife and I are on the entire first cruise Istanbul to Stockholm. My mind reels when I try to calculate the tips involved :)

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We're on board from Istanbul to Barcelona, so we'll have 22 days to get to know you folks. We snagged one of the 4 DV cabins on Deck 8 (rest are PS) so we're happy. That's what I call the "weather deck", and it's where a photographer wants to be...

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I talked with a rep from Viking today and got some new information. She told me that on Jan 15th, they are revamping the Viking Oceans website, and all the information about port times, excursions, costs, etc will be posted. Also on the 15th, the Suite passengers who have 90 days to sign up, can sign up (that gives them about an 85 day advantage). But all of us will be able to see what’s available and the costs on the 15th. We will get an e-mail on how to sign-up a few days before our respective sign-up windows.

 

On “The Restaurant” reservations, signing up for a specific time is optional. If you do make a reservation (and show up at that time of course), you will not have to wait in line – they will have your table spots waiting. If you do not make a reservation, you will have to wait in line, if there is one. The main dining room seats 468 people at one time, so that’s about half of us, and of course, some of us will be in the Specialty Restaurants and some will be eating off the buffet or eating in port, so the dining room should be adequate. The “al fresco” dining on the Aquavit Terrace is separate and is a buffet and is first come, first served.

 

For those of us signed up for the whole 50 day cruise (that’s us crazies), or multiple segments, we will not be able to sign up all at once, we will have to do it when the respective window becomes available for the various segments based on the class of cabin.

 

Spa appointments have to be made once on board and cannot be done ahead of time. Neither will a list of services be available beforehand (but she said to call about a month ahead of launch and they MIGHT have some info on this). There will be one hairdresser on board. This is critical for those of us crazies taking the 50-day cruise.

 

If you’ve been on-line in the last several days, the links to the excursions are not working very well – that’s because their techies are working on the website to get it ready for the Jan 15 launch. Let’s hope this launch goes better than the roll-out of Obamacare!

 

And finally, you can use regular magnetic stripe credit cards to settle your onboard account. It does not have to be a Chip & PIN credit card. And Amex is fine.

 

That’s all I learned, but I felt pretty good that at least we might get SOME information before we embark.

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I feel like an idiot, but for the life of me I can not figure out where to see the shore excursions on the Viking website. My husband and I are on the 50-day maiden voyage in a category PS3 (Penthouse Junior Suite) so we are supposed to get to book various things 80 days in advance. Lots of the CC posts talk about the shore excursions being posted but I can't find them. And, on all other cruise line websites, I can create an account and see my booking and that kind of info but I haven't been able to figure out where to do that on the Viking website either (other than creating the Personal Information Form which I did in December, 2013). I can't even find our 50-day 2015 itinerary on the website. I feel so stupid since I'm really not a novice internet user. Please help me!!

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I feel like an idiot, but for the life of me I can not figure out where to see the shore excursions on the Viking website. My husband and I are on the 50-day maiden voyage in a category PS3 (Penthouse Junior Suite) so we are supposed to get to book various things 80 days in advance. Lots of the CC posts talk about the shore excursions being posted but I can't find them. And, on all other cruise line websites, I can create an account and see my booking and that kind of info but I haven't been able to figure out where to do that on the Viking website either (other than creating the Personal Information Form which I did in December, 2013). I can't even find our 50-day 2015 itinerary on the website. I feel so stupid since I'm really not a novice internet user. Please help me!!

First, don't feel stupid. The website seems to be focused on future dates and, for me, is of little use now for 2015 Viking Empire. From http://www.vikingcruises.com/oceans/ go to the Cruises tab, View All Cruises, Viking Empire, View Itinerary. You will be presented the day-to-day for 2016. Just above Day 1 there is a link "2015 Departures...." for a .pdf of some detail.

Unfortunately it's not up to date (sigh). That's the best I know of on the website however.

 

Viking has been sending out emails with invoices that have port time-tables and shore excursion lists that we are to use to pick our options. I had a supposed 90 day window and received mine Wednesday this week and finished my reservations today, by phone. A rep did mention that they would be opening the 80 day window next week. Info on the msg I received included "If you have any questions, feel free to call us directly at 1-877-668-4546, extension 4525, Monday through Friday, 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM, PST and we will be happy to assist you." although I know the Viking office is open on the weekend. Maybe they can send you the info even though ext. 4525 isn't open.

 

Good luck.

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The good news is you're not stupid. The bad news is that little of the info you're looking for is actually on the website. You can look at the excursions for 2016 under the detailed itinerary and get an idea of what might be the excursions for 2015. The only thing for 2015 is the pdf document that's been out there for ages, but most of us don't think it's totally correct, and it only lists the included excursions. If you look at the various recent threads here, you can see the port times from Bear_Music and "algaes" posted. These port times conflict with the above mentioned 2015 pdf. Also look on the Roll Call for Istanbul to Stockholm for the whole 50-day port times.

 

As far as a "portal" to see your account or sign up for anything the answer is - not there. We're in a PS 1 cabin, and were supposed to be able to sign up on the 21st for restaurants and excursions, but that's been pushed back. The full Suite guys were supposed to be able to sign up on the 11th, but I think it was more like the 13th or 14th when they were finally contacted by Viking, so I'm sure it will be a few days after the 21st for us.

 

Hope that's helpful.

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Also if you booked through a TA Viking will only send the invoice that Bear_Music has to the TA not to you....

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Thanks everyone! I have the PDF document but like you all know it doesn't match the itinerary that people have been posting. I'll call Viking and my TA to figure out the excursion details for our ports that aren't listed as ports for the 2016 Viking Empires cruise. After my issues with booking Viking air and now this, Viking is definitely not on my good customer service list...

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Yes, wife and I are on the entire first cruise Istanbul to Stockholm. My mind reels when I try to calculate the tips involved :)

 

All of our previous cruises have had the tips included in the fare or picked up by the TA. Can anyone advise how much and how tips are paid? Thanks.

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All of our previous cruises have had the tips included in the fare or picked up by the TA. Can anyone advise how much and how tips are paid? Thanks.

 

Gratuities are not included and are optional but Viking recommends $14/day per passenger. That is what they recommend for the river cruises and I just called them and they confirmed that is the same recommended amount for the ocean cruises. True, some travel agents pick up the gratuities or give other perks. My TA gives 15% off the Viking prices which is much more than the gratuities. So, on a 10 day cruise for example Viking would recommend a gratuity of $280. We went on two river cruises last year and at the end of the cruises they give you an envelope for the gratuities and remind you about the suggested amount. It will also be mentioned in the documentation you receive with your final cruise documents. You can of course put it on your shipboard account and pay with a credit card.

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Viking is already looking a bit tacky re the gratuities.

I am used to lines that have the gratuity included.

I hate the idea of an envelope being given to you to put money in.

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The lines that include gratuities charge more than Viking, and there aren't even that many of them. One way or the other, you pay for it; often at a "markup" on your fare if it's "included". That is to say, if the fare includes gratuities, they sometimes raise the fare $1250 (or whatever) for a thousand bucks worth of gratuities, and take a profit on that... Or so I have heard, anyway.

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The lines that include gratuities charge more than Viking, and there aren't even that many of them. One way or the other, you pay for it; often at a "markup" on your fare if it's "included". That is to say, if the fare includes gratuities, they sometimes raise the fare $1250 (or whatever) for a thousand bucks worth of gratuities, and take a profit on that... Or so I have heard, anyway.

 

 

Not quit correct.

I have sailed all of the luxury lines and now just stick to Seabourn.

 

What a lot of people do not realise is that Seabourn with all that is included works out cheaper than a lesser line that gives you a lower base fare but charges for a lot of the things that you will want on a cruise.

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We prefer when the gratuities are included and then we like to give extra to our cabin stewart or any other staff we feel goes above and beyond!

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Well, you may know best, but Viking's not charging us for hardly anything on this cruise. If you're not a big drinker, which we're not, it's pretty much all-inclusive.

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Well, you may know best, but Viking's not charging us for hardly anything on this cruise. If you're not a big drinker, which we're not, it's pretty much all-inclusive.

 

 

Yes,being light drinkers will benefit you.

Are Viking just including drinks with lunch and dinner and can you purchase a drinks package if you would like a drink at other times on the ship?

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Well, you may know best, but Viking's not charging us for hardly anything on this cruise. If you're not a big drinker, which we're not, it's pretty much all-inclusive.

 

I agree with you for the most part. However, we were expecting a bit more with the included tours.

 

On Viking's river cruises the included tours cover pretty much most of the "must-see" places in each of the cities. Yes, there are some options, usually for an evening performance. But after reviewing the descriptions of Viking Oceans' included tours, most seem to be lacking in providing any "depth", thus several of us are looking for more extensive options besides a 2 hour walking tour with free time for shopping.

 

The fact is that we will now be taking very few (if any) included tours and spending extra $$ for either Viking's optional tours or for a small group tour through our Roll Call.

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Yes,being light drinkers will benefit you.

Are Viking just including drinks with lunch and dinner and can you purchase a drinks package if you would like a drink at other times on the ship?

 

Wine (possibly beer?) with lunch and dinner and yes, there is an optional drinks package.

Edited by loum140
correction

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Wine (possibly beer?) with lunch and dinner and yes, there is an optional drinks package.

 

Are we allowed to bring wine and beer on board for consumption in our stateroom? Thanks.

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Are Viking just including drinks with lunch and dinner and can you purchase a drinks package if you would like a drink at other times on the ship?

That's correct.

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On Viking's river cruises they actually encouraged you to bring your own wine, and they didn't charge you a "corkage" fee either. After all, if you're drinking your own wine with dinner, you aren't drinking their "free" wine. I'm assuming it will be the same here, but don't know for sure.

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