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russg140

Anyone that has switched from Celebrity to Viking Ocean? Would love feedback!

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So we took our last Celebrity cruise last month. We've embarked on a "new" company to sail with and are starting with Viking Ocean. I'd love to hear from any former Celebrity "fan" who has switched to Viking Ocean as their cruise line of choice. TIA!

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We've been on many Celebrity cruises since 2009 and will take our first Viking Ocean cruise in December so can't yet comment on Viking.

 

In January we did take our first Oceania cruise and thought the food was fabulous but it went downhill from there.

 

We are very much looking forward to our Viking cruise but unlike you we haven't taken our last cruise on Celebrity. We book suites and the amenities are quite nice.

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I'm a still-happy Celebrity cruiser (having recently upgraded to Celebrity Suite level) who is looking forward to my first Viking cruise next summer. But I have to say that Viking prices are Sky-high [even though I will be on the Sun -- see what I did there? ;p]. As I fine-tune the planning for that cruise, the number of 'included' excursions we plan to take is turning out to be only 6 out of the 12 ports. That is making me think that a Celebrity Suite or an Azamara Club Continent Suite may be a better value than the Viking Penthouse Veranda. But staying positive: hopefully Viking will be so great that we have three favorite cruise lines!

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I have sailed on Celebrity ships for my cruise. I was always pleased until lately. Lack of new ports in Europe, fewer wait staff in bars and MDR and too much carnival marketing of "stuff"on sea days.

I have been smitten with Viking ship design since I got my first brochure in 2014.

I am so looking forward to my first Viking cruise in March 2018, and everything I have read here and have gotten from Viking web site tells me I am in for a new experience of a cruise vacation for adult travellers.

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I'm a still-happy Celebrity cruiser (having recently upgraded to Celebrity Suite level) who is looking forward to my first Viking cruise next summer. But I have to say that Viking prices are Sky-high [even though I will be on the Sun -- see what I did there? ;p]. As I fine-tune the planning for that cruise, the number of 'included' excursions we plan to take is turning out to be only 6 out of the 12 ports. That is making me think that a Celebrity Suite or an Azamara Club Continent Suite may be a better value than the Viking Penthouse Veranda. But staying positive: hopefully Viking will be so great that we have three favorite cruise lines!

 

On Viking Homelands, we found that often the included tours time conflicted with (expensive) optional tours that we really wanted so we only took 4. The included tours we took were really bus tours with a stop or 3. Port distance logistics and the cities themselves make Viking Ocean's included tours not as great as their excellent river included tours, several walk off walk back on.

 

Viking was helpful even in St Pete where we booked a small group 14 person non-Viking private tour. Since our tour was supposed to start early, the Viking program director let us off the ship first ahead of the larger Viking tour crowds and we flew thru Russian customs.

 

Our Viking Sea PV room was great although the least expensive Vista suite on Silverseas with only a picture window had a much larger bathroom, twin sinks and an air tub separate from the large shower. Loved the Silver Spirit but loved Viking Sea even more.

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The last time I took a cruise Celebrity was 2009, around the Horn of South America. It was a fabulous cruise to someplace I had never been to and was curious to visit. Our next cruise was one of Viking's China river cruises and I was hooked on river cruising; I didn't need to take another ocean cruise. I liked the small ships that ply the rivers, the included tours in each port, the emphasis on port over ship and service over sell, and most of all the quiet atmosphere on board the ship. I liked everything about the operation; it was everything that an ocean voyage was not--quiet, child-free, port-centric, small, guest-centric, no nickel and diming and to parts of the world I was interested in exploring (I had already done my last Caribbean cruise). Most of all, I liked being treated with respect.

 

We had already done two river cruises with Viking when they announced their expansion into ocean cruising. For us, it was a no-brainer. Viking was offering an experience similar to their river cruises. We were confident that they were capable of scaling up the river experience to ocean proportions and our first two cruises with Viking Ocean have only proven us right. At least for now, we will be expanding our horizons as Viking expands theirs.

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Have had many enjoyable cruises with Celebrity and took my first Viking Ocean cruise recently ( it won't be my last)

 

Found the crew to be wonderful, nothing was too much trouble. Enjoyed not having to pay for Internet and speciality restaurants ( thought Manfredi's was terrific) The drinks package was extremely reasonably priced and the ship is simply beautiful.

 

I am not over impressed with Celebrity entertainment but it was a step up from Viking's which is the only thing I found disappointing.

 

Would have no problems sailing with Celebrity again but if I found similar itineraries and Viking was not too much more expensive I would choose Viking every time.

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We are elite plus with Celebrity. I could not take another cutback or extra charge. We have 2 future cruises booked with Viking.

 

It's the on board experience that broke us away from Celebrity.

 

Viking is more money over some cruises we priced on Celebrity but I am willing to pay the difference.

 

What I have been missing on Celebrity is a more all inclusive feel. I am also hoping for a little better quality meals as we feel Celebrity has really cutback in their quality in the dining room.

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I think you'll be happy with your choice.

We’ve done one sailing on Viking Star, have another one booked for Fall, and are also soon to be Elite Plus on Celebrity, though that will be achieved on an Azamara cruise coming up in November.

We had wandered away from Celebrity (despite being devoted) several years ago after an overcrowded cruise on a new Reflection where everyone had drink packages yet most of the bars were closed during the day, and everything from dining to elevators to putting your feet up with a drink seemed like a struggle. We were in a suite on that cruise, but it was before the current ‘suite experience’ so I can’t really speak to that. That suite was on the stern, and the walk seemed endless if you had to pop back to the cabin for something. I wouldn’t stay back there again.

My first cruise back on Celebrity since then was a recent Norway cruise on Eclipse with my sister in a 2C balcony, and it was great for that because the itinerary was wonderful and the price was right. We weren’t really there for the food, it was more of a casual girls trip. We did feel like we had to eat in the specialty restaurants for a really good meal though, and it was annoying that we couldn't just pop into the spa for a quick steam not being in Aqua Class. It also seems like they’re getting very ‘class divided’ and I didn’t love that. Just knowing I couldn’t go into Michael’s Club like I had always done before was kind of irritating.

I think I'm more concerned with the comfort of my cabin than a lot of people. In my endless searching for itineraries and prices on the internet, it seems to me that the categories on the three lines I mentioned that generally compare in PRICING are a V1 or V2 on Viking (the cheapest cabins) a balcony cabin on Azamara, or a Sky Suite on Celebrity.

As far as COMFORT goes, the cheapest cabin on Viking is quite a bit more comfortable than that balcony on Azamara, more comparable to their Club Continent Suites. It has less storage and walking around space than a Sky Suite on Celebrity, but a more comfortable and larger bed and better location choices. The balcony cabins on Viking have their drawbacks - the closet next to the bed is a struggle (like some S class balconies on X) and drawer space is limited. It’s the best bathroom in any standard cabin at sea though, and if you don’t like a bathtub, it’s better than the X Sky Suite.

As for the ships, the Viking ships are (to me) breathtakingly beautiful. Every area I walked into I looked around, sighed, and said to myself “Isn’t this nice.” There’s a lot to be said also for the smaller number of passengers, and the fact that nothing is very far away from wherever you happen to be. The no child policy and the fact that the cabins only hold two people also might make holiday and Summer travel more palatable.

I thought the food on Viking was quite a step up from Celebrity and just a bit less than Azamara, though IMO their Italian specialty restaurant Manfredi's was better than Azamara's Aqualina.

I realize that Azamara wasn't really mentioned in the OP, but with reciprocal Celebrity Elite benefits, they probably should figure into the equation.

 

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I agree with everything you said amyr with the possible exception of the speciality restaurants.

 

Thought Manfredi's on Viking Sea was very good indeed - we ate there 3 times but I think Aqualina is a step up. I admit to being an Azamara aficionado though so maybe I'm biased.

 

Think Celebrity may have seen the last of me unless they reverse some of the cuts but it's great that I can now enjoy Azamara and Viking

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You know, Spurs, I think you're probably right on Aqualina vs. Manfredi's. I think my problem was more with menu since I'm allergic to shellfish and mushrooms. I was struggling in there to find something to eat by our second trip through :D I LOVED Prime C.

 

We stayed away from Chef's Table on Viking for the same reasons (allergies) but I think there's more choice in there now.

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I also am just 1 cruise away from being Elite plus. Our first Viking is on the Star in March 2018, Athens to Venice. Wanted to try another cruise line and heard so much positive things about Viking. We did get a DV cabin, bought the Silver Spirit Package. We have been on Azamara and Regent.. hoping the included tours are better then some have posted. On Regent all the tours were included, so,you did have a choice. We are booked on X again, January 2019, this time in a Sky Suite, instead of Aqua. Food was exceptional in Blu, so I'm sure Luminae will be even better. Being in a suite did include all the perks, so this was a better deal than Viking, and we do love the Reflection. We will see how it goes after our Viking, and we may change our mind.. the only downside is my DH loves the casino, and there is none on Viking.. probably will be saving me a lot of cash.

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Celebrity's suite experience is sweet. More cabin space, a butler we didn't use, a quiet lounge (Michael's Club) and special activities for suite guests with a small number of attendees. It is a very tranquil experience.

 

We did a Transatlantic on Celebrity in Aqua Class in April. The weather was yucky once we sailed east of Bermuda. The ship felt jammed because everyone was inside.

 

Back to tranquil experiences - I felt the same tranquility after our Viking cruise in a DV1 cabin. Our next two Celebrity cruises are in suites so the prices are much more comparable to Viking.

 

If you read the Celebrity board, people are always in an uproar over the something, right now it is the removal of free burgers by the pool and the new pay burger venue. Here on the Viking board, the only debate I've seen is between the "I love doing my own laundry on board" and the ones who would never do laundry on vacation.

 

About halfway through our Viking cruise, a couple we had gotten to know asked whether we'd run into anything we didn't like - all I could come up with was that I was very disappointed that I had to cut the skin off a piece of diced mango...

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About halfway through our Viking cruise, a couple we had gotten to know asked whether we'd run into anything we didn't like - all I could come up with was that I was very disappointed that I had to cut the skin off a piece of diced mango...

 

ROTF,LMAO!

Rolling on the floor, laughing my $$$ off!!!!!

 

I hope they pass this comment along to the CEO because I agree; it really does sum up our experience so far on Viking Oceans.

 

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About halfway through our Viking cruise, a couple we had gotten to know asked whether we'd run into anything we didn't like - all I could come up with was that I was very disappointed that I had to cut the skin off a piece of diced mango...

 

ROFLMAO...this is hysterical and the reason I am literally counting down the days until our first Viking Ocean cruise in May 2018 (301 days until we leave). Reading all the wonderful comments on CC is making me even more excited.

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Celebrity's suite experience is sweet. More cabin space, a butler we didn't use, a quiet lounge (Michael's Club) and special activities for suite guests with a small number of attendees. It is a very tranquil experience.

 

Back to tranquil experiences - I felt the same tranquility after our Viking cruise in a DV1 cabin. Our next two Celebrity cruises are in suites so the prices are much more comparable to Viking.

 

Was the price of the DV1 cabin on Viking comparable to the suite price on Celebrity? We are taking our first Viking Ocean cruise in December and opted for a PHV as the DV1 cabins were smaller than we are used to. I believe we are paying a similar price as a Sky Suite on Celebrity.

 

Thanks, just curious.

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Was the price of the DV1 cabin on Viking comparable to the suite price on Celebrity? We are taking our first Viking Ocean cruise in December and opted for a PHV as the DV1 cabins were smaller than we are used to. I believe we are paying a similar price as a Sky Suite on Celebrity.

 

Thanks, just curious.

Price was about the same.. BUT on X for 10 nights, 9 nights on Viking..

suite is 300 sq ft, 79 ft veranda, we are in a corner aft, which is larger than standard Sky Suite. DV is 270 sq ft, including balcony.

Included in our X Suite are, premium beverage package, gratuities, unlimited Internet, and a huge On Board Credit, from my TA and X.

So I guess, X is less expensive when you included all the perks.

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Price was about the same.. BUT on X for 10 nights, 9 nights on Viking..

suite is 300 sq ft, 79 ft veranda, we are in a corner aft, which is larger than standard Sky Suite. DV is 270 sq ft, including balcony.

Included in our X Suite are, premium beverage package, gratuities, unlimited Internet, and a huge On Board Credit, from my TA and X.

So I guess, X is less expensive when you included all the perks.

 

It sounds like you were able to buy the Silver Spirit Package in advance, is that correct?

 

Thanks, Katie

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It sounds like you were able to buy the Silver Spirit Package in advance, is that correct?

 

Thanks, Katie

Yes we did add the package.. we enjoy a good wine, and a cocktail or two, we felt the price was very reasonable compared to other cruise lines.

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Was the price of the DV1 cabin on Viking comparable to the suite price on Celebrity? We are taking our first Viking Ocean cruise in December and opted for a PHV as the DV1 cabins were smaller than we are used to. I believe we are paying a similar price as a Sky Suite on Celebrity.

 

Thanks, just curious.

 

I did a quick and dirty price comparison. Strictly considering cost, Viking is more expensive. I would be glad to share my spreadsheet. Email me at cruzzzinma@gmail.com.

 

Assumptions:

I placed no value on the butler, Luminae or Michaels Club on Celebrity. The specialties on Viking somewhat mitigate the loss of Luminae. The whole ship is tranquil so I didn't need the quietness of Michael's club.

 

I did add the premium and silver spirits package to keep them somewhat comparable.

 

I probably underestimated shore excursions on both - I used $150 per day on Celebrity for nine port days for both of us and assumed only included excursions on Viking.

 

I place no value on the restocked mini fridge or coffee pot on Viking and no value on the daily snacks on Celebrity.

 

I did not consider which had the better itinerary, ship sizes, ship age, chair hogs, free burgers by the pool or passenger numbers.

 

Celebrity 10 day adjusted price assumes airfare and shore excursions stay the same.

 

12-night Celebrity Summit Southern Caribbean departing Jan 17 2019

Sky Suite: $9,551.00. "Adjusted price" for 10 nights was $8,419.63.

C1 Veranda (Aft facing concierge cabin comparable to DV1): $8,855.48 per stateroom for 12 days and $7,839.90 per stateroom adjusted to 10 days.

Viking Ocean, Jan 8 2019 West Indies Explorer, 10 nights (Viking says 11 days)

 

PV3 $11,591.16 (comparable to Sky Suite)

DV1 $11,191.16 (comparable to Celebrity aft facing C1)

Edited by cruzzzinma

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I did a quick and dirty price comparison. Strictly considering cost, Viking is more expensive. I would be glad to share my spreadsheet. Email me at cruzzzinma@gmail.com.

 

Assumptions:

I placed no value on the butler, Luminae or Michaels Club on Celebrity. The specialties on Viking somewhat mitigate the loss of Luminae. The whole ship is tranquil so I didn't need the quietness of Michael's club.

 

I did add the premium and silver spirits package to keep them somewhat comparable.

 

I probably underestimated shore excursions on both - I used $150 per day on Celebrity for nine port days for both of us and assumed only included excursions on Viking.

 

I place no value on the restocked mini fridge or coffee pot on Viking and no value on the daily snacks on Celebrity.

 

I did not consider which had the better itinerary, ship sizes, ship age, chair hogs, free burgers by the pool or passenger numbers.

 

Celebrity 10 day adjusted price assumes airfare and shore excursions stay the same.

 

12-night Celebrity Summit Southern Caribbean departing Jan 17 2019

Sky Suite: $9,551.00. "Adjusted price" for 10 nights was $8,419.63.

C1 Veranda (Aft facing concierge cabin comparable to DV1): $8,855.48 per stateroom for 12 days and $7,839.90 per stateroom adjusted to 10 days.

Viking Ocean, Jan 8 2019 West Indies Explorer, 10 nights (Viking says 11 days)

 

PV3 $11,591.16 (comparable to Sky Suite)

DV1 $11,191.16 (comparable to Celebrity aft facing C1)

 

All I can say is I am on the Reflection, not the Summit, I do love the smaller ship. I paid a lot less than for my cruise fare, gratuities, beverage package, unlimited internet and $1000.00 SBC included. I don't do many shore excursions in the Caribbean as I have been to the islands numerous times. I do enjoy my afternoon delivery of cheese platter and shrimp cocktail with my glass of wine. I have been on luxury cruise lines, Azamara and REGENT, which everything was included, the smallest suite was over 300 sq ft, enjoyed that cruise, but still am back to X because I do enjoy them too. My DH likes to gamble, so X is his choice, but we just got off a river cruise, no gambling, and he enjoyed that. We loved the food and service in Blu, this is the first time in Luminae so can't compare. We do like small ships, but also like the action on a large ship.. SO, we like diversity and look for a good deal in the category that we travel in.

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I did a quick and dirty price comparison. Strictly considering cost, Viking is more expensive. I would be glad to share my spreadsheet. Email me at cruzzzinma@gmail.com.

 

Assumptions:

I placed no value on the butler, Luminae or Michaels Club on Celebrity. The specialties on Viking somewhat mitigate the loss of Luminae. The whole ship is tranquil so I didn't need the quietness of Michael's club.

 

I did add the premium and silver spirits package to keep them somewhat comparable.

 

I probably underestimated shore excursions on both - I used $150 per day on Celebrity for nine port days for both of us and assumed only included excursions on Viking.

 

I place no value on the restocked mini fridge or coffee pot on Viking and no value on the daily snacks on Celebrity.

 

I did not consider which had the better itinerary, ship sizes, ship age, chair hogs, free burgers by the pool or passenger numbers.

 

Celebrity 10 day adjusted price assumes airfare and shore excursions stay the same.

 

12-night Celebrity Summit Southern Caribbean departing Jan 17 2019

Sky Suite: $9,551.00. "Adjusted price" for 10 nights was $8,419.63.

C1 Veranda (Aft facing concierge cabin comparable to DV1): $8,855.48 per stateroom for 12 days and $7,839.90 per stateroom adjusted to 10 days.

Viking Ocean, Jan 8 2019 West Indies Explorer, 10 nights (Viking says 11 days)

 

PV3 $11,591.16 (comparable to Sky Suite)

DV1 $11,191.16 (comparable to Celebrity aft facing C1)

Forgot to add that the costs are PER CABIN, not per person.

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Forgot to add that the costs are PER CABIN, not per person.

Got it.. but I paid no where near those prices..I didn't even pay that for our 11 nt Regent cruise, which included my air to Europe from LAX, an ALL INCLUSIVE CRUISE. Like I said there are specials out there, and I take advantage of them.

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