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UDSpud

Can Oceania survive Viking Ocean?

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23 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Quantity is not the same as quality.

Will do our first Viking Ocean in May - can comment more specifically afterwards but I don't think Viking Ocean spells doom for Oceania.

I tried Viking Ocean and was not impressed other than the beauty of the ship.  Hands down for us, O meets all of our requirements.

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4 hours ago, RJB said:

We have been a pretty loyal  group and they are not being  loyal to us.  Looks like a one way street when they will need their old customers the most.   Love O, but it makes me think if we need to try something else that we might not of if they kept the old program in place. Don't know. 

Which cruise line is offering you a better loyalty program?

Edited by Paulchili

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4 hours ago, golfguyhhi said:

RJB,

 

I really studied the Viking website, but I was unable to determine the details of the Viking Loyalty Program.  Perhaps you could share with us what you know of what they offer?  I would be interested in comparing their program to Oceania's.

 

Last I checked the loyalty program is not defined.  They do give a repeat passenger discount of a couple hundred per sailing.  

Oceania loyalty program is good, even with the planned reductions in OBC.  

 

 

Edited by sammiedawg

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After an excellent Viking River Cruise i was very interested in trying an ocean voyage. The river cruise final payment was 9 months in advance. I found an ocean itinerary that interested us but i was disturbed by their inflexible payment policy of an immediate demand for the full amount. This was over a full year in advance.

 

The good news for me was that I found Oceania as a result of Viking's policy. I'm now booked on an 18 day Tahiti cruise for April 2020 and I'm already looking at another Oceania cruise for October 2020. 

 

 

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Viking River is certainly the 800-pound gorilla of European river cruises. There are more Viking longships than I'd care to count.  But there are still many other lines offering river cruises, and they differentiate their products in many ways.  And there are still more lines building new ships to enter that market.

 

I expect that we'll continue to see lots of competition in the ocean cruise market as well.  I know I've been curious about Viking Ocean, but haven't been able to find a cruise I'd want to book.   Viking does a lot of advertising, and they seem to fill both their river and ocean ships.  Leaving room for me on other lines....:classic_rolleyes:

 

Aren't we fortunate to have so many good choices?

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On 2/10/2019 at 11:55 PM, UDSpud said:

Thanks to Flatbush Flyer for the earlier response.   I made an effort to consider a future drop in demand coupled with the increased supply (ie Viking ship count growth).  One other question.  If Oceania's role can be considered "... the prime mover in "ultra premium" cruising...", then what does Norwegian corporate consider Regent to be ?

 

Again, thanks to any and all who comment as I react to:

1) lots of Viking mail

2) lots of Oceania CC threads on tipping, children, old people, shore excursions and the decline of the "R" ships.

 

why are you bothered? Do you have shares?

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We are considering a world cruise and looked at various lines among them Viking (never been on ) and Oceania (been on). I compared the two itineraries port by port and sea day by sea day. The itineraries are almost identical in most parts of the world, but Oceania had more ports and less sea days in a row on identical stretches.

 

With Oceania, I know I like the food, but the cabins and bathrooms are smaller than on Viking. Viking's early booking incentives run out at the end of February which is before the date that HAL comes out with their world cruise and grand voyage programs for 2021. Although I did not particularly like my shorter HAL cruises, our recent Grand Voyage was excellent. That's why they are back in the running. The food was decent. Their crew and service were outstanding and the best we have ever had - even compared to Hapag Lloyd.

 

Included tours on Viking: Is it true that they are bus tours of the type panorama tour with 2 or 3 photo stops?

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Floridiana said:

We are considering a world cruise and looked at various lines among them Viking (never been on ) and Oceania (been on). I compared the two itineraries port by port and sea day by sea day. The itineraries are almost identical in most parts of the world, but Oceania had more ports and less sea days in a row on identical stretches.

 

With Oceania, I know I like the food, but the cabins and bathrooms are smaller than on Viking. Viking's early booking incentives run out at the end of February which is before the date that HAL comes out with their world cruise and grand voyage programs for 2021. Although I did not particularly like my shorter HAL cruises, our recent Grand Voyage was excellent. That's why they are back in the running. The food was decent. Their crew and service were outstanding and the best we have ever had - even compared to Hapag Lloyd.

 

Included tours on Viking: Is it true that they are bus tours of the type panorama tour with 2 or 3 photo stops?

 

 

 

how  does  the price compare  between Viking & Oceania?

What are the inclusions for both   that would  be  another factor  to consider

 

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Re the question about Viking's tours, I can't speak to the ocean cruises but most of the river boat tours are walking tours.  That's easy enough to do when you are usually docked bang in the middle of town.

 

Occasionally they had tours taking you outside of the port city which usually were fee-based.  Not badly priced at all but not free.  As an example, when we were in Arles, France, we had a walking tour in the morning and a paid-for afternoon bus tour to Les Baux and St. Remy.  My notes don't indicate what we paid for the bus tour but as I said it was reasonably priced.

 

We've done three riverboat trips with Viking (one of which was China so may not count) but we never had a "panorama" type bus tour with only a few photo stops.  I would be very surprised if that is all they offer on the ocean cruises.

 

Mura

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On 2/10/2019 at 11:32 PM, Paulchili said:

I certainly resent their policy of requiring full payment 12 months ahead. I was able to change it to 6 months but I understand that they no longer allow that.

I guess they need the cash to pay for all those new ships.

They require full payment on their river cruises so guess they just carried that policy over to the ocean cruises.  I agree with others on the thread that I was not impressed with the rooms on the Viking ocean ships.

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1 hour ago, Floridiana said:

 

Included tours on Viking: Is it true that they are bus tours of the type panorama tour with 2 or 3 photo stops?

Our first Viking ocean is coming up in May so I cannot say first hand yet but the option to book the excursions is coming up shortly. The free ones indeed mostly look like panoramic bus tours or walking tours in smaller places (like Kodiak, Valdez). There is one tribal dance and cultural center tour.

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2 hours ago, LHT28 said:

how  does  the price compare  between Viking & Oceania?

What are the inclusions for both   that would  be  another factor  to consider

 

Oceania Veranda State room $ 339-347 per day 

Viking Veranda $373-379 per day

Difference in inclusions, the others are identical: 

Oceania: free luggage delivery, free laundry, 1 night hotel at embarkation

Viking: free luggage delivery at embarkation, 1 included excursion at each port, included beer, wine at lunch and dinner

 

Paulchili: I trust you will report back. 🙂

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Just now, Floridiana said:

Oceania Veranda State room $ 339-347 per day 

Viking Veranda $373-379 per day

Difference in inclusions, the others are identical: 

Oceania: free luggage delivery, free laundry, 1 night hotel at embarkation

Viking: free luggage delivery at embarkation, 1 included excursion at each port, included beer, wine at lunch and dinner

 

Paulchili: I trust you will report back. 🙂

Are the prices quoted for cruise only fare?

Does  Viking offer  free  medical onboard ?

Does Oceania  offer O Life perk eg: free wine/beer  at lunch/dinner  for the RTW cruise?

 

I guess the big question is  would you benefit from free wine at lunch/dinner & free excursions in port

ould  not  be of interest to us  if we were comparing lines

YMMV

 

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LHT,

I don't know. We started our research yesterday. 😉 Those are really good questions.

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Just now, Floridiana said:

LHT,

I don't know. We started our research yesterday. 😉 Those are really good questions.

I would  look at the list of inclusions by both & compare the ones that would be  of interest or of value to your  wants/needs

That would be my approach  to deciding

 

Of course I would  choose Oceania over Viking  :classic_biggrin:

Enjoy what ever one you choose

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11 minutes ago, LHT28 said:

Are the prices quoted for cruise only fare?

Does  Viking offer  free  medical onboard ?

Does Oceania  offer O Life perk eg: free wine/beer  at lunch/dinner  for the RTW cruise?

 

I guess the big question is  would you benefit from free wine at lunch/dinner & free excursions in port

ould  not  be of interest to us  if we were comparing lines

YMMV

 

 

This would be very important to us... do we even *want* the "perks"?

That's one reason why all-inclusives have typically not appealed to us, although we are looking into them a bit more, as it isn't "just the price" that matters (or we'd be on the short, cheap booze cruises or such 😱

 

But we prefer fine wine, and that is so unlikely to be offered as any package, so "wine with meals" isn't of interest, nor are "included alcoholic beverages".  We might have a sailaway drink, and then IF we are with others at a function or bar, then we'll get a drink, but that never adds up to much at all.

Similarly, we don't want to do most "group tours", unless it's something specially arranged so that it includes what we want to do, and not the things we don't want to do.  We don't have that kind of time left nowadays, and in some cases, we may not be back to the same destination again...

On the other hand, if we need to pay a bit extra for a few special meals/specialty restaurants, that's not a deal-breaker.  Whether there is truly good food?  *That* is important...

 

Thus far "space" has been important, especially for DH, so very small cabins/suites aren't appealing.  However, we are finding that a bit restrictive these days, so we are less concerned with this IF all else really appeals - especially the destinations!

 

But as I mentioned above, DH has indeed been captured by the Viking Ocean photos, in part because of our search for other itineraries.  (After we had an almost magical trip on Hurtigruten, we decided that "branching out" could really work. That was surprising and very special!)

 

So we are really interested in various reports here (and also other lines, of course).

Whether any ship will quite match the Oceania Riviera/Marina experience, for *us*, we'll have to explore.

Even if not, that doesn't mean we will "only" sail on them.  Not at all.

 

GC

 

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47 minutes ago, Floridiana said:

Oceania: free luggage delivery, free laundry, 1 night hotel at embarkation

As pointed out above, IIRC in the past O on world cruises offered free medical (a huge benefit, IMO) and free visas. Also, if price includes O Life, you could get a number of "free" excursions. Did they not also offer free business air on world cruises (albeit, it is most likely domestic F to/from Miami)?

I will report about Viking on O vs VO thread :classic_happy:

Edited by Paulchili

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We certainly hope Oceania can survive Viking Ocean. We also hope Viking Ocean can survive Oceania.

 

We like both cruise lines and have enjoyed cruising with both of them. We also happen to think that neither of the two cruise lines are "perfect" , no cruise company ever is, in our opinion. However, both Oceania and Viking Ocean have a lot more "strengths" than "weaknesses";  there are some things which Oceania does better, and some which Viking does better.

 

As to some who are concerned with the advanced full payments required by Viking Ocean, see this discussion on this link, https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2556896-is-it-normal-for-viking-ocean-to-require-full-payment-14-months-before-a-cruise/ You will read some Travel Agents can arrange for you to make final payment until up to 7 months before your cruise.

 

We would not like to go through that discussion about the differences between Oceania vs. Viking Ocean, as this topic has been discussed elsewhere. Suffice to say both cruise lines are "comparable" and both have very high standards.

 

So not surprisingly, we would be pleased to cruise with both cruise lines. With Oceania, perhaps we would have preferred their "O" ships rather than the older "R" ships. All 6 Viking Ocean ships are built very similarly to each other and they are relatively "young" vessels.


We are certainly not "tribal" and we do not feel we have to "hate" one cruise line and "love" the other. We like both but we do not feel we are obliged to be "stuck" with either. If something better comes along, we will not hesitate to consider trying that too. We were a bit puzzled why some folks seem to think that they have to choose between cruising with one cruise line , or the other, but not both. It was as if you have Chateaubriand one evening for dinner, you cannot have Lobster the following evening. For us, we feel we could have both on different evenings, and we will ! Likewise, we will cruise with Oceania again, and same with Viking Ocean. We look forward to a chance to try Oceania's two new "Allura" class ships in the future, as well as the additional 6 new ships for Viking Ocean  (which will to their current fleet of 6 ships ).

 

We like both Oceania and Viking Ocean to survive because we feel that competition is good for the customer. When the two cruise lines compete with each  other, they will try to offer more to the customers, or at least we hope they will . If there are too many ships chasing fewer passengers, that would be an advantage to the customers too, as this may lead to better fares and not so high price rises. It would be sad if either Viking Ocean or Ocean not survive the other. That means the "survivor" cruise line could then start taking advantage of its "dominant" position and it would be the customers who would lose.


Having said that, both Oceania and Viking Ocean do not just compete with each other, it competes with Azamara and other cruise lines as well.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gnoelj

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2 hours ago, LHT28 said:

Are the prices quoted for cruise only fare?

Does  Viking offer  free  medical onboard ?

Does Oceania  offer O Life perk eg: free wine/beer  at lunch/dinner  for the RTW cruise?

...

 

5 hours ago, Floridiana said:

We are considering a world cruise and looked at various lines among them Viking (never been on ) and Oceania (been on). I compared the two itineraries port by port and sea day by sea day. The itineraries are almost identical in most parts of the world, but Oceania had more ports and less sea days in a row on identical stretches.

...

 

 

I've research the Viking 2021 WC extensively, since we're booked on the Regent one, and wanted to compare.

 

No, the Viking one does not include onboard medical, nor laundry/drycleaning (as Regent does).  It does include a VISA plan, gratuities and a drinks package.  One-way delivery of luggage (which sounds crazy to me.)

 

But the VO WC is a reasonable length.  I can't get my head around spending 6 months on one of the Oceania R ships, frankly.  Four months is plenty.

 

The bottom line for us is that for a Viking PV cabin (slightly bigger than Mariner G), it's about the same price as Regent.   But as you probably know, Regent offers many free excursions, the cost of which could be considerable on a world cruise, all alcoholic beverages, and for the WC includes laundry/drycleaning, visas, luggage shipment, medical visits, special events (pretty much the same perks as the O ATW cruise.)   The only thing that was cheaper with Viking is insurance--Regent insurance is crazy expensive.  Oh, and the Viking WC only asks for full payment 6 months in advance.

Edited by Wendy The Wanderer

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Gnoelj, Check the dates of your link. Viking changed the payment policy in writing back in November and the TAs can no longer modify it. There are a number of lively discussions on their board. 

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52 minutes ago, cayman09 said:

Gnoelj, Check the dates of your link. Viking changed the payment policy in writing back in November and the TAs can no longer modify it. There are a number of lively discussions on their board. 


Thanks for updating me on that.

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Zero interest from me in paying for included bus tours as Viking requires.

 

There is a time and place for bus tours.

The time is never.

The place is left for the reader to discern.

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22 minutes ago, Shawnino said:

Zero interest from me in paying for included bus tours as Viking requires.

 

There is a time and place for bus tours.

The time is never.

The place is left for the reader to discern.

 

Nobody is forcing you to do it. If you don't want it , don't do it. However, there are others who like it. 

Edited by Gnoelj

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4 hours ago, Shawnino said:

There is a time and place for bus tours.

The time is never.

The place is left for the reader to discern.

I'll take a slight issue with that blanket statement.

While I agree that a 40 passenger (or even a 20 passenger) bus tour (particularly urban "panoramic" excursions) should be avoided  (if at all possible), there are those occasions when an 8-16 passenger vehicle is the "sweet spot" for a tour where group size may determine attraction line access or reserved space (e.g., certain popular funiculars in several South American countries; antiquity imposed group size limits, etc).

And don't forget that some of the upscale cruise lines, as a general rule, limit groups (and accompanying transportation) for certain tours to 12-16 people per guide.

Of course, you will often (but not always) pay a premium for a ship's tours.

And, there are those occasions when the big bus is only a mechanism to get you to the starting point of tours that are very size limited because of "equipment factors" (e.g., a zodiac boat on Kauai's NaPali coast or a dehavilland beaver float plane ride in Alaska, et al.).

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5 hours ago, Shawnino said:

Zero interest from me in paying for included bus tours as Viking requires.

 

There is a time and place for bus tours.

The time is never.

The place is left for the reader to discern.

Agree. We also don’t do bus tours.

On any line we cruise on we pay for private tours. If bus tours are included in the fare

so be it if it’s the ship and itinerary we want to be on.

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