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Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers


roothy123
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5 hours ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

It's been a while and I've forgotten some things, despite the fact that I starting this thread a long time ago using a cruise companion's login name.  Anyway, here are my questions:

 

Is there a regular push down type handle on the inside door of the staterooms?  I plan to put my lanyard/contact tracing device there if so.  I don't have any magnetic hooks to bring.  And yes, I know the device is a mini disco ball.  But I sleep SO well on Viking it won't bother me.  


Yes it’s a push down handle. 
 

And if I leave my room key card in my lanyard, will I need some other card to put in the slot to keep electricity coming into my stateroom?

Yes, we have one from a previous Viking cruise we put in there-go ahead flame me away for wasting electricity. We turn off the bathroom heated floor so hopefully it all evens out. Just about any card will do the job. 

5 hours ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

 

 

 

Does your room attendant generally come around and introduce himself/herself on embarkation day, or has that been put on hold during Covid? 
 

yes, though they seem to be making a concerted effort to not be in the room at the same time as you otherwise.
 

And is the coffee maker still in the room (deluxe veranda rooms)?  

yes

 

Thanks. 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

Yes, we have one from a previous Viking cruise we put in there-go ahead flame me away for wasting electricity. We turn off the bathroom heated floor so hopefully it all evens out. Just about any card will do the job. 

 

No flaming, my spouse and I sometimes battle over whether to keep anything on. I prefer off, but if I'm charging a device, I want things to stay on.  Are there any plugs that always stay live for that?

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2 hours ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

No flaming, my spouse and I sometimes battle over whether to keep anything on. I prefer off, but if I'm charging a device, I want things to stay on.  Are there any plugs that always stay live for that?

Absolutely. At minimum, you’ll find your whispers in chargers that are always on.

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18 minutes ago, Squawkman said:

No flaming, my spouse and I sometimes battle over whether to keep anything on. I prefer off,

Whew, for a minute there I was thinking “too much information” 🤣👖👕👚

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42 minutes ago, Tom.in.nc said:

Whew, for a minute there I was thinking “too much information” 🤣👖👕👚

Tom - I didn’t say that - I only responded to assure that there are outlets on 24/7. I never battle over anything with my wonderful wife.

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Shew, it took a while to read all the posts in this awesome thread!  Thanks to all who have shared their knowledge and wisdom here.  I've learned a lot, and am really looking forward to putting this info to use on our first Viking cruise in March!  It's also our first time in Europe.

 

I have a few questions I'm hoping folks can help me with:

 

1) I saw the advice to get Viking's excursions when one sounds particularly interesting.  But then I see that it can be tough to get those when you stay in a V or DV cabin.  We've booked a DV4, and the ship is now sold out.  Can we pretty much expect the popular optional excursions to all be wiped out when the reservation system opens up to us?  If so, does that really matter?  I hear that the included excursions can be good when one is brand new to a port, since they give you an overview of the area, and leave plenty of time to explore on your own.

 

2) I see that TripAdvisor and other websites offer other excursion opportunities in many of these same ports, often for cheaper than Viking. But I also keep reading that Viking won't wait for you if you get stuck in traffic on your way back to the ship.  I totally understand that, because it's not fair for a straggler to hold up the whole ship.  But how difficult is it to catch back up with your ship at a later port?  Again, we've never been to Europe, so the thought of getting stranded is a little nerve-wracking.  

 

Again, thanks for all the helpful advice in this thread!

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55 minutes ago, Eggtuary said:

Shew, it took a while to read all the posts in this awesome thread!  Thanks to all who have shared their knowledge and wisdom here.  I've learned a lot, and am really looking forward to putting this info to use on our first Viking cruise in March!  It's also our first time in Europe.

 

I have a few questions I'm hoping folks can help me with:

 

1) I saw the advice to get Viking's excursions when one sounds particularly interesting.  But then I see that it can be tough to get those when you stay in a V or DV cabin.  We've booked a DV4, and the ship is now sold out.  Can we pretty much expect the popular optional excursions to all be wiped out when the reservation system opens up to us?  If so, does that really matter?  I hear that the included excursions can be good when one is brand new to a port, since they give you an overview of the area, and leave plenty of time to explore on your own.

 

2) I see that TripAdvisor and other websites offer other excursion opportunities in many of these same ports, often for cheaper than Viking. But I also keep reading that Viking won't wait for you if you get stuck in traffic on your way back to the ship.  I totally understand that, because it's not fair for a straggler to hold up the whole ship.  But how difficult is it to catch back up with your ship at a later port?  Again, we've never been to Europe, so the thought of getting stranded is a little nerve-wracking.  

 

Again, thanks for all the helpful advice in this thread!

 

Welcome to the Viking Ocean Board.

 

1) We also book a DV4 and have never had a problem booking our preferred optional Shore-ex. Even if it shows as full online, once you get aboard, the Shore-ex staff are amazing. If possible, they can arrange additional tours, or they may receive cancellations.

 

Personally, if Viking don't put on extra tours, I will find a private operator.

 

2) Taking a Viking Shore-ex is no guarantee that if the tour returns rather late, that the vessel will definitely wait. The Master will endeavour to delay departure for the return of all tours, but if operational issues such as tides/weather/ship's speed/pilots, etc arise, the Master could be forced to sail. However, on a Viking shore-ex, if you miss the ship, Viking is responsible for getting you to the next port.

 

With an abundance of cheap flights, trains, ferries and hire cars, it is easy to travel between most ports.

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3 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Welcome to the Viking Ocean Board.

 

1) We also book a DV4 and have never had a problem booking our preferred optional Shore-ex. Even if it shows as full online, once you get aboard, the Shore-ex staff are amazing. If possible, they can arrange additional tours, or they may receive cancellations.

 

Personally, if Viking don't put on extra tours, I will find a private operator.

 

2) Taking a Viking Shore-ex is no guarantee that if the tour returns rather late, that the vessel will definitely wait. The Master will endeavour to delay departure for the return of all tours, but if operational issues such as tides/weather/ship's speed/pilots, etc arise, the Master could be forced to sail. However, on a Viking shore-ex, if you miss the ship, Viking is responsible for getting you to the next port.

 

With an abundance of cheap flights, trains, ferries and hire cars, it is easy to travel between most ports.

 

Eggtuary, Heidi13 has also offered some guidance regarding private excursions in the 17 Sept 2020 #229 & #230 posts on 2022 Viking Star World Cruise Roll Call and some more thoughts in the 24 April 2021 #1379 post on Dec 22, 2022 World Cruise Roll Call which might be of interest to you:

 

    

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I'd be careful about doing anything that may necessitate joining the ship at the next port.  There are a few problematic situations in which that's not possible due to a country's regulations.  It's complicated.  But the good news is that most vendors are very aware you've got to be back in time and will ensure you are, barring something really big/unexpected. We've done just about everything from renting cars to taking private tours to taking a train to the city and then public transportation. We've never had a problem, and I do a lot of research, go loaded with maps and numbers for port agent and/or cruise ship, and allow an extra hour getting back for "what if" situations. I check vendor's refund policy in case ship doesn't make port or gets in too late.  I check where tour meets and if it's at or near port.  But everyone's comfort level is different, so read, learn, research and then decide what you feel is best. 

 

In general, though, I feel Viking's optional tours are cheaper than what I've found on our other favorite line, and yes, of course they often cost more than what you pay if you find your own.  (There are usually coaches being hired, bus drivers and guides being paid, high gas prices & low gas mileage, sometimes lunch or other things not included in third party tours, occasionally rental of an entire facility for Viking passenger's exclusive use, etc.).  And often, but not always, they're a little better.  The free (included) tours aren't bad.  No, they're not all day, and you'll be with lots of other people.  But often what we do is go on the included tour, and then I go back out to explore on my own.

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Thanks for the helpful responses!

 

I see that Afternoon Tea in the Wintergarden is very popular. We will probably want to go once or twice on our trip. How early does one have to show up to get a spot?  Is it any worse (in terms of table availability) during COVID?

 

 Thanks again!

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1 hour ago, Eggtuary said:

Thanks for the helpful responses!

 

I see that Afternoon Tea in the Wintergarden is very popular. We will probably want to go once or twice on our trip. How early does one have to show up to get a spot?  Is it any worse (in terms of table availability) during COVID?

 

 Thanks again!

I didn’t notice any big difference in furniture placement but they do have some chairs blocked off. We arrived about 15min early and had no trouble getting the seat we wanted by the window. If you arrive and it’s too crowded, check the Explorer’s Lounge. They use it for overflow seating. Only difference is no musician. Tea and food  offerings are the same.  Including scones!!!

 

Be sure to not have lunch and/or no dinner plans. 

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This is my first cruise (Mediterranean Odyssey) and first trip to Europe too. I reserved shore-x (correct?) everyday except for two - one was a sea day.  I wonder if that is overambitious with some excursions 8 to 10 hours.  Without any experience, I was at a loss as to which ones are the best ones and how many to choose. We can cancel w/a 2 day notice, correct?

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59 minutes ago, Cher98 said:

This is my first cruise (Mediterranean Odyssey) and first trip to Europe too. I reserved shore-x (correct?) everyday except for two - one was a sea day.  I wonder if that is overambitious with some excursions 8 to 10 hours.  Without any experience, I was at a loss as to which ones are the best ones and how many to choose. We can cancel w/a 2 day notice, correct?

 

Affirmative, a port intensive Meddy cruise with long tours booked every day can definitely be rather tiring, especially if it is during the hot summer months. Little easier in the Autumn months when it is cooler.

 

The website will not permit booking a 2nd tour on any day, if it conflicts with the first tour. They generally require 45 min to 1 hr between tours, although I did find a port where I could book with only 1/2 hr between them.

 

Viking Shore-ex can be cancelled online up to 7-days before departure for a full refund. Once you get onboard, none of the tours booked on the first 2 days are refundable. After that, most tours can be cancelled 2 days prior to the port. The cancellation limit is noted in the Viking daily and if memory is correct, on each ticket. I have seen some tours with a longer cancellation period, so best to confirm.

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28 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

Affirmative, a port intensive Meddy cruise with long tours booked every day can definitely be rather tiring, especially if it is during the hot summer months. Little easier in the Autumn months when it is cooler.

 

The website will not permit booking a 2nd tour on any day, if it conflicts with the first tour. They generally require 45 min to 1 hr between tours, although I did find a port where I could book with only 1/2 hr between them.

 

Viking Shore-ex can be cancelled online up to 7-days before departure for a full refund. Once you get onboard, none of the tours booked on the first 2 days are refundable. After that, most tours can be cancelled 2 days prior to the port. The cancellation limit is noted in the Viking daily and if memory is correct, on each ticket. I have seen some tours with a longer cancellation period, so best to confirm.

Thank you. We are traveling this October (hopefully). We booked one tour each day, all Viking, since we aren’t sure we can book other local tours. We stay busy when we travel so hopefully we can keep up but it’s nice to know we can cancel with a refund if we get over-tired. 
 

We start in Barcelona and coincidental to what is not refundable (first 2 days), we were unable to book any excursion there because there are no Barcelona excursions, but France ones instead on Day 2.  I did call Viking and I am guessing they received a lot of calls. 

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I actually told Viking a couple of days ago about the mistake and it’s still not changed. There have also been cabin cancellations w/ES and PJS now available on our cruise. We are on waiting list for PJS.  Not the most encouraging signs.  
 

I did start at the beginning of this thread and it’s really great, very helpful and informative, so thanks to the many posters.  

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4 hours ago, rbslos18 said:

Is it possible to order an egg white omelet in the Restaurant or World Cafe?

 

When you request anything not on the menu, they normally respond with if the galley has the ingredients available they will make it. DW asked for a simple sandwich a couple of days for lunch and they arrived, as requested.

 

Have no doubt, if you request an egg white omelet, they will make it for you.

 

Might even be included on the menu, as it isn't something I've looked for. 

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23 hours ago, Heidi13 said:

 

When you request anything not on the menu, they normally respond with if the galley has the ingredients available they will make it. DW asked for a simple sandwich a couple of days for lunch and they arrived, as requested.

 

Have no doubt, if you request an egg white omelet, they will make it for you.

 

Might even be included on the menu, as it isn't something I've looked for. 

I don't mean to be a dolt but what is a Simple Sandwich?

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20 minutes ago, millybess said:

They would probably make you a Kentucky Hot Brown. Yum 🙂

Oh. Thanks. But I’ll still take a nice Kentucky Bourbon! The bourbon menu isn’t too bad. But where is the Pappy Van Winklle? They could charge $50.00 a drink! 🍹

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2 hours ago, rbslos18 said:

Oh. Thanks. But I’ll still take a nice Kentucky Bourbon! The bourbon menu isn’t too bad. But where is the Pappy Van Winklle? They could charge $50.00 a drink! 🍹

If you're willing to pay $50 a drink, I'll bring a bottle or two.

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