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russg140

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

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Hey all - OP here...

 

Not so much interested in price comparison as experience. If I had a lousy time on a cruise but it was cheap - it was still a lousy time. There are also a million ways to "skin the cat" of perceived value. So my original question was more: Having cruised with both compare/contrast food, space, staff, "experience", fellow travelers, etc. Now. Have at it.[/quote

 

Since this will be my first Viking, and looking forward to a great cruise, i can only say I've sailed on X 11 x's, only had 1 not so great experience, very bad waiter, but did not ruin my cruise. So cost is a factor, but I don't sail inside, I dont sail on Carnival or NCL, I do like to be pampered, and stay in upgraded cabins that do cost more, so it's not CHEAP just great deals. X has treated us royally and have had great times and hoping for an even better experience on Viking.

 

This is the marker for me between X and Viking. Viking treats everyone as if they are Suite guest. The beautiful ships, lovely spaces, inviting cabins, amazing service. You can not get that on a ship with three thousand people. The upper class get excellent treatment , other, well! you are some what on your own:(.

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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.

 

It depends on the the cruise itinerary , # of days and ports of call for me besides the price.

My last X sailing was July 2016, 15 day Iberian cruise from Barcelona. We had a CC aft balcony cabin... seven ports of call with a number of sea days. We did get a nice sum of OBC. We used Celebrity choice air for $1500 pp.

Our Viking Cruise is Mar-April, 15 day Transatlantic, six ports of call, lots of sea days and Viking Air promotion when this first came out of $599. air fare.We are booked in a DV3 next to the aft suites on deck 5.

Our Viking Cruise is less, than our Constellation cruise per pp for our cabin. The beverage package of $20. 00 a day is only $2 more than upgraded beverage package on Celebrity in 2016.

But again, I look forward to a new crusie line. Celebrity is fine but not my cup of tea when I look at the 2018-2019 intineraries for Northern Europe ,our next adventure after the TA.

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Re: Viking Air

 

I have found them to be receptive and easy to deal with! We paid the deviation fee in order to fly in a day early. When we got our initial flights, we were on a 6:30am flight, not really needed when going in a day early. When I called I got a "not a problem!" response, coupled with moving the flight to a more reasonable 10:30am AND seat selection.

I haven't sailed on Viking yet, but if their ships run as well as their shore side customer service, this is going to be a great cruise.

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I am 130 days pre cruise. Air is included...but you cannot pay for upgrades...they feel these are all short flights. Well from California the trip varies upon connections from 9 hours to 17 to San Juan I have a really bad back (I am in remission from Cancer in my Spine) I must have an aisle seat so I can stand and stretch every hour (as long as safe) I cannot be blocked by some fool onAmbien who cannot move.I have offered to pay for business class but they say no upgrades may be purchased and would not commit to allowing me to fly in early by a day. I wonder if they plan to ship everyone to a charter in NYC. Has anyone had experience with this. I may have to just buy my own tickets.

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I am 130 days pre cruise. Air is included...but you cannot pay for upgrades...they feel these are all short flights. Well from California the trip varies upon connections from 9 hours to 17 to San Juan I have a really bad back (I am in remission from Cancer in my Spine) I must have an aisle seat so I can stand and stretch every hour (as long as safe) I cannot be blocked by some fool onAmbien who cannot move.I have offered to pay for business class but they say no upgrades may be purchased and would not commit to allowing me to fly in early by a day. I wonder if they plan to ship everyone to a charter in NYC. Has anyone had experience with this. I may have to just buy my own tickets.

 

Have you spoken with Viking Air, or asked your travel agent to do it? You can pay a deviation fee to arrive days earlier (and/or stay later) to San Juan. I am not sure whether Viking offers an upgrade to business class or first class to San Juan.

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I am 130 days pre cruise. Air is included...but you cannot pay for upgrades...they feel these are all short flights. Well from California the trip varies upon connections from 9 hours to 17 to San Juan I have a really bad back (I am in remission from Cancer in my Spine) I must have an aisle seat so I can stand and stretch every hour (as long as safe) I cannot be blocked by some fool onAmbien who cannot move.I have offered to pay for business class but they say no upgrades may be purchased and would not commit to allowing me to fly in early by a day. I wonder if they plan to ship everyone to a charter in NYC. Has anyone had experience with this. I may have to just buy my own tickets.

 

 

 

We are doing the West Indies Explorer in March. I've pretty much had the same conversations regarding air. No Air Plus available for flights to San Juan. I don't understand why. They say there are limited flights but I found quite a few.

 

I decided not to take the chance. I booked flights from JFK (would have preferred EWR) on Delta selecting Comfort Plus for the flight down. Comfort Plus wasn't available for the return flight but I was able to get First Class for only $60 more.

 

I called Viking and got the "no problem." They refunded the flight cost and the deviation fee we had already paid.

 

On our Rhine Getaway last year we paid the $50pp fee for Air Plus and the deviation fee for coming in 3 days early before the cruise. We were able to upgrade to business/first for the upgrade charge.

 

We were very happy with the flights and will do the same thing next year for our Grand European Tour.

 

 

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We are doing the West Indies Explorer in March. I've pretty much had the same conversations regarding air. No Air Plus available for flights to San Juan. I don't understand why. They say there are limited flights but I found quite a few.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I think it is because they don't offer Custom Air on free flights, not because of availability. The limitedness of it is probably refers only to the seats that they can get their hands on at their price and not the total availability of seats to San Juan. Personally, from listening to the complaints about the flight plans that people end up, I would book my own flights, even if I had to pay for them.

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I think it is because they don't offer Custom Air on free flights, not because of availability. The limitedness of it is probably refers only to the seats that they can get their hands on at their price and not the total availability of seats to San Juan. Personally, from listening to the complaints about the flight plans that people end up, I would book my own flights, even if I had to pay for them.

 

But isn't the deal with Custom Air that if you want to pick your own flights you have to pay the cost differential? So why would this ever be an issue?

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But isn't the deal with Custom Air that if you want to pick your own flights you have to pay the cost differential? So why would this ever be an issue?

 

It's Viking. Who knows what is behind some of their policies.

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Hi all,

 

We’re happy to provide a bit of clarification on our customized air option.

 

Viking Air Plus is, indeed, available for purchase on free air promotions. The reason such service is unavailable on certain itineraries, including those that begin or end in San Juan, is the limited number of flight options.

 

Should any of you have specific questions about your reservation, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at TellUs@vikingcruises.com with your booking number. There, we will be able to assist in answering individual questions or concerns.

 

Thank you for allowing us a moment to pop in and respond.

 

Kind regards,

Viking Cruises

Edited by Viking Cruises
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I think it is because they don't offer Custom Air on free flights, not because of availability. The limitedness of it is probably refers only to the seats that they can get their hands on at their price and not the total availability of seats to San Juan. Personally, from listening to the complaints about the flight plans that people end up, I would book my own flights, even if I had to pay for them.

 

 

 

The Viking flights to San Juan were NOT free - cheap but not free.

 

 

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But isn't the deal with Custom Air that if you want to pick your own flights you have to pay the cost differential? So why would this ever be an issue?

 

 

Some flights are more depending on the airline. We wanted United and had to pay more but we were able to pick Delta flights for no extra charge beyond the $50 pp for Air Plus.

 

 

 

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Excellent thread.

 

After sailing with Celebrity since 1992, we have fired Celebrity due to the reasons noted by others; particularly the in your face class structure Celebrity enforces. It is more pronounced on the ship and the CC boards than anything we saw on our wonderful voyages on Cunard. Celebrity is a watered down version of it's former excellent product. It used to be a high quality product which was enjoyed by Everyone, Everyone on the ship. Also, their product has been considerably cheapened. Replacing half and half cream on the morning room service tray with a disgusting artifically flavored fake creamer. Really, modern luxury, not. Let alone the constant selling and the booze packages have changed the ambience on their ships.

 

 

Our TA indicated they have an avalanche of former Celebrity patrons leaving that line and going to the next level up.

 

So, we are now booked on Oceania. We will see if that service provider can provide the product offering and value we seek.

 

A Viking voyage is definately a consideration.

 

Thankfully there is increasing competition at the next level above the ever declining mass cruise lines - so that is wonderful. Hopefully everyone can find a line that "fits them like a glove"

 

ABoatNerd

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"Also, their product has been considerably cheapened. Replacing half and half cream on the morning room service tray with a disgusting artificially flavored fake creamer. Really, modern luxury, not"

 

Yuck. Is this everywhere on the Celebrity ships or just with room service?

 

Michael

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I am 130 days pre cruise. Air is included...but you cannot pay for upgrades...they feel these are all short flights. Well from California the trip varies upon connections from 9 hours to 17 to San Juan I have a really bad back (I am in remission from Cancer in my Spine) I must have an aisle seat so I can stand and stretch every hour (as long as safe) I cannot be blocked by some fool onAmbien who cannot move.I have offered to pay for business class but they say no upgrades may be purchased and would not commit to allowing me to fly in early by a day. I wonder if they plan to ship everyone to a charter in NYC. Has anyone had experience with this. I may have to just buy my own tickets.

 

Had a similar problem due to hubby's disability. According to ADA, Americans w/disabilities Act, appropriate seats must be made available to you. Airlines usually have some seats blocked out for this reason. Call your airline again.

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"Also, their product has been considerably cheapened. Replacing half and half cream on the morning room service tray with a disgusting artificially flavored fake creamer. Really, modern luxury, not"

 

Yuck. Is this everywhere on the Celebrity ships or just with room service?

 

Michael

 

Celebrity's price structure means that you can afford a suite on X for the price of a veranda on the more luxurious lines -- and then you are exempt from most of the cutbacks. All suite passengers dine in Luminae, which has food and service equal to Azamara (plus the wider menu choices from the main dining room if none of the Luminae items appeal) and you have access to Michael's Club for free drinks, low-key evening music, and both your Butler and the Suite Concierge who together can make anything happen for you. On the new-build Edge class suites also have The Retreat with its own pool and lounge area, for a real 'ship within the ship' experience. I don't understand the objection about the class system -- suites on Celebrity cost far more than their added square footage, so you are not only paying for these amenities but also subsidizing the low fares of those in regular cabins. To me the only fair comparison is a Celebrity suite vs a regular cabin on Azamara, Oceania, Viking etc -- and IMO and IME they are comparable.

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I don't understand the objection about the class system -- suites on Celebrity cost far more than their added square footage, so you are not only paying for these amenities but also subsidizing the low fares of those in regular cabins. To me the only fair comparison is a Celebrity suite vs a regular cabin on Azamara, Oceania, Viking etc -- and IMO and IME they are comparable.

 

I do not object to the additional perks that are made available to people who pay for the more expensive cabins. However, I greatly respect and appreciate Viking's approach, so that once I leave our Veranda cabin, we get to experience the same wonderful trip as everyone else on the ship.

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Celebrity's price structure means that you can afford a suite on X for the price of a veranda on the more luxurious lines -- and then you are exempt from most of the cutbacks. All suite passengers dine in Luminae, which has food and service equal to Azamara (plus the wider menu choices from the main dining room if none of the Luminae items appeal) and you have access to Michael's Club for free drinks, low-key evening music, and both your Butler and the Suite Concierge who together can make anything happen for you. On the new-build Edge class suites also have The Retreat with its own pool and lounge area, for a real 'ship within the ship' experience. I don't understand the objection about the class system -- suites on Celebrity cost far more than their added square footage, so you are not only paying for these amenities but also subsidizing the low fares of those in regular cabins. To me the only fair comparison is a Celebrity suite vs a regular cabin on Azamara, Oceania, Viking etc -- and IMO and IME they are comparable.

 

Jazz: I agree with you 100%. We had been booking suites (usually Signature or higher). MC was available to guests booking CS or higher (not Sky Suites) and it was a nice place to go before or after dinner - never very crowded, which was nice. We figured we paid top dollar for our cabin and should have some special perks. Since then the perks are available for purchase (bev package, internet, specialty dining, etc.) for the less expensive Suites whose rate doesn't include them. So basically someone booking a Sky Suite could buy the additional perks for a lot less money than it would cost to upgrade to a higher level Suite, thereby diminishing the value of the perks (spend $3000 p.p. for a SS and $1000 for the perks or $7000 for a CS). We figure we would just rather be on a ship where everyone gets the same things, the only difference is how large of a cabin you want, which makes more sense to us.

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Jazz: I agree with you 100%. We had been booking suites (usually Signature or higher). MC was available to guests booking CS or higher (not Sky Suites) and it was a nice place to go before or after dinner - never very crowded, which was nice. We figured we paid top dollar for our cabin and should have some special perks. Since then the perks are available for purchase (bev package, internet, specialty dining, etc.) for the less expensive Suites whose rate doesn't include them. So basically someone booking a Sky Suite could buy the additional perks for a lot less money than it would cost to upgrade to a higher level Suite, thereby diminishing the value of the perks (spend $3000 p.p. for a SS and $1000 for the perks or $7000 for a CS). We figure we would just rather be on a ship where everyone gets the same things, the only difference is how large of a cabin you want, which makes more sense to us.

 

I was in a CS, so not one of those Sky Suite interlopers ;p [i think CS is the 'sweet spot' for suites on Celebrity] But even with the new policy, Michael's was so little used that no one should feel the service was diminished by including them in the privilege. Similarly there was always plenty of room in Luminae. The new ships are being designed knowing that there will be many more suite passengers, so those areas (and the new The Retreat) should be appropriately sized. [My real confusion is why people still book big suites on Princess and HAL, where they don't get any of these things???]

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Interesting thread and information provided.

 

The Celebrity replacement of real cream with fake creamer apparently was for the entire ship. I purchased a galley tour on the Connie and brought the disgusting creamer with me. During the tour I asked a kitchen supervisor was this cheap product only for the peons on the ship (ie non suite class) - he said, it was for everyone. I do not know if the use of this cheap product continues on Celebrity at this point. But it can be the little things that create a game changer - it was this that for us - we fired Celebrity because of their contempt for us their customer - that we would accept a much higher cruise price and cheapened product.

 

As for the "class system" on cruise lines - we will not patronize a cruise line that overtly creates "exclusion". And the "ship within a ship" is also repudiated.

 

What we find interesting is the hypocrisy of today's cruise lines.

 

Back in 1974 when the S.S. France was held hostage by its crew prior to decommissioning, Miki Arnison of the fledgling Carnival corp said that Cunard and the French line deserved to go out of business due to their class discrimination. Everyone agreed at the time and piled into the "modern" cruise industry which was inclusive and everyone got the same service and access on the ship.

 

Fast forward and the modern cruise industry is now frankly more exclusive than in the past.

 

We will purchase a cruise experience where everyone has access to the ship and food service areas with acknowledgement there can be a few separate lounges for different levels. We enjoy meeting everyone on the ship.

 

People can purchase what ever their heart wants but it is an individual decision.

 

Hopefully our Oceania voyage works for us and perhaps a Viking in the future depending upon the circumstances of air travel and security which is increasingly making us fed up.

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I wrote to Celebrity about the creamer. It may seem like a small thing but have you read the ingredients in Coffee Mate? I prefer milk and cream in my coffee, thank you.

 

Coffee-mate Original contains: Glucose Syrup, Palm Oil (including partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil),[5] Milk Proteins, Stabilisers (Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Citrate), Acidity Regulator (Dipotassium Phosphate), Emulsifiers (Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids, Mono- and Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Ester of Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids), Anti-Caking Agent (Silicon Dioxide), Colour: Riboflavin

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Viking, Oceania and similar other cruise providers hopefully know there is a large group of cruisers like my household who are displeased with the downgrading of the mass cruise lines - and who are prepared to move up the food chain.

 

There are also many consumers who are voracious in their analysis of what they get for their money and are not prepared to silently roll over and accept inferior product (aka substituting real cream with edible oil crap).

 

On the other hand there is a larger constituency of, as we called them in marketing, "obedient consumers" types, who keep buying product despite obvious evidence of reduced quality/quantity.

 

The corporate trend towards reduced consumer value to enhance shareholder value over the past 10 years is eroding brand loyalty as alot of corporations are now learning. More fluidity in consumer purchasing trends.

 

For us - Celebrity is out and Oceania and Viking are in. However, if Oceania and Viking take us for granted, they too will be fired.

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Not all passengers are treated equally on Oceania and Viking, booking higher end cabins does come with perks. Multiple reservations in specialty restaurants, some in room alcoholic beverages, free laundry services, and early embankment to name a few are included.

 

Regarding Celebrity suite benefits, for the last few years anyone booking any of these cabins receives the premium beverage package, free gratuities, free internet, OBC as well as Luminae and Michael's Club.

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