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Viking Star on open seas

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There has been too much favorable press since April 11th from traveler writers, reviewers and early passengers based solely on the Viking Star's transit of a relatively calm Mediterranean Sea in spectacularly favorable weather.

 

Well, now we are on the open waters of the Atlantic heading for Rouen. Swells crossing under the ship from port to starboard and some fore to aft heaving in typical Atlantic seas. Nothing special in sea conditions and the ship is rockin! Passing in halls affected and my sister's cabin on deck 8 exhibits substantial sway - just watch the curtains that partition the room.

 

In next 24 hours expected to enter a rain system with winds up to 25 knots. Let's see how this ship truly handles.

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I'm not surprised to hear that. I have a neighbor who's on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship on a trans-Atlantic, and she and others have been walking like drunken sailors for a couple days now. She says the cruise director stands with his feet wide apart, and there have been a few minor accidents in the dining room.

 

Has the pool been closed yet due to too much sloshing? That's always my warning that things are getting rough!

 

Good thing my neighbor (and you guys) are not going around Cape Horn. I hear that can be fun...

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There has been too much favorable press since April 11th from traveler writers, reviewers and early passengers based solely on the Viking Star's transit of a relatively calm Mediterranean Sea in spectacularly favorable weather.

 

Well, now we are on the open waters of the Atlantic heading for Rouen. Swells crossing under the ship from port to starboard and some fore to aft heaving in typical Atlantic seas. Nothing special in sea conditions and the ship is rockin! Passing in halls affected and my sister's cabin on deck 8 exhibits substantial sway - just watch the curtains that partition the room.

 

In next 24 hours expected to enter a rain system with winds up to 25 knots. Let's see how this ship truly handles.

Yes, the Viking Star will be put to the test and so will some of the passengers.

I will look you up on the vessel tracker now...

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She is a smaller ship-- so I am not surprised that some are feeling the " motion of the ocean" I will come prepared this summer for my Viking Homelands, just in case

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Hope the movement once the Viking Star is in the Baltic for the Homelands iternary will be minimal, really, really hope!!

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Hope the movement once the Viking Star is in the Baltic for the Homelands iternary will be minimal, really, really hope!!

 

Baltic should be good as it's fairly sheltered, but don't expect river cruise smoothness - and don't let the worriers on here scare you. If you have a room mid ship and not too high up, even better. You'll love the Baltic!

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Some observations from this morning's fun.

 

Shower: there's the obvious challenges of holding onto the grab bar while shampooing your head, but thankfully Viking designers provided a good one in just the right spot. However, the real challenge is the flooding. The shower floor does not appear to have any slant to it and the drain is over in one corner. Surrounding the shower floor is a lip that's about an inch high. When the ship tilts towards the drain, it overwhelms the drain. When the ship tilts the other way all the water, now about 2" in depth spills over the lip and onto the bathroom floor, just like a waterfall. Took all our towels to mop it up from my shower. Fortunately there's another lip on the door to the cabin to stop the shower water or it would have flooded the whole cabin. This is not going to be an easy fix - not a matter of just caulking - it's a design issue. Sent my DH down to the men's spa locker room for his.

 

Pools: Main pool is open but water level is low. One brave soul was in the hottub. However, decks on the area around it are coated in water. Crew is valiantly out there with squeegees and mops trying to get it up. Deck is a bit slippery. Not just the area around the pool, but the two side decks around the edges that passengers need to traverse to get from one end of deck 7 to the other.

 

Spa pool is open and amazingly doesn't appear to have sloshed anywhere. Pretty crowded today though - more people than I've seen all cruise. Everything appears to be functioning normally.

 

Explorer's Lounge: full of people today. While I was having my cup of tea, one whole shelf of glassware came crashing to the floor. Shards of glass everwhere - dazed bartender standing in the middle.

 

Ceiling tiles: There have been no ceiling tiles in the AquaVit Terrace area since Istanbul, but there WERE ceiling tiles over the wraparound decks along the sides of the World Cafe. Until this morning. Crew out trying to keep them up, but have abandoned effort and taken them all down. Light fixtures there hanging by wires. As a distraction, shades are pulled partway down in World Cafe so diners don't see this. Only obvious if you go out on deck.

 

Good news: other than that, we're still afloat!

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Baltic should be good as it's fairly sheltered, but don't expect river cruise smoothness - and don't let the worriers on here scare you. If you have a room mid ship and not too high up, even better. You'll love the Baltic!

Roothy...I know we all appreciate your optimism but i think before you dismiss the concerns of those on board we should wait to hear how things are on the ship. It's a newly designed ship and past experiences on other ships might be different.

That said if anyone is concerned they should bring anti nausea patches to wear.

I agree no point in worrying too much ...just wait..and see. We heard awful stories about Cape Horn ...but in fact never needed our patches. Hopefully similar in the Baltic.

Edited by cassandra44

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Some observations from this morning's fun.

 

Shower: there's the obvious challenges of holding onto the grab bar while shampooing your head, but thankfully Viking designers provided a good one in just the right spot. However, the real challenge is the flooding. The shower floor does not appear to have any slant to it and the drain is over in one corner. Surrounding the shower floor is a lip that's about an inch high. When the ship tilts towards the drain, it overwhelms the drain. When the ship tilts the other way all the water, now about 2" in depth spills over the lip and onto the bathroom floor, just like a waterfall. Took all our towels to mop it up from my shower. Fortunately there's another lip on the door to the cabin to stop the shower water or it would have flooded the whole cabin. This is not going to be an easy fix - not a matter of just caulking - it's a design issue. Sent my DH down to the men's spa locker room for his.

 

Pools: Main pool is open but water level is low. One brave soul was in the hottub. However, decks on the area around it are coated in water. Crew is valiantly out there with squeegees and mops trying to get it up. Deck is a bit slippery. Not just the area around the pool, but the two side decks around the edges that passengers need to traverse to get from one end of deck 7 to the other.

 

Spa pool is open and amazingly doesn't appear to have sloshed anywhere. Pretty crowded today though - more people than I've seen all cruise. Everything appears to be functioning normally.

 

Explorer's Lounge: full of people today. While I was having my cup of tea, one whole shelf of glassware came crashing to the floor. Shards of glass everwhere - dazed bartender standing in the middle.

 

Ceiling tiles: There have been no ceiling tiles in the AquaVit Terrace area since Istanbul, but there WERE ceiling tiles over the wraparound decks along the sides of the World Cafe. Until this morning. Crew out trying to keep them up, but have abandoned effort and taken them all down. Light fixtures there hanging by wires. As a distraction, shades are pulled partway down in World Cafe so diners don't see this. Only obvious if you go out on deck.

 

Good news: other than that, we're still afloat!

 

Glad to read that you and Joe are doing OK! How many days on-board now Elizabeth? No mutiny on The Star yet? I figured that shower would be tricky, doesn't drain well in the best of times.

 

Kathy

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Meclizine is available for free (last we checked, a few days ago) from the Explorer's Desk and Dramamine is on sale in the store on board.

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It's mid-afternoon now and sea conditions have degraded somewhat. Regular waves perhaps 2-3 feet in height with about 10% whitecaps. No more rolling seas. The most pronounced motion is rolling port to starboard.

 

Around noon captain's announcement mentioned the ship was sailing at 16.5 knots.

 

Main pool is drained. The main pool had been closed with water levels down during prior two days which were port stops. So there may be maintenance or repair reasons combined with water sloshing.

 

Infinity pool is open with water level down 1.5-2 feet. Adjoining hot tub bubbling away.

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Just got back from a fantastic massage! Had no trouble staying on the table as the motion was from my head to foot, instead of side to side, so the tables must be perpendicular to the ship.

 

One danger to be aware of. The lockers are held closed with magnets that are not strong enough to hold them closed with the side to side motion, so they swing open unexpectedly. You could get a nasty bang in the head if you're not careful. All spa services seem to be up and running smoothly though.

 

This was my third massage and I've been pleased with them all. While they are a bit expensive, the quality of the massages is first rate.

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Personally, my husband and myself love it when the ship goes through some rocking and rolling. We went through Hurricane Hilary a few years ago on a ship and meclizine worked wonders. We didn't get sick at all. I guess if we go on an ocean cruise, movement is expected and we must accept it. Also, when on a new ship there will be problems. Don't look for the negative. Look for the positive.

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Personally, my husband and myself love it when the ship goes through some rocking and rolling. We went through Hurricane Hilary a few years ago on a ship and meclizine worked wonders. We didn't get sick at all. I guess if we go on an ocean cruise, movement is expected and we must accept it. Also, when on a new ship there will be problems. Don't look for the negative. Look for the positive.

 

Viking Star has IMHO noticeably more roll (side-to-side, not pitch or yaw) for a given sea state than similar or smaller cruise ships I have been on: Regent Mariner, Holland America Prinsendam, Oceania Nautica.

 

Whether this roll is because the stabilizers are not functioning as designed for whatever reason, or are functioning correctly but just allowing more roll than the other ships, is a question I am not qualified to discuss.

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Viking Star has IMHO noticeably more roll (side-to-side, not pitch or yaw) for a given sea state than similar or smaller cruise ships I have been on: Regent Mariner, Holland America Prinsendam, Oceania Nautica.

 

Whether this roll is because the stabilizers are not functioning as designed for whatever reason, or are functioning correctly but just allowing more roll than the other ships, is a question I am not qualified to discuss.

 

Sadly, even though I have plenty of experience on types of ocean going vessels, none translate to this size and type of ship. So I have no sense of comparison. I can tell you that in the toughest conditions so far, we had about a 3 degree roll and about a 1.5 degree pitch forward to aft (there is a great ap for your phone for this). Those are not large numbers. But I think what made them seem a bit more that their raw numerical value was the acceleration, or time of the cycle. Sometimes the roll could be very sharp. At other times it was softer and gentler.

 

Overall, nothing I have felt so far has been very bothersome to me. But it certainly has made some people sea sick. And just because I a former sailor does not mean I am immune to seasickness. Quite the opposite, I am fairly vulnerable to it, though my Navy time rolling around on the surface taught me several tricks that help including eating greasy food and having something to with my hands and not reading etc. Submarines, when they are on the surface, can be quite nasty in even the slightest sea conditions.

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....

 

One danger to be aware of. The lockers are held closed with magnets that are not strong enough to hold them closed with the side to side motion, so they swing open unexpectedly. You could get a nasty bang in the head if you're not careful. All spa services seem to be up and running smoothly though.

Another similar issue are the dryer doors. They swing open while you are bent over at the washing machine underneath. I have struck my head and seen two other people do it as well. One lady really smacked herself hard and had to sit down on the sofa to recover. But the solution is to just shut them all the way rather than leave them ajar.

 

Another head-smackng point on the ship is in the explorer lounge. The beautiful staircases that go up to the second level of the lounge have glass sides that extend down below the stair about a foot. They are also located such that they block the paths to the doors that allow you to go outside in front. So people are constantly walking underneath the stairs. And, like birds smacking themselves into windows, people hit their heads on those glass panels a lot. You can also sit in a chair underneath them and forget you are under it when you stand up. I am certain that they will be doing something to mark and/or pad those glass panels.

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But I think what made them seem a bit more that their raw numerical value was the acceleration, or time of the cycle. Sometimes the roll could be very sharp. At other times it was softer and gentler. /QUOTE]

 

I agree. On the first voyage we didn't have any rough weather, but I could tell when the stabilizers went out that the amplitude and period of the roll were greatly reduced, which caused an acceleration at the end of the roll that would throw you off balance. Perhaps the stabilizers could be programmed to soften that effect.

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Are hard to predict from analysis or model tests. Based on my experience working on ship and sub motions at the Taylor Model Basin for the US Navy starting in 1970, there is a lot of tuning needed once a ship is in a real seaway. Hope they will play with the gains and phases of the stabilizers before i board in June. Just a slight change in heading can effect the roll period and it is often the period, not the amplitude, that can triigger sickness. Passengers on cruises deserve a lot better motion control than sailors. But even sailors deserve better conditions in order to perform missions effectively.

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