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Michael219

Majestic Fjords & Vibrant Cities: Yes or No?

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Posted (edited)

We just finalized the Majestic Fjords & Vibrant Cities Cruise for July 2020 on Viking Sky. 

We’d appreciate hearing your thoughts about this itinerary, both positive & negative. Thanks in advance! 

Edited by Michael219

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I’m considering this itinerary for April 2020...  Eager to see what replies you receive!

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Posted (edited)

How bad can it be but can let you know in 3 months. We're going on the July 21 2019 cruise. So far it looks great. We're also planning a 2 night stay in Copenhagen pre-cruise. Our cruise mates are hyped up for a day trip to Elsinore (Shakespeare buffs).

 

Got a nice email from Viking telling us how there will be Viking personnel greeting us at the airport and getting us to the hotel and then while we are there someone will be at the hotel to answer any and all questions which the Mrs. was very glad to hear. The hotel stay also includes 2 breakfasts plus a walking tour. 

Enjoy your cruising days.

Edited by NordicPrince
more info

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On 5/21/2019 at 3:08 PM, NordicPrince said:

How bad can it be but can let you know in 3 months. We're going on the July 21 2019 cruise. So far it looks great. We're also planning a 2 night stay in Copenhagen pre-cruise. Our cruise mates are hyped up for a day trip to Elsinore (Shakespeare buffs).

 

Got a nice email from Viking telling us how there will be Viking personnel greeting us at the airport and getting us to the hotel and then while we are there someone will be at the hotel to answer any and all questions which the Mrs. was very glad to hear. The hotel stay also includes 2 breakfasts plus a walking tour. 

Enjoy your cruising days.

Thanks for your reply - look forward to reading all about your trip! 

Wish ours was sooner, but we're heading to Alaska this year. Had originally booked Alaska for June 2020 while onboard in Italy last year (April 2018) but got the itch to go sooner.  Viking was virtually sold out (other than Owners Suite) so we will be on RSSC Mariner in a few weeks.  It will be interesting to gauge the differences between the two cruise lines.

 

Enjoy your trip!!

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We'll be on this cruise next month.  Sounds like a good itinerary with varied ports.  I would happily trade the stop in Germany for time in Stockholm but will make the best of it somehow.  😀

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Posted (edited)

We (my sister and I) just did this cruise from May 16th - 27th with the Copenhagen pre-extension and Iceland post-extension.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!  We enjoyed (almost) every minute.  We stayed in room 8003 and had NO complaints.  We were fortunate enough to have unbelievably beautiful weather.  We did a mixture of included excursions and some optional ones, but all were done through Viking.  

 

We did not enjoy Manfredi's - everyone (including staff) said "get the steak, get the steak".  We got the steak.  It wasn't cooked right and was just not good.  We also ate at the Restaurant, World Café, Pool Grill, Mamsen's and room service - each of these was exceptional.

 

Our only real complaint was the flight from Bergen to Reykjavik (only need to worry about that with the post extension).  Viking handled the flight and put us on a Norwegian Air Shuttle - it was horrible.  A very budget airline (we don't do that), very uncomfortable and even the water cost $$$.  Disappointed with that choice by Viking.  

 

Let me know if you have any questions I can answer!!

 

Side note: It was so good we booked our next cruise on board - Mediterranean Odyssey!! Can't Wait!.

Edited by fireval911

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On 5/30/2019 at 12:43 AM, Scootoir said:

We'll be on this cruise next month.  Sounds like a good itinerary with varied ports.  I would happily trade the stop in Germany for time in Stockholm but will make the best of it somehow.  😀

Scootoir, looking forard your post-trip review!!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Michael219 said:

Scootoir, looking forard your post-trip review!!

 

I'm working on it but jet-lag hit me hard!  Here's a photo from Eidfjord where we tendered to the shore.

 

IMG_5413.JPG

Edited by Scootoir

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6 minutes ago, Scootoir said:

 

I'm working on it but jet-lag hit me hard!  Here's a photo from Eidfjord where we tendered to the shore.

 

 

Is that a 2nd Viking Ship in port of Eidfjord with you guys?  

We were in Eidfjord on our Homelands Cruise last year - it was fabulous!  Did the 2 railways thing and Flam.

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1 hour ago, CCWineLover said:

Is that a 2nd Viking Ship in port of Eidfjord with you guys?  

We were in Eidfjord on our Homelands Cruise last year - it was fabulous!  Did the 2 railways thing and Flam.

 

Yes it was.  I think it was the Viking Sea.  It arrived ahead of our ship so got the premier landing.  We had to tender to our excursions.  We did the nature center and just enjoyed the views.  The railways and Flam sounded great but just too long a day.

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 12:46 PM, Michael219 said:

Scootoir, looking forard your post-trip review!!

 

Michael219, I submitted my review to Cruise Critic but have not heard that they have posted it yet.  Would not allow me to post photos along with the review.   If you are interested send me a message and I will send you a link to the blog I wrote during the cruise.

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Posted (edited)

We were on the Majestic Fjords in June and it was amazing!  You are all in for a real treat.  The ship Viking Sky was just the right size (not a mega-cruiser anymore but like some of the amenities like a spa and restaurant choices), so many quiet places to hang/read and our favorite place (the weather was perfect) the infinity pool and terrace.  Our favorite ports were Bergen, Oslo and Eidfjord.  Food in the buffet was well-above the "normal" cruise buffet food with cooked-to-order omelets, chicken and more depending on the meal.    Oh, I so hope the assistant cruise directer Brian is still there along with the entertainment group.  It was a treat!  So much more but please, put to rest any concerns.  Wonderful cruise in so many ways.  We booked our next cruise (some incentives to book on the ship) for the London/Bergen April 2021 on the Viking Venus.  

Edited by Famsw

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On ‎7‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 12:46 PM, Michael219 said:

Scootoir, looking forard your post-trip review!!

 

Here it is:  https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=660288&et_cid=3214772&et_rid=24473151&et_referrer=NULL

 

I had issues when trying to post so it made me evaluate children's programs (of which there are none) and would not allow me to add photos.

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On 7/10/2019 at 5:11 PM, Scootoir said:

 

Michael219, I submitted my review to Cruise Critic but have not heard that they have posted it yet.  Would not allow me to post photos along with the review.   If you are interested send me a message and I will send you a link to the blog I wrote during the cruise.

Scootoir, waned to make certain to thank you, I read your review earlier - thank you for posting it.

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So we are currently booked on the pre-cruise "Oslo & Scenic Train" extension but now thinking that a post cruise 1-2-nights in Copenhagen might be a better option.  Being that we will have an over-night in Oslo during the cruise we are uncertain if the extra two days in Oslo makes sense. 

 

 

Would appreciate anyone's insight/input on this thought process as we may not have the available time to do both a pre and a post extension.  If we do, we'd consider the Norway in a Nutshell option with a night in Flam.

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Michael219 said:

So we are currently booked on the pre-cruise "Oslo & Scenic Train" extension but now thinking that a post cruise 1-2-nights in Copenhagen might be a better option.  Being that we will have an over-night in Oslo during the cruise we are uncertain if the extra two days in Oslo makes sense. 

 

 

Would appreciate anyone's insight/input on this thought process as we may not have the available time to do both a pre and a post extension.  If we do, we'd consider the Norway in a Nutshell option with a night in Flam.

 

 

 

 

 

First, I would base my decision on which city had more experiences that interested me.

Second part of my decision would be my plans/commitments at home immediately before and after the cruise.

If I am working up to the buzzer prior to departure I might need time pre-cruise to recover from jet lag. If I arrive exhausted I may not fully appreciate the pre-cruise extension.

If I have work/social commitments when I return I might want to have time to recover from jet lag on the return.

 

So I would look at my calendar and also think about the flight times (and class of service) when making a decision. For example, if I am flying business/first and can sleep well I would be fine with skipping the pre-departure city and going straight to the ship. But if you have 3 legs of flights in economy you might want time to recover prior to boarding the ship. 

On the way home I would never do 2-3 legs in coach when I had to work or had houseguests arriving the day after I returned home. I always find the jet lag and fatigue worse on the way home--probably post-vacation let down and tired from having too much fun.

 

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2 hours ago, broker1217 said:

 

First, I would base my decision on which city had more experiences that interested me.

Second part of my decision would be my plans/commitments at home immediately before and after the cruise.

If I am working up to the buzzer prior to departure I might need time pre-cruise to recover from jet lag. If I arrive exhausted I may not fully appreciate the pre-cruise extension.

If I have work/social commitments when I return I might want to have time to recover from jet lag on the return.

 

So I would look at my calendar and also think about the flight times (and class of service) when making a decision. For example, if I am flying business/first and can sleep well I would be fine with skipping the pre-departure city and going straight to the ship. But if you have 3 legs of flights in economy you might want time to recover prior to boarding the ship. 

On the way home I would never do 2-3 legs in coach when I had to work or had houseguests arriving the day after I returned home. I always find the jet lag and fatigue worse on the way home--probably post-vacation let down and tired from having too much fun.

 

Appreciate your comments and insight, all good and valid points!  The pre-Oslo portion initially started as we were only seeing 3-leg flights to Bergen and we really want to avoid this.  At this point I am fairly certain we will at a minimum extend in Copenhagen by 1 night to allow us a full two days to experience the city.  We may also fly into Oslo (one connection) and take the train to Bergen, either the same day or after only one night in Oslo - this to avoid the double connection and also to enjoy what we've read to be a beautiful ride between the two cities.

 

I think I saw a potential single connection option to Bergen on Norwegian Air - I do not know much about this airline so will need to research and ask if you or anyone else has flown with them.

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If you have time, consider spending a couple of nights in Oslo and then taking the Norway in a Nutshell trip to Bergen with an overnight in Flam.  That would give you a full day in Oslo to sightsee and rest a little before taking the NIN trip.  The NIN trip vs. the long Oslo to Bergen train gives you more enjoyable experiences with a chance to rest and enjoy a little time in Flam on the way.  (You can also do the NIN trip in one day, if you don't have time for an overnight.)  If you took two days for the trip, you'd arrive in Bergen in the afternoon in plenty of time to get to your hotel and enjoy the evening before boarding the ship the next day.  Some people book the NIN on their own.  We booked it with Fjord Tours, a booking service, and also arranged with the Porter service to transport our larger bags to our Bergen hotel.  Oslo has plenty of fascinating sights to see, if you can spend some time there.

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2 minutes ago, frenchhorn said:

If you have time, consider spending a couple of nights in Oslo and then taking the Norway in a Nutshell trip to Bergen with an overnight in Flam.  That would give you a full day in Oslo to sightsee and rest a little before taking the NIN trip.  The NIN trip vs. the long Oslo to Bergen train gives you more enjoyable experiences with a chance to rest and enjoy a little time in Flam on the way.  (You can also do the NIN trip in one day, if you don't have time for an overnight.)  If you took two days for the trip, you'd arrive in Bergen in the afternoon in plenty of time to get to your hotel and enjoy the evening before boarding the ship the next day.  Some people book the NIN on their own.  We booked it with Fjord Tours, a booking service, and also arranged with the Porter service to transport our larger bags to our Bergen hotel.  Oslo has plenty of fascinating sights to see, if you can spend some time there.

Thx for all the tips!!  We are thinking of doing just this!  Now I’m convinced.  We’ll be going Bergen to Oslo after disembarking our cruise.   How far ahead could you book the Fjord tours/train?  

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I would also highly recommend staying extra nights in Copenhagen.  We did after our cruise this year - wonderful city and so much to do and see.  We tend to like post cruises better since you’re already acclimated time wise and usually we do it in the ending city where we want to explore in more detail.  But agree, the flight back gives us more jet lag than over.  Post vacation depression???

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4 minutes ago, CCWineLover said:

How far ahead could you book the Fjord tours/train?  

i think we booked 5 or 6 months ahead, but I don't think that's necessary.  Fjord Tours gave us a schedule, but it was tentative until the train schedule and booking capability was released, which was a couple of months ahead.  We booked the Flam hotel on our own, but you can book through Fjord Tours also.  We liked booking the trip through FT, because it was easy and mistake-proof for the multiple types of transportation.  We had confirmation forms and picked up the actual train, bus, and boat tickets along with a packet of information at the Oslo Visitors' center beneath the train station.

Before boarding the first train in Oslo, we bought sandwiches and drinks in the station for the ride.  You can purchase food on the train and in some of the stations, but lines can be long and the food expensive.  It was a perfect way to experience the trip across Norway. 

If you want to use the Porter service for your larger bags, be sure to confirm that they pick up at your chosen hotel in Oslo and drop off at your hotel in Bergen.  We had to change our Oslo hotel booking for that reason, but using the porter service was worth it.  The bags were waiting for us the next day in the hotel in Bergen.  

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On 9/12/2019 at 12:59 PM, Michael219 said:

Appreciate your comments and insight, all good and valid points!  The pre-Oslo portion initially started as we were only seeing 3-leg flights to Bergen and we really want to avoid this.  At this point I am fairly certain we will at a minimum extend in Copenhagen by 1 night to allow us a full two days to experience the city.  We may also fly into Oslo (one connection) and take the train to Bergen, either the same day or after only one night in Oslo - this to avoid the double connection and also to enjoy what we've read to be a beautiful ride between the two cities.

 

I think I saw a potential single connection option to Bergen on Norwegian Air - I do not know much about this airline so will need to research and ask if you or anyone else has flown with them.

 

Maybe create a new post with your routing and see if you get some advice. IT really depends on your home city.

Are you booking your own air or using VO?

My understanding is that they are a low cost airline and as long as you are aware of the service level that's fine. Just do your homework and have appropriate expectations. Then maybe compare with what VO offers.

 

I have long wished that CC had dedicated (moderated) threads for air offered by VO so folks could have some insight into VO routing/airlines/prices. Would make it much more transparent.

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2 hours ago, broker1217 said:

 

Maybe create a new post with your routing and see if you get some advice. IT really depends on your home city.

Are you booking your own air or using VO?

My understanding is that they are a low cost airline and as long as you are aware of the service level that's fine. Just do your homework and have appropriate expectations. Then maybe compare with what VO offers.

 

I have long wished that CC had dedicated (moderated) threads for air offered by VO so folks could have some insight into VO routing/airlines/prices. Would make it much more transparent.

When we did In the Wake of the Vikings TA last September, we made our own air arrangements, as I like to fly from the U.S. into London on a day flight, arriving in London around 10 p.m. London time.  It helps get us onto the new time zone really quickly, and let’s us spend a day or two in London, which is always welcome.


In any case, to the question re Norwegian Air, we booked our flight from London to Bergen on Norwegian, to connect with the ship.  For a short flight, it was absolutely fine.  We chose a fare that allowed us one checked bag and one carry-on each, which worked with our luggage, and was only slightly more expensive than a rock bottom fare.  They are definitely a budget airline, but we found the coach seats to be just as comfy - which means not really, but not awful! - as coach on any other airline.   We didn’t purchase food but it was available and (relatively) reasonably priced.  The flight was on time, flight attendants were pleasant and efficient, and the total cost was quite low.  I don’t remember exactly, but I want to say something like U.S. $114/person.

 

So if it’s a short hop - Oslo to Bergen - I’d say definitely go for it.  On the other hand, if you mean that you saw a “potential one-stop connection option to Bergen on Norwegian Air” FROM THE U.S., I’d definitely not recommend that option.

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Just adding my two cents on Norwegian Air. I flew it from California to Oslo, transferring in Gatwick. Brand new plane with wide, comfortable seats in Premium class (combines everything above Economy). Reasonable fare ... would fly this way at every opportunity.

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On 9/13/2019 at 3:55 PM, aungrl said:

When we did In the Wake of the Vikings TA last September, we made our own air arrangements, as I like to fly from the U.S. into London on a day flight, arriving in London around 10 p.m. London time.  It helps get us onto the new time zone really quickly, and let’s us spend a day or two in London, which is always welcome.


In any case, to the question re Norwegian Air, we booked our flight from London to Bergen on Norwegian, to connect with the ship.  For a short flight, it was absolutely fine.  We chose a fare that allowed us one checked bag and one carry-on each, which worked with our luggage, and was only slightly more expensive than a rock bottom fare.  They are definitely a budget airline, but we found the coach seats to be just as comfy - which means not really, but not awful! - as coach on any other airline.   We didn’t purchase food but it was available and (relatively) reasonably priced.  The flight was on time, flight attendants were pleasant and efficient, and the total cost was quite low.  I don’t remember exactly, but I want to say something like U.S. $114/person.

 

So if it’s a short hop - Oslo to Bergen - I’d say definitely go for it.  On the other hand, if you mean that you saw a “potential one-stop connection option to Bergen on Norwegian Air” FROM THE U.S., I’d definitely not recommend that option.

Thanks for your insight and input, I too have some concerns about relying on a "low-cost/budget" airline.  At least with a carrier like Lufthansa  & others, there is some level of confidence that if a problem should arise, they'd be better equipped to handle it  (e.g. replacement equipment, additional flight options etc.).

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