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CelticMutt

"Almost" Live From The Viking Sea - Sept 4, 2016

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You can certainly order more than one portion or an additional entree.

 

Becki

 

I thought so. I have a question. Do the Viking ocean ships have a Yamaha Clavinova piano on them like the Viking river ships do? That is the type of piano that has full orchestral accompaniment. I have one at home and was fortunate enough to make friends with the pianist on board who let me use it during his off times. I had earphones when others were around, but developed my own private fan club too. LOL It was lots of fun.

Edited by artbcpa

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Several people have mentioned the smaller portions. Isn't Viking ocean like most every cruise line? You can order more than one item or get seconds if you want them? I am going back a long way (when I could eat a lot more than now) to my very first cruise. The second night they had coq au vin, prime rib and canard l'orange, three of my favorite dishes. When the waiter asked what I wanted, I said YES. :D

 

I doubt if I could do that now, but wanted to know if there were restrictions on what you can order.

 

No one starves for lack of food on any cruise that I have ever been on--and Viking is no exception. At first I thought the portions were a bit small but soon I realized that I was eating a full breakfast, lunch and a multi-course dinner plus some between meal nibbling (tea sandwiches in the Wintergarden, sushi appetizer in World Cafe before going into dinner)--much more than I eat in a day at home. CM and Art, by the time you are a few days into the cruise, I think even you will agree that actually the portions are just right.

 

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Bill,

Just wondering if you can give me some info about how the muster drill is handled by Viking? I have been on several of the larger ships and they seem to drag the drill out for an eternity. Do you have to actually wear your life vest and stand at a rally point and listen to announcements while they slowly count to make sure all the PAX are present? Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

 

Carol

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You're funny, 930, I usually wake at 530, 600 on vacation, gotta get my morning coffee, lol

 

Sounds like jet-lag finally caught up to them.

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Sounds like jet-lag finally caught up to them.

 

Some of us are just better at retirement than others. I make it a point to get up by noon, but sometimes only 'just.'

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Cruisegirl19, this was the easiest, quickest muster drill I've ever done. We were seated in the theater

- no life jackets and over in 10 min. I believe all the other stations were also seated. Easy squeezed!

 

 

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I was feeling a bit guilty about just lazing about the boat yesterday until I realized I was on vacation! So to hell with guilt!

We alternated between the main pool and the aft infinity pool for most of the afternoon. The pool temperatures were kind of warm with the infinity pool being a bit cooler but the main pool offering at least partial shade if you stuck to the side lounges on the port side.

We had lunch at the poolside grill and I got to tell you that the burgers are the best I've ever had on the ship – they rival what you would get in a good outside burger joint. Cooked to order (rare, please!) with caramelized onions, bacon and cheddar, but they also had a number of other specialty burgers along with a great looking Ruben. We also split a foot-long hotdog later in the afternoon and that too was wonderful!

I'm number of people have commented on this but I'll reiterate: even though there are 1000 people on the ship – it's full! – you wander through it and there are so many empty and isolated seating spaces that you would never know it was a full ship!

Viking hosted the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle for us on the second floor of the Explorers Lounge. Cocktails and light hors d'oeuvres were served and many of the ship's officers including Captain Swene (sp?) and cruise director, Heather, were in attendance. Sadly only about 12 of the 18 signed up toward attended but the ships personnel were very keen on learning our early impressions of the ship and services and it was a lovely affair as the ship left port.

Last night was lobster night and we understand that they'll also be another one the second to the last evening on board. They also served Beef Wellington so I passed on the lobster in favor of one of my favorite dinners, but my wife indicated that the lobster was excellent and much larger than the norm I've seen on other crew ships where you might only get a tail. We had chosen to dine late (after 8 PM) so we didn't finish until after 10 and then retired to the Explores lounge for an after dinner cocktail.

Early excursion tomorrow so we decided to hit the hay a bit earlier than we had in the past couple of days. We have been absolutely delighted with the service, food, entertainment and the overall ambience of the ship so far! While there were some glitches in early pre-boarding administrative aspects, so far we've seen nothing of that sort on board the ship.

We hit some heavy seas transitioning from Barcelona to Toulon last night. Some of the sea spray was evident on our balcony on deck six!79c5869a658ce8c41a0d74744e93a6c2.jpg

More tomorrow!

Skål!

Bill

 

 

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Cruisegirl19, this was the easiest, quickest muster drill I've ever done. We were seated in the theater

- no life jackets and over in 10 min. I believe all the other stations were also seated. Easy squeezed!

 

 

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Half the ship reports to the Theater and half reports to The Restaurant. Your Assembly Station and your Group Number are printed on the back of your room key/ship id.

Edited by Peregrina651

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Thank you so much for your posts. I am enjoying them so much and even managed to get DH to read your latest showing details of the menu. Can't wait for our cruise from the 25th.

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It is good to know that even on a sea day the ship does not feel crowded!

Thank you for this wonderful live review.

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I thought so. I have a question. Do the Viking ocean ships have a Yamaha Clavinova piano on them like the Viking river ships do? That is the type of piano that has full orchestral accompaniment. I have one at home and was fortunate enough to make friends with the pianist on board who let me use it during his off times. I had earphones when others were around, but developed my own private fan club too. LOL It was lots of fun.

 

 

All Steinways. Tonight, a guest with an alto sax played for quite a while with the pianist in the living room. It was quite enjoyable.

 

 

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Something we learned this evening from our server about the house wines that are served a complementary had lunch and dinner. He told us that they are rotating for different wines, one each on a daily basis. He told us that if we found one we liked better than the others they are always available by request. We were especially happy to find that out today as we found one tonight that was most enjoyable. All have been better than acceptable but the one tonight, for us, was exceptional.

 

 

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We booked the Walking Tour of Toulon which left from the pier at 8:30 AM. This was perfect because it avoided the hotter part of the day and the two hours or so in town was just the perfect amount of time to see this charming little place. After the town tour we got on a excursion boat that toured the harbor. This would've been pleasant enough but we actually got to see the Aircraft carrier, Charles De Gaul leaving Port. Well not Euge by the standards of American aircraft carriers this was pretty special to see leaving the harbor – obviously for some kind of action in the Mediterranean.

We returned in time for lunch on board and some pool time. We also stopped in for afternoon tea in the winter garden – very refined!

We had reservations for this evening at the Chef's Table. It turns out that dinner this evening was one of a couple of 4-course, themed menus with a wine pairing. (You get four different wines for each course and if you pay an extra $25 or if you have the Silver Package these wines are upgraded to a premium status. The four courses were pre-selected to fit a "sweet and salty" theme and therefore you didn't have any other menu choices at the restaurant for this specific evening. Even though the food was excellent I still like the option of having multiple choices when I go to a restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately our other reservation at the Chef's Table is also a predetermined menu with a different team (Middle Eastern) so we will probably try to get the reservation changed. It would probably be a good idea to let cruisers know about the menu limitations when we're making the reservation rather than when you show up for dinner.

We once again and it up in the explore's Lounge for after dinner cocktails. The piano player was just going off and was replaced by a trio – violin cello and flute). I didn't get their name but will make a point of doing so because they were really pretty good!

Incidentally, Mamsen's - a kind of Swedish deli - is directly adjacent to the Explores Lounge and offers some nice midnight snacks!

As Flhartley has already reported, the pianos - one in the atrium and one in the Explores lounge are Steinways, but upon asking the bartender he indicated that the smaller piano that's in the Explores lounge was indeed electronic. I believe this piano was "playing" while we were at the meet and mingle on the eighth deck Explores lounge.

Kanpai!,

Bill

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Chef's Table

 

  • fixed menu--everybody is served the same thing
  • wine pairings (upgrade for a fee (which might be included in the Silver Spirits package; I don't have a clear answer on that))
  • new menu every three days
  • menus not available in advance of the cruise (and change from cruise to cruise)
  • menus can be viewed at Chef's Table to help you decide which nights to reserve

We did not eat there on our last cruise (four picky eaters with no patience) but are looking forward to experiencing it over New Year's. It will be a lot easier to deal with when there are just two of us. Still, food allergies will be an issue and we will let the chef decide if the meal can be prepared allergen free.

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Monte Carlo! The ship docked in the Monte Carlo harbor - about a 10 minute tender ride to the pier. At first we were a bit annoyed that we would have to tender, but after seeing the spectacular view that we had from the ship - especially as compared to the couple of cruise liners docked at the pier, we were very much satisfied with our anchored position!

We were just in Monte Carlo two years ago as part of an "South of France" Viking River extension, so while we had done a good job of covering Monte Carlo already we wanted to make sure our traveling companions had a good and complete experience in the municipality. We chose to do the included "walking tour of Monte Carlo" and were quite satisfied with its coverage. The tour guide took us to the oceanographic Institute, the botanical gardens, Princesses Stephanie and Caroline's homes. the Cathedral (and Grace Kelly's grave) and ended up for the changing of the guard at the Palace. The city is gorgeous as are the Mediterranean (Côte de Azur) views from our walk up along "the Rock"!

The only two attractions that we wanted them to see that wouldn't have been included on the walk were the Casino and the Hotel de Paris. We decided to take the little locomotive tour that operates directly across from the oceanographic Institute. For 9 euro the 30 to 40 minute tram takes you completely around the city and you can get off at The Casino if you choose to do so. (There is also a municipal bus that leaves one block from the Institute.) We were satisfied with just seeing the overview that the tram gives you of the casino and hotel and frankly after about 9000 steps (someone had a Fitbit!) We were happy to cop a seat and have someone drive us!

It was my lovely wife's birthday today and I think she'll admit it was a pretty good one!

We had dinner at Manfredi's tonight. What a superb meal! I had the hand cut beef tartare – absolutely delicious! Also the ribeye was one of the finest steaks I've ever had! A birthday cake for Donna topped off the meal, but by that time we had a tough time even considering dessert! The service and the food really made this a fine-dining experience.

we had tickets for the Rat Pack show at Torshaven - the nightclub. (Make sure to book your reservations with guest services because there is limited seating in this lounge. There are shows a couple of times per cruise though.) These three guys were excellent and some of the best entertainment I've ever seen on a cruise ship. Really Broadway caliber performances! They even sang Happy Birthday to Donna!

Just a note to clear up the miss-information regarding the Silver drink package use in Torshaven. This comes straight from one of the lounge bartenders. You CAN use the Silver package in this bar, it's just that the menu items are all over nine dollars. But they do indeed have a full component of adult beverages behind the bar that are below nine dollars. Therefore you can use the Silver package for these drinks.

We weren't aware of this fact prior to the show and so we transported drinks in from another bar; totally unnecessary!

Donna's birthday; Monte Carlo; a great dinner and an excellent show - undoubtedly one of our best days ever cruising!

gān bēi!

Bill

ps: a couple of fair balance points just so y'all don't think I'm carrying water for Viking. The cabin bathroom could use more ventilation. It can get quite warm and stuffy in there because the vent is tiny. (And I know we can have the steward turn off the heated floor, but that wouldn't help with air flow.

Also, there could be more wait staff presence in the pool area. Maybe I'm used to the overly strong badgering on other cruise lines. Don't want that but I also don't want to get my own drinks either.

Oh, and I hate their cocktail onions! (Someone needs to be flogged!!) b2075504a28c5ccd2c6f12643736fec6.jpg

 

 

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Thank you so much for your review and it has been most informative. I noticed you mentioned a birthday cake for your wife, my husband will be celebrating his birthday as well on the cruise and was wondering if you ordered it beforehand or what the procedure is. Thanks again

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CelticMutt, thanks for finding out about the silver spirits beverage package . If there are four in your group, and all are getting the same wine, will they provide by glass or bottle, thanks

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CelticMutt, thanks for finding out about the silver spirits beverage package . If there are four in your group, and all are getting the same wine, will they provide by glass or bottle, thanks

 

If they are handing you a bottle, won't they want to charge you for that bottle since by the bottle is not included in the drinks package?

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Thank you so much for your review and it has been most informative. I noticed you mentioned a birthday cake for your wife, my husband will be celebrating his birthday as well on the cruise and was wondering if you ordered it beforehand or what the procedure is. Thanks again

 

Talk with one of the head waiters when you board and they will help you arrange all to your satisfaction.

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Talk with one of the head waiters when you board and they will help you arrange all to your satisfaction.

 

If they are handing you a bottle, won't they want to charge you for that bottle since by the bottle is not included in the drinks package?

 

True, I guess that they will just give us a glass at a time.

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Don't know quite where to jump in here but, yes, you can order as many glasses of the premium wines as you want, but no bottles. You can also order bottles for the room but once again no premium bottles. Not really a problem because the wait service in the restaurants is so on the ball that a full bottle is not really necessary. A great many of the upgraded wines we've tried on the Silver package have been very good indeed.

Be careful in ordering because our friends were charged for a full bottle (corrected by the staff once explained) because it appeared to the waiter that they were ordering a full bottle. Just make sure that you stipulate a "glass".

Since my wife's birthday was actually at a specialty restaurant – we had informed the maitre d' about the event before hand but reminded the waitress upon checking in. I am sure if you alert the maître d' at "The Restaurant" he will be able to do exactly the same.

 

 

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