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roothy123

Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers

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On our last Viking river cruise we arrived in Amsterdam at 7AM. At the ship by 8AM. They let us board right away and eat breakfast with the departing passengers. Before we finished, they told us our room was ready with the luggage in it. Great service!

 

On the Ocean there's now more involved who is on the ship security so I doubt you could board really early. But in any case the World Cafe is open for lunch and as a new arrival it's all yours!

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On our last Viking river cruise we arrived in Amsterdam at 7AM. At the ship by 8AM. They let us board right away and eat breakfast with the departing passengers. Before we finished, they told us our room was ready with the luggage in it. Great service!

 

On the Ocean there's now more involved who is on the ship security so I doubt you could board really early. But in any case the World Cafe is open for lunch and as a new arrival it's all yours!

 

Yes, ocean cruising is different. Every single person on that ship has a LOT of work to do for 930 outgoing passengers as well as 930 incoming passengers, all in a short timeframe. Security has to scan everyone off the ship and scan the newbies in, and it needs to be done in an orderly fashion or security is compromised. People cleaning the ship, including the staterooms, are working their butts off. Occasionally the cruise port terminal itself, which is often staffed by port employees or contractors, NOT Viking employees, doesn't open up until a particular time. In some ports there may be regulations regarding boarding. I'm planning to just take it easy and get there around 2 or 2:30.

Edited by roothy123

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They DO get us off the ship fairly early. We were last ones off at 11AM. They were letting new passengers on. Viking is flexible. They do work their asses ff.

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Yes! Valparaiso to Papeete with Easter Island, Robinson Crusoe Island, etc. in between. Guess you were, too?

 

yes we were! I remember you had answered some of my Oceania questions on the message boards. Probably met you on board at the Meet and Mingle. Absolutely loved cruise and Oceania.

 

First time on Oceania and also will be first time on Viking for cruise in September. How do the 2 cruise lines compare?

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yes we were! I remember you had answered some of my Oceania questions on the message boards. Probably met you on board at the Meet and Mingle. Absolutely loved cruise and Oceania.

 

First time on Oceania and also will be first time on Viking for cruise in September. How do the 2 cruise lines compare?

I love them about equally, and they're definitely similar. Tors copied a lot from O, but added his own touches. Service and food are excellent on both. I think V's ships are a little more roomy, but not by much. I love Viking's modern Scandinavian decor, and of course the ships are a little newer. Oceania goes absolutely everywhere; Viking has some catching up to do. Pricewise I sense Viking's a little more expensive, but it's hard to say as they give you the included excursions, wine/beer at some (all?) meals, internet and free use of the spa pools. Oceania gives you airfare, unless you prefer to get a credit for not using it. They have cheaper (mostly inside) staterooms, which are fine for us but probably not fine for most. My husband would prefer to have a casino. I'd love an arts/craft area like they have on O's bigger ships. Excursions are similar, except O's are more expensive and seldom are they free, although O does offer that O Life thing, which can be used to fairly good advantage. We plan to cruise on both O and V, choosing mostly by itinerary. The South Pacific is the most exotic cruise we've done; husband chose it, but I ended up loving it. I even managed all those sea days I usually try to avoid - but I found out the South Pacific is a HUGE area, and I found plenty to do most days.

Ruth (and Howard, the more visible half!)

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Hello all! First time cruisers here, going with my mother (aged 70 at time of cruise). We have not booked yet, but plan to book the Oct 18th Italian Sojourn on Viking Sun - sounds like we get a shiny new ship?!

 

We both come with our varieties of special needs. She wears at least one hearing aid. Are the QuietVox machines able to be used with hearing aids? She has a pair that have blue-tooth to connect directly to devices (so cool!!).

 

I also have a defibrillator / pacemaker, so I am unable to go through regular metal detectors. It sounds like there might be some of that when leaving / come back on the ship? What do I need to do in this case?

 

And we would love the cabin to be set up into two bed. Do we let them know when we arrive, during booking, during the steward introduction?

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Hello all! First time cruisers here, going with my mother (aged 70 at time of cruise). We have not booked yet, but plan to book the Oct 18th Italian Sojourn on Viking Sun - sounds like we get a shiny new ship?!

 

We both come with our varieties of special needs. She wears at least one hearing aid. Are the QuietVox machines able to be used with hearing aids? She has a pair that have blue-tooth to connect directly to devices (so cool!!).

 

I also have a defibrillator / pacemaker, so I am unable to go through regular metal detectors. It sounds like there might be some of that when leaving / come back on the ship? What do I need to do in this case?

 

And we would love the cabin to be set up into two bed. Do we let them know when we arrive, during booking, during the steward introduction?

 

Adventuregal, you have some very specific needs and they might best be addressed by contacting Viking directly. Write them at tellus@vikingcruises.com, especially if finalizing your booking depends on the answers to these question.

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Adventuregal, you have some very specific needs and they might best be addressed by contacting Viking directly. Write them at tellus@vikingcruises.com, especially if finalizing your booking depends on the answers to these question.

Thanks so much, I have done just that and will report back, in case the information helps others.

 

Can anyone describe what scent the Freya bath products have?

 

And if I'd like to use the Laundrette, do I need to supply my own detergent? If they provide, does that have a scent?

 

I'm sure I have people scratching their heads! :cool: My husband (not travelling with us) has scent allergies, so I'm just curious about the bath products (because I can finally use something nice-smelling!), but I don't want to wash clothes in scented detergent that will bother him when I arrive home (and thus I will need to re-wash anyway).

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Thanks so much, I have done just that and will report back, in case the information helps others.

 

Can anyone describe what scent the Freya bath products have?

 

And if I'd like to use the Laundrette, do I need to supply my own detergent? If they provide, does that have a scent?

 

I'm sure I have people scratching their heads! :cool: My husband (not travelling with us) has scent allergies, so I'm just curious about the bath products (because I can finally use something nice-smelling!), but I don't want to wash clothes in scented detergent that will bother him when I arrive home (and thus I will need to re-wash anyway).

 

Whatever it is, it is not overpowering. I'm sensitive to certain perfuming agents (no idea per se which ones they are but I know them when I smell them in the air) and the Freya products were fine for me. We even used the shampoo for our hand laundry with no adverse effects.

 

There is an entire thread already dedicated to the laundry room. it answers all your questions and has pictures.

Self Serve Laundry aboard Viking Ocean Ships

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yes all products and laundry detergent were pretty much innocuous...but we are not allergic ....just do NOT like added fragrance. I no longer use any perfume and try to find sent free lotions. We did NOT use laundry services only the self serve laundry and our clothes were fresh, sent free. We have included laundry on our next cruise and will report. But in ALL honesty if someone is doing my laundry and returning it sooooo NICELY folded there will be NO complaints :)!!!

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yes all products and laundry detergent were pretty much innocuous...but we are not allergic ....just do NOT like added fragrance. I no longer use any perfume and try to find sent free lotions. We did NOT use laundry services only the self serve laundry and our clothes were fresh, sent free. We have included laundry on our next cruise and will report. But in ALL honesty if someone is doing my laundry and returning it sooooo NICELY folded there will be NO complaints :)!!!

 

We have used the laundry service and will be using it again in December. It is the only way we can pack in carry-on luggage only. They use the same detergent and they do a lovely job. It is very easy to fill out the form, fill the bag and leave it all on the bed for the steward to collect. BTW, don't wait around hoping for $10 a bag day; there are no such gimmicks on Viking (although as deec said, laundry service is included on the World Cruise).

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Adventuregal, you have some very specific needs and they might best be addressed by contacting Viking directly. Write them at tellus@vikingcruises.com, especially if finalizing your booking depends on the answers to these question.

I agree with Peregrina. These are questions that are best answered by Viking, first before the cruise and then possibly on board as followup. I've found the folks on board to be extremely knowledgeable about most things. Just keep in mind that yes, most times you'll go through an x-ray coming back, either on the ship going through theirs or in the port terminal. I would guess special needs would be met, but can't really say.

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So I'm on board Star and while I don't plan to write much as I'm planning to spend most of the time in port or else just enjoying my cruise. However, a couple things that seem to keep popping up are as follows:

 

This isn't new, and shouldn't be surprising, but some people are finding that an excursion time they requested online prior to getting on the ship has changed. This DOES happen, to Viking and to other cruise lines. When you get in your stateroom first day, check your tickets to make sure you have tickets for the excursions you requested. They will not show times, but you can check your TV for the times. Check back on the TV a day or two later; times or excursions can change up until the night before. When your Daily paper comes the night before each port, check the time and meeting location. The Daily shows the meeting time; I think that's 15 minutes prior to the actual tour start, but not sure. Daily also tells you whether you meet on the ship or off ship (so far we have only met on the ship). It also tells you whether you need to take your Quiet Vox box. Always charge the box at night.

 

 

The TV has a LOT of good info. The port talks so far have been excellent - I have been to both London and Edinburgh, but still learned a lot. There is also a lot of good info on the excursions - in general and specific to each one. TV also has a bridge cam, has all of your dining and excursion info, and other useful info.

 

 

I thought of other tips last night, but forget them know. If I think of more, I'll post more tonight.

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One thing I did not see was a mention of cooking classes. On our January cruise, one was offered by a sheet of paper given to us at check-in in port. The first thing I did was go sign up for that-it filled up fast. It was given in the morning on the sea day so we had what we made for lunch-nice. The kitchen is in the back between Manfredis and the Chef's Table and set up with prep areas around a central table. We did prep in groups then the chef did demos of each dish, then we ate. We did saltimboca, risotto, and tiramisu-not unusual but easy. It cost about $69 and was fun. I do not know if they do this on all ships or every cruise.

 

Also, if you are an early riser-coffee and pastries were available in the living room from between 6 and 6:30 and Mamsens opens at 6:30 and is delightful at that hour (the waffle is the best but the oatmeal is good too). Mamsens also has some sort of food available most of the day once they open. The lunch and snack plates were good too.

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SHhhhhh! Mamsen's and the Explorer Lounge are the ship's best kept secret in the early days of a cruise until everyone discovers how wonderful the venue is not matter what time. And on the SKY the bartenders were awesome!!!

Edited by deec
spelling error

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One thing I did not see was a mention of cooking classes. On our January cruise, one was offered by a sheet of paper given to us at check-in in port. The first thing I did was go sign up for that-it filled up fast. It was given in the morning on the sea day so we had what we made for lunch-nice. The kitchen is in the back between Manfredis and the Chef's Table and set up with prep areas around a central table. We did prep in groups then the chef did demos of each dish, then we ate. We did saltimboca, risotto, and tiramisu-not unusual but easy. It cost about $69 and was fun. I do not know if they do this on all ships or every cruise.

 

Also, if you are an early riser-coffee and pastries were available in the living room from between 6 and 6:30 and Mamsens opens at 6:30 and is delightful at that hour (the waffle is the best but the oatmeal is good too). Mamsens also has some sort of food available most of the day once they open. The lunch and snack plates were good too.

Currently, on our Into the Midnight Sun cruise, there was a cooking school event on our first sea day from 10 to 1 PM ($59).

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I may have mentioned this before, but if not:

 

There seems to be a good amount of room between the corner of the bed and the desk - at least twice the width of the little nightstand, which has plugs for electrical things. Therefore, when the "big" bed is separated into two beds for those who request it, you should have enough space to put the little bedside table (nightstand) in between the beds and still have room to walk around the two beds to get to the desk, table, balcony, etc. However, the lights are on either side of the big bed, so I'm not sure if you'd probably want to make sure you're not too far away from them.

 

Also, someone asked on this or another thread why their Midnight Sun itinerary called for departure from Greenwich in the afternoon whereas others called for departure at a different time. We were just in Greenwich and were told by the tour guide that the tides there are an issue. If you don't work with them, a cruise ship can be stuck at anchor for a good while. SO - perhaps that's why one person's itinerary differs from mine.

 

Couple things I can confirm:

That barista in the "Living Room" who provides early morning coffee and pastries is pretty talented. This morning he made someone a skinny latte with the most incredible artwork. I think it was an owl, but now I forget. The recipient was taking a picture of it.

 

You may need some patience. It helps to be realistic about how much you can accomplish on an ocean cruise with 930 passengers and 440 (I think) crew members on board. Sometimes there are waits, especially if lots of tours come back at once. Viking tries to accommodate everyone, but occasionally there is waiting and occasionally there is congestion. Edinburgh and Rosyth today illustrated that quite well.

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Hello all! First time cruisers here, going with my mother (aged 70 at time of cruise). We have not booked yet, but plan to book the Oct 18th Italian Sojourn on Viking Sun - sounds like we get a shiny new ship?!

 

We both come with our varieties of special needs. She wears at least one hearing aid. Are the QuietVox machines able to be used with hearing aids? She has a pair that have blue-tooth to connect directly to devices (so cool!!).

 

I also have a defibrillator / pacemaker, so I am unable to go through regular metal detectors. It sounds like there might be some of that when leaving / come back on the ship? What do I need to do in this case?

 

And we would love the cabin to be set up into two bed. Do we let them know when we arrive, during booking, during the steward introduction?

As to the pacemaker/defib they let you bypass the metal detector and do a hand pat down. No Problem!

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As to the pacemaker/defib they let you bypass the metal detector and do a hand pat down. No Problem!

Thanks so much!

 

And we are booked!! PV2 room 5008, near the aft of the ship.

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Thanks so much!

 

And we are booked!! PV2 room 5008, near the aft of the ship.

 

Sweet!!!

 

But, as my father would say, you got that aft backwards. Numbering starts at the front/bow of the ship.

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Sweet!!!

 

But, as my father would say, you got that aft backwards. Numbering starts at the front/bow of the ship.

Oops you're right, and a great saying!! I needed more coffee I suppose.

 

No word back from the TellUs email, so I'm going to contact our booking agent to see if she knows.

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I may have mentioned this before, but if not:

 

There seems to be a good amount of room between the corner of the bed and the desk - at least twice the width of the little nightstand, which has plugs for electrical things. Therefore, when the "big" bed is separated into two beds for those who request it, you should have enough space to put the little bedside table (nightstand) in between the beds and still have room to walk around the two beds to get to the desk, table, balcony, etc. However, the lights are on either side of the big bed, so I'm not sure if you'd probably want to make sure you're not too far away from them.

 

Also, someone asked on this or another thread why their Midnight Sun itinerary called for departure from Greenwich in the afternoon whereas others called for departure at a different time. We were just in Greenwich and were told by the tour guide that the tides there are an issue. If you don't work with them, a cruise ship can be stuck at anchor for a good while. SO - perhaps that's why one person's itinerary differs from mine.

 

Couple things I can confirm:

That barista in the "Living Room" who provides early morning coffee and pastries is pretty talented. This morning he made someone a skinny latte with the most incredible artwork. I think it was an owl, but now I forget. The recipient was taking a picture of it.

 

You may need some patience. It helps to be realistic about how much you can accomplish on an ocean cruise with 930 passengers and 440 (I think) crew members on board. Sometimes there are waits, especially if lots of tours come back at once. Viking tries to accommodate everyone, but occasionally there is waiting and occasionally there is congestion. Edinburgh and Rosyth today illustrated that quite well.

 

roothy123, thank you for the latest tips! 25 days to go! we will board Viking Star on July 15th :)

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No word back from the TellUs email, so I'm going to contact our booking agent to see if she knows.

 

Give them another day or two. Now that you have booked, you aren't quite as pressed for answers. They do need to contact a couple of different departments for the most up-to-date answers.

 

BTW, buy your trip insurance ASAP since you have an existing condition that you will want to have covered should anything go wrong with your 'equipment' while you away. Check out other parties besides what Viking offers before you decide which company to go with. You must buy within 10 (or is it 14?) days of deposit to be covered for existing.

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Give them another day or two. Now that you have booked, you aren't quite as pressed for answers. They do need to contact a couple of different departments for the most up-to-date answers.

 

BTW, buy your trip insurance ASAP since you have an existing condition that you will want to have covered should anything go wrong with your 'equipment' while you away. Check out other parties besides what Viking offers before you decide which company to go with. You must buy within 10 (or is it 14?) days of deposit to be covered for existing.

 

Thanks! We did get that brochure from the agent, it says 14 days.

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Hi all - love this thread. We are booked on the West Indies Explorer next Jan and really looking forward to the ship itself as well as the itinerary which is strange for us as usually its all about the ports!

I have a question about the mini bar - we have the Silver Beverage package does that include alcohol in the mini bar and will it be filled up daily? We are in a V2 cabin so I know that;s not usually the case.

Thanks

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