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roothy123

Tips for New Viking Ocean Cruisers

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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

 

I wish I could remember who recently reported their experience and which thread it was reported in. The word is the the Silver Spirits package does not cover the mini-bar. But, you can order drinks via room service for delivery to your cabin as part of the package. There are a number of threads that have covered the drinks package in detail. Here is a link to the most recent.

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Peregrina is correct. They will not stock that mini-bar with either alcohol or pop ( the initial stocking with pop, tonic was included.)

We usually just stopped at one of the bars and brought a drink or glass of wine to the room. They will serve you a "double."

Maybe I will bring a flask next cruise, order my scotch neat a few times, fill the flask for the room!!!

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"Has anyone used the "Mobile Passport" app for Americans to get through passport control quicker in U.S. airports? I'm going to try it on this trip, as I hear it works well. Oh, another recommendation would be to apply for Global Entry or at least TSA Pre-Check - well worth the money."

 

 

My husband and I have had our Global Entry cards for awhile now, and we wouldn't travel internationally without them any more! You truly get spoiled at busy US airports like San Francisco, Dulles, and LAX - we breeze right through! Well worth the $100 application fee. Plus, as you noted, added bonus of TSA precheck!

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We do have Global Entry long enough to have renewed it. Not sure what advantage Mobil Passport would have. We have never experienced a line at any airport.

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We do have Global Entry long enough to have renewed it. Not sure what advantage Mobil Passport would have. We have never experienced a line at any airport.

 

At this point, Mobil Passport is good for people with smartphones who don't travel aboard very often or who are still waiting for their interview when they have to travel aboard. However, as more people learn about Mobil Passport and Global Entry, the lines at MP and GE will be just as long as the regular lines. There is a report elsewhere on CC about disembarking at Ft Lauderdale, where there is an MP gateway in the terminal, and the line at the MP was longer than any other because everyone on board was trying to use it.

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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 :)!!!

 

MY friend and I were recently on a HAL Eurodam Alaskan cruise and there was a lovely package on her bed after dinner. We thought our steward was giving us a gift, but the contents within the carefully folded tissue and seal were men's undershorts and pajamas! He was located one deck below us. I left a voicemail and thought better of it and had room service deliver it. He stopped by the next day because he returned to his stateroom the night before after they were delivered and wondered how there could be more undershorts!

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I'm coming back to list some possible tips, based on recently completing the "Into the Midnight Sun" cruise. If I've mentioned these before, I apologize, as I have not gone back to check.

 

Spa has lockers for changing clothes (no need to go back to your room in a wet suit). Each locker in the women's changing area contains a bath robe, pair of plastic shoes (good for snow grotto), mask, towel and a couple other things I can't remember. There is shower gel or soap in the showers, and a machine to extract water from your swim suit. There's water in the spa area, so no need to bring your own.

 

Rooms (at least deluxe veranda ones) don't have a large clock, so you might want to bring a small travel clock unless you plan to use your phone for a clock/alarm. (Be careful, mine didn't always update the time correctly as we moved around - and you may want to put it in airplane mode just in case it decides to route itself through the ship's system.) No, there usually isn't a need for an alarm clock, and yes, perhaps you can set an alarm on the room phone. However, I took a little travel clock to make things easier. I suppose the time is also on the room TV, but obviously that's only good for when you have the TV on.

 

I don't remember if there was a night light, but you can, of course, always turn on the bathroom light and then shut the door.

 

There is no music on the TV, except for background music on the bridge cam channel.

 

Check the times of your excursions on the TV, as well as your dinner reservations, status of your account (bill), etc. There's a lot on that TV. In particular, I found the port talks quite good. They appear around 9 PM each night (or you can attend them in person (on our cruise, they were given at 6:45 PM)

 

I don't carry a purse on a cruise. However, for those who do, be aware that you'll be putting it through an x-ray machine just about every day when you come back from going ashore. It could get a little dirty.

 

Sign up for the ship's bridge tour immediately if you're interested. Spaces are limited and the tour is popular. It's announced in the Viking Daily. For us, it was offered at 2:30 on 4 different days we were in port.

 

Last minute no-shows can occur with excursions. You can go ashore right before a tour and talk to a Viking excursion rep to see about your chances of getting on a sold-out tour.

 

If you use your Quiet Vox, don't forget to charge it at night, and don't forget to take the earphones that come in a little plastic bag. We, however, used the Quiet Vox only twice on the Midnight Sun cruise. On many of the bus tours it's not needed. The Viking Daily will tell you when they're needed.

 

Explorers Desk is different from the Explorers Lounge, and excursion personnel are different from explorers desk personnel. However, the latter were quite helpful on a great variety of topics, including excursion and port exploration details. They also put out port (city) maps each evening for the next day's port. There's no specific IT person or department on the ship, but I found someone at the Explorers Desk to be quite helpful in that regard.

 

Yes, you can print boarding passes (and other things) on the printer next to the computers on deck 1.

 

Exit location each day can vary; check electronic boards for information, see Viking Daily, or listen to morning announcement by Cruise Director.

 

Some restaurant hours can vary depending upon whether ship is in port or at sea. Check the Daily.

 

Doctor is generally available at least a few hours a day, with a nurse available all the time. In my opinion, fees are reasonable. For example, it's $85 to see the doctor.

 

In case it helps in orienting yourself, wall phones are on the port side (side with even numbered rooms, on left of ship as face forward).

 

From 5 to 6 PM, there is no food available. Don't worry, you won't starve - there's always room service!

 

Generally, announcements such as the cruise director's morning "ship has been cleared and you can go ashore" announcements are not broadcast into the rooms. You'll need to open your door or listen to announcements on the TV.

 

The coffee machines in the rooms produce very strong coffee, but the coffee in the Living Room is more moderate - and the baristas there can create pretty impressive works of art with their lattes.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

Edited by roothy123

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I'm coming back to list some possible tips, based on recently completing the "Into the Midnight Sun" cruise. If I've mentioned these before, I apologize, as I have not gone back to check.

 

Spa has lockers for changing clothes (no need to go back to your room in a wet suit). Each locker in the women's changing area contains a bath robe, pair of plastic shoes (good for snow grotto), mask, towel and a couple other things I can't remember. There is shower gel or soap in the showers, and a machine to extract water from your swim suit. There's water in the spa area, so no need to bring your own.

 

Rooms (at least deluxe veranda ones) don't have a large clock, so you might want to bring a small travel clock unless you plan to use your phone for a clock/alarm. (Be careful, mine didn't always update the time correctly as we moved around - and you may want to put it in airplane mode just in case it decides to route itself through the ship's system.) No, there usually isn't a need for an alarm clock, and yes, perhaps you can set an alarm on the room phone. However, I took a little travel clock to make things easier. I suppose the time is also on the room TV, but obviously that's only good for when you have the TV on.

 

I don't remember if there was a night light, but you can, of course, always turn on the bathroom light and then shut the door.

 

There is no music on the TV, except for background music on the bridge cam channel.

 

Check the times of your excursions on the TV, as well as your dinner reservations, status of your account (bill), etc. There's a lot on that TV. In particular, I found the port talks quite good. They appear around 9 PM each night (or you can attend them in person (on our cruise, they were given at 6:45 PM)

 

I don't carry a purse on a cruise. However, for those who do, be aware that you'll be putting it through an x-ray machine just about every day when you come back from going ashore. It could get a little dirty.

 

Sign up for the ship's bridge tour immediately if you're interested. Spaces are limited and the tour is popular. It's announced in the Viking Daily. For us, it was offered at 2:30 on 4 different days we were in port.

 

Last minute no-shows can occur with excursions. You can go ashore right before a tour and talk to a Viking excursion rep to see about your chances of getting on a sold-out tour.

 

If you use your Quiet Vox, don't forget to charge it at night, and don't forget to take the earphones that come in a little plastic bag. We, however, used the Quiet Vox only twice on the Midnight Sun cruise. On many of the bus tours it's not needed. The Viking Daily will tell you when they're needed.

 

Explorers Desk is different from the Explorers Lounge, and excursion personnel are different from explorers desk personnel. However, the latter were quite helpful on a great variety of topics, including excursion and port exploration details. They also put out port (city) maps each evening for the next day's port. There's no specific IT person or department on the ship, but I found someone at the Explorers Desk to be quite helpful in that regard.

 

Yes, you can print boarding passes (and other things) on the printer next to the computers on deck 1.

 

Exit location each day can vary; check electronic boards for information, see Viking Daily, or listen to morning announcement by Cruise Director.

 

Some restaurant hours can vary depending upon whether ship is in port or at sea. Check the Daily.

 

Doctor is generally available at least a few hours a day, with a nurse available all the time. In my opinion, fees are reasonable. For example, it's $85 to see the doctor.

 

In case it helps in orienting yourself, wall phones are on the port side (side with even numbered rooms, on left of ship as face forward).

 

From 5 to 6 PM, there is no food available. Don't worry, you won't starve - there's always room service!

 

Generally, announcements such as the cruise director's morning "ship has been cleared and you can go ashore" announcements are not broadcast into the rooms. You'll need to open your door or listen to announcements on the TV.

 

The coffee machines in the rooms produce very strong coffee, but the coffee in the Living Room is more moderate - and the baristas there can create pretty impressive works of art with their lattes.

 

Enjoy your cruise!

 

NO MUSIC?!!!! :eek: I loved Viking jazz collection on our river cruise. But why, why?

 

Thank you rooty123 for so many useful detailed tips. Hard to believe your cruise ended. Will wait for your review.

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NO MUSIC?!!!! :eek: I loved Viking jazz collection on our river cruise. But why, why?

 

Thank you rooty123 for so many useful detailed tips. Hard to believe your cruise ended. Will wait for your review.

 

Probably because they have contracted with a different service. Or because they figure that more people are listening to music on their phones and with free wi-fi

 

Maybe more of us should comment that we would like a selection of music on the TV.

 

Back to Roothy's post -- re the night light. There is low wattage strip lighting at the base of the closet and into the bathroom (but don't remember if it was actually in the bathroom) to get you from the bed to the bathroom. The switch is by the bed. It is too bright to leave on all night and I didn't use it. I just used my phone to light up the bathroom. With the mirror in the bathroom, the screen light was enough for me to see.

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We also found it too bright so put a pillow in front of it and then the bathroom's dim light was perfect!

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At this point, Mobil Passport is good for people with smartphones who don't travel aboard very often or who are still waiting for their interview when they have to travel aboard. However, as more people learn about Mobil Passport and Global Entry, the lines at MP and GE will be just as long as the regular lines. There is a report elsewhere on CC about disembarking at Ft Lauderdale, where there is an MP gateway in the terminal, and the line at the MP was longer than any other because everyone on board was trying to use it.

 

 

MP may be free but (a) only available at the busiest airports - 23 and (b) only helps getting thru customs - no guaranteed access to Pre line on checkin (assuming the airline has your KTN, which they won't unless provided). Given the choice I would go with GE. Which we did. And will continue to do so. Btw - if you have the option - that is, you live fairly close to an international airport - scheduling an interview at the airport itself is pretty quick. At least it was for us. The process for us from beginning to end was barely a month. And for me was driven by finding a time that accommodated my own work schedule.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

Edited by CharTrav

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That's funny; I didn't even notice the light to turn on the strip lighting! Thanks for the additional info. We never really needed a night light, though. We also did not try to use the heated bathroom floor - is there a switch for that? Also, on Midnight Sun cruise, a few people were bothered by the opposite problem - too much light! The sun during the night was creeping through the crack between the door jamb and the end of the heavy curtain. I just pulled the curtain right up next to the desk and used the binoculars to seal the small crack where light could come in.

 

I should clarify that for the ship's x-ray machines, there ARE trays in which to put a small purse, loose camera or tablet, etc. - but they're not very big, so may not be large enough to hold all purses, bags, etc. cruisers may bring on board. I just took an older backpack/camera bag to use on the ship (especially good for tendering, when it's best to have hands and arms free), although what I brought this time wasn't the best size for me.....

 

I wanted to test the Mobile Passport app at Dulles when we returned, but surprisingly, the passport/customs area was really quiet and there was no need to bother. We just went to a kiosk, scanned our documents, and took our receipt document to the ICE agent. It was really fast. But then there was the wait for the baggage....

 

I DO agree that Global Entry is the way to go.

 

I DID put on my cruise evaluation form that at least a few music channels would be great.

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Peregrina is correct. They will not stock that mini-bar with either alcohol or pop ( the initial stocking with pop, tonic was included.)

We usually just stopped at one of the bars and brought a drink or glass of wine to the room. They will serve you a "double."

Maybe I will bring a flask next cruise, order my scotch neat a few times, fill the flask for the room!!!

 

I'm not sure what they're supposed to do, but our mini-bar fridge (DV category) was re-stocked with a soda each day if we drank one. They had coke and ginger ale, plus tonic water and a few other non-alcoholic drinks. There were 2 each small Twix & Mars bars and one bag of potato chips. What you drank/ate was replenished daily. If you wanted a lot more, you could order and be charged for more.

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Mobile Passport is very useful for ports like Boston where the soonest GE interview is 5+ months wait.

It's easy to set up and can save you LOTS of time when entering a busy port that supports this feature.

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Mobile Passport is very useful for ports like Boston where the soonest GE interview is 5+ months wait.

It's easy to set up and can save you LOTS of time when entering a busy port that supports this feature.

 

Wow! 5 months???? Washington Dulles (our airport) was barely 2 weeks. This was Spring 2016.

 

 

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Mobile Passport is very useful for ports like Boston where the soonest GE interview is 5+ months wait.

It's easy to set up and can save you LOTS of time when entering a busy port that supports this feature.

 

Phil is right. We just applied for GE at the beginning of June and our appointment at Boston Logan is at the end of October. Fortunately, we were able to get a Saturday appointment.

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Ditto from me! If it was like my experience, the email informing you you've been approved will arrive while you're driving home from Logan.

 

 

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I don't know this from personal experiences but others have said to keep checking as sometimes earlier interview slots open up on occasion.

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I don't know this from personal experiences but others have said to keep checking as sometimes earlier interview slots open up on occasion.

 

If it was like my experience, the email informing you you've been approved will arrive while you're driving home from Logan.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Good to know. Thank you both.

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Good to know. Thank you both.

 

I have also read that, if you so wanted, you could do a walk-in first thing in the morning at your interview place - unannounced, just drop in, and you might be able to get it that day. Depending on your schedule that might work!

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Is unlimited bottled water offered? We're on the Viking Homelands August 12 cruise on the Star!

 

 

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Is unlimited bottled water offered? We're on the Viking Homelands August 12 cruise on the Star!

 

I believe you DO get unlimited bottled water - I think they pass it out as you leave / return?

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Is unlimited bottled water offered? We're on the Viking Homelands August 12 cruise on the Star!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

YES

 

In your room your steward will give you a stash if you're concerned. My wife had a case!

Plus, as mentioned they always hand out water as you exit the ship for a tour. Take 2 if concerned.

You may also have mine as I have a small bladder. I know. TMI.

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