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Viking Homelands Cruise Review

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Tips-Hi All,

Did the Viking HL APRIL 28th 2018 Cruise, Bergen to Stockholm.

Tipping for tour guides & bus driver suggestions.

Used Euros in euro countries. Germany, Estonia, Finland.

PP 2€ tour guide & 1€ Driver.

In non Euro countries. Used per couple $5 tour guide, $3 driver.

 

No complaints. In non euro Countries guide/ driver took tips in € or $. A truely fantastic Ocean Cruise.

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Yes, exactly! I may add to that, I have heard and read discussions about gratuities onboard as well. I cannot believe that as much as people pay for these Viking cruises that at the end they would consider stiffing those people who give them such wonderful service, and do it with a smile. Please, please, these are such hard-working people, and just because you never eat in the World Café or at the Chef's Table, please don't reduce your gratuities to "justify" that. If you do that, the rest of the staff will receive less. Gratuities are pooled (except for what you may give your room steward or that special server in The Restaurant in cash. They can keep that for themselves. I was told that specifically by the Hotel Manager (I hope that's the right title).

 

Thank you, Jiminy, for letting me vent. :)

 

Becki

 

I'm so happy you mentioned it! I think you and I share the same compassion for the staff. <3

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You must be aware that not every passenger on the ship is from the U.S. The citizens of many other countries have practices and cultures that are diametrically opposed to the U.S. practice. The reason they don't tip has probably nothing to do with wealth, they are simply following their own practices and customs.

 

I was brought up in a culture (UK) where tipping is personal and is commensurate with our perception of how far the guide went above and beyond. I certainly do not find it necessary to complain, or comment about others who don't tip at all, or even those that tip considerably more than me.

 

In France, I try to follow local custom and say 'Bonjour' upon entering any shop. In planning foreign trips one of things I research is the local tipping culture, and again I try to follow it. I expect travelers from other cultures to have the same approach. Not tipping in a tipping culture is basically stealing from the staff.

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Jazz,

 

I agree with all you've said.

 

My husband travelled a great deal internationally in the last few years of his job. Between what he learned from his travels and what info I gather from CC, we try to follow the customs for each country we visit. He did spend months at a time in Australia and I was able, a couple of times to go over and join him as he finished a project. The Aussies are well-known to have a no-tipping policy. Once, I had a leg injury that was just healing, but we wanted to go across this bridge at night to see the 'fairy' penguins. Well, our hotel offered to call a taxi for us so we wouldn't have to walk. When the driver was dropping us off, we asked if he would pick us up at the time the program would be finished. He said that he normally would be off at that time, but since he brought us, he would pick us up as well. That was so nice, and when he was dropping us at our hotel, we tried to give him a nice tip, he refused to take it. He finally relented when I said but if he had not taken us, I would not have been able to go because of my leg and to please consider it a thank you.

 

Becki

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You must be aware that not every passenger on the ship is from the U.S. The citizens of many other countries have practices and cultures that are diametrically opposed to the U.S. practice. The reason they don't tip has probably nothing to do with wealth, they are simply following their own practices and customs.

 

 

 

I was brought up in a culture (UK) where tipping is personal and is commensurate with our perception of how far the guide went above and beyond. I certainly do not find it necessary to complain, or comment about others who don't tip at all, or even those that tip considerably more than me.

 

 

 

Heidi13, you are correct that some passengers are not from the USA but I believe a majority of them are. Also, the Viking literature is pretty clear with suggestions for acceptable tipping procedures and amounts. So, I think that most people who walk by and don’t tip are well aware of what they are doing - or not doing. Just my opinion.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I can't agree more with Host Jazzbeau, rjscott, and Elizabetho55. You can't blame not tipping because it isn't customary in your country. You can't say that you weren't aware of it because tipping is mentioned in the documents and literature. They work hard for their tips and deserve them. Just tip. It's the decent thing to do.

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I can't agree more with Host Jazzbeau, rjscott, and Elizabetho55. You can't blame not tipping because it isn't customary in your country. You can't say that you weren't aware of it because tipping is mentioned in the documents and literature. They work hard for their tips and deserve them. Just tip. It's the decent thing to do.

 

Perhaps you should actually read the information provided by Host Jazzbeau. As an obviously savvy and considerate traveler they suggested researching the tipping culture of countries visited and abiding by those standards.

 

Your statement of "Just tip. It's the decent thing to do" is actually considered insulting in a number of countries. Having spent almost 40 years at sea and circumnavigated the globe a number of times, I learned many years ago of the need to research the cultures of other countries and not just with respect to tipping. Of the countries I have visited - China, Japan and South Korea quickly come to mind as ones that considered it insulting to tip. Personally in these countries, I have no desire to insult the staff.

 

Last year we completed a Baltic Cruise on another line and received diametrically opposed service from guides in 2 ports. In many Baltic countries, tipping, while not expected, it is appreciated. In St Petersburg, our Alla guide was spectacular over the entire 2 days. She went well above and beyond what we expect, including spending time with each individual couple. She received a tip almost double what Alla suggest.

 

However in Nynashamn our ship's tour guide was hopeless. On departure, she provided a quick few facts about Sweden then turned the mic off and sat with her phone until Stockholm, when she pointed out some sights. At the Vassa Museum, she provided less information than the info boards. I lasted 10 mins and like many others toured on our own. Departing Stockholm she never provided any more info. Is this guide worthy of a tip?

 

In this situation, is providing a tip the decent thing to do?

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Perhaps you should actually read the information provided by Host Jazzbeau. As an obviously savvy and considerate traveler they suggested researching the tipping culture of countries visited and abiding by those standards.

 

 

 

Your statement of "Just tip. It's the decent thing to do" is actually considered insulting in a number of countries. Having spent almost 40 years at sea and circumnavigated the globe a number of times, I learned many years ago of the need to research the cultures of other countries and not just with respect to tipping. Of the countries I have visited - China, Japan and South Korea quickly come to mind as ones that considered it insulting to tip. Personally in these countries, I have no desire to insult the staff.

 

 

 

Last year we completed a Baltic Cruise on another line and received diametrically opposed service from guides in 2 ports. In many Baltic countries, tipping, while not expected, it is appreciated. In St Petersburg, our Alla guide was spectacular over the entire 2 days. She went well above and beyond what we expect, including spending time with each individual couple. She received a tip almost double what Alla suggest.

 

 

 

However in Nynashamn our ship's tour guide was hopeless. On departure, she provided a quick few facts about Sweden then turned the mic off and sat with her phone until Stockholm, when she pointed out some sights. At the Vassa Museum, she provided less information than the info boards. I lasted 10 mins and like many others toured on our own. Departing Stockholm she never provided any more info. Is this guide worthy of a tip?

 

 

 

In this situation, is providing a tip the decent thing to do?

 

 

 

I was addressing the question about tipping the guides and bus drivers on Viking tours not general guidelines for tipping in restaurants etc. We always follow the cultural guidelines when tipping in a foreign country. But those individual customs or rules do not apply to the guides or bus drivers that Viking hires for tours. Tipping is always suggested for them.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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I was addressing the question about tipping the guides and bus drivers on Viking tours not general guidelines for tipping in restaurants etc. We always follow the cultural guidelines when tipping in a foreign country. But those individual customs or rules do not apply to the guides or bus drivers that Viking hires for tours. Tipping is always suggested for them.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

 

Hit reply too soon - tipping is always suggested for the guides and driver if they provided the expected service. Those who go above and beyond (as most do) get more from us. If we had a guide who spent all their time on the phone and didn’t provide a service we would not tip them.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Hit reply too soon - tipping is always suggested for the guides and driver if they provided the expected service. Those who go above and beyond (as most do) get more from us. If we had a guide who spent all their time on the phone and didn’t provide a service we would not tip them.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

Nor would we. But, we had a situation on our Elegant Elbe cruise that I stll feel badly about. In Wittenberg, it was a really rainy day, but our guide still was bound to do her job and take whomever wanted to go to the chuch where Martin Luther preached the most. It was quite a walk, in the rain, from the building we were in. As it turned out, my husband and I were the only ones who wanted to go there. We offered to just go on our own, but the guide would not have it, and she walked with us to the church and waited while we explored. Then she walked us back to the church with Martin Luther's theses on the door and told us to go in there and see the organ and other pieces of interest. We did and when we came out, she was gone. We tried so hard to find out where she was or how to get hold of her in order to give her a nice tip for her extra effort, but no one could help us. I was so bummed. :(

 

Becki

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Awww Becki, what a beautiful story. I loved reading it. Too bad you didn't have to opportunity to tip her.

 

 

Just to clarify, my post, too, was in regards to tipping the guides and bus drivers as stated by Viking.

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Glad I came across this thread....we are on Viking Homelands Cruise 8/25/2019.  Great information!

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We are thinking of booking the Homelands cruise for 2021, and would love some input about the weather during your cruise. I'm guessing that the weather at these ports are much cooler than Europe, and that April and September may be too cool for our Texas blood. And yet we love cruising during the shoulder season. What month did you cruise, and what were the average temperature and how much rain did you have? Europe was brutally hot this June - are June, July and August comfortable on this cruise?  Thank you so much for any response!

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1 hour ago, cwb348 said:

We are thinking of booking the Homelands cruise for 2021, and would love some input about the weather during your cruise. I'm guessing that the weather at these ports are much cooler than Europe, and that April and September may be too cool for our Texas blood. And yet we love cruising during the shoulder season. What month did you cruise, and what were the average temperature and how much rain did you have? Europe was brutally hot this June - are June, July and August comfortable on this cruise?  Thank you so much for any response!

Cwb348

hi,

Did the Viking homelands end of April start of May 2018. Best weather they Ihave a had in the Baltic. Weather was sunny every day in the 60s fantastic. Book this cruise as early as you can As it is one of the most popular  Viking is offering.

I have posted a day by day of what we did  with tips that is somewhere on Cruise critic. If It cannot be found please let me know and I’ll be glad to repost it.

🛳good cruising. 

bruceb nyc

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Our cruise was the end of May, beginning of June and the weather was perfect.  If we would do it again we would book the exact same time.  I can't remember the temps.  We did dress in layers.  We had rain in a couple of ports but it wasn't an all day rain.  We had rain while visiting Pulpit Rock in Stavanger and it was a cold rain.  The other port was not.

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16 hours ago, cwb348 said:

We are thinking of booking the Homelands cruise for 2021, and would love some input about the weather during your cruise. I'm guessing that the weather at these ports are much cooler than Europe, and that April and September may be too cool for our Texas blood. And yet we love cruising during the shoulder season. What month did you cruise, and what were the average temperature and how much rain did you have? Europe was brutally hot this June - are June, July and August comfortable on this cruise?  Thank you so much for any response!

We did Homelands this year late April/early May.  Overall it was pretty cold but not unbearable.   I wore a puffy coat (not down) that I got on Amazon, a hat, and gloves most days and was fine.  I also wore a warm weather UnderArmour shirt as my first layer some days.  We only had rain one day and some days were cloudy.  Most days were sunny but cold but truly not bad.  I'd go again a this time of year.

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