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djb2429

Viking Ocean Cruises Drink Policy

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After 10 cruises on the Azamara Quest in the last 4 years we are now looking for something different. So have booked on the Viking Sun for their Islands Of the South Pacific cruise departing February 12 2019 from Santiago to Sydney to evaluate whether to change our loyalty to Viking for our 3 cruises per year.

 

Although Viking's advertised free drink policy

[only free at lunch and dinner]

is nowhere near as comprehensive as Azamara's which is fully inclusive, including champagne and cocktails, can someone inform me if the free drinks policy at lunch and dinner on Viking is similar to Azamara, where drink staff are attentive to one's needs the entire time one dines, or is Viking like the airlines, that is wait for one drink and you do not see them again?

 

I also believe that alcohol can be bought on board for private consumption in the cabin. Is this correct?

 

The above does not intimate that I am a drunk but being Aussies my partner and I enjoy a few beers and a wine with our meals.

 

Thanks

 

Dennis

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Hi,

We found the drinks at lunch and dinner were pretty free flowing if you wanted them. Of course in all establishments some staff members are more on the ball than others but should you find yourself with and empty glass just attract someone’s attention and they will deal with it.

Your cabin grade will determine if your mini bar has alcohol or not. We took advantage of Vikings relaxed policy and got a duty free bottle of Gin for our cabin and kept it in the fridge. Our steward brought us an ice bucket every day and room service brought us sliced lemons.

You can of course pay to upgrade to the silver spirits package and you will have cocktails etc included. We didn’t and were more than happy with the bar prices, cheaper than pubs and restaurants in the UK.

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We prefer to dine in the World Cafe/Terrace for both lunch and dinner and have never been thirsty, any time they are open you can grab a glass of wine/beer and wander off, once we got to know our server he would give us the odd bottle of wine for "cabin consumption".

 

 

We always leave with a full glass, much like Azamara in the early days

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On our Viking Ocean Cruise this past March, we found the staff very attentive. An empty glass was never a problem

 

The Viking drink prices are very reasonable. You can bring your beverage/beverages of choice onboard. No questions asked. Nary an eyebrow raised. You do not have to confine your drinking of those beverages to your cabin, either. Once poured, you are free to wander about with them.

 

We were on the West Indies itinerary, and I like my tropical beverages in the tropics. My husband likes a gin & tonic before dinner and a cognac after, so we got the Silver Spirits beverage package, which is very reasonable at $20 pp per day. You also get upgraded wine and beer with that.

 

It’s funny, we love Viking, but we are booked on an Azamara cruise - Azamara Journey - with an unusual itinerary (NYC > Charleston, SC > Hamilton, Bermuda > NYC) that filled our requirement for a fairly short cruise with no flights involved for our spring cruise.

 

I’ve been over on the Azamara boards trying to get the lay of the land and I have to say that it seems much more complicated than Viking.

 

Viking has free WiFi and the cost for the Azamara WiFi is very high.

 

Viking’s upgraded beverage package is more reasonable. I know the included beverages are more extensive on Azamara, but from my research it seems so very complicated to figure out If the drink you want can be made from the included ingredients. People are carrying around lists! Viking is easy - beer, wine and a sparkling. Or get the package at $20 pp per day.

 

Viking also includes specialty/alternative dining - no charge. A shore excursion in every port - no charge.

 

And the websites are like night and day. Viking’s is chock full of information, videos, 360 degree views. The My Viking Journey section for booked passengers has everything in one place and is easy to use.

 

Azamara is driving me nuts. The My Azamara Login and the Voyage Planner don’t talk to each other. There are different things in different places and you have to keep logging in again. Shouldn’t be that hard

 

We had a Penthouse Veranda on our Viking Ocean and that cabin was fantastic! Lots of room, lots of storage, good size veranda, and a stocked mini bar replenished daily. The bathroom was quite roomy with a glass enclosed shower and heated floors.

 

Azamara has only 3 photos of our Club Veranda cabin and a tiny schematic. On the Viking site you can “tour” the room, bathroom 360.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that we will have a wonderful time. The ship looks lovely, and we are looking forward to 2 nights in Charleston and the 2 docked right in Hamilton, Bermuda. We love Bermuda and docking in Hamilton is a special treat. And we always love cruising from NYC.

 

Sorry about getting off track from your drinks question, but I’m sure you will be just fine. You get the beer and wine anywhere on the ship during the designated meal times - not just while you are eating. And they are very attentive.

 

Hope you enjoy your Viking cruise as much as we enjoyed ours.

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If you BOTH have 3 cocktails/day each OR if you need a greater variety of wine choices, I recommend you buy the SilverSpirits package. Otherwise Viking is always there to refill your beer or wine glasses time after time at mealtimes. I often start with reds and then drink whites.

No problem bringing your own bottles of anything on board and openly. They will serve you your own wine if you ask.

I buy an occasional martini at ~$9.

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Do you have to purchase the SS package prior to boarding or can you buy it once you are on the ship?

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Do you have to purchase the SS package prior to boarding or can you buy it once you are on the ship?

 

You can buy it on the ship but only on the first couple of days.

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Do you have to purchase the SS package prior to boarding or can you buy it once you are on the ship?

Either way.

We bought our SS package when we boarded on the first day. I also bought a bottle of Cava in one of the ports. I gave it to MDR in afternoon they served it to us at dinner. No corkage fee.

Viking Ocean treats you as an adult not like Celebrity etc when it comes to liquor or wine.

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After 10 cruises on the Azamara Quest in the last 4 years we are now looking for something different. So have booked on the Viking Sun for their Islands Of the South Pacific cruise departing February 12 2019 from Santiago to Sydney to evaluate whether to change our loyalty to Viking for our 3 cruises per year.

 

Although Viking's advertised free drink policy

[only free at lunch and dinner]

is nowhere near as comprehensive as Azamara's which is fully inclusive, including champagne and cocktails, can someone inform me if the free drinks policy at lunch and dinner on Viking is similar to Azamara, where drink staff are attentive to one's needs the entire time one dines, or is Viking like the airlines, that is wait for one drink and you do not see them again?

 

I also believe that alcohol can be bought on board for private consumption in the cabin. Is this correct?

 

The above does not intimate that I am a drunk but being Aussies my partner and I enjoy a few beers and a wine with our meals.

 

Thanks

 

Dennis

 

If not already aware, I believe the cruise you are considering is one of the recently released segments of the 2019 World Cruise - Miami to London.

 

 

Many passengers will be completing the entire WC, for which Viking offer different perks, including complimentary SS Beverage Package. Therefore when comparing Viking to other lines, the disparity of perks enjoyed by some of your fellow passengers are due to them completing the entire voyage.

 

 

BTW, they have a popular roll call started for the entire WC and are inviting passengers from segments to join them.

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One other thing regarding the beer/wine inclusives....you can go to the World Cafe or the Pool bar during meal times and ask for glasses "to go". You don't have to drink it there. Sometimes before a show I'd go to the World Cafe and get a glass of wine to take to the show.

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I'd too would recommend the Silver Seas Package. I loved grabbing an Aperol Spritz on my way to my cabin after an excursion and sit on my veranda. Stopping for a pre- and/or post- dinner drink. After a couple of days, the bartender did not even ask my room number but greeted me by name. Nothing to sign or handing over my room key to pay. I did tip cash though at the end of the voyage.

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It’s funny, we love Viking, but we are booked on an Azamara cruise - Azamara Journey - with an unusual itinerary (NYC > Charleston, SC > Hamilton, Bermuda > NYC) that filled our requirement for a fairly short cruise with no flights involved for our spring cruise.

 

I’ve been over on the Azamara boards trying to get the lay of the land and I have to say that it seems much more complicated than Viking.

 

Viking has free WiFi and the cost for the Azamara WiFi is very high.

 

Viking’s upgraded beverage package is more reasonable. I know the included beverages are more extensive on Azamara, but from my research it seems so very complicated to figure out If the drink you want can be made from the included ingredients. People are carrying around lists! Viking is easy - beer, wine and a sparkling. Or get the package at $20 pp per day.

 

Viking also includes specialty/alternative dining - no charge. A shore excursion in every port - no charge.

 

And the websites are like night and day. Viking’s is chock full of information, videos, 360 degree views. The My Viking Journey section for booked passengers has everything in one place and is easy to use.

 

Azamara is driving me nuts. The My Azamara Login and the Voyage Planner don’t talk to each other. There are different things in different places and you have to keep logging in again. Shouldn’t be that hard

 

We had a Penthouse Veranda on our Viking Ocean and that cabin was fantastic! Lots of room, lots of storage, good size veranda, and a stocked mini bar replenished daily. The bathroom was quite roomy with a glass enclosed shower and heated floors.

 

Azamara has only 3 photos of our Club Veranda cabin and a tiny schematic. On the Viking site you can “tour” the room, bathroom 360.

 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that we will have a wonderful time. The ship looks lovely, and we are looking forward to 2 nights in Charleston and the 2 docked right in Hamilton, Bermuda. We love Bermuda and docking in Hamilton is a special treat. And we always love cruising from NYC.

 

Sorry about getting off track from your drinks question, but I’m sure you will be just fine. You get the beer and wine anywhere on the ship during the designated meal times - not just while you are eating. And they are very attentive.

 

Hope you enjoy your Viking cruise as much as we enjoyed ours.

 

Sorry to add to the off-track excursion, but I want to help reassure you about Azamara.

 

No cruise line is truly 'all-inclusive,' but Azamara and Viking are both in the 'more-inclusive' category so there is great variation in what they include.

 

Azamara doesn't include wifi, so you have to decide whether to pay for that – we have found the speed quite good so at least you aren't paying for minutes to watch a spinning beach ball...

 

We have never felt a need to take the upgraded beverage package on Azamara. Each day they offer 2 reds, 2 whites, 1 rose and a sparkler – and if you don't like today's offerings they will get you any of the others that are in the mix for your cruise. They are not grand crus, but not plonk either. Beyond wine and beer, spirits and cocktails are also included in Azamara – there was a thread recently with 'chicken littles' worried that the new bar menu didn't include their favorite cocktail but this was a tempest in a martini glass: any cocktail that can be made with the included spirits is free.

 

The food is so good in the main dining room on Azamara that we were never tempted by the specialty restaurants – and on our second cruise we had a CW Owners Suite with free unlimited specialty dining!

 

The Azamara ships are the much-loved ex-Renaissance R-ships – and their great failing is that the regular cabins are small and their bathrooms are even smaller. To equal a Viking PV you need to book a Club Continent Suite on Azamara. That also gets you: 240 internet minutes [or a nice discount off the unlimited package], complimentary specialty restaurants, complimentary in-room spirits, a butler, one free bag of laundry, in-room tea service, and priority embarkation and debarkation. That provides most of the things you are missing in your comparison to Viking.

 

Azamara doesn't include a free shore excursion in every port, but they do include one free AzAmazing Evening shore excursion on most cruises [maybe not on yours because it's so short]. It turns out, at least for us, that this Viking idea has little value: on our [very soon now] British Isles Explorer cruise we aren't taking any of the included excursions because they just don't float our boat. We are doing a mixture of roll call groups and Viking optional excursions – very similar to what we do on Azamara.

 

I can't give you detailed lists of how Azamara is better than Viking, since we are only boarding our first Viking cruise on Saturday, but I will say that Azamara is our favorite cruise line because of the wonderful itineraries [much more adventuresome than Viking even as they have expanded their number of ships beyond Azamara's three] and the great openness of the officers and staff [this is something that doesn't seem like much until you have experienced it].

 

If you approach your Azamara cruise with an open mind [as I'm sure you are doing], I think you will find that it is different but as enjoyable in its own way as Viking.

 

PS – the website problems are traceable to Celebrity, which runs Azamara's website. The good news is that their loyalty programs are also joined so your Azamara points count towards your Celebrity elite status [and vice versa].

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Tried unsuccessfully to find definition of "free during lunch and dinner".

 

Does this mean only free when seated for meal, or free at all bars and restaurants during specified hours? If the latter, what are the hours?

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If you like Azamara then you will like Viking and vice versa. We love both of them. Its great to have a choice.

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Tried unsuccessfully to find definition of "free during lunch and dinner".

 

 

 

Does this mean only free when seated for meal, or free at all bars and restaurants during specified hours? If the latter, what are the hours?

 

 

 

Free at all bars and restaurants during posted meal times. Those times are posted in the Viking Daily. They may vary a little depending on the port times, but generally they are about the same every day

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Free at all bars and restaurants during posted meal times. Those times are posted in the Viking Daily. They may vary a little depending on the port times, but generally they are about the same every day

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Thanks

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I just noticed in looking at a "Viking Daily" referenced in another thread, an advertisement in the Day 1 issue for the Silver Seas beverage package. In the exclusions, in indicates that drinks in Torshavn are not included, yet the page advertising on "My Viking Journey" makes no reference to that. Is that in fact an exclusion in the SS package, and if so, why would there be such an exclusion? Not a big deal, but just struck me as strange.

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There are some drinks in Tor that exceed the per drink $ limit, these are not included. Tor has some items not found at the other bars.

 

My experience in July anyway

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That ad is from 2016. VO changed the SSB package price and conditions in October 2017. There is an explanation of the package on the VO website in the FAQs under the Life on Board section. There is additional info in the SSBP order form viewable from a link in the FAQ.

 

There is no advantage to ordering prior to boarding so I suggest you wait til onboard where you can use onboard credits to pay for it.

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Thanks, that makes sense. No need for me to wait, booked with free airfare/SS package included.

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Sorry if this was already covered above, but what is the per drink charge for "house" beer and wine, outside of meals and without a drink package?

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Sorry if this was already covered above, but what is the per drink charge for "house" beer and wine, outside of meals and without a drink package?

 

...and do OBC apply to the extra drinks ???

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