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corpkid

Oceania --> Viking Ocean?

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Hi all,

 

We are pretty frequent cruisers preferring the Oceania laid back style with the upper-scale ships. We really enjoy the larger ships (1200 passengers) as they are large enough to have good variety of people and amenities, but still small enough that they aren't mass market and all the fun that comes with that.

 

That said, we are very curiously looking at a few Viking Ocean trips as it seems like a good fit for us. I would be most interested in feedback from people who have sailed both lines, and how they compare.

 

Thank you!

Dominic

Edited by corpkid

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Viking is 4.5*+, Riviera 4.0* (Marina is a tad less).

Viking are smaller ships but feature more amenities.

Feel more open, closer to the sea.

Enjoy.

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Hi all,

 

We are pretty frequent cruisers preferring the Oceania laid back style with the upper-scale ships. We really enjoy the larger ships (1200 passengers) as they are large enough to have good variety of people and amenities, but still small enough that they aren't mass market and all the fun that comes with that.

 

That said, we are very curiously looking at a few Viking Ocean trips as it seems like a good fit for us. I would be most interested in feedback from people who have sailed both lines, and how they compare.

 

Thank you!

Dominic

 

Like you we enjoy the larger ships (1200 passengers) on Oceania. We have been on a couple of Viking Ocean cruises and have one booked for 2019. I don't think you can go wrong with either but for us Oceania is our favorite between the two.

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Like you we enjoy the larger ships (1200 passengers) on Oceania. We have been on a couple of Viking Ocean cruises and have one booked for 2019. I don't think you can go wrong with either but for us Oceania is our favorite between the two.

 

We agree with the smaller ship concept, and will always prefer 1300 or less (930 is better) passengers when it is not a decision involving others we want to travel with. Having never sailed on Oceania, I am just curious what is behind that preference. We love Viking, we value the experiences and the ships both river and Ocean, and we plan on more journeys with them, however I would sincerely like to know your thoughts. you value and sail with both, and we all have different boxes that are more important to us than may be to others, but something stands out for you....

Edited by Vineyard View

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We will be trying our second Viking cruise in order to give them a second chance. Our first turned out to be their first post hurricane cruise, out of and back to San Juan PR, and was less than full and probably (hopefully) not offering as much as normal. This one will be 14 days New York to Miami mainly through the southern Caribbean in October 2018..

 

I found the staterooms (veranda's) about the same size as the Oceania "O" (1250 passenger) ships and both very good for our needs. On our only Viking cruise, I found the on the ship activities lacking (unless you really like to sit and listen to lectures). Their daily newsletter usually listed just two or three things to do on board in the AM.

 

Best feature was a thermal pool in the spa area which I regarded as fairly large.

 

I encourage you to read the Oceania boards.

 

My personal feeling about Oceania is headed by the quality of both passengers and crew.

 

A lot of Viking passengers on our one cruise talked about Viking river experiences.

 

Viking schedules will continue to improve in variety as they add more ships.

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Viking is 4.5*+, Riviera 4.0* (Marina is a tad less).

Viking are smaller ships but feature more amenities.

Feel more open, closer to the sea.

Enjoy.

 

Is there a citation to the source of these ratings?

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Sure.

The source is at your service.

One of the many but not the last. :)

Seriuously, they are not many. Just a few... if any.

I, too, would love to have a link to a professionally done work.

Thanks.

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We agree with the smaller ship concept, and will always prefer 1300 or less (930 is better) passengers when it is not a decision involving others we want to travel with. Having never sailed on Oceania, I am just curious what is behind that preference. We love Viking, we value the experiences and the ships both river and Ocean, and we plan on more journeys with them, however I would sincerely like to know your thoughts. you value and sail with both, and we all have different boxes that are more important to us than may be to others, but something stands out for you....

 

The Riviera and Marina (twin ships) on Oceania with 1200 passengers is our preference over Viking. The restaurants in our opinion are much better and there are more of them. They have the main dining room, Jacques (French), Polo Grill (steaks/lobster), Red Ginger (Asian), Toscana (Italian), the main dining room, The Terrace Cafe (buffet), and Waves Grill (pool deck restaurant). There is also Privee and La Reserve which carry an additional charge. At the Terrace Cafe you can have lobster, large grilled shrimp, lamb chops, steaks, fish and sushi every night. The ships are beautiful with many lovely public spaces, lounges, etc. We also like the cabins more...in particular the penthouse cabins which are huge and come with a butler, huge walk-in closet, large bathroom with tub and shower, etc. Don't get me wrong....we like Viking as well. The ships are very Scandinavian, a more simple décor and the public spaces are really nice. The Viking ships are really quite nice. The dining options are not that extensive unfortunately. We did not care for the Chef's Table at all. Manfredi's (Italian) was in our opinion the best restaurant. The main dining room and buffet restaurants are pretty good but not as good as Oceania in our opinion. For us it depends on the itinerary and cost. We have a cruise booked on Viking for 2019 so it's not that we don't like it....we just like Oceania more. I like that Viking includes wine and beer with meals. Both do not include gratuities. Viking includes one excursion in each port but they are pretty basic. With Oceania we usually book private excursions which we prefer over the ship's excursions. Oceania has cooking classes (additional cost) which are fun.

 

Let me know if you have any specific questions.

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Is there a citation to the source of these ratings?

 

Sure.

The source is at your service.

One of the many but not the last. :)

Seriuously, they are not many. Just a few... if any.

I, too, would love to have a link to a professionally done work.

Thanks.

 

Sorry, putting a number on your opinions doesn't turn them into facts. They still carry the same weight as anyone else's opinion.

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Sorry, putting a number on your opinions doesn't turn them into facts. They still carry the same weight as anyone else's opinion.

 

Thank you. It's very important for people to realize that the numbering system is his own. In other words, his opinion only.

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Have sailed Oceania twice Viking Ocean once. I think they are comparable, however the included tours (even the ride arounds) are a plus for Viking along with included wine and beer at lunch and dinner. Our last cruise on Riviera (February 2018) had a very, very good speaker for the lecture. On our Viking cruise both speakers were "flat," poor graphics, and relied way too much on their notes. Meals are comparable, hard to beat Red Ginger on the Riviera, but Chef's Table and Manifredi's do well. Cabins pretty much the same. I especially liked the daily newspapers in the Concierge Lounge on Riviera. A necessity since only one person in a cabin can have free internet access. Free for all on Viking. Crew on Viking are much more enthusiastic about taking care of passengers. Many stories in this thread about Viking personnel stepping up to meet a request. We didn't get the same vibe on Riviera. Lots of scooters on Riviera. I admire the courage of those with limited mobility to undertake a cruise. Our February 2018 cruise tendered at most ports and it made it hard for many passengers. The line is owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines and if a pier was a available there was a NCL ship docked there.

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Thank you all for the feedback. It is most helpful. I do have one additional question - are the included shore excursions better or worse than Oceania in general? Reason I ask is that I find that 75% of Oceania's ShoreEx are not good. So much so that unless it's like a 15 person shop & cook kinda shorex, we just organize our own small group ones via the roll calls. I think the past 3 cruises with them (60+ days) we took a grand total of 3 "ship sponsored" shorex. Just wondering if we should follow the same route with Viking or not. As always, thank you!! We are about 2 days from booking the "In Search of the Northern Lights" cruise but I need to get a complete picture of what I'm booking. ;)

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Many of the Viking Ocean included tours are most often bus tours that pass by points of interest (POI) with a local guide speaking over the PA system. At some points you get off and the guide uses the wireless system to provide info as you walk. Three problems-- One you are in a large group, often people near the guide ask enlightening questions, but you only hear the answers. Two-there are good guides and not so good guides. Some really know how to use the wireless and PA system and provide lots of info throughput the tour. Others remain silent in transit from one POI to the next. Three- It's at best a fly-by. You have to stay with your group and move at its pace. The tours do provide a good lay the land and in most ports Viking runs a free shuttle service to the port. At the tours conclusion you can backtrack or set off on your own to see passed over POIs using the shuttle service to return to the ship We've done both, included and private tours on Oceania and Viking depending on our interests.

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I have only limited experience so far, with only one Viking ocean cruise complete and two more booked, and eylarson's description of shore excursions is pretty accurate. I would add a few points. We may have been particularly lucky with the set of shore excursions on Empires of the Mediterranean, but several of the included excursions we took were predominately walking tours, with inside visits to museums (Athens and Olympia) and a monastery (Dubronink). Most tours do include time on your own. Optional excursions may be smaller groups than the included tours. If you read the detailed descriptions of the included excursions for each tour, you will have a good idea of what is in store for you.

 

Be aware that Viking's offer is "an included excursion in every port", and they do mean that precisely. Even if you are in a port overnight, for two days or more, you still get just one included excursion in that port.

 

A final detail, regarding the guide's use of the Quiet Vox audio system. The guides' use of the system was a bonus on each of our tours. The range of the device is good, so you don't have to remain clustered right by your guide. I am usually off on my own to take pictures, and could still hear.

 

If you are accustomed to booking small group tours, you may still wish to do so, but at least check the details of the Viking tours. As cruise novices, we were very pleased with our experiences.

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On the British Isles Explorer cruise next August 11, many Roll Call shore excursions have been organized (and most are already full). So despite the 'free' excursions, I'm seeing pretty much the same thing as on our cruises on other lines [although it may be more limited to the strictly obsessive group on Viking, with more regular folks going with the flow]. We have certainly been able to meet Viking's optional excursion prices with added value – or match their itineraries at a lower price – wherever we have tried.

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On the British Isles Explorer cruise next August 11, many Roll Call shore excursions have been organized (and most are already full). So despite the 'free' excursions, I'm seeing pretty much the same thing as on our cruises on other lines [although it may be more limited to the strictly obsessive group on Viking, with more regular folks going with the flow]. We have certainly been able to meet Viking's optional excursion prices with added value – or match their itineraries at a lower price – wherever we have tried.

 

Yes, I have been following your Roll Call and it is quite informative. Hoping to use some of it for our British Isles cruise end of August 2018. Thanks

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We've done VO and Oceania. There are many ports that don't have any must see attractions for us so we took VO included walking tours and broke away to explore on our own. Definitely worth the price. The optional Viking tours were much better then O. In Florence, one of the most crowded tourist areas, the O tour guide had an ancient speaker system that was inaudible and couldn't be used indoors. VO tour on same itinerary had the VOX system and a bunch of happy campers. Out of about 8 O Mediterranean excursions recently, there were only 2 that were acceptable. Most times at the end of tours multiple buses return to the ship at the same time. We had rainy day expediences on both lines. O the tour guides got everyone off the buses at once and there was a resultant jam on the gangway in the wind and rain. VO ships crew wouldn't let the passengers off the bus until the gangway was free.

 

Generally, we look for independent tours with about 10 people on the roll call. They are usually less expensive, better guides and can adjust the itinerary on the fly.

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We feel Oceania has a solid lead in restaurants and food quality, especially on Marina and Riviera. But we loved Manfredis and felt Chef Table was very well done.

We feel Oceania has a solid lead in ship comfort, especially in the open air spaces. Really disliked the Viking pool deck with mostly non cushioned loungers and insufficient ventilation when the roof is closed. There is very little open air shade on Viking.

Great service on both lines.

Decor is lovely on any of these ships. Viking decor is somewhat repetitive but nicely done.

Loved the Viking spa and the included wine with meals.

The Viking included tours are decent overviews but experienced travelers may feel herded.

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Corpkid, in case you come back here (I read and enjoyed your O reviews in the past), for me the biggest difference between O and VO is that all Viking Cabins have balconies. I wish more new ocean ships had that and were smaller like both O and VO. By the way, if you find an itinerary you like, try the Oceania R ships-I like those even better. The two are similar with O having the edge in food and specialty restaurants but VO food is fine. They do have cooking classes on Viking but we mostly did prep work and then the chef demoed the cooking. The included wine is just okay.

 

 

Many of us who have tried Viking Oceans did so because we liked Viking River cruises. I think they do included tours on VO because the walking tours on the river cruises were popular and generally pretty good. It attracted river cruisers and gave Viking O something a little different from other ocean lines. It does not work as well on ocean cruises because the ships are not always able to dock right in town. "Panoramic tours" sometimes are just a bus ride past stuff. So many tours start on a bus and then include a walking portion (though not always). Like O, the the ship tours you pay for vary with some being excellent and some not worth the money. We are taking a second Viking cruise but still hope to cruise O again too. Viking is still working on having more varied itineraries.

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These opinions - are just that: opinions. We have done both and feel they are very close to one another - what might be a plus for one is a negative for the other (and vice versa). They are my two favorite cruise lines and in the future I will choose which one has a better itinerary (IMO of course).:p

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Thank you all - this has been very helpful. Sounds like for the most part, we would not be disappointed, especially if we choose excursions carefully. There is an itinerary on VO that is perfect for what we are looking for without an equivalent on Oceania so we may just give this a go.

 

Thank you all again!

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Hi there - I am curious about the time of year you went on the Empires of the Mediterranean cruise? Also did you do the Athens to Venice or the reverse? When you went to Venice where was the ship docked? Many thanks, Jan.

I have only limited experience so far, with only one Viking ocean cruise complete and two more booked, and eylarson's description of shore excursions is pretty accurate. I would add a few points. We may have been particularly lucky with the set of shore excursions on Empires of the Mediterranean, but several of the included excursions we took were predominately walking tours, with inside visits to museums (Athens and Olympia) and a monastery (Dubronink). Most tours do include time on your own. Optional excursions may be smaller groups than the included tours. If you read the detailed descriptions of the included excursions for each tour, you will have a good idea of what is in store for you.

 

Be aware that Viking's offer is "an included excursion in every port", and they do mean that precisely. Even if you are in a port overnight, for two days or more, you still get just one included excursion in that port.

 

A final detail, regarding the guide's use of the Quiet Vox audio system. The guides' use of the system was a bonus on each of our tours. The range of the device is good, so you don't have to remain clustered right by your guide. I am usually off on my own to take pictures, and could still hear.

 

If you are accustomed to booking small group tours, you may still wish to do so, but at least check the details of the Viking tours. As cruise novices, we were very pleased with our experiences.

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Hi there - I am curious about the time of year you went on the Empires of the Mediterranean cruise? Also did you do the Athens to Venice or the reverse? When you went to Venice where was the ship docked? Many thanks, Jan.

 

We took Empires of the Mediterranean in 2017, embarking in Athens on April 1. I really don't recall where we docked in Venice, as there is not really any time in port unless you do an extension. We left Koper, Slovenia at 6:00 PM, and arrived in Venice in the night with an early flight out the next morning. Since we have been to Venice several times, we did not add time at the end of the cruise.

 

For us, it was a perfect time to cruise, with very pleasant weather (sunny and highs of 60/70) the whole trip. Being early in the season, we also had the incredible bonus of being the only ship in port in Santorini. The shops and restaurants were just beginning to open for the season, but we almost had the place to ourselves. It was a perfect introduction to ocean cruising and Viking has two more dedicated fans from that experience.

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When you went to Venice where was the ship docked? Many thanks, Jan.

 

In Venice, cruise ships dock at the Venice Passenger Terminal or the adjacent single berth on the canal.

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