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lzag

Is a Viking Cruise worth the money?

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We have sailed several times on Celebrity (Aqua cabin ) and Princess ( mini suite) and usually book last minute to get the best prices. We are considering booking a Viking Ocean cruise from Bergen to London in June, the itinerary looks great but the cost is triple the price when compared to comparable cabins on Princess and Celebrity. We are looking for a different experience, as we do not care for a lot of the glitz, the focus on shopping , extra costs for specialty coffee and wine and the large crowds. We would love to have more healthy food choices as well. The design of the ship and especially the spa area looks very appealing but I do have some concern about the ship being a little too quiet. But the key question is the high price tag.....I have no qualms about spending money but just wondering if others have felt like they got their moneys worth on the Viking Ocean cruises. Also airfare is included but since we are flying from San Francisco to Europe I normally use my points to upgrade to business and they do not offer a deduction if you don't book your flight with them. Thanks for your comments, Linda

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Well, everyone has different cruise/cost comparisons and here's mine. Last 2 cruises have been on Regent (penthouse suite) and Crystal, standard room.

 

Since we like all inclusive type cruises we booked a penthouse mini suite on Viking which includes most if not all the inclusive features of the luxury lines.

In this case Viking compared very favorably to the other lines for a similar itinerary. We booked Viking Air with business class upgrade. The price for air was much better than we could have booked ourselves.

 

If you are considering the Midnight Sun cruise for this June I would think there is very little availability. This is a popular itinerary and tends to sell out.

 

Good luck on your decision.

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We're on the Bergen to London cruise on June 3. What I like about Viking is that they are not charging for the speciality restaurants or spas. They have included tours, but we opted for the optional tours with our friends. Only one day we are taking an included tour in the morning. I love piano music and jazz nightclubs so I'm looking forward to this. They also have nightly shows, destination talks, and movies. They provide free sparkling wine, wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner but we opted for the silver spirit beverage package as my husband and friends enjoy evening cocktails and different wines. I injured my leg so I'm looking forward to the spa. The prices for massages seem to be about the same for high end resorts, that my husband will enjoy. As for air service, they don't give deductions when it's included, I know this because we are going on the South American/Caribbean cruise. If you don't want stop overs then book your own, if stop overs don't bother you then take biking and save some money. As for the quality of the meals and the nightlife and the included tours, I'll let others discuss this. I've been on large cruise ships and honestly, I don't like the crowds so I can't wait for our Viking cruise

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Viking has a different marketing plan than Celebrity.

I see you are an after final payment( 90 or less) buyer which does get you savings on Celebrity because they need to fill those cabins with 2000 folks before sailing. And if you use points for airfare you are not penalized with high last minute airfare. I have done the same last mintue booking on Celebrity only once. It was a sailing I had been monitering for over one year and it was the end of the European sailing season. Got a great price.

Viking asked for a deposit and then full payment months if not year before any arbitrary 90 day final payment model. It took me a little getting use to it but it is the way they do thing with fewer ships, less staterooms than the mainstream big ship lines.

I love that the price much more all inclusive than anything Celebrity does in its base price. I got so sick of trying to figure out Celebrity lastest promotions and still found add ons once on board.

The itinerary you are looking at for June is mostly sold out according to the Viking Web site. Sailing in the Baltic is also more expenseive than any other part of Europe.

I am looking forward to my first Viking cruise in March 2018. It was all paid for in Jan 2017, including air option. It is still less than my last Celebrity sailing in July of 2016 in Europe for 15 days.

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This thread called Tell Me Why gives a pretty in depth answer to whether you should try Viking or not.

 

In the US and Canada, Viking cruise pricing does not include airfare. Airfare is always quoted separately and pricing may run anywhere from hardly worth it to a good deal to free, depending on a lot of different factors. Airfare always includes transfers. Custom Air is not available on the "Into the Midnight Sun" itinerary; if you book air with Viking, you take what you get.

 

If it is Midnight Sun you interested in for this summer, you should keep in mind the following:

 

 

  • There are cabins available
  • Viking pricing is ALWAYS 2-for-1, double occupancy.
  • Viking rarely has last minute deductions in the cruise fare; 'deals' will be found in the airfare (but it still may be more than you can buy on your own). If you really want to travel this summer, don't hang around waiting for a last minute price reduction because it may never happen--and any deduction in fare may easily be balanced by a higher cost in airfare
  • Viking has already ticketed airfare (and even if booking on your own, business seats may be hard to find; consider going in early and staying late)
  • Passengers have already booked their shorex for the trip, so many tours may already be sold out.
  • Passengers have already booked their advanced dining reservations (but you can almost always make reservations on board)

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Hello Izag,

The question of value for money will always be somewhat subjective but for us the answer to your question was a resounding "yes" we feel that we got excellent value for our money.

 

We had not cruised before our Mediterranean trip on the Vikings Sea last February. This lack of experience of other cruises may in fact be something of an advantage when trying to decide on the value for money aspect in absolute terms. We are not distracted by trying to balance the cost and experience of one company against another, simply looking at what we spent and what we got from Viking.

 

Something else which should not be overlooked is the great advantage of knowing in advance what you're going to pay and what you're going to get. While it was certainly not cheap (in any sense!) We did not spend a penny beyond the cost of the cruise that was paid in advance because every single thing we needed was included.

 

When we were much younger I remember going to a smart Sunday brunch while on vacation in a much more upmarket hotel than we were used to at the time. As we enjoyed the fabulous food I suddenly realised that I had no idea how much the hotel charged for brunch! Then the thought came to me that the price really didn't matter, the experience and the food were just so good that they represented value for money whatever the price.

 

That is how I feel about Viking. Our experience on board was so close to being perfect in every way as to be priceless.

 

Over the years we've been pretty frugal. We have always done our research and spent money carefully whether it was on our home, our cars or our vacations. Within two weeks of returning from the Mediterranean we had booked our second cruise on Viking as you will see from our signature. I think that says all that needs to be said about our perception of the value for money that they represent.

 

I do hope you will give Viking a try, I really don't think you will be disappointed.

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Hello Izag,

The question of value for money will always be somewhat subjective but for us the answer to your question was a resounding "yes" we feel that we got excellent value for our money.

 

We had not cruised before our Mediterranean trip on the Vikings Sea last February. This lack of experience of other cruises may in fact be something of an advantage when trying to decide on the value for money aspect in absolute terms. We are not distracted by trying to balance the cost and experience of one company against another, simply looking at what we spent and what we got from Viking.

 

Something else which should not be overlooked is the great advantage of knowing in advance what you're going to pay and what you're going to get. While it was certainly not cheap (in any sense!) We did not spend a penny beyond the cost of the cruise that was paid in advance because every single thing we needed was included.

 

When we were much younger I remember going to a smart Sunday brunch while on vacation in a much more upmarket hotel than we were used to at the time. As we enjoyed the fabulous food I suddenly realised that I had no idea how much the hotel charged for brunch! Then the thought came to me that the price really didn't matter, the experience and the food were just so good that they represented value for money whatever the price.

 

That is how I feel about Viking. Our experience on board was so close to being perfect in every way as to be priceless.

 

Over the years we've been pretty frugal. We have always done our research and spent money carefully whether it was on our home, our cars or our vacations. Within two weeks of returning from the Mediterranean we had booked our second cruise on Viking as you will see from our signature. I think that says all that needs to be said about our perception of the value for money that they represent.

 

I do hope you will give Viking a try, I really don't think you will be disappointed.

 

Very beautifully put!! (y)

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Airfare always includes transfers

 

Oops, I better clarify this statement. Unless you deviate from the stated arrival and departure days, airfare prices include transfers.

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Hello Izag,

The question of value for money will always be somewhat subjective but for us the answer to your question was a resounding "yes" we feel that we got excellent value for our money.

 

We had not cruised before our Mediterranean trip on the Vikings Sea last February. This lack of experience of other cruises may in fact be something of an advantage when trying to decide on the value for money aspect in absolute terms. We are not distracted by trying to balance the cost and experience of one company against another, simply looking at what we spent and what we got from Viking.

 

Something else which should not be overlooked is the great advantage of knowing in advance what you're going to pay and what you're going to get. While it was certainly not cheap (in any sense!) We did not spend a penny beyond the cost of the cruise that was paid in advance because every single thing we needed was included.

 

When we were much younger I remember going to a smart Sunday brunch while on vacation in a much more upmarket hotel than we were used to at the time. As we enjoyed the fabulous food I suddenly realised that I had no idea how much the hotel charged for brunch! Then the thought came to me that the price really didn't matter, the experience and the food were just so good that they represented value for money whatever the price.

 

That is how I feel about Viking. Our experience on board was so close to being perfect in every way as to be priceless.

 

Over the years we've been pretty frugal. We have always done our research and spent money carefully whether it was on our home, our cars or our vacations. Within two weeks of returning from the Mediterranean we had booked our second cruise on Viking as you will see from our signature. I think that says all that needs to be said about our perception of the value for money that they represent.

 

I do hope you will give Viking a try, I really don't think you will be disappointed.

 

Photopro2,

 

I couldn't have expressed my thoughts any better than this if I had written it myself! The similarities are almost eerie. We are also new to cruising, having done one Viking River cruise that we enjoyed so much we came home and just weeks later booked our first Viking Ocean cruise. We have just returned from that trip through the eastern Mediterranean, and are looking for our next Viking experience now.

 

We spend our money carefully as well. The ships are so lovely that we are content in the least expensive cabins, as we spend most of our time out of the room. We find no need for upgraded drink packages. One advantage to the early payment which Viking requires is that when it came time to book excursions, we had paid for the trip so long ago that we felt free to splurge on a few of the optional excursions.

 

Both of our Viking experiences have been practically perfect, and that is the standard by which I judge most things. The trips are expensive, but the value is exceptional.

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We have sailed several times on Celebrity (Aqua cabin ) and Princess ( mini suite) and usually book last minute to get the best prices. ... The design of the ship and especially the spa area looks very appealing but I do have some concern about the ship being a little too quiet. But the key question is the high price tag.....

 

Yes, "best prices" are subjective, but anyway we have to analize and compare products if we want to understand what is what.

 

Bad news first. You have rightfully pointed out the weakest side of Viking Cruises product.

 

Value for money depends (1) on the ship (first of all), (2) on the itinerary (how unique and desirable it is), and (3) what the competitors have to offer (again in all the categories from 1 to 3).

Based on that, I (my opinion) rank Viking Cruises product value for money from 2.5 to 4 out of 5.

Besides the high price tag, the negative factor (for me) is the "inclusiveness" that makes me pay upfront for what I don't need on a cruise (alcohol, sodas, "included" excursions...)

 

Now good news are coming as I explain this range of value.

 

Back to the "inclusiveness". Whether considered good or bad, the gimmickry of "included" services constitutes a small portion of the whole price of the cruise.

 

(1) While major cruise brands continue to build floating apartment buildings, Viking Cruises have committed an act of bravery: they have built real cruise ships (4.5* - in my ranking).

It's amazing: groundbreaking ships without groundbreaking ads.

Celebrity and Princess are mainstream brands with a strong tendency of sliding deeper into mass market. Just look at the newest Princess floating objects, or Celebrity Edge. With the Reflection they stopped at the edge of mass market. Now they are going to "leave it behind". "Ship within a ship" concept is a stigma of low class. Viking and Celebrity are going to be on the opposite sides of the world soon.

 

(2) Itineraries are purely subjective.

However Viking Cruises still have room for improvements. They can reconsider their business in the Caribbean (a lot of room left), and also in the Mediterranean where they still have to prove that "small ship = unique ports" is not a legend.

Value for money will grow as Viking Cruises introduce more exotic (unique) itineraries.

 

(3) Comparable (4.5*- 5* category in my star rating) ships are not many.

Think of 3 Cunarders, two Holland America ships, two TUI Cruises ships, three Royal Caribbean ships, and the Crystal Serenity (IMO the only equal product from the "luxury" category that in fact is club style cruising with 5* "hotel service" on the ships that vary from 3* to 4.5*).

And... that is good news.

Viking Star are below or equal to the Major Ten (of eleven) in product quality.

But they are well below in value for money - when the Major Ten are nearby.

Fortunately the Majors are just a few.

They are not nearby most of the time.

And that's another good news.

 

So... back to the original question (Is the Viking cruise worth the money?).

I believe it is if the value is from 4 out of 5 that depends on where and when we cruise, and what other options are.

 

Viking ships are neither floating apartment building, nor small floating boutique hotels.

They are small Cruise Ships. So they are worth some extra money.

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Ronbe65, my issue with your analysis is that Viking should reconsider the Caribbean. I have gone on the large cruise ships to the Caribbean and I'm looking forward to our cruise in February 2018 because I don't like the crowded ships and I don't like having to be charged for everything extra, drinks at lunch and dinner, extra for the spa and extra for speciality restaurants. Yes the included tours and lunch and dinner are included in the price as well as getting a veranda in every cabin. For myself, I love the special treatment that I receive from Viking from the moment that I book, and yes, I know that others may not have had the same experience.

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IMO, you really cannot make a value comparison between the mega ships carrying 3000-5000 passengers with any ship in the under 1000 passengers range.

This is not an apples to oranges comparison, it's more like apples to pasta. They are both edible and that's where the similarities end.

 

Same with big ships, they all float but after that the experience is very different.

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IMO, you really cannot make a value comparison between the mega ships carrying 3000-5000 passengers with any ship in the under 1000 passengers range.

This is not an apples to oranges comparison, it's more like apples to pasta. They are both edible and that's where the similarities end.

 

Same with big ships, they all float but after that the experience is very different.

 

Love it! Gonna use it more often. (y)

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A cruise ship rating does not depend on the number of passengers or the price tags.

It does depend on how well cruise ships perform in certain areas (equipment, public spaces indoor and outdoor, sun decks & pools, promenades, cabins, spa & fitness, food quality and availability, entertainment options, etc.)

There may be small ships, mid-size ships, or even large ships within 4.5*-5* category.

Viking ships have more in common with Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas than with the Silver Cloud.

Sounds unusual? Yes, I understand. But this is what it is.

Just to clarify my point..

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Is it worth the money?

 

Apparently thousands think so as they keep booking. And of course thousands of others do not think so.

 

There is another active thread with a very sort (non helpful) title... something like "tell me why" that gives some good feedback.

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Value is so subjective. I will offer this -- Christmas 2013 we took a one week Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette, cost was $2,000 pp in a basic balcony cabin. Christmas 2017 we will be on the Viking Star in the Mediterranean. Cost pp in the basic balcony cabin -- $1,995. With some beverages and shore excursions included. We haven't even boarded and Viking already feels like a value because we have that comparison. And we did not love our Celebrity experience so anxious to see how Viking compares. So, to each their own on "value."

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A cruise ship rating does not depend on the number of passengers or the price tags.

It does depend on how well cruise ships perform in certain areas (equipment, public spaces indoor and outdoor, sun decks & pools, promenades, cabins, spa & fitness, food quality and availability, entertainment options, etc.)

There may be small ships, mid-size ships, or even large ships within 4.5*-5* category.

Viking ships have more in common with Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas than with the Silver Cloud.

Sounds unusual? Yes, I understand. But this is what it is.

Just to clarify my point..

 

Despite the length of your posts, you don't actually tell us much about the facts on which you base your ratings -- other than the personal factors that you don't drink and don't value included excursions. The opposite approach is the objective ratings in the Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships guidebook, which rates the Viking Ocean ships at 4.5 stars, your favorite Silver Cloud at 4.0 stars, and Independence of the Seas at 3.5 stars. Since Viking is one of the few ocean lines that include shore excursions at every port, the closest value comparison would be to Regent -- and none of the Regent ships received as many points in the Berlitz scoring as any of the Viking ships.

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I look at value as being subjective just like food. Individual tastes, expectations, wants, needs and opinions vary from person to person. Only you know it's true worth.

 

Personally, I don't go by ratings, reviews or comparisons. It's always up to interpretation.

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As a solo traveller, any consideration of value for money is immediately skewed by Viking's single supplement of 100%.

 

At least the latest date for final payment for my 10 April 2018 cruise is not until 30 January 2018.

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As a solo traveller, any consideration of value for money is immediately skewed by Viking's single supplement of 100%.

 

At least the latest date for final payment for my 10 April 2018 cruise is not until 30 January 2018.

You will have plenty of time to find the perfect roommate for added value.:)

One of the benefits of booking from the UK instead of the USA is final payment deadline.

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I thought Viking was 'all inclusive':)

 

Attention, English Voyager! Here is your trophy. You have just won the award for "best reply to a post ever"!!

 

 

Save

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Attention, English Voyager! Here is your trophy. You have just won the award for "best reply to a post ever"!!

 

 

Save

 

Be warned.

 

I intend to thank all my relatives in my acceptance speech.

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be warned.

 

I intend to thank all my relatives in my acceptance speech.

 

:D:D:D

(Can't reply with just smiley faces.:mad:)

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I thought Viking was 'all inclusive':)

 

The devil is in the details or small print in any cruise offer. ;)

 

Sorry to see we will not be on the same cruise next April.

I get off the Viking Sea on April 10.

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