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roothy123

Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers

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While it's correct that Americans don't need a visa for New Zealand  I don't know if that that goes for an electronic travel authority.  My reading of the announcement from New Zealand (see above) is that all cruisers, even those from countries that are exempt from visa requirements, must purchase an ETA.   I'll let you know in 7 months when I travel Down Under!

 

CFC's website a couple weeks ago had references to measles outbreaks, so yes,  kudos to them for keeping their info current!  I  have found their info on vaccines, illness, etc. very helpful.  

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Heading out soon for the British Isles Explorer cruise,  our first on Viking. We are in a Penthouse Veranda stateroom and don't want to miss out on parks that may be offered for this class. I'm asking because we did miss out on opportunities on a previous cruise that would have been great to take advantage of.  Thanks all

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28 minutes ago, doxielover47 said:

Heading out soon for the British Isles Explorer cruise,  our first on Viking. We are in a Penthouse Veranda stateroom and don't want to miss out on parks that may be offered for this class. I'm asking because we did miss out on opportunities on a previous cruise that would have been great to take advantage of.  Thanks all

 

These are the cabin perks for PV. You will find them on the Viking website, under the SHIPS tab, choose any ship and then scroll down to find what is included with each cabin category. The highlighted items are specific to this category:

 

Penthouse Veranda Stateroom (PV)

Size including private veranda: 338 sq ft

  • 11:00 AM embarkation
  • 1:00 PM stateroom access
  • Priority shore excursion reservations: 77 days prior to departure
  • 2 guaranteed priority reservations at each alternative restaurant: 70 days prior to departure
  • Priority booking of spa treatments: 70 days prior to departure
  • King-size Viking Explorer Bed with luxury linens & pillows
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand
  • 110/220 volt outlets & USB ports
  • Mini-bar with alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, water & snacks (replenished once daily); security safe; hair dryer
  • Direct-dial satellite phone & cell service
  • Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror
  • Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers
  • Purified water refilled daily
  • Stateroom steward & twice-daily housekeeping
  • 24-hour room service
  • Spacious closet & drawers
  • Complimentary pressing & shoe shine services
  • Welcome bottle of champagne
  • In-suite binoculars, coffee brewer & traditional Norwegian Marius-weave blanket

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Everyone is able to embark at 11am aren’t they but not get access to their cabin until the appropriate category  time? (Well, except fit our Vancouver cruise that is) 

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1 hour ago, Pushka said:

Everyone is able to embark at 11am aren’t they but not get access to their cabin until the appropriate category  time? (Well, except fit our Vancouver cruise that is) 

 

Actually, on most of the cruises I have done, boarding began as soon as the disembarking pax had cleared the ship. Leaving pax have to be out of their cabins by 8 am and off the ship usually by 9:45am. So embarkation usually begins well before 11 am.  We had an early flight and even with an hour ride from the airport, we reached the terminal by 9 am. Staff greeted us, took our names and even started checking us in so that as soon as the gangway was cleared we could start boarding. We went right to the Living Room Bar on Deck 1 for coffee -- because there are priorities. The World Cafe opens earlier than its normal Noon time on embarkation day and closes around 2:30pm. Anyone arriving after that time should check out the the Living Room, the Pool Grill or Explorer's Lounge for sandwiches to tide you over until dinner -- or order room service.

 

Check your cabin as soon as you board. The brochure says that the cabins are available at a certain time depending on your category but in truth the cabins are usually available well in advance of the stated time. In fact, it is their goal to have all cabins ready by 2pm. Only one announcement will be made, when all of the cabins are ready. Until that point, you can just keep checking.

 

Edited by Peregrina651

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2 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Actually, on most of the cruises I have done, boarding began as soon as the disembarking pax had cleared the ship. Leaving pax have to be out of their cabins by 8 am and off the ship usually by 9:45am. So embarkation usually begins well before 11 am.  We had an early flight and even with an hour ride from the airport, we reached the terminal by 9 am. Staff greeted us, took our names and even started checking us in so that as soon as the gangway was cleared we could start boarding. We went right to the Living Room Bar on Deck 1 for coffee -- because there are priorities. The World Cafe opens earlier than its normal Noon time on embarkation day and closes around 2:30pm. Anyone arriving after that time should check out the the Living Room, the Pool Grill or Explorer's Lounge for sandwiches to tide you over until dinner -- or order room service.

 

Check your cabin as soon as you board. The brochure says that the cabins are available at a certain time depending on your category but in truth the cabins are usually available well in advance of the stated time. In fact, it is their goal to have all cabins ready by 2pm. Only one announcement will be made, when all of the cabins are ready. Until that point, you can just keep checking.

 

 

We are not allowed to board until 6pm minimum because of tender issues in Vancouver. And everyone will start boarding at that time. Well, after first going through US border control. It’s been a bit of a mess for us and we were just told yesterday,  3 weeks out. 

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5 hours ago, Pushka said:

 

We are not allowed to board until 6pm minimum because of tender issues in Vancouver. And everyone will start boarding at that time. Well, after first going through US border control. It’s been a bit of a mess for us and we were just told yesterday,  3 weeks out. 

 

Yes, but Vancouver in this case will be the very rare exception, not the rule.

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7 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

Yes, but Vancouver in this case will be the very rare exception, not the rule.

Hopefully so. 

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That Vancouver situation is pretty crazy.  I'm glad we visited Vancouver before all that madness at the port started.

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7 minutes ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

I forget, what is going on there to cause the port to tender people to ships?  Is it just congestion at the port? 

 

I’d actually be very happy to tender to the ship but Vancouver has both Canadian and US customs to deal with, and you aren’t allowed to tender once you’ve exited Canada and “entered” US because using a tender takes you back into Canada again. So we have to wait in the Convention hall at Canada Place until we can then start the process of immigration and boarding. Which won’t start until 5pm. Viking doesn’t have a berth in Vancouver for our cruise and don’t know if other dates have the same impact. So we have to wait for all the cruise ships to depart on their cruise before Orion can come back to berth at 5pm. Our itinerary still has us departing at 5pm but it’s going to be more like 10pm. It’s kind of a flukey arrangement and completely abnormal. 

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the early access to tours is a good perk, and Viking is very precise on opening the window for each descending class..  I did not find the specialty restaurant advance reservations to be a problem, though.

 

 

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A question - maybe it’s been covered? For those who used the binoculars, do you think they’d be adequate for Alaska? 

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49 minutes ago, Pushka said:

A question - maybe it’s been covered? For those who used the binoculars, do you think they’d be adequate for Alaska? 

 

The binoculars in the room are very small and not very powerful.  But, they're small and not heavy.  We usually lug one of our own strong binocs and take turns using them, while also using the included ones for shorter distance viewing.

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2 hours ago, roothy123 said:

That Vancouver situation is pretty crazy. 

I'm glad we visited Vancouver before all that madness at the port started.

 WE will not be visiting Vancouver 'til September of 2020,

with a TransPacific cruise on the Celebrity Solstice to Sydney..

However, I just bought a travel book about Vancouver.

Wish we could spend a week.

Edited by $hip$hape

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51 minutes ago, $hip$hape said:

 WE will not be visiting Vancouver 'til September of 2020,

with a TransPacific cruise on the Celebrity Solstice to Sydney..

However, I just bought a travel book about Vancouver.

Wish we could spend a week.

I know you all are talking about Vancouver, but we are here, on this thread,

because we booked our first Viking Ocean Cruise on the Jupiter, for a Southern Crossing,

from  Barcelona  to South America, in November of 2019.

I would be happy to know if anyone is joining us.

Edited by $hip$hape

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30 minutes ago, $hip$hape said:

I know you all are talking about Vancouver, but we are here, on this thread,

because we booked our first Viking Ocean Cruise on the Jupiter, for a Southern Crossing,

from  Barcelona  to South America, in November of 2019.

I would be happy to know if anyone is joining us.

 

The only reason why Vancouver was discussed was because the embarkation process is completely different to any other Viking procedures. 

 

Hopefully you have an active roll call for your cruise. 

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14 minutes ago, Pushka said:

 

The only reason why Vancouver was discussed was because the embarkation process is completely different to any other Viking procedures. 

 

Hopefully you have an active roll call for your cruise. 

Pushka,

Thank you!

WE have been on many other cruises. However,

I am on this thread because, as a first-time Viking Ocean traveler,

I find there are not many participants on our roll call.

It seems, many pax rely on their Travel Agents or Viking for all information.

Michael

 

Edited by $hip$hape

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1 minute ago, $hip$hape said:

Pushka,

Thank you!

I am on this thread because, as a first-time Viking Ocean traveler, I find there are not many participants on our roll call.

It seems, many pax rely on their Travel Agents or Viking for all information.

Michael

 

Yes, I’ve found they can go quiet and then come to life again. We have managed to sort out a private excursion in ours. Hang in there!

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12 minutes ago, Pushka said:

Yes, I’ve found they can go quiet and then come to life again.

We have managed to sort out a private excursion in ours.

Hang in there!

Thank You !

 

Edited by $hip$hape

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6 hours ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

I forget, what is going on there to cause the port to tender people to ships?  Is it just congestion at the port? 

 

Vancouver has 4 ships docking and only room for 3 at Canada Place. They did have an additional alternate berth at Ballantine Pier, but Port Metro Vancouver closed it about 2014.

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I have a question about bath linens - are wash cloths / face cloths provided along with the bath towels and hand towels? 

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7 minutes ago, Orangegurl said:

I have a question about bath linens - are wash cloths / face cloths provided along with the bath towels and hand towels? 

Yes!!  So nice to get wash cloths!  And you can request any additional towels from your helpful room steward.

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19 hours ago, $hip$hape said:

Pushka,

Thank you!

WE have been on many other cruises. However,

I am on this thread because, as a first-time Viking Ocean traveler,

I find there are not many participants on our roll call.

It seems, many pax rely on their Travel Agents or Viking for all information.

Michael

 

My guess is that one reason the Viking roll calls are few, and relatively "slow," is that Viking offers so many free or (relatively) inexpensive excursions.  I think some people only join a roll call if they're interested in forming/joining private but affordable and smaller excursions.  

 

I agree that in general, roll calls pick up later as the cruise gets closer and closer.  But if basic information about cruise destinations is what a person is looking for,  I find that googling for a tourism department or visitor center is extremely helpful.  Some aren't so great, but others are fabulous, giving me information on more than I can find elsewhere.  I also like whatsinport.com for really basic information like the location of ports/berths, tomsportguides.com for info on many port cities (written by a cruiser), Ports of Call section of the Cruise Critic Boards for the opportunity to ask cruisers questions about cities, tours, etc., and tripadvisor.com reviews.  Of course, I also buy the occasional book and load the occasional free app on my phone. I'm just not the type of person who can go on any vacation without a LOT of information.

Edited by roothy123

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OK, that recent face cloth question reminded me of this:  One thing I really like about Viking's bathrooms (in the cabins) is that there are several nice, fairly deep drawers so that you can hide all your toiletries!  There are also typical cruise ship shelves if you want to spread things out in front of you, but I really like the drawers.  The bathroom's beautiful, and I want to keep it that way!

 

And down under the sink area are extra towels, a nice resting place for my pajamas!

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