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lackcreativity

Viking, can you please change the opening time to sign up for excursions?

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I realize that there are people all around the world who take Viking cruises, and so it can't be a convenient time for everyone. However, I suspect that the majority of cruisers are from the US, Canada, and the UK. With a sign up time that starts at midnight Pacific Time, those of us on the east coast of North American need to get up at 3:00 AM to compete with those on the west coast who can sign up at midnight. In the UK, they can sign up at 8:00 AM.

 

Isn't there a time that would work better for most everyone? What if it was 7AM on the west coast, making it 10 AM on the east coast, and then 3:00 PM in the UK? (Sorry to the Australians!) Is there a drawback that hasn't occurred to me?

 

My sign up is tonight ( or tomorrow, actually) and I am getting too old for this, especially when I do have to go to work tomorrow. I know I could just wait until a later hour, but I am already a Veranda cabin dweller, so selections are limited as it is.

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Totally agree, and we're on the West Coast, but in retirement we never see midnight any more.

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Agree!!! I just got home and am ready for a nap after getting up at one this morning to book all the excursions for the 2019 world cruise. Definitely too old for this!

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I'm not a big fan of the time myself but I suspect that a more convenient time might draw too many users at opening.

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I'm not a big fan of the time myself but I suspect that a more convenient time might draw too many users at opening.

 

Are you telling us that we should be careful what we wish for??:D

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Dear Fellow Cruisers:

 

I live on the East Coast of the United States. I am in a DV cabin on the Orient. Last Wednesday morning at 3:00 a. m. I booked all of my optional and included tours in less than 15 minutes and then went back to sleep. It was real and it was fun but it "wasn't real fun". Not a major issue!

Joel Barry

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Dear Fellow Cruisers:

 

I live on the East Coast of the United States. I am in a DV cabin on the Orient. Last Wednesday morning at 3:00 a. m. I booked all of my optional and included tours in less than 15 minutes and then went back to sleep. It was real and it was fun but it "wasn't real fun". Not a major issue!

Joel Barry

 

If I could suggest that my husband get up and book excursions, that would work, as he also would be able to go right back to sleep. Some of us, however, are not quite so lucky! I am the one who handles all travel arrangements, and chances of falling back to sleep afterwards are pretty slim for me.

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I'm not a big fan of the time myself but I suspect that a more convenient time might draw too many users at opening.

 

I bet you are right, and that may be the answer. However, they do break it down by cabin category and most times one person would be booking for a couple, so I guess maybe at most a few hundred people each opening day. I wonder if that would make the experience much more difficult if everyone in DV or V cabins logged in at the same time?

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I bet you are right, and that may be the answer. However, they do break it down by cabin category and most times one person would be booking for a couple, so I guess maybe at most a few hundred people each opening day. I wonder if that would make the experience much more difficult if everyone in DV or V cabins logged in at the same time?

 

On one cruise yes. But now there are 6 ships and 6 categories (really 5 but I included Owners suite) so they need to spread the pain so to speak.

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Just how selfish can one get? It’s going to be an inconvenient time for somebody somewhere! Next thing, you’ll be wanting all the air travel schedules to be changed just for your convenience!

Pardon the phrase but we’re all in the same boat;.

Don’t treat this minor thing as a problem, look on the bright side and embrace the opportunity to enjoy the wee hours.

In modern phrasing, stop being a grump over such a small thing.

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Ive not sailed with Viking yet. Are you telling me that if you do not get up at 3 am you will not get a spot??

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While mine is only one experience I can tell you that we were able to book every tour that we wanted for our upcoming cruise (in a DV). The interesting part is that because we were out of town on the day that bookings opened for our category I had totally forgotten that "our day" had come and wasn't aware of it until a follow up email from Viking arrived late that afternoon telling me that excursions were now available for booking.

After I got my heart started again believing that I had totally "blown it" I logged on and in each and every case was able to book our tours so at least by my experience, the herd mentality to stampede to the booking site at Midnight Pacific time might be a tad overblown.

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Dear Lackcreativity:

 

I appreciate your comments regarding the 3:00 a. m. Viking "cattle call". Next time my wife complains about something that I failed to do, I will show her a copy of your e-mail as support of my good qualitie(s). Tonight I will perform the same task for our restaurant reservations. This time back to bed by 3:05 a. m.

 

Joel Barry

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I like the current system, it works very well for us, but we are in the UK.

 

 

Sign in at 08.00 with our list of included and then "pay" excursions, all sorted in a few minutes.

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Ive not sailed with Viking yet. Are you telling me that if you do not get up at 3 am you will not get a spot??

 

I don't have enough experience to make that claim, as this is just our second cruise. Also, do be assured that everyone is guaranteed a place on each of the included excursions, though not necessarily at your preferred time. The optional excursions are the ones that may sell out.

 

On our first cruise, that was not a problem. We had no problem booking what we wanted even though I only woke up around 5 am. With our upcoming cruise, there were eleven optional excursions that were sold out before booking even opened for our cabin category. Several of those were optional ones that I would have booked. I woke up around four as we were really determined to get to Bruges, and looking now, I could have waited.

 

Whether or not you want to get up early depends on how flexible you are in your plans, how early in the cabin hierarchy you book, and the luck of the draw.

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It is funny. I laugh about those so call freestyle lines where every dinner and show one wishes to do must be booked months in advance.

 

So I book an all inclusive cruise line and now realize that it will be a 3 AM log in time for me for excursions (and speciality restaurants?).

 

"The Colonel's lady and Judy O'Grady are sisters under the skin" seems to be an applicable quote for the situation.

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I live in the Midwest of the USA. I make my bookings at 2AM and it works fine. I would rather be up early than be at my work trying to book tours and dinners which frankly would be impossible for me to do as I work in a "public" setting. It would mean that I would have to do this much later at home and would probably be shut out of some of my choices. A slight inconvenience of missing an hour or so of sleep is worth it to me

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I agree with the intent of this thread [as a fellow east-coaster], but my guess is that the Viking website is programmed to turn these things on at midnight – that's a typical IT time, and if you think that CC members are set in their ways you might be surprised that IT nerds are exactly the same! So good luck with this ;p

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I agree with the intent of this thread [as a fellow east-coaster], but my guess is that the Viking website is programmed to turn these things on at midnight – that's a typical IT time, and if you think that CC members are set in their ways you might be surprised that IT nerds are exactly the same! So good luck with this ;p

 

Well, at least it gives us something fun to talk about between serious questions. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

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With all the time zones that are affected I just don't think it is feasible. I see one group of people happy if it changes and then another group will be mad it changed. You just can't make everyone happy on this one.

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I can live with the 3am for booking. I had my list, set my alarm, picked up my iPsd, booked my excursions, checked out and went back to sleep. Got everything I wanted.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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With all the time zones that are affected I just don't think it is feasible. I see one group of people happy if it changes and then another group will be mad it changed. You just can't make everyone happy on this one.

 

I don't entirely disagree with what you say but 75% or more of pax live in the US and Canada, so why did they choose midnight Pacific time instead of midnight Eastern time in the first place (other than US headquarters is in California)? Agreed you can't make everyone happy but but from a customer service point of view, why choose to inconvenience a larger group of people over a smaller group in the first place? I know that they aren't going to change things but I still don't accept the logic (or lack of logic) of the original decision.

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Maybe it’s nothing to do with midnight, but daytime shift start in Switzerland where the operations main office might be based? Now, if that’s the case, it sounds sensible to me.

Activities always feel a bit more worthwhile if one puts a bit of effort in. There’s no absolute pressing need to get up hugely early to book stuff; try and learn to be flexible you might have a pleasant surprise!

Also, it’s a cruise; ports etc can get cancelled- don’t wear your heart on your sleeve, and stop complaining.

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I don't entirely disagree with what you say but 75% or more of pax live in the US and Canada, so why did they choose midnight Pacific time instead of midnight Eastern time in the first place (other than US headquarters is in California)? Agreed you can't make everyone happy but but from a customer service point of view, why choose to inconvenience a larger group of people over a smaller group in the first place? I know that they aren't going to change things but I still don't accept the logic (or lack of logic) of the original decision.

 

I agree. Honestly, I was not registering a huge complaint, and not trying to inconvenience the majority of cruisers just to suit me. I just thought that perhaps there was a way to make it less difficult for a pretty large segment of the Viking passengers without making it hard for those on the west coast and in the UK.

 

Registration is available 24 hours a day, and I imagine that the opening time is automated, so I'd be surprised if the schedule is linked to work hours for Viking either on the west coast or in Switzerland.

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I have only done one VO cruise, and I also forgot to set an alarm. I booked later in the day with no issues and got all the included and optional tours I originally wanted, and at the times I wanted. I think some of the optional tours were sold out but they may have been filled anyway from folks in higher categories.

Either get up at 3 AM, or sleep in and have a plan B if your first choice is sold out.

 

If something is sold out---you could probably book a private or semi-private tour that is very similar (and sometimes less $$ and fewer people). Just start a thread on the Roll Call for your specific cruise with the name of the port and the name of the tour and you can round up some fellow like-minded cruisers.

 

And even with the best planning---sometimes shore excursions are cancelled and sometimes weather interferes with port stops.

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This subject is one of the few things I do not like about Viking. To me it is a contrived "race to win" the booking of your choice. Bull feathers..... We refused to participate, still booked everything we wished and, like most on board, made changes and cancellations to many of them onboard. It is just not a thing to get worked up over. They also try to make it seem like you will never see the Chef's Table or Manfredi's if you don't hurry and book as soon as it comes "your turn". Again what a manufactured crock. First, I don't know what I want to eat tonight, much less months in advance and second, we had no problem booking what we wanted onboard. Of course it benefits Viking to know well in advance what to plan for so this encouraged "panic buying" is not really for us. Relax, you will get what you want without being up in the middle of the night to hit enter before your fellow passengers. :cool:

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Viking is in business to serve its customers. If they fail in that regard, they go out of business. Since their overwhelming demographic comes from US and Canada, why not make it more convenient for them by opening excursion & restaurant booking at sometime between 9AM to noon Eastern time? Western Europe would also be awake at that time.

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Posted (edited)

All this petty selfish bickering isn't very appealing. I've got a really good idea - why not let passengers make the excursion and restaurant arrangements when they book the cruise in the first place?

 

Then, those who book nice and early will be able to stop fidgeting about arrangements, and relax. If people want to gamble with price by booking late don't like it - tough.

Edited by Parsley Cruises
amendment

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All this petty selfish bickering isn't very appealing. I've got a really good idea - why not let passengers make the excursion and restaurant arrangements when they book the cruise in the first place?

 

Then, those who book nice and early will be able to stop fidgeting about arrangements, and relax. If people want to gamble with price by booking late don't like it - tough.

 

That is not possible. Excursion venue is not available when booking. Excursions not set until 90 days or so before a cruise.

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Don’t be ridiculous! I’ve booked and subsequently enjoyed excursions with other cruise lines a heck of a lot more than 80/90 days prior.

Furthermore, the majority of ‘venues’ won’t object to being booked way in advance; and anyway from what I’ve seen the Viking excursions aren’t that ‘involved’ mainly.

If people don’t like getting up early, they can simply book their own excursions.

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Don’t be ridiculous! I’ve booked and subsequently enjoyed excursions with other cruise lines a heck of a lot more than 80/90 days prior.

Furthermore, the majority of ‘venues’ won’t object to being booked way in advance; and anyway from what I’ve seen the Viking excursions aren’t that ‘involved’ mainly.

If people don’t like getting up early, they can simply book their own excursions.

 

Viking isn't other cruise lines; Viking has their own way of doing things.

 

 

Excursion are loaded into MVJ right before booking opens for the Owner's Suite at 100 days before sailing. The average is around 120 days before sailing but it is not a firm date. Booking is by cabin category; the more you pay, the sooner you can book.

 

 

Of course this argument is ridiculous but it gives people a chance to air their frustrations with the process, especially those of us who have booked at the bottom of the pecking order. It also helps to calm the fears of those who think they are going to be closed out of tours if they aren't sitting at their computers the moment that booking opens. It doesn't mean much to the few cabins that get to book first but it means a lot to those who in DV and V cabins. We don't really expect that Viking is going to change the opening time but it sure is interesting to see how many people are taking everything so seriously.

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Just curious. Why is Eastern a more desirable time over Pacific? Why not Mtn? Why not Central? I just know that I need to set an alarm, do what I have to do and then go back to bed. Just the price to pay to travel. I understand that it is something that I need to do and deal with it. It is only once per cruise.

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Although we can and do enjoy being able to be among the first group of passengers to reserve stuff, we know from experience not to rely 100% on it.

On previous cruises special menus have been radically altered, excursions cancelled and ports missed. It pays to be flexible and accept the inevitable.

The thing to do is simply accept the system, be happy that you are lucky enough to be going on a cruise and smile.

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Don’t be ridiculous! I’ve booked and subsequently enjoyed excursions with other cruise lines a heck of a lot more than 80/90 days prior.

Furthermore, the majority of ‘venues’ won’t object to being booked way in advance; and anyway from what I’ve seen the Viking excursions aren’t that ‘involved’ mainly.

If people don’t like getting up early, they can simply book their own excursions.

 

Please stop posting repeated inaccurate statements. You obviously do not understand Viking's policy.

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Rest assured I understand much more than you might be comfortable with, and I am certain that my viewpoint is reasonable.

What about this for a grand idea (and this will be the last post from me on the topic)....... people who don’t like waking in the middle of the night to make their reservations (and don’t forget to be hugely thankful for all the wonderful folk who work nights in the travel sector); do the wise thing and move to live in UK. Now that’s a grand idea.

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Rest assured I understand much more than you might be comfortable with, and I am certain that my viewpoint is reasonable.

What about this for a grand idea (and this will be the last post from me on the topic)....... people who don’t like waking in the middle of the night to make their reservations (and don’t forget to be hugely thankful for all the wonderful folk who work nights in the travel sector); do the wise thing and move to live in UK. Now that’s a grand idea.

 

No again, folks are not working late to take the excursion reservations. It's 2018 and it's automated. You can't call Viking at Midnight PST.

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Finally - what is truly laughable is someone making a fuss because they simply have to be awake a bit early in order to get online and make a simple reservation.

 

I was not suggesting for one moment that people were actually working late to take the reservations - I was referring to that incredible group of hard working and undervalued people who work in operations departments of travel organisations (trains, planes, ships etc), not to mention the people who have to provide support to them.

 

Whilst we're at it - let's not forget people in the emergency services who provide that unseen but very necessary support to all of us - police, fire, medical and rescue.

 

If it's good enough for people to provide albeit unseen support so that most of us can lead comfortable lives, then it should be good enough for other people too. In the light of this - maybe people shouldn't complain about their compulsion to be awake once or twice a year in what they feel are unacceptable hours.

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Finally - what is truly laughable is someone making a fuss because they simply have to be awake a bit early in order to get online and make a simple reservation.

 

I was not suggesting for one moment that people were actually working late to take the reservations - I was referring to that incredible group of hard working and undervalued people who work in operations departments of travel organisations (trains, planes, ships etc), not to mention the people who have to provide support to them.

 

Whilst we're at it - let's not forget people in the emergency services who provide that unseen but very necessary support to all of us - police, fire, medical and rescue.

 

If it's good enough for people to provide albeit unseen support so that most of us can lead comfortable lives, then it should be good enough for other people too. In the light of this - maybe people shouldn't complain about their compulsion to be awake once or twice a year in what they feel are unacceptable hours.

 

What I meant by "laughable" was your condescending approach throughout this thread, as well as the elitist, wise decision to move to the UK, and furthermore that your previous post would be your last. Again, Laughable.[emoji16] [emoji16]

 

Sent from my SM-G955U using Forums mobile app

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