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Will we like Viking, if Seabourn and Crystal are our preferred Lines?

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We have travelled quite frequently on Crystal and less so on Seabourn. We loved them. Did not like Silversea or RCCL. We generally like to explore on our own or with small groups that let you linger when you find a spot you like. Just wondering what the excursion experience is like? I do not want to be herded like on RCCL. What is the caliber of food and service? We live in a suburb of NYC and are spoiled by all the culinary offerings. Are there onboard lectures?

 

Would appreciate feedback from others who have travelled on luxury lines.

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My husband and I just disembarked the Star for our first cruise with Viking Oceans. They are now in our top 3 favorite lines which goes as follows:

Number 1 - Seabourn 200+ days

Number 2 - Silversea 3 cruises

Number 3 - Viking 1 cruise

Number 4 - Crystal 2 cruises

Number 5 - Seadream 1 cruise

Number 6 - Windstar 1 cruise

Number 7 - Club Med 4 cruises

Number 0 - Regent 1 cruise and never again

 

The ship was very similar in size to the Crystal Serenity. It was a close call between the 2. What's better on Crystal are the finishings in the cabins, the elegance of the MDR, the possibility of having your lunch served at your table. If you prefer buffets, the buffet is also better on Crystal. Furthermore, we are champagne drinkers which is not included with the Silver beverage package on Viking which is regrettable.

What put Viking ahead of Crystal (for us) is the spa and the open dining for dinner.

 

As far as the excursions go, while it's nice to have an included option, you will feel herded. The optional options however are less crowded and at least 40% less expensive than Seabourn for the same tours.

 

The food and service are similar on both lines. You actually may recognize some familiar faces from your sailings on Seabourn and Crystal.

 

Any further questions, ask away.

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My husband and I just disembarked the Star for our first cruise with Viking Oceans. They are now in our top 3 favorite lines which goes as follows:

Number 1 - Seabourn 200+ days

Number 2 - Silversea 3 cruises

Number 3 - Viking 1 cruise

Number 4 - Crystal 2 cruises

Number 5 - Seadream 1 cruise

Number 6 - Windstar 1 cruise

Number 7 - Club Med 4 cruises

Number 0 - Regent 1 cruise and never again

 

The ship was very similar in size to the Crystal Serenity. It was a close call between the 2. What's better on Crystal are the finishings in the cabins, the elegance of the MDR, the possibility of having your lunch served at your table. If you prefer buffets, the buffet is also better on Crystal. Furthermore, we are champagne drinkers which is not included with the Silver beverage package on Viking which is regrettable.

What put Viking ahead of Crystal (for us) is the spa and the open dining for dinner.

 

As far as the excursions go, while it's nice to have an included option, you will feel herded. The optional options however are less crowded and at least 40% less expensive than Seabourn for the same tours.

 

The food and service are similar on both lines. You actually may recognize some familiar faces from your sailings on Seabourn and Crystal.

 

Any further questions, ask away.

 

An excellent summary that reflects our experience on a recent Viking Ocean, we booked another as soon as we returned.

 

We liked the airy feel of the buffet and preferred it to the MDR which seemed a bit frantic on our cruise.

 

We don't drink champagne so less if an issue for us.

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We have been on two VO cruises, the most recent last month, both with the Silver Spirit package. We were able to get champagne by the glass at any bar or restaurant. I don’t know what brand it was but it sure tasted wonderful at the time. Champagne by the bottle was not included but by the glass was not a problem.

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We have travelled quite frequently on Crystal and less so on Seabourn. We loved them. Did not like Silversea or RCCL. We generally like to explore on our own or with small groups that let you linger when you find a spot you like. Just wondering what the excursion experience is like? I do not want to be herded like on RCCL. What is the caliber of food and service? We live in a suburb of NYC and are spoiled by all the culinary offerings. Are there onboard lectures?

 

Would appreciate feedback from others who have travelled on luxury lines.

 

Have done Silversea & Viking. Liked Silversea very much but Viking is superior.

If cabin elegance is a big issue, more austere Viking may be a problem. Silversea has much bigger bathrooms.

Viking's many varied and excellent dining venues at no extra charge are a big plus. Silversea service seemed better although I was fine with Viking's. Friendly service where they get you what you want but not over the top attentive NYC style personal service.

I like that there is no suit coat required for dinner on Viking. However, Viking's casual elegance sometimes looks like a homeless shelter as a population of Viking guests pride themselves in traveling with just carry ons and no luggage.

The Viking ships are bigger than the Silversea ships but seem emptier. VERY well designed.

 

The problem can be with tours. If Viking says Panoramic Tour it is code for a bus tour, with a few stope for photos and such.

Walking tours are great. Just tell the guide you're off on your own and leave. Most often there will be a meeting place and time to get back on the bus if there is one. In many ports Viking will be running a shuttle for those off on their own. Viking encourages and supports you touring on your own. Bring back wine and they will serve it to you with no fuss or corkage fee.

No liquor included in Viking price. Many buy the Silver Spirits package which includes liquor and a better selection of wines. I like not paying for other passengers' liquor.

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I totally agree with the "homeless shelter" comment above and think certain people should have been turned away from the restaurant.

 

I forgot to mention that yes there are destination lectures on Viking.

 

Concerning the so called Champagne included in the Silver Spirit package it is in fact Prosecco or sparkling wine. I live on the border of the Champagne region and am a bit of a snob when it comes to my bubbles. On Seabourn, Silversea, Crystal and Seadream, they all offer unlimited real champagne. Some is better than others and sometimes they will try to slip prosecco in it's place (even scandalously pouring prosecco from a champagne bottle).

 

Another plus for Viking that I left out, the glass roof over the swimming pool. For this feature plus the spa, I would place Viking at the top of my list for a cold weather destination.

 

I think we are all very lucky to be able first of all to take cruises and secondly to have so many great options.

Have fun choosing.

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I also live in New York City, I’ve been to Per Se and the chef’s table offers similar type of cooking with wine pairing. If you have the silver spirits beverage package then they upgrade your wine. The best rib eye steak and ossobuco. Lobster risotto was also excellent. I would definitely recommend zabaione

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How does the ship indicate that you have the silver package? I really do not want to wear a wrist band. While I do like wine, I have trouble with the tannins and need a well rounded red. I surprisingly can tolerate a cosmo or a margarita. Are they included in the silver package?

Thank you for your comments.

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How does the ship indicate that you have the silver package? I really do not want to wear a wrist band. While I do like wine, I have trouble with the tannins and need a well rounded red. I surprisingly can tolerate a cosmo or a margarita. Are they included in the silver package?

Thank you for your comments.

Any drink under 15, then you get discount over 25. Lol, cosmo and margarita are included. When you first get on board, you show room card. But they learn very quickly who has the package

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This is a very helpful thread, and my wife and appreciate your input. We have sailed 57 days on Seabourn have developed an appreciation for it. However, we found a voyage on VO that we liked, and wonder how we will feel aboard.

 

Regarding the cabins, how does the Penthouse Veranda cabins compare to the standard Seabourn cabin? We know that there is no walk-closet and that the bathroom only has one sink and no tub.

 

Our Questions:

 

Is the VO shower appreciably larger than Seabourn's?

 

Is there enough closet and drawer space compared to Seabourn?

 

Can we lie down on the outside veranda chairs?

 

How does the MDR/Room Service food quality and service compare to Seabourn?

 

How does the VO buffet compare to the Colonnade?

 

How does the included wine on VO compare to Seabourn's selections?

 

Is the VO fitness center better than Seabourn's?

 

Many thanks for your insights!

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I like that there is no suit coat required for dinner on Viking. However, Viking's casual elegance sometimes looks like a homeless shelter as a population of Viking guests pride themselves in traveling with just carry ons and no luggage.

The Viking ships are bigger than the Silversea ships but seem emptier. VERY well designed.

 

I take umbrage at this statement - how rude! That's really a nasty comment! We cruise Viking and we certainly don't "pride themselves in traveling with just carry ons and no luggage." Most of the people we saw were dressed rather nicely - not all dolled up like they were going to a ball for sure, but at the very least presentable.

 

I wouldn't even apply that description to the people who sail with Carnival! Some may look like they are going to Golden Corral or McDonald's but I wouldn't use "homeless shelter," as a description for those in the MDR or the Steakhouse, much less on Viking.

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However, Viking's casual elegance sometimes looks like a homeless shelter as a population of Viking guests pride themselves in traveling with just carry ons and no luggage.

 

It has nothing to do with traveling in just carry-on luggage because you can dress like you are doing yard work no matter how much luggage you bring with you. We travel with carry-ons only and we pack Dockers and button-downs for him and skirts and tops for me. If it isn't suitable for dinner, it doesn't get packed.

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I posted previously about baseball caps in the speciality restaurants and that caused some debate, I have to add that a couple of men were also dressed for working in the garden/washing the car, it would not normally bother me but they did stick out like sore thumbs.

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I posted previously about baseball caps in the speciality restaurants and that caused some debate, I have to add that a couple of men were also dressed for working in the garden/washing the car, it would not normally bother me but they did stick out like sore thumbs.
On our Viking trip we saw tight short shorts and blur jeans in the MDR during dinner. I will add that Crystal has gone to open dinning and as more specialty restaurants. We are are taking our first Seaborne this summer so I can't compare with Viking. I do not like the Viking system of allowing some cabins to book restaurants and tours before others. On our Viking cruise last Fall we had to get up and make our reservations at 12:00am, in order to get what we wanted, my sister in-law over slept and did not get her first choices. We have not even made our final payment but we have all our ships tours and restaurant reservations done. We also tour on our own but, sometimes like to take a ships tour.

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On our Viking trip we saw tight short shorts and blur jeans in the MDR during dinner. I will add that Crystal has gone to open dinning and as more specialty restaurants. We are are taking our first Seaborne this summer so I can't compare with Viking. I do not like the Viking system of allowing some cabins to book restaurants and tours before others. On our Viking cruise last Fall we had to get up and make our reservations at 12:00am, in order to get what we wanted, my sister in-law over slept and did not get her first choices. We have not even made our final payment but we have all our ships tours and restaurant reservations done. We also tour on our own but, sometimes like to take a ships tour.
meant to say Seabourn concerning already booking tours and reservations

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I take umbrage at this statement - how rude! That's really a nasty comment! We cruise Viking and we certainly don't "pride themselves in traveling with just carry ons and no luggage." Most of the people we saw were dressed rather nicely - not all dolled up like they were going to a ball for sure, but at the very least presentable.

 

I wouldn't even apply that description to the people who sail with Carnival! Some may look like they are going to Golden Corral or McDonald's but I wouldn't use "homeless shelter," as a description for those in the MDR or the Steakhouse, much less on Viking.

I don’t think The comment about dressing as if they only were using carry on luggage was a comment on alll the Viking passengers, just on some.

No need to take umbrage.

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I don’t think The comment about dressing as if they only were using carry on luggage was a comment on alll the Viking passengers, just on some.

 

No need to take umbrage.

 

 

 

I have never seen a passenger on Viking or any other cruise line for that matter dressed like someone in a “homeless shelter.” That insult was painted with a very broad brush and actually used in more than one thread. It was mean and rude. I will keep my umbrage, thank you.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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On 2/9/2018 at 3:48 PM, Peregrina651 said:

 

It has nothing to do with traveling in just carry-on luggage because you can dress like you are doing yard work no matter how much luggage you bring with you. We travel with carry-ons only and we pack Dockers and button-downs for him and skirts and tops for me. If it isn't suitable for dinner, it doesn't get packed.

That is not what I consider cruise wear. We travel only Seabourn or Oceania for the most part. I think it is nice to dress for dinner. I like the all inclusive ships with fine dining, great personalized service (they know your name right away) and only the finest wines, champagne and  name brand liquors. No charges for room service ever.  The only thing is lately the clientelle on Seabourn has seemed to bend to over 80.

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That's great, they're over 80 and they bend!!!  Do they jog a lot as well?

Seriously though, for us (and maybe many others), going on holiday is having a change from everyday life.  So, not having to dress for dinner (smart casual though, with the emphasis on smart - but not overdone) - we can take it easy.  

 

It's not clever - and unwise - to overindulge in alcohol.  I can't see why people do so - to make an impression?  That's the only thing about cruising which I maybe don't like - being stuck on a table at dinner with passengers on the next table over-imbibing and then losing the ability to control their volume!  (a) that's inconsiderate and just plain bad manners, (b) they become a nuisance on the excursion next day, and (c) how stupid can one be to spend out on a cruise and then drink so much that one either become bed-bound or one can't remember how bad an impression you've made or one gets back home and can't remember what or where the cruise was all about.

 

Each to their own, I suppose - but over dressing and over drinking on a cruise is just plain silly.  Additionally, just maybe consider this - (and no offence meant) - if a person pays for and goes on a cruise with a particular cruise line, when you have walked down the gangway and you are out and about on excursion/exploration, it's not emblazoned on your body or clothing which cruise line you are with, neither is it obvious which grade of accommodation you're in.  Add to that the question - 'does joe public care?'  No.  So, by all means go with a cruise line and accommodation you think you are going to be comfortable with, but don't ever forget, it's a holiday, a break, a change.

 

We had all the silly business of dressing for dinner, having more than one glass of something at dinner (and watching people 'buy' jewellery with onboard at the start of the cruise and habitually return it for a refund at the end of the cruise).  Now we've discovered VO, where it's different and enjoyable.

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13 hours ago, kkmiausa said:

That is not what I consider cruise wear. We travel only Seabourn or Oceania for the most part. I think it is nice to dress for dinner. I like the all inclusive ships with fine dining, great personalized service (they know your name right away) and only the finest wines, champagne and  name brand liquors. No charges for room service ever.  The only thing is lately the clientelle on Seabourn has seemed to bend to over 80.

Kkmiausa:
If you don't like the dressing style that Peregrina describes, and you can't enjoy yourself without caring what other people wear, you won't be happy on Viking. I have always felt perfectly appropriate dining on Viking in Dockers (in my case, Land's End) chinos and button-down shirts. I don't bring a tie or sport coat. People who wear blue jeans, sweat pants, or t-shirts to dine anywhere but the buffet do exist but are quite uncommon, and whether they are seated or not seems inconsistent, depending on the cruise and the maitre d. 

You can learn a lot about the environment on ships by looking at the implicit and explicit messages on the web pages - what the photographs show guests wearing, what words are used.  Seabourn uses the word "luxurious" all over the place. Viking does not, in fact it describes itself as "No formal nights, no butlers, no white gloves." 

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On 11/28/2018 at 10:12 AM, Richard2 said:

Kkmiausa:
If you don't like the dressing style that Peregrina describes, and you can't enjoy yourself without caring what other people wear, you won't be happy on Viking. I have always felt perfectly appropriate dining on Viking in Dockers (in my case, Land's End) chinos and button-down shirts. I don't bring a tie or sport coat. People who wear blue jeans, sweat pants, or t-shirts to dine anywhere but the buffet do exist but are quite uncommon, and whether they are seated or not seems inconsistent, depending on the cruise and the maitre d. 

You can learn a lot about the environment on ships by looking at the implicit and explicit messages on the web pages - what the photographs show guests wearing, what words are used.  Seabourn uses the word "luxurious" all over the place. Viking does not, in fact it describes itself as "No formal nights, no butlers, no white gloves." 

My husband on Crystal and Seaborn wears slack and button down shirt. On Black Tie optional nights he wears a sports coat and tie. I did see tacky dressing (tight short shorts) on Viking even when they also ask for country club casual. My sister and her husband have stopped cruising with Carnival because they felt Carnival had lowered the standards for dressing nicely in the main dining room. Once on RCL a young man (at our table) showed up in a wife beater t-shirt and shorts.  They were a  very nice young couple, none of us said anything. He just had never been taught, maybe typical of our society?

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1 hour ago, Travelingnonni99 said:

My husband on Crystal and Seaborn wears slack and button down shirt. On Black Tie optional nights he wears a sports coat and tie. I did see tacky dressing (tight short shorts) on Viking even when they also ask for country club casual. My sister and her husband have stopped cruising with Carnival because they felt Carnival had lowered the standards for dressing nicely in the main dining room. Once on RCL a young man (at our table) showed up in a wife beater t-shirt and shorts.  They were a  very nice young couple, none of us said anything. He just had never been taught, maybe typical of our society?

 

Extra tight shorts, clothes that looked like they had been thrown in the suitcase and it took a month tho get to the ship or things that look like they were bought several sizes ago, in either direction will not be the things you will see in 3 dining venues on Viking, though some people like to see if they can stretch the rules, and these are the only places on the ship where Country Club Casual is 'required'.  I have no problem with the ships request for dressing.  Would not like to be on a cruise where 'formal' dress required but his is a vacation and that's about doing things a little differently than at home.

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I have sailed SS (3 times), Crystal (2 times), Seabourn, Regent and Windstar and will be sailing the Viking Orion in January.  I expect to enjoy it just as much as the others (without champagne in the cabin though :classic_ohmy:).  We are in a DV on deck 3 and are very excited from everything I have read about Viking.  I will report back when we return and, Mr. Avery, I will then hopefully also comment on your comparison of Viking vs Seabourn.

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9 hours ago, imcpa said:

I have sailed SS (3 times), Crystal (2 times), Seabourn, Regent and Windstar and will be sailing the Viking Orion in January.  I expect to enjoy it just as much as the others (without champagne in the cabin though :classic_ohmy:).  We are in a DV on deck 3 and are very excited from everything I have read about Viking.  I will report back when we return and, Mr. Avery, I will then hopefully also comment on your comparison of Viking vs Seabourn.

Would love to hear your comments after your initial VO experience.  As you could tell I was rather disappointed in two weeks on Seabourn Sojourn.  Best wishes for a great voyage.

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