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roothy123

Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers

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Today I was reading a review of Viking Ocean ships in a Berlitz book on cruises and the author mentioned "against the flow" swimming in the warm salt water pool on Viking.  After several trips to the spa and use of the pool there (multiple cruises), I was sitting in the (calm) pool when someone came and asked if I minded if he turned on the "flow" (or whatever it's called).  I said no, so he reached down and pushed a button I hadn't noticed before - probably because I don't wear glasses in a pool or spa!   So a small tip for the spa area is this: If you're the only one using the salt water pool in the spa, check to see what the water looks like before you get in the pool,  decide if you want to feel like a salmon swimming upstream or not, and push/don't push the button based on your decision.

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On 6/3/2017 at 2:31 PM, roothy123 said:

Thanks, and sorry for the typos. I DO know a bit about grammar and spelling, but sometimes I type so fast my brain doesn't cooperate - or at least that's my excuse! Anyway, when I mentioned scones, I meant to add that they're served during afternoon tea.

 

Another helpful hint might be: Do your laundry/ironing during dinner time or early in the morning - not on sea days! AND:

Each day when you go off the ship, particularly if you're not going with a Viking-arranged excursion, take the phone number of the ship. If you have an emergency, you'll want to have it. I also take the name and phone number of the ship's agent in each port. That info is normally printed on the daily paper that is delivered to your stateroom the night before.

Just wanted to mention that the phone number of your ship is printed on your key card.  Therefore, you don't really need to write it down.  If you get lost, have trouble, or think you'll be late getting back, don't hesitate to call the ship - although lateness is, of course, frowned upon and can be quite disruptive, so I always make sure I allow plenty of time to get back.  But if something happens and you're really nervous about getting back, you should definitely call. 

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5 hours ago, moatenote said:

I just noticed something regarding knowing when you will be able to book shore excursions.  After several cruises, I just noticed that on the Viking invoice/Guest Statement, usually page 3, at the bottom of the page listing the daily itinerary, the last item is Shore Excursions on the bottom left of the page and it clearly says the date that shore excursions open for your cabin.  Duh on me.

In addition to the date Shore-ex open for reservations, your invoice should also list the date for reserving alternative restaurants.

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3 hours ago, mreasier said:

We booked thru a TA and can't see the invoice/guest statement.  I guess we are out of luck for locating that date.

 

 

Of course you can! And this applies to anyone reading this. Just ask your TA to send it to you. It is a pdf file and should take no time at all. It contains contractual information that you should be aware of (such as the cancellation schedule) and should have a copy of it -- and your TA has no reason not to send it to you.  You should also get an updated copy of the Viking invoice when you make your final payment.

 

If they give you grief, tell them, nicely of course, that your next step is to contact Viking directly in order to get a copy of it (TellUs@vikingcruises.com, include your Viking booking number). Hopefully that will do the trick---because they really don't want you going directly to Viking to get something they should be providing.

 

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1 hour ago, roothy123 said:

Each day when you go off the ship, particularly if you're not going with a Viking-arranged excursion, take the phone number of the ship. If you have an emergency, you'll want to have it. I also take the name and phone number of the ship's agent in each port. That info is normally printed on the daily paper that is delivered to your stateroom the night before.

 

If you aren't planning on carrying the whole daily sheet with you each day, you can take a picture of the day's information on your smart phone. Delete yesterday's so you don't get confused. 😉

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On embarkation day, how long does it usually take for luggage to be delivered to the cabins? We have a PS1 and have access to our cabin at 11:00am. Just wondered when we should expect our luggage. 

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15 minutes ago, Orangegurl said:

On embarkation day, how long does it usually take for luggage to be delivered to the cabins? We have a PS1 and have access to our cabin at 11:00am. Just wondered when we should expect our luggage. 

 

I can't say for sure as I have never had swell a cabin but I would think within the hour.

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39 minutes ago, Dauntless said:

 

I can't say for sure as I have never had swell a cabin but I would think within the hour.

Haven't had a PS, but for deluxe cabins we've had, the luggage has always been in our room by the time Viking indicates access to the deluxe rooms is possible.  We usually check into the ship (well, the terminal), get lunch on the ship at the World Cafe or nearby Grill if open, and go to our cabin at the promised access time. 

 

Viking puts your luggage inside the room.   

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47 minutes ago, roothy123 said:

Haven't had a PS, but for deluxe cabins we've had, the luggage has always been in our room by the time Viking indicates access to the deluxe rooms is possible.  We usually check into the ship (well, the terminal), get lunch on the ship at the World Cafe or nearby Grill if open, and go to our cabin at the promised access time. 

 

Viking puts your luggage inside the room.   

 

That's always worked for me but since you cabin will be ready when you can board and that's usually when we get there, I would imagine they wouldn't load onto ship until the cart is full but your luggage tag will tell them what to do.  That might provide a different order of priority but if you stick to your normal routine, things will probably be fine.

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Another question about signing up for the excursions:  When it's the right time/day, do you just go to each city and pick or is there one place where you can do it all at once?  AND, I know that we can't get into our stateroom until 1 PM, can you board the ship before then to get lunch??

Edited by CatGirl922

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I always book excursions online using myvikingjourney.com.  Once you book a cruise, you enter your booking number and it shows information for you.  When it's time to book excursions, you can do that, city by city.  For included excursions, note that there's a drop down arrow (or something like that!) which, when pushed, shows you what times are available.   I think you might be able to board the ship and do all of the excursions at once, but I've never done that, so someone else will need to chime in.

 

The last I looked, Viking wasn't very specific about when you could board the ship.  However, there's a LOT of work going on in a short amount of time that day, so we normally shoot for boarding the ship around 1 or so.  But I don't know when is actually "too early" for them. (I suppose if it's way too early, you'll just sit in the port terminal!)  We just take our carry ons with us and go up the World Cafe, aft. If it's nice weather, we'll just chill up there at an outdoor table, or in the Explorers Lounge until the magic "room access" time rolls around!   

Edited by roothy123

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Ours was in the room before we were BUT we were also on an over night port so did not arrive until 6 pm or so.  They delivered our luggage while we were still checking in. 

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In Miami, Viking ran a continuous shuttle of luggage carts from the check in to the ship. Many carts were half filled, which accelerated the delivery to the rooms.  I was surprised how many guests arrived later in the process,  like 3 pm for a 5 pm sailing.  It spread out the luggage processing.

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1 hour ago, CatGirl922 said:

Another question about signing up for the excursions:  When it's the right time/day, do you just go to each city and pick or is there one place where you can do it all at once?  AND, I know that we can't get into our stateroom until 1 PM, can you board the ship before then to get lunch??

 

Each port is slightly different. This past December, our plane arrived in Rome at 7am. As soon as we cleared customs (which was very quick since we were able to use the RFID in our passports), we were met by the Viking rep. There was one other couple arriving at the same time and we were put into a small van for the hour drive to the ship. We arrived before they were finished disembarking the departing guests and check in wasn't even open at that point.  Not long after we arrived, a rep came around to the few couples who where now waiting with us, collecting some information and explaining the game plan. By 10 am, the ship had been cleared and boarding of arriving guests began. By 10:30 am, we were in the Living Room Bar, huddled over cups of coffee and waiting for the World Cafe to open for lunch. Sometime after lunch-and certainly well before the 2pm stated in the literature, we were in our DV cabin, our luggage having already been delivered.

 

Just remember that each port has its own routine, so boarding time can differ but it is never later than 11am. The other thing to note that our cruise was part of a B2B scheme and not all of the passengers were departing as we arrived, so preparation for the new pax did not mean having to turn over all 400+ cabins.

 

Also, Viking's goal is to have all of the cabins ready by 2pm, so if you arrive early, it can't hurt to go immediately to your cabin to see if it is ready. The worst that can happen is that it won't be ready. There is only one cabins are ready announcement and that is when they are all available.

Edited by Peregrina651

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On Celebrity, access to the cabins is blocked by a door so you can’t check if it’s ready. All cabins are ready at 1pm. I take it we can check earlier on Viking just in case it’s early?

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1 minute ago, Pushka said:

On Celebrity, access to the cabins is blocked by a door so you can’t check if it’s ready. All cabins are ready at 1pm. I take it we can check earlier on Viking just in case it’s early?

 

Yes. No door blocking your way. Just walk down to your cabin and see if has been made up.

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CLOTHES LINE ... question... is there a pull out line in the bathroom to hang out our wet socks etc??? Would be hand if there is. Thank you

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36 minutes ago, Relaxing Rita said:

CLOTHES LINE ... question... is there a pull out line in the bathroom to hang out our wet socks etc??? Would be hand if there is. Thank you

 

We were on Orion in January .. and yes there is a pull out line in the shower and yes we used it. The heated floor in the bathroom also comes in handy if you want to lay socks etc on a towel on the floor overnight. 

 

We were on Star in 2017 and I am fairly certain there was a pull out line inside the shower - but someone else may wish to chip in to confirm.

 

Regards, LM

 

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25 minutes ago, Relaxing Rita said:

Thank you very much LM... we will be on Orion in May... counting the days!

Are you on the Alaska cruise or the one coming from Japan? I’m from Adelaide too. 

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Posted (edited)

HI Pushka... we are coming from Tokyo and finishing in Vancouver.... and we don't know how we are getting off yet! It is a debacle with the port as you know! Think you will be delayed boarding, have you heard anything from Viking yet... I sure haven't.

Edited by Relaxing Rita
mistake

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HI Pushka... we are coming from Tokyo and finishing in Vancouver.... and we don't know how we are getting off yet! It is a debacle with the port as you know! Think you will be delayed boarding, have you heard anything from Viking yet... I sure haven't.

Not a thing. Seems we will board on time but not leave at 5pm but go back to port presumably to collect our luggage. Then leave at 9pm so four hours later than scheduled. But I haven’t got this from Viking but Vancouver port schedules. Which explains why we don’t get to Ketchikan until mid morning. As long as they don’t try say it was unexpected!  

We have been advised that flights into Vancouver must arrive by 2pm so clearly they want us onboard by about 4pm.

 

Are you going to the Viking Info session at the Convention Centre on Friday?

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/viking-cruises-info-sessions-adelaide-tickets-54255661143?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=event_reminder&utm_term=eventname

 

 

And I don’t think we will get luggage before about 10pm.

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Indeed! A real mess up and I just can't book a ferry to Victoria Island not knowing what time we will be on land and with all our luggage. There are 3 other ships finishing their cruises that day and all passengers needing to clear customs etc! Hopefully by the time we get our documents 2 weeks prior Viking will have sorted it out!?

Our first Viking cruise is not off to a good start....

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Indeed! A real mess up and I just can't book a ferry to Victoria Island not knowing what time we will be on land and with all our luggage. There are 3 other ships finishing their cruises that day and all passengers needing to clear customs etc! Hopefully by the time we get our documents 2 weeks prior Viking will have sorted it out!?

Our first Viking cruise is not off to a good start....

 

Agree. We don’t have the Viking Trust just yet. Not getting luggage until after dinner will be unfortunate.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Not to take this thread even more off-topic than it already,  but I have to ask:  Is Vancouver doing major construction in their port, or what?  Just curious. 

 

There are some things in ocean cruising that can't be expected, especially when schedules are made up at least a year or two in advance. So my tip would be:  Just try to roll with the punches.  Occasionally weather, equipment problems, dock strikes, construction, illness/accidents, etc. will change plans. 

 

Viking will do what they can to mitigate things that get thrown their way.   Enjoy Alaska, and Ketchikan - which in my opinion can be explored in a shorter day than some Alaskan cities. And of course, Alaska is as much about scenery as it is sightseeing, so you'll always have that!

Edited by roothy123

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