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Pushka

Vancouver embarkation - Not impressed Viking.

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17 hours ago, Pushka said:

 

Interesting and different experience. We were never offered any vouchers for excursions. I’m curious as to exactly who offered them as they certainly weren’t busy when we checked in and so they had plenty of time to offer them. I didn’t hear anyone else talking about them either

As a bucket list my intention was to see Alaska and as much of it as I could so I wanted to get into port as soon as possible to see everything possible. Others might simply enjoy being on the ship, maybe as second timers for instance, and not need to get onto land as early. But coming from Australia it’s a once off for me to go to Alaska. 

 

Everyone had to vacate the ballroom by 3.45pm and it was after that we ended up in the Immigration hall until we boarded at 6.30pm. 

 

I don't know where the vouchers were located. She just mentioned there was a table that they were directed to for the vouchers and there was a list of a number of different places and activities that were available. 

 

Somehow, they were also able to access the ballroom at 4 PM and  grazed again.

 

As far as leaving the ship, she did mention that when some of her excursions were later, she did leave the ship after breakfast to shop or walk around town on her own.

 

In any case, my friend had no complaints about how anything was handled with the delay in embarcation (her words :"they went above and beyond in their arrangements")  and had no other issues on board ship.

 

Just as an aside, I just found out that - GASP of horror - we will need to tender at one of our ports in a month.  

 

Actually, I am relieved. The possibility of tendering at several ports was on the table based on my research about the ports.

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22 hours ago, Pushka said:

 

Interesting and different experience. 

 

As a bucket list my intention was to see Alaska and as much of it as I could so I wanted to get into port as soon as possible to see everything possible. Others might simply enjoy being on the ship, maybe as second timers for instance, and not need to get onto land as early. But coming from Australia it’s a once off for me to go to Alaska. 

 

 

 

Yes, my friend did have an interesting and different experience because she took advantage of the arrangements  made by Viking.

 

I think we have found the root of all the problems.

 

With a bucket list of must do this at that time so everything can be done or seen, there is no room for simply relaxing in the moment. Every second of delay (and make sure to line up early to be first) is magnified into a insurmountable problem that must be fixed  now by someone, even if there is no solution.

 

And not getting instant gratification just feeds into the sense of frustration with a situation that must be, in one's mind,  someone else's fault.

 

In reality, there is no way to see it all and do it all in any port. And one never knows what life will bring in the future.  There can always be a hope and promise of "next time" as one has a parting look at the new place.

 

Travel is as much serendipity as it is planning. There is something to be said for just stopping and enjoying the moment, zigging when you planned to zag. Would it have been so bad to sit up in the cafe with a cup of coffee and a pastry and enjoy the view while kinks were worked out? 

 

Who knows what you may have seen in the water, in the air or on the shore that could never be planned for? Or even discovering there was a exquisite pastry that one hasn't tried?  Definitely was a missed opportunity for something special to happen.

 

Always stop and just enjoy  being where you are. Too much will be missed with a rigid schedule and the cost in frustration and anger certainly defeats the purpose of a vacation.

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Posted (edited)

With respect to your friend, at 3.45 it was announced in the ballroom that we should all make our way back to the hall to collect our hand luggage and start to prepare to go through Canadian and US customs. I have no idea how they snuck back into the room at 4pm as they were removing items as we left. 

 

We were not directed towards any table of vouchers. I can’t even imagine where that table would have been located. There was someone directing you to the luggage drop off, then to the checkin counter and then to the hand luggage area. There was no table of vouchers when we checked in. 

 

It might have been nice  to see what was happening in the sea but the queue to get off the ship was in the Atrium. We were given a tender ticket and told to wait until it was called. 75 minutes later we were still waiting for it to be called. It never was. We were now down to 5 hours only in a port we had never seen before, our first port in Alaska. Of course everyone except your friend it seems wanted to get off. I don’t call that instant gratification. It’s spending more time in the port which is a key marketing strategy that Viking uses. Our experience was the opposite. 

 

Please accept that this time, and the Guest Relations manager agreed, that they did not handle the tender process well on this cruise. Viking does handle it very well in their European cruises, and my brother and people here assured me of that. But this time they dropped the ball. Lovely for those who don’t want to see the ports, they were not affected. But those who were lined up in the atrium were. 

 

Anyway I’m sure you will be relieved to know that we will not be travelling on Viking Ocean again.  We are in the process of cancelling our next Orion cruise even though it means we will lose our $1000 deposit. We are returning to another cruise line we’ve been on 3 times, that does allow children, but we will travel in non peak travel plus they’ve not been a nuisance in previous cruises, casinos, but we simply won’t walk in, and photographers whom we laugh about anyway. And hey, they manage tenders extremely well, so much so that we enjoy them! We can book excursions a year out - I didn’t realise how good that was until this recent cruise, plus everyone has a fair shot at getting them. It’s the same age as Orion. We’ve always found crews on all ships to be extremely hard working and polite so that isn’t an issue. Additionally it’s much more affordable than Viking. The food isn’t as nice as Viking but we try avoid eating too much anyway and stay fit. Food isn’t our priority by any stretch. 

Edited by Pushka

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51 minutes ago, Pushka said:

With respect to your friend, at 3.45 it was announced in the ballroom that we should all make our way back to the hall to collect our hand luggage and start to prepare to go through Canadian and US customs. I have no idea how they snuck back into the room at 4pm as they were removing items as we left. 

 

We were not directed towards any table of vouchers. I can’t even imagine where that table would have been located. There was someone directing you to the luggage drop off, then to the checkin counter and then to the hand luggage area. There was no table of vouchers when we checked in. 

 

It might have been nice  to see what was happening in the sea but the queue to get off the ship was in the Atrium. We were given a tender ticket and told to wait until it was called. 75 minutes later we were still waiting for it to be called. It never was. We were now down to 5 hours only in a port we had never seen before, our first port in Alaska. Of course everyone except your friend it seems wanted to get off. I don’t call that instant gratification. It’s spending more time in the port which is a key marketing strategy that Viking uses. Our experience was the opposite. 

 

Please accept that this time, and the Guest Relations manager agreed, that they did not handle the tender process well on this cruise. Viking does handle it very well in their European cruises, and my brother and people here assured me of that. But this time they dropped the ball. Lovely for those who don’t want to see the ports, they were not affected. But those who were lined up in the atrium were. 

 

Anyway I’m sure you will be relieved to know that we will not be travelling on Viking Ocean again.  We are in the process of cancelling our next Orion cruise even though it means we will lose our $1000 deposit. We are returning to another cruise line we’ve been on 3 times, that does allow children, but we will travel in non peak travel plus they’ve not been a nuisance in previous cruises, casinos, but we simply won’t walk in, and photographers whom we laugh about anyway. And hey, they manage tenders extremely well, so much so that we enjoy them! We can book excursions a year out - I didn’t realise how good that was until this recent cruise, plus everyone has a fair shot at getting them. It’s the same age as Orion. We’ve always found crews on all ships to be extremely hard working and polite so that isn’t an issue. Additionally it’s much more affordable than Viking. The food isn’t as nice as Viking but we try avoid eating too much anyway and stay fit. Food isn’t our priority by any stretch. 

 

Sorry to see you go, Pushka, but understand your frustration.  Sometimes it seems the world is against you!  Better to go to something you know and like and not waste any more time with Viking then.   Is the $1000 loss an Australian or non-US thing or is your cancelled cruise really close in?   We have cancelled a Viking cruise and it was just $100 US.   Hoping you don't get stuck with $1000.   Will see you on other cruise line boards then!

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Posted (edited)
On 6/24/2019 at 3:46 PM, CCWineLover said:

 

Sorry to see you go, Pushka, but understand your frustration.  Sometimes it seems the world is against you!  Better to go to something you know and like and not waste any more time with Viking then.   Is the $1000 loss an Australian or non-US thing or is your cancelled cruise really close in?   We have cancelled a Viking cruise and it was just $100 US.   Hoping you don't get stuck with $1000.   Will see you on other cruise line boards then!

 

Aussies lose their deposit no matter how far out the cruise is, in this case it is 2021 for our cruise. We don’t have to pay in full further out than 4 months but that’s the case for all cruiselines booked from Australia. I’m happier losing that deposit and knowing we have other options that we do like, rather than think about another Ocean cruise with Viking as it will just bring up the issues again. Our last night on board I hope never to be repeated and after several cruises I know we won’t. 

 

i just wanted to experience the Viking that people here say is the Viking experience. But as mentioned upthread, even experienced Viking cruisers on our cruise were saying “this is not the Viking we have come to know” and were somewhat apologising to me as this was our first cruise with them and first impressions stick. You only get one chance for a first impression and it wasn’t great. 

 

Edited by Pushka

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21 minutes ago, Pushka said:

 

Aussies lose their deposit no matter how far out the cruise is, in this case it is 2021 for our cruise. We don’t have to pay in full further out than 4 months but that’s the case for all cruiselines booked from Australia. I’m happier losing that deposit and knowing we have other options that we do like, rather than think about another Ocean cruise with Viking as it will just bring up the issues again. Our last night on board I hope never to be repeated and after several cruises I know we won’t. 

 

i just wanted to experience the Viking that people here say is the Viking experience. But as mentioned upthread, even experienced Viking cruisers on our cruise were saying “this is not the Viking we have come to know” and were somewhat apologising to me as this was our first cruise with them and first impressions stick. You only get one chance for a first impression and it wasn’t great. 

 

 

Pushka, I have never sailed Viking but do read these boards as friends of ours just love Viking.  I feel very disappointed for your experience.  It's not fun when something you look forward to does not live up to your expectations.

Just wanted to chime in regarding you losing your deposit on the future cruise.  That must be Viking's policy not an 'Australia wide' policy.  We sail with another line and are currently booked on a cruise leaving Dec 4 this year.  We have only paid a deposit which if fully refundable for any reason up to Aug 6 (4 months out).  Our final payment if due Sept 5 (3 months out).  So your deposit situation is due to Viking's own policies.

Happy future cruising Pushka.

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On 6/24/2019 at 4:19 PM, candylover said:

 

Pushka, I have never sailed Viking but do read these boards as friends of ours just love Viking.  I feel very disappointed for your experience.  It's not fun when something you look forward to does not live up to your expectations.

Just wanted to chime in regarding you losing your deposit on the future cruise.  That must be Viking's policy not an 'Australia wide' policy.  We sail with another line and are currently booked on a cruise leaving Dec 4 this year.  We have only paid a deposit which if fully refundable for any reason up to Aug 6 (4 months out).  Our final payment if due Sept 5 (3 months out).  So your deposit situation is due to Viking's own policies.

Happy future cruising Pushka.

Thanks candylover. Yes, I think this is a Viking Policy. I’d rather cut my losses now and am looking forward to our next cruise next year on a different cruiseline that we know we will enjoy. 

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4 hours ago, Pushka said:

It might have been nice  to see what was happening in the sea but the queue to get off the ship was in the Atrium. We were given a tender ticket and told to wait until it was called. 75 minutes later we were still waiting for it to be called. It never was. We were now down to 5 hours only in a port we had never seen before, our first port in Alaska. Of course everyone except your friend it seems wanted to get off. I don’t call that instant gratification. It’s spending more time in the port which is a key marketing strategy that Viking uses. Our experience was the opposite. 

 

While we haven't yet sailed with Viking, I assume that when tendering, priority is given to pax taking ship's tours. On all other lines we have sailed with, that was the norm.

 

For that reason, we avoid booking private tours in tender ports. If it is a new port for us, we generally book an early ship's tour, which gets you ashore quickly, with no fuss.  If not booking a ship's tour, we expect a delay in getting ashore, so sit in a lounge and chill. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Heidi13 said:

While we haven't yet sailed with Viking, I assume that when tendering, priority is given to pax taking ship's tours. On all other lines we have sailed with, that was the norm.

 

For that reason, we avoid booking private tours in tender ports. If it is a new port for us, we generally book an early ship's tour, which gets you ashore quickly, with no fuss.  If not booking a ship's tour, we expect a delay in getting ashore, so sit in a lounge and chill. 

 

I agree that seems to be a good strategy and we have done similar.  However, Viking never stated in any documentation pre cruise that any port was going to be a tender. So how do you plan for that? It was only me scouring all the Berth allocations in every port’s website and CLA that I thought that this may be an issue. And we shouldn’t have to go to such ridiculous lengths to extract that info. 

 

A confounding factor is the way in which Viking manages their excursions and the manner of timing bookings. Several excursions sold out before DV could access them.  Sometimes in Alaska private providers sell out very quickly so if it was a much desired excursion you might book privately in advance in order to do it. Advising people only the night before the port that it’s a tender is not a good way of communicating to people. 

Edited by Pushka

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On our last cruise in the Baltic, we had a similar experience, only receiving 1 days notice of tendering. The stated reason was ship unable to dock due to weather. Personally that was a pitiful excuse.

 

We had hoped for private excursions in all ports, using Alla, but other than SPB & Tallinn, we didn't meet the minimum numbers, so have to revert to ship's tours. Had we booked Alla, we probably wouldn't have made the tour, or it would have been curtailed.

 

Unfortunately, I accept that is a risk of booking private tours.

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TOTALLY different experiences on this same cruise posted by several guests on Friends of Viking Cruises Facebook site.  No ongoing rants ad infinitum.  What's good is those who hate their cruise experience thankfully will not be on a ship with those of us who enjoy themselves.  Self filtering.

 

Disclosure:I had a really bad experience with Viking home office once.  Stated my issue here, answered a couple questions and that was it.

 

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@Pushka - I’ve been following your reviews with great interest as I booked a cruise to Alaska with VO. I sailed with Viking twice before and enjoyed both times. 

 

I understand your frustration on the delay in embarkation and tendering process. We pay a premium price to Viking so we naturally want Viking to meet our expectations. I sound like a broken record. But what you experienced on Orion was not a typical Viking journey. 

 

Instead of cancelling and losing $1k, may be you can consider switching to a tried and proven itinerary, such as Norway, Baltic or the Mediterranean? If Europe doesn’t strike your fancy, a different ship may be?

 

Your comments are very specific to Vancouver, Alaska ports and Orion. So you may have a totally different experience with another Viking ship to a different destination. 

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8 hours ago, philw1776 said:

TOTALLY different experiences on this same cruise posted by several guests on Friends of Viking Cruises Facebook site.  No ongoing rants ad infinitum.  What's good is those who hate their cruise experience thankfully will not be on a ship with those of us who enjoy themselves.  Self filtering.

 

Disclosure:I had a really bad experience with Viking home office once.  Stated my issue here, answered a couple questions and that was it.

 

I remember your experience, and respect the way you handled it. What 's more, it does not seem that you allowed that one event to prevent you from taking other cruises with Viking and enjoying them. With some people, an initial issue can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, where they expect the worst and then manage to find it!

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Posted (edited)

 

On 6/25/2019 at 6:39 AM, philw1776 said:

TOTALLY different experiences on this same cruise posted by several guests on Friends of Viking Cruises Facebook site.  No ongoing rants ad infinitum.  What's good is those who hate their cruise experience thankfully will not be on a ship with those of us who enjoy themselves.  Self filtering.

 

Disclosure:I had a really bad experience with Viking home office once.  Stated my issue here, answered a couple questions and that was it.

 

 

I was totally done with this and hadn’t posted after June 6 until I received notification a couple of days ago that another poster was rebutting my experience. So I am not going on ad Infinitum at all but defending my original statements.  And June 5 was last day of the cruise so I was all out. 

 

Yeah, friends of VFB.  Where no negative comment is allowed to exist. And must be wrong. 

Edited by Pushka

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13 hours ago, Pushka said:

 

 

I was totally done with this and hadn’t posted after June 6 until I received notification a couple of days ago that another poster was rebutting my experience. So I am not going on ad Infinitum at all but defending my original statements.  And June 5 was last day of the cruise so I was all out. 

 

Yeah, friends of VFB.  Where no negative comment is allowed to exist. And must be wrong. 

Sorry Pushka.  You were NOT going on ad infinitum at all.  I thought your experience was a good reflection on how VO was handling both communication and new ports.  There have been other less than stellar reports of new ports in Asia that sound erringly similar to yours.

 

It should be a cause for concern for those booked on the Cuba cruises.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to cancel my VO Med cruise since I know they are quite experienced in those ports.

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14 hours ago, Pushka said:

 

 

I was totally done with this and hadn’t posted after June 6 until I received notification a couple of days ago that another poster was rebutting my experience. So I am not going on ad Infinitum at all but defending my original statements.  And June 5 was last day of the cruise so I was all out. 

 

Yeah, friends of VFB.  Where no negative comment is allowed to exist. And must be wrong. 

 

Ouch!  That was unecessarily "snarky"!  I have been watching other social media  and found a lot of posts from passengers on this trip who seemed to be having a wonderful time ... one even posted a picture and some jovial comments about tendering.  And FWIW Facebook often contains posts that are critical of Viking and if they are presented in a reasonable way they are not criticized for their comments ... often they are supported and their complaints are vindicated.  I am sorry that you did not enjoy your Viking cruise experience ... you have the option to cancel and it sounds like that would be the best option in your current state of mind.  I hope you enjoy your experiences on your preferred lines ... hope THEY tow the line and don't disappoint you .

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1 hour ago, molymoo said:

 

Ouch!  That was unecessarily "snarky"!  I have been watching other social media  and found a lot of posts from passengers on this trip who seemed to be having a wonderful time ... one even posted a picture and some jovial comments about tendering.  And FWIW Facebook often contains posts that are critical of Viking and if they are presented in a reasonable way they are not criticized for their comments ... often they are supported and their complaints are vindicated.  I am sorry that you did not enjoy your Viking cruise experience ... you have the option to cancel and it sounds like that would be the best option in your current state of mind.  I hope you enjoy your experiences on your preferred lines ... hope THEY tow the line and don't disappoint you .

 

😁😫

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On 6/26/2019 at 6:12 AM, molymoo said:

 

Ouch!  That was unecessarily "snarky"!  I have been watching other social media  and found a lot of posts from passengers on this trip who seemed to be having a wonderful time ... one even posted a picture and some jovial comments about tendering.  And FWIW Facebook often contains posts that are critical of Viking and if they are presented in a reasonable way they are not criticized for their comments ... often they are supported and their complaints are vindicated.  I am sorry that you did not enjoy your Viking cruise experience ... you have the option to cancel and it sounds like that would be the best option in your current state of mind.  I hope you enjoy your experiences on your preferred lines ... hope THEY tow the line and don't disappoint you .

 

If people are being snarky to me like telling me I was going on ad infinitum when I was simply responding to a new post after 3 weeks of letting it go, that basically stated I wasn’t being honest then why would anyone sit back and take that? 

 

I have gone back to a cruiseline Ive been with 3 times and of course they all have their issues however What you see is what you get. Their marketing materials are accurate and reflective of the experience you receive. 

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Pushka - I see you also post to the Viking River Cruises - Viking Ra "Pharaohs & Pyramids Oct 19, 2018"  Are you canceling the Viking Ra?

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