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

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Thank you for that information. It was very helpful. I can see why many people pay for other excursions--they look amazing.

 

Michael

 

You're welcome. I use the list of tours as a guidebook for each port to figure out what I want to see and how much we can do on our own.

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Hello, all! I'd like to jump in here and ask a question and make a comment.

First, the question: My husband and I were debating between DV1 (love aft facing cabins) and the PV1 (overhand from Deck 7 could obstruct panoramic view somewhat, but has more room, more storage, and excursions can be booked 10 days sooner). We finally booked the DV1 on the Sun next June, and my husband is now concerned that we should have chosen the PV1 instead.

Not knowing at this point what the shore excursions VOC offers would be, how important is that 10 days really? Are certain excursions completely closed when it opens up for DV1 to choose? How can I access what will be available ahead of time (even if I am not able to book them yet)?

Now for my comment: We are Elite on Celebrity and have thoroughly enjoyed each and every Celebrity cruise we have taken. Some cabins have been better than others, some stewards better than others, some food better than others, etc. but all and all, we have been more than pleased. The nickel and diming compared to NCL, Carnival, RCCL, etc. is minimal. On the $10 sale days, don't go to the shops if you don't want to be approached with a sales pitch (although I just say "No Thanks" and walk on). We found Celebrity to be a real cut above the other mainstream cruises all around. I think anyone who is coming from some of the other cruise lines will be pleased as well.

Having said that, everything is subjective and what I like may be exactly someone else doesn't like and vise versa.

We decided that at some point we needed to try a "luxury" cruise line and I had been steered toward Regent, but found an itinerary I liked on Viking Ocean Cruises and we booked. The reviews and price told me I needed to try this before going too far afield with Regent. So far, what I've read about Viking Ocean makes me think I will be very pleased! I'm very excited about our upcoming VOC cruise next June, but have one more Celebrity before that. Until we experience VOC at least once, I can't say that I would never go Celebrity again. We've been happy!

Thanks for your help with my question.

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Hello, all! I'd like to jump in here and ask a question and make a comment.

First, the question: My husband and I were debating between DV1 (love aft facing cabins) and the PV1 (overhand from Deck 7 could obstruct panoramic view somewhat, but has more room, more storage, and excursions can be booked 10 days sooner). We finally booked the DV1 on the Sun next June, and my husband is now concerned that we should have chosen the PV1 instead.

 

We love, love, love the aft cabins on Celebrity, especially on seadays, and try to book them when we can.

 

We booked 5110 on the Viking Star (right under the infinity pool) and would not do it again unless it was a cruise with a lot of seadays. The cabin was fine. Our cruise had zero sea days out of ten so we didn't have the opportunity to sit out on the balcony and watch the water. We did go out early morning, at night and sometimes in the afternoons after we returned to the ship after excursions. We just did not get the usage we expected.

 

We did not have any issues in a DV1 with availability of shore excursions or specialty restaurants pre cruise or on the ship.

 

We have booked a PV2 or 3 for our next cruise.

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We love, love, love the aft cabins on Celebrity, especially on seadays, and try to book them when we can.

 

We booked 5110 on the Viking Star (right under the infinity pool) and would not do it again unless it was a cruise with a lot of seadays. The cabin was fine. Our cruise had zero sea days out of ten so we didn't have the opportunity to sit out on the balcony and watch the water. We did go out early morning, at night and sometimes in the afternoons after we returned to the ship after excursions. We just did not get the usage we expected.

 

We did not have any issues in a DV1 with availability of shore excursions or specialty restaurants pre cruise or on the ship.

 

We have booked a PV2 or 3 for our next cruise.

 

Thank you for your feedback, cruzzzinma! We toyed with 5110 on the Sun, but decided that the overhang from the Infinity Pool directly above was not ideal, so we opted for 4122, which is directly below 5110. With the slope of the rear of the ship, the overhang doesn't appear to be an issue with 4122. From the pictures I've seen of the aft of the Star (which is the same as the Sun), we thought the overhang in 5110 might not suit us, but glad you didn't have a problem with it. The same with the PV1 cabins having the overhang from Deck 7 (port or starboard, aft), so your choice of a PV2 of PV3 is farther forward and therefore, has no extra overhang above.

 

We also have no sea days on this itinerary, but I think we'll use the balcony, especially going so deep into the Eidfjord. We had an aft cabin on our Baltic cruise and the view from the balcony was spectacular coming out of Stockholm (through the Swedish Archipelago) and we will have one in February in Australia/New Zealand on Celebrity. I think this will be equally as good on VOC.

 

I'm glad to know that you had no problems securing the excursions that you wanted in the DV1. That makes me feel better. I assured my husband that the cabin itself is slightly larger than our Concierge or Aqua cabins on Celebrity (270 sq ft for VOC and 248 for Celebrity). I think he'll just get the drink package and his drinks at a bar instead of worrying about the minis in the frig in PV1 that you don't get it DV1. We have always had the problem of choosing cabin location over amenities (Celebrity Concierge aft facing vs. Aqua and our favorite BLU)!

 

Is there a way, however, to view the shore excursions prior to their release for booking?

 

Thanks!

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Three concerns from reading the following review:

 

https://***************/ship/viking-sky/review/440447

 

I know that specialty restaurants are included.

 

However, I have heard that there are only two such restaurants and they are always booked with "higher class" passengers. Is this true?

 

Another comment was that were literally no drawers or shelves to put personal items.

 

Finally, I booked the air inclusive but this comment concerned me: "Only use their travel if included with the package you purchase or very difficult to arrange transfer to ship. They get the cheapest flights that can include an extra stopover and last boarding priority on the flights"

 

Thanks for the input!

 

Michael

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Papillon612,

 

You can go to the VO website, under cruises select your cruise. The itinerary should be listed. Click on a port and the excursions should be shown, included and optional. The times and cost of excursions aren't shown but will be shown in MVJ when booking opens.

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I know that specialty restaurants are included.

 

However, I have heard that there are only two such restaurants and they are always booked with "higher class" passengers. Is this true?

 

Another comment was that were literally no drawers or shelves to put personal items.

 

Finally, I booked the air inclusive but this comment concerned me: "Only use their travel if included with the package you purchase or very difficult to arrange transfer to ship. They get the cheapest flights that can include an extra stopover and last boarding priority on the flights"

 

Thanks for the input!

 

Michael

 

We were unable to book restaurant reservations in advance since we were booked in the least expensive cabin. ( I presume your use of "higher class" passengers was tongue-in-cheek, as I do not consider myself "lower class" just because we are frugal! ;)) Once onboard, we had no problems booking the Chef's Table two times and Manfredi's once. We enjoyed the World Cafe and the Restaurant so much, that we did not even try for additional specialty reservations beyond those three.

 

Obviously, there are drawers and open shelves to store your belongings! The drawer space in limited, but enough to store your more personal items. There were also open shelves in the closet and outside the bathroom to store folded clothing. I never understand why other people exaggerate so, or else literally do not know the meaning of literally!

 

We did book air through Viking, but paid the additional $50 per person for the Air Plus to allow us some input in the booking process Unfortunately, that option is not available for all itineraries. Initialy, we were pleased with our flights, but we did have a close connection on our return flight. Unfortunately, our first departure flight was delayed, and we missed our connection home. While that was a real nuisance, it in no way changed our enthusiasm for our Viking cruise.

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Three concerns from reading the following review:

 

https://***************/ship/viking-sky/review/440447

 

I know that specialty restaurants are included.

 

However, I have heard that there are only two such restaurants and they are always booked with "higher class" passengers. Is this true?

 

Another comment was that were literally no drawers or shelves to put personal items.

 

Finally, I booked the air inclusive but this comment concerned me: "Only use their travel if included with the package you purchase or very difficult to arrange transfer to ship. They get the cheapest flights that can include an extra stopover and last boarding priority on the flights"

 

Thanks for the input!

 

Michael

 

You have linked a review from a website that is blocked on Cruise Critic, so we cannot go back to read what you read.

 

From the little you have quoted, the reviewer seems to have a chip on her shoulder and was just uninformed about how things really work on Viking.

 

No, reservations do not go to the higher classes, except may be the advanced reservations. However, additional specialty restaurants can be made once you board even if advance booking says it is out of reservations. Make your reservations early on in the cruise (like embarkation day), because if you wait, they might be fully booked already, especially for Manfredi's. There is a reservation station in the World Cafe that is manned during meal time, there are reservation stations outside each specialty restaurant and you can make reservation on your interactive TV.

 

Just how much stuff was the reviewer trying to store--and really what ship was she on? First, there is 5 feet worth of hanging space in the closet with a shelf running the full length above the hanging rail (and your steward will give you as many wooden hangers as you want). There are three drawers and one shelf (two shelves if you ask your steward to remove the coffee machine). In the bathroom, there are small shelves for smaller items plus TWO generous drawers for storing things. There is a night stand on each side of the bed with a drawer for small items and a shelf below it. In the desk, there is a lift up storage section/vanity. We travel with carry on only If you want to see pictures of all of these things, you can check out my photos of our cabin; I took them just for this purpose.

 

Now, for using Viking Air. Let's try to clarify for you. If the airfare is free, then you do not have access to Custom Air. That is just the way it is and you take what you get. However, the flight is FREE and you can't expect that at that price you will be getting the prime-time flights. Now, if you have paid for the airfare, then unless you are on one of the itineraries that does not have Custom Air available, you should pay the $50 pp fee and use custom air to have some say of what your flights will be; just keep in mind that $100 is nothing compared to what you have already paid for your vacation and why ruin it with the flight arrangements. Viking will tell you what flights are available at their price but it is helpful to do some homework in advance. If you do not use Custom Air, you will more than likely get the flights that no one else wanted with all of the features that you won't like -- leaving home before dawn to get the first flight out, long layovers, and early morning disembarkation.

 

Hope this helps.

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Now, for using Viking Air. Let's try to clarify for you. If the airfare is free, then you do not have access to Custom Air. That is just the way it is and you take what you get. However, the flight is FREE and you can't expect that at that price you will be getting the prime-time flights. Now, if you have paid for the airfare, then unless you are on one of the itineraries that does not have Custom Air available, you should pay the $50 pp fee and use custom air to have some say of what your flights will be; just keep in mind that $100 is nothing compared to what you have already paid for your vacation and why ruin it with the flight arrangements. Viking will tell you what flights are available at their price but it is helpful to do some homework in advance. If you do not use Custom Air, you will more than likely get the flights that no one else wanted with all of the features that you won't like -- leaving home before dawn to get the first flight out, long layovers, and early morning disembarkation.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Thanks for the clarification. As I said, I have never sailed on Viking Ocean so have no preconceptions. I am familiar with Celebrity Choice Air and the options to book air fare. I usually verify the flights and costs before final payment date. Can you use Viking Custom Air the same way? I went to their air website but didn't find the flight booking capability.

 

How soon before the cruise can you book your air through custom air?

 

One thing I don't like about Viking is that the final payment date for an 10/18 cruise I booked is 1/18.

 

Thanks for your posts!

 

Michael

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Thanks for the clarification. As I said, I have never sailed on Viking Ocean so have no preconceptions. I am familiar with Celebrity Choice Air and the options to book air fare. I usually verify the flights and costs before final payment date. Can you use Viking Custom Air the same way? I went to their air website but didn't find the flight booking capability.

 

How soon before the cruise can you book your air through custom air?

 

One thing I don't like about Viking is that the final payment date for an 10/18 cruise I booked is 1/18.

 

Thanks for your posts!

 

Michael

 

Viking wants full payment about 30 days after the reservation is made (whenever that is), but my TA was able to push it out several months. You could ask.

 

I'd also be interested in hearing what others say about the air. We booked the air during this past $500/pp off promotion that ends today. We've used Celebrity's Choice Air multiple times and all we did was find the flights we wanted and call Choice Air to actually book our selections. It would be nice to pay $50/pp more and have that same option with VO.

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Thanks for the clarification. As I said, I have never sailed on Viking Ocean so have no preconceptions. I am familiar with Celebrity Choice Air and the options to book air fare. I usually verify the flights and costs before final payment date. Can you use Viking Custom Air the same way? I went to their air website but didn't find the flight booking capability.

 

How soon before the cruise can you book your air through custom air?

 

One thing I don't like about Viking is that the final payment date for an 10/18 cruise I booked is 1/18.

 

Thanks for your posts!

 

Michael

 

Michael, if it is any consolation, Viking's final payment options have loosened up over the past year or so. When we booked in 2014--2 years before our actual sail date-- we paid in full 18 months before our sail date, to sail on a cruise line that had no yet even sailed its first ocean sailing and whose ships were still under construction. If you sail with Viking again, you now know that you can push final payment off even further (right now it is about 6 months out but follow the chat here to see if that changes).

 

Custom air is available as soon as the flights are available for booking on itineraries where custom air is available. Note the caveat. Where custom air is available, Viking will give you a choice of flight plans. I like to research flights before my TA talks with Viking so I know what is out there and can then compare what I have found with what is being offered to me. At the air deal prices that Viking is offering, you are limited in your choices.

 

My experience with Viking Air for the most part has been very good. Out of 6 cruises, I have booked through them 5 times and been happy with my flights. On our up coming cruise, I didn't like the price or the choices and ended up booking my own flights for less.

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Custom air is available as soon as the flights are available for booking on itineraries where custom air is available. Note the caveat.

 

To add a specific detail: I have been told that any cruise beginning or ending in Bergen, Norway will not have custom air available. The explanation is that there are so few flights into Bergen that Viking needs the flexibility of fitting you in where they can [doesn't sound hopeful to me for getting 'good' flights!] Even if you plan to fly to Oslo, where there are lots of good flights, no Custom Air for you! [unless you buy the Viking pre- or post-cruise package with Oslo]

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Cannot use the easy method of Celebrity Air model.

For Viking Air you can buy deviation $100 pp going in early or staying in port city after cruise.

We did that for pre cruise out of San Juan. Will get the luck of the draw for flights about 75 days out.Our TA said it should be another two weeks for information about adding the post extension and custom air flights from Barcelona.We are sailing March 2018 and returning April 12.

Celebrity Air is part of RCCL and a very big outfit. not so Viking Air

 

 

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I just called and asked Viking about the option for having some say in the flight reservations through Viking Air. She said that we would have to pay $150/pp and give our preferences to our TA, who would in turn speak with Viking Air to see if what we would like would be available to us. Also, I asked if we could add that $150/pp fee when we found out what they were going to book and she indicated that was often possible, but no guarantees our preferences would be available for the price we paid Viking. Viking is supposed to send us what they propose and we should have a week or so to decide if they meet our needs. She said that was usually 65 days out. I understand that part about no guarantees, but I've always spoken directly with Celebrity's Choice Air people, told them what I wanted, and not had to involve my TA. It is too far out now to do anything, but she said I could pay the $150/pp now to insure we have some say in the matter. I'll wait.

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Just booked our first Viking cruise on the Viking Sun for a transatlantic in November from Lisbon to Miami. We are at Elite level on Celebrity. We like Aqua class as you can eat in your own specialty restaurant, Blu. We have also cruised on Oceania, really love the Riviera and Marina.

 

We also have a cruise on Azamara through the Panama Canal planned for February, a cruise on Celebrity cruise on Solstice planned for Alaska in June 2018 and a New England / Canada cruise on Royal Princess planned for October 2018. We could be readjusting our plans depending on our upcoming Viking experience turns out.

 

Although when making cruise plans itinerary and value are also important factors. When we first sailed on Oceania their prices we less than they are now and Viking is not the greatest value.

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Although when making cruise plans itinerary and value are also important factors. When we first sailed on Oceania their prices we less than they are now and Viking is not the greatest value.

 

The greatest value is always the cheapest fare. I'm willing to pay a bit more to sail with Viking because they offer smaller ship and a casual, port intensive, child-free, smoke-free, casino-free approach to cruising. Value is always quantifiable.

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The greatest value isn't always the cheapest fare. I'm willing to pay a bit more to sail with Viking because they offer smaller ship and a casual, port intensive, child-free, smoke-free, casino-free approach to cruising. Value is always quantifiable.

 

Sorry. I really do need to get better glasses. I meant to type: The greatest value isn't always the cheapest fare....Value isn't always quantifiable.

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The greatest value is always the cheapest fare. I'm willing to pay a bit more to sail with Viking because they offer smaller ship and a casual, port intensive, child-free, smoke-free, casino-free approach to cruising. Value is always quantifiable.

 

 

 

Thank You !

 

 

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Thank You !

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Read the correction that I made to the post because I didn't proof read. I said that the greatest value is not always the cheapest price and that value is not always quantifiable.

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I just called and asked Viking about the option for having some say in the flight reservations through Viking Air. She said that we would have to pay $150/pp and give our preferences to our TA, who would in turn speak with Viking Air to see if what we would like would be available to us. Also, I asked if we could add that $150/pp fee when we found out what they were going to book and she indicated that was often possible, but no guarantees our preferences would be available for the price we paid Viking. Viking is supposed to send us what they propose and we should have a week or so to decide if they meet our needs. She said that was usually 65 days out. I understand that part about no guarantees, but I've always spoken directly with Celebrity's Choice Air people, told them what I wanted, and not had to involve my TA. It is too far out now to do anything, but she said I could pay the $150/pp now to insure we have some say in the matter. I'll wait.

 

I think this wrong. If you pay the deviation and custom air $150pp then you can chose your flights when they become available to the general public around 330 out from the back end of your trip. I would select what you want and then provide the itinerary to your TA to give to Viking. Viking will then come back and state if there is an upcharge and if they can accommodate the air selection. You will know way before the 65 days out. The 65 days out are for those air reservations where you did not deviate or pay the custom air.

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I paid 150.00 to do custom, I was at about 120 days out at that point.

 

 

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I understand, as soon as you pay your cruise in full, you can pick your flights for a fee.

I was going to do that, but at 11 months, when the air flights opened I snatched an unreal deal.. I think it was an error but I'm not complaining as my Viking air Was $795.00 pp add the 150.00 pp for deviation, it was no bargain, as I paid $651.00 pp round trip on the dates I wanted. I was not receiving transfers from VO as I was arriving early and leaving later.

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I sailed with X for many years. Sailed on each S class ship as they presented. Did the Solstice three times. I sailed on the Century when she was new, that gives a point of reference to the extent of my X days. I am a Elite plus with Celebrity. But! I sailed on my first Viking River in 2012. I was hooked. I sailed on Viking Star in 2015. Booked a 2016 sailing onboard. We are sailing in November ,back on the Star. With free Spa ( not all) service, included wine, beer and soft drinks, a coffee maker in suite and free laundry, you can't ask for much more.

 

I walked away from X due to the extensive extra charges and the extreme differences in structure. If I want to sail in the manner of The Queens(Cunard) with steerage and first class having a line drawn between, I would sail on Cunard. I sail to learn see new destinations and to meet people. Celebrity has increased their pricing and decreased their service. The ongoing barrage of selling, selling, selling annoys me. I am now, a true Viking fan. I did enjoy X. I have moved on. Too each his own. Happy cruising.

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Kat:

 

An excellent point - looking at why we/others would look to switch from Celebrity.

 

First, I think for those who didn't cruise with X years ago or are new to the line the product they are offering is nice. They've relaxed the dress code (no more "formal" nights) and moved the line to be more....trendy/hip, trying to attract younger people/families. The ships rely more and more on bells and whistles. For instance the new Edge ship is expected to offer a bar that lowers to the water level down the side of the ship to become a tender station and a lounge area called Eden with people performing all around you while you try to enjoy a drink. X is hoping those changes will attract new customers.

 

The food on X is usually good to very good. The better food you pay for (at the Specialty restaurants). Service is almost always excellent. Entertainment is of the standard cruise variety.

 

We are looking forward to our Viking Ocean cruise in June '18 and are planning a Viking River cruise for the Christmas markets season at the end of next year.

 

I simply love Viking. I sailed with X for twenty years, as they grew they changed, to much of everything, especially people. As an Elite Plus with X. I have sailed on each of their ships including all of the S class ship. I walked away in 2012. As a person who loves sailing, Viking hits the nail on the head for me, The comfort and all inclusive details are excellent. You do not have to book a suite on Viking to eat in the Specialty restaurants, just make a reservation and go. Happy cruising.

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I simply love Viking. I sailed with X for twenty years, as they grew they changed, to much of everything, especially people. As an Elite Plus with X. I have sailed on each of their ships including all of the S class ship. I walked away in 2012. As a person who loves sailing, Viking hits the nail on the head for me, The comfort and all inclusive details are excellent. You do not have to book a suite on Viking to eat in the Specialty restaurants, just make a reservation and go. Happy cruising.

 

But I'm paying more per day for a PV1 on Viking than for a CS Suite on Celebrity. We'll see how Viking stacks up against the Celebrity Suite experience (which we find not at all like the complaints voiced against Celebrity here), but no matter how good you are definitely paying for it. IMHO people should keep this price issue up front when comparing the two lines: it isn't relevant to compare a Celebrity veranda experience to Viking, when Viking costs as much as a Celebrity suite.

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