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Excursions - do they sell out?

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Great information Peregrina651 :) I called Viking this morning to find out when I could view the excursions for my cruise October 4th and they said they'd probably be available to look at around the second week of June. So I'l be checking then and making some decisions so I can do my marathon booking on August 5th :D Pat

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Thank you Peregrina. I thought that the tours showing on Vikings day by day itinerary were the tours they offered in each port. Go figure! :o Good to know that is not necessarily the case!

I do find those "possible excursions" very helpful in planning what to do in port.....either on a ship excursion, a private/small group tour, or just a DIY day (which are often our favorites).

There are a few "possible excursions" on our upcoming trip that we are interested in, so this thread has been really helpful.

 

Deec - we hope it lives up to the hype too!! We will be the first foray for Viking in those Brazil ports. We believe it will be a fantastic experience!!

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Great information Peregrina651 :) I called Viking this morning to find out when I could view the excursions for my cruise October 4th and they said they'd probably be available to look at around the second week of June. So I'l be checking then and making some decisions so I can do my marathon booking on August 5th :D Pat

 

In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the ports and the shorex that might be on offer on the Viking website.

 

I usually create my own "brochure" snipping the relevant information from the screen and posting it into a document that I can then print out and give my husband to read and I can take notes on it. It gives me ideas of what to do in each port--and keeps me busy until MVJ is ready to read. For the tours that really interest me, I also snip the information given in the Learn More window (the description of the tour, which you must read very carefully so that you know what is planned).

 

 

(Note: Windows has a snipping tool that allows you copy just a section of the screen (rectangular cuts only). Look for it in Windows Accessories. I keep a shortcut to it the taskbar so it is easy to find.)

 

 

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Peregrina651 I love that idea of reviewing all the possible excursions to plan. What a great idea making up a brochure for your husband to look at. I will look them over carefully now and then when they allow me to go into the shore excursions on myvikingjourney.com I'll be more prepared. I have been trying to figure out some excursions on shore in some areas we're going as well. Just to try and compare. I'm copy and pasting all your suggestions so I remember all your helpful information:) Thanks again, Pat

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I am new to Viking and I am very concerned about the procedure for booking excursions. I do hope that Viking will acknowledge this post. Viking seems to be a port intensive cruise line which is why we have chosen to book with them for the Homelands Cruise. I almost always do independent tours but some of the included and other tours on the Homelands cruise do appeal especially with limited time in some ports.

 

I have no objection to people that pay more for rooms getting more benefits on board the ship like dining, spa or whatever but I object to there being a tiered status for booking excursions based on room category.

 

1. It makes early planning very difficult for those that like to plan early but have not chosen an higher level room.

2. It forces travelers to make 2 sets of plans in case the tours that one wants are not available.

3. 60 days out is not always soon enough for alternative plans to be made.

4. If tours were opened to all on a certain date - say 6 months out - everyone would have a chance to book and see the options and then make alternative plans if necessary. The cruise line would have a better idea as to what tours are filling up and could make adjustments additions etc.

5. People who miss out on tours would miss out due to lack of early planning rather than room category.

6. Those that do plan ahead would not have to stress about their plans which is not a good way to start a vacation.

 

I hope that someone is listening. I am personally excited about many of Vikings decisions and concepts regarding the Ocean Cruises but I will not book again if there is not some change to this procedure.

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Peregrina651 I love that idea of reviewing all the possible excursions to plan. What a great idea making up a brochure for your husband to look at. I will look them over carefully now and then when they allow me to go into the shore excursions on myvikingjourney.com I'll be more prepared. I have been trying to figure out some excursions on shore in some areas we're going as well. Just to try and compare. I'm copy and pasting all your suggestions so I remember all your helpful information:) Thanks again, Pat

 

Here is my other tip: follow all of the roll calls for your itinerary and any other itinerary that overlaps the ports on your itinerary. All you have to do is subscribe to those roll calls and set it for daily notifications. On the days when there is activity, you will get an e-mail with the day's posts, that you can then read without having to log into CC. There is a lot to be learned on the roll calls that is not necessarily shared here.

 

 

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I am new to Viking and I am very concerned about the procedure for booking excursions. I do hope that Viking will acknowledge this post. .

 

You should contact Viking at tellus@vikingcruises.com and share this with them directly.

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Dear aquidneck1,

 

We are listening, and appreciate your feedback on our shore excursion booking procedure. Our records indicate you were able to further discuss your suggestions with a Viking representative today, and we’re pleased that we had the opportunity to hear and address your concerns.

 

Should you ever need additional assistance, as Peregrina651 noted, you’re always welcome to email us at tellus@vikingcruises.com. We look forward to cruising with you, and thank you for reaching out to us.

 

Have a wonderful day!

 

Warm regards,

Viking Cruises

I am new to Viking and I am very concerned about the procedure for booking excursions. I do hope that Viking will acknowledge this post. Viking seems to be a port intensive cruise line which is why we have chosen to book with them for the Homelands Cruise. I almost always do independent tours but some of the included and other tours on the Homelands cruise do appeal especially with limited time in some ports.

 

I have no objection to people that pay more for rooms getting more benefits on board the ship like dining, spa or whatever but I object to there being a tiered status for booking excursions based on room category.

 

1. It makes early planning very difficult for those that like to plan early but have not chosen an higher level room.

2. It forces travelers to make 2 sets of plans in case the tours that one wants are not available.

3. 60 days out is not always soon enough for alternative plans to be made.

4. If tours were opened to all on a certain date - say 6 months out - everyone would have a chance to book and see the options and then make alternative plans if necessary. The cruise line would have a better idea as to what tours are filling up and could make adjustments additions etc.

5. People who miss out on tours would miss out due to lack of early planning rather than room category.

6. Those that do plan ahead would not have to stress about their plans which is not a good way to start a vacation.

 

I hope that someone is listening. I am personally excited about many of Vikings decisions and concepts regarding the Ocean Cruises but I will not book again if there is not some change to this procedure.

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In the meantime, you can familiarize yourself with the ports and the shorex that might be on offer on the Viking website.

 

I usually create my own "brochure" snipping the relevant information from the screen and posting it into a document that I can then print out and give my husband to read and I can take notes on it. It gives me ideas of what to do in each port--and keeps me busy until MVJ is ready to read. For the tours that really interest me, I also snip the information given in the Learn More window (the description of the tour, which you must read very carefully so that you know what is planned).

 

 

(Note: Windows has a snipping tool that allows you copy just a section of the screen (rectangular cuts only). Look for it in Windows Accessories. I keep a shortcut to it the taskbar so it is easy to find.)

 

 

 

 

Save

 

I do the same but use free Evernote with that snip feature to create my list. I can view the notes on laptop or phone.

Then I update it with the revised descriptions on MVJ when it comes out.

I include flight, hotel, etc. info as well

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I do the same but use free Evernote with that snip feature to create my list. I can view the notes on laptop or phone.

Then I update it with the revised descriptions on MVJ when it comes out.

I include flight, hotel, etc. info as well

 

I found TripIt before I found Evernote (which, though I have, I rarely use) and I use TripIt to aggregate my travel plans, except for the shorex which I just throw into a do. I am basically a paper-and-pencil kind of girl.

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I am new to Viking and I am very concerned about the procedure for booking excursions. I do hope that Viking will acknowledge this post. Viking seems to be a port intensive cruise line which is why we have chosen to book with them for the Homelands Cruise. I almost always do independent tours but some of the included and other tours on the Homelands cruise do appeal especially with limited time in some ports.

 

I have no objection to people that pay more for rooms getting more benefits on board the ship like dining, spa or whatever but I object to there being a tiered status for booking excursions based on room category.

 

1. It makes early planning very difficult for those that like to plan early but have not chosen an higher level room.

2. It forces travelers to make 2 sets of plans in case the tours that one wants are not available.

3. 60 days out is not always soon enough for alternative plans to be made.

4. If tours were opened to all on a certain date - say 6 months out - everyone would have a chance to book and see the options and then make alternative plans if necessary. The cruise line would have a better idea as to what tours are filling up and could make adjustments additions etc.

5. People who miss out on tours would miss out due to lack of early planning rather than room category.

6. Those that do plan ahead would not have to stress about their plans which is not a good way to start a vacation.

 

I hope that someone is listening. I am personally excited about many of Vikings decisions and concepts regarding the Ocean Cruises but I will not book again if there is not some change to this procedure.

 

Tough I am not an experienced cruiser, I had 2.5 years to plan my VH cruise while they built the ship and sailed the first year. Planning is just that, If you pay more, there are advantages. We were in a V cabin so I was in the last group to sign. We got every excursions we wanted. Some of the included had to be adjusted in time preference but we got what we were promised. For the paid excursions I took, I looked at all the options and had plan B in place if that didn't happen. When researching, I found out that most other options could be booked closer to arrival, after our window had opened and there would be no problem. So even 60 days out is not an option in most cases unless you choose to view it that way. When I saw there was not going to be a way to have the full experience I wanted in SP through Viking without paying way over my budget, I did set up with Alla early on and was able to get a group of 12 together, even though I didn't not know anyone sailing when we booked. We were not able to book dining reservations until we boarded but ate in specialty restaurants 7 nights of our cruise. But regardless of how this is done, stressing about something you really have control over is no way to start any project. In my case, though I could not do anything about dining reservations, all other aspects were in place 60 days out so by the time the vacation started, I was calm and ready to enjoy.

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Dauntless we were also in a V (hoping to change to a V for our 120 day voyage). Had the same experience and had NO difficulty booking tours. 2 of the included tours were a little later than we would have wanted but it was fine. One tour we were not with our friends and Guest Services remedied it without an issue. We booked specialty restaurants as soon as we boarded ( thanks to suggestions of CC posters).

We were all very happy and looking forward to more days on Vking Ships!!!!

 

Viking's Ocean Excursions seem to still be the weakest part of the wonderful product they offer. The "included"tours were for the most part OK, a few excellent and an utter failure (Stockholm!). We only took one "optional" through Viking and had a terrible experience, we paid $179 to go to Monet's Gardens (they were gorgeous)...we should have booked our own tour as we did in Amsterdam ( Kuekenhof Garden) and St. Petersburg ( 2 day tour for 4). We are hoping that the WC will be able to provide consistently excellent tours both included and optional. We will likely NEVER repeat many of the ports of call!

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Thanks everyone for the encouragement. There are definitely some tours in Norway that we cannot do on our own. If we cannot get on those tours, we would stay an extra night in Bergen. Unfortunately, we will not be able to plan that 60 days out. I am making the plans for more than my husband and myself so a bit more pressure as we convinced the other couple to do this. :D

 

We will be fine but I cannot say that I will not stress about this, go to the trouble of making alternative plans etc. Still - too old to get up at 3 in the morning to book things.

 

I think that this could be easier but it is what it is. I have never had a "bad cruise" so in the end will be fine. Just want to make sure that we see as much as possible.

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Jean you will most likely be just fine on optional excursions, and you are guaranteed an included excursion in each port....If you are really nervous about experiencing specific things in certain ports, maybe consider booking private or small group tours? We do that in those situations.....and the price points are NEVER higher than a ship tour/excursion. Lots of good tips on Ports of Call section as well as TripAdvisor.....and if you are able to get the ship tours you want and they look more attractive, cancel the private. Then you have your bases covered.

We were on Homelands....The sail into Stockholm was just beautiful. And as has been said, there is a lot to see and do in that beautiful city....old town, Vasa Museum, change of the guards.....

We also did the Norway in a Nutshell day - it was a long and full day, but so glad we experienced that.

I am always in favor of arriving a couple/few days before and after our cruise. For a whole lot of reasons. And for me, that reduces my stress and allows me to acclimate on each end. If you are planning for several people, maybe give yourselves the time on each end to see what you want....and to just soak up where you are.

You will be able to get into the specialty restaurants.....you will love your cruise. It is a great itinerary, beautiful ship, top notch crew, we thoroughly enjoyed the food......and we've booked again!

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Aquidneck, believe it or not I did get up at 1 AM (I am in AZ) to book our included tours. I'm still working full time so it was a hassle and really was upsetting as far as me working the next day. We did get the included tours and times (for the most part) I really did not like setting the alarm to get up and then go back to bed. I totally understand why you want to do the included tours..we booked Viking in part because tours were included! So why pay more if you don't have to? In St Petersburg we booked with a local company for 2 days....Alla...it was marvelous and the only outside company that we booked with. On mainstream cruiselines I always do indepedent tours but on Viking I felt that it should be included so I totally understand.

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we were in the lowest cabin category and DID NOT get up in the middle of the night we live in the Eastern Time Zone. As I said other than the times on a couple of the tours we had No issues booking included tours for 4 of us. However, for people who are not comfortable with the computer I am now wondering if Viking or the TA will do it for them?

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Dee it was silly of me but I was a little concerned...too concerned as it turns out since everything was fine! I get up at 5:30 for work so I figured it was 1 AM or getting up even earlier to do it.

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We are travelling with another couple. How did you coordinate the times? Can you see what's available the day before?

 

I realize that we are all being reassured but I still believe that this is unnecessary worry.

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No one has said this yet: Included excursions NEVER sell out.

 

You might not get the earliest time, but you will get the included tours.

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Aquidneck....we were traveling with another couple as well. Some of the excursions we got the same times, some we did not. But it all worked out fine, we did not need to be together for everything! They were able to book before we were, so they gave us their times and we tried for the same ones. Some worked, some didn't. I'm sure if we had asked we may have been able to change them but it really didn't matter so we didn't even ask. And even if you do get the same times you need to be sure that you meet up somewhere ahead of time because sometimes 4 or 5 buses are scheduled at the same time. If you all go together when you get off you can ask for the same bus.

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Thanks Stretchcruz and all others for their advice and encouragement. I am hoping that this will work out for everyone.

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Dear aquidneck1,

 

We are listening, and appreciate your feedback on our shore excursion booking procedure. Our records indicate you were able to further discuss your suggestions with a Viking representative today, and we’re pleased that we had the opportunity to hear and address your concerns.

 

Should you ever need additional assistance, as Peregrina651 noted, you’re always welcome to email us at tellus@vikingcruises.com. We look forward to cruising with you, and thank you for reaching out to us.

 

Have a wonderful day!

 

Warm regards,

Viking Cruises

After reading all the posts in this thread, there is much good information here but I would like to add our experience. We are on the Star again, this time Midnight Sun Embarking on Sat Jun 3 in Bergen. This is our second Viking Ocean Cruise and second on the Star. Hopefully this one will complete, last time we exited early in Tallinn. But that is another story. Anyway on the Homelands Cruise we had no problem booking shore excursions, did do it at 3 AM but things went nice and smooth also did not check out until all days were booked. This time the web site was ridiculously slow between pages and kept spinning and spinning when selections were made. Took about an hour to go through everyday. When I went to the checkout page to pay I got a message saying one of the excursions we booked was full, even though it was available when I put it in my 'basket'. I went back to check after paying for those that were still available and sure enough FULL. Now that kind of ticked me off as I felt it was like being in a store with an item in your basket and a store employee comes along and says I have a customer at the checkout counter that wants one of you items and takes it out of the basket and sells it to the customer who is ready.

Those who book higher level cabins (Suites and Penthouse Veranda get earlier choice and I am just fine with that. We booked DV2 Deluxe Veranda on the Homelands and DV4 Deluxe Veranda on the Midnight Sun, both can book the same number of days ahead of sailing along with everyone in cabin . I think it would be be a good idea to either split the Deluxe Veranda into two sections and Veranda V1 & V2 into another section so many people are not on the site at the same time or update the web site to accomodate a higher level of traffic on excursion booking days. We will just rent a car at the particular location we could not get on the shore excursion we wanted.

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Seems like many of you opt out of the included excursions in favour of private excursions. I get the reasons why, but why pay for a cruise that has included excursions imbedded in the price and then opt out?

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