Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Jchivers

Are Viking Ocean cruises fun?

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
On 3/19/2019 at 8:39 AM, Jchivers said:

Thank you for the replies! 

 

More thoughts on Viking vs. the big mainstream lines: 

 

Good point about sea days -- that's a plus in Viking's favor, that they get into ports the big ships can't.  (Although I do like to break up the bustle of port days with a sea day.)

I agree about lectures being focused on the port's history/culture/natural features, and not the shopping.  That's my least favorite thing about Princess, and something that I think Holland America does well.

We actually spend very little time around the pool, so fighting for a lounger is never an issue.

I'm a bit put off by Viking's casino/kids/formal nights policy ... I think those are all good things, in moderation.  Photographers never bothered me.

I wouldn't miss bingo.  Trivia, though...I've got armloads of swag that I've won from shipboard trivia contests. 🙂

 

One thing we love to do onboard is relax in the spa's thermal loungers, gazing out at the sea.  So we're distressed to see that Viking puts their spa in the basement.

 

Is there a line that's a step up from the mainstream with regards to service and quality, but still retains all the "fun"?

 

One caution - while Viking can get into smaller ports, if they cancel a port you are left to your own devices to entertain yourself on the ship. We love the Viking destinations, but we were definitely looking for things to do when they cancelled one of our two Cuba ports and we were at sea for the entire second half of our cruise. They don’t really increase activities or lectures if they cancel a port (and at least for Cuba, it seemed to be a recurring issue to get folks to Santiago de Cuba - I think we were the second or third Viking cruise just in 2019 to skip the port), so make sure you bring an extra book! Beautiful boat, but you realize how small it is when you’re stuck on it.

Edited by Hiking In Heels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Hiking In Heels said:

One caution - while Viking can get into smaller ports, if they cancel a port you are left to your own devices to entertain yourself on the ship. .. Beautiful boat, but you realize how small it is when you’re stuck on it.

 

In my eight previous cruises (none on Viking) I've had one port cancelled - in Iceland, due to extreme fog.  Is this something that happens more frequently on VO?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Jchivers said:

 

In my eight previous cruises (none on Viking) I've had one port cancelled - in Iceland, due to extreme fog.  Is this something that happens more frequently on VO?

 

Are there really statistics in print for this?  Maybe it was just a rhetorical question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/19/2019 at 11:57 AM, Capt_BJ said:

The other consideration, unless taking a World Cruise, or segment, Viking has very few, if any sea days.

 

I don't agree ... our 2 week "Into the Midnight Sun" had 4 sea days ..... and we enjoyed every one ... so it depends on the itinerary you choose.

 

I was going to reply earlier on this topic but let me reply by riffing off yours.  It’s a matter of picking your cruise. Just did a quick check  Many of the Caribbean cruises include 3 or 4 sea days making them very leisurely. Viking Homelands includes a sea day in the middle. Cruises from Montreal and down the eastern seaboard have 4. Sydney to Auckland has 3.  I’m sure there are others. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/20/2019 at 5:23 PM, zitsky said:

The only negative I have read (correct me if I'm wrong) is that people use the Infinity Pool as another hot tub instead of actually swimming in it.

We “meet” again!  There are three pools - inifinity pool outside the world cafe on deck 7, a large heated under a removable roof lap pool also on deck 7 by the winter garden. Then there’s a smaller but swimmable pool in the spa on deck 1. Yes the inifinity pool is unheated. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Hiking In Heels said:

One caution - while Viking can get into smaller ports, if they cancel a port you are left to your own devices to entertain yourself on the ship. We love the Viking destinations, but we were definitely looking for things to do when they cancelled one of our two Cuba ports and we were at sea for the entire second half of our cruise. They don’t really increase activities or lectures if they cancel a port (and at least for Cuba, it seemed to be a recurring issue to get folks to Santiago de Cuba - I think we were the second or third Viking cruise just in 2019 to skip the port), so make sure you bring an extra book! Beautiful boat, but you realize how small it is when you’re stuck on it.

I’m surprised.  That wasn’t our experience last year (Jan 2018). Two ports in a row were cancelled and all four of our resident lecturers were miracle workers - each either had backup lectures in their back pockets or dreamed something up on the spot. The team trivia master dreamed up new variations on the game that on our last sea day drew in a good chunk of the ship - teams on both levels of the explorers lounge with answer sheets fluttering down from above after every round. I really do need to scan all the dailys from that trip and post them to share (use the link in my signature block). I never felt like I was “stuck on” a small ship during those unplanned for sea days. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband & I were recently on a West Indies cruise & Antigua was cancelled due to high winds. Couldn’t believe how quickly we received a revised daily with added lectures, games (Trivia, scavenger hunt, bean bag toss competition with passengers vs. officers) Zumba class, etc. We enjoyed our day at sea. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, CharTrav said:

I was going to reply earlier on this topic but let me reply by riffing off yours.  It’s a matter of picking your cruise. Just did a quick check  Many of the Caribbean cruises include 3 or 4 sea days making them very leisurely. Viking Homelands includes a sea day in the middle. Cruises from Montreal and down the eastern seaboard have 4. Sydney to Auckland has 3.  I’m sure there are others. 

 

I totally agree with you CharTrav.  I just love those other people though who speak in generalities without any research.

As in " The other consideration, unless taking a World Cruise, or segment, Viking has very few, if any sea days. "

 

So untrue.  Viking provides cruises of all types where you can have a port-intensive cruise, or a cruise with several sea days to break it up.  And this does not even include the World Cruise segments or the TransAtlantic, TransPacific cruises.   We are actually taking a Viking 14 day cruise next month from Barcelona to Copenhagen that has 4 sea days - perfect!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, CharTrav said:

I’m surprised.  That wasn’t our experience last year (Jan 2018). Two ports in a row were cancelled and all four of our resident lecturers were miracle workers - each either had backup lectures in their back pockets or dreamed something up on the spot. The team trivia master dreamed up new variations on the game that on our last sea day drew in a good chunk of the ship - teams on both levels of the explorers lounge with answer sheets fluttering down from above after every round. I really do need to scan all the dailys from that trip and post them to share (use the link in my signature block). I never felt like I was “stuck on” a small ship during those unplanned for sea days. 

 

Per Hikinginheels comment that Viking does nothing when ports are cancelled...

You must have been very unlucky.

My experience was like CharTrav - they cancelled a port due to weather and immediately sprang into action, revising the entire day's schedule with a host of new activities on board.  The guest lecturers and resident historians were called into action and gave some outstanding presentations. There were some special movies put on, as well as a Crew versus Guest Cornhall game in the Attrium (well-attended!).  I heard many people talk about how great it was to get this unexpected "sea" day and there was so much to do!   Was quite impressed with Viking Cruise Director and Staff to make these last minute modifications and additions!  It is things like this that make us want to return and return.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/20/2019 at 2:23 PM, zitsky said:

The only negative I have read (correct me if I'm wrong) is that people use the Infinity Pool as another hot tub instead of actually swimming in it.

Zitsky -

On the fantail, the Infinity Pool is not a hot tub.  No need to use it as one, since there is indeed a separate1244807539_IMG_1250StKittsInfinityPool.jpg.6a9148fae737210650e902d244d4e83c.jpg421465475_IMG_1766InfinityPool.jpg.e8193328518d035b34cd6e0b41148e9e.jpg1721282658_IMG_2247InfinityPool.jpg.44f11a7903974a63aa18f189b3fff7b6.jpg hot tub right behind the Infinity Pool, and just a bit above.  So you have 2 bodies of water, one that is hot and one that is cool - very Scandinavian.   Also, the Infinity Pool is not really large, so no one really will be "swimming" in it - just "lounging" and enjoying the fantastic view!  You even get a view from the hot tub, as it sits a few feet above and behind the Infinity Pool.  Hopefully these pictures will help as they show the Infinity Pool, the Hot Tub, and them together.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. Thanks for the pics.  But they never seem to show how crowded they get.  Not a problem.  There is the main pool and the spa pool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@CCWineLover. Thanks for correcting my oversight with the infinity pool. Shows how little I have ever used it. 🙄. Also my post last night about the main pool should have said "retractable roof", not what I said which I knew was wrong when I wrote it but - using the excuse of the late hour - couldn't dredge out of my brain. And thanks also for the affirmation. Will take some time today to scan and post the Dailys from our Carib cruise last year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, zitsky said:

Yes. Thanks for the pics.  But they never seem to show how crowded they get.  Not a problem.  There is the main pool and the spa pool.

Re crowded - I don't think they do. But I only have a sample size of 2. When we did Viking Homelands in July and were at sea it was typically too cold and windy to be out there. When we did the Carib - the temps on deck along with humidity were brutal. Others who've done more cruises than we have will hopefully weigh in on this. 

Edited by CharTrav

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, zitsky said:

Yes. Thanks for the pics.  But they never seem to show how crowded they get.  Not a problem.  There is the main pool and the spa pool.

 

Not really a pool person but they are in plain site if you are at that end of the World Cafe and I never saw them in a 'crowd' position.  When the ship was on a 'sea' or partial sea day and everyone was on board there was no crowd.   Since the pool does't encourage standing around in the water, people were not encouraged to pack it like they did phone booths during the '60's

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Jchivers said:

 

In my eight previous cruises (none on Viking) I've had one port cancelled - in Iceland, due to extreme fog.  Is this something that happens more frequently on VO?

Maybe.
Recent history:

Two VO cruises, one port cancelled.
One Silversea ocean cruise, one port cancelled.

High winds both times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As"threatened"/promised -- scanned all the daily sheets from our Panama&Central America cruise last year and have uploaded it as one pdf file to DropBox.  Link is in my signature block.  If the file is too big -- I can split it into two files (week1, week2). The last two ports (Montego Bay and Grand Caymans) were skipped because of sea conditions resulting in three straight Sea Days. To compensate, they added a stop at Nassau. Of course, being last minute -- there were no optional or included excursions offered (3 other ships were there too including an incredibly noisy clangorous Royal Caribbean that announced its approaching presence well before we could see it coming into dock) but Viking did provide us whatever guidance they could so we could manage on our own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Jchivers said:

 

In my eight previous cruises (none on Viking) I've had one port cancelled - in Iceland, due to extreme fog.  Is this something that happens more frequently on VO?

Well, since you asked, we're one for one - one VO cruise and one missed port. Coincidentally with the recent news our missed port was due to a malfunctioning engine on the Sun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 3/19/2019 at 11:39 AM, Jchivers said:

One thing we love to do onboard is relax in the spa's thermal loungers, gazing out at the sea.  So we're distressed to see that Viking puts their spa in the basement.

Just noticed this and don't think anybody's answered it for you so let me.  While they may not be thermal loungers (internally heated?? never heard of them before) -- there is an area that I'm having a hard time giving a name to, but it's in the area on each side of the  main pool on deck 7 but not under the retractable roof that features a mixture of loungers and couches.  Folks lounge up there doing exactly what you seem to want to do -- relax on a lounger reading a book or staring out at sea. The area is typically nice and toasty albeit minus the more relaxing ambience of the spa.

Edited by CharTrav

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, CharTrav said:

Just noticed this and don't think anybody's answered it for you so let me.  While they may not be thermal loungers (internally heated?? never heard of them before) -- there is an area that I'm having a hard time giving a name to, but it's in the area on each side of the  main pool on deck 7 but not under the retractable roof that features a mixture of loungers and couches.  Folks lounge up there doing exactly what you seem to want to do -- relax on a lounger reading a book or staring out at sea. The area is typically nice and toasty albeit minus the more relaxing ambience of the spa.

 

OMG...thermal loungers are The Bomb.  They're raised beds, made of ceramic tile but s-shaped so they fit nicely against your body contours (but you do need a cushion, like a rolled-up towel, under your head).  And internally heated.  You lie back, gaze out the window at the ocean going by, and invariably fall asleep. 

 

The spas in Princess, HAL and X all have them so I assumed they were an industry standard.  (Google any cruise line's spa description page and you'll probably see a picture.)  This may be a deal-breaker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wouldn't that mean people would sit there all day and never share the chair with someone else? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

zitsky, that's never been a problem (I have entered a room and seen all the loungers occupied....oh well, try again later.)  Probably because they're inside the spa, where there's nothing else to do besides look out the window and doze...and no waiter service.  And they're not comfortable for reading -- you're pretty much flat on your back.  So people will get up and move on after 20 minutes, max. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, zitsky said:

Wouldn't that mean people would sit there all day and never share the chair with someone else? 

theoretically -- yes -- but it never seems like that's the case.. but wouldn't you have the same problem in the spa? in any case, if you do a little 360 tour of the area, you'll notice that there are oodles of places to park yourself -- in the wintergarden itself (if you don't like being in the direct sun), on the lounge chairs out by the pool itself, etc. Also .. up on deck 8 .  outside there are a number of "conversation corners" -- couches etc. plus lounge chairs.  Next cruise (next year) I'll make sure to take a picture of that area .. 

Edited by CharTrav

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Jchivers said:

zitsky, that's never been a problem (I have entered a room and seen all the loungers occupied....oh well, try again later.)  Probably because they're inside the spa, where there's nothing else to do besides look out the window and doze...and no waiter service.  And they're not comfortable for reading -- you're pretty much flat on your back.  So people will get up and move on after 20 minutes, max. 

I think zitsky's asking about the loungers up on deck 7 near the pool .. on each side by the windows. But really -- i've never seen anybody park themselves up for there for the whole day.  have you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CharTrav said:

I think zitsky's asking about the loungers up on deck 7 near the pool .. on each side by the windows. But really -- i've never seen anybody park themselves up for there for the whole day.  have you?

 

I was thinking of the spa, but same question for the pool.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found the Viking Ocean Cruises to have many positive aspects of the lovely ship, good food, included tours. However, I felt that many of the cruisers were not particularly friendly. Perhaps that is because there is open seating. Also, many cruisers know each other from the River Cruises, so they keep to themselves.  Yes, at times, it was nice to have a quiet atmosphere but on a 15-day cruise with 4 sea days, things got way too quiet. There were not many times when people were brought together. The only game for a group was the daily trivia in the bar. You could play nice board games in the lounge, but again, nothing organized. There was some dancing & DJ later after the dinner service. That started around 10 PM. The lectures were very academic and the 2 I attended reminded me of classroom experience. Sea days had a little more of the same, and a lot of quiet time. So, if you prefer peace and quiet and spending time watching streamed movies in your room, Viking O is for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...